Personal computing discussed

Moderators: mac_h8r1, Nelliesboo

 
bthylafh
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Topic Author
Posts: 3736
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 11:55 pm
Location: Southwest Missouri, USA

OEM or barebones HTPC

Wed Sep 02, 2009 11:19 am

One of my departments wants a couple conference-room computers. They want small, quiet, and able to play DVDs and possibly Blu-Rays (for future-proofing). The computers will be hooked into HDTVs (don't remember if they're 1080p or 720p units), and I'd prefer to just use HDMI cables for video and sound, to keep things neat. I don't think they have speakers yet, but they may add some at some point. It will only need to be fast enough to play video.

Can someone recommend an OEM computer that can be easily adapted to this use? Failing that, I'd consider a barebones unit that I can spec out myself. Don't worry about which OS an OEM comes with, because we've got a Windows site license.
Hakkaa päälle!
i5-2500K@4.3|Asus P8P67-LE|8GB DDR3-1600|Powercolor R7850 2G|SanDisk Ultra II 480GB|1988 Model M|Saitek X-45|Logitech MX 518 & F310|Dell 2209WA|Sennheiser PC151|Asus Xonar DX
 
wibeasley
Gerbil Elite
Posts: 952
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:19 pm
Location: Norman OK

Re: OEM or barebones HTPC

Wed Sep 02, 2009 11:57 am

Are they being installed in an existing shelf with small dimensions?

My first reaction involves maintenance instead of features. If something breaks with it, do you mind taking some heat, or do you want to be able to blame it on Dell/HP? Even if you are able to build it better and cheaper, will the users appreciate it?
 
bthylafh
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Topic Author
Posts: 3736
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 11:55 pm
Location: Southwest Missouri, USA

Re: OEM or barebones HTPC

Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:26 pm

One computer would be stuck on the cart with the TV, so it would have to be fairly small, say about the size of a Dell Optiplex 760 SFF[1] or preferably a bit smaller; the other would be put into a cabinet that's got a good bit of room.

I don't mind fixing the computer, but I like having a nice warranty so I can just have Dell, etc. replace a bad part and get it within a couple days. A consumer-grade computer is fine, I don't think we'll need business kit for this.


[1] I considered this model, but we'd have to get a third-party video card for HDMI. Not a deal-breaker, but I do like Dell's warranty service.
Hakkaa päälle!
i5-2500K@4.3|Asus P8P67-LE|8GB DDR3-1600|Powercolor R7850 2G|SanDisk Ultra II 480GB|1988 Model M|Saitek X-45|Logitech MX 518 & F310|Dell 2209WA|Sennheiser PC151|Asus Xonar DX
 
wibeasley
Gerbil Elite
Posts: 952
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:19 pm
Location: Norman OK

Re: OEM or barebones HTPC

Wed Sep 02, 2009 2:06 pm

In that case, I have nothing to contribute since I have no experience with OEM SFFs. Now that the aliens thread has been locked, maybe your question will get more attention.

If the TV cart doesn't have a good platform for a keyboard and mouse, consider wireless. I don't know if different wireless models have better or worse distances.

Will it interact with any conference call equipment?
 
bthylafh
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Topic Author
Posts: 3736
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 11:55 pm
Location: Southwest Missouri, USA

Re: OEM or barebones HTPC

Wed Sep 02, 2009 2:21 pm

They've got a wireless KB & mouse already, and they use a dedicated conference-call device when such things are needed.
Hakkaa päälle!
i5-2500K@4.3|Asus P8P67-LE|8GB DDR3-1600|Powercolor R7850 2G|SanDisk Ultra II 480GB|1988 Model M|Saitek X-45|Logitech MX 518 & F310|Dell 2209WA|Sennheiser PC151|Asus Xonar DX
 
bthylafh
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Topic Author
Posts: 3736
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 11:55 pm
Location: Southwest Missouri, USA

Re: OEM or barebones HTPC

Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:09 am

bump
Hakkaa päälle!
i5-2500K@4.3|Asus P8P67-LE|8GB DDR3-1600|Powercolor R7850 2G|SanDisk Ultra II 480GB|1988 Model M|Saitek X-45|Logitech MX 518 & F310|Dell 2209WA|Sennheiser PC151|Asus Xonar DX
 
lex-ington
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Posts: 2930
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:59 pm
Location: Toronto, ON

Re: OEM or barebones HTPC

Thu Sep 03, 2009 1:21 pm

It seems to me like a Dell Studio will fit your needs perfectly. An HTPC seems un-necessary for what work it will be doing. Small, lightweight with HDMI and a blu-ray option . . . .exactly what you're looking for. Linkage
. . . this is the digital projection of your mental self. . . .
 
mattsteg
Gerbil God
Posts: 15781
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Applauding the new/old variable width forums
Contact:

Re: OEM or barebones HTPC

Thu Sep 03, 2009 1:30 pm

Anything that you can spec with hdmi out and a bluray drive should be sufficient. Modern video cards can accellerate playback anyway, so CPU isn't that vital for playing back blu rays.
...
 
bthylafh
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Topic Author
Posts: 3736
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 11:55 pm
Location: Southwest Missouri, USA

Re: OEM or barebones HTPC

Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:25 pm

I can't get the Studio Hybrid on contract, but I can get the Vostro 220 slim tower with a Radeon 3450 for HDMI compatibility. It's bigger and uglier, but cheaper.

Price with Blu-Ray & 3-year warranty, to us, is $678.60. With a one-year warranty that drops to $545.
Hakkaa päälle!
i5-2500K@4.3|Asus P8P67-LE|8GB DDR3-1600|Powercolor R7850 2G|SanDisk Ultra II 480GB|1988 Model M|Saitek X-45|Logitech MX 518 & F310|Dell 2209WA|Sennheiser PC151|Asus Xonar DX
 
lex-ington
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Posts: 2930
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:59 pm
Location: Toronto, ON

Re: OEM or barebones HTPC

Thu Sep 03, 2009 9:44 pm

I am going to say that OC'ing is out of the question, which makes some choices a bit easier. I'll list some parts, and many of you will be cautious about the mobo choice, but then again - this comp is NOT for enthusiasts, but for general work/performance.

Case = $70
Mobo = $88
Proc. = $66
Memory = $36
HDD = $45
Blu-Ray Reader = $60

For a grand total of $365. Just for comparison reasons. I know that Dell/HP would offer warranties, but you already have an OS and other software to put on the thing AND you're willing to service the machines - why not build them?
. . . this is the digital projection of your mental self. . . .
 
Faceless Clock
Gerbil
Posts: 77
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:27 am
Location: Portland OR
Contact:

Re: OEM or barebones HTPC

Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:53 pm

I'd go with the Dell option. There is a reason why some many businesses use dell computers. They're simple, cheap, not that hard to work on, and come with a decent warranty. I would 100% go against building your own in this case, my experience is that you do not want to be on the hook for fixing things should they go wrong.
http://www.smidgenpc.com/ - Smidgen PC. Offering big news about tiny PCs.
 
bthylafh
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Topic Author
Posts: 3736
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 11:55 pm
Location: Southwest Missouri, USA

Re: OEM or barebones HTPC

Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:26 pm

We ended up going with the Dell Vostro 220 Slim. Seems to work well so far, and no compatibility issues with 64-bit Win7. Still bigger than I'd have liked, but not bad.
Hakkaa päälle!
i5-2500K@4.3|Asus P8P67-LE|8GB DDR3-1600|Powercolor R7850 2G|SanDisk Ultra II 480GB|1988 Model M|Saitek X-45|Logitech MX 518 & F310|Dell 2209WA|Sennheiser PC151|Asus Xonar DX
 
Fragnificent
Gerbil Elite
Posts: 955
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:28 pm

Re: OEM or barebones HTPC

Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:28 am

Are Shuttles out of the question? You'd build it yourself, and the cost may be a bit higher than going Dell, but they are neat as basic PC's. Check out Shuttle's SG31G2, for starters.
*** Shuttle X48 / 4 GB Corsair PC6400 / C2D E8400 @ 3.6 Ghz / Radeon 5850 / Caviar 750GB / Windows 7 Pro 64-bit ***
 
Fragnificent
Gerbil Elite
Posts: 955
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:28 pm

Re: OEM or barebones HTPC

Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:08 pm

Oops, didn't see your last post. :oops:
*** Shuttle X48 / 4 GB Corsair PC6400 / C2D E8400 @ 3.6 Ghz / Radeon 5850 / Caviar 750GB / Windows 7 Pro 64-bit ***

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest