View Full Version : Help me decide on what to buy (media center pc)

June 29th, 2009, 06:48 AM

When I buy a new home I'll also be buying a shiny new HDTV (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/161644) and building myself a media center pc to connect up to it.

The two things I consider most important are 1. Price and 2. Noise.

Obviously I want the cheapest pc that I can get and the quietest.

Things I've pretty much decided on:

Asus HD 3450 (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/167131) (this has HDMI+audio output and includes a low profile backplane - £17.88)
AMD Athlon X2 5050e (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/149212) (low power 45w processor - £40.64)
Asus M2N68-AM SE2 (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/167433) (cheap motherboard - £28.68)
LiteOn 16x DVD±RW (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/101321) (cheap DVD-RW - £11.29)
Samsung EcoGreen F2 1.5TB Hard Drive (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/166989) (large hard drive, 5400rpm so it'll likely be low heat and low noise.. plus you can change the drive speed via a special cd £78.25.. 2TB seems overpriced)
Crucial 2GB kit (2x1GB) DDR2 800 (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/139662) (£16.34)

What I haven't decided on:

Wireless keyboard

I've been considering three different cases at the moment; MicroATX tower (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150275), MATX cube case (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/135581) or Normalish ATX desktop media center case (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/125291).

With the MATX tower I'd have to separately buy a MATX PSU like this (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/133577) for example.

On the wireless keyboard front I was thinking of buying one of the wireless keyboards that includes a touchpad. I am undecided on whether to go for something of the cheaper variety like this (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/135103) or go for something a bit outrageous like a more higher end Logitech one like this (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/119977).

I will probably use Windows XP to run Boxee on because of possible issues involving audio through HDMI on Linux with the 3450.

What does everyone think?

Any suggestions to change hardware or a different case not mentioned etc?

This machine will be required to play back 1080p video, so I'm not really interested in something like an atom processor.

I will be buying a Logitech Harmony remote (probably something like the Logitech Harmony 555) and an IR receiver for the pc.