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Topic Title: HPC Specs Opinions Please
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Created On: 02/08/2006 10:17 PM
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 02/08/2006 10:17 PM
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ici
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Joined: 06/19/2005

Well, I originally picked up at auction a Micron 166 about 3 years ago for my father. When this wasn't good enough I did a cheap upgrade to a Compaq Whitney board w/ a Celeron 500 on it.

So far he has hardly used the thing, mostly because he hasn't been able to figure out where to set it up in his fifth wheel.

He doesn't know a lot about computers, but all 5 of us kids have them and we live anywhere from Boise Idaho to Euguene Oregon with him Living in Payette Idaho. If you know much about the West that's some pretty good gaps to run around visit all the kids.

I've talked with my sisters and brother and they are going to help in buying to components to build him an HPC to replace his TV, but we are still capping the total tag for the PC itself at $800.00 to leave room for a 19" LCD Monitor (He currently uses a 13" CRT AC/DC TV that he used to carry with him while driving long haul truck before retiring).

Since I'm the computer Guru of the family I am the one that had to sit down and figure all this out and here is what I came up with, and would like input on:

Case - http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/...Chas...c4000_index.asp

The Mozart seemed to fit the type of look he likes and the LCD display is something that is nice to have, along with the remote (one of the main things I liked about this one). This case has also had some good reviews and I am happy with my Xaser V and my dad think's my Xaser V is "Cool" and yes that was his exact words. He wanted one LOL but I don't think it will fit in his Fifth Wheel comfortably and this would.

I'm an ATI fan and where he won't be playing games integrated video is a good start for him. I choose MSI's board for the reviews on stability and the cost. This system will not be overclocked at all so this board should suit him well.

RS482M4-ILD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/...asp?...N82E16813130520

Processor is still up in the air since this system is probably 2 weeks to a month out before ordering while we sort all this out (decision to do this was made 2 days ago) but at the moment this looks like the best bang for the buck on the S939 platform:

AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Venice Core
http://www.newegg.com/Product/...asp?...N82E16819103535
$169.00

Seagate 80GB 7200 RPM Baracuda SATA 150 Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/...asp?...N82E16822148040
$59.00

I figure 80GB should suit him well. I will be installing Windows XP MCE along with Office 2003 Standard, any included, software, then a few things like Firefox. I think the most he would use his drive for is DVR purposes and pictures from family in email. If he needs more for DVR purposes I'm hoping the included softare with the Bach or MCE will allow setting a default secondary drive for DVR and we can upgrade him later.

Lite-On SHM-165H6S DVD-Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/...asp?...N82E16827106019
$52.99

Heard a lot of good things about Lite-On and this looks like a good price. Personally I would have gone MSI since I have 2 of them and have 3 in family's computers but they are no longer sold in the US unfortunately and I haven't been able to trace down who manufactured them.


Crucial 1GB (2x512MB) DDR Dual Channel Kit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/...asp?...N82E16820146577
$89.99

Crucial is owned by Micron and based in Idaho so I tend to like there memory. For a standard stock off the shelf system I think this will do well.

Logitech Cordless Comfort Duo Black RF Wireless
http://www.newegg.com/Product/...asp?...N82E16823126121
$74.00

As an HTPC it has to be wireless.

Where I'm still stuck is the TV Tuner Card. I was looking at the MSI TV Master Duo, but I can't find it in the US. I would like something that can recieve Analog and Digital Terestially yet still be connected via Video in to an DirecTV or Dish box since he is getting ready to install his truck dish onto the fifth wheel.

I would also like to get him an AM/FM reciever internally and the possibility of plugging in his Satellite Raid (He has Delphi) would be nice for him.

The other thing I have seen but can't seem to find anywhere was a VHS Tape Drive for computers. It could be used to watch VHS tapes, record them to the hard drive or copy to DVD. He still has a lot of VHS and would like this option for him.

I'm trying to build this into a single point of entertainment for him. This way he will use it and maybe, maybe, I can get him to do more than visit 1 or 2 websites and watch TV on it.

Any help, opinions, etc... are greatly appreciated.

-------------------------
Larry N. Stevens
President
Xanadu Servers, Inc.
XSI Hosting - Plesk Hosting
 02/09/2006 12:58 AM
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ici
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Doesnt' anyone Build Home Theater PC's and Media PC's? I know, a great gaming rig that can do everything is all wonderful, but there are uses for other PC's too.

-------------------------
Larry N. Stevens
President
Xanadu Servers, Inc.
XSI Hosting - Plesk Hosting
 02/09/2006 02:10 AM
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Carlz0r
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Joined: 02/07/2004

For a vhs tape drive to computer, all you really need to do is hook it up via video in. I've never actually seen standalone computer VHS units.

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The fanboyism issue got worse. I'm gone (for now) got better again, I'm occasionally back.<br><br>Don't be stupid. Conroe > K8L SAYS WHO? K8L > Conroe SAYS WHO? No Benches = No Comparision<br>PortalForums Admin
 02/09/2006 02:14 AM
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ici
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Posts: 107
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The Problem is I have. LOL And within the last year, but sadly I failed to bookmark it and can't remember where.

It was a 5 1/4" drive that the tape inserted length wise into and played directly onto the PC.

Very cool, IMO for a situation like this were I'm trying to eliminate every external device for him. The less he can do away from the computer the more possibilities of getting him to learn the computer more.

EDIT: But no opinions on the rest? The VHS Tape drive is a side thing, if I can't remember and can't find it I can't.

I'm more worried about the base system itself.

-------------------------
Larry N. Stevens
President
Xanadu Servers, Inc.
XSI Hosting - Plesk Hosting
 02/09/2006 02:42 AM
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Carlz0r
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The main system actually looks very good. Should definitely last a while as a HTPC. For tuner cards, I've never actually bought one, so I can't help you there.

-------------------------
The fanboyism issue got worse. I'm gone (for now) got better again, I'm occasionally back.<br><br>Don't be stupid. Conroe > K8L SAYS WHO? K8L > Conroe SAYS WHO? No Benches = No Comparision<br>PortalForums Admin
 02/09/2006 04:20 AM
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Smogsy
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Joined: 11/15/2005

nice setup not sure about tuner cards dont no much about them
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