building my first pc

steve2493

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hi all
as the title say's looking to build a new pc, i have a budget off about £300 i all ready have a 400g sata hard drive.
the pc will be connected to my tv via hdmi as i will be using it mainly as a media centre(xbmc) i don't play games on my pc much apart from command and conquer. but think i would like a decent graphic's card
i would also like to connect to my 5.1 sorround sound.

not to fussed on what the case looks like as the pc will be hidden.

i've been following the recent threads on all the cheap pc parts, but just asking on whats the best for my money.

thanks
 

little_pob

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Any if its for a media centre and the odd game you'll be fine with just a dual core system.

If it was going on show I'd have recommended this MSI barebones system: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/128368
with an X2 processor like: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/134571
plus 2GB DDR2 800 (PC2-6400): http://www.ebuyer.com/product/98710
But that would have come to about £350.

As its being hidden...
This ASUS tower case barebones system with onboard ATI x1250 graphics and HDMI connectivity: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/133748
with the above CPU and RAM,
plus the soundblaster audigy 7.1: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/98938 - don't be tempted to get the X-Fi OEM. Although its £10 more the X-Fi range are plauged with 'snap-crackle-pop' issues.
Add in the ATI 3850 from digicol's post in the main bargain room (https://www.digitalworldz.co.uk/index.php?threads/170645/) and a DVI to HDMI cable: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/130512 (lack of sound will not be an issue if you connect the 5.1 surround sound direct to the PC).
Should come to a bit over £250.

Don't forget to add in any optical drives you might want... even if its only needed to install the OS.
 
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digicol

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If it's for a home theatre PC you may want to look into aftermarket cooling.

Obviously you will need a cooler to fit your socket, so for AMD you need an AM2 cooler or Intel a socket 775 cooler, I think some are now universal.

Some cooler options:
Scythe Samurai Z Rev.B Socket 478, 754, 940, 775, 939 & AM2 CPU Cooler
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/127440

Scythe Mine Rev-B Socket 478, 754, 940, 775, 939 & AM2 CPU Cooler
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/127438

Or for smaller cases then soemthing like this:
Scythe Mini Ninja Socket 478/775/754/939/940/AM2 Heatpipe Cooler
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/140470/show_product_reviews

Also maybe a silent graphics card, if your not into heavy gaming then something like a 3650 or 2600XT will be just fine and will keep the costs down.

ASUS HD 3650 SILENT 256MB DDR3 DVI HDCP HDTV out PCI-E Graphics Card
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/144659

Stick to ATI cards for a HTPC.
 

steve2493

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thanks for the replys,

the msi barebones is tempting, a little over my budget but with a case like that i would needto show it off an not hide it.
would the graphics in it be man enough for me to play c&c(the only game i do play) an can the graphics be upgrade later on if i wanted?
an do you no how many hard drives can it take?

cheers again
 

little_pob

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The is no upgrade option for the graphics card. The expansion slot on the back will be for a PCI device like a DVB card or soundcard. The onboard 6150LE chipset isn't going to give top whack gaming graphics... But the minmum specs for C&C3 is a GeForce4 so it should work fine.

The ebuyer and MSI blurb say nothing about how many HDD you can install in the machine. However one review said he installed 2 hard drives and there are 2 SATAII connectors on the 'Live' version of the motherboard.

Just read that there is a built in heatsink on the MSI. Normally you could save a few bob by getting an OEM processor as no stock cooler is supplied on OEM packages. However, the 2.5GHz 4800 retail I linked to above is currently cheaper than the 2.4GHz 4600+ OEM and it will run cooler (65nm compaired with 90nm).
 
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steve2493

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just seen this one on ebay "MSI Media Live HTPC with HDMI Dual Core 4400+ | 2GB"

so went for an won payed £230 may upgrade the processor later

thanks for the advice.
 

digicol

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You will need a slimline DVD drive for it, a normal size will be no good.

No real opportunity to play games as at a quick glance it does not seem to have any gfx card slots other then one PCI slot, though the onboard should push out C&C.

The processor in it is fine for your needs mate.
 

little_pob

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You will need a slimline DVD drive for it, a normal size will be no good.
It comes with a slot load DVD drive... At least it says it does in the spec on ebuyer.

Also, its been mentioned in reviews on the ebuyer website that Vista users need to flash the BIOS to get sound to work when watching a DVD over HDMI. MCE 2005 users must not upgrade to 1.61 and should use v1.5 instead.

BIOS v1.5 and 1.61 here: http://global.msi.com.tw/index.php?func=downloaddetail&type=bios&maincat_no=134&prod_no=1113
 

steve2493

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been doing abit off reading last night about it, it does come with a dvdrw and there is a pci express slot on the board, but i would need a riser for it, not sure the build it psu would handle a better graphics card or how much room there wil be in side.

i'll keep you update when it arrives.
 
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