building a media center and casual gaming pc

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19-01-2007 19:34:13

I am thinking of building a media pc for my panasonic pt53wx42f (53" 1080i), yeah it is a little old but hopefully good enough
I was also planning on doing some casual gaming on it. Does anyone have experience with this? Anyone know where i could find info on media pcs with the specific TV? I am looking to spend ~$500. should I just try to snag a cheap dell and add a new video card or get a mac mini? the mac mini wouldn't do any better than my ibook at gaming though.


20-01-2007 13:52:50

Hey man, Ok so for a media center pc, the best thing i would suggest is waiting about 2 weeks till january 30th when vista launches. Now days, custom building your pc is not necassarily cheaper, its just more fun. So you could get a decent pc (just dont get walmart e-machines or anything like that) from best buy or the problom with that is that most store bought pc's only have a 300 to 350 watt Powersupply. so if your wanting to upgrade your video card, chances are you will have to upgrade your power supply as well. if you do want individual pc parts the place to look is as for vista. the home premium and vista ultimate are both going to include the media center programming in them (way better then xp media center) where your going to be able to do a whole lot with decking out your media center and even remote connecting all your means of entertainment (TV, 360, etc.) to your computer. Its a great OS thats comming out. now the gaming part is where it gets tricky. there has been a huge boom in the gaming technology within the last year and it is going to continue for at least another year or so. you with your 500 dollar budget are only going to get a mid to mid-low gaming machine. you will most likely be able to play all the games currently out. but if your going to want to play any of the newer games you will wnat to spend more. with vista and the gaming your going to wnat at least a gig, preferrably 2 gigs of ram. go with the core 2 dual from intel, or jsut a core dual (a little cheaper) and no lower probably then a nvidia 7700. if you wnat to play any games with direct x ten, your going to need vista and a nvidia 8800 (the only video card that supports DX10. nvidia also has SLI technology, so if instead of getting a single 7900, it would maybe be better to go dual vidio cards with SLI and get 2 7700' for my background with computers (in case you want to know the validaty of my rambling) i am a computer networking major working at the Geek Squad. if you have any questions jsut pm me or reply on the post. hope this helps man. later.

oh i forgot to mention about the mac. as for gaming the mac has never or probably never will put an emphasis on gaming. so if you wnt to game it is definataly not the way to go. you can do some games on them, but its much easier and alot better on a pc.


21-01-2007 10:00:39

just so you know, that didn't help at all.


21-01-2007 10:45:47

so, then what specificically where you looking for?


21-01-2007 12:02:30

hardware choices. I am well aware of the impending vista letdown.


21-01-2007 14:22:34

i dont believe vista is going to be a big letdown, but as for hardware, i listed some earlier....


22-01-2007 17:39:26

building a pc looks cheaper. Unless there is something i am missing about Dell.


22-01-2007 19:28:34

[quotea9220e8c91="turpentinedreams"]just so you know, that didn't help at all.[/quotea9220e8c91]

what an incredibly dick thing to say after someone spent a long time responding to your vague original post.


22-01-2007 20:27:15

well thank you very much doylnea, i appreciate that.


22-01-2007 20:39:25

[quotef617ac15bd="turpentinedreams"]building a pc looks cheaper. Unless there is something i am missing about Dell.[/quotef617ac15bd]

and if you're going to consider dell, look in - you'll find a nice MCE PC for $500 and it will do everything you want.


25-01-2007 18:29:06

ok so anyone want to run this over for glaring mistakes i am making?


25-01-2007 18:51:26

That CPU is going to suck. Hard. Get at least the e6300.


You will notice a world of difference.

Also that ram is crap. If you want to game get at least 2x512mB of ram in a Dual Channel Kit. Or better yet get 2x1gB of ram which is what most people are using now for gaming computers.


25-01-2007 18:53:39

8800gtx if you want to spend alot of money if not then get a 7950gt video card


25-01-2007 18:54:50

Corsair is pretty good from what i have heard for DDR2.

And 2gB will be very good espically for games like BF2.

[quote8024ef11e6="Jesusfreak"]8800gtx if you want to spend alot of money if not then get a 7950gt video card[/quote8024ef11e6]

You don't necessarily have to get a 7950 a 7600GT will do ok too if you are pushing it. But again video cards are a big thing too. And the 6800GS is a low budget card 2 generations ago...

BFG is not my favorite brand but this is a cheap card with a mail in rebate and I believe BFG offers lifetime warranty on all there cards.


25-01-2007 19:01:48

[quote5b3b4c4d1f="Jesusfreak"]8800gtx if you want to spend alot of money if not then get a 7950gt video card[/quote5b3b4c4d1f]
yeah lets go with a single card that is my entire budget for the pc.


25-01-2007 19:03:26


That is my recommendation. Price may be too high but I don't think you will regret it. You need to get a PSU that does not come with the case.

Also 90$ in MIRs.


25-01-2007 19:09:17

i kinda just wanted to play wow and watch movies (

btw wishlist doesn't work.


25-01-2007 19:21:29

make sure u have nvidia on ur list


25-01-2007 19:39:39

[quote1e06eb2ba5="Jesusfreak"]8800gtx if you want to spend alot of money if not then get a 7950gt video card[/quote1e06eb2ba5]
Either of those is totally and completely overkill for a HTPC/casual gaming rig, especially on a $500 budget.

If all you want to do is play WoW and watch movies, a 6xxx series Nvidia card would be plenty sufficient. You can find great deals on 6600's, or a 6800 would be even better for not much more.


25-01-2007 20:18:31

i agree with dmorris, just get the 6xxx series nvidia, and if you could scrape that ram to at least 1 gig. you won't regret that. one thing you may want to look into (since this is a media PC) is a seperate audio card. then you can get all the surround sound with it. but not needed

[quote742dbf7328="Jesusfreak"]8800gtx if you want to spend alot of money if not then get a 7950gt video card[/quote742dbf7328]

one thing with that is he's only putting a 400 watt Power Sup in there. you need at leats at 450 watt to run that, plus keep in mind that everything else sucks power to, so he would have to have a bigger Power Sup, and he would need probably water cooling (which is what they suggest) thats way over budget.


25-01-2007 20:59:32

Well the 7600GT from BFG I suggested is actually cheaper. And it is not refurbished.

Get the 6300 and the 1gig dual channel kit. You won't regret it. You don't HAVE to upgrade that PSU but I would suggest it.

Other then that it looks fine.