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Oxigen_Waste

Mini desktop to be used as media center?

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Basically have had enough of crappy media centers and media streaming... Want permanent solution. Something cheap and good enough. All I need it to do is run 1080 media.

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Intel Core i3-2100 - $120

Sentry Slim 2420 With PSU - $50

MSI H61M-E33 Motherboard - $70

Kingston ValueRAM 2 x 2GB - $40

 

Potentially you could go down to 2GB RAM, but I'm not sure how well that would work with HD content using the Sandybridge graphics. I have no idea if you want an optical drive or not, but you can get a Blu-ray drive for $80 or a standard DVD drive for $15, If you're going to be using it a lot you might want to go up to a $30 one though. Obviously you'd still need an HDD, but I have no idea what size you might want. If you're not going to be storing any of the content on it, I wouldn't bother getting a large one. I have no idea what the prices are like in Europe with the taxes and everything though, so you're going to have to look around a bit.

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...Mac Mini.

 

More expensive.

 

But... Mac Mini, a Mac Mini form-factor external hard drive and a copy of Boxee and your golden.

 

Or just a Boxee Box.

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Intel Core i3-2100 - $120

Sentry Slim 2420 With PSU - $50

MSI H61M-E33 Motherboard - $70

Kingston ValueRAM 2 x 2GB - $40

 

Potentially you could go down to 2GB RAM, but I'm not sure how well that would work with HD content using the Sandybridge graphics. I have no idea if you want an optical drive or not, but you can get a Blu-ray drive for $80 or a standard DVD drive for $15, If you're going to be using it a lot you might want to go up to a $30 one though. Obviously you'd still need an HDD, but I have no idea what size you might want. If you're not going to be storing any of the content on it, I wouldn't bother getting a large one. I have no idea what the prices are like in Europe with the taxes and everything though, so you're going to have to look around a bit.

 

Thanks for that. No optical drive needed, and a 250 HDD will do just fine, it'll be hooked up to my 2TB external HD. And I'll keep it at 4GB Ram, thanks.

As for the prices, a friend's father owns a store, so I'll get insider price! Yeah!

 

PS3 ?

 

GTFO, the media server is terrible. Even connected with ethernet, it'll still work terrible.

 

Could you not purchase a barebones PC with HDMI support and put boxee/ XBMC + linux / windows. I guess I'm coming at this problem from the software side.

 

http://www.boxee.tv/faq

http://xbmc.org/download/

 

Boxee will confuse my dad, but yeah, it's an alternative.

 

...Mac Mini.

 

More expensive.

 

But... Mac Mini, a Mac Mini form-factor external hard drive and a copy of Boxee and your golden.

 

Nothing against Apple, as I own an iPhone 4 and an iMac, but Mac Mini is ridiculously overpriced. It's not worth a dime over 450(euros)! It does look awesome, though.

 

Edit: What exactly does XBMC do? I never really understood it.

 

Edit: What exactly does XBMC do? I never really understood it.

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Boxee is a fork of XBMC they basically do the same thing but Boxee is a little bit more user friendly. XBMC was originally a project focusing on turning the MS Xbox into a media centre. Xbox is no longer being supported as development goes on but works on windows mac and linux.

 

Personally I think the boxee software is quite intuitive. Were you planning to otherwise use windows media centre from win 7 / vista? On the software front Ubuntu /(any flavour of linux) + boxee would be a cost free software solution.

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No. I was planning on using... NOTHING. How's that for simple?

Just a folder with everything on it and clickety-click.

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Maybe skip the PC and get something like this then?

 

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/192060?utm_source=google&utm_medium=products

 

Can put your own storage in, supports 1080p and a lot of file formats, and streams some internet TV services for good measure.

 

I've tired of trying those types of stuff. I bought a WD one, and it sucked. Popcorn Hour sucked too... and so did another WD one. They were supposedly the best there were... To be honest I felt betrayed! Returned them all and decided I'll get a desktop. This way it'll never be obsolete...

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I've tired of trying those types of stuff. I bought a WD one, and it sucked. Popcorn Hour sucked too... and so did another WD one. They were supposedly the best there were... To be honest I felt betrayed! Returned them all and decided I'll get a desktop. This way it'll never be obsolete...

 

It will most likely be obsolete in 5 years, if the PSU lasts that long.

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No. I was planning on using... NOTHING. How's that for simple?

Just a folder with everything on it and clickety-click.

 

Then what do you want a pc for? Something like this would be all you need: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/229961

 

Works exactly the same way as your folder analogy.

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You should also consider that a PC will be able to do more than just media. Obviously you're not going to be mining bitcoins with no video card, but you could run backups and stuff like that.

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It will most likely be obsolete in 5 years, if the PSU lasts that long.

 

I don't understand what you mean. This desktop is 8 years old and it still runs every type of media file in 1080 without any problem and will probably continue to do so until a new higher definition comes out that this one doesn't support.

 

Then what do you want a pc for? Something like this would be all you need: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/229961

 

Works exactly the same way as your folder analogy.

 

Gah... read above posts.

All the ones I've tried look good on paper but are too slow when browsing forwards and backwards. No thank you. I'd rather pay more for something better...

 

You should also consider that a PC will be able to do more than just media. Obviously you're not going to be mining bitcoins with no video card, but you could run backups and stuff like that.

 

I might go that extra mile and beef it up to a fully functional desktop.

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I don't understand what you mean. This desktop is 8 years old and it still runs every type of media file in 1080 without any problem and will probably continue to do so until a new higher definition comes out that this one doesn't support.

 

I might go that extra mile and beef it up to a fully functional desktop.

 

While that i3 can handle 1080p video, it likely won't be able to handle 3D or higher resolutions that well. The PSUs that you can get for Micro ATX/ITX cases (that one actually has one built into the case) tend to be terrible PSUs. Not only will it likely be the first part to go, but like any PSU it will loose its wattage over time, and eventually it may not be able to power the system anymore. I would say you probably have 5 years before you need to replace it.

 

You might actually be better off building a decent new PC for your regular computer usage and just use your current one for media.

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You might actually be better off building a decent new PC for your regular computer usage and just use your current one for media.

 

Too big.

I need something small and discreet.

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