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Old April 14, 2009, 07:25 AM
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Well my 2cents. There's not much difference in picture quality between 720 and 1080p... there is however a big difference in the size if the files. You're gonna want a 2hdd setup for sure because Media Center can and will fail after a while take it from me... losing media sucks balls. I also think 400 bucks is a little on the low side unless you plan on buying used. I can purchase a computer as low as 300 bucks which is a dual core 3800+ w/ 1gig of ram. 1 small HDD etc. The vid card it comes with would need to be updated as its onboard.
80+ tax AMD Athlon™ X2 5000

20+ tax Kingston ValueRAM 1GB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM

70+ tax Gigabyte GA-M61P-S3 w/ Geforce 6100, DualDDR2 800, 7.1 Audio, Gigabit Lan, 1394, PCI-E x16

58+ tax Corsair CMPSU-400CX 400 Watt w/ 120mm Fan

80+ tax Sapphire Radeon HD4550 512MB Passive Cooling PCI-E w/ Dual DVI, HDTV-Out, HDMI

55+ tax Western Digital 250GB Caviar Blue 7200rpm SATA II w/ 16MB Cache

135+ tax Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black 7200rpm SATA II w/ 32MB Cache

With the TB drive this is probably the only one I'd choose.... if you get something too slow and its full of movies etc... you'll be sitting in front of your tv for a few minutes waiting for the movies to load up before you even start watching something.

That system above is 525 beans tax in. I'm assuming you have an extra cdrom drive somewhere and you still need a case.... of course i use memory express for computer gear and thir list is pretty short so there isn't alot of older stuff on their site like ncix might have. That system will run everything however... if you kick back to ddr 400mhz you might have some lag issues. The mobo does 5.1 just fine as well.

Hope that helps.

Last edited by HaDeS; April 14, 2009 at 07:31 AM.
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