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Minimum specs for a media center PC?

ZeonZeon Registered User regular
edited January 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Just wondering what the minimum specs on a media center PC would be. Im not looking to run Windows Media Center Edition, just a computer with windows XP, lots of storage, and the ability to play any type of media file.

I can get a P4 1.6ghz, 512 megs of ram for 160 bucks, add in a soundcard and a wireless keyboard/mouse and a 250 gig hd, and im at 300 or so. Is this powerful enough? I dont remember having problems watching videos on my P3 900, but then again that was about 4 or 5 years ago, and i dont know if the newer codecs require more processing power.

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  • RoundBoyRoundBoy Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    You need to consider your typical use as well..

    usually you can get away from a powerful CPU as long as your vid card can handle a lot of native encoding / decoding...

    And storage, storage, storage unless you plan on streaming everything.

    In which case, a gig nic is a minimum..


    From the Myth TV docs .. they detail some specs you can use to decide.

    Personally... when I put together my medai center pc, it will be a dual core with some nice mem space, but a minimum of hdd space as i will stream everything to / from my central server.

    But, all this again depends on if you care about HD streams, if you intend to access this box from the sofa or like an actual pc ... and if you want to store your video, at least on a temporary basis, on this box.

    Read the above .. its a great starting point.

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  • ZeonZeon Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    RoundBoy wrote:
    You need to consider your typical use as well..

    usually you can get away from a powerful CPU as long as your vid card can handle a lot of native encoding / decoding...

    And storage, storage, storage unless you plan on streaming everything.

    In which case, a gig nic is a minimum..


    From the Myth TV docs .. they detail some specs you can use to decide.

    Personally... when I put together my medai center pc, it will be a dual core with some nice mem space, but a minimum of hdd space as i will stream everything to / from my central server.

    But, all this again depends on if you care about HD streams, if you intend to access this box from the sofa or like an actual pc ... and if you want to store your video, at least on a temporary basis, on this box.

    Read the above .. its a great starting point.

    Oh, i should have mentioned i guess... I dont want a media center as in a Tivo box. I basically want a media center as in... a center for all my media? If that makes sense. Basically something i could rip my dvds and cds to, and then watch/listen to them from my television/stereo. Basically a replacement for my dvd player, and an addition to my stereo.

    Thats why i figured a P4 1.6 with 512 megs would be fine, since the most taxing job this computer would be doing is decoding, say, divx files, or watching a dvd.

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  • RoundBoyRoundBoy Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    you would be suprised at how taxing decoding video is. Your money is better spent on a nice vid card that can do it all via hardware, rather then cpu cycles.

    Especially if you want a remote control to control everything.

    onboard adoi sometimes comes with digital / optical outs .. so you can output quality audio to a quality stereo .. the same goes for s-video (or hdmi if you want to go with hd content)

    You are going to need serious HD space to start compiling your collection in one place... you might be hard pressed to fit it in a media center box (small form factor) unless you don't care about a large computer box next to your tv

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