Help me build a cheap media box!

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by MobileSuit, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. MobileSuit

    MobileSuit New Member

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    Hey whats up. I'm looking to build a cheap computer that will record video and play it back on a tv and do dual monitors

    I've got an old Athlon processor, ram, hdd's, and DVD burner....

    I've asked this here before and was recommended:

    a MSI KM3M-V mobo
    Radeon 9200 SE video card
    and Hauppauge wintv-pcr 150 mce-lp tv tuner

    does anyone recommend anything else?
     
  2. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    that won't work. You need 2.4GHz+, 1GB+ RAM, and a 5700LE+ on the video card... Media is very intensive work, and you don't want to skimp... "Cheap" isn't a good term.
     
  3. MobileSuit

    MobileSuit New Member

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    The old 400MHz computer my parents use plays video.... but it takes 2.4GHz to record it? I'm not talking intensive video editing or anything.
     
  4. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    recording media is intensive.... And I highly doubt that 400MHz machine can play newer formats.
     
  5. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    The reason why you need massive computing power to record/edit video is because encoding the video for storage takes much more number crunching than decoding it for playback. Recording also a hard-realtime activity, which means that the computer cannot hiccup without damaging the end product, whereas a split-second skip or stall during playback is very easily ignored.

    The Radeon 9200SE is a decent video card. I have the slightly older, hotter, faster version without the "SE" designation. I have no idea, though, if the newer one has a slower processor because it's more efficient or because it's a piece of crap. Considering a 9600 is only $30 more and also doesn't require a fan, I'd bump up to the better card.

    Regarding the CPU: Pentium 4s have four data pipelines that each run at 1/4 of the rated bus speed, which makes them good for multitasking because they can import and export multiple streams of data/instructions at once; that's what the whole Hyper-Threading feature is all about. Athlon XPs have two data pipelines that each run at the full bus speed. (why Intel add up the speeds of their pipelines and AMD doesn't I don't know). This makes them better for running single tasks with large amounts of data. As such, I'd recommend an AMD for your recording needs. When it comes to running MS Office or Internet Explorer alongside the two dozen Windows bits and pieces running in the background, the AMD is slightly inferior but it's so fast you'll never notice anyway.

    I prefer Asus motherboards. I've never had one fry on me for any reason; they're very reliable.
     

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