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Old 02-26-2009, 06:00 PM   #1
stingerhs
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System Builders Challenge!!

this is for all of us folks that like to hand out so much hardware advise. the main purpose is for us to reveal what we would use in a certain situation (and to see how readily we would stick to our hardware preferences). this is more or less for fun, but it can also be useful for anyone that is currently in the market for a new computer.

that, of course, leads me to the challenge:

A client wants you to build a desktop computer for them with the following criteria:

1. It needs to be able to quickly encode/decode AV files, play the latest PC game titles, and function as a Blu-ray player for home theater use.

2. The monitor being used is a 50" 1080p HDTV.

3. The client already has a legal copy of Windows Vista Home Premium x64 SP1 that will be used as the operating system.

4. The computer has to be connected to a 5.1 surround sound system.

5. The client does not have any peripheral devices such as a mouse or a keyboard.

The budget: $1000 (USD)

all you have to do is to post the hardware you would use for the system as well as a link to confirm the price of the hardware that you've chosen. just remember: it doesn't have to be a completely custom computer. if you want to just go and grab a computer from say Dell, Gateway, etc, then you're welcome to that as well. just stick to the criteria and have some fun in the process.


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Old 02-26-2009, 06:27 PM   #2
Q
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This will be fun.

I take it that the CPU and GPU will be run at stock speeds?


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Old 02-26-2009, 10:25 PM   #3
Astrotoy7
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I'll give it a go, but my money's on Q for this one

just a comment on PCs as blu-ray players. In vista and at this stage W7, MS has not been willing to write/license the necessary code to support playback natively(but recording yes)

Hence, you need third party apps like Arcsofts Total Media, or Cyberlink Power DVD8. The latter looks pretty swish, and is touted to integrate into windows 7 media center(7MC to us htpc types). Then theres the digital audio gripes.

If you are a true bluray fan, bluray standalones are dropping all the time, and the ps3 is touted as about to drop $100 in the not too distant future.

If the client in this example could be convinced to ditch the BR < it would alter funds available for other better components.

@stinger - blu ray playback only? if you want a blu ray recorder, then that further limits build quality, theyre still damn expensive. Talk to this hypothetical client, get them to see reason!!
Also, is it correct to say they only want a version of windows. If they were Linux savvy, theyd be unlikely to ask you to build one. And apple is out of the question if you want to keep things cheap

Just another note for those considering having a go... most people will pick a decent looking case for a home theater build. You cant use a cheap beige monstrosity of a case. It usually needs to fit in with your other av equipment, unless you want to hide it in a cupboard/cabinet somewhere!

@Qliveur - good to see you here mang

mtfbwya


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Old 02-27-2009, 09:02 PM   #4
stingerhs
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to answer most everybody's questions: just keep things simple and don't read too much into the criteria (it is just a theoretical client and not a real one, after all). if you want to give it Blu-ray recording capabilities, then that's up to you (and will be one of the strengths of your build).

as for overclocking, you are welcome to design a system that has excellent overclocking capabilities. just make sure that you specify which components are going to be overclocked, and of course, make sure you make use of good cooling solutions to compensate for the increased speeds.

oh, and let me know if anybody wants to turn this into a competition of sorts. ie, after people post the systems, we hold a vote to see who built the best system based on the criteria.


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How low to sink to the depths of their frame of mind

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Old 02-28-2009, 11:35 AM   #5
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shall we say this client lives in the US? The exchange rate of the US dollar makes it a woeful endeavour to do anything pc related here in Oz atm.

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Old 03-01-2009, 02:58 PM   #6
stingerhs
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^^^^
if it means that we can get this going, then yes.

edit:
and to get us started, here's one that i put together:

Mobo - Asus M4A78 Pro AM2+ 780G ATX - $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131362

CPU - AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition - $144.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103649

CPU cooler - Xigmatek HDT-S1284EE 120mm Rifle - $39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835233023

GPU - MSI R4850-512M OC (Radeon 4850 512MB) - $154.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127401

RAM - G.Skill 4GB (2x 2GB) DDR2-800 - $44.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820231122

Sound Card - Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer - $75.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829102006

DVD - Pioneer Blu-Ray DVD-ROM Retail - $129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16827136137
(note - this includes Corel WinDVD 8 to allow Blu-Ray playback)

HD - Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3320613AS 320GB - $54.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148316

PSU - Corsair CMPSU-550VX 550W - $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817139004

Case - Antec Nine Hundred - $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811129021

Mouse & Keyboard - Logitech Wireless Slim Desktop S 510 - $47.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16823126180

Total Price - $993.89

Notes:
before selling the system, i would overclock the CPU to at least 3.6GHz (which is easily done on the PII X3's). also, i would set up the integrated Radeon 3200 to run in Hybrid Crossfire with the Radeon 4850.


See the struggle of the faithless lot as they negate their time
How low to sink to the depths of their frame of mind


Last edited by stingerhs; 03-01-2009 at 04:05 PM.
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