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Advice on canabalising an old PC for a Media Centre...

Discussion in 'Windows & Other Software' started by peanutismint, 4 Feb 2006.

  1. peanutismint

    Hitman

    Joined: 5 Sep 2003

    Posts: 744

    Location: Cardiff Geordie

    I have just come into some legacy hardware in the form of our family's second ever PC, a Gateway with:

    P3@600Mhz
    128MB RAM
    3Dfx VooDoo 3 GPU
    20GB HDD
    10/100 Network Card

    I've added a CD writer and a DVD drive over the years, and now it's no longer needed by my family and I want to know if it's going to be possible to use it as a media centre. I'm willing to add some more RAM and a bigger hard drive if necessary, and possibly also buy a digital TV tuner and DVD writer, but of course if the PC's CPU/video card are too slow to do things like streaming video over my network/working with a TV tuner, then there might be no point. I'm quite willing to use it as an 'access point' and just stream media from my main PC, and don't expect to be using it for realtime encoding or any other high-intensity processes, but is the hardware even going to be fast enough to run the sorts of programs that might be used to easily view/record media, such as Windows XP Media Centre Edition? And if not, are there alternatives? Bar simply using it like a regular PC with a desktop etc...

    Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated! :)
     
  2. Si MPS

    Hitman

    Joined: 20 Jun 2004

    Posts: 894

    Location: Manchester

    We've got an old 1GHz thunderbird machine with 256mb ram, a DVD drive and no HD and run a lovely little thing called 'geexbox' on it. it's a linux distro, bumps straight into mplayer, its mint, give it a go.
     
  3. peanutismint

    Hitman

    Joined: 5 Sep 2003

    Posts: 744

    Location: Cardiff Geordie

    hmm sounds interesting, will try it! Any other suggestions anybody? Bearing in mind I'd like to use something which is permanently installed on my PC...
     
  4. Messiah Khan

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Sep 2005

    Posts: 10,000

    Location: Scottish Highlands

    Im quite interested in the suggestions in this thread, as ive been planning on doing the same. The specs i'm working with are;

    Celeron 800 overclocked to 1.2ghz,
    256mb ram
    Geforce2 gts
    and 2x2gb hardrives, although these sound horrible and im sure are about to die. What you planning on housing the thing in peanutismint? You keeping the Gateway case? I was thinking about the possibility of trying to pick up a cheap desktop or media centre type case, as at the moment the thing is built into a lego case :D
     
  5. Si MPS

    Hitman

    Joined: 20 Jun 2004

    Posts: 894

    Location: Manchester

    geexbox is good, it boots off a CD