Best PC for HD media viewing?

ktbubster

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 20, 2007
794
1
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Ok... So... currently my roommate has a 2ghz pentium 4 hooked up to our LCD tv in the living room. It has been working swimmingly for his nes/ps etc emulators and all those games, and even regular media viewing (non-HD content in VLC) but today he tried to play some 720 HD content and the computer couldn't handle it. It kept freezing and it was unviewable. He overclocked it and it got a little better, but still unwatchable.

He was thinking that it might be about time to sell that and replace it with a new tower or headless system.

Now, he's not against a notebook as he could use it for portable reasons unattached to the tv as well, so that might be a nice possibility.

Anyway, I was wondering how the core duo macbooks or minis for that matter handle HD content and how they might handle emulators in windows for those types of games, do things like that stress the graphics (dedicated vs. integrated graphics that is)?

He's obviously running windows right now, so any suggestion for a cheap PC under 500 dollars that could handle basic VLC HD viewing well would be great too, I only mentioned mac because he thought a mini might be a nice interesting alternative or like I said a cheaper/older macbook. Switching content around from an external drive isn't much of a factor, or upgrading the internal drive, that can be done easily.

Sooooo any mac or pc suggestions welcome.

To summarize:
Budget: < or equal to 500 dollars
Need: snes/n64 emulated video games and viewing HD content (720p tv shows downloaded for VLC for example)
Ability to connect to a 32inch LCD tv

Thanks!! :)
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,085
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Indianapolis
A Mac mini would work just fine for all of that short of PSX/N64 emulation.

Then again most of the 3D work sometimes is better handled by software.
 
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ktbubster

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 20, 2007
794
1
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Would the last rev minis... intel core duo 1.66ghz for instance handle that stuff fine?

and am I right to assume that any mini tower or tower with intel processors ... core duo atleast - windows or not, with a decent amount of ram handle HD content? I don't really buy non-apple hardware much as I love OSX too much, so I am not sure of good suggestion in that area (not dell, my roommates family has had absolutely horrible experience with dell and is anti-dell right now) other then a refurb/used intel core duo mini?

Just want some options :)
 
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Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
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Indianapolis
Any dual core machine can easily handle 720p right now.

I watch 720/1080p on my Mac mini Core Duo 1.83 GHz all the time. You just might want to get more then 512 MB of RAM.
 
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Flyers1718

macrumors member
Jun 9, 2007
66
0
This looks like a great deal if he can stretch 100.
link

Apply code DT1055,should be 600 plus tax.

You also add the quad core option when customizing.
 
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Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,085
288
Indianapolis
This looks like a great deal if he can stretch 100.
link

Apply code DT1055,should be 600 plus tax.

You also add the quad core option when customizing.
There are much cheaper machines that can fit the bill then that one. If the LCD TV has VGA, DVI, or HDMI inputs it's even easier as well.

I know the OP doesn't want to deal with Dell but I've had good experiences with them on hardware and the support front.
 
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Flyers1718

macrumors member
Jun 9, 2007
66
0
Oh trust me I know theres tons but for 600 bucks you get quad core,tv tuner(hd) and decent size hdd.I think thats a great bargain. You could also check out newegg if you wanna get into custom pcs.
 
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Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,085
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Indianapolis
Oh trust me I know theres tons but for 600 bucks you get quad core,tv tuner(hd) and decent size hdd.I think thats a great bargain. You could also check out newegg if you wanna get into custom pcs.
A TV tuner and quad core were never part of the requirements though.
 
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ktbubster

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 20, 2007
794
1
US
thanks for that option. Might be a little more then needed, but it's good to know I can find a nice dual core under 500 to run things. I'm gonna try to find a decent deal on a 1.83ghz CD mini, if not he'll probably look into some HP towers, but I'm still open to links/personal experience for this type of thing.
 
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zioxide

macrumors 603
Dec 11, 2006
5,737
3,726
If you're not going to go with the mini, don't buy any name brand PC ****.. they just rip you off. Buy the parts off newegg and build it yourself, it's not hard.
 
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Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,085
288
Indianapolis
If you're not going to go with the mini, don't buy any name brand PC ****.. they just rip you off. Buy the parts off newegg and build it yourself, it's not hard.
That gets quite hard when you throw in an operating system.

I've priced Dells at ~$400 with XP with a Intel/AMD dual core.

I already have a monitor. ;)
 
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