Best PC for HD media viewing?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ktbubster, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. ktbubster macrumors 6502a

    ktbubster

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    US
    #1
    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!! :)
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    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.
     
  3. ktbubster thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ktbubster

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    US
    #3
    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 :)
     
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #4
    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.
     
  5. Flyers1718 macrumors member

    Flyers1718

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    #5
    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.
     
  6. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #6
    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.
     
  7. Flyers1718 macrumors member

    Flyers1718

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    #7
    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.
     
  8. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #8
    A TV tuner and quad core were never part of the requirements though.
     
  9. Flyers1718 macrumors member

    Flyers1718

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
  10. ktbubster thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ktbubster

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    US
    #10
    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.
     
  11. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #11
    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.
     
  12. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #12
    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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