My new Media Center Pc


Well-known user
Sep 20, 2004
Atherstone, North Warwickshire
Now I don't know if I'm gonna get told off for this or this thread gets moved but anyway....:D As some of you may know I've been getting parts together over the past year or so to build myself a kick ass media center Pc, I just thought i'd share with you how the build was going (and people wonder why I havn't been working on my Cat)

First off a Media Center Pc isn't nothing with-out a decent case, so I've gone for one of the best, the Zalman HD-135


As you can see its about the size of an old-skool DVD player or Hi-Fi amp, with a brushed aluminium front and a digital display (which I've found can display loads of different info) It also has a apperture for a standard Optical Drive and a 3.5" Card Reader Drive, plus External input ports for USB/Firewire(which i'm not using)/Headphones and Microphone.


I've gone for a Abit KN9S motherboard, however not the SLi version (apparently the twin Graphics cards wouldn't fit under the cover) and a dual-core AMD Athlon64 AM2 6000+ CPU [about 3.2Ghz]




Graphics card wise, the nVidia 9400GT has been instaled along with a Pinnacle Dual tuner Freeview card.



For system performance I've gone for 4x 1Gb DDR2 PC6400 800mhz ram modules from Corsair (a fan will be arriving soon to cool them) :rolleyes5: and yes I'm fully aware that a 32bit system will not recgonize all 4Gb of ram due to computaion limitations, but I've heard the system still runs lightning quick so no problems there.


HDD wise I've gone for 2x 250Gb SATA drives (possibly running RAID) and a 80Gb Drive for the O/S {Windows Media Center} and Programs. Plus a DVD multi-drive with lightscribe capabilitys and a multi-card reader drive.



I will also be adding a Bluetooth Dongle to communicate with my mobile phone

and Wi-Fi via a Lap-top Card pluged into a convertor card

However :nonod: due to space limitations in the case I've come to a bit of a problem :eek: the IDE cable to the O/S drive and the Optical drive was too short so I cant connect them both :frown2::nono:
But I've come up with a solution in the form of Two SATA to PATA convertors (I still had Two SATA ports on my motherboard) so I can use the thinner SATA style cables to connect them both seperatly at slightly increased speed due to the SATA terminal.

So far its looking good just a few more things to connect (those SATA connectors + the RAM fan) and I can fire it up and get loading the O/S etc. :sosp: then its THREE days of updates no doubt from Microsoft :(

Need a new Security Suite too, have heard Norton 2009/10 is good. Looking at a 28" HD monitor (i've only got a 14" portable Tv :LOL:) and gonna link the computer to my A/V amp for full on surround sound.

I'll keep you all informed how it goes.

Matt :ihih:
matt sounds like it will be the dogs best bits lol,you could be speaking to me in italian for all i know about pc jargon never mind sound sytems lol.hope it all works fine for you after that amount of time spent on it mate good one!
Matt go for Kaspersky internet security suite i can get you a three user retail copy from Scan computers for about £18.00 if you want it let me know I will get it and post it down to you!.
Looking good though Matt maybe you could start up an off topic show us your rig thread!
Yeah I built my parents a PC last year for a Christmas present, but I'm using it because mine went Pete Tong! (I got one of those Net-books to fill the gap, but its not quite the same) this Pc will replace my DVD Player, VCR, Freeview Box, Tv and Hi-fi all in one.
From reading a review online I've now found out the digital display will show you all aspects of whats going on with the Pc from CPU temperature to Fan speed, CD track listing etc. its mental. Even comes with a remote control ;)
The Freeview card has TWO tuners so you can watch/record two different channels at once (someone online hinted at watching two and recording another??)
Matt go for Kaspersky internet security suite i can get you a three user retail copy from Scan computers for about £18.00 if you want it let me know I will get it and post it down to you!.
Looking good though Matt maybe you could start up an off topic show us your rig thread!
Not heard good reviews mate, apparently it misses to many viruses. Norton has been updated so it don't take up loads of disc space or memory and its still the best for actualy recognizing virus's (its Amazons best seller at the mo)
I've got McAfee on my Netbook and that is good too.
Errr :confused:

;) I cant give you an exact figure but its BIG :LOL:

New A/V Computer

A summary of the Parts & Software used and their relative cost.


· Zalman HD135 Home Theatre PC case £73.43
· A-Bit KN9S Motherboard £44.99
· AMD Athlon 64 6000+ AM2 Dual-core Processor £56.00
· Nvidia GeForce 9400GT 512Mb Pci-e Graphics Card £49.99
· Corsair XMS2 DHX DDR6400 [800Mhz] 4Gb {4x1Gb} £35.00
· Western Digital WD800BB 80Gb IDE HDD [x1] £12.99
· Western Digital WD 250Gb SATA HDD [x2] £73.00
· Freecom 160Gb External USB HDD £79.97
· Samsung Super-Write Master Lightscribe 16x DVD Writer £34.99
· Insixt 3.5” Internal 16 in 1 Card Reader Drive £5.95
· Pinnacle PC-TV Dual Hybrid Pro Digital TV Tuner Pci-e Card £13.99
· BT Voyager 1060 Wireless PC Card (Cardbus) [Type II]
· Eagle Tec PCMCIA to PCI Interface Card Drive Pci Card £13.49
· T-Mobile V2.0 Bluetooth USB Dongle
· EZCool Tornado 700w ATX PSU £22.99


  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Centre Edition 2005 [Sp2] £91.98
maybe worth installing a bluray player for future proof hd movies :)
got mine for about £70
Thought about that, not sure if the motherboard could handle it and besides DVD aint dead yet ;) I don't have that many DVD's to tell you the truth, got a load of VHS to digitize onto my HDD when I get this system sorted though.
has nothing to do with the motherboard mate - its the graphics card and cpu that will do the processing for hd playback - and by the specs of the one you have, you wont have a problem ;)
I did everything your new-fangled PC can do at a fraction of the cost.

My exhisting PC has a free bit of software on it call TVersity - this shares all my media on my PC to anything i decide to put on my network!

Currently I'm using this to do that job for me!


And a good job it does too....Oh and did i Mention you can buy one for £250 now :p
Yada yada ;) Yes I know the PS3 does it all but I don't play that many games anymore so no need for a console.

Sp3n your probably right mate its just the cost of Blu-ray players was a litle high last time I looked (It would have to be able to record) and apart from the Blu-ray discs I'm not sure I'll be watching that much HD Tv, unless I download it. Can play DVD's in the car you see so thats why i'm still using them, hell i've still got a VCR :LOL: and i use that for recording the tv.

Strange as it may sound it does cost more to build a Pc from scratch than to go up a shop and buy one ready made, but the spec isn't usualy what you want or they bundle some usless software in with the computer that you never use, plus the HDD aint set up efficantly etc. its like modding a car, there is allways room for improvement it just costs you money ;)
Looks like a nice case - just wondering why you went for 2x250GB hdds when for the same price you can get 1x 1.5TB!

Also wondering about the IDE Drive - didn't know anyone bought those anymore! :)