I built a home theater PC recently using parts from Newegg and running Windows 7 media center. I’ve been pretty happy with it so far, watching Netflix, Hulu, DVD’s, and home videos has worked out well. There are however a couple issues I’ve noticed:
1. I had to uninstall the Realtek audio drivers to get the HDMI audio to work.
2. The HDMI video connection to my television doesn’t always work. Sometimes I have to restart the computer or put it to sleep for the connection to be made. It seems to work best if I turn the television on and set it to the correct input before turning on the computer. I haven’t read any other reviewers having this issue, so it might be an issue with my Panasonic plasma.
3. There is about a 1/2 inch black border on the outside of the television. This isn’t all that surprising, however I did expect the ATI catalyst control center to allow me to correct the overscan. This really is not noticeable though, and doesn’t bother me too much.
Here are the parts I used:
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H
CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor
RAM: G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5
DVD: Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B
Case: hec Black 0.7mm Thickness SECC 7K09 Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
The total cost for the system was $325. I had access to Windows 7 via my TechNet subscription so that saved me an extra $200. This was my first build using a micro-ATX motherboard and case, it was a tight fit getting all of the pieces in the case. I also had to use an IDE to SATA power adapter I had, the power supply only had one SATA power connector.