So, one of the things I’ve wanted to do for a while was save up enough money to build myself a custom PC. Unfortunately, that was never really able to materialise seeing as how I never had the money to spend on it, for several reasons (be they paying for on-campus accommodation, paying repeat fees, paying other general crap). However, since I found out I didn’t have to pay anything extra for my studies this year (as well as getting money back!), I now have the cash to do my fancy build. Although what to get for my build is a whole different kettle of fish…
So, the overall aim of this is to create a bit of a home media center, consisting mainly of the PC and my 360 (or possibly a new one if I decide not to bother repairing this shit). While it may seem simple though, I have a few plans in mind which make it fairly complex. While I normally like complications, when said complications can dictate what bits I need to buy, then it gets iffy.
So, first off is my build. You can find it on Komplett here. The majority of it is obviously for the computer itself, but the extras are to deal with the fancy bits I’m about to go into excruciating detail over. Because I am that sad, and the fact that I like to go into details. You can kill the tab now if you want, I won’t mind…
Still here? Good.
Some of the main omissions you may be waiting to scold me about would be the keyboard, mouse and monitor – but I’m already sorted for those with my G15, G9, and some crummy 19" widescreen thing with speakers. And I’m good for an OS for the moment since I can get Windows 7 Professional from college via the MSDNAA thingy. Or if all else fails, I still have my USB stick with the RC on it.
Anyway, my main plan is to have the PC and 360 both plugged into the one monitor I have which I can switch between much easier than having to unplug a VGA cable and plug in the other one, which is solved by the video switch. Ironically it seems to be the same type of switch that was used however long ago in the café I used to work in for the one station that had both a PC and the 360 on it… The 360 will go into the monitor’s shitty in-built speakers for the time being, while I can listen to the PC via headphones, or maybe some external speakers. Or something similar.
Here’s where it starts to get a little complicated though. For the purposes of LP’s or gameplay streams, I’d like to be able to send my 360′s output to both my monitor and an input on my computer simultaneously, so that I can play and record at the same time without having to go via the computer per se, and deal with lag and increased response time in-game. For that, I can only assume that I’d need some sort of video/audio splitter, except I have no idea what I’d need to get to sort that out…
With that sorted the mish-mash of VGA and audio cables in the back would look something like this:
- PC VGA cable -> video switch
- 360 VGA cable –> video/audio splitter
- Video/audio splitter video –> video switch
- Video/audio splitter audio –> monitor
- Video/audio splitter video/audio–> PC
- Video switch –> monitor
Also, with the house here in Dunboyne, there are Ethernet ports everywhere to hook into the Magnet fibre line. Except that there is only one port in the room nearby where I want all this stuff to be. Also, I want my PC and 360 to be on the same network so they can sync and do Media Center and all that other shit. As well, I need wireless access for my laptop in the house, y’know, just for the handiness of being able to use it anywhere in the house if needed. Plus the fact my mom likes to keep the wireless key to herself for some unknown reason. Not sure though if a normal router would do, or if I’d need an actual network switch.
All this stuff is confusing me quite a bit, which is why I’m looking for a little clarity and help from people who do know what I’m talking about as to what else I’d need to get to make this dream a reality.
Also, it can’t really be much more expensive than what it already is. I may have a good chunk in the savings account, but I’m not that well off.