May 20, 2022
Entertainment center with a tv that has a image of jellyfish

My Media Center Plus Upgrading A Computer

In today’s world, Media Centers are becoming less common. Ever since smartphones, anyone can easily watch whatever they want at any time. But having a shared experience with other people of watching a movie or playing a game is still best with a TV. My Media Center is more of a legacy item than something I use daily. Still, I like building the system, and playing old-school games once in a while on the big screen is fun.

Entertainment center, with a tv that has a image of jellyfish
The TV is a 1080p Vizio, it’s not terribly old. I always adjusted the sharpness to 0, and turn up the colors a little more vivid.

Sound Setup

Old fisher loudspeakers
Great old-looking speakers.

The sound system Is the most interesting part of my setup. It’s a Yamaha receiver, with old Fisher loudspeakers and a set of Athena speakers with an Energy subwoofer. The Fisher loudspeakers sound and look great too, they’re great with music. The Athena speakers with I have a 5 set of them sound great too, I use them to add fill the room more with sound. I also have a 200w Energy subwoofer to give the system some bump.

All the components came from thrift stores, or I have gotten for free. The Receiver is Yamaha Aventage RX-A810 7.2 I got it for 30 bucks. Amazing find, though it has an issue with its right rear output, I was able to work around the issue with the zone 2 feature of the receiver. The Subwoofer was a gift from work and The Athena and Fisher speakers were thrift store finds both costing about $60. In total, my system cost about $90 Not bad for about 900w of Loudness!

Content Delivery

I have a PS3 that’s been repaired by me And a media center computer. I mostly use the computer which I use to watch YouTube videos or play games. To control it, I use a k400 Logitech keyboard a good wireless keyboard with a touchpad.

Upgrading the Media Center Computer

I have been upgrading a lot of my gear lately because of my chia farming setups. Since I have an extra AM4 motherboard, A Ryzen APU would be great upgrade for my Media computer. I would upgrade to a better video card instead but because I damage the motherboard PCIe slot, It wasn’t really an option even if prices were better right now.

PartOld spec
CPUAMD A8-5500
MotherboardGigabyte GA-F2A68HM-H
RamKingstone Hyperx DDR3 1600
Power SupplyEvga 600w
Storage128 SSD + 500GB had
PartNew Spec
CPUAMD Ryzen 3400g
MotherboardGigabyte B450M DS3H V2
Ram16GB ddr4-3600 16-18-18-38
Power SupplyEvga 600w
Storage128 SSD + 500GB had

Benchmarks

I Ran a few benchmarks on the old setup before upgrading and after. For Graphics I use GLMark2 And for the CPU I used HardInfo Cryptohash.

BenchMarkOld SpecNew Spec
GLmark226226809
Cryptohash500.641062.22

With more than double the performance It’s a great upgrade. Mainly I wanted the Vulkan video support for photon on steam so the extra performance is a nice bonus. I should now be able to play most windows games without issue.

colby

Computer guru with years working with technology. I find it fun to tinker with computer new and old, and make them do my work for me.

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