Ultimate HTPC Build Guide

CrimandEvil

Dick with a heart of gold
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
Messages
19,671
Version 1.4
First, a note on hard drives. In several builds I list the Western Digital 1TB drive, I've got one with zero issues but some seem to have issues with them in several similar configurations.
If I may offer my suggestion as well.

1. The WD EARS model use the 4kb sectors and that may have a problem with WHS.
2. I would reccomend Hitachi Drives over the WD Greens/Seagate LPs, because they are 7200 RPM and can provide higher IOPS needed for multi-streaming environments, or those who use their WHS for other tasks as well. Also the Hitachis fully support APM so they spin down to use less electricity just like the Greens/LPs do :)

How low is too low?
While it's possible to build an HTPC out of random spare parts (Frankenstein style), like all PC builds, there are things you need to keep in mind. For one thing, an HTPC is going to be 'on' most of the time in order to be accessible to everyone, especially if it's going to be used to record TV shows (it can't record if it's shutdown). Using 'sleep mode' is the suggested method, but some motherboards still have issues when it comes to 'S3 sleep mode'.

Second, heat and noise are another consideration. While we all can build fast and hot gaming PCs without being bothered by the noise levels, you have to think about everyone else. How do you think they would react to hearing a video card's heatsink fan ramp up while watching a simple DVD in the living room? Or while watching live TV? We've all heard of the complaints about the Xbox 360's noise levels, and a 360 doesn't even get as loud as a PC can.

Third, sometimes old is just too old. When it comes to getting an AGP system up to date, enough to be used for things like Blu Ray playback (and it could be done with the right hardware), you must weigh out how much it's worth it for you to do so. For a good video card for an HTPC, you need to spend around $50 to get satisfactory results. For the same video card in AGP trim, you'll spend nearly twice that... for the same card. Now, for me, it makes more sense if you need to spend $100 or more to get your system up to date, to just spend a little extra and get new (newish at least) hardware. For a new CPU, motherboard, and memory from our budget HTPC system, it's only $182, and cheaper if you sell your old hardware for a time sum. Shop around and get parts that are slightly used. The cheapest HTPC capable video card on Newegg is $82. An extra $100 would go a long way in making sure that you're HTPC is 'upgrade friendly' later on down the road.

When looking at hardware for an HTPC, it's good to keep a few things in mind. You want to cut down on as much 'add in cards' as you possibly can. That means picking a motherboard with decent onboard sound (only really needed when having to use 'analog out', 'digital out' is preferred) and solid onboard video. You want this because it removes sources of heat from your system and will allow air to flow more easily through it. It also allows for more space for things that might be more important to you, like tuner cards.


But What About Me?!?
Finally, these are all just hardware suggestions. They are meant to be used as a guideline in finding similar parts. I live in the US and have extensive knowledge of US oriented standards. Europe uses DVB for tuning TV, and even then, it's not easy sorting through all the different DVB implementations when you don't work with them on a daily basis. Also, I link to Newegg, simply because it's one of the more popular hardware vendors here in the States. That doesn't mean you have to buy from them, and I highly suggest shopping around. If you live in another country, then you should be looking at your "Newegg" sites. Again, I live in the US and can't be expected to know every single retail outlet in the world, just because you refuse to apply this knowledge to your situation. These are suggestions. Find similar parts that are available to you.




The Budget Box ($400 - $500)

Ion - $413.48
Zotac MAG HD-ND01 - $308.49
Windows 7 Home Premium x64 - $104.99

If you just need something barebones and don't care about a disc drive, since you'll be streaming all your media to it, then this makes for a pretty decent system. Beware though, that since it's an Atom based system it tends to choke a little on large media libraries. Don't expect too much from it though, since it is rather limited, but it may be just what you need for some situations. Two other alternatives would be to get a cheap Xbox 360 or an Aspire Revo (using the dual 330 Atom, single core Atoms are way, way too slow). It's not perfect but you can use the 360 and stream your media to it. Format support isn't as comprehensive as an HTPC and there are issues with getting DVDs streamed to it, so you'll need to look into a transcoding program. I would consider the REVO to be the "standard" when it comes to Atom based boxes but, for the most part, they're all nearly identical.




AMD - $495.46
Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz -$58.99
Asus M3N78-VM - $82.55
Apex DM-387 - $60.98
Wintec Ampx 2GB (1gig x2) DDR2 800 - $39.99
WD Caviar Green 1TB WD10EARS HDD - $79.99
Lite On iHOS104-06 Blu Ray Drive - $68.97
Windows 7 Home Premium - $104.99

If you're looking to spend the lesser amount of money for an HTPC, then this is it. The 8000 series chipset handles 1080p playback like a champ, for an entry level system. It also supports 7.1 LPCM HD audio output over the HDMI port, which is important for Blu Ray playback if you want to hear the HD audio track (otherwise, it will only do 5.1 DTS/DD audio).


Intel - $512.90
Pentium E5300 Wolfdale 2.6GHz - $67.99
XFX MI93007 GeForce 9300 - $89.99
Apex DM-387 - $60.98
Wintec Ampx 2GB (1gig x2) DDR2 800 - $39.99
WD Caviar Green 1TB WD10EARS HDD - $79.99
Lite On iHOS104-06 Blu Ray Drive - $68.97
Windows 7 Home Premium - $104.99

Feature identical to the AMD build, the only main difference is that it is an Intel build.


Midrange HTPC ($550 - $650)


AMD - $640.77
Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz - $58.99
Asus M4A78LT-M LE - $67.98
Kingston Value 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR3 1333 - $55.98
Antec NSK2480 - $113.88
Sapphire Radeon 5670 - $89.99
WD Caviar Green 1TB WD10EARS HDD - $79.99
Lite On iHOS104-06 Blu Ray Drive - $68.97
Windows 7 Home Premium - $104.99

A slight step up from the budget system, the addition of the 5670 allows for some light gaming, but more importantly, support for TrueHD and DTS-MA HD audio from Blu Ray movies. If you find a cheaper 5570 series card, I would suggest that for a step down (only lose out on the gaming). Since we're using a video card, the motherboard becomes less important. We're not looking towards it for graphics support, so just make sure to pick one out that has the features you want (USB3.0, SATA ports out the butt, etc).



Intel - $656.80
Core i3-530 2.93GHz - $124.99
Asrock H55M Pro - $92.98
Kingston Value 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR3 1333 - $55.98
WD Caviar Green 1TB WD10EARS HDD - $79.99
Antec NSK1480 - $128.90
Lite On iHOS104-06 Blu Ray Drive - $68.97
Windows 7 Home Premium - $104.99

At this price range, the difference between AMD and Intel is nearly zero, but for the AMD to be feature comparable to an Intel H55 based system, it needs to have a video card, like a 5570/5670. The H55 with a supported Clarksdale CPU supports 1080p Blu ray playback, along with support for TrueHD and DTS-MA audio, which is a nice upgrade over the budget's 9300 chipset (which only supported 7.1 HD LPCM audio). Since we don't need a video card for this build, we can go with a smaller case, the 1480 based on the 2480, but made low profile while maintaining the excellent cooling abilities.



Gamer/Highend HTPC ($800-$1100)

AMD - $1017.76
Athlon II X4 630 2.8GHz - $99.99
Gigabyte GA-MA785GT-UD3H - $97.86
Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 - $104.99
XFX Radeon 5830 - $267.55
Lian-Li PC-C32 - $198.42
WD Caviar Caviar Black WD6401AALS HDD - $74.99
Lite On iHOS104-06 Blu Ray Drive - $68.97
Windows 7 Home Premium - $104.99

Nice, sleek, and powerful, all wrapped in a decent sized package with all the same upgrades as the midrange HTPCs, but with more power. The NSK2480 is one of the best HTPC cases out there, due to it's superb cooling (dual, quiet 120mm fans), but it can be a little difficult to use. The motherboard area is rather small (a little larger then the motherboard itself), so it's kind of hard to find video cards that fit into the case. You'll want a card that is nine inches or less to fit, otherwise it's going to run right into the HDD cage. With that in mind, I picked the Powercolor 5770. It uses a shorter PCB while running at a higher clock speed for a little extra boost (875mhz compared to the stock 850mhz). I've also gone with a smaller hard drive, but it is much faster then the 1TB Green drive for game installs. If a faster and larger drive is needed, then WD does make a 1TB Black drive.



Intel - $1069.89
Core i3-530 2.93GHz - $124.99
Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3 P55 - $124.99
Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 - $104.99
XFX Radeon 5830 - $267.55
Lian-Li PC-C32 - $198.42
WD Caviar Caviar Black WD6401AALS HDD - $74.99
Lite On iHOS104-06 Blu Ray Drive - $68.97
Windows 7 Home Premium - $104.99

Much faster CPU then the AMD system. One thing to keep in mind is that, at this price range, you can pretty much drop anything into these configurations, from an SSD to another video card. It all depends on what you want out of the system, but as a "high-end" gaming HTPC, these are pretty good.
 
Last edited:

CrimandEvil

Dick with a heart of gold
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
Messages
19,671
Media Server - $442.86
This part, above all, is highly suggestive. I highly suggest going with Windows Home Server for a media server but if you're comfortable with Linux and one of their solutions fits your needs then go for it. It's all up to you. The hardware I suggest isn't what I'm using either, it's similar enough but the point is that the parts all meet a certain criteria that is helpful to building a server (onboard graphcs, low price tag, lots of SATA ports). If you've got old hardware around then that'll work just as well.

AMD Sempron 140 Sargas 2.7GHz - $32.99
ASRock K10N78 - $62.98
Crucial 2GB DDR2 800 - $41.98
Antec 300 case - $69.94
Corsair CMPSU-400CX PSU - $54.99
WD Caviar Green WD10EARS 1TB HDD - $79.99
Windows Home Server - $99.99

That's a pretty basic WHS build, the motherboard has six SATA ports and enough PCI and PCIe slots to add in additional SATA controller cards if need be. Also, add as many harddrives as needed. Once you've got your system up and running it's always surprising how fast it all fills up (I'm at 3 TBs in mine and I have another 1TB drive on the way since I'm 80% full). The point of picking the 300 is that it easily fits six hard drives with four 5.25 bays open for some type of harddrive cage. I've got one from SNT that I'm quite happy with (but only after I removed the massively noisy 50mm fans). I've got one of those with plans to get two more.

The reason you'll want to split up the HTPC and media server is because both are aimed at different objectives. While you could always drop a couple 1TB hard drives into your HTPC your space will always be limited by the HTPC case. For example, in my setup I've got a WHS box sitting next to my HTPC. Once upon a time I did use my HTPC as a media server (not by choice I might add) and had nothing but issues with it. Four harddrives in an NSK2400 case gets, very hot and started giving my heat related issues. Add to that the noise the extra HDDs made due to the hard drives themselves and the case fans needing to ramp up it wasn't an ideal arrangement. If possible you'll want to keep the two seperate as well, it just makes everything simpler.


Networking

Generally it's always good practice to run an ethernet wire when possible for an HTPC or your server (WHS does not support anything but an ethernet connection anyways) but sometimes it's just not possible,

Wireless should be at the bottom of the barrel if you can help it. Wirelesss N is just barely fast enough for some situations but for most it still isn't fast enough for streaming media. If possible you'll want to look into MoCA if you've got a coax cable outlet in whatever room you're looking to stream too, you can pick up some Verizon FIOS Actiontec routers on eBay for super cheap (compared to retail MoCA priced equipment) and just plug in each room you need.
 
Last edited:

CrimandEvil

Dick with a heart of gold
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
Messages
19,671
TV Tuners

Broadcast SD/HD cards
ATI TV Wonder HD 650 - $60.98
This guy will let you watch and record one analog TV channel and one digital TV channel at the same time. You can either get your HD digital channel into it using an antenna (ATSC broadcast) or through your cable (ClearQAM).

Avermedia AVerTV Bravo Hybrid - $66.97
The Bravo Hybrid is a hybrid digital tuner. It will only work with either a digital signal (ATSC or ClearQAM) or an analog signal (NTSC) but never at the same time.

Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Dual Tuner - $121.97
Just like the ATI 650 this card will let you record both SD and HD (ClearQAM and ATSC) but it's a dual tuner card so you get two HD or two SD at the same time. Very nice card if you're looking for a dual tuner.



HD only
Avermedia AVerTVHD Bravo - $51.98
Same deal as the Bravo Hybrid but with the analog support removed making it ATSC/ClearQAM only.

Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1250 - $57.55
While the 1250 will tune NTSC I highly suggest sticking to it's ATSC/ClearQAM tuning.

Avermedia AVerTVHD Duet - $71.97
Just like the Bravo above but with another HD tuner added on. Very nice if you want to tune more then one HD channel while using up only one expansion slot.

SiliconDust HDHomeRun - $155.97
A networked dual tuner, just plug it into your network and you can stream the video feed to your HTPC. Highly regarded, a favorite among the HTPC community.

Hauppauge HD PVR - $218.49
A component input tuner, this will let you take your HD signal from your Cable Box (STB). It should be noted that there is no native support for it in Windows Media Center but you can trick MC into using it but that's for another guide.



Lets Get Rid Of That Cable Box
Using Windows 7 means that it's possible to use a CableCard tuner letting you ditch your cable box altogether. The problem right now is that the ATI tuners that have been out for a few years are the only things out right now until around this Summer. Ceton will be releasing their Quad CableCard tuner around the beginning of April. Until then the ATI tuners are the only game in town (and they're signal tuners only). On the upside they will function as a 650 based SD/HD tuner until you plug in a CableCard.

Internal ATI CableCard tuner - $239
External ATI CableCard tuner - $269
External ATI CableCard tuner @ Dell

Right now, Cannon PC is the only place I would trust buying them from. Dell might still have them on their site but you can also check out eBay for one too.
 
Last edited:

CrimandEvil

Dick with a heart of gold
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
Messages
19,671
Setting Up Your HTPC (WORK IN PROGRESS)
For this guide I will be using Window's built in Media Center as our frontend. Some links will be to well written guides, I don't see the point in re-inventing the wheel when an awesome guide already exists.

Software

Media Center Plugins
Media Browser
Meta Browser
MC Studio
Heatwave
Auto Rip and Compress in Media Center
Add Hulu to Media Center
Cut out commercials from Media Center
My Channel Logos

Codecs
FFDShow Tryout
AC3 Filter
Haali Media Splitter x64 x86 Here


For Blu Ray:
Arcsoft's TotalMedia Theater
Slysoft's AnyDVD

Many suggest TMT as the better playback software. While it is very good I kind of have issues with PowerDVD and the fact that they have to ask their customers if they want a "feature" that is part of Blu ray playback. That's like asking if anyone wants them to add in DTS audio support.

A Note On Codec Packs
Generally speaking you don't want to install codec packs. Some of them are of dubious nature and work in a "shotgun" style of install: throw everything in there and see what sticks. This sucks because all it does is screw up your codec priorities. So, they can cause more damage then good, I'm mostly talking about the garbage that is Klite.

For myself I do use the CCCP Codec Pack, it's the easiest, most straight forward way to get everything I need working as I want. Subtitles can be a bitch to get working that I'd rather not deal with it and since I watch a lot of anime I need subtitle support; if subtitles aren't an issue for you then just install the base software needed and use the built in Windows codecs. Another alternative is Shark007's Codec Pack but I have no experience with it.



Setting Up Media Center
Once you get Windows installed the first thing you need to do is turn automatic updates off or at least turn it to "download but don't install." The reason is is because Windows updates have a tendency to break Media Center and/or video playback. Now, this doesn't mean you never update your HTPC, it's just best to wait a few days to see if anyone is having problems with a new update. It's fine to run Update when you first setup Windows but after that it shouldn't be set to automatic.
 
Last edited:

coder_t2

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 31, 2005
Messages
1,166
Nice, I was wondering when you were going to make a thread like this. The Apex case you linked is pretty nice for the price. I have it. It looks good, and is pretty easy to work with. Just a note for anyone who gets it. The USB cable in the front can block the HDD cage from sitting flat all the way. Just push out of the way when inserting the cage and your fine.
 

Azhar

Fixing stupid since 1972
Joined
Jan 9, 2001
Messages
18,875
But I liked the other ultimate guide better! :D

Seriously though, what do you think of the i3 and i5's integrated graphics capabilities?
 

garbagemule

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 15, 2009
Messages
148
If I may be so blunt as to comment on the general structure of the thread: Seeing as it is an "ultimate guide", I say a lot more information is definitely required.

What I would personally love to see in a thread like this is a bunch of discussions on the different parts, not just a parts list saying "just get this, and don't ask why". For instance, I'd like to know what differences exist between the Intel and AMD processors, what to expect in regards to noise, power consumption and possible gaming possibilities, and what expandability options different systems offer.

Maybe separate the builds so that only the different parts are mentioned. The two builds are, like you say, identical apart from the processor and motherboard, thus rendering the listing of all the other parts twice redundant. This is an "ultimate" thread, so try to explain on the different parts choices, make sure to mention alternatives, and for us poor souls outside of the US, perhaps do a bit of research into which parts are available in Europe, or at least in the UK. The APEX case, for instance, seems to be unavailable in Denmark, so I'd like to know of decent alternatives.

Since it's only a "build" thread, stuff like setting up everything to play correctly should not be expected, but I'd definitely love to hear some more about high end audio, and what is needed to utilize it, in case only motherboard alternatives without this feature are available.

Oh, and please don't take all this the wrong way; I really appreciate the effort, and I think this could be a great "ultimate guide", but in its current state, it is extremely lackluster.
 

CrimandEvil

Dick with a heart of gold
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
Messages
19,671
You do see the extra "reserved" posts, right?? :rolleyes: How about you wait until I'm done to bitch about what's not there? As for "outside the US" stuff, no. That's way too much to ask for, for one thing I don't even know what shots exist overseas. It's not that hard to take what is suggested here and find adaquete European stock. Oh, just so you know too I'm using US dollars and not Euros for all prices. :rolleyes:
If I may be so blunt as to comment on the general structure of the thread: Seeing as it is an "ultimate guide", I say a lot more information is definitely required.

What I would personally love to see in a thread like this is a bunch of discussions on the different parts, not just a parts list saying "just get this, and don't ask why". For instance, I'd like to know what differences exist between the Intel and AMD processors, what to expect in regards to noise, power consumption and possible gaming possibilities, and what expandability options different systems offer.

Maybe separate the builds so that only the different parts are mentioned. The two builds are, like you say, identical apart from the processor and motherboard, thus rendering the listing of all the other parts twice redundant. This is an "ultimate" thread, so try to explain on the different parts choices, make sure to mention alternatives, and for us poor souls outside of the US, perhaps do a bit of research into which parts are available in Europe, or at least in the UK. The APEX case, for instance, seems to be unavailable in Denmark, so I'd like to know of decent alternatives.

Since it's only a "build" thread, stuff like setting up everything to play correctly should not be expected, but I'd definitely love to hear some more about high end audio, and what is needed to utilize it, in case only motherboard alternatives without this feature are available.

Oh, and please don't take all this the wrong way; I really appreciate the effort, and I think this could be a great "ultimate guide", but in its current state, it is extremely lackluster.
 

Neb

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 13, 2000
Messages
3,320
Ah...I was going to mention the 4 reserved posts; I see you got that :p
 

IDversusEGO

[H]ardness Supreme
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
5,015
sweet, a crim guide. so I have a question...who is going to make the jackass type comments about the topic if your posting it :D

serious question...are you goign to dip into software configs or stick to hardware only?
 

CrimandEvil

Dick with a heart of gold
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
Messages
19,671
sweet, a crim guide. so I have a question...who is going to make the jackass type comments about the topic if your posting it :D

serious question...are you goign to dip into software configs or stick to hardware only?
lol Last post is going to be about software. I wanted to do a few different hardware types first, I might add them all into a single post now that I think about it.
 

garbagemule

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 15, 2009
Messages
148
You do see the extra "reserved" posts, right?? :rolleyes: How about you wait until I'm done to bitch about what's not there? As for "outside the US" stuff, no. That's way too much to ask for, for one thing I don't even know what shots exist overseas. It's not that hard to take what is suggested here and find adaquete European stock. Oh, just so you know too I'm using US dollars and not Euros for all prices. :rolleyes:
No need to patronize; you made this post to help people, and I'm one of the people who need help, so I figured I'd let you know that I don't feel "helped" by the post in its current state - so basically, just trying to help you help me. I don't understand your aggression, and I'm sorry if I've stepped on your toes, because that was not my intention.

I saw the reserved posts, and I figured you plug additional info in, but I was under the impression your opening post was somewhat "final", and unless you're going to elaborate in any of the reserved posts, it's still very lackluster. I'll admit I thought you actually finished the guide before actually posting it, which seems logical to me - oh well.

I don't personally think that European alternatives to possibly US-only parts (you would not believe how limited we are over here) is "too much to ask" from an "ultimate" guide. It's fine if you don't want to go through the trouble, but again, I thought you wanted to be as helpful as possible and thus appreciate my suggestion. It's not "hard" to find any of the information available in this thread elsewhere, but the whole point of a thread like this is to gather all the "good stuff" from everywhere else and focus it in one place, right?

Oh, and just for your information, people over here know the difference between the dollar symbol, and the euro symbol - additionally, we don't use euros in Denmark. Perhaps the Canadians appreciate the patronizing clarification though! ;)

Anyway, I'm really sorry that I somehow offended you, which again was not my intention. I feel I was being constructive, but would you mind pointing out exactly which part of my post upset you - for future reference?

Cheers.
 

Azhar

Fixing stupid since 1972
Joined
Jan 9, 2001
Messages
18,875
I'm not all that familiar with the power of iCore integrated graphics. I see you have the i3 and H55 listed in midrange, and the Wolfdale and nVidia 9300 for budget. I take it the i3 integrated graphics has more power than the nVidia 9300?

Or are you relying on processing power advantage of the i3 over the Wolfdale to make up the GPU differences?
 

CrimandEvil

Dick with a heart of gold
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
Messages
19,671
I'm not all that familiar with the power of iCore integrated graphics. I see you have the i3 and H55 listed in midrange, and the Wolfdale and nVidia 9300 for budget. I take it the i3 integrated graphics has more power than the nVidia 9300?

Or are you relying on processing power advantage of the i3 over the Wolfdale to make up the GPU differences?
Check it now, does that answer your question?
The H55 with a supported Clarksdale CPU supports 1080p Blu ray playback along with support for TrueHD and DTS-MA audio which is a nice upgrade over the budget's 9300 chipset (which only supported 7.1 HD LPCM audio).
 

CrazyCuz2k

Gawd
Joined
Sep 22, 2008
Messages
684
haha Crime is this your reponse to the n00b ultimate guide posted yesterday. Thanks for incorporating some of my ideas :p

Now that you've guided us on hardware... I want to read up on you're guide to software and codecs... haha should be a looong guide.

Keep up the good work
 

Azhar

Fixing stupid since 1972
Joined
Jan 9, 2001
Messages
18,875
Check it now, does that answer your question?
Yes sir, I see where your differences come from now. I didn't think about A/V advantages. Sometimes I still have my head wrapped around 3D acceleration power. Been building gaming computers for much too long ;)
 

coder_t2

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 31, 2005
Messages
1,166
Well this is coming along quickly. Nice Crim. I like how you do some explanation for each build.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
Great guide but some thoughts:

Media Server:
The higher quality Corsair 400CX 400W PSU offers the same amount of power as the Antec EA430 430W PSU and comes with a power cable. Not bad considering that it's $11 cheaper:
$55 - Corsair 400CX 400W PSU

In addition, the fact taht the Corsair 400CX is using a 120mm fan should make theoritcally quieter than the Antec EA430 with a 80mm fan.

Overall nice guide. Granted you can get better/faster parts if you use Newegg combo deals but those tend to be of limited timing/usage. As such, this guide is an excellent starting point for a HTPC.
 

nitrobass24

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - December 2009
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
10,462
If I may offer my suggestion as well.

1. The WD EARS model use the 4kb sectors and that may have a problem with WHS.
2. I would reccomend Hitachi Drives over the WD Greens/Seagate LPs, becasue they are 7200 RPM and can provide higher IOPS needed for multi-streaming environments, or those who use their WHS for other tasks as well. Also the Hitachis fully support APM so they spin down to use less electricity just like the Greens/LPs do :)
 

CrimandEvil

Dick with a heart of gold
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
Messages
19,671
If I may offer my suggestion as well.

1. The WD EARS model use the 4kb sectors and that may have a problem with WHS.
2. I would reccomend Hitachi Drives over the WD Greens/Seagate LPs, becasue they are 7200 RPM and can provide higher IOPS needed for multi-streaming environments, or those who use their WHS for other tasks as well. Also the Hitachis fully support APM so they spin down to use less electricity just like the Greens/LPs do :)
I'm running one of the WD's in mine without issue but I will make mention of it. :)
 

CrimandEvil

Dick with a heart of gold
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
Messages
19,671
If anyone is interested in controlling MC with a 360 controller, let me know and I'll write up a little guide. :)
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
If anyone is interested in controlling MC with a 360 controller, let me know and I'll write up a little guide. :)
Oh I'm definitely interested. :)

Oh and here's the Dell link for the ATI cable card:
$210 - ATI TV Wonder Cable Card
 

SJetski71

[H]ardForum Junkie
Joined
Sep 6, 2002
Messages
14,634
Lots of great reading and recommendations here Crim, this'll keep us busy for a while.

Thank you!

Another vote for a sticky !!!
 

garbagemule

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 15, 2009
Messages
148
If anyone is interested in controlling MC with a 360 controller, let me know and I'll write up a little guide. :)
Sounds good to me, but as you probably know by now, I'm always interested in multiple options. If you know of any other means of controlling Media Center that doesn't involve an actual designated remote, I'd be very interested to see guides on such alternatives.

Or I could just get over my cheapskate'ness and buy an X360...:rolleyes:

Edit: Oh, and your guide is coming along nicely. Looking forward to the end result!
 

IDversusEGO

[H]ardness Supreme
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
5,015
love the thread so far too. I have already referenced it about 3 times today to check some hardware specs on my current boxes. about to pick up this combo to use in one of my new boxes...

http://cdn.travidia.com/rop-sub/28750587.png

the mobo is lacking but I have a 3600 series vid card that should make up for it. I wish it had gigabit but it will do until I can afford an upgrade

Cant wait for the software, as it tends to be the toughest part. I recently switched from sage to Media Portal and am loving it. A viable alternative for sure. let me know if you need any impressions from a fairly experienced HTPC user.
 

CrimandEvil

Dick with a heart of gold
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
Messages
19,671
Cant wait for the software, as it tends to be the toughest part. I recently switched from sage to Media Portal and am loving it. A viable alternative for sure. let me know if you need any impressions from a fairly experienced HTPC user.
Go ahead and post some any that cross your mind, I'll be more then happy to put it in there. :)

I loved Media Portal but now that I need to use a tuner card again it's a bit lacking on the PVR side for me (I spent a weekend struggling with trying to setup TV engine 2.0 with no success. Wasn't any fun considering that I need only drop the tuner in, install drivers and then run through MC's setup. 15 minutes later and I can watch live TV. Yay!)

Oh, have you seen the possible UI upgrade for Sage 7.0?? It looks amazing and finally up to date. :)
 
Top