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Build or Buy a WMC PC?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I am looking to build or buy an inexpensive WMC PC. This PC will be running windows 7 and I plan on using the PC as the WMC server. It will be on 24 hours a day. Ideally it would come with an SSD main drive and an internal 2-4tb drive for storage of the WMC files. Not looking for anything fancy, just something that will do the trick.

Size is not much of an issue because it will be in basement connected via wired cat 6 gigbit network. Looking to keep cost down. 200-350 without 2-4tb drive.
post #2 of 14
Buy a refurb PC, and swap out the drive if you want SSD. But, since you will be running 24/7, SSD is not needed and you can get similar performance (not boot times) with just a 4 Gb USB drive set up as ReadyBoost device.

Add storage drives, as I highly doubt you will find an off-lease machine with 4 Tb of storage.
post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by stepmback View Post

I am looking to build or buy an inexpensive WMC PC. This PC will be running windows 7 and I plan on using the PC as the WMC server. It will be on 24 hours a day. Ideally it would come with an SSD main drive and an internal 2-4tb drive for storage of the WMC files. Not looking for anything fancy, just something that will do the trick.

Size is not much of an issue because it will be in basement connected via wired cat 6 gigbit network. Looking to keep cost down. 200-350 without 2-4tb drive.[/B]

So how will it be connected to your HDTV and/or AVR?
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
This box will be connected to a computer monitor but ideally hdmi.
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

But, since you will be running 24/7, SSD is not needed and you can get similar performance (not boot times) with just a 4 Gb USB drive set up as ReadyBoost device.

You have readyboost confused with ssd caching.
Readyboost is feature that came with vista and higher that allows computers with low amounts of ram (2gb or less) to utilise thumb drives to serve as additional ram. This works great for smaller programs as flash drives typically have slower speeds but really good latency.

Ssd caching on the other hand actually speeds up the loading of frequently used files by storing them on a smaller ssd.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
This weekend I was at my local Microcenter and they had a deal on a Gateway Celeron box with 2GB of ram for $225. I was worried that chip might not have the horsepower for Windows 7, HD and things like XBMC. After doing many updates and setting tweaks. My fears are realized. It really drags on HD and I get tons of stuttering. The CPU is pegged at 100% when running HD or XBMC. Looks like it will be going back. My next option is almost twice as much. Which is Dell Insperion 660 for about $499.00. This comes with a Intel Core i5-3330 8GB of RAM.

I know this is not the cheapest way to get a box, but I just dont have the time to build and shop around.

Will this be more than enough to handle XBMC, Plex, Netflix, 1080p24 uncrompressed video and audio? Not looking for editing, just snappy response time and good playback.

http://www.microcenter.com/product/414525/Inspiron_660_Desktop_Computer
Edited by stepmback - 8/26/13 at 7:33am
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ikkuranus View Post

You have readyboost confused with ssd caching.
Readyboost is feature that came with vista and higher that allows computers with low amounts of ram (2gb or less) to utilise thumb drives to serve as additional ram. This works great for smaller programs as flash drives typically have slower speeds but really good latency.

Ssd caching on the other hand actually speeds up the loading of frequently used files by storing them on a smaller ssd.

From Microsoft
Quote:
This feature uses external USB flash drives as a hard disk cache to improve disk read performance. Supported external storage types include USB thumb drives, SD cards, and CF cards....

...Windows 7 use the Windows SuperFetch algorithm to determine which files should be stored in the cache. SuperFetch monitors files that users access (including system files, application files, and documents) and pre¬loads those files into the ReadyBoost cache....

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/ff356869.aspx
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by stepmback View Post

but I just dont have the time to build and shop around.

Between going to Microcenter, and back, setting up a PC, and then taking it back, it would have been faster to select the parts you wanted for your build, have them shipped to you house, and put them together an install OS in one evening.

IMHO, you will spend more time tweaking an existing system to make it work, than you would building one from scratch with parts specifically chosen to fit the expected duty.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ended up buying an open box dell Inspiron with a low wattage i5 CPU. Price was great and works great with wmc and xbmc.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

So how will it be connected to your HDTV and/or AVR?

I assume he's going to use this primarily as a DVR for watching TV, as he wants WMC.

It's a great strategy--keep the PC out of harm's way, and use extenders.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by stepmback View Post

I am looking to build or buy an inexpensive WMC PC. This PC will be running windows 7 and I plan on using the PC as the WMC server. It will be on 24 hours a day. Ideally it would come with an SSD main drive and an internal 2-4tb drive for storage of the WMC files. Not looking for anything fancy, just something that will do the trick.

Size is not much of an issue because it will be in basement connected via wired cat 6 gigbit network. Looking to keep cost down. 200-350 without 2-4tb drive.[/B]

So how will it be connected to your HDTV and/or AVR?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stepmback View Post

This box will be connected to a computer monitor but ideally hdmi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

So how will it be connected to your HDTV and/or AVR?

I assume he's going to use this primarily as a DVR for watching TV, as he wants WMC.

It's a great strategy--keep the PC out of harm's way, and use extenders.

This missing link is still not clear. If it is HDMI from the basement to the Media Room there may be issues depending on the length of the run and then there's the issue of control (via remote?).

This seems to be an extender situation for sure. OP, please clarify..
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by stepmback View Post

Ended up buying an open box dell Inspiron with a low wattage i5 CPU. Price was great and works great with wmc and xbmc.

Does this have Win7 or Win8?
Does it have WMC?
How much RAM and what size HDD does it have?
You really should use an SSD for a snappier experience.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Does this have Win7 or Win8?
Does it have WMC?
How much RAM and what size HDD does it have?
You really should use an SSD for a snappier experience.

It has 8gb 1600 ram, 1 tb 7200 hard drive, win 7 prem and i5 for 425.... Good deal.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Pvr in basement running win 7 is base. Other two pcs will be extenders connected via cat6 with net flix, hulu, xbmc

This missing link is still not clear. If it is HDMI from the basement to the Media Room there may be issues depending on the length of the run and then there's the issue of control (via remote?).

This seems to be an extender situation for sure. OP, please clarify..
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