Announcement (updated on October 1, 2011)
Here is the basic plan for "Buyer's Guide to Building a Home Theater PC" (formerly "Recommended HTPC Systems"):
1. Issues and Editions. The guide will be issued every month, on around the 20th day of the month, in the PDF format (a PDF reader is required to read it, such as Adobe Reader [free download] or Adobe Acrobat).
2. Asking a Donation! I am asking a donation for the latest issue (why). There are two choices:
- Single issue ($4 USD or more): You can download the current latest issue.
- 4 issues ($10 USD or more): You are eligible to download 4 consecutive issues. For example if you send a donation on April 1st, you can download March (during 4/1-4/20), April (during 4/20-5/20), May (during 5/20-6/20) and June (during 6/20-7/13) issues. How this works: Each donator will be provided with a download link to the issue file, which is valid for 2500 hours = 104 days = 3 months and 2 weeks (for example, April 1 to July 13 if you donate on April 1). I will update the file in the server on around the 20th day of each month and will announce it in this thread. Then you can download the new issue at the link provided. You will use the link repeatedly during the subscription period. So please keep the download link.
then select either one described above, click the PayPal icon and follow the instruction in the loaded page to send a donation. If you don't have a PayPal account, don't worry, click the link "Continue" following "Don't have a PayPal account?" in the page to create an account (it's free) and send money using your credit card or bank account. You will receive a download link instantly. Note that
- The price field is editable; please change it and donate as much as you can.
- Please add your User Name at AVS Forum in "Add special instructions to merchant" if you want to get my support via PM or posts in the thread. Otherwise I can't identify you with an AVS Forum member unless your user name is the same as your PayPal account holder name.
3. Older Issues will be released free. Older issues will be released for free, either in this thread like the previous "Recommended Systems" or in PDF for download or both. I am planning on releasing a couple of months old issue every couple of months.
4. Have a Question? If you have a question (how to build, how to configure or whatever), please either post it in the thread (yes, please post any question in the thread, hoping that invoke interest in the latest guide ), PM me or email me. I will try to answer it; if I can't, somebody else may be able to help you. Why do I ask a donation? Maintaining the guide consists of
- Research latest hardware components;
- Acquire key hardware components and do lots of experiments;
- Write the information obtained in a readable form, that requires lots of time, meditation and inspiration (not kidding).
BTW the amount of donations in 2010 is
- October 16 2010 - November 15 2010: $60
- September 16 2010 - October 15 2010: $85
- August 16 2010 - September 15 2010: $145
- October/November 2011 Issue: Released on December 11, 2011.
- Sandy Bridge-E LGA 2011 systems took the place of 3-year-old Bloomfield LGA 1366 systems.
- All systems were reexamined and nearly half of the systems were updated or completely changed because of new hardware components and price change of many components.
Sample (21 pages):
- August/September 2011 Issue: Released on October 1, 2011.
- The low-end and mid-range systems are restructured.
- Nearly half of the systems were updated or completely changed because of new hardware components and price change of many components.
- June/July 2011 Issue: Released on July 14, 2011. The June issue has been delayed because of the delay of the May issue. So I decided to combine the June and July issues.
- AMD A-Series APU (Llano) systems took place of all the Socket AM3 systems in the low-end and mid-range AMD systems.
- Nearly half of the systems were updated because of new hardware components (new AMD 990FX/990X/SB950 chipset motherboards, new X58/ICH10R chipset motherboards etc.) and price change of many components.
- May 2011 Issue: Released on June 3, 2011.
- All LGA 775 systems were replaced by LGA 1155 systems finally.
- Intel Z68 chipset motherboards are used in place of P67 in many systems.
- Standard Mini-ITX and Budget/Low-End microATX/ATX systems were completely re-organized reflecting the recent release of Pentium Sandy Bridge processor.
- 15-bay server systems are now using an Intel processor and Intel-brand motherboard (one reason for that is Intel Gb LAN).
- 20-24 bay server systems have more processor/motherboard options.
- April 2011 Issue (free download): Released on April 23, 2011.
- All Radeon HD 5xxx cards were replaced by the latest Radeon HD 6xxx.
- Several older motherboards and SSDs were replaced by new ones.
- A Xeon LGA 1155 workstation was added.
- Server systems were streamlined and divided into two categories: Server I (12 and 15-drive systems) and Server II (20 and 24-drive systems).
- March 2011 Issue (free download): Released on March 21, 2011.
- Every Intel LGA 1156 (Clarkdale and Lynnfield) system was replaced by a LGA 1155 (Sandy Bridge) system.
- "Intel for 3D" (Clarkdale + a discrete graphics) systems were removed because Sandy Bridge supports 3D.
- A LGA 1366 workstation was added.
- Rocket 620 SATA controller card in a couple of server systems was replaced by Rosewill RC-211 because Rocket 620 BIOS disables other controller's BIOS.
- February 2011 Issue (free download): The initial version released on February 23, 2011, the final version released on March 4, 2011.
- An AMD E-350 APU system was added in the mini-ITX system ("Budge Mini-ITX System").
- Intel High-End/Premium/Ultimate Systems and Workstation were all updated (i.e. Lynnfield systems were revived) because Intel recalled Intel 6 Series chipsets.
- Minor changes in the server systems (new motherboards, a new SATA 6.0Gbps controller card) for better cost/performance.
- Every single system was reviewed and components were replaced if necessary.
- January 2011 Issue (free download): Issued on January 20, 2011. As Intel Sandy Bridge quad-core processors were released on January 9, mainly Intel High-End/Premium/Ultimate Systems were updated.
- December 2010 Issue (free download): Issued on January 5, 2011. This is the first PDF version of the Buyer's Guide. 80 pages in US letter. Almost every section of the June 2010 issue was updated. This issue is also posted here.
Buyer's Guide to Building a Home Theater PC - December 2010
A PDF version is also available for free download.
Table of Contents
- Peripheral Components and OS
- Input Device
- Optical Disc Drive
- TV Tuner Card for ATSC/Cable
- Sound Card
- Mini-ITX System
- MicroATX System
- ATX System
- DAS (Direct Attached Storage)
- Media Storage Server