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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This will probably be a stupid question, but before I start making a HTPC, I want to make sure I can achieve my goals. They include:


1) Being a MP3 storage/playback device.


2) Use DVHSTools to grab streams from my 169time solution, including streams from HDnet/HBO/Show, etc from DirecTV. Also to be able to play these back through a HD card. This is possible right? Using some large drives, the HTPC can become a PVR of sorts.


3) Be able to play some games on my TV (Mits WS55511).


Obviously I wont want to play a game while I am messing with streams, so the HTPC will only be doing one thing at a time. But what speed of processor should I get? I'm not opposed to getting a 3ghz+ cpu, but also not sure what motherboard to go with at this time. I read the FAQ's, but didnt see much about the latest offerings from companies like Asus.


Are there other things I need to be concerned with in this HTPC? Obviously I still need to do much more research on components such as video cards, and what HD card to get. My main concern though is to find out if I should even move forward at this time, or i my 3 goals can not be met with 1 HTPC.


Thanks for any input.
 

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All are do-able.

I am doing all of them on my HTPC. However, I use E* not D*,so I use the E* with myHD.


Some suggestions...

Following is the basic config of a HTPC that I just put together.


WinXP SP1 (DVHSTool runs only on that platform.)

Asus P4PE w/Gigabit/Raid/SATA/Firewire/SPDIF w/ at least PIV 2.4Ghz 533 + 333Mhz DDR memory.

Radeon 9500 or above (9500 pro or 9700 pro Ok too.)

MyHD (Powerbuy on @DC $260) Fusion HDTV I or II are also good bangs for the buck.

M-Audio Revolution or AP24/96 for bit accurate audio output. (in addition to the built-in audio)

Pair of WD 1200JB or 2000JB drives in addition to boot drive.


All of these items are well discussed and regarded here.

Do some searches on any one of those items on this board (HTPC and HDTV recorder forums).


Good luck.


Andrew.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
With respect the the Athlon, what reasons would I want that? I am speaking from previous PC experience, some Athlon systems I built were not as stable as Intel systems, and the Ahtlons I used always ran much hotter than my Intel systems. But its been a while since I used an Athlon, so maybe this has all changed?
 

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If you want it to be both quiet and cool on an AMD box, pick up a Thermalright AX7. SK7, or Alpha 8045 and a quiet 80mm fan.


I've never had an unstable AMD system. If it is put together properly, it is merely the better value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, I will check the new AMD offerings out then. Any negative affects of using a storage server located elsewhere, connected with either 100mbit or gigabit ethernet? I would assume its plenty of bandwidth to play/record streams?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Is it also safe to assume that my HTPC will have no problem doing DVD Lobby as well? Does the current status of DVD Lobby provide for serial control of a Kenwood DV-5050M? Or is the Slink-e still required?
 

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AFAIK, DVDLobby control is limited to the Sony 875P DVD changer ( and compatibles?) when used with Slinke.
 

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with prices of the 2.4ghz p4 so cheap... I think they are a better value than the amd's..


hell, i'm getting ready to change out my htpc's main parts, an amd 1800xp and an epox mobo for a p4 setup..


I was looking into just replacing the 1800 with a faster chip... but really feel that it would make a better file server in a closet .. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is what I am looking at right now. It may seem some of it is too high end, but I do want to be able to have the option to do Dscaler, 3D games, HD recording, DVD Lobby, and who knows what else!


Motherboard: Asus P4C800 (due out in 2 weeks)

CPU: Intel P4 2.4Ghz or higher, something with HT though.

Ram: 1GB of PC3200

Video Card: ATI Radeon 9700 Pro

HD Card: MyHD

Primary OS Drive: 40-60GB ATA133 drive (Maxtor)

Sound Card: M-Audio Revolution

Case: Some midtower or full tower

Storage Drives: Serial ATA 200GB Maxtors. Start with 1, add more as needed and as price drops.


Ok so I tend to go overboard on PC's I build. But with things like the MB, why not get the best in the beginning, because thats the core of the system, and then other components can be upgraded much easier.


As for the Asus MB, I am not 100% sure what configuration it will have, but I think it comes with gigabit ethernet and firewire (TI) ports (all optional).


Some of this stuff wont be out for a few weeks, so it gives me time to think and change ideas. But how does it look? Of course I will run XP Pro SP1.


As for video cards, do most people go with ATI versions, or other brands? I found some Sapphire 9700's. Also is the 9700 Pro the same as the AIW 9700 Pro? I think they are different models. If so, which is better? I dont need any OTA tuners, so I guess the AIW is a waste, unless it has other features?
 

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I just recieved my asus p4c800 today and will be slapping a p4 3.06 in it tomorrow will let you know what I think when I get my system up and running. BTW I am on pre order for the new p4 3.06 ghz with 800mhz fsb and will be swapping the 3.06 533fsb for this one once I recieve it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks trutu! By the way, are you going to use the onboard firewire ports on the mb? I noticed they are a VIA chipset. Would be curious to know how well these work, or if I should just plan on a PC firewire board.
 

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Yes I will definately be trying out the firewire I plan to give it the run through :)
 

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I would personally buy an Athlon system. The nforce2 chipset is outstanding. That's not just feature wise, more so with stability. Stay away from VIA stuff (I've had nothing but trouble with these).


If you want to save money, get an nforce2 board with the IGP and MCP-T. It'll save you from having to buy a video card and sound card. It won't have the performance of a Radeon 9800 with a Revo, but you can always upgrade to that later. You can use the money you save on more ram or a faster cpu.


I have a Vantec Aeroflow fan on my Athlon XP 2000+ and it's extremely quiet.


Good luck.


Tom
 

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