View Single Post
  #9 (permalink)  
Old January 25, 2009, 08:16 AM
kingnubian's Avatar
kingnubian kingnubian is offline
MVP
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 305
Default

I've had my HTPC running great for a while now and here are some observations & link to my build.

1) With ATI cards high or even medium end are not needed. ATI's UVD (Unified Video Decoder) is pretty much the same throughout a given line, 3xxx or 4xxx, so don't put out any unnecessary extra funds on the video card. If the 4850 is what you have already available then great!

2) While UVD works great at minimizing the work that the cpu has to do you will always find a video where UVD may not be able to function as it should. In this case your 6000+ CPU will do nicely for those times when brute force is needed for decoding.

3) Be selective and stingy with the codecs you install. Going ahead & installing a boat load of codecs can lead to real issues. Try to install what you actually need only.

4) Remotes are easy. For a cheap but good remote that will be recognized with VMC, Mediaportal or whatever go here.
Pcusa Vista Remote Control with IR Receiver Silver - DirectCanada

This is just an example of something that works well but won't break the bank. A remote keyboard like thse already mentioned will do fine.

Yor left over components look like they will make a very nice HTPC & while the motherboard is overkill since it is available already, it will do very nicely.

I just built another HTPC for a client. Here is the case I used.
Nmedia HTPC-1000B Desktop Media Centre Case mATX Black 1X5.25 4X3.5INT Card Reader No PS - DirectCanada

Not a choice if you want to add some kind of display later though but a very nice quiet case at a good price point with decent cooling.

As for software, there is no need to purchase Windows just to get Media Center if that is not the version you have already. I can recommend MediaPortal ( MEDIAPORTAL - free media center - Home ) which is what I use. Version 1.0 just dropped recently after a long development process. This is open source software with great contributions coming in from many developers. It is extensible and works very well & looks great with all the skin choices that are available.

Another choice could be Meedio ( MeediOS | Bringing Media to Life ). While MeediOS is in development, Meedio Ultimate is a very mature & stable HTPC platform.

Here is a link to my HTPC build. I did this on the cheap as a "Proof of Concept" but will soon be upgrading to an A/V component look case. It does 1080p without any issues btw.

My 1080P Budget HTPC Build (Lots Of Pics) - MediaPortal Forum
__________________
GOD Is Good
________________________________________

Intel i7-2600K @ 4.8Ghz
Asus Sabertooth Z77
16GB G.Skill Ripjaws Z (1866MhZ CAS9)
NZXT Kraken X60 CPU Cooler
2x Sandisk Extreme 240GB SSD (RAID 0)
Seagate 7200.12 500gig HD
Galaxy GTX660Ti 3GB
LG DVDR
NZXT Phantom 630 Case
Antec TruPower New 750W Power Supply
Reply With Quote