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Arinoth June 28, 2010 08:38 AM

HTPC/Server Build
 
Alright so i think i've narrowed down the additional parts i'll be using for my HTPC/Server build that i'll be starting next month but i thought i'd hear some feedback as well.

Existing Parts:
Atom N330 processor overclocked to 2.0GHz, system is: NCIX.com - Buy Zotac IONITX-A MINI-ITX Intel Atom N330 NVIDIA ION DDR2 GBLAN 802.11N HDMI Audio 90W PSU Motherboard - IONITX-A-U In Canada.
2 GB of DDR2 800MHz RAM
30GB 2.5" Hard Drive for OS
2 1.5 TB 3.5" Storage Hard Drives

ATI X1900 all in wonder RF remote control (dont know if it works in win 7, have to look for it, know it works in xp)
http://www.pcper.com/images/reviews/209/remote.jpg

Considering Parts:
Case: NCIX.com - Buy Nmedia HTPC 1080P mATX Case Supports MINI-ITX 1X5.25 3X3.5INT SDHC Reader 2X80MM Fan No PSU Black - HTPC-1080P In Canada.
LCD display: NCIX.com - Buy Nmedia LCD Module 2X20 USB for Nmedia HTPC Cases 280/288/500/1000/2000/5000/6000 - PRO-LCD In Canada.
Wireless Keyboard/Mouse: NCIX.com - Buy Nmedia Black Wireless Keyboard & Remote Combo RF 2.4GHZ 40 Feet with Trackball - HTPCKB-B In Canada. Looking to get this only if the ATI remote does not work.

Software:
HTPC: XBMC
OS: Win 7 as i have some usb accessories such as the ati remote, console to usb adapters and the lcd display that only have windows drivers, or i believe will mostly work in windows.

Open to suggestions but keep in mind i am looking for a small case that will hold all those 3 hard drives, have a flip panel that hides the 5.25" bay, and preferably doesnt have a psu slot but worse case scenario i'll use it as a fan intake for air flow.

Additional:
What mini-pcie options do i have as well since i wont be running it on wireless.

ForTheGG June 28, 2010 10:09 AM

Have you considered getting a WD Raptor for a boot drive? If possible I think it would be a nice improvement over your 300GB OS drive. I also advise against 2.4GHz wireless for any HTPC, in my opinion/experience 2.4GHz wireless is garbage after 10 feet. Bluetooth really shines here, but that's up to you.

Looks good though, have fun making it!

Supergrover June 28, 2010 10:21 AM

I have had 3 of the nmedia keyboards in the last 8 months, everyone of them has died.
They work fine for about a month then start losing connection. Giving the keyboard a slight "tap" on the backside by the trackball would bring it back to life for awhile but eventually stops working. After 3 RMA's I have given up on it and gone back to my logitech 3100 combo.
Mind you I didnt have the combo pack just the keyboard but still same keyboard.

Behemoth- June 28, 2010 10:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ForTheGG (Post 396900)
Have you considered getting a WD Raptor for a boot drive? If possible I think it would be a nice improvement over your 300GB OS drive. I also advise against 2.4GHz wireless for any HTPC, in my opinion/experience 2.4GHz wireless is garbage after 10 feet. Bluetooth really shines here, but that's up to you.

Looks good though, have fun making it!

there's no need for a raptor... it's an htpc so it probably will be on most of the time, and he probably won't start any application beside XBMC (which will also probably be on most of the time). So his HD is all fine. (+ a raptor = noisy and creates vibrations)

-I've got 2.4ghz wireless devices, they're all working fine at 5-6 feets... Am I lucky ?

ForTheGG June 28, 2010 10:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Behemoth- (Post 396927)
there's no need for a raptor... it's an htpc so it probably will be on most of the time, and he probably won't start any application beside XBMC (which will also probably be on most of the time). So his HD is all fine. (+ a raptor = noisy and creates vibrations)

-I've got 2.4ghz wireless devices, they're all working fine at 5-6 feets... Am I lucky ?

I said after 10 feet, but obviously YMMV. Hmm...I guess I'm lucky, my raptor is pretty darn quiet but you have a point, I guess there's nothing intensive that would require a raptor, haha.

Behemoth- June 28, 2010 10:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ForTheGG (Post 396930)
I said after 10 feet, but obviously YMMV. Hmm...I guess I'm lucky, my raptor is pretty darn quiet but you have a point, I guess there's nothing intensive that would require a raptor, haha.

Oops, I meant meters -.-

Arinoth June 28, 2010 01:14 PM

I've previously used/tested this remote through 1-2 floors in my house back in the day and it had no issues so i have never had range issues with it.

Raptor drive is useless as someone else has stated that it will be on all the time to run as an htpc, as a server and my seed box, and i wont be starting a lot of programs as most will be running when the machine is on. Only thing i was 'toying' with was one of those 16gb or 32gb ssd hard drives that plug into mini pcie but i dont know their quality or if they are worth the cost. AkG you have any experience with them?

AkG June 28, 2010 01:38 PM

The miniPCIe were / are designed for early gen netbooks. I've looked at a couple and was never impressed. They are good / decent options for netbooks where space is / was extremely limited and they didnt have room for a "real" drive. You are much better off getting a 30GB 2.5" SSD then most of those. Now with that being said I haven't looked too closely in awhile at the mPCIe's so maybe they have come out with a more performance orientated one. I doubt it....but stranger things have happened! YMMV ;)

jcmaz June 28, 2010 01:58 PM

I know OCZ just released a couple of them today, the REVO series i believe :)

EDIT: techPowerUp! News :: OCZ Introduces RevoDrive Series of PCI-Express Solid State Drives

snoosebum June 28, 2010 02:27 PM

I've been using that exact keyboard/remote combo for 3 or 4 months now with no complaints. Range for me is about 15 feet, and the usb dongle is on the backside of a lascala inside a closed cabinet - so lots potential interference, its only missed a few keystrokes in the time I've had it. The layout on it is quite comfortable for what it is. The buttons/scroll wheel and trackball are in the right places.

The only negatives I have with it, there doesnt seem to be any harmony remote, or at least I couldnt find one that is compatible with the RF reciever. Maybe there are but I didnt want to buy a harmony RF capable remote and find it didnt work, and the nmedia remote doesnt seem to be in the harmony database. I guess an IR reciever would fix that. The keyboard is still quite large, that may be an issue for you. Mine hasnt broken yet but if someone else has gone through three of them thats sounds inevitable. There a cheap wireless lenovo keyboard keeps coming up for sale for about $50 if I remember might be a good option too.


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