I built an HTPC/Home Server about the time Dharma Live was released using the following hardware.
Fractal Design Array MiniITX Case
Crucial RealSSD C300 64GB
2x 2TB Samsung SpinPoint F4
Intel Core i3 540 3.06GHz
My goal was (is) to have a nice looking HTPC that wouldn't look out of place in my entertainment center and also have enough power and space to act as a home server.
Initially I used 10.04 and followed this excellent guide (thanks davemex) changing a few things to my liking like using PS3 Media Server instead of Twonky Media Server and Subsonic instead of ampache. I had problems though which I think stemmed from 10.04 not supporting my hardware fully so some videos were very choppy. So I rebuilt the server using ubuntu 10.10 instead which cured the choppyness and everthing runs beautifully except it is still not using the GPU for decoding so the CPU fan goes like the clappers on HD video. I could live with this but I also cannot standby/hibernate/shutdown the PC except by SSH from another PC. I did manage to get it to shutdown for a short while after reading some other websites but I broke that when I tried to get Standby and Hibernate working also.
I have tried following these guides with various levels of success, Again thanks to the guide authors.
[LINUX] HOW-TO use VAAPI HW Acceleration in Intel Core i3 / i5 / i7 integrated GPU
Intel Core i3 H264 GPU Acceleration using Ubuntu and XBMC
But still cannot get both smooth video and hibernate/standby and the way I see it, unless someone has a better solution, I have 2 choices now:
- I can wait for the next version of XBMC live to be released but have seen very little news about when this might be and which version of ubuntu it will be based on etc.
- I could buy a discrete GPU from nVidia or AMD but this would need to be a single slot solution and also passivly cooled as I don't want more noise from the PC. If I can get it working well enough then I will find a way to passivly cool the CPU but dont want to waste the time and effort otherwise.