Best XBMC HTPC Hardware with HDMI / HD / 1080p + HDMI Audio

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Kaimon66 Offline
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Post: #436
@BLKMGK, All:

I am trying to decide which platform to use for xbmc for my home theater setup. I've pretty much settled on the following sff which seems like a very sweet deal. Before I pull the trigger, though, I'd like to ask if anyone sees a problem:

BUY.com is selling the following sff for $280, free shipping; and with a "$10-off-$200" coupon it's be only about $300 shipped!

ASUS Essentio CS5111-AP008
- Intel Pentium Dual Core E5200 2.5GHz,
- 4GB RAM
- 640GB SATA HDD
- HDMI out
- DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM
- Flash card reader
- 7.1 audio / S/PDIF
- Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
- Gigabit Ethernet
- 802.11 b/g/n(draft)
- GPU: Intel GMA X3500 Dynamic Video Memory Technology 4.0
- 11.2 x 3.1 x 7.9-inches (H x W x D, approximate)
- 120W external power brick
- Refurbished

USEFUL LINKS:

$280@BUY.com (http://www.buy.com/prod/asus-essentio-cs...46722.html)

BUY.com $10-off-$200 coupon (http://www.buy.com/retail/coupon.asp?prid=82955137)

Asus: CS5111 Dounloads page (http://support.asus.com/download/downloa...uage=en-us)

I definitely consider this a much better / more powerful option than all the Apple-TV-like boxes out there!

An important question: should I just stay with the Vista 64bit that comes with the machine or load Linux (I am definitely a Linux newb)? It just seems that people are always having problems finding Linux drivers for ALL the hardware in most PCs.

Or would XBMC Live! be a better choice?

Thanks!
(This post was last modified: 2009-11-17 11:35 by Kaimon66.)
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ccMatrix Offline
Alaska Group
Posts: 470
Joined: Oct 2008
Post: #437
The CPU is strong enough for 1080p and since it doesn't have an Nvidia GPU you wouldn't have that benefit of Linux anyway. If you don't want to hunt down drivers you should stay with Vista 64bit. Most stuff should work out of the box on Linux today - I think audio might be some work for a Linux newb. Card reader and wireless should work if these aren't totally noname stuff.

One thing I'm not so sure is how quiet this thing will be since it might have stock coolers which tend to be louder.
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Kaimon66 Offline
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Post: #438
@ccMatrix,

Thank you for the information!

Regarding the CPU cooler: as you can see in the tear-down report at the link below, the CPU cooler is a custom job. From what I've read in various reviews, the CPU fan noise is pretty low.

NOTE: the tear-down is for the CS5110 rather than the CS5111 I plan to buy. From all I've read, the CS5110 is very similar, but it adds a a discrete graphics card that results in better GPU performance. HOWEVER, it seems that Asus have had serious thermal management problems with this model, and as a result it's practically impossible to find anywhere.

http://vr-zone.com/print/asus-essentio-c.../5903.html
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Ballu Offline
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Post: #439
Kaimon66 Wrote:......the tear-down is for the CS5110 rather than the CS5111 I plan to buy. From all I've read, the CS5110 is very similar, but it adds a a discrete graphics card that results in better GPU performance.....

I am seriously thinking of CS5110 system. This will be my first HTPC.

But how upgradeable is system:
1) If want to add new Graphics card, is that possible (not much details are available).
2) External Power supply: Seems like, not possible to upgrade the PS.
3) Adding new graphics card: Will that conflict with on board HDMI/Video...
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crashnburn Offline
Senior Member
Posts: 128
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Post: #440
Does the Apple TV do good enough now with the special Crystal HD video card?

Also what would be the Minimal Mac Mini to go for.. with & without the Crystal HD card?
(This post was last modified: 2010-01-05 22:46 by crashnburn.)
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Slope Offline
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Post: #441
I would like to build a HTPC with installed XBMC LIVE on it (or maybe UBUNTU + XBMC).

It will be built on the back of an element of TV-furniture with the necessary electrical grounding of course.

Costs should be stay low (under 200€ / 250$), and HTPC should be future-proof (upgradable).

MOBO & GPU:
GIGABYTE - Motherboard - Socket AM3 - GA-880GM-D2H (rev. 1.x)

"GA-880GM-D2H is integrated ATI Radeon HD 4250 (DX10.1) graphics engine"

I read good opinions about Gigabyte Products, and as I know the GPU accelerated decoding is available / will be available for this card soon under XBMC live too.

CPU

AMD Athlon II X2 250 3,0GHz AM3
("e" version if I can get one)

PSU:

Codegen psu 400w 12 cm fan

Cheap & silent - I hope.

RAM:

1x2 GB / 2x1 GB DDR3

How big is the performance-loss if I use one module instead of two (no dual channel)?

HDD:
WD 1TB 7200RPM 64MB Green Power SATA II (WD10EARS)

(not only multimedia storage, some home backup also)

(Optional RC & SD card reader (& tuner card)

It would be great to get a "trainable" infra RC in order to control the other boxes too.
Which card reader is compatible with XBMC live?
Are any DVB Tuner which is 100% compatible with XBMC live (works out-of-the-box, or with a small configuration?)
)

As I checked this PC needs ~170W power under heavy load, power consumption in idle state - no idee, how could I find out?

Please criticize my config / my idee!

Thanks!!
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poofyhairguy Offline
Resident Hardware Guru
Posts: 2,956
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Post: #442
Three things:

1. Love the Gigabyte Mobo, but don't count on AMD XBMC Live support. If you want XBMC Live, get a Nvidia card.

2. 1TB is a small HD. 2TB is the sweet price point.

3. What case?

Mini/Micro ITX Frontend (with SSD) + Mediaserver/NAS + Logitech Harmony + LCD/LED/Plasma TV + Nice AV Receiver + XBMC + USENET + sabnzbd + sickbeard +couchpotato

My Setup--HTPC Building Guide- Start Here--Advice on Hard Drives and SSDs--Mediaserver Guide--Harmony Guide
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Slope Offline
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Post: #443
First of all Happy New Year!

Thanks for the advices!

There will be no case, the furniture itself contain the components (with proper ventillation of couse).

What about upcoming "AMD Fusion"?

As I heard it get strong linux support from the vendor, what do you think, is it worth to wait?
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moddder Offline
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Post: #444
Hello,
I'm new to this forum and don't have much experience in htpc's
I would like to ask for help in hardware advice for my home theater.
targets:
1.torrents
2.recording video from tv ; tv-tuner
3.about 1tb hdd: samsung f3 ?
4. watch and listen all kinds of video and music
money about 400eur
i ant to make it all work on linux

Regards,
Alex
(This post was last modified: 2011-01-08 01:17 by moddder.)
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CASHMON3Y Offline
Donor
Posts: 395
Joined: Sep 2008
Reputation: 14
Location: Detroit, MI
Post: #445
moddder Wrote:Hello,
I'm new to this forum and don't have much experience in htpc's
I would like to ask for help in hardware advice for my home theater.
targets:
1.torrents
2.recording video from tv ; tv-tuner
3.about 1tb hdd: samsung f3 ?
4. watch and listen all kinds of video and music
money about 400eur
i ant to make it all work on linux

Regards,
Alex
If having a tv-tuner is one of your top priorities Im not sure how well it will work, especially if you dont have much experience. The PVR branch of XBMC is still in development. But I can vouch for the Sammysung F3's, I have 4 of them in my server running as a RAID 5 nicely. Very silent and actually stay at around 28C.
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PatrickVogeli Offline
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Location: Cambrils, Tarragona (Catalonia)
Post: #446
EDIT: I didn't realize this post is from 2008..
(This post was last modified: 2011-01-08 02:11 by PatrickVogeli.)
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Slope Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2010
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Post: #447
I had enough shit with ati on my laptop, so:

MoBo:
Intel DG43RK

CPU:
Intel Dual-Core E5700 3GHz LGA-775

GPU:
Asus PCIE ENGT520 SL/DI/512MB DDR3 LP

+small SSD for boot
+micro-ATX box -> Idee (good quality & reasonable price)?
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eskro Offline
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Posts: 8,473
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Post: #448
LGA-775 is an old platform,,,
i'd go for LGA-1155 platform,,,
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Slope Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2010
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Post: #449
I would go for it too, but costs much more.
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bluray Offline
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Joined: May 2011
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Post: #450
Slope Wrote:I had enough shit with ati on my laptop, so:

MoBo:
Intel DG43RK

CPU:
Intel Dual-Core E5700 3GHz LGA-775

GPU:
Asus PCIE ENGT520 SL/DI/512MB DDR3 LP

+small SSD for boot
+micro-ATX box -> Idee (good quality & reasonable price)?
how about these-

mobo- MSI G41M-P28 LGA 775 Intel G41 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

cpu- Intel Pentium E5700 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 2MB L2 Cache

gpu- ECS NGT430C-1GQR-F GeForce GT 430

ssd- Patriot Memory Torqx 2 Series 32 GB

case- Rosewill R379-M Black/Silver Slim MicroATX Computer Case with 300 watt Power Supply

ram- Kingston 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066

>Alienware X51- do it all HTPC
>Simplify XBMC configurations
>HOW-TO Bitstreaming using XBMC
I refused to watch movie without bitstreaming HD audio!
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