Budget DIY HTPC hardware for XBMC?

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JUICESIX90 Offline
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Post: #16
Double post
(This post was last modified: 2009-05-28 01:11 by JUICESIX90.)
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ShadeBlack Offline
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Post: #17
I think the blu-ray rips should be alright actually... the acer aspire revo has an NVIDIA ION Graphics chip, which according to nvidia support full 1080p content and directx 10. Just make sure you get the right codecs for the operating system of your choice to ensure smooth playback and it'll be fine. To be honest, I have an old graphics card (geforce 7300gs), which isn't even directx 10 compatible, but still plays blu-ray rips perfectly fine!

also, are you going for a 32 bit system or a 64 bit system? because 32 bit systems hardly have any support for triple and quad cores anyway, and can only have 3gbs of RAM, so the triple core cpu and 4gb of ram is a little uneccesary. However I'm guessing he chose 4gb because of the dual channel advantages it can receive. saying that, the 667MHz should be at least 800MHz to prepare for future installments of a 64 bit installment. no sense getting a lower speed when the higher speed models are almost the same price.

Can I mention, I think you should try and get some ethernet plug adaptors instead of a wireless network as wired connection are much safer, and 100% stable. Ethernet plug adaptors have gotten A LOT cheaper over the last few years, so getting them are becoming much more plausible. I have several pairs of ethernet adaptors in my house because I prefer the stability in the network. ~This is not entirely neccasary though! If you have a good wireless connection going, then utilise it all ya want; I'm just trying to give you all the options Big Grin

Oh and as for the whole linux vs windows thing... I own several PCs all with Windows XP, and Vista. But I strip them both down of all the crap to just give me the operating system. If you're good with PCs, Vista will work perfectly fine, but since you say you're a MAC user for 12+ years, you may actually find linux more suitable. However, I really think you should give Vista a try first, especiially since you'll be getting it pre-installed. Just make sure you've got a decent anti-virus (such as NOD32) and a good registry cleaner (such as Regcure). I've never had any problems with windows... but then again, I am an IT tech. Confused

If you do decide to go for the Acer Aspire, give us a good review of it once you've got it? I'd love to hear how it all turns out for you! ~I plan to get the same PC for my parents someday.
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gui Offline
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Post: #18
i been waiting to get the aspire revo but i am starting having doubt about it.
i want be able to play blu-ray dvds and i think that teamed with xbmc would be not a good performer,so i made a list for a new build:
EV Black MATX Media Center Case http://www.ebuyer.com/product/135497
Asus P5N7A-VM GeForce 9300 Socket 775 onboard http://www.ebuyer.com/product/151427
Intel Pentium Dual Core E5200 2.5GHz Socket 775 800FSBhttp://www.ebuyer.com/product/158689
LG Electronics Blu-Ray & HD-DVD-Rom Combo 16x DVDRW Black SATAhttp://www.ebuyer.com/product/139985
Corsair 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 XMS2 Memoryhttp://www.ebuyer.com/product/130415

what you think guys?
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JUICESIX90 Offline
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Post: #19
Some interesting info here (they've taken it apart Laugh) on the Aspire, says it also plays Blue ray discs over usb fine.

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/20...cer-revo/1
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JUICESIX90 Offline
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Post: #20
Not ignoring you SB, i'm at work right now so I don't have the time to read and reply to your post Wink
(This post was last modified: 2009-05-28 13:32 by JUICESIX90.)
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JUICESIX90 Offline
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Post: #21
ShadeBlack Wrote:I think the blu-ray rips should be alright actually... the acer aspire revo has an NVIDIA ION Graphics chip, which according to nvidia support full 1080p content and directx 10. Just make sure you get the right codecs for the operating system of your choice to ensure smooth playback and it'll be fine. To be honest, I have an old graphics card (geforce 7300gs), which isn't even directx 10 compatible, but still plays blu-ray rips perfectly fine!

also, are you going for a 32 bit system or a 64 bit system? because 32 bit systems hardly have any support for triple and quad cores anyway, and can only have 3gbs of RAM, so the triple core cpu and 4gb of ram is a little uneccesary. However I'm guessing he chose 4gb because of the dual channel advantages it can receive. saying that, the 667MHz should be at least 800MHz to prepare for future installments of a 64 bit installment. no sense getting a lower speed when the higher speed models are almost the same price.

Can I mention, I think you should try and get some ethernet plug adaptors instead of a wireless network as wired connection are much safer, and 100% stable. Ethernet plug adaptors have gotten A LOT cheaper over the last few years, so getting them are becoming much more plausible. I have several pairs of ethernet adaptors in my house because I prefer the stability in the network. ~This is not entirely neccasary though! If you have a good wireless connection going, then utilise it all ya want; I'm just trying to give you all the options Big Grin

Oh and as for the whole linux vs windows thing... I own several PCs all with Windows XP, and Vista. But I strip them both down of all the crap to just give me the operating system. If you're good with PCs, Vista will work perfectly fine, but since you say you're a MAC user for 12+ years, you may actually find linux more suitable. However, I really think you should give Vista a try first, especiially since you'll be getting it pre-installed. Just make sure you've got a decent anti-virus (such as NOD32) and a good registry cleaner (such as Regcure). I've never had any problems with windows... but then again, I am an IT tech. Confused

If you do decide to go for the Acer Aspire, give us a good review of it once you've got it? I'd love to hear how it all turns out for you! ~I plan to get the same PC for my parents someday.

The Aspire is looking my best option right now. The only thing putting me off is running Linux , not so much the operating system it's that I have a Harmony 1000 remote that controls all my AV equipment so it needs to work with the Acer as well, if it isn't compatible in any way running Linux then I'll be looking elsewhere.

I imagine it would be easier to set up the Harmony with windows but apparently running XP in the background will have a knock on effect on playing the 1080p rips, slowing it down I guess.

So right now the first thing on my list is to see if my remote will work... the search continues, thank *bleep* for google! Frown
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kbrookes Offline
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Post: #22
Shouldn't you just be able to get an MCE remote and USB IR receiver, then use the Harmony program to tell it to emulate the MCE remote?
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snoxbox Offline
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Post: #23
kbrookes Wrote:Shouldn't you just be able to get an MCE remote and USB IR receiver, then use the Harmony program to tell it to emulate the MCE remote?

Exactly. You will need a USB IR Receiver anyway if you want to use your Harmony. The MCE remote works out of the box with XBMC Live.

You could also consider the Zotac ION boards. They have just come out, are ION (like the AspireRevo) so they will play 1080p fine. However, there is a dual core model, which will definitely help on high res skins, flash video etc. (still won't do HD flash). The AspireRevo will choke on Aeon.

The board comes with the graphics card and CPU assembled. All you have to do is plug in 1 or 2 sticks of RAM, plug in a USB stick to boot XBMC Live off, and mount it in a case. Little risk of electrocuting yourself here Smile
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JUICESIX90 Offline
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Post: #24
Is the MCE remote compatible with Linux, meaning are there any driver issues when it come to plugging in a USB IR Receiver?

Didn't realise the Revo wouldn't be able to handle the Aeon skin that alone was one of my reasons for going down HTPC route (and not something like popcorn hour etc) if that is the case then I think I'll look into your suggestion regarding the Zotac ION route. A little more expensive but it'll be worth it.

Could you suggest a case for it? sorry having never built anything like this before I'm not sure what model names I should be googling to start gathering prices, review etc.

Thanks for your help. Nod
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ShadeBlack Offline
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Post: #25
@JUICESIX90
Im confused though, I thought you said you wanted it to play blu-ray RIPS, not actual blu-rays.
...just to clarify, the acer revo won't play a Blu-ray disc as it doesn't have a disc drive i don't think. but it will play Rips in the form of an avi or mkv etc.

As for the linux situation witht he remote, I'm really not sure there as i just use a wireless keyboard and mouse. I can't help you at all there, sorry!

@GUI
I think that setup is expensive frm that provider. don't forget about the matx power supply you'll need as well.
your setup = £300, now here's what i think:
Asus TS-8B1 Silver/Black Slim mATX Tower Case (with 250W PSU)
MSI MS-7528 G31M3-F Socket 775 mATX motherboard
The same CPU, but get a Heatsink!!!
and why get a HD DVD + Blu-ray? HD DVD is basically dead - get a blu-ray drive alone for a cheaper price here.
+ Same RAM.
so my list would cost £223 - a saving of £77. Big Grin
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snoxbox Offline
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Post: #26
JUICESIX90 Wrote:Is the MCE remote compatible with Linux, meaning are there any driver issues when it come to plugging in a USB IR Receiver?
If you are going to run XBMC Live (which it sounds like you will do) then apparently the MCE remote 'works out of the box'. So I'd assume the drivers are packed up in xbmc live.

Quote:Didn't realise the Revo wouldn't be able to handle the Aeon skin that alone was one of my reasons for going down HTPC route (and not something like popcorn hour etc) if that is the case then I think I'll look into your suggestion regarding the Zotac ION route. A little more expensive but it'll be worth it.

Weill, I'm not 100% sure on this; about 95%. I've read some posts of people in the know speculating that it wouldn't run aeon. I have not heard any confirmation that aeon will work on the dual core atom either. I asked in this thread but got no response:
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=43405&page=6
It'll definitely help having the dual core though.
Quote:Could you suggest a case for it? sorry having never built anything like this before I'm not sure what model names I should be googling to start gathering prices, review etc.

Thanks for your help. Nod
Mini-box.com have some good cases. You're after a mini-itx enclosure. I'm probably going to get an M350 and mount it to the back of my plasma, but the current version of the Zotac board does not support Wake from USB. A new model out in june will fix the issue.
http://www.mini-box.com/s.nl/sc.8/category.87/.f
(This post was last modified: 2009-05-30 08:50 by snoxbox.)
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rudeboymcc Offline
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Post: #27
Any news on whether that aspire revo will play bluray from a USB bluray drive?? (i.e not rips)

If it can do that it will be perfect.
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JUICESIX90 Offline
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Post: #28
ShadeBlack Wrote:@JUICESIX90
I'm confused though, I thought you said you wanted it to play blu-ray RIPS, not actual blu-rays.
...just to clarify, the acer revo won't play a Blu-ray disc as it doesn't have a disc drive i don't think. but it will play Rips in the form of an avi or mkv etc.

Now I'm confused lol, where did I put I wanted it to play Blu-Rays? The only reason I'm looking elsewhere than the Revo is snowbox letting me know that it wouldn't handle the AEON

Nope, this is solely for XBMC - AEON Skin & 1080P content running smoothly.

If I can get a set-up that tick all those boxes and if possible for around £300 (or less:ooSmile then I'd be a very happy boy... and the wife will be happy she doesn't have to hear me banging on about it all the time... "Just Buy ONE!" Angry Laugh
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JUICESIX90 Offline
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Post: #29
snoxbox Wrote:If you are going to run XBMC Live (which it sounds like you will do) then apparently the MCE remote 'works out of the box'. So I'd assume the drivers are packed up in xbmc live.

Thanks for the info man, that's good to know. Wink
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snoxbox Offline
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Post: #30
rudeboymcc Wrote:Any news on whether that aspire revo will play bluray from a USB bluray drive?? (i.e not rips)

If it can do that it will be perfect.

All of the reviews I have seen of it playing blu-ray are playing from a USB Blu-Ray, so yes it will work fine.
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