I am not married to any of these components, just looking for the best-ish.
OK let me clarify my wants/needs of this system, i really want it to be a PVR, i don't have the kinda cash to watch 1080p video, i have a 25" CRT TV, nothing fancy, im using cable that needs no box, just regular stuff. I would like the system to one day be able to play/record HD content, but right now all i've got, is regular cable and DVDs. Hope that helps narrow my components
This will be my first attempt at building a HTPC.
Any suggestions are welcomed, I'm getting the itch of building.
I take it you plan to use the onboard graphics card ?
The Intel onboard is a weak performer even by IGP standards.
What height restriction does the case have (does the stock Intel cooler fit)?
If the stock cooler fits use that until you find a better sollution.
The Thermalright XP120 without a fan is 75mm high but fitting it could be a problem. http://www.thermalright.com/a_page/main_product_xp120_7...
The Thermaltake BlueOrb FX (about 84mm high) is quite low profile and performs well.
For storage your choice (seperate drives for OS and content) is good.
As for future proofing this should be good enough for HD playback (works fine on my Athlon 64 with a GF6600GT card).
I have no experience with recording HD content (no HD content source yet where I live) but I think the HD Tuner card generates a stream of about 5-20MBytes/second and writing that to a hard drive should not be a problem.
An FYI: Your case only has room for only 2 Hard drives, unless you plan to skip out on an optical disk drive. Other than that, the case is top notch, I wish it was out when I built...
I have seen a Seagate 650GB drive on Fry's for ~110 that is likely the best bang for the buck in HDD space I've seen. Odd size, ATA drive. 500 GB is a lot of space.
MediaCenter (I've only used Vista) has 2 flaws that I've run into: (YMMV)
-Official support for only 2 analog and 2 digital tuners (I have 4 digital)
-Guide service does not work with HDTV subchannels (i.e. channel X.2, X.3 will not have the proper info without some hacking. This issue has been unresolved for years by M$. (
According to the Green Button, I have seen these issue dating back for years (I think ~2004!)
On the positive side VMC is easy to use/setup/etc. It is what I am currently using...