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Low power HTPC and NAS

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July 14, 2009 9:43:11 AM

Hi I'm building a new PC that will be on 24/7, whose primary uses will be as a home server and servicing a magicjack. I'm torn between building a HTPC with a 780g chipset/AMD 65w and one of those new nettops. I'm not sure about magic jack on a linux distro, so are these nettops capable of running windows? Finally what would be the price difference if I have the RAM, DVD-RW, HDD, for the HTPC, versus whatever nettop you guys would recommend? What, and I know the answer won't be exact, would be the power draw difference? Thanks a lot for all the help.

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July 14, 2009 2:00:29 PM

the nettops have the same guts as the netbooks so windows will run on them.
July 14, 2009 2:13:03 PM

Little to no difference between a nettop and netbook but I wouldn't recommend either them as a NAS or HTPC.

What OS do you plan on using?

For what you want to do with this machine, internet phone, file share, and media, pretty much any mid level dual core Windows machine would perform those tasks well.

As far as price difference goes, that could range anywhere from $150-$500 depending on the processor, case, mobo, OS, and other parts you need to complete the HTPC.

Seems to me that you should first figure out whether you want a netbook or a desktop style HTPC, then determine whether Intel or AMD, and then spec out a build to meet your needs.

What it really sounds like what you want is a general purpose machine that you can use to watch and listen to media as well as share out some files. You don't need a NAS to share out files, Windows file sharing can meet that need.

An HTPC or a NAS are machines built specifically for those purposes and generally speaking, I do not recommend building one machine to serve both purposes; especially if you want this to be low cost and low power. A low cost/power NAS can easily be built, especially if you use FreeNAS as the OS. And, a low cost/power HTPC could be also easily built using XUbuntu as the OS.
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July 14, 2009 2:34:57 PM

another thing is don't get a nettop if you plan to stream HD with it. they would be too slow for video at 720p
July 15, 2009 1:51:47 AM

Im thinking a 780G microATX board with a phenom 9150e and a Hauppage TV Tuner for capping HD from my directv. That will decode the video but I think it may draw too much power....any thoughts? The OS will be Windows 7 and mostly media center
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