Refurbished - HP e9120y Refurbished Desktop
Operating System - Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium with Windows Media Center 64bit w/ SP1 (free upgrade to Windows 7)
Processor - AMD® Phenom II 910 X4 Processor
Processor Speed - 2.6 GHz
Bus Speed - 4000 MHz HyperTransport 3.0
Memory - 8GB DDR3
Video Graphics - ATI Radeon HD4350 512MB DDR2 Memory
Hard Drive - 1TB Hard Drive (SATA)
Optical Drive - SuperMulti DVD Burner with LightScribe Technology & Blu Ray Player
Card Reader - 15-in-1 Digital Media Card Reader (SD, MMC, RS-MMC, MS, MS Pro/Duo, Pro Duo, SM, xD, mini SD, CF I/II, MD, MMC Mobile, MMC+
Audio - ALC888S chipset, High Definition Surround Sound Capable, 7.1 channels
Network - 10/100/1000 Ethernet (RJ-45)
Wireless Network - 802.11 a/b/g/n
Keyboard - HP multimedia keyboard
Mouse - HP PS/2 optical mouse
Warranty - 90 days limited warranty
But, I am new to this and probably missing something. Would love someone's opinion who knows more about this stuff than I do. Also, is there anything else this box would need? Would be good to know too as additional hardware might make it cost prohibitive.
Good to know. Since the cable card I want is not out yet, I've got time to do figure out what to do and pick the right parts. I've already got a copy of XP pro as OS, which will be fine since I'm using a 3rd party "media center" software.
Why would you need to beef up the graphics? Are you also planning on gaming on your HTPC? If not, the integrated HD 4200 GPU on the 785G board is plenty for HD content. It's nearly as powerful as the 4350 in the HP. 785G boards are very commonly used in HTPC's because they offer a low-cost choice for full HD.
Actually, it was an assumption on my part since this is going to be a whole house system and very likely serving up 2 or 3 HD feeds at a time. But then again, all the remote sets will be on a 10/100/1000 network, not coming off the graphics port/card.
This is a new project for me and have not researched all the "parts" yet so your input is much appreciated. I did read somewhere that the CPU and RAM were most important for a network type set up - 1 core and 1 GB per tuner. Hmmm, will have to learn as much about this as I can before moving forward.
You don't necessarily have to have a core and 1GB per tuner. My HTPC has four tuners and works great with a 3.2GHz dual core and 4GB of RAM. I'm able to record four shows at once. I'm using an Xbox 360 as a Media Center Extender. I'm able to simultaneously watch HD content on both the HTPC and Xbox at the same time with my lowly dual core system and ancient HD2600XT GPU.