Home system layout & component advice -- DVR+Photoshop

Okay, so I want to buy new equipment for my house to set up Over-the-air HD dvr to be streamed to my TV, along with that same system to be able to run the Adobe suite when not in use as a DVR.

I'll let the components speak for themselves. This is my build:

HP Pavilion P6330F i3 (2.93 dual core) with 6GB DDR3 and Windows 7 64-bit
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 1850 (updated version of 1800) MCE Kit 1128 PCI-Express x1

This will be the main PC of the build, and will dual boot to Linux to run MythTV. When I need to work, I will boot it to Windows to run Adobe and get my work done, then flip back over.

Western Digital WDH1NC10000N 1TB My Book World Edition Network Hard Drive
The recorded programs and my other media will live on this NAS.

Acer Aspire Revo AR3610-U9022 Intel Atom 330(1.60GHz) 2GB DDR2 160GB NVIDIA ION graphics Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
This will actually be attached to my television to play the files recorded by my DVR and other media. It will be running XBMC.

Do you think this will do the trick for me? Will I be able to stream live TV from my main PC to the Acer? Should I buy a vid card for the HP?




BUDGET RANGE: $1200 for the whole setup


PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Antec Power Supply 500W

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  1. Considering that this section is for people who want to build their own PC, you're not going to get a whole lot of helpful advice on buying prebuilt PCs. You're going to get a lot of people saying you should build it yourself (which you should).

    Just judging by the list of parts, it should work, but it wouldn't be ideal. I say this because the Acer would be very weak for outputing HD content to the TV. You'd do better to buy a real laptop to do work on and hook the HP up to the TV for the media.

    That said, I notice a little bit of a problem. The i3s use dual channel memory. 6 GB is a triple channel amount, which will make it run slower.

    I would suggest you give us a budget for all of the parts, the other information found in the guidelines (the link is in my signature), and we can put together a build (or two) that would better suit your needs. You can get a cheap i3/H55 build for about $600-650 (with the OS and a large HDD) that can serve as the HTPC and another desktop costing anywhere from $500-1,000 (with the OS) that can be the work PC (and do it much better).
  2. Well, my budget for the main PC would be about $700-$800. Do you think an i5 would be better suited? HD space isn't really an issue, as I've got the NAS.

    And why do you say the Revo would be weak for outputting HD to TV? Everything I've read so far has had it performing wonderfully, outputting 1080p over a network to TV. And for $350, it'd be the hardest piece to let go of.


    Do you think this would work out better for me?

    Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750
    GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
    Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
    EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
    Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 1850 (updated version of 1800) MCE Kit 1128 PCI-Express x1
  3. Laptops don't have the best video cards. I've tried running mine as an HTPC and it doesn't get any where near 1080p resolutions.

    By "main" computer, do you mean your work computer? It would help if you described the actual tasks you'll be using it for. If you don't need a lot of graphics power, a GPU might be unnecessary. Onboard graphics would be fine if you're not playing games, rendering or doing other graphics intense tasks. Also, the HTPC (the i3) would need the TV tuner, as you wouldn't need to stream it from one PC to the other then.

    That build is alright, but I'd change the HDD to the Seagate 7200.12 500 GB or Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB. They're cheaper, faster, quieter and run cooler. Also, I'd probably change the GPU to an HD 4850 (if it's needed).
  4. The Acer Aspire Revo isn't a laptop. It's like a Boxeee or as AsRock


    It's sole function in life is to send video via HDMI from a source to a TV.

    The GPU is because that Gigabyte board doesn't have onboard video.
  5. My bad. I don't pay attention to prebuilts. I just looked at the very light specs and figured it was a laptop/netbook. I'd still lean towards a true HTPC though, especially since it seems to be unavailable.

    I thought there were LGA1156 boards with onboard graphics, but a quick look on Newegg doesn't turn anything up....

    If you don't need that big of a card, why not get a $30-50 one instead of a $100? The HD 5450 can be had for under $50 and is an excellent general use card.
  6. Newegg's got plenty of the Revos to go around atm. Basically it's just netbook ION architecture centered around video playback. The Windows environment has issues with playback, but since I'm running XBMC, I can enable VDPAU which will give it the acceleration that it needs for full 1080p.

    I mean, for $330 I can't think of anything that compares.

    Thanks for the tip on the card, I really won't be doing any gaming or anything.
  7. Ok, they just don't have the one you linked to...

    It is true that you won't get something better for less, but if you want something you can add to later or that has parts that could be reused, I'd still look to an HTPC, but it's your call.

    As you can tell, this is a bit out of my area of expertise, so I can't really tell you if there's a better way to do this...
  8. Yeah, I mean eventually I'm sure I'll want to do something nicer in the future. But for now, it's a sleek package that runs silently and is teeny tiny and can be had for dirt cheap.

    If I could get parts and cases of that size and quality for under $300, I'd totally be making one myself.

    I mean, do those part exist out there in the world? Could I build a similar unit of size, shape and specs for less than $300?
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