I have long been interested in building a computer based entertainment system for the family room. It appears with the intro of Microsoft's XP home entertainment software that the time is here. I was advised to consult Tom's Hardware pertaining to conflicts of software and hardware. First, am I in the correct area to get this info?
I have Direct TV TIVO, and I want to build a computer that will be the heart of my entertaiment system, replace the; DVD, CD, amp, music storage, TIVO recorder, and use it for web surfing. I am planning on a min of 2 160 or more gigs of hard drive storage just for the movies. I have a 40 gig just for the programs to work with, so I was thinking of Raid 5?
After reading some threads on CPU's and MB's I think I know what to look fore there. What type of memory should I get, other then 1+ gigs?
Did I understand correctly? Will I be able to record one program and be able to watch a previously recorded program at the same time? Or will I need 2 video cards? If so could there be a software conflict there?
I wouldn't use RAID 5. In fact, using any RAID version at all will cause you more problems than you want to deal with. Leave it for the big business users who have an IT department to handle the problems. Just leave it that there are any number of programs that don't like RAID at all.
Now, to view one program while recording another, you'll need 2 TV TUNER cards, not two video cards. And the current 'sweet spot' for hard drives is around 200 gigs, right now. That's the point at which the next bigger hard drive is much more expensive thatn the gap between 160 and 200 gigs.
Skip RAID. If you want more performance, then go with a motherboard that supports Native Command Queueing SATA (SATA II) and a pair of SATA II hard drives. I would have said SCSI, but the SATA II drives are much cheaper and have very good performance.