Small, always on HTPC

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Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:31 am

Small, always on HTPC

Post by dookka » Fri Jun 15, 2007 8:43 am


I assume what I'm looking for is common: a quiet, discreet HiDef tuner/recorder and DVD player to sit under our soon-to-be-bought new TV (likely a 768p HDMI LCD.) And able to stream audio over our network.

It'll also run 24/7, low traffic web sites and a SVN repository, and be used as NAS. This is actually the primary reason for getting a new machine but it's such a low-intesity task I thought I'd get it to do something more interesting.

First, some systems I'm considering:
Shuttle XPC X100/X200 look great but I don't know enough about graphics cards - this review suggests that it may be underpowered for HDTV.
Acer Aspire L320 looks nice too, but people in these forums have commented similar unit run hot. And does anybody know if it has a 2.5" or 3.5" HDD?
Asus P2-P5945G, P1-AH2 look good. Anybody have any experience on their noise levels?

Lots of questions:
How do DVI outputs interact with HDMI TVs? Should I forget these ready-built systems and get a HDMI graphics card?
Should I choose a mobile processor to cut down heat and power? Are Celeron's cheap, or attractively-priced?
Are fanless VIAs an option for HTPC?
Are the ultra SFF cases going to be too noisy for the living room?

Help appreciated, I'm a little out of my depth.

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Post by psiu » Fri Jun 15, 2007 10:41 am

Random shots:

I think I've seen some questions about quieting the Ultra cases--so that may be a problem area.

I don't think the VIA's would have the horsepower for HD unless you have a separate encoder and the graphics card can handle the playback--which would lead to getting one of the late gen ATI or Nvidia cards for the best decoding assistance.

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Post by dookka » Sat Jun 16, 2007 3:47 pm

I guess I would have read more about VIA for this if it was a good option.

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