Pointers Needed For Building A HTPC

jokster

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hello hubbers!

i have been messing around with the idea of building myself a nice HTPC but i'm not too sure of the does and donts and i would appreciate any pointers offered.

it will be running either openelec or xbmcbuntu and be connected to an onkyo 605 reciever.
wireless is not an issue as it will be on a wired connection.

i have a revo 3600 in the bedroom and the only thing that really annoys me is the lack of a dvd drive, it could be a bit heftier on the CPU side too maybe. i run an external dvd drive on it but its not the greatest/prettiest solution so i think my new setup will have to have a drive bay (some of the shuttle cases seem nice).

now heres where i get lost a bit.
there is no real bd support for linux currently but adding libaacs adds it - apparently.
fair enough. how do you do that? does this add full support or basic playback (ie movie only)?
once done does xbmc play the bd disc with dvdplayer as normal or are there a few more hoops to jump through?
is there also an issue with ati cards and full hd audio support too?
is there a work around for this?
i'm thinking that nvidia may be the way to go.

i love the quietness of my wee revo so passive cooling may be the way to go, for the GFX at the very least.
i know fek all about about PSUs, so how do you keep them quiet?
i know i could bury the CPU in heat sinks, but is this the best way to go or would a small quiet fan with a standard heat sink be better?

would i just be better of buying a prebuilt?
the revo 3700 seems dandy (bar the no bd/dvd drive. i could always whack on an external) and they usually go for around £150 on fleabay

as i said this is just an idea i am toying with and it may never come to fruition but i do like the old "i built that" :p
 

stammie

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May 10, 2012
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I don't really know anything about Linux so can't really offer any advice on that, a better place to ask may be the hardware section at xbmc.org.
As for the quietness the only real way to go for a quiet psu is to buy a quiet one unless you're confident enough to take apart one and fit a quiet fan inside, depending on your budget and power requirements a pico psu may be the way to go which is totally silent, or I can recommend Be Quiet psu's if you require more power, they are not totally silent but are very quiet.
For cpu cooling getting totally quiet cooling a scythe big shuriken cooler or cooler master geminiII M4 cooler seems to be the most recommended solutions.

Pity you didn't post this a few weeks ago, you could've had my Revo 3700 which I sold for less than £150!
 

jokster

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damn just my luck on the revo!
if you used it for xbmc how did it run?
i'll definitely be having a look at those psus.

ive been looking at the i3 2120 processor as it has hd 2000 graphics onboard, not sure how well this would handle bluray though. £62 at CEX
I spotted a nice mobo at overclockers for £50 I just need to dig out the ram I have lying around to see if its compatible.
 
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stammie

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I used it mainly for XBMC but I installed Windows 7 for the OS,
as an XBMC machine the 3700 was a great little box but it struggled to do anything else other than simple web browsing.
Playback of any browser based streams was very choppy, often if I used it to download anything it took longer to unpack the thing than it did to download it.

I'm pretty sure that i3 cpu will playback bluray, a very quick Google search seems to indicate it will.
 

jokster

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if the processor is handling the video does it do the audio too?
i suppose i only need passthrough as the amp can handle most formats, but there is always the odd obscure thing like ape.