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Old 02-17-2013, 02:37 PM   #1
SheHateMe
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Default Will this build get the job done?

Case:
LIAN LI Black Aluminum PC-Q12B Mini ITX Media Center / HTPC Case


Mobo (CPU/VGA combo): ASRock E350M1/USB3 AMD E-350 APU (1.6GHz, Dual-Core) AMD A50M Hudson M1 Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333

USB IR Reciever (Remote going to the trash):
Rosewill RHRC-12001 Windows 7 Certified MCE/ Windows 8 MCE Infrared Remote Control


So, all I want to do with this setup is to have it boot straight into XBMC, be able to send either 5.1 or 7.1 audio out through HDMI to a receiver, and just be as sexy as possible. It should be able to play whatever I throw at it. Mostly Blurays. I do have a few 3DMKVs that may or may not work in XBMC. I am not too concerned. I figured I would do this build over buying a Popcorn Hour. Is this the right choice?


I don't want to pay money for a Windows OS just to do this, so I am thinking of installing Linux Mint on a 2.5'' HDD and being done with it. The USB IR receiver is for a Logitech Harmony One. I am aware that I have to tweak linux a bit to be able to work with this remote for XMBC so I am currently looking into that.

Is there anything else I should know about a small form factor setup like this?

I am planning on throwing in a Bluetooth dongle on the back in case we switch from Xfinity by the time I move back home from college and I cannot use the xbox360 app anymore. That way, I can just get out a wireless keyboard and navigate to xfinity.com and watch my stuff that way.

Thanks!
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:11 PM   #2
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Zacate isn't really worth it for an HTPC. For the same money you can just get a Celeron/H61 motherboard combo and enjoy significantly higher performance and efficiency. Also, never go with a 2x2GB configuration for DDR3 RAM... it's a waste of money. That being said, for the same amount of money I'd recommend you get this instead:

Intel Celeron G550 2.6GHz: $42.99
ECS H61H2-I3 H61 Motherboard: $49.99
G.Skill 4GB (1x4GB) DDR3-1333: $23.99

This would be at least 2-3x faster than the E-350, and you'll definitely notice it in everyday use.
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:35 PM   #3
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From what i've heard, blu ray playback on pc's in general is not as easy as it should be.

I think on linux it's even worse:
https://www.ebower.com/docs/ubuntu-bluray/.

amd e-350 seem to have been used pretty well for htpc's in general though.
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=125116
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=137233
http://www.techenclave.com/reviews-p...x-xbmc-121493/
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serpretetsky View Post
From what i've heard, blu ray playback on pc's in general is not as easy as it should be.

I think on linux it's even worse:
https://www.ebower.com/docs/ubuntu-bluray/.

amd e-350 seem to have been used pretty well for htpc's in general though.
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=125116
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=137233
http://www.techenclave.com/reviews-p...x-xbmc-121493/
I'm not going to be playing any discs. I'm going to just rip the discs and put them on a NAS.


Edit: I still have access to Dreamspark through the Engineering college at my Uni (lol). I just picked up a Windows 8 License Key and ISO. I'll just use this since there is going to be too much tweaking on Linux.
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Last edited by SheHateMe; 02-17-2013 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SheHateMe View Post
I'm not going to be playing any discs. I'm going to just rip the discs and put them on a NAS.
then you should be good if you don't mind fiddling with linux and amd drivers.

I would listen to what LOL_wut_Axel said as well though. If I could get by with a modern intel celeron system for the same or just a little more money I would probably try to do that. More reassurane that if you can't get proper video hardware acceleration the processor power should be able to brute force it anyways. Plus intel hardware usually plays nicer with linux in my experience.
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SheHateMe View Post
I'm not going to be playing any discs. I'm going to just rip the discs and put them on a NAS.


Edit: I still have access to Dreamspark through the Engineering college at my Uni (lol). I just picked up a Windows 8 License Key and ISO. I'll just use this since there is going to be too much tweaking on Linux.

Go with the Celeron/H61 setup. You will get the same hardware acceleration for HD video, and if you happen to use a video format which isn't hardware accelerated the Celeron has enough horsepower to play it with no stuttering. Again, going with the E350 is a no-win.

Edit: Looking at the Bench, the G550 should be some 4x faster overall than the E350.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/406?vs=328
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Last edited by LOL_Wut_Axel; 02-17-2013 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SheHateMe View Post
I'm not going to be playing any discs. I'm going to just rip the discs and put them on a NAS.


Edit: I still have access to Dreamspark through the Engineering college at my Uni (lol). I just picked up a Windows 8 License Key and ISO. I'll just use this since there is going to be too much tweaking on Linux.
Go for windows if it's free, but if you wanted to boot straight to XBMC, you could just do OpenElec.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:35 PM   #8
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Agreed. No reason to use Zacate or Atom anymore.
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