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D630 as HTPC

qqsubs

Junior Member
Jan 23, 2014
10
0
0
I have an old D630 available that I'm about to recycle. I'm also in the process of building out a home server + htpc solutions. While I take my time deciding that, I'd like to use the D630 as an HTPC. Any thoughts? It already has Windows 7 installed but I could easily remove the hdd and install an SSD (have a spare 64GB) and install something else lighter (openelec or other). I'm primarily interested in using this for XBMC or as an Plex media center.

It's an Intel Dual core with 2GB of DDR2 memory.

Thoughts?
 

nForce2

Senior member
Aug 15, 2013
285
0
76
Does it have the optional NVIDIA graphics?

Which CPU does it have? (the high-end is 60%+ faster than the low-end...)
 

qqsubs

Junior Member
Jan 23, 2014
10
0
0
Does it have the optional NVIDIA graphics?

Which CPU does it have? (the high-end is 60%+ faster than the low-end...)
It has 2.00 GHZ Intel core2 Duo processor with 64KB primary memory cache and 2GB secondary cache.

NVIDIA Quadro NVS 135M [Display adapter]

On NVIDIA.com it says that this adapter can support HDMI and mad digital display of 1600*1200 and max analog display of 2048*1536.


Not sure what all these translates into..
 

Dirigible

Diamond Member
Apr 26, 2006
5,950
7
81
Just throw xbmc on there and see if it'll work. Costs nothing. Takes little time.
 

nForce2

Senior member
Aug 15, 2013
285
0
76
Just throw xbmc on there and see if it'll work. Costs nothing. Takes little time.
Yep, that's pretty much it. Since it has the NVIDIA graphics, you have a chance...

If it can't quite keep up with the media, and you really wanted to use it instead of buying/building something else, you might also look into using a Broadcom CrystalHD hardware decoder card if your laptop has a mini-pcie slot.
 

qqsubs

Junior Member
Jan 23, 2014
10
0
0
nforce2 and drigible - Thanks for your suggestions! I'll try out openelec/xbmc first. If there are playback issues, I'll try out the decoder card. The laptop does have a PC Card/Expresscard slot. I'm assuming it's the same as the mini-pcie slot you are referring to.

Before I install openelec, I'd like to replace the hard drive with an SSD (I have a couple 64GB SSDs I bought with the intention of building a HTPC before I realized I had this laptop. Does openelec need a Windows or other OS before it can work or can it install itself on an blank SSD?

Thanks!
 

nForce2

Senior member
Aug 15, 2013
285
0
76
The laptop does have a PC Card/Expresscard slot. I'm assuming it's the same as the mini-pcie slot you are referring to.
Nope, completely different. ;) You would have to open up the laptop to install the decoder card.


ExpressCard:






Mini-PCIe decoder card:
 

Dirigible

Diamond Member
Apr 26, 2006
5,950
7
81
nforce2 and drigible - Thanks for your suggestions! I'll try out openelec/xbmc first. If there are playback issues, I'll try out the decoder card. The laptop does have a PC Card/Expresscard slot. I'm assuming it's the same as the mini-pcie slot you are referring to.

Before I install openelec, I'd like to replace the hard drive with an SSD (I have a couple 64GB SSDs I bought with the intention of building a HTPC before I realized I had this laptop. Does openelec need a Windows or other OS before it can work or can it install itself on an blank SSD?

Thanks!

I am apparently far more lazy than you are. :p

If it were me I'd just leave everything as is and download xbmc in its windows form, then see if your hardware could play the media you're interested in. But if you want to try openelec and stuff, go for it!
 

qqsubs

Junior Member
Jan 23, 2014
10
0
0
I am apparently far more lazy than you are. :p

If it were me I'd just leave everything as is and download xbmc in its windows form, then see if your hardware could play the media you're interested in. But if you want to try openelec and stuff, go for it!
I'm not much different :). However, my fan seems to be kicking in even with very light activity so I want to make sure XBMC works without involving the hard drive and go from there. I did test Netflix (connected the PC to a 50" plasma via VGA) and got really great video. After about 10 minutes the sound and video got disconnected with sound coming in before the video (sound was on the PC). If everything works out OK, I plan on getting a docking station ($20 on ebay) and connecting through DVI->HDMI. Will report back once done..
 

NutBucket

Lifer
Aug 30, 2000
26,342
242
106
I have a D830. That thing struggled to playback 1080p content. Mine has similar specs (more RAM). Never could figure out why since the specs suggest it should certainly be capable of it. But it's dead now.....
 

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