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Old 03-05-2011, 11:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ideas to make PC a HTPC

Heys guys, I recently acquired a gateway gt5014 I want to make it to where it runs my bluray rips that are 720p and 1080p and i.

Specs: Processor: Intel Pentium D 2.8 GHz
Chipset: Intel 945G
Installed Memory: 1 GB (DDR2 SDRAM)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Media Center 2005 Edition
HDD Size: 250 GB
Optical Drive Type: DVD-ROM DVD Burner DVD-Dual Layer Burner CD-ROM CD Burner


Also I wanted some advice on getting the best quality and sound for my movies and what inputs I should use, ex. DVI or hdmi, optical or components.

Besides XBMC what other programs would you suggest for my htpc?

Is Windows XP Media Center, Windows 7, or Linux?

Lastly should I get a hard drive (1 or 2tb) to keep all the media on that computer or should I just stream it from my server/ old desktop? Will streaming it effect playback?

A lot I know but i'm pretty excited

As always thanks again for the help
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ideas to make PC a HTPC

Personally, I would get a 500GB 7200RPM Internal HDD then get some network sotrage with as much space as you want. Are your wireless or running through cat5/6 cable?
Load Win7 Ulimate if its practible (cost wise)
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Old 03-06-2011, 10:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ideas to make PC a HTPC

My movies are already over 500 gb, closer to the 1 tb level. Tat particular computer will have a wireless card being as it will eliminate my original plan of running my cat 6 cable to that computer insread of the server/ main pc
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ideas to make PC a HTPC

Unless the computer has been upgraded it has an Integrated Video Adapter which means it's using some of the system memory for it's own use. I would stick as much memory into it as possible, which I think is 4GB with each slot max'ed out with 1GB each.

Or you can buy a dedicated video card but you would probably need to buy a bigger power supply to power it. I think that Gateway has a 300 watt power supply and a modern low end video card will "probably" want a 400 watt as a minimum (different cards have different power requirements).

Is the 250GB hard drive the original? You'll probably want to go ahead and get the biggest fastest drive it supports.

I would think you should be able to stream the data OK. But that would really depend on the old computer sending it. If it gets bogged down then so will the streaming.
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ideas to make PC a HTPC

Can you upgrade the power supply in laptops? or is it pointless?
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ideas to make PC a HTPC

you can but there's no need too. generally the only components you would think about upgrading in a laptop are the ram and the hdd. you could upgrade the cpu but the cooling is generally done in a way that it's specific to keep that cpu cool and if you add in a higher powered cpu it will only put more stress on the cooling system and other components.

and anyway just as a clarification bit the OP's pc in question is a tower not a laptop.

and to the OP i agree with slay, throw as much ram as you can in there, and then think about getting like a gtx 210 or similar card just to take some of the encoding/decoding stress off the onboard if you're going to be doing blu-ray. Even if you get a dedicated card i'd recommend having at least 2gb of ram just so it doesn't bog down.

and there are a lot of good linux htpc distro's out there that you might wanna take a look at. xp media center edition is cool but pretty dated and I'm sure that there are linux distro's that can do everything xpmc can do and more while taking up less system resources. which is a premium especially with the pentium D.
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ideas to make PC a HTPC

thx guys as always
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