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Windows 7: What do I need to make a cheap Media centre/server?

08 Feb 2010   #11

Windows 8 Pro (32-bit)

How about this computer running Windows 7 (with Media Centre always running) or Kubuntu with LinuxMCE?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2010   #12


I bought cheap desktop computer for $170 on Kiji and how it is connected with my samsung 52 inch TV and I use home networking to stream movies from my study computer to home computer and it works awesome.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2010   #13

Windows 8 Pro (32-bit)

Yeah a friend is giving me her old tower which i was planning to convert into a server box.
I just wanted to not have a BIG HONKING BLOCK (the size of a PS3 or smaller), but I guess that's too hard of a compromise with power and price.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Feb 2010   #14

Windows 8 Pro (32-bit)

OK, I think I'm confused.
It will be acting as a (I presume) a light duty printer server, with maybe one document printed a day max.
It will share a hard drive which the other computers in the house will access for their backups. that may be a bit more heavy, but my Mac handles this with <5% total CPU usage when idle (iMac Core Duo).
it will also use a TV as a monitor, and will play movies on other computer's hard drives (or more likely play movies on it's HD, then syncronize with the other computers)

Seperate DVD player, and DVR is provided by my cable company.
My X320 is able to do this pretty well, and it's is technically just a big netbook. (see my specs)

And overhead should be minimal with LinuxMCE/Ubuntu (problably Jolicloud or UNR for better 10" UI)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2010   #15

Windows 8 Pro (32-bit)

Oh, sorry. figured it out.
Even though the GMA 500 is crippled by it's drivers, it still whoops the 950 and other netbook gma's in terms of encoding/decoding - Do the WEI Aero score cover encoding/decoding video?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2010   #16

Win 7 Ultimate 32bit

I don't know about WEI,, I doubt it.

Second,, just keep in mind,, what will be the heavist load on the server and any one given time,, you need to plan for that,, and only that as being the heaviest load it will see 24/7.. if you don't, you will be shorting your specs, and you will have problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2010   #17

Win 7

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Tepid View Post
Again,, he is wanting more than a Media Center.

The 330 might be a hyperthreading dual-core atom,, but it's still only 1.6Ghz and I do not recommend overclocking it.

However,,, if all you want to do is serve video and that's pretty much it. Then this ASRock ION 330 will probably work. Might get away with a bit more,, because of the dedicated video card
I own a ASrock ION 330. You get away with a lot more. I can watch & record Full HD DVB-C TV channels via an Anysee E30TC DVB-T/C receiver. Even scrambled ones, which are software-descramled. Still, cpu goes to max 50-60%. This is because all work for 1080 playback is done by the 16 GPU cores of the on-board Geforce 9400 (which are overclockable as well). Atom CPU is only used for descrambling & disk i/o. I admit, watching & recording HD is about the limit, but SD channels are easily delt with. Several benchmarks have run test for over hours overclocked to 2.1 GHZ without a hitch, altough i keep it at 1.7 GHZ. Still, you can set treshold values for CPU temperature if you're not sure.
The system generates so little heat that the system can be placed in a virtually sealed cabinet (40W max, an AMD processor alone would require more).

File and printserving is such a low-demanding task, thats not a factor. In fact, the ION 330 will be way overkill for just file and printserving because then the graphics Cuda technology won't be used. The ION 330 comes to justice when directly connected to a big screen TV (via VGA or better, HDMI), playing digital content.

One thing to keep in mind: the ION doesn't have PCI-e slots, so expansion has to be done via USB, Or buy the -Pro version, it has an external e-Sata connection so you can use disks in Raid!

Beware, the Geforce GPU cores are only used properly by using correct drivers (native in Windows 7 & some Linux versions )
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2010   #18

Windows 8 Pro (32-bit)

yeah I believe that the only video files it will be descrambling are .avi files at 720p. I don't know the codec, but it's one of the fastest encoders that HandBrake (for mac) could do, so it problably wouldn't be too hard to decode.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 What do I need to make a cheap Media centre/server?

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