After two weeks to looking around at various posts in the Media Center newsgroup , TheGreenButton ’s forums, reading other user’s config’s, reviewing the MSFT supported hardware , asking many questions, and just making decisions, I finally had my entire WMCE box spec’d out. Yesterday morning I ordered everything and it’s all on the way. Should have it ready for the build out over the Labor Day weekend. I’m looking forward to a solid few days of hardware driver hell… and flood the MCE newsgroup with questions.
I’m already expecting to have some difficulty getting everything installed and configured correctly, so if it goes smoothly I’ll be pleasantly surprised. Heck, I’m going into this assuming something will need to be returned for a different model/spec.
While I do have a home theater setup, based around my Onkyo SR600 (still love it) & DirecTV , I don’t have a high definition TV *yet*… still sporting a 26” Panasonic that’s pushing 15 years old. This had to factor into my design a bit as I couldn’t handle SVideo, DVI, HDMI2, or component cables… everything had to make it down to RCA (composite) cables. Thankfully I found an SVideo->RCA converter at Best Buy to hold me over until I can find a TV (aka: wait until prices fall even further around Christmas).
Here are the spec’s of my new box:
Intel D945PSN ATX (4xDDR2, 10/100/1000 LAN, 8xUSB 2.0, 4 SATA, 1 IDE UDMA, 4PCI, 2PCI Express x1 bus, 1PCI Express x16 bus)
Intel Pentium D 820 (2.8Ghz dual core)
Crucial 2x512MB DDR2 533 (1GB total)
NEC ND-3540-A Black (DVD+-RW, DL+R)
Turtle Beach Riviera 5.1 surround 24bit (w/ SPDIF optical output)
I’m not sure if I’ll need extra fans in the case other than what it comes with, but I’ll deal with that at that time as I can get them from local stores. I also have a 200GB drive in one of my other PCs that currently holds all my music, videos, and pictures. Eventually it will make it’s way into the MCE. The USR modem is only for caller ID displays.
One last thing I purchased was Norton Ghost v9 (which included in a bundle, for $15 more, Norton Partition Magic ). Always wanted this to image my primary home PC so I wouldn’t have to rebuild it and inconvenience the wife for a few days. Once i get a clean setup on the MCE box, image to a bootable DVD! I assume I’ll have a few images set during this process.
I’ll post more once everything arrives which looks to be some next Tuesday and the rest next Wednesday. Most is being sent to work (so I can sign for anything they make me sign for), except one package from mwave.com who wouldn’t release the package to an alternate address. Can’t start the build without the parts in that box (CPU, motherboard, memory)!