New machine advice? Linux?
#1
Question 
Hi,

I want to move from my xbox to a pc. I would love the pc to be able to run:
XBMC
Twonky (or another media streamer)
utorrent

I am not a linux user AT ALL, i have never used it, but i understand xbmc is much more stable with it. Is it straight forward, or should opt for windows?

What would you recommend as a cheap machine? Could the ACER handle it?

A

I am also considering at the same time to replace 2 1 tb NAS's i have with a 4 tb RAID NAS. I can do this separately, or alternatively i can buy a bigger machine that can handle the drives.

Thanks in advance,
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#2
I guess with windows you would have faster success ..... but
with a linux-system you may learn more ...

Or what I would suggest if you never had contact with linux :
- Install your System with Windows and and xbmc for windows and
do learn Linux inside a virtual software like (VMWare or OpenBox).

If your later decide to run a linux system It would be more fun than to jump into the cold water.

PS : XBMC is running fine inside a VirtualBox PC with Linux ....

- all execpt dvd and bluray playing all is working ... .-)
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#3
Sorry .. take a ASROCK ION or something similar as a advice ....
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#4
I don't know that XBMC on linux is that much more stable (I don't know bc I haven't used Windows in years, but I haven't heard any real complaints about the win version), but depending on your hardware, there can be significant advantages to linux - e.g. VDPAU video acceleration for NVIDIA products. There are other hardware acceleration options available, but I don't know that they're as far along within XBMC.

So, one option might be to go for a small, inexpensive nvidia-based linux box (Revo, etc - should run between $200 - $300, depending on your location) for XBMC, and have a separate machine that runs as a server/torrent box/streamer. This is what I'm currently doing, and it's been working out quite well.
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#5
fasteddy Wrote:I don't know that XBMC on linux is that much more stable (I don't know bc I haven't used Windows in years, but I haven't heard any real complaints about the win version), but depending on your hardware, there can be significant advantages to linux - e.g. VDPAU video acceleration for NVIDIA products. There are other hardware acceleration options available, but I don't know that they're as far along within XBMC.

So, one option might be to go for a small, inexpensive nvidia-based linux box (Revo, etc - should run between $200 - $300, depending on your location) for XBMC, and have a separate machine that runs as a server/torrent box/streamer. This is what I'm currently doing, and it's been working out quite well.

The easiest is to get an acer revo or a asrock ION box. They are very cheap and both have E-sata. Then just buy a big e-sata drive (thing 2TB Wink) and off you go.

If you're into PC building find an Atom D510 board with an ION2 chip.

It'll be alot easier and simpler than having 2 boxes. you can run torrents etc.. from the box running xbmc.
HTPC : Acer Revo R3600 / 2GB PC6400 / 2x500GB Samsung 2.5" SATAII / Roland UA1-EX
Software : Arch linux / LUKS / Openbox / xbmc-svn

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#6
Another option is a zotac mag for $280 which has the atom 330 or the newer diskless model which has the newer atom d510 and ion2 for $230
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#7
DONT buy ION right now. Asrock has just released their new version of the HTPC with a better core CPU instead of the ION.

Asrock ION, zotag ect. are all great, but I think you would gain alot with a better cpu (i3) compared to ION cpu.

Check it out here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JImyMNHbFY

and Anandtechs review here:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3824/asroc...eam-market
http://www.yodo.dk/ is my small site were I write guides and news in danish about XBMC and HTPC
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#8
Pro: way better CPU - smoother skin browsing
Bluray

Con: PRICE
NOISE
PRICE
Size
PRICE
Ugly (IMHO)
PRICE
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#9
pletopia Wrote:Pro: way better CPU - smoother skin browsing
Bluray

Con: PRICE
NOISE
PRICE
Size
PRICE
Ugly (IMHO)
PRICE

I dont know the price, so cant say. Noise in the new box, should be low but you never know with Asrock.

Formfactor is mini, so I dont think you can get it smaller.

Pro: Blueray, True HD/THX sound (No other pre-buildt can deliver), cpu
con: what has been mentionen
http://www.yodo.dk/ is my small site were I write guides and news in danish about XBMC and HTPC
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#10
this is mini form factor (smaller then small form factor which i consider a shuttle box) .. and then there are the ion box's which are the size of routers .. which i guess would be mini MINI form factor Wink

i was reading up on this box from the reviews and was basically seeing around 650 euro which isn't the worst thing in the world since you get bluray in there however a bunch of the reviews were bitching how at idle the noise is fine but once its getting "taxed" (which i don't know what they mean in the review) the noise gets quite loud

i guess in the end it comes down to what you want to use it for .. personally i'm PISSED off that the new mac mini doesn't have a bluray drive cause imho that is the perfect htpc .. it looks great, it uses hardly any power, the cpu is strong enough to run ANY skin that you would need and the video card can help hw decode what you need .. and like i said it looks GREAT .. a googleplex times better then this box .. but alas it has no bluray yet its in the same ballpark price wise

so ultimately .. it comes down to media streaming of 1080 stuff and running HD skin okay .. ION works well .. however if you want the skins to fly and possibly do bluray .. gonna need to spend more and get something along the lines of this Asrock
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#11
Go with an older ION. the CPU is fast enough and I've never had issue with mine handling skins - mind you it's clocked at 2ghz. Bluray? I rip my media and compress it to a NAS so I don't need a BD drive on my XBMC box. One of my XBMC has no optical at all (Zotac) and the other only ever boots to optical for installs or backups. Use a good desktop to do ripping\compressing and a NAS for storage. 2TB or even 4TB isn't going to last you long if you begin storing movies at 8-10GB apiece.

You want to run torrents - Transmission can do this for you. There are music streamers for Linux too however I've got no experience with them (interested though). I too had zero Linux experience but there's a good wiki article on how to set it up and compile that I followed- I run SVN code. Linux is pretty stable IMO and my issues usually either involve something I've done or an issue with the SVN code which is often quickly fixed. My other box runs "Live" and is pretty much an appliance. Hardest part is getting sound working on either of these but at this point there's lots of advice for this to help you out. If you try it and it doesn't work out you can always fall back to Windows but IMO Linux is worth it and VDPAU is awesome!
Openelec Gotham, MCE remote(s), Intel i3 NUC, DVDs fed from unRAID cataloged by DVD Profiler. HD-DVD encoded with Handbrake to x.264. Yamaha receiver(s)
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