Ongoing [Need help] What to choose for my next HTPC? (1 Viewer)


Portal Member
September 26, 2006
Home Country
Belgium Belgium
Hi all,

I'm looking to replace my actual HTPC, which is a first-generation intel-based mac mini with a 1.6Ghz Core Duo CPU and 2GB RAM. Today, this little baby is used only to play content that is stored on a 5TB NAS (consisting mainly of x264-encoded MKV / AVI 720p & 1080p HD movies and standard HD & SD DivX/XViD tv series episodes). The mini runs a light XP with only the bare necessary services, latest FFDShow, Haali, Vobsub and CoreAVC. And, of course, Mediaportal and the wonderful StreamedMP skin.

So far, I made a short list that currently holds 3 options. I'd like to have your feedback and inputs on these configs before I make the next step - purchasing.

1) Homemade config, about 450€

Asus Terminator T3 barebone with an intel P31 motherboard
Quad-code Q6600 intel cpu
4GB PC6400 RAM
32GB MLC SSD (will only hold XP, MP and the necessary tools around, barely 5-6 gigs)
7.1 generic PCI audio card with optical SP/DIF connector
GeForce 9400T fanless PCIE VGA card with HDMI

2) New mac mini, about 650€

Core 2 Duo 2Ghz cpu
NVidia 9400M video
Mini-displayport to DVI > DVI to HDMI conversion dongle

3) Custom HFX Mini config (@ 100% silent, about 1,200$

MCubed HFX mini 100% fanless case
Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H motherboard with GeForce 9400 and HDMI
Quad-code Q6600 intel cpu
4GB PC6400 RAM
Optiarc Slimline Slotin AD-7633A DVD combo
(for more info on this specific config, see PC Media Center HFX Mini Metal)

My main concern is not HD playback, it's how the system will handle MP itself. On the current mini, you can feel that the config lacks the necessary horsepower to properly handle the complexity of the StreamedMP interface and the My TV Series / Moving Pictures plugins. The computer doesn't crash, but it's slow, hesitant, clumsy. It often hangs for 5-10 seconds, and you can hear the mini fan running full power. But for the playback itself, as I said above, no problem: even the very old GMA950 succeeds playing 1080p movies (in 1366 x 768, not in Full HD), so I'm sure the 9400 circuit will do the same in full HD on my 58" plasma.

Hope you'll be able to bring some lights in my thinking ;)

Thanks a million in advance!


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  • October 9, 2006
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    United States of America United States of America
    I agree, go with the first one. You won't need even the power that it has to run the MP GUI smoothly. Plus with the money you save you can modify it to be as quiet as the HFX.

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