Author Topic: Rate my first Linux MCE build please  (Read 1382 times)

prosquad

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Rate my first Linux MCE build please
« on: March 01, 2009, 06:46:53 pm »
I am really interested in building a linux mce for my home. I want to first build a hybrid/core system for my living room and later on in the year to next year expand to my other rooms in my house with Media directors. My goal for the hybrid is to just play my backed up dvds and as i can afford to buy all the bells and whistles linux mce can do for my house, slowly add those. IE Lighting control, security system, home stereo with fancy reciever and floor speakers etc. I just finished building a raid 5 storage with 3 1tb drives for media storage. The raid pc is done in windows xp. I would like to use this for storing my dvds for linux mce to play from. I wanted the raid box to be kept in a room i rarely go into since it is loud. I would be fine with moving the raid hard drives to the core/hybrid if the motherboard and components i will be listing can handle it. I would like to buy as many parts as possible from newegg. I would like as little headaches as possible with this build since i am not comfortable doing to much inside linux right now. I am trying to learn it to be more comfortable doing things inside it. ALright onto the build

Case:   SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum / Steel LC10B-E ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
     I wanted a case that would be able to accomodate the raid drives if i had go that route once i got everything listed together. I don't need a fancy front info screen and would be fine with a smaller one if all my stuff still fits and is close to $100.00

Mobo:  ASUS M3N78-EM
       I would prefer to go with a regular atx board because i didn't know how many cards and usb slots i need to be able to do all the things linux mce is capable of doing for when i am ready to buy those components. This board also seems to have some problems during the install of LinuxMCE but the solutions i found on the wiki sounded like things i could do.

CPU:   AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400 Brisbane 2.8GHz Socket AM2 65W Black Edition.
       Looks like a good cpu to me. Do i need a quad core? I can change to that in the future and move this to a media director when time comes.

Cpu FAN:    ZALMAN CNPS 8000
        I wanted to upgrade to a zalman cooler to get the fans quieter in case stock fan was to loud plus the added benefits of keeping the cpu cooler and possible a little overclocking

Hard Drive:    Seagate Barracuda 250GB SATA
        I have found seagates to be very good and don't need a large hard drive since the media is stored elsewhere. I know of the mobo having problems with sata and change that to achi or whatever its called from the wiki.

RAM:      G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
        I feel 2 gigs of ram is enough for this machine.

PSU:  mushkin 550200 550W modular
        I wanted a modular one to keep cable clutter to a minimum.

Disc Drive: LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE
        I picked a IDE drive so i can have as many sata slots available in case i have to create the raid array in the case.

Input Devices:   Logitech Dinovo edge
       I can't decide if i want this or the fiire remote. I chose the logitech since it had a keyboard and mouse pad on it, hopefully the mouse pad can do the same things that the fiire remote could do with changing volume or video skipping. I wanted the two in one in case i wanted to use the web on the tv as well. I would like to get a webpad in the future if necessary.

My tv is a westinghouse 42", I don't have any home stereo equipment yet because i don't know what i need/want yet. i bought the tv over a year ago before i thought all this was a possibility. What do i need to control the tv? I guess i have a lot of questions because i am not sure how a lot of things work with linux mce.

What else do i need? Did i forget anything? I couldn't find a listing anywhere of how many usb things are needed to plug into the core/hybrid system. I know of a usb ir thingy, probably a usb-rs232 for reciever, One will be filled by the bluetooth dongle for the keyboard. What about the video capture devices? My tv/internet comes through at&t u-verse. How do i capture video from them? I already have hd service from them as well. How do the lighting and security system interact with the core? What do i need on my media directors to interact with the lights in that room? Or are those controlled from the core pc as well?

totallymaxed

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Re: Rate my first Linux MCE build please
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2009, 06:54:20 pm »
I am really interested in building a linux mce for my home. I want to first build a hybrid/core system for my living room and later on in the year to next year expand to my other rooms in my house with Media directors. My goal for the hybrid is to just play my backed up dvds and as i can afford to buy all the bells and whistles linux mce can do for my house, slowly add those. IE Lighting control, security system, home stereo with fancy reciever and floor speakers etc. I just finished building a raid 5 storage with 3 1tb drives for media storage. The raid pc is done in windows xp. I would like to use this for storing my dvds for linux mce to play from. I wanted the raid box to be kept in a room i rarely go into since it is loud. I would be fine with moving the raid hard drives to the core/hybrid if the motherboard and components i will be listing can handle it. I would like to buy as many parts as possible from newegg. I would like as little headaches as possible with this build since i am not comfortable doing to much inside linux right now. I am trying to learn it to be more comfortable doing things inside it. ALright onto the build

Case:   SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum / Steel LC10B-E ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
     I wanted a case that would be able to accomodate the raid drives if i had go that route once i got everything listed together. I don't need a fancy front info screen and would be fine with a smaller one if all my stuff still fits and is close to $100.00

Mobo:  ASUS M3N78-EM
       I would prefer to go with a regular atx board because i didn't know how many cards and usb slots i need to be able to do all the things linux mce is capable of doing for when i am ready to buy those components. This board also seems to have some problems during the install of LinuxMCE but the solutions i found on the wiki sounded like things i could do.

CPU:   AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400 Brisbane 2.8GHz Socket AM2 65W Black Edition.
       Looks like a good cpu to me. Do i need a quad core? I can change to that in the future and move this to a media director when time comes.

Cpu FAN:    ZALMAN CNPS 8000
        I wanted to upgrade to a zalman cooler to get the fans quieter in case stock fan was to loud plus the added benefits of keeping the cpu cooler and possible a little overclocking

Hard Drive:    Seagate Barracuda 250GB SATA
        I have found seagates to be very good and don't need a large hard drive since the media is stored elsewhere. I know of the mobo having problems with sata and change that to achi or whatever its called from the wiki.

RAM:      G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
        I feel 2 gigs of ram is enough for this machine.

PSU:  mushkin 550200 550W modular
        I wanted a modular one to keep cable clutter to a minimum.

Disc Drive: LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE
        I picked a IDE drive so i can have as many sata slots available in case i have to create the raid array in the case.

Input Devices:   Logitech Dinovo edge
       I can't decide if i want this or the fiire remote. I chose the logitech since it had a keyboard and mouse pad on it, hopefully the mouse pad can do the same things that the fiire remote could do with changing volume or video skipping. I wanted the two in one in case i wanted to use the web on the tv as well. I would like to get a webpad in the future if necessary.

My tv is a westinghouse 42", I don't have any home stereo equipment yet because i don't know what i need/want yet. i bought the tv over a year ago before i thought all this was a possibility. What do i need to control the tv? I guess i have a lot of questions because i am not sure how a lot of things work with linux mce.

What else do i need? Did i forget anything? I couldn't find a listing anywhere of how many usb things are needed to plug into the core/hybrid system. I know of a usb ir thingy, probably a usb-rs232 for reciever, One will be filled by the bluetooth dongle for the keyboard. What about the video capture devices? My tv/internet comes through at&t u-verse. How do i capture video from them? I already have hd service from them as well. How do the lighting and security system interact with the core? What do i need on my media directors to interact with the lights in that room? Or are those controlled from the core pc as well?

Firstly welcome!...

Now we get so many posts like yours... please help us (the community) help you and look at the Forum and the Wiki for the information you need first. Don't just jump in and build a complex system... build the Core first and then build (or buy) an MD that meets your needs and has been successfully tested by others... and then add other components.

Build your experience and your testing/questions into smaller less complex questions/posts here. It makes it easier for people to reply and help you...

All the best

Andrew
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United Kingdom

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prosquad

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Re: Rate my first Linux MCE build please
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2009, 06:59:11 pm »
Sorry, i am just really excited about building this and wanted things to go as smooth as possible once i ordered all starting parts.

colinjones

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Re: Rate my first Linux MCE build please
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2009, 10:19:44 pm »
As Andrew says!

Tip: don't go overboard on specs as it isn't necessary. Concentrate on compatibility for a smooth ride. Don't focus on motherboard so much as the video, audio and network chipsets. Go with nVidia for video - low 6xxx and 7xxx series are perfectly fine, in future incarnations there will likely be video acceleration advantages of the 8xxx and 9xxx series, but again, low end is fine. Audio chips like ALC888 is good, look for others that people have confirmed work, but basically you are looking for Linux 2.6.22-14 and ALSA driver support. NICs, generally Intel is good.

prosquad

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Re: Rate my first Linux MCE build please
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2009, 12:21:47 am »
Thanks for the tips, Is there a known place where many users have posted their build specs, and not just the few that are on the wiki? I am currently playing around with various media center distros, i want to end up using Linux MCE for all the extra features that the others are lacking.

patmankn

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Re: Rate my first Linux MCE build please
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2009, 05:49:21 pm »
prosquad,

as the others said, start up with the core. MY personal advice, don't start to fancy, as usually LMCE doesn't work out of the box, when picking modern hardware. for the core, your CPU might be over the edge, RAM... pick some cheap reliable, like Kingston. Be careful with the graphiccard. Keep to advices of the pros like Andre and Thom as these guys now what they are talking about !  ;) *stickingupmyheadsomea..*

Think about using 2 hard drives, a smaller speedy one (160GB, aprox. 30-40USD) and a data drive so you don't have to take much care about your media data when reinstalling (at the beginning, there are usually more than one).

The DiNovo wont work out-of-the box... so better order that on round 2. USB/PS2 works ALWAYS .

And... do NOT forget about the wiki => http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Hardware  and  http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Category:Hardware .

The more you keep to "working" hardware, the more fun you will have with LMCE. BUT... getting stuff working
might be fun as well, keeps feeling your pro-like! ;O)

Enjoy your trip with LMCE...

Patrick
Hybrid: MSI MS-7329,Nvidia 6150 onboard,AMD BE-2400,2gb RAM,Sharp Aqous LE 37X20E via MD Zotoc Ion Synergy,Terratec 1200 & Cinergy DT USB Diversity DVB-T, KNC ONE TV-Station DVB-C,WebDT366,Fiire Chief http://wiki.linuxmce.com/index.php/User:Patmankn