Upgrade or new build?

Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by samurai dave, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. samurai dave

    samurai dave
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    Hi there,

    I am back once again to this fantastic place to ask for more advice.

    I have an acer idea 510 that is fully functioning but could do with an upgrade. Windows xp and the media center is no longer updating the epg and the whole thing is quite slow.

    I have seen the thread on here about upgrading the cpu and graphics card but I am struggling to find an economical way of doing this. I have windows 7 ready to put on it but wonder if it just better to build a new system.

    Can I use the case of the acer and just insert another motherboard, cpu, ram, hard disk and keep the optical drive and the tv tuners wi fi and power suply from my existing machine?

    I dont have a massive budget, could stretch to £450. I only want to watch and record tv, manage and listen to my extensive mp3 collection via a marantz amp and do general browsing duties on my tv.

    Help because all of the options are scrambling my brain.

    Thanks in advance.

    Dave
     
  2. tony_park

    tony_park
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    Hi Dave,

    I think you'll struggle to get a new motherboard in there, and keep the existing tuners etc working. It looks like Acer created a nice entertainment centre, but with very limited upgradability.

    If you do insert a new motherboard etc, you will more than likely not be able to use the scart sockets, the wifi antennae may not connect, the audio ports look like they are hardwired to the motherboard etc.

    Personally, I think I would start again from scratch - it may just be too many problems. Although, I guess you could give it a try, and if you find problems, then buy a new case after trying it.

    Depending on the new setup, you may need a new power supply.


    HTH
     
  3. samurai dave

    samurai dave
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    "Xenon 100a" AMD Trinity A4-5300 3.4GHz Dual Core Home PC Bundle £112.99
    (£94.16) £112.99
    (£94.16)







    [​IMG]
    Silverstone Grandia GD05 Desktop HTPC Case - Black (SST-GD05B USB3.0) £79.99
    (£66.66) £79.99
    (£66.66) [​IMG]
    Pioneer BDC-207DBK 8x BluRay ROM / DVDRW SATA-II Optical Drive - Black (OEM) £49.99
    (£41.66) £49.99
    (£41.66) [​IMG]
    Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM 1TB SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache - OEM (ST1000DM003) HDD £49.99
    (£41.66) £49.99
    (£41.66) [​IMG]
    BeQuiet Pure Power L7 430W '80 Plus' Power Supply £43.99
    (£36.66) £43.99
    (£36.66) [​IMG]
    TP-Link 300Mbps Wireless N PCI Express Adapter (TL-WN881ND)

    Thanks very much for the reply, kind of confirmed my thoughts.

    How does the setup above look? I dont want toset the world on fire just watch films and general pvr duties. Will the tv tuners from my acer fit or should I just get all new components?

    Thanks once again.

    Dave
     
  4. tony_park

    tony_park
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  5. samurai dave

    samurai dave
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    Thanks for your reply,

    So if add that to my system along with a dual dvb tuner will that do the job? Are the components that I have selected going to work with one another? I am a bit of a noob at this and appreciate all advice and guidance.

    Thanks once again.

    Dave
     
  6. spyder viewer

    spyder viewer
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    I agree with Tony_Park that an ssd would make it slicker and you only need 50-60gb for a HTPC and it will also work perfectly ok without it.

    The other bits will work fine: the mobo has got hdmi so interfacing to your tv/sound system will be easy. I have the same WLAN card in my system so I can vouch that streaming iplayer works flawlessly (assuming your internet download is fast enough). That hard drive will store ~500 hours of tv easlily. Not sure if the mobo is usb3 but if it is, adding extra external storage will be a doddle.

    You will need W7HP if you are planning to use WMC (I do).

    Not sure what type of tv cards are in the Acer.

    Hope you realise that's quite a big case.
     
  7. samurai dave

    samurai dave
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    Thanks for you advice,

    I think that if I put in a ssd for the operating system that should do the job. I am on a tight budget and the motherboard does not support usb 3 so I can tell but there will be a hard drive bay free so I can always install another one if needed at a later date. My only concern is that the memory might foul on the cpu cooler but I have emailed overclockers about that and they should help me out I am sure.

    Once I have the parts I will put up some pics and my experiences building my htpc.

    Thanks once again for your help guys, rather than floundering around in the dark I am now just a little better informed. Mind you what is it they say about a 'liitle knowledge'?

    Dave
     
  8. steford

    steford
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    If budget is tight I'd lose the SSD. I have 2 1TB drives - one for OS/downloads/Dropbox and network shares, 1 for TV. I reboot once every 3 months say. Unless you are rebooting often there's not a huge advantage once booted IMHO.
     
  9. samurai dave

    samurai dave
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    Ok so I have placed my order, now the waiting game.

    In the meen time a question; if I use mediaportal can I use my htpc as a server and listen to music stored on it, movies or the tv from its tuners at other locations in my house. Both on an android tablet/ smart phone and also a laptop running linux mint?

    Thanks once again for the guidance.

    Dave
     
  10. samurai dave

    samurai dave
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    Hi,

    So all of the hardware is together and working how it should. Windows 7 installed and everything is hunky dory, that is untill I tried to setup mediaportal. What a headache.

    My ir remote did not work, but I used my smart phone to do those duties so no problem there.
    However once the system would go to sleep and start again there would be no sound, then there is the epg setup which I am finding troublesome. I have searched on the mediaportal forum but the amount of posts about things makes actually finding things quite difficult.

    I think that I will give wmc a go for a bit as I dont have much hair left and the wife is starting to loose patience with the whole project.

    What software do you guys use? I have read the poll but am keen on advice.

    Dave
     
  11. Rambles

    Rambles
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    Hi Dave,

    I use MediaPortal, it can be a little bit fiddly to set up, but it is (IMO) MUCH better than WMC in terms of being an all round media player as well as a PVR with very advanced cataloguing abilities for all of your media.

    I would recommend using either XMLTV and / or WebEPG (I use both). XMLTV with the Radio Times Grabber gives about 12 days of really good quality data, WebEPG can fill in any gaps, such as for the Radio Stations that 'Radio' Times doesn't carry.

    The issues with your remote and no sound waking from sleep sound like hardware issues, and would likely be the same with any software you use. What remote do you have, I use the Windows Media Center remote on all three of my MediaPortal machines, with no issues. And the sound may well be an HDMI handshake issue.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
  12. robbo100

    robbo100
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    Have you followed the setup guide sticky on this forum for EPG setup?
     
  13. spyder viewer

    spyder viewer
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    If WMC meets all your needs, set-up is simple.
    I lost the will to live setting up MP!

    The only maintenance needed with W7MC is to load any updates to the OS.
    Works with all remotes I've bought. Not saying it's never stalled, but a hardware re-start usually solves everything. I suspect it is very WF but I'm not getting another just to confirm it for you.
     

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