The New HTPC Is Up And Running

As part of the hardware refresh I’m working on, I’ve replaced the Mac Mini that I’ve been using with a custom built Sandy Bridge based box. The XBMC forums were a great source of information on what would work and what I needed. I had to change up their recommendations slightly because my receiver does not have HDMI ports, so bitstreaming audio was out. I saved some money because I already had a hard drive and a Blu-Ray drive, so that that into account if you’re pricing this out. The hardware arrived yesterday, and after I finished my school work I started assembling. It was all put together and ready for an OS install before I turned in. I finished it off this evening and got XBMC installed. The numbers are impressive. It’s quiet and powerful, with VC-1 Blu Ray rips playing without a problem. That was something the Mini struggled with because if its lack of hardware acceleration for anything except h.264. Now the Mini will get rebuilt and become my desktop/server, and an Air will be coming home to be the traveling machine.

Here’s the list of the hardware I used in the build: