The most demanding thing I plan on doing with it is recording one FreeviewHD channel while watching another recorded HD video / DVD. No fancy games. Will use Vista Media Center and/or Media Portal (I know that VMC wont work with FreeviewHD).
I've read a lot of the posts on this website and others, so I'm pretty sure my proposed system (see details in my signature below) is pretty close to being 'right', but I still have a few questions I haven't found answers to:
(1) HDDs: one or two?
* When recording TV while also playing back a video I'm thinking I would get better system performance by dedicating one HDD to recording and one to storage/playback (rather than having one HDD that does everything).
* However I've seen no one recommending this... is that because the performance benefit is negligible?
(note: I'm not thinking RAID here, just two drives)
(2) CPU: fast dual-core or slow quad-core?
* The fastest dual-core CPUs are about the same price as the slowest quad-cores...
* Which am I best to go with? (I guess this boils down to a question of how effectively Vista Media Center / Media Portal use multiple cores)
(3) Software: Media Portal (MP) / Vista Media Center (VMC)
* I understand many people have problems with MP and the analogue side of Hauppauge HVR-2200 TV tuners; if I only use the digital part of the HVR-2200, is MP quite stable/reliable/well-behaved?
* I may well tinker with both VMC and MP until I settle on a favourite - is there any issue with having both installed on the same PC?
(4) Remote control: Microsoft MCE remote + iMon IR receiver + VMC/MP
* I'm planning on getting a Microsoft MCE remote and a case with a built-in iMon IR receiver, and I'd prefer not to use the IR receiver that comes with the MCE remote if possible (less clutter)
* Will the MCE remote be *fully* functional with the iMon IR receiver in VMC? in MP?
(5) Anything else about my proposed system that concerns you???
* I had considered a silent version of the graphics card, but was scared off by many reviews reporting overheating, and it taking up two of my scarce expansion slots
* Also considered USB wireless to free up a PCI slot, but after past issues with USB network devices, decided to stick with PCI.
Thanks in advance for your advice, and apologies if these questions have already been addressed in other threads.