HTPC Switching... Again

My bedroom HTPC is back up and running, with my wife singing its praises. We have a 56" DLP in the living room and she wants to watch her shows on the 19" LCD monitor setup in there. But whatever the wife wants, the wife gets, right? The issue came down to using Boxee vs. XBMC, and using Vista vs. Linux vs. XP. In the end, XP and XBMC won out. The first machine I started with was a 3GHz single-core HT P4 with 2GB RAM and a 128MB nVidia card. It started as a Vista machine, but the license I was using was betrothed to the machine in the living room. After two weeks it just crapped out with limited processor, black desktop, and annoying prompts that I may be a victim of software counterfeiting. After that I installed the latest Ubuntu, 10.04. Aside from the annoying left-side close buttons, it didn't work too bad... until XMBC or Boxee started up. The machine just went to a crawl and took forever to bring back from a coma. So I built up a machine in my office with XP on a regular 3GHz P4, 1GB PC-2700, and a 128MB ATI card initially. By all accounts this machine should be slower, but it wasn't. In fact, it worked great with XBMC (and to a lesser extent, Boxee), sped through menus and connected with my phone just fine. The only problem it had was when playing video. The video was white! To fix this, I replaced the video card with a 256MB ATI (why not upgrade when troubleshooting, after all?) and presto chango, the machine was back in business. So now my bedroom media center is wireless, runs everything but the pure HD content (MKV's at 720p or 1080p), and integrates awesomely with the iPhone apps. It works so well, in fact, that the wife hasn't complained one bit since having the bedroom HTPC back!
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