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Chapter 25. Hardware Features and Option... > Media Center PCs: What's the Differe...

Media Center PCs: What's the Difference?

Because all Media Center PCs are running the same operating system software, and all have essentially equivalent hardware features for audio and video capture and playback, one could reasonably ask, “What's the difference?”

In some respects, the differences are subtle, a matter of a few gigahertz of processor speed, megabytes of memory, or gigabytes of hard drive space. These internal differences cannot be seen or felt until the system is up and operating. A good rule of thumb is to buy as much as you can reasonably afford—as much processor, memory, and storage capacity. The more powerful the system, the happier you will ultimately be with its performance. However, as in all things, moderation is also a virtue. Don't spend more than makes sense to you for the application you have in mind, which in this case is probably watching TV while running some routine desktop productivity applications—not splitting the atom or modeling the genome.


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