Through having 3 mediacenter rigs stinger, I can tell you that theyre not power hungry nor prone to overheat... You can indeed build a standup MCE rig with some old kit and get away with at a much reduced cost. My main MCE rig is run on a pentium D dual core(yes an intel
) that I pickedout of a derelict workstation pc. Im stuck with intel in that instance as shuttle dont make their pretty SD cases with an AMD option...
by the way... if you need some (windows based) MCE advice, feel free to poke my brain here, or all our brains at www.thegreenbutton.com
Theres a lot that can be achieved, but a bit of tinkeriing to be done. Also some very important codec considerations if you plan to use an x64 platform...
If you are planning to use ubuntu media center....good luck !!
Here are my rigs(from my sig elsewhere, though the specs have been changed a little...)
2 are 24/7 mediacenter rigs, and the sn27p2 is a gaming rig, using vista mediacenter on a secnd display for music and videos mainly. It now has a x2 6000 in it, and the Bedroom mce ad its grfx card downgraded to a lowly 6200TC and still works a treat.