I am building a roll-your-own TiVo clone with PC parts–some people call this type of setup an HTPC (Home Theater Personal Computer). Please do not tell me that this is a stupid idea, and that I should just buy a stock TiVo. I am resigned to my hobby project. Half of the fun is building it myself.
I intend to buy (or salvage) most of my parts from well behind today’s bleeding edge (or from my extensive hardware graveyard), for cost reasons. However, I don’t want to unknowingly introduce a performance bottleneck by purchasing (for example) a 5400RPM hard drive, or a motherboard that only supports ATA-33.
My question(s) then:
- What component in a modern PC is most likely to be the bottleneck,
- What speed (MB/s or MHz) does that bottleneck limit me to, and
- Accepting that limitation, how ancient can my other components be and still measure up?