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Thread: Yawn! Another HTPC spec

  1. #1
    CK1
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    Yawn! Another HTPC spec

    I am looking to replace the inards of my current HTPC and have come up with the following based on a recent CustomPC article.

    Gigabyte GA-P31-DS3L iP31 £40.86
    OCZ 2GB Kit (2x1GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 CL 4-4-4-15 PLATINUM XTC £32.00
    Intel Pentium Dual Core E2180 2GHz Socket 775 800MHz FSB L2 1MB £44.22
    Sapphire HD 3450 256MB DDR2 VGA DVI TV Out PCI-E Graphics Card £24.09
    Zalman CNPS7500-CU LED Socket 478, 775, AM2, 754, 939 & 940 CPU Cooler £24.59

    Cart total inc vat: £165.76

    I already have the following

    Silverstone LC16B-MR Black Desktop
    Xilence XP480-12R Power 480W Quiet PSU
    Netgear PCI WG311TGE Adapter 108Mbp
    Samsung SH-S202N/BEBN 20x DVD±R
    Samsung Spinpoint 250GB HDD
    Keysonic KB-ACK-540RF v2 Notebook
    Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000 USB2 Web

    I mainly use this PC webcaming the in-laws in South Africa and streaming movies from my PC upstairs. I want to be able to play hi def stuff, i.e. 1080p and want to know if the system will cope OK. My old system manages 720p OK but really struggles with 1080p.

    If the CPU manages to do all of this without a problem then I am not to bothered about overclocking it as my main priority is to keep the noise down, hence the passively cooled video card.

    Please let me know your thoughts

    Regards

  2. #2
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Yawn! Another HTPC spec

    What about going AMD, you could get a 780G mobo like this abit
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=845045

    and this 2.3Ghz X2 45w
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=807039
    (the 2.5 is in stock but £48)

    That motherboard has essentially the same HD3450 as it's IGP providing massive IGP power (most powerful of any board yet) and can also (if the drivers are out) run a standard HD3450/3470 in hybrid crossfire meaning you can add one in later for a bit more gfx power if need be.

    But the point is, £5 extra on the motherboard and you save another £20 forgetting the graphics card

    The CPU is more than powerful enough, SPCR underclock these AMD's on these boards and still runs high def no problem, a testiment to the IGP.

    Also if you go for the scythe ninja mini, you could run it passive or if it does struggle (which I doubt) with a very slow spinning 80/92mm fan and it will provide ample cooling.

  3. #3
    CK1
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    Re: Yawn! Another HTPC spec

    I had thought about going down the AMD route but as my main PC is Intel (e6600) I thought this one should be as well so that if I ever had a problem I could swap bits out easily which would help with troubleshooting.

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    Re: Yawn! Another HTPC spec

    This may be a worthy compromise. Granted, it's not as powerful as the 780G, but it'll do for a HTPC.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    SiM
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    Re: Yawn! Another HTPC spec

    I am using a £25 945 chipset board for my htpc... does everything perfectly... but I did have a hdmi graphics card already for it... I would get teh cheapest one that has onboard hdmi

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    Re: Yawn! Another HTPC spec

    Except Intel IGPs have no codec helpers worth speaking of. That's why I meantioned the above.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

  7. #7
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Yawn! Another HTPC spec

    yeah I'd be tempted with the ATi if you are relying on the IGP otherwise SIM's choice would obviously be very cost effective.

  8. #8
    SiM
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    Re: Yawn! Another HTPC spec

    I don't think hardware acceleration is needed anymore... my E2200 can do all forms of HD decoding with software only... its nice to have - but it can be skipped for budget builds imo

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    Re: Yawn! Another HTPC spec

    decrypting, demuxing, decoding, and post-processing 1080p video streams works on an E2200 purely in software at full framerate while recording 2x720p streams in the background from FreeSat?.. Hardware acceleration is still important IMHO.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
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  10. #10
    SiM
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    Re: Yawn! Another HTPC spec

    If you are doing all of that at the same time, then you need a quad core (or maybe two!) as well as hardware acceleration

    But for the standard user, for a HTPC that just plays back HD, its not needed afaik... of course there will be hardcore users that need something more

    I managed to cope with playing 1080p at full frame rate/resolution with deblocking using CoreAVC with my single core A64

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    Re: Yawn! Another HTPC spec

    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    This may be a worthy compromise. Granted, it's not as powerful as the 780G, but it'll do for a HTPC.
    The problem with this mobo (Abit Fatal1ty F-I90HD) is that it is not HDCP. Therefore if I ever install a blu-ray player it will not play properly.

    With a discrete ATI 3450 this shouldn't be a problem.

    However, does the HDMI output on this mobo carry the sound? if so is there an internal connection from the sound card to the gfx card?

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    Re: Yawn! Another HTPC spec

    Quote Originally Posted by CK1 View Post
    The problem with this mobo (Abit Fatal1ty F-I90HD) is that it is not HDCP. Therefore if I ever install a blu-ray player it will not play properly.
    Who told you that load of nonsense?

    Quote Originally Posted by CK1 View Post
    However, does the HDMI output on this mobo carry the sound? if so is there an internal connection from the sound card to the gfx card?
    Yes, there's an internal interconnect between the northbridge and the audio chip.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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