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Thread: HTPC - Movies, Basic Gaming & Emulation

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    HTPC - Movies, Basic Gaming & Emulation

    Hello all,

    I tried this last week but I really messed up the post (sorry). I'm looking to build a new HTPC capable of playing HD content. Looking at CAT-THE-FIFTHs spec posted on these forums I thought this to be the best:

    http://freeimagehosting.net/image.php?6ce5462da3.png

    ASUS M3A78-EM 780G Socket AM2+ onboard graphics 8 channel audio mATX Motherboard

    AMD Athlon X2 5050e Socket AM2 45W Energy Efficient Retail Boxed Processor

    Maxtor STM3160813AS 160GB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 8MB Cache - OEM

    OCZ 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800Mhz/PC2-6400 GOLD XTC Memory Kit CL5(5-5-5-18)

    Shiny Black/Silver Slim ATX/MATX Case - No PSU

    CIT 480W Dual 12V Rail PSU - 12cm Fan - 20+4pin 2x SATA



    I went for the small hard drive because I already have a NAS with plenty of storage.
    I am looking to play HD content, play some old emulation (up to n64) and play one game (Counter Strike Source).

    I just have a few queries.

    1. Do you guys think this will suffice for my needs stated above?

    2. As the case is a slim ATX case I presume it can take full size GFX cards, could you suggest a reasonably priced card that would be better than the onboard graphics (for CS:S).

    3. Could you suggest any media remote controls?

    4. Anyone know where I can get a USB to N64 adapter (in the UK)?
    (It just wouldn’t be the same on a normal joypad )
    Last edited by TrentConstantin; 22-04-2009 at 01:27 PM.

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    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: HTPC - Movies, Basic Gaming & Emulation

    I would change the PSU definitely!!

    I would get one of the following:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/350W-...ATA-80plus-Eff

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=876036

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=876036

    You should be eligible for free postage at Scan after 20 posts.

    I would change the hard drive to the following:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/128708

    I prefer the following case:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/129891

    The onboard graphics should be fine for older games.

    This is the cheapest graphics card I would go for:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/151454

    It is basically a downclocked HD4670.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: HTPC - Movies, Basic Gaming & Emulation

    Ditch the 5050e and get an Athlon X2 7750 BE from Scan - currently less than £50 which is unbelievable value! It's much faster than the 5050e *and* your onboard graphics will get a boost from using HT3 instead of HT1 (approx 20% quicker @ 1024 x 768) - so it makes *everything* faster

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    Re: HTPC - Movies, Basic Gaming & Emulation

    Remote wise, not cheap, but the Gyration media remote is pretty excellent. I have had one for a few months now and find it excellent to use.

    I have 4gb ram in my HTPC, and only run 32 bit at present, with 512mb being swallowed up by the ram for the on board graphics card. It works just fine for all HD content, be it from disk or stored on the HD.

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    Re: HTPC - Movies, Basic Gaming & Emulation

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post

    -I would change the PSU definitely!!

    -You should be eligible for free postage at Scan after 20 posts.


    -It is basically a downclocked HD4670.
    Sorry I can't quote links yet.

    How do you rate PSUs? I mean what makes a good PSU, just brand ergo known for quality?

    The Athlon X2 7750 BE, well worth the small price difference I take it?

    As for the Gyration media remote, £60 sounds a bit steep to me. Wouldn't I be better off getting a tuner with a remote?

    Also with 4GB wouldn’t you have to be at 64bit in order for all 4GB to be utilised or am I imagining that. Thought 32bit caps at... 3.2GB? I could be very wrong (quite likely).

    Anyways, thanks for the prompt responses, much appreciated .

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    Re: HTPC - Movies, Basic Gaming & Emulation

    The 7750 BE is a stronger perfomer but the 5050e is a nice low power chip..

    4GB will still run in dual channel which offers some gains, 3.2GB will be useful for multitasking as well.

    Just trust us on power supplies There are many good brands, I generally stick to seasonic or seasonic based corsairs, enermax, or OCZ. I would also get be quiet! these days.

    This is what I would buy for yorurs anyway
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showpr...23&subcat=1098
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/152509

    touch more expensive than CATs but modular which is great for small cases.

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    Re: HTPC - Movies, Basic Gaming & Emulation

    Quote Originally Posted by TrentConstantin View Post

    As for the Gyration media remote, £60 sounds a bit steep to me. Wouldn't I be better off getting a tuner with a remote?
    It does sound quite steep doesnt it, but when you have used one with a media centre you'll wonder how you ever managed without it, the air mouse functionality is superb.

    See review here :-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJfS3p4uDoI

    The review is for the whole kaboodle though which includes nifty little keyboard too, I paid £80 all in a few months ago. Which given the price of buying a new decent keyboard and mouse too anyway made it seem much more reasonable.
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    Re: HTPC - Movies, Basic Gaming & Emulation

    You don't need 4GB memory for a HTPC. I just made a Vista HTPC for my mother with 1GB memory (plus Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-D2SH with Intel E5200 DC Pentium in an Antec NSK-2480) and the onboard graphics plays 1080p and blu-ray discs awesomely, as well as Team Fortress 2 extremely well. In terms of electricity, the whole thing uses about 45 watts. Very cool and quiet, aside from when the Pioneer BD-ROM drive is reading audio CDs.

    I'd say that 2GB memory at most would give a lot of wiggle room.

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    Re: HTPC - Movies, Basic Gaming & Emulation

    May be a stupid question but won't the size of the TV affact how well it handles HD / gaming?

    It's only 37" so doubt it'll make a huge impact, also would I be stuck with certain resolutions using a HD TV (old cheap one at that).

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    Re: HTPC - Movies, Basic Gaming & Emulation

    7750 BE vs 5050e: the 5050e is basically a 5000+ with lower power draw (but identical performance). The 7750 BE matches a 6000+ performance-wise, so that's what AMD think of the relative performance - 20&#37; better! On the other hand, fully loaded a 7750 BE will pull 95W, whereas a 5050e will only pull 45W - and that's a massive difference on an HTPC-type platform. So, if your gaming will be very occasional and you'll mostly be watching DVDs / BDs, get the 5050e to save the electricity bill a lot - if you plan to game quite a bit, then it's probably worth getting the 7750.

    The size of the TV won't matter half as much as the resolution. a 37" TV could just as easily have a native resolution of 1366x768 as 1920x1080! The former will probably be rated as 720p compatible, the latter as 1080p. If it *just* says HD compatible, it's probably 720p but you're better off checking!

    The integrated graphics on a 780G board will easily cope with DVD / BD playback at any resolution, but will struggle with gaming at anything higher than 720p. If your TV is an *OLD* HD TV then it's probably only 720p anyway, but you should probably check that. Even if your TV has a higher resolution, you can always set your games to play at a lower resolution - it won't look *quite* as good but you're never going to get ultra-quality in games from integrated graphics anyway - if you could ATI and NVidia wouldn't be able to charge &#163;100s for the latest graphics cards, would they

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    Re: HTPC - Movies, Basic Gaming & Emulation

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    7750 BE vs 5050e: the 5050e is basically a 5000+ with lower power draw (but identical performance). The 7750 BE matches a 6000+ performance-wise, so that's what AMD think of the relative performance - 20% better! On the other hand, fully loaded a 7750 BE will pull 95W, whereas a 5050e will only pull 45W - and that's a massive difference on an HTPC-type platform. So, if your gaming will be very occasional and you'll mostly be watching DVDs / BDs, get the 5050e to save the electricity bill a lot - if you plan to game quite a bit, then it's probably worth getting the 7750.

    The size of the TV won't matter half as much as the resolution. a 37" TV could just as easily have a native resolution of 1366x768 as 1920x1080! The former will probably be rated as 720p compatible, the latter as 1080p. If it *just* says HD compatible, it's probably 720p but you're better off checking!

    The integrated graphics on a 780G board will easily cope with DVD / BD playback at any resolution, but will struggle with gaming at anything higher than 720p. If your TV is an *OLD* HD TV then it's probably only 720p anyway, but you should probably check that. Even if your TV has a higher resolution, you can always set your games to play at a lower resolution - it won't look *quite* as good but you're never going to get ultra-quality in games from integrated graphics anyway - if you could ATI and NVidia wouldn't be able to charge £100s for the latest graphics cards, would they
    Yeah I know for a fact it's 720p, knew that when I bought it... I'm umm frugal... not cheap....

    Thanks for the info. Think I'll go for the 7750 BE as I play CS:S quite a bit (yes I hate myself for it.)

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