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Thread: HTPC 32bit or possible use for 64bit ?

  1. #1
    Agent of the System ikonia's Avatar
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    HTPC 32bit or possible use for 64bit ?

    as I've tried to point out in other threads, I feel people are picking 64 bit OS for home use for little reason. With this in mind I've been pondering would a 64 bit OS be possible (on paper) a better choice for a HTPC.

    If you ignore compatablity/driver issue and just look at straight functionality I'd guess that 64 bit would be a better choice. I'd assume this due to the processing of the video signal, and the encoding/unencoding and writing to hard disk (assuming you use it to record also) I'm not big on enconding technologies and only understand the basics of this so I did a test I ripped an album to an mp3 formit using lame encryption on the same machine using a 32 and a 64 bit version of the same OS. There is no doubt that the 64 bit version was faster at the encoding ripping the album in just under a minute as opposed to the 1.30 in 32 bit mode. This was just a 1 CD test so not conclusive but more a proof of concept. Now could the 64bit build go faster ? maybe or was the limit of the cd drive reached ?

    So for further tests I decided to to decrypt a DVD then use divX to make an AVI out of it. Now the 64bit cpu really did go to town and ripped the DVD in just 30 minutes compared to the 48 minutes of the 32 bit build. Again there is a possablity this was the limit of the DVD drive. Now encoding....it got interesting here to encode the movie using divx in 32 bit mode took 2.05 minutes the 64bit took just over 1 hour (approx 78 minutes but I took my eye off the ball for a second) which is a stunning improvment and I have to admit much better than I'd have expected.

    These tests are nowhere near conclusive but mearly basic tests to test the water on HTPC use. As I suspected though for general use I found the 64bit build almost exactly the same as the 32bit and in some situations slightly slower.


    Now - if you think of driver compatablity, possible codec bugs etc there is a chance of instablity or incompatabilty.

    now if you give vendors a chance to develop their 64bit software/drivers, based on my simple test results and the theory of 64 bit technology I think this could be a real usable benifit for 64bit computing in the home.

    I'm still not really convinced for desktop use unless your a developer or an artist style power user, however I'm seriouly considering HTPC as a great chance to make use of 64bit.

    Any thoughts or comments ? any one else tried or considered this as a good use for the newer technology.

    I'm certainly going to give it a go as a usable platform for my HTPC assuming I can sort the driver issues out.
    It is Inevitable.....


  2. #2
    Moderator DavidM's Avatar
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    I'd like to see XP MCE X64 myself

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    Cable Guy Jonny M's Avatar
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    I'd be tempted to use an AMD64 purely beacause they don't chuck out a stupid amount of heat (when compared to a Prescott).

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    Agent of the System ikonia's Avatar
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    I was looking for more thoughts on the use of the OS and application layer ontop than the benifits of the physical hardware, although use the 64's are not massive heat mongers.
    It is Inevitable.....


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    Cable Guy Jonny M's Avatar
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    Well until MCE is 64-bit (or you use a Linux distro), you won't see the benefits. Id would be interesting to see if the Media Centre part of MCE 2005 can be run on top of XP x64 though.q

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    Agent of the System ikonia's Avatar
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    well, I ran my tests using a linux distro.

    I'm investigating myth TV in a 64 bit configuration.

    I'm guessing from your comments that you think this could be a benificial use for 64bit technology in the home
    It is Inevitable.....


  7. #7
    Cable Guy Jonny M's Avatar
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    It depends, 64-bit is all well and good, but Intels 32-bit P4s are better at media encoding than A64s.

    Not that either are bad though. If you were buying AMD now you'd be a bit strange to not go for 64 bit.

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    Agent of the System ikonia's Avatar
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    not sure your getting the point I'm trying to suggest caged.
    Lets see if any of the others see where I was going and have comment.
    It is Inevitable.....


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