Need help creating a awesome HTPC setup!! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 12-04-2012, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi AVS!

This is my first time posting on this forum and came here because AVS taught me interesting things in the past and I am looking for some help. I typically play Battlefield 3 using my laptop connected to my HT setup and game on the couch. I have a Samsung LED tv (UN55D6000) hooked up via hdmi to my onkyo ht-rc360 receiver with a 5.1 setup. From there I have it hooked up to my laptop via hdmi as well. I used to game on my Samsung tv and use the video and audio to the receiver, turned off the display of my laptop monitor, and used the laptop as a keyboard. I bought the laptop for out of town gaming and when I played the laptop using the monitor, I realized the significant difference in input lag. Now realizing this I now play at home with the monitor on and just use the 5.1 HT sound and tv off, (obviously because without it, BF3 would suck). This is only when I'm gaming hard on multiplayer and need to input lag.

My delema is that I am planning on building a gaming desktop and don't know how I will set it up. The idea behind this is to use the best graphics at home and the decent graphics for on the road. I used to use a older desktop for gaming on my tv with the same HT setup hooked up hdmi and I know how bad the input lag is for a desktop setup to the tv, so that isn't an option for my tv. I would totally consider getting a new computer monitor for the new desktop, but I want to game on the couch and I wouldn't know where to put it, (unless if there were a cool stand that can be easily removed from a lap or something made for a couch). I doubt there is a way to use my desktop as the main source of power and use my laptop strictly for the keybard and monitor portions hooked up hdmi or something. Or maybe some type of input lag reducing external device to my current tv somehow. Keep in mind with my tv, i have tried puting it in game mode and changing the source name to pc, still noticed too much of a difference. I was also wondering if a certain type of gaming projector would work to maybe help my situation.

Any ideas please!!!
Keep in mind that it needs to have the lowest input lag, able to be viewed on a couch, and able to benefit my 5.1 surround setup. Money isnt much of an issue.

Thanks in advance if you reply!!!
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post #2 of 30 Old 12-05-2012, 09:01 AM
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There's no reason you should be getting noticeable lag to your TV, unless you have an especially laggy display. I wonder if the lag you noticed had more to do with your "older desktop"? I just got a new HTPC last week that I also use for gaming (i5 3750k @ 4.3Ghz, HD7870 @1150Mhz, 8GB RAM). My display is an older LCD set (ca. 2007), but the lag with my PC isn't noticeably better or worse than with a gaming console. And in fact, since I get substantially higher framerates, it probably technically has slightly less overall lag. And I'm sure many folks around here have similar experiences and setups.

Do you know what the latency is supposed to be for your current set?

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post #3 of 30 Old 12-05-2012, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Well the older desktop has the same amount of lag I would think if not worse compared to my laptop to the tv.
Here's a picture of the difference in latency of the monitor and the tv, about 50-70 ms I would say. Now this may not be bad to some, to me I notice it too much. I play BF3 at ultra low graphics to attain the 60 fps that I need to get the most out of my gaming experience which is how I notice this difference.

Now Confidenceman, you mention that you don't notice much lag difference when connecting the laptop to the tv compared to the desktop to the tv. Try it on the monitor. From what I know the tv will output the same amount of video processing for both setups and should take the same amount of time to display the picture , with little difference in lag. I notice that slight mount of lag and now I just can't PC game on my tv anymore frown.gif Not too sure about the latency specifically on the laptop though. Thanks for the response!
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post #4 of 30 Old 12-05-2012, 06:50 PM
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Again, there shouldn't theoretically be a difference. The advantage to monitors over HDTVs is that they don't incorporate a lot of post-processing, they are generally capable of higher resolutions at smaller sizes, and they're cheaper. But if you have a monitor with 4ms of latency and a TV with 4ms of latency and all processing off or in game mode, there should (again, theoretically) be no difference.

There are lots of potential issues you could play with. Could be software related. Could be GPU related. Could be AVR related. Could be display related. And any one of those things has any number of sub-possibilities. That's why many PC gamers just stick to a monitor. It simplifies things enormously and involves a hell of a lot less tinkering. Some also will use a VGA connection (which TVs can't do processing with, so the signal gets left alone), but then you're stuck figuring out how to deal with audio.

You may also have some luck checking in with the folks on the TV subforums on AVS.
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Now Confidenceman, you mention that you don't notice much lag difference when connecting the laptop to the tv compared to the desktop to the tv.
I definitely never said that! I said compared to a console hooked up to the tv, not a laptop. Too many variables in laptops, most of which you can't do anything about.

In any event, I know some die-hard PC gamers refuse to use anything but a monitor. Take that for what it's worth.

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post #5 of 30 Old 12-05-2012, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Well yes there can be many different things that contribute to input lag. But i completely agree with you, and would love to simply buy a monitor. I just don't know of one that well be accessible on the couch like a laptop is. But i'll have to check into the tv subforums. I've looked on here before about my tv input lag before and found some things that slightly reduce the lag but i couldn't find a topic of discussion for my specific model of tv and if anyone else knew how to tweak it to the max. I've also been told that hdmi cord length might have an impact but its about 8ft long and isn't electricity theoretically instantaneous? But what about projectors? Do they have decently low input lag on some of them?
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post #6 of 30 Old 12-05-2012, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Well yes there can be many different things that contribute to input lag. But i completely agree with you, and would love to simply buy a monitor. I just don't know of one that well be accessible on the couch like a laptop is. But i'll have to check into the tv subforums. I've looked on here before about my tv input lag before and found some things that slightly reduce the lag but i couldn't find a topic of discussion for my specific model of tv and if anyone else knew how to tweak it to the max. I've also been told that hdmi cord length might have an impact but its about 8ft long and isn't electricity theoretically instantaneous? But what about projectors? Do they have decently low input lag on some of them?
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post #7 of 30 Old 12-05-2012, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry crappy internet where I'm at right now ^^^^^^^^^
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post #8 of 30 Old 12-05-2012, 11:33 PM
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EDIT: Wait a minute. You're playing online. You realize that no matter how much you minimize lag, you're still going to hit a major wall, right? Not much point shaving off milliseconds in that case. Just do what you can to minimize lag: get a powerful machine, match resolutions and refresh rates to your display, eliminate any middlemen (like an AVR), and go for it.

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post #9 of 30 Old 12-06-2012, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Well what would that major wall be. I know that there is latency from the internet but I'm strictly talking about the latency of the movement of the mouse that shows on the screen. Multiplayer or singleplayer shouldn't make a difference. But I'll try to do what I can. I've been trying to find a laptop style monitor but can't find one.
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post #10 of 30 Old 12-06-2012, 08:16 PM
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Samsung TVs usually have a game or PC mode to get rid of processing.

What is a laptop style monitor?

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post #11 of 30 Old 12-07-2012, 04:11 AM
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In the picture you posted, your TV (against the window) performs better than the display in the foreground by 50-90ms, not the other way around. haha I thought the problem was lag on your TV. The thread probably could have ended right there... rolleyes.gif

I have read that some Onkyo AVRs used to have terrible latency (lag). Have you tried connecting your laptop directly to your TV using HDMI? How about VGA? You could always send the video signal to the TV using VGA and the audio signal to your AVR using HDMI and bypass any video processing lag introduced by the Onkyo. This is easy to do in Windows 7, I've done it with my laptop before.

Using "game mode" on the TV should be sufficient, but make sure all extra processing is turned off. This include things like "active contrast" or "clear motion CMR" or whatever other crap the display may use. Since it is a 120Hz panel, it probably uses some form of "frame creation" or interpolation. Turn that off, too. Also make sure that you have the latest firmware for the TV from Samsung.

Also, I'm confused by your comment:
"I used to use a older desktop for gaming on my tv with the same HT setup hooked up hdmi and I know how bad the input lag is for a desktop setup to the tv, so that isn't an option for my tv."

Desktops and laptops can have equally good or equally poor latency, so I'm not sure where you get the idea that desktops have worse lag than laptops (it's probably the opposite in many cases). If you want the best experience for online gaming, you get an old CRT, turn off all extra processing in the drivers (including VSYNC), and only use a wired ethernet connection (no WiFi).
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post #12 of 30 Old 12-07-2012, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
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YRD

As I mentioned before I have enabled the game mode/PC mode which does reduce the input lag very well. But what I said about a laptop style monitor is maybe some sort of regular computer monitor that can be placed on your lap without having the keyboard base and other computer parts......just something that might be out there that would be useful in this situation that could possibly be available.

NATHAN

The picture that I posted shows that when the clock starts on my laptop,(bottom display) it takes my tv 50-90ms to process the image. So at the time the picture is taken, the tv,( top display) will have a lower number in seconds because the image was lagged so much on my tv.

And I have tried connecting my hdmi directly to my tv bypassing the AVR and i still noticed a difference. I tried a lot of these methods a while ago so I'll have to try them again to see these differences of input lag. But I haven't tried using VGA to the tv yet, I'll try that and use hdmi for the audio to the avr. And I don't think you can somehow not use the video signal of hdmi and only use the audio signal right? If you could it would seem that my graphics card wouldn't have to work as hard to output a video display to my monitor AND tv with an audio output to the tv as well, because hdmi has to send both audio and video if I'm not mistaken. Not sure what you meant on how the setup is easy to do on Win 7 though.

And yes back to the tv settings when I use it I do have each setting possible turned off with game mode on. I'm just not sure about the resolution which is "screen fit" right now. But I haven't updated my tv's firmware in a while thanks for reminding me!!

The comment that I mentioned was that I had connected my older desktop via hdmi to my avr and noticed about the same amount of lag compared to hooking up my laptop via hdmi to my avr. And I will also try different settings in the graphics card to see if it changes anything. And I game pretty hard when I got the chance soooo.....rule 1) of hardcore gaming losers 101....Never use Wifi!!!! lol!




Thanks for the feedback guys!
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post #13 of 30 Old 12-09-2012, 11:39 AM
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I'm 99% certain there's nothing like what you describe. What you describe is basically a laptop shell with the only functional part being the monitor. I can't see any company even making a device like that because there would be almost no market for this.

I would suggest a regular monitor with a wall or desk mounted arm. I'm using a desk mounted dual monitor arm for 2 monitors on my PC. You can move the monitor in any direction, 360 degrees. But I'm also using a desk. They don't make couch mounted arms...

Check out ergotron they have desk mounts, wall mounts, carts, stands, probably the only types of things that are going to fit the type of idea you're trying to complete.


I don't think it's possible to send only audio through HDMI.

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post #14 of 30 Old 12-10-2012, 11:06 AM
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First, I have to give you props for being so hardcore. Playing a game, let a alone an FPS from your couch, using the laptop screen, just so you can get some 5.1 goodness.....awesome. Extreme lengths to nirvana are always excellent payoffs, at least I think so.


About your problem, I don't think you have gaming lag. I checked on your Samsung TV (UN55D6000) and noticed some people complaining about lag but what they were really experiencing was the 240hz smooth motion effect. I ran into this myself on a couple of my TVs with PC gaming, try turning off motion blur or smooth motion. I don't have a Samsung so I don't know the menu name.
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post #15 of 30 Old 12-10-2012, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
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YRD

Thanks for the response! Ya I figured that there wouldnt be a laptop type monitor just would work for my anal case, (not that ....that's gross). And thanks I checked out that link you posted it was a little pricey though. I went to a awesome computer parts store called memory express not sure if its anywhere else in canada or the states other than alberta. And I explained my delema and they suggested to just build a couch mount my self with some pvc pipe and buy a 30 dollar bracket and build it myself!!!

I didnt think that you could send a audio only signal but thanks for verifying.

TASKMAN

Haha thanks for noticing I take my gaming quite seriously. I was used to xbox and was hardcore into that and loved gaming on the couch with 5.1 and loved it and got converted to pc last year. So I can never leave 5.1!!

Anyway yes I am aware of the motion smoothing thing but I turned that off. I don't even think that they are accessible when game mode is on. But when motion plus is on it will lag even worse.... o well I think ill build a mount myself somehow.

But I bought some awesome computer parts for the start of my own xmas gift for myself build!!!!!
That's right boys and girls! I bought a msi gtx 680 4gb graphics card. A intel i5 3570k processor bundled with an asus P8z77 motherboard. And a corsair hx850 power supply for a future expansion of another 680 msI!!!!
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post #16 of 30 Old 12-10-2012, 08:28 PM
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If you're that handy, yeah build it yourself. I could never build something that I would be happy with in that type of situation. I would not use PVC pipe personally. There's a lot of weight to a monitor and I think that would be a little flimsy.

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post #17 of 30 Old 12-10-2012, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
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True.....what would you recommend? Maybe some sort of metal conduit?
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post #18 of 30 Old 12-11-2012, 09:49 AM
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Yeah metal piping of some sort. Or something made of metal.

If you do make this thing, you better document it and post pictures here smile.gif

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post #19 of 30 Old 12-11-2012, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Hell ya man!! It'll be Awesome!!!! Its nice to see there are others as hardcore as I am. I bought this case www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119239&nm_mc=TEMC-RMA-Approvel&cm_mmc=TEMC-RMA-Approvel-_-Content-_-text-_-
This ssd www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211597
And this ram
www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231528

I plan on posting pictures when I build this thing hopefully when I have time just after xmas!
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post #20 of 30 Old 12-12-2012, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkoppel1 View Post

But I bought some awesome computer parts for the start of my own xmas gift for myself build!!!!!
That's right boys and girls! I bought a msi gtx 680 4gb graphics card. A intel i5 3570k processor bundled with an asus P8z77 motherboard. And a corsair hx850 power supply for a future expansion of another 680 msI!!!!

Awesome, I just upgraded my primary gaming rig from a Q6600 machine to a new 3570K machine and difference was dramatic even using the same GPU (GTX 470), but it was extreme after adding a GTX 670. Now I can play any game at 1920x1200 @ 96Hz with V-sync and max settings on my FW900. I couldn't be happier... unless I had a GTX680. LOL

Sorry about the brain-fart earlier, I completely believed that you were reading the lag test incorrectly. redface.gif

It's disappointing that the TV has such dramatic lag. Have you tried connecting to the TV using VGA and sending audio to the Onkyo using HDMI yet? For some reason I recall that many TVs bypass all processing when using VGA...
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post #21 of 30 Old 12-12-2012, 01:59 PM
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I have the older HAF case. I wish they made an aluminum version. Since they started making aluminum cases that HAF case was the first one I bought that was made of steel. I like the huge 200mm fans, but I just don't like steel cases. My case's front panel developed a short or something and plugging in USB cables shuts the PC down.

I switched back to an aluminum case, bought a Lian-Li, which I love. Just wish I could use those 200mm fans.

I regret not buying their ATCS 840 case, which is the closest style, all aluminum case Cooler Master made. It was just so expensive. Somewhere around $250. $200 is my limit when it comes to computer cases. They really should not cost more than that.

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post #22 of 30 Old 12-12-2012, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I think I found a solution to my problem!!
http://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/mainstays-laptop-cart/142255?collectionName=More+Featured+Items&fromCollectionPage=false
This is a rolling laptop stand. I plan on putting my monitor (maybe strapping it down or something) on top. Having the wheels hopefully go underneath my couch so that I can move the stand closer to me when I am sitting on the couch, and with the one leg that is uniquely off to the side I can have my feet up on the table.

Nathan

I'm interested on what you mentioned about the performance leap from your old processor to the new one. Processors aren't typically going to make a huge impact in gaming performance,(assuming gaming) but I never just swapped a processor by its self before. But yes I went with the 680 4gb......wanted to properly make this an amazing gaming rig and I'm so stoked to put everything together. Here is the monitor I plan on buying maybe after xmas.
http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/MX30594
Should be perfect for my rig I would think, and it should handle the low input lag that makes me want to snap my own neck.

But yeah no problem I understand. When I first tried to take the screen shots I was confused at first and had to think about it.

But the tvs lag is too much compared to the monitor. And it's funny you mentioned vga because I did try it out recently and it was good but not great. But it's kind of a disgrace to have such an awesome tv connected with a yucky vga lol. So I said screw it I'll just get an effin monitor already lol. But your right, vga does not use any processing like a monitor.

Yrd

What's the big deal about aluminum, thermal capacity? I don't know, I'm buying a full tower with decent room 4 tower fans and a msi twin frozr which should total everything up to being nice and cool I hope. Well see. But I only ended up paying 189 on newegg for that case...pretty good I think.
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post #23 of 30 Old 12-12-2012, 08:18 PM
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It's lighter and cooler. Being lighter isn't a huge deal, but when I do pick it up I want it as light as possible. It's just a personal preference of mine. I only use aluminum cases.


I'm tempted to buy this HTPC case from Lian-Li right now. It's $132 at newegg. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112330

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post #24 of 30 Old 12-13-2012, 03:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkoppel1 View Post

Nathan
I'm interested on what you mentioned about the performance leap from your old processor to the new one. Processors aren't typically going to make a huge impact in gaming performance,(assuming gaming) but I never just swapped a processor by its self before. But yes I went with the 680 4gb......wanted to properly make this an amazing gaming rig and I'm so stoked to put everything together.

To reiterate, I went from a Core 2 Quad Q6600 system (overclocked to 3.2GHz) to a Core i5-3570K system (not overclocked yet), so I also got a new motherboard and RAM because the new processor is three generations newer than the old one. I used the same SSD and GPU and case and power supply and everything else after the upgrade. Processors can make a massive impact, depending upon the application. In most games I tested, peak fps doubled, average fps were about 30-60% higher, but the most dramatic improvement was the elimination of fps dips - often seen as stuttering. The whole experience was just smoother. Obviously not ALL of that can be the result of just the CPU - the newer RAM and motherboard features are also part of the equation. All that is using the same GTX 470.

The upgrade to the GTX 670 widens the gap much, much further... biggrin.gif
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post #25 of 30 Old 12-13-2012, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
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That's good guys!! I just know that the i5 3570k is on top on the benchmarks for gaming and the next cpu higher is an expensive i7 which is only slightly better. Can't wait for my parts to finally come in and I can finally build this beast. So excited!!! I'll let you guys know how this whole thing works out in the end.
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post #26 of 30 Old 12-14-2012, 05:27 PM
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I have a question, if your going to this level of effort why not just replace the TV with one that is known to not have lag or get crazy and go projector? I game on 120" with my Epson 8500UB....zero lag. PS3, Xbox, HTPC, all going through an AVR like yours. Much bigger cost though.
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post #27 of 30 Old 12-14-2012, 10:43 PM
 
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"zero lag"

It's a modern digital display. It has lag. It may be in the perfectly acceptable sub-33ms range, but saying that it has "zero lag" is simply disingenuous.
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post #28 of 30 Old 12-15-2012, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darklordjames View Post

"zero lag"
It's a modern digital display. It has lag. It may be in the perfectly acceptable sub-33ms range, but saying that it has "zero lag" is simply disingenuous.

True, but I think anyone reading that post would take it as there being no perception of lag. Lag itself is often expressed as a negative and general perception outside of industry/professional, especially in gaming which was the context. By me saying "zero lag", I don't think anyone is going to believe I am inferring 0 MS and I have not only discovered FTL but I threw in an Einstein Rosen bridge because light is too slow traveling 20 FT.
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post #29 of 30 Old 12-15-2012, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bkoppel1 View Post

That's good guys!! I just know that the i5 3570k is on top on the benchmarks for gaming and the next cpu higher is an expensive i7 which is only slightly better. Can't wait for my parts to finally come in and I can finally build this beast. So excited!!! I'll let you guys know how this whole thing works out in the end.

Awesome choice. Your also right about the i7, its a question of taking advantage of hyperthreading and quite a few games are still limiting the number of cores they will use. The i5 3570K is an excellent alternative. One heads up though is that the K means its unlocked for overclocking which I think you know. While that's great, Intel felt the need to then strip features from the chip that it puts in the locked i5 3570. Mostly virtual and remote management support, you can see a comparison here: http://ark.intel.com. Just an FYI in case that's important.
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post #30 of 30 Old 12-15-2012, 02:12 PM
 
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"By me saying "zero lag", I don't think anyone is going to believe I am inferring 0 MS and I have not only discovered FTL but I threw in an Einstein Rosen bridge because light is too slow traveling 20 FT."

How about instead of the sarcastic reply, you give the gentleman information that is useful. You want to brag about your display? Then give him a number in milliseconds that your display lags. If you don't know that number right now, off the top of your head, then your initial statement of "zero lag" becomes even more laughable.
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