HD HTPC - What CPU/IGP combo? - Intel, AMD or Nvidia? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-29-2008, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
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No budget. No gaming. All HD formats. What's best?
  1. G45 + Intel CPU
  2. AMD 780G or AMD 790GX + AMD CPU
  3. Nvidia 8200 or 8300 + AMD CPU

What specific motherboard and CPU would you recommend?

Due to cooling and space constraints the CPU TDP must not be higher than 65W. Thus for Intel it's either an E8400 (3.0Ghz) or an E8500 (3.16Ghz). For AMD it's either the Phenom X4 9350e (2.0Ghz) or some 65W Athlon X2.

All HD formats will be played (including x264, h264, MPEG2 and VC-1 codecs, Blu-Ray and MKV containers and 720p, 1080i and 1080p formats, etc). The HD HTPC output will vary, currently we're using a 720p projector, this may very well be upgraded to 1080p in the future.

Audio will be outputted digitally. While 8 channel LPCM, TrueHD and DTS-HD is nice, it's not required. The ability to digitally output the non-HD DTS and Dolby Digital formats is a must however.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-29-2008, 06:39 PM
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I'm currently a fan of the AMD 4850e 45watt cpu, and AMD780G mobo, i've built 5 systems now with that combo and all 5 are running flawlessly. Plays back 1080p HD perfectly.

haven't really heard much or read much on the 790GX yet so can't comment on that.

- Josh
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-29-2008, 07:10 PM
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my 8200 is a mixed bag

powerDVD is good, TMT not so good.

HDMI audio works most of the time.

But there isn't anything else you can build for the same price that will have HDMI audio. I would seriously consider the G45 + intel once people start really playing with it.

The HDMI was a biggie for me, otherwise I'd go 780g in a heartbeat (and with the no HDMI audio, no reason to wait for the 780gx)

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post #4 of 9 Old 07-29-2008, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx View Post

I'm currently a fan of the AMD 4850e 45watt cpu, and AMD780G mobo, i've built 5 systems now with that combo and all 5 are running flawlessly. Plays back 1080p HD perfectly.

haven't really heard much or read much on the 790GX yet so can't comment on that.

- Josh

I am glad to hear your success story. May I ask what OS are you running? I am still on XP. Also how is the picture quality for 1080i material? I heard in this forum 780g may have problem de-interlace 1080i video (the best de-interlace mode, vector adaptive, will not be available).
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-30-2008, 07:27 AM
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I too would think twice about choosing a 8200 platform. It has been a pretty big disappointment to me so far. I wish I'd bought a GA-MA78GPM-DS2H board instead.

Peter
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-30-2008, 07:46 AM
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I'm currently recommending 8200 mobo with a fast, low power X2 e.g. 5200.
This is for people who are not too concerned about lossless sound, bitstreaming etc., with DD/DTS being good enough for now.
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post #7 of 9 Old 07-30-2008, 07:53 AM
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If you don't care about 6/8 channel LPCM over HDMI, get an AMD 780G board such as the GA-MA78GPM-DS2H. I built one for my sister, and it works great.

I you want 6/8 channel LPCM over HDMI, I would keep an eye on the G45 threads for a few weeks and see what problems people are having. Also, read the 8200/8300 threads. Alternatively, get an ATI 4850 now, or wait a couple months for the 4650. I hear that the 4850 outputs a lot of heat, so you might want to wait if you want an ATI solution with 6/8 channel LPCM.

-Dave
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-30-2008, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cychou View Post

I am glad to hear your success story. May I ask what OS are you running? I am still on XP. Also how is the picture quality for 1080i material? I heard in this forum 780g may have problem de-interlace 1080i video (the best de-interlace mode, vector adaptive, will not be available).

All the systems I setup are running Vista Ultimate. The PQ is fantastic, I am using the PowerDVD8 Mpeg2 decoder within Media Center, the HD content I play back is a variety of OTA ATSC HD, via the locals so 720p and 1080i HD, as well as mkv, h.264 HD and finally HD DVD and Blu ray HD, plays back any HD I throw at it just fine, and looks great.

- Josh
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-30-2008, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
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First of all, getting a discrete graphics would be a really bad idea at this point as the case is an mCubed HFX mini (incredibly tight and fanless case). Not to mention getting a high-end one.

Ignoring all cost differences and keeping in mind there will be no gaming, would the GA-MA78GM-S2H route allow for a lower power HTPC than going with Intel's G45 board DG45ID at this point?

I think that's what it's all about, really. Either of these solutions should be able to play any 720p, 1080i and 1080p HD material with ease when coupled with a half-decent CPU (like an Intel E8500 or AMD AX2 5400+ or Phenom X2 9350e or something?), don't you think?
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