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post #31 of 52 Old 01-27-2012, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I have an LGA775 Core2 Duo system with SSD and it's perfectly usable for any PC task.

It's more than capable.

It's pleasantly quick actually.

Just this week I put a 120gb Mushkin SSD in that old Pentium D Optiplex SFF I use as a secondary htpc. I thought that might be a bit ridiculous before I did it, but now I know I was mistaken to think that, and that old thing is going to keep right on doing what it does better than ever. Well worth it. And a lot cheaper than building a new computer for a spot that I really don't use all that often.

It's really quite good. The case is small, it looks ok, it's quiet, produces a great picture and perfect sound with a 5450 video card, and now it boots up quickly and runs just fine. I don't store media on it so the SSD is the only drive. It's hooked up to a Yamaha AVR and an old Pioneer Elite plasma HDTV. Use it mainly when working out, and to watch sports when my wife has comandeered the main setup.

I don't see any reason why I can't keep right on using it for a couple more years or longer. That will certainly be the longest tenure of any pc I've ever owned. In fact, it probably already holds that distinction at 6years+.
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post #32 of 52 Old 01-27-2012, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

Just this week I put a 120gb Mushkin SSD in that old Pentium D Optiplex SFF I use as a secondary htpc. I thought that might be a bit ridiculous before I did it, but now I know I was mistaken to think that, and that old thing is going to keep right on doing what it does better than ever. Well worth it. And a lot cheaper than building a new computer for a spot that I really don't use all that often.

It's really quite good. The case is small, it looks ok, it's quiet, produces a great picture and perfect sound with a 5450 video card, and now it boots up quickly and runs just fine. I don't store media on it so the SSD is the only drive. It's hooked up to a Yamaha AVR and an old Pioneer Elite plasma HDTV. Use it mainly when working out, and to watch sports when my wife has comandeered the main setup.

I don't see any reason why I can't keep right on using it for a couple more years or longer. That will certainly be the longest tenure of any pc I've ever owned. In fact, it probably already holds that distinction at 6years+.

yup I hear you.

My old build is an E8500 Core2 Duo on Asus Maximus Board. I have it OC-ed at 4ghz. With the 120GB SSD it still rips. It's my normal office PC. It totally owns Excel, Word, and PDF's.

I do lots of documents and scanning. My office co-workers laugh at me, with my enthusiast case and such... lol. It's all inside an ThermalTake Armor 10 bay full tower- with neon lights and clear side case. not exactly a typical office PC. I just built a new PC for home and moved the old PC to office duties.


But,

I might have you beat. One of my inside sales people is using the PC I built before the LGA775. IT IS A SOCKET 939 ATHLON X2 3800 !!!

I just put an SSD into that. That also totally owns office duties. He runs dual monitors. It still has a pair of 250GB WD drives in RAID0. I just converted them to storage. Those 250GB WD's used to run the OS. It's quite old. I built it when the 3800 X2 939 CPU hit the market. That is on an Asus A8n-SLI deluxe with an OC-ed VisionTek 3870 X2 card. It's a monster. He loves that it doubles as a heater !!!! It's all inside a old aluminum LI LAN case. Glad my electricity is included in the office rent... haha.

Your right. SSD can bring new life to old PC's.

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post #33 of 52 Old 01-27-2012, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

yup I hear you.

My old build is an E8500 Core2 Duo on Asus Maximus Board. I have it OC-ed at 4ghz. With the 120GB SSD it still rips. It's my normal office PC. It totally owns Excel, Word, and PDF's.

I do lots of documents and scanning. My office co-workers laugh at me, with my enthusiast case and such... lol. It's all inside an ThermalTake Armor 10 bay full tower- with neon lights and clear side case. not exactly a typical office PC. I just built a new PC for home and moved the old PC to office duties.


But,

I might have you beat. One of my inside sales people is using the PC I built before the LGA775. IT IS A SOCKET 939 ATHLON X2 3800 !!!

I just put an SSD into that. That also totally owns office duties. He runs dual monitors. It still has a pair of 250GB WD drives in RAID0. I just converted them to storage. Those 250GB WD's used to run the OS. It's quite old. I built it when the 3800 X2 939 CPU hit the market. That is on an Asus A8n-SLI deluxe with an OC-ed VisionTek 3870 X2 card. It's a monster. He loves that it doubles as a heater !!!! It's all inside a old aluminum LI LAN case. Glad my electricity is included in the office rent... haha.

Your right. SSD can bring new life to old PC's.

My one disappointment was my old laptop. I have a Pansonic Toughbook W4 that was my work traveling laptop for several years, and it was a GREAT laptop. Best I've ever found. It's long since been replaced by a Vaio Z Series, but I still use the W4 occassionally around the house. It's as small as a new netbook and a heck of a lot better, but it is slow by today's standards, with a 1.2ghz Pentium M. It was an "ultrabook" long before there were ultrabooks - a 2.8 lb full fledged laptop with a 12" screen including an optical drive with 5 hour battery life in a magnesium alloy case, over 6 years ago, and for that at the time it was nearly $3000. But it travelled everywhere without missing a beat. It really was a great product.

So I thought I could really speed it up with an SSD and make it more usable. Had a new 128gb Samsung 470 in hand, opened up the case, and voila, not only is it an IDE interface but it's a 3.3v drive. Oh well.



I love where they put the optical drive:

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post #34 of 52 Old 01-27-2012, 04:08 PM
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lol.

I was just going to suggest you place the SSD in the optical bay...

But you edited your post and added the pictures.

nevermind that suggestion.

hahaha..

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post #35 of 52 Old 01-27-2012, 07:01 PM
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I totally agree about the capabilities of the old chips. I still have a P4 with hyperthreading that runs reasonably quick. The dual cores and core 2 duos are more than up for anything.

Depending on where you live though, it might be cheaper to upgrade to a G530 or G620 due to their power savings. I hooked up all my machines to a kill a watt and calculated that my G530 and G620 machines save $70 a year over my P4 machine when run 24/7 like my server and htpc are. Oh and the other bonus is my office isn't 10 degrees warmer than the rest of my house anymore
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post #36 of 52 Old 01-28-2012, 04:50 AM
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There is a lot of advice on here to go with less than a core i5 processor which makes sense for HTPC. You stated that this will be a general purpose PC though so I think the core i5 is the performance/price sweet spot right now. You don't seem to be super concerned about price so I would just go with it. For general purpose I would probably go two sticks of 4 gig ram for a total of 8 gigs since its so cheap right now, spend a little more and you might get an extra year or so of use before its obsolete.

P.S. Pure HTPC recommendation

core i3 4 gigs of ram

or

Llano a4/a6 with 4 gigs of ram

w/ Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D PSU
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post #37 of 52 Old 01-28-2012, 07:37 AM
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I think he said it was not just a HTPC... but a total workhorse PC that see's heavy usage from all sorts of tasks.

In that case the 2500k is the perfect CPU. Best value and performance around.

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post #38 of 52 Old 01-28-2012, 08:01 AM
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An i5-2500 is a heavy duty cpu. The tasks that he listed out won't benefit from an i5. Unless you are doing extremely CPU intensive tasks like video encoding all it will be doing is generating some extra heat. Even for gaming it has been shown that a new GPU is more important than upgrading the CPU. I bet most folks wouldn't even notice the difference between a G620 and an i5, let alone between a i3 and an i5.

I'd venture to say that most folks don't need anything more powerful than a G620.
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post #39 of 52 Old 01-28-2012, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by packetlosss View Post

An i5-2500 is a heavy duty cpu. The tasks that he listed out won't benefit from an i5. Unless you are doing extremely CPU intensive tasks like video encoding all it will be doing is generating some extra heat. Even for gaming it has been shown that a new GPU is more important than upgrading the CPU. I bet most folks wouldn't even notice the difference between a G620 and an i5, let alone between a i3 and an i5.

I'd venture to say that most folks don't need anything more powerful than a G620.

really, can you say that two years from now? I don't think a $180 processor is unreasonable for a desktop computer.
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post #40 of 52 Old 01-28-2012, 03:09 PM
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really, can you say that two years from now? I don't think a $180 processor is unreasonable for a desktop computer.

It's not just about price. Even if you had 100K to spend on a machine, there is no reason to get an i5 if all you will be doing are office apps, browsing and an as an HTPC. If a G530 or i3 does the job just fine (perfectly fine actually) and does so giving off less heat, thereby requiring slower fans = less noise, then why get the i5?

I can guarantee that in 2 years a G530 or i3 would not be outdated. Ivy Bridge still hasn't come out and it will only bring a 6% speed improvement and slightly better power consumption. Likewise, I doubt M$ will be comming out with a new version of Office that requires more machine than today. Hell, I can run office 2010 perfectly fine on a P4 machine.

I'm not saying an i5-2500K is bad. I have one in my gaming rig and it's much better than previous generation quads in terms of power consumption and heat. In my HTPC however, I have a G530 and for most tasks you will not notice a difference between that and the i5.
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post #41 of 52 Old 01-28-2012, 05:38 PM
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really, can you say that two years from now? I don't think a $180 processor is unreasonable for a desktop computer.

Unreasonable? No. Unnecessary? Probably? And that's from someone who used a 2500k in a new desktop for his wife, and is getting ready to build another desktop using either a 2500k or a 2400. But I know perfectly well that any i3 would have been more than enough for a general purpose PC. And it wouldn't be obsolete any faster than the i5. Except for games, hardware has far outpaced the demands of software for several years now, and that's not likely to change anytime soon. The prices of the SB cpus just makes it tempting and easy to overbuy.
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post #42 of 52 Old 01-28-2012, 05:40 PM
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i3 2100 at $99 (Microcenter) is perhaps the best buy in all of CPUs.

Awesome CPU for that price. Way more than you need for typical home/family PC usage.
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post #43 of 52 Old 01-28-2012, 05:46 PM
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i3 2100 at $99 (Microcenter) is perhaps the best buy in all of CPUs.

Awesome CPU for that price. Way more than you need for typical home/family PC usage.

Their price of $119 for an i3-2125 might even be better, and $39 for a G530 might be best of all.
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post #44 of 52 Old 01-28-2012, 05:49 PM
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Their price of $119 for an i3-2125 might even be better, and $39 for a G530 might be best of all.

True.
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post #45 of 52 Old 01-28-2012, 06:03 PM
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I've never found any single build that is "it does it all perfectly". I'm currently using an i7-2600K+6770, 16GB RAM, and store everything against a 22TB WHS.

Why you chose the components you do matters a lot in comparison to what you are trying to do. My WMC is primarily a WMC. However, I find that while I store a lot of BDs in full MKV (uncompressed) there are times I want to recompress a BD, because it's something I may not watch as often. The difference between the time it takes for me to do that on a 2600K vs. doing it on a I3 is significant.

My MCE handles 2 Ceton Tuners. I can easily, with no hiccups, re-compress a BD in the background while I'm recording several shows. I don't worry about disc stumbles, etc.

Those things wouldn't be possible on a G530, etc.

The best advice anyone can give you is this (and I've said this repeatedly) find out how much money you want to spend, and then get the best combination of components you can reasonably afford. Take a lot of factors into consideration: what you'll do with it, what kind of video quality you expect from it, and what you'll ask of it on a routine basis.

The question about "more then 4GB of RAM doesn't matter" is bogus. Each of my MCE extenders grab about a gig of memory. x264 encoder will grab as much as I want to throw at it, and the more I have the less disc thrashing I've got.. etc. RAM right now is crazy cheap. 16GB ran me $70 at Microcenter. So, why not? I stocked up on HDDs before they went through the roof and people said "why buy all those 2TB" yeah, sure paid off now, didn't it? Those 2TB I bought last summer at $71 seems like a crazy good deal now

So, it depends on what tasks you have in mind. If you're sporting a plan of extenders + more then six tuners, the more "oomph" you have helps. Plan on recoding titles? Helps. Hell, even the time if you automate MCTVConverter to manage your DVR recordings..

You can shoot the moon and spend to the ceiling, or you can grab at the floor and spend cheap. And there are a lot of benefits in both strategies. Nothing is really wrong with a G530 or an i3 build; lots of people love it.

It's the same reason why some people will buy an Oppo bluray player vs. a $130 Sony BD player. They both play BDs. Once just costs more.. for certain benefits. So, you always have to ask if the juice is worth the squeeze
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post #46 of 52 Old 01-28-2012, 06:14 PM
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Extenders need 2GB per extender and 1 CPU core per extender.

So if you want 3 extenders or more you need a i5 quad core and 8GB+ RAM.
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post #47 of 52 Old 01-28-2012, 08:40 PM
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Extenders need 2GB per extender and 1 CPU core per extender.

So if you want 3 extenders or more you need a i5 quad core and 8GB+ RAM.

Good point. Again, it's largely about what all purposes you want to use the machine for and what your budget is.

I recognize that a lot of people like the GT430, I just wouldn't use it; it seems stupid for me to use something that has an HQV of around 140 when I can get something at a near price point over 200. The small expense is worth it to me.

This is really where you have to just budget your money and figure out what in the end your goal is. If I was viewing on different equipment with different expectations, my goal might be very different. No one really knows except for the end user.

For me, with 2 extenders, 2 cetons + some analogs (11 tuners), and a large library, I wanted as large as I could go. Since all my equipment is in a rack in a different room, I don't physically see it/interact with it that often, so it doesn't matter to me on the cosmetic end as much. If I were more worried about the cosmetics, I would definitely value a more livingroom friendly looking box, instead of using a generic 4U rackmount case.

This is where each person has to really evaluate what their purpose is - what's the goal - and what's the budget. I think assassin's baselines are fantastic way for people who are getting started, but find out for yourself what your proposed task is, and do it.

FYI, now that RipBot supports distributed encoding (1.17) which FYI is damn cool, I'm going to run some tests tonight and see if I can bring some other boxes into the fold on some encoding. If that were to work out, then yes, the pressure for fast front end on my MC would drop.
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post #48 of 52 Old 01-28-2012, 08:43 PM
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I think assassin's baselines are fantastic way for people who are getting started, but find out for yourself what your proposed task is, and do it.

Totally agree. Which is why I specifically named my sticky thread Simple/Beginner's guide to HTPC to drive that point home.
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post #49 of 52 Old 01-28-2012, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow...again, great info and very helpful discussion - thank you.

I do plan for the computer to do a lot more than just htpc, and I'm wanting to try and do it right the first time (highly subjective, I know), and while my budget is not boundless and I don't want to throw my money away on truly useless expenses, I'm also not especially constrained either. I had set myself a hardware budget while trying to optimize everything I wanted to get in it (or out of it), and my proposed build is - I think - within striking distance.

I'm just trying to accommodate as many of my pc wants as possible, including my HT wants -- such as fluid playback of full BD-ISO and BD-MKV at highest quality, along with multiple tuners, multiple extenders, and the ability to maybe increase/upgrade down the road.

I am a newbie in the strict sense of this all being fairly new to me, but I've been doing an awful lot of research and am a quick study and I'm not wishing to stay a beginner as such. I try not to run before I can walk, which is why I posted the build and have sought advice from folks. But the second walking seems easy, I do try to run just as fast as my legs will take me... So to speak. After all, the worst case scenario is that I waste money and my wife gets angry with me -- its not like skiing or mountain climbing, where advancing too quickly will get me injured or killed. ;-)

One technical question, earlier in the thread someone mentioned that getting a more powerful psu than I need is problematic in terms of the heat it'll generate. I'm wondering though, is this such a huge problem? A powerful PSU will still output the same 12v regardless of the load (up to the maximum it can handle), right? Having a higher wattage PSU only means that it can output higher amperage at these given voltage values (Watts = Volts x Amps), and the more amps it is capable of outputting, the more hardware it is capable of running. I get that it might be a waste of money both in purchasing and in efficiency, but does an 80PLUS Gold PSU with a load-controlled 140mm fan really pose an excessive heat risk? Further, the case I've suggested allows for good air flow and the psu is fully modular, allowing for greater cable management which also aids air flow.
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post #50 of 52 Old 01-28-2012, 10:45 PM
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Yeah I have that case for my gaming rig, definitely no heat build up at all.
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post #51 of 52 Old 01-29-2012, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

yup I hear you.

My old build is an E8500 Core2 Duo on Asus Maximus Board. I have it OC-ed at 4ghz. With the 120GB SSD it still rips. It's my normal office PC. It totally owns Excel, Word, and PDF's.

I do lots of documents and scanning. My office co-workers laugh at me, with my enthusiast case and such... lol. It's all inside an ThermalTake Armor 10 bay full tower- with neon lights and clear side case. not exactly a typical office PC. I just built a new PC for home and moved the old PC to office duties.


But,

I might have you beat. One of my inside sales people is using the PC I built before the LGA775. IT IS A SOCKET 939 ATHLON X2 3800 !!!

I just put an SSD into that. That also totally owns office duties. He runs dual monitors. It still has a pair of 250GB WD drives in RAID0. I just converted them to storage. Those 250GB WD's used to run the OS. It's quite old. I built it when the 3800 X2 939 CPU hit the market. That is on an Asus A8n-SLI deluxe with an OC-ed VisionTek 3870 X2 card. It's a monster. He loves that it doubles as a heater !!!! It's all inside a old aluminum LI LAN case. Glad my electricity is included in the office rent... haha.

Your right. SSD can bring new life to old PC's.

LOL...

My main HTPC is an E7200 core2 duo...

It has an Asus P5Q mobo, 4Gig RAM and a 500G sata HDD...
I inserted an NVIDIA GTX460 in November 2010 for 3D and HDMI 1.4 support and I can tell you it is still going as strong as ever...

Reducing power consumption might be the only reason to consider making changes, but then, the HTPC is only powered on when I (as in me only) want to enjoy HD audio and MadVR... Wifey and son don't give a hoot and can't be bothered about all that...
Both are completely happy using the DLNA client on the TVs...

You definitely don't want to underestimate the old builds...
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post #52 of 52 Old 01-29-2012, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

My one disappointment was my old laptop. I have a Pansonic Toughbook W4 that was my work traveling laptop for several years, and it was a GREAT laptop. Best I've ever found. It's long since been replaced by a Vaio Z Series, but I still use the W4 occassionally around the house. It's as small as a new netbook and a heck of a lot better, but it is slow by today's standards, with a 1.2ghz Pentium M. It was an "ultrabook" long before there were ultrabooks - a 2.8 lb full fledged laptop with a 12" screen including an optical drive with 5 hour battery life in a magnesium alloy case, over 6 years ago, and for that at the time it was nearly $3000. But it travelled everywhere without missing a beat. It really was a great product.

So I thought I could really speed it up with an SSD and make it more usable. Had a new 128gb Samsung 470 in hand, opened up the case, and voila, not only is it an IDE interface but it's a 3.3v drive. Oh well.



I love where they put the optical drive:









http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...-bay,3102.html










http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...-bay,3102.html

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