Would you consider my HTPC needs "Basic" ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-20-2012, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I ask this question becuase I want to start putting the pieces together and I want to make sure that I do spend extra money for processing power that I will never use. While my budget is around $600 coming under this amount with the most efficient system for my needs will be extremely gratifying.

Here are the things that I will need the HTPC to do now and in the not so distant future.

*TV tuning and recording up to 4 shows at one time. I plan to replace the 2 cable boxes that I currently rent from Verizon. At no time in the next 2 years can I see more than 2 TVs (one using the HTPC and the other using the XBOX as an extender) in use at the same time. I do believe that this may require perhaps a little more than the often quoted 4g of ram??? It may be possible that there might be a situation through the use of PLEX, additional android devices might access the system while the two tvs are in use.

I do plan to use XBMC or Media Brower

* I also have a moderate size blu ray collections and tons of DVDs that eventually I would like to burn into my hard drive. So There will be days when I am buring and watching TV at the same time.

* I DO NOT plan to do any gaming period with one caveat. I would love to revisit my youth and play some of the old NES or Super NES games on the HTPC if those plugins are availalble.

*There will Never be any need for the HTPC to play any 3D content.

*I would like to build a NAS/media server within 12 months if this HTPC build goes ok.

*For what its worth and it may not be worth anything at all, the HTPC will be plugged in directly to my 2012 receiver. Therefore, I will use the receiver to do all the audio work,

The above for the most part is what I will and or plan to do with my HTPC in the near future. Would this be considered a "basic" HTPC? If it is, then I will purchase the pentium G645 for $60 and use the savings on a quieter PSU or larger SSD drive. However for those who know far more than me, Is there a variable that I may have overlooked that would warrant me spending the additional $30 on a Sandy Bridge i3 2120. Lastly at the risk of sounding overbearing, if your answer contains something in the lines of " you really wouldn't notice the difference," regardless of what aspect your describing, void of gaming, I would like to know how you came to that decision.

Best
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-20-2012, 11:08 PM
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I wouldn't burn and do something else on the system; the disc may be a dud.

I'd get an i3 3220, simply because recording 4 shows needs quite a bit of grunt. As for emulator gaming, an i3 will also allow you to emulate the PSX with higher settings (filtering mostly) then a G540. Bottom line, a G540 is for a playback system. The more things you do above that you should get an i3.

Also, when I had a few tabs open and was installing 40 updates during my first update for my HTPC, the G540 hit 80+ CPU usage more often than I'd like. I'd lean towards the new Ivy Bridge i3.
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-20-2012, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback, but just to make sure we are talking about the same CPU, I was thinking about purchasing the the G645 and not the G540 as you noted. Not sure if there's a difference, but just want make sure we are comparing apples to apples.

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post #4 of 11 Old 10-21-2012, 12:00 AM
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Less than 5% difference. I faced the same dilemma with my office box, I went for Ivy i3. This office box will last at least 5yrs before I bother upgrading so an i3 is the better move. You'd also want a HTPC to be flexible and last and last, so an i3 is it.
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-21-2012, 04:22 PM
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I'm using a G620 with 4 OTA HD tuners & can record 4 programs at the same time while playing back a different previously recorded program using WMC7. The CPU usage fluctuates between 7% and 17%. IOW no problem. I am using a cheap HD 6450 video card & am not sure how much load that takes off the CPU, however that should only affect playback. But if I'm not playing anything that means recording 4 HD programs should still see 7% to 17% CPU usage.
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-12-2012, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Question. Does the CPU affect the speed/response time when you switch channels? Moreover is there any lag when multiple viewing of the tuner occurs?
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-12-2012, 12:53 PM
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Prob not.

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-13-2012, 09:29 AM
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I wasn't aware that you can use XBOX as an extender with XBMC. I thought it was strictly a WMC extender.

If you want to stay under $600, go with:

AMD Athlon X2, X3, or X4 either one of which can be found for under $50
AMD 760 or 780 mobo (integrated ATI 4200 video card) for under $50
4-8 Gb of RAM for under $50
CableCard tuner either Ceton with 4 tuners for $170, Silicon Dust Home Run Prime with 3 tuner for $100, or Hauppauge with 2 Tuners for $100
1Tb hard drive for $50
Case w/PSU for under $50
Remote for under $20

And here you have an HTPC for under $450.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stamina1914 View Post

I ask this question becuase I want to start putting the pieces together and I want to make sure that I do spend extra money for processing power that I will never use. While my budget is around $600 coming under this amount with the most efficient system for my needs will be extremely gratifying.
Here are the things that I will need the HTPC to do now and in the not so distant future.
*TV tuning and recording up to 4 shows at one time. I plan to replace the 2 cable boxes that I currently rent from Verizon. At no time in the next 2 years can I see more than 2 TVs (one using the HTPC and the other using the XBOX as an extender) in use at the same time. I do believe that this may require perhaps a little more than the often quoted 4g of ram??? It may be possible that there might be a situation through the use of PLEX, additional android devices might access the system while the two tvs are in use.
I do plan to use XBMC or Media Brower
* I also have a moderate size blu ray collections and tons of DVDs that eventually I would like to burn into my hard drive. So There will be days when I am buring and watching TV at the same time.
* I DO NOT plan to do any gaming period with one caveat. I would love to revisit my youth and play some of the old NES or Super NES games on the HTPC if those plugins are availalble.
*There will Never be any need for the HTPC to play any 3D content.
*I would like to build a NAS/media server within 12 months if this HTPC build goes ok.
*For what its worth and it may not be worth anything at all, the HTPC will be plugged in directly to my 2012 receiver. Therefore, I will use the receiver to do all the audio work,
The above for the most part is what I will and or plan to do with my HTPC in the near future. Would this be considered a "basic" HTPC? If it is, then I will purchase the pentium G645 for $60 and use the savings on a quieter PSU or larger SSD drive. However for those who know far more than me, Is there a variable that I may have overlooked that would warrant me spending the additional $30 on a Sandy Bridge i3 2120. Lastly at the risk of sounding overbearing, if your answer contains something in the lines of " you really wouldn't notice the difference," regardless of what aspect your describing, void of gaming, I would like to know how you came to that decision.
Best

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-13-2012, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

I wouldn't burn and do something else on the system; the disc may be a dud.
I'd get an i3 3220, simply because recording 4 shows needs quite a bit of grunt. As for emulator gaming, an i3 will also allow you to emulate the PSX with higher settings (filtering mostly) then a G540. Bottom line, a G540 is for a playback system. The more things you do above that you should get an i3.
Also, when I had a few tabs open and was installing 40 updates during my first update for my HTPC, the G540 hit 80+ CPU usage more often than I'd like. I'd lean towards the new Ivy Bridge i3.
A HTPC needs very little "grunt" when recording because there's little or no processing involved. A G540 is perfectly fine for DVR-only use and should be able to record four or more channels simultaneously without breaking a sweat. Installing 40 updates would tax any CPU. An i3 3220 is complete overkill for a HTPC unless you're using it as a gaming machine.
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post #10 of 11 Old 11-13-2012, 08:16 PM
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There's nothing wrong with grabbing a 80$ to $110 i3 over a $55 to$85 pentium CPU.

All are good choices and seldom do people complain about having too much power

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post #11 of 11 Old 11-13-2012, 10:09 PM
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$600 is actually quite a large budget. I built a pretty high end system for less than that: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1428437/new-3225-build-need-to-order-by-midnight-tomorrow/0_40. I would have used a bit less of a motherboard, but NewEgg had 8GB free RAM with that one, so subtract $42 for the RAM and add $100 for a hard drive, $30 keyboard/mouse, $60 SSD and $100 WinDohs. Would have been $578 if I didn't recycle a keyboard, HD, SSD and windows license. The 3225 uses HD4000 graphics which is powerful enough to support 4k graphics when it comes around. Of course, I already have a HDHR Prime tuner.
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