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post #1 of 13 Old 01-15-2013, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Everyone

I was kicking around the idea of upgrading our HTPC. I decided to keep what I had last fall but now it is having more problems. It is time to do upgrade the cpu/motherboard.

Well for Black Friday I found a really great deal on a core i3 2550. Now the price is double what this deal was. So I have been watching and I don't see much of a change in pricing. Is there any time of the year that is better than others for deals. I know BF has some good deals but do we think better pricing might be coming soon? I thought maybe with CES that pricing might get better?

Should I wait or should I just buy now? Right now Microcenter seems to be the best place for cpu/mb combo pricing.

Thx

Scott Wood
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-15-2013, 09:51 AM
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What do you have and what are the problems? Maybe it can be improved for little or no cost.

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post #3 of 13 Old 01-15-2013, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
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It is an old 6150 motherboard from 7 years ago. The drivers were upgraded and the system just don't seem to be able to keep up with much anymore. The video freezes, catches up and then does it again. Sometimes the HD just keeps getting access but I don't see why.

Given the age and the fact that I want more control on overscan I think it is time to upgrade.

Thx

Scott Wood
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-15-2013, 12:55 PM
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Time to update. I'd go with an A8 but set up price alerts at camelcamelcamel and camelegg as well as slickdeals for the items you want. Basically you want to get it all within a month or two.

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post #5 of 13 Old 01-15-2013, 01:01 PM
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Is it just a HTPC? The 2550 is an I5 IIRC, which is overkill for just a HTPC. If price is a concern, get a motherboard that supports i7/i5/i3 as well as a Pentium and Celeron. Get something like the Celeron G620T which is usually more than enough for a strictly HTPC. Then upgrade if it's not enough and/or when you find the processor you want at the right price. Memory, mobo, and proc should set you back under $200 easily unless you have something specific hardware wise you need.
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-15-2013, 01:36 PM
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i3 3225. All you need for a HTPC/office box. An i5 or i7 is only useful for heavy duty encoding/rendering/gaming. AMD's APU's are slower CPU wise and suck more juice.
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-15-2013, 01:54 PM
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AMD has the best on-board video processing right now. If you go intel and want better video you will have to add a discrete card which means more heat and more energy use.

And I'm an intel guy. Always have been. So I have a discrete card in my system.

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post #8 of 13 Old 01-15-2013, 02:43 PM
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As for price, Microcenter always has the best pricing on CPU/Mobo. They sell their boxed processors less than MSRP from release to undercut competitors and bring you into the store. They hope to return that with a bunch of high margin sales on peripherals, software, etc

They'll have even better pricing the month before Haswell releases. The G645 gill be ridiculously low priced when the ivy bridge variants finally replace it, but at $50 it's already a easy to find and hard to beat deal for an HTPC if you're not looking for quicksync or 3d
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-16-2013, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

AMD has the best on-board video processing right now. If you go intel and want better video you will have to add a discrete card which means more heat and more energy use.

And I'm an intel guy. Always have been. So I have a discrete card in my system.
I've gone both ways but my last few builds have all been Intel. I'm currently using an i3 3225 IVB CPU and I've been considering going with a discrete graphics card. Problem is, all of the recommended builds are based on integrated GPUs so I'm not sure what's good in the standalone graphics card arena these days for HTPC use. I definitely need something that supports HD audio pass-thru via HDMI. Any recommendations?
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-16-2013, 01:13 PM
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I believe the GTX 660 is the one you need for full use of MadVR. I have the GT-430 and it works for most settings.

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post #11 of 13 Old 01-16-2013, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

I've gone both ways but my last few builds have all been Intel. I'm currently using an i3 3225 IVB CPU and I've been considering going with a discrete graphics card. Problem is, all of the recommended builds are based on integrated GPUs so I'm not sure what's good in the standalone graphics card arena these days for HTPC use. I definitely need something that supports HD audio pass-thru via HDMI. Any recommendations?

Why is the 3225 not working for you? I thougth this was a pretty high end GPU in this one?

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post #12 of 13 Old 01-17-2013, 03:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottwood2 View Post

Why is the 3225 not working for you? I thougth this was a pretty high end GPU in this one?
I never said it wasn't working for me. I'm just exploring my options. OTOH, if you read some of the posts by Renethx he doesn't seem all that impressed with it compared to a discrete GPU.
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I believe the GTX 660 is the one you need for full use of MadVR. I have the GT-430 and it works for most settings.
I have to confess that I've never used MadVR, but I've been thinking about it. I've seen the guide for setting it up with MPC-HC here and on Assassin's blog. I've been using XBMC for mkv playback with HD audio so I've been reluctant to switch. I used to use Media Browser but uninstalled it when I switched to XBMC. What do you use in your setup? Is there a better guide for setting up MadVR than the ones I mentioned?
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post #13 of 13 Old 01-17-2013, 10:41 AM
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I use MadVR with MPC-HC. There's been various posts about MadVR settings scattered all around this forum. Unfortunetely they are not in one place. The thing is that you need to make settings that look good to you and if you go too strong and your GPU cannot handle it you will know because it will stutter.

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