Builing HTPC For First Time and Need Some Advice - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 10-02-2013, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey everyone just created a login but I have read the forums for quite some time on different topics.  I have decided to build a HTPC as I currently use a laptop to play alot of the movies I have on my Home Theater.  Recently I started playing with XBMC for the first time and I am in love.  Due to my new found love for XBMC I have finally decided to go ahead and build a HTPC...I have actually talked about doing for about 3 - 4 years now and have finally decided to go ahead and do it.  Below is the build I am putting together with piece parts I have and just want to make sure that the items I have will get the job done for what I am wanting to do.  I don't care about video capture or anything like that this will mainly play BDs and play content I have on HDDs, music, and streaming.  I will be running a couple HDDs and a 700watt P/S but I am not going to list them on here...I am also upgrading the Case to a Cool Master case but I am mainly wanting to see if you all think this will run a HTPC like I am wanting.

 

CPU and Mobo: (I am only stealing the CPU and M/B off this unit)

eMachines W3615 - RA Desktop PC Pentium 4 631(3.0GHz)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883114040

 

RAM:

Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory Model 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104231

 

Video Card:

EVGA 012-P3-2078-KR GeForce GTX 560 Ti - 448 Cores (Fermi) Classified Ultra 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130758

 

BD Drive:

LG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive Model UH12NS30 - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136268

 

 

Anyways thanks for helping me out with this guys.

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post #2 of 26 Old 10-02-2013, 09:41 AM
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I would take a look at building your own, rather than adding a GPU to a retail option.

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post #3 of 26 Old 10-02-2013, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah I have thought about this, but it just works out that I have this just sitting in my house and just want to get an idea if this is going to be a viable option...eventually I will probably build a nice one myself and move this (if working) to a bedroom but I want to know if this will work in the mean time and accomplish what I would like.

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post #4 of 26 Old 10-02-2013, 09:59 AM
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It would play back video fine with a GPU I think, but it's pretty outdated and slow by today's standards.

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post #5 of 26 Old 10-02-2013, 10:23 AM
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post #6 of 26 Old 10-02-2013, 11:54 AM
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Beyond them digging you for the processor choice, the chipset is what will really kill you

The Intel 945G won't accept DDR3, so you'd need to find DDR2. It will also severely hamper your GPU choices, since it doesn't support PCIe 2.0x16. You'd be looking for PCIe 1.1x16 which is a tall order. Or you'll put a 2.0x16 card in and find out how much it can handle. It "could" still work, but it will be quite the beast

P4 would take about 80W to accomplish what a $40 celeron g1610 can accomplish with 10-20W. G1610 is equivalent performance wise to the Dual Core E8400 (core2 2 generations after P4)
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post #7 of 26 Old 10-02-2013, 11:58 AM
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I understand the desire to use an old system

Your best bet for the P4 lying around the house is to install ChromeOS on a flash drive and hand it over to someone or leave it as a fast-resume "browser" somewhere. It should suffice at browsing, not necessarily streaming HD videos but SD youtube stuff would probably be fine. Sleeping on RAM the rest of the time (which is only 3-4W at most)
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post #8 of 26 Old 10-02-2013, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Dark_Slayer.  Good info I didn't even look yet to see what type of ram the P4 took, so that puts a crimp in my plans.  I will probably be purchasing a Mobo and CPU listed on Assassin's site...which has plenty of good valuable reading in it about HTPCs.  Thanks guys for the help.  I will update at another time when I get my hardware up to snuff.

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post #9 of 26 Old 10-02-2013, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JNC5150 View Post

Thanks Dark_Slayer.  Good info I didn't even look yet to see what type of ram the P4 took, so that puts a crimp in my plans.  I will probably be purchasing a Mobo and CPU listed on Assassin's site...which has plenty of good valuable reading in it about HTPCs.  Thanks guys for the help.  I will update at another time when I get my hardware up to snuff.

Note that we haven't added Haswell yet. Its a notable omission.

We're working on it. smile.gif
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post #10 of 26 Old 10-03-2013, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
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O.k. guys so I have gone ahead an bit the bullet.  Here is the CPU and board I chose:

 

CPU:

AMD A4-3300 Llano 2.5GHz Socket FM1 65W Dual-Core Desktop APU (CPU + GPU) with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6410D AD3300OJHXBOX

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819106013

 

Mobo:

MSI A55M-P33 FM1 AMD A55 (Hudson D2) Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130641

 

this will go along with my already mentioned memory which should be plenty for what I am doing.  I only have a couple other questions about this and that is whether or not the APU will support 3D and also I have a Asus GT520 Silent video card and am tempted to use it instead but am not sure if that is simply overkill and un needed.  It certainly won't used if I find out that its overkill.  Also interested if you guys know if this setup would support 3D or not.  Thanks for the continued help on this project.

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post #11 of 26 Old 10-03-2013, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JNC5150 View Post

O.k. guys so I have gone ahead an bit the bullet.  Here is the CPU and board I chose:

CPU:

AMD A4-3300 Llano 2.5GHz Socket FM1 65W Dual-Core Desktop APU (CPU + GPU) with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6410D AD3300OJHXBOX



http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819106013

Mobo:

MSI A55M-P33 FM1 AMD A55 (Hudson D2) Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS



http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130641

this will go along with my already mentioned memory which should be plenty for what I am doing.  I only have a couple other questions about this and that is whether or not the APU will support 3D and also I have a Asus GT520 Silent video card and am tempted to use it instead but am not sure if that is simply overkill and un needed.  It certainly won't used if I find out that its overkill.  Also interested if you guys know if this setup would support 3D or not.  Thanks for the continued help on this project.

Have you already purchased? I would have recommended you go with the A6 over the A4 as the A4 is underpowered, imo.
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post #12 of 26 Old 10-03-2013, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
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No I haven't purchased just yet was gonna do it tomorrow in the evening.  I know you said it was underpowered but what issues will I come across...this won't be used for gaming or anything like that it will just be running XBMC and the occasional web search or something.

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post #13 of 26 Old 10-03-2013, 09:56 AM
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Your rig is under powered ..

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post #14 of 26 Old 10-03-2013, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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How about the A6-3500 found one on a good price locally.

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post #15 of 26 Old 10-03-2013, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JNC5150 View Post
 

How about the A6-3500 found one on a good price locally.

 

Hey JNC5150,

 

Here's an APU and motherboard combo that is close to the same price point as the A4-3300 and the A6-3500 stuff:

 

Motherboard: $54.00 ASRock FM2 A75 mATX

 

APU: $79.99 - A6-6400K 65W Dual Core 3.9 Ghz w/Radeon HD 8470D

 

If you need RAM, here's a kit that will help increase the performance of the GPU:

 

G.Skill: $84.99 - 8 GB DDR3-1866 CAS8 1.5v

 

 

 


Case:Fractal Design Node 605
APU:AMD Richland A10-6700
RAM:8GB AMD 1866
Board:ASUS A88XM Plus
Storage:OCZ 256 GB Vector
Optical:Panasonic Slim BDR
PS:Silverstone Strider 550 Gold SFF
Software:WMC8+LAV+madVR+MPC-HC
Input:Logitech K400 mini KB/trackpad+Harmony 720
Output:Sammy 55" S6 LED LCD+Yamaha soundbar
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post #16 of 26 Old 10-03-2013, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply.  I think what I am gonna go ahead and get is the A6-3500 (found it locally for about 10 dollars cheaper than the one listed by Bizzy), and the MSI board (found it for 10 dollars cheaper after rebate and have a bad history with ASRock motherboards.  Below are the specs I am planning to go with:

 

CPU:

AMD A4-3300 Llano 2.5GHz Socket FM1 65W Dual-Core Desktop APU (CPU + GPU) with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6410D AD3300OJHXBOX

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819106013

 

Mobo:

MSI A55M-P33 FM1 AMD A55 (Hudson D2) Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130641

 

 

RAM:

Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory Model 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104231

 

Video Card:

EVGA 012-P3-2078-KR GeForce GTX 560 Ti - 448 Cores (Fermi) Classified Ultra 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130758

 

BD Drive:

LG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive Model UH12NS30 - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136268

 

The majority of my movies and TV shows are currently on a 3TB external HDD.  The HTPC will be in a Mid tower (I am not fond of most HTPC cases).  This will be in a Cool Master 430 case and I think I will also keep the previously mentioned GTX560 TI video card for backup or if anything else to get it out of my electronics closet.  I will be running XBMC Frodo and I think that this should get my system up to snuff at this point with a future purchase of a SSD, TV Tuner, and IR receiver for a remote.

 

Feel free to let me know guys if I am just totally offbase on this but I think this will get the job done.

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post #17 of 26 Old 10-03-2013, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry guys made a mistake with the CPU.  I think I am actually going to get this CPU instead (accidentally copied and pasted the A4 ifno)

 

CPU:

AMD A6-3500 Llano 2.1GHz (2.4GHz Max Turbo) Socket FM1 65W Triple-Core Desktop APU (CPU + GPU) with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6530D AD3500OJGXBOX

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=19-103-951&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&Pagesize=10&PurchaseMark=&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&IsFeedbackTab=true&Page=2#scrollFullInfo

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post #18 of 26 Old 10-03-2013, 02:19 PM
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Good choice of components!

 

The only suggestion I have is to go with a board that's based on the A75 chipset, as the A55 chipset is limited to SATA II and USB 2.

 

Here's a an A75 mATX Gigabyte board that's not too far off, pricewise, of the MSI A55 mATX board.

 

Personally, I've had nothing but good things with Gigabyte's boards.

 

I guess if you're going to use the GeForce GTX 560 Ti, then there's no sense in getting RAM higher clocked than DDR3-1333 (I think, I can't tell now, where you planning on using the GeForce in the new HTPC?)

 

If you where going to use the GPU on the A6-3500, then I'd be steering you into the DDR3-1866 CAS8 direction, as the GPU portion of an APU is greatly affected by system RAM.

 

What are you thinking of in regards to a power supply?

 

 

 

 

 

 


Case:Fractal Design Node 605
APU:AMD Richland A10-6700
RAM:8GB AMD 1866
Board:ASUS A88XM Plus
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Optical:Panasonic Slim BDR
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post #19 of 26 Old 10-03-2013, 02:53 PM
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Ok, I will play devil's advocate:

Your CPU is still very weak and underpowerered. It's weak enough to make it not a good deal. Check this out:

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php

With a pass mark score of only 1983 it's quite weak by almost any standard today. It's cost of $65 it's not a good deal compared to the performance of other CPU's around the same price.

Example:

Haswell G3320 = 3183 ($63) [$69 on newegg] http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=G3220BOX
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Pentium+G3220+%40+3.00GHz&id=2020


Intel Pentium G2030 @ 3.00GHz = 3131 [$58] http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=G2030BOX
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Pentium+G2030+%40+3.00GHz&id=1961


Intel Pentium G2130 @ 3.20GHz =3126
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Pentium+G2130+%40+3.20GHz&id=1864


Intel Pentium G2120 @ 3.10GHz = 3071
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Pentium+G2120+%40+3.10GHz&id=1443


Intel Pentium G2020 @ 2.90GHz = 2801
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Pentium+G2020+%40+2.90GHz&id=1839


Even a lowely Celeron packs more punch:

Intel Celeron G1610 @ 2.60GHz = 2582 ($35!!!! or $41 online for step up G1620 )
http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=G1620BOX

I know that the GPU is attractive in the AMD but do you need it ? For the same price what would it get you over the modern Haswell socket 1150 model ?

Nothing wrong with buying an underpowered CPU, but generally it's something I try to avoid. If you plan to run a full OS like windows you should appreciate the Haswell 1150 chip for it's increased speed. You can step down to a socket 1155 Ivy or even Sandy if you find some cheap motherboard deals (like $30 Asrock open box I have been seeing)

If you are just streaming XBMC- and it's primarily for that and you don't want to go full blown HTPC with windows OS then the AMD chips might make more sense.

I am guessing you can get a G1610 + motherboard for under $100 total price if you hunt around. If budget is your goal- that's some strong value there. If you can spend another $50 for a $150 total for mobo and CPU then I would suggest that you step up to socket 1150, or step up to a higher AMD chip. Both are better IMO.

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post #20 of 26 Old 10-03-2013, 04:10 PM
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AMD would get him 3D over all the choices that you listed if he is using the integrated gpu.

Otherwise Intel is a better option.
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post #21 of 26 Old 10-03-2013, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
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AMD would get him 3D over all the choices that you listed if he is using the integrated gpu.

Otherwise Intel is a better option.

I did not see a 3D player listed in his original post so I was just guessing he did not want 3D.

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post #23 of 26 Old 10-03-2013, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I am most likely going to purchase either the A6-3500 CPU or go Intel and get the G2020 and just use the video card.  I will post again tomorrow with an update on what I get.  Thanks again for the help guys, I know it can get annoying so I want to let you all know I appreciate all the help.

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post #24 of 26 Old 10-03-2013, 09:23 PM
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A6-3500 uses the Radeon HD 6530D
G3D benchmarks are below both support 3D
and will easily playback 1080p
as will the intel parts and intel SB/IB or HW CPU video.

Make sure your motherboard has an HDMI port
some do not !

Passmark G3D score

Asus GT520 329

Radeon HD 6530D 402

These are not that far apart both will
support 3D and easily playback 1080p
fine for (non gaming) HTPC .

If you are transcoding (ripping DVD ) Intel should give you an edge there depending on your software.
or a 4 core AMD 3 + ghz part will work also .

A 4 core AMD part overall would be better than
A6 3500 3 core for encoding you would not notice anything in ordinary playback.

A6 3500 is on the slow side more like a 2 core amd yet it is 3 cores ? for HDTV playback it will get the job though.

No dog in the Intel vs Amd fight I have both Intel S/B i5 and AMD phenom II x 4 boxes they both work fine but the Intel handles the heavy work (encoding)faster.
both playback 1080P and don't break a sweat .

All the CPU discussed here and above will playback 1080p and encode also just some are faster than others
All of them should allow playback of 1080p and simultaneous encoding ofc the better CPU will do both at once easier.

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post #25 of 26 Old 10-04-2013, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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O.k. guys so I have gone ahead and done my purchases and below is what I ended up buying.

 

CPU:

AMD Athlon II X4 651

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113290

 

Motherbaord:

MSI A55M-P33

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130641

 

Memory:

Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2x4GB) 240pin 3DDR 1333

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104231

 

Video Card:

EVGA 02G-P4-2645-KR GeForce GT 640 2GB 128bit DDR3 PCI Express 3.0x16

(Found it in my electronics and it should be a better card than the previously mentioned...also found a Asus GT520 Silent that I had purchased for a HTPC build previously that I never got around to using)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130796

 

Blu-Ray Drive:

LG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM SATA Internal UH12NS530

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136268

 

Case:

Cooler Master Elite 430

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119227

 

Power Supply:

Thermal Take 600watt

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153166

 

HDDs:

1 - Seagate 750GBs 5400

3 - Seagate 500GBs 5400

 

1 - External 3TB HDD (forget the brand)

 

The plan here is to eventually purchase the 1600 DDR 3 ram later, and to also get a SSD drive for the operating system.  It will be running on Windows 7 64bit.  and the Media Center I will be using is XBMC.  So what do you guys think?  I believe this should do the trick temporarily until I get the DDR3 and SSD drive going on this.

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post #26 of 26 Old 10-05-2013, 08:19 PM
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Nice build should be real good ! Faster ram probably wouldn't help much if any (probably more of same ram would be better than faster ram for HTPC not so sure an ssd would show other than a fast boot you can only scroll through a media browser so fast . 7500 rpm drives might be a little faster but if you already have the drives the 5400's will work fine I would use them in that case .HTPC's don't have to be Ferraris hardest thing they do is trans code the occasional DVD.the Athlon II x 4 will do it in a few minutes with the right program.

Are you using it for anything other than HTPC or DVD transcoding ? 8 GB DDR 3 should be fine unless you are hard core gaming or engineering software. OTOH 16GB DDR3 wouldn't hurt either. As you already know If you aren't gaming GT 520 is more than enough . low power and fan less also.

I'm running a Phenom II x 4 + 8 GB 1333 ram Sata III 7500 rpm system and storage drives with w7x64 and WMC front end no waiting for anything loads a movie in few seconds transcodes fine and multi tasks well also .
AMD Athlon II X4 651 great chip for the money passmark score @ 3647 is decent better than many of the more expensive AMD APU.

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- David Sarnoff's associates at RCA the 1920's -
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