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post #1 of 22 Old 05-21-2014, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quick question...Is the AMD Athlon II X2 a Dual core processor? I'm looking at the specs of a desktop, and it doesn't specify if it is or not. I even Googled ''Is the AMD Athlon II X2 a Dual core processor'', and the usually reliable google didn't return satisfying results. There's a link to the pc's spec sheet here-http://i.walmart.com/i/rb/0082563342162.pdf and under 'processors onboard', it does say 1.

I'm asking because my current older desktop has a dual core, and I'm a bit baffled that a pc that's newer than mine wouldn't also, given the higher processor (3.0GHZ) speed.

 


http://www.walmart.com/ip/HP-Refurbished-Black-6005-Pro-Desktop-PC-with-AMD-Athlon-II-X2-Processor-4GB-Memory-1TB-Hard-Drive-and-Windows-7-Professional-Monitor-Not-Included/23325250


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post #2 of 22 Old 05-21-2014, 03:27 PM
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I believe X2 is dual core, X4 is quad core, etc.
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post #3 of 22 Old 05-21-2014, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you. It is strange that it isn't mentioned at all.

All I'll need is an HDMI card to add, and I'm good to go.


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post #4 of 22 Old 05-22-2014, 06:30 AM
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If its an X2 black it has 2 hidden cores, depending on the motherboard you may have functionality to open the cores thru software or you may be able to do so in the BIOS.

I use an X2 black with MSI motherboard to run my WHS2011 machine.

Edit: Doh!! sorry, it's been a while since I thought about the hardware and I actually have the Phenom II Black, not Athlon.


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post #5 of 22 Old 05-22-2014, 07:45 AM
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post #6 of 22 Old 05-22-2014, 02:50 PM
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You do realize the Athlon II X2 250 came out in 2009?

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post #7 of 22 Old 05-22-2014, 02:55 PM
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It has HD4200 graphics built-in which will play HD video with no problem. You just won't get HD audio bitstreaming. It looks to have a DisplayPort so you might just need a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter. It's at least worth a try before buying a video card.

This is a pretty old system and not very efficient. You could probably do better if you're just playing HD video (you don't say what your plans are for it).

 

 

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post #8 of 22 Old 05-22-2014, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

It has HD4200 graphics built-in which will play HD video with no problem. You just won't get HD audio bitstreaming. It looks to have a DisplayPort so you might just need a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter. It's at least worth a try before buying a video card.

This is a pretty old system and not very efficient. You could probably do better if you're just playing HD video (you don't say what your plans are for it).

I wanted to get a Silicon Dust HDHomeRun Prime cable card tuner, for cable channel viewing and DVR use. My current desktop is too old and under powered for the specs the HD requires.


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post #9 of 22 Old 05-22-2014, 03:39 PM
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Personally, I don't think it's worth it for $240.
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post #10 of 22 Old 05-23-2014, 08:10 AM
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I have just retired several AMD computers with similar specs: 785g chipset, Athlon X2 CPU's. (used for HTPC duty).

The 785g with integrated graphics should do the job for all codecs. However, it won't HD bitstream over HDMI.

Honestly, technology has progressed quite a bit from this era.

The CPU is likely a 65Watt TDP part, and it will idle around 30 watts.

You will end up with a relatively big case, loud, and a big consumer of watts compared to today's technology.

I am not familiar with the new Baytrail Quad-Core stuff....so other may weigh in on suitability for HTPC duty. Check this out:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883220590

This is a tiny box, quiet, and runs a fraction of the power compared to the box you have posted.

This processor is a 10 watt TDP part, likely idles at a couple of watts. And the Baytrail chipset must consume a small fraction of the AMD 785g chipset. CPU Benchmarks probably exceed the performance of that old AMD part.

So for $339 you get:

BRAND NEW (not refurb)
USB3.0 (a big deal when transferring media files)
HDMI with HD bitstreaming
Wifi built-in
Very Small size
Very low power
Quiet

I think the premium you pay looks to the future. That box (you posted) is from the past. You probably can find those PC's "used" in different channels for 2/3rds (and I still don't think it is worth it!).

Just another opinion.
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post #11 of 22 Old 05-23-2014, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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^More opinions are always welcome. Thank you.

 

My internal debate-as would be with most people I'd think, is short term gain of a low price, vs future proofing by biting the bullet and paying more upfront. Plus the cost of the tuner, do would you really need a super powerful new pc, if a cheaper one would suffice?  Throw in the frustration at the cable company for ending the convience of time shifting by removing the unscrambled local stations, and there's just so much running thru your mind, you don't know which way to turn. Thank you all for your suggestions. It really has been of great help.


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post #12 of 22 Old 05-23-2014, 10:18 AM
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First, what is in your current desktop? An e8400 can take care of tuning hdhomerun prime streams no problem with a cheap graphics card for hd audio

Second, since your getting the prime either way it doesn't hurt to verify what I just said. If it's not up to the task, you could get a new system. I'd be surprised, I'm not sure what specs they are saying, but my wife's old Acer Intel SU4100 could tune HD cable from Comcast with the Prime and it's processor and video combination was weaker than 3-time used coffee grounds
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post #13 of 22 Old 05-23-2014, 10:39 AM
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Agree with Dark_Slayer...... just about any ancient computer can stream the USB encoded stream to disk. And for playback, assuming you get hardware acceleration working properly, a very inexpensive graphics card may be all you need.

If you are still tempted to buy, here is a Refurb'ed Baytrail quad core J1900 for $180 with rebate. Again, I have no experience running Bay Trail for HTPC duty, and secretly hoping that someone will offer up some experience there. This unit looks like a bigger package, no wifi (compared to my previous BayTrail link post) BUT same modern, low-power quiet technology.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883103925&cm_re=j1900-_-83-103-925-_-Product
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post #14 of 22 Old 05-23-2014, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

First, what is in your current desktop? An e8400 can take care of tuning hdhomerun prime streams no problem with a cheap graphics card for hd audio

Second, since your getting the prime either way it doesn't hurt to verify what I just said. If it's not up to the task, you could get a new system. I'd be surprised, I'm not sure what specs they are saying, but my wife's old Acer Intel SU4100 could tune HD cable from Comcast with the Prime and it's processor and video combination was weaker than 3-time used coffee grounds


It's a HP Media Center m7330n, which I've had for about 6 years.

http://h20566.www2.hp.com/portal/site/hpsc/template.PAGE/public/kb/docDisplay?javax.portlet.begCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken&javax.portlet.endCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken&javax.portlet.prp_ba847bafb2a2d782fcbb0710b053ce01=wsrp-navigationalState%3DdocId%253Demr_na-c00587142-5%257CdocLocale%253D%257CcalledBy%253D&javax.portlet.tpst=ba847bafb2a2d782fcbb0710b053ce01&ac.admitted=1400874536962.876444892.199480143


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post #15 of 22 Old 05-23-2014, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westly-C View Post

My internal debate-as would be with most people I'd think, is short term gain of a low price, vs future proofing by biting the bullet and paying more upfront. Plus the cost of the tuner, do would you really need a super powerful new pc, if a cheaper one would suffice?  Throw in the frustration at the cable company for ending the convience of time shifting by removing the unscrambled local stations, and there's just so much running thru your mind, you don't know which way to turn. Thank you all for your suggestions. It really has been of great help.

The computer you linked to actually isn't bad. My main contention with it is it's priced too high given I've seen some refurb Core 2 Duo's for $100-150 including Windows 7 license on occasion.
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post #16 of 22 Old 05-23-2014, 02:24 PM
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Tiger usually has some good refurb deals as does ebay (more risky). I personally would go for something better. My slightly older/slower AMD would play HD, but just barely. In WMC when I had video behind the GUI overlay, it would get choppy. Same story for MP4 video. I got my last system on ebay for $50. It's an Intel with twice the performance of my old AMD.


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post #17 of 22 Old 05-26-2014, 03:36 PM
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The new CPU is not that much better than what you already have.

AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200+ 1088

AMD Athlon II X2 250 1755

If your current machine's motherboard supports it, you can plop AMD Phenom II X6 1055T and quadruple your PC's capabilities for under $80.

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 #18 of 22 Old 05-26-2014, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I did consider that early on...A new processor, plus the cost of Win 7, and 1TB hdd, would come close to many of the refurbished pcs I've been looking at.

I was hoping that these would be better than mine-even though not brand new. I wasn't aware just how old some of these refurbs actually are. 


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post #19 of 22 Old 05-26-2014, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westly-C View Post

I did consider that early on...A new processor, plus the cost of Win 7, and 1TB hdd, would come close to many of the refurbished pcs I've been looking at.
I was hoping that these would be better than mine-even though not brand new. I wasn't aware just how old some of these refurbs actually are. 

You wouldn't need new OS. Existing OS should work with CPU upgrade.

Edit. Never mind, Your motherboard does not support Athlon/Phenom II. Yours is socket 939.

Your path forward, if budget is an issue, is a new motherboard/CPU/RAM and re-use the existing case, drives, and OS.

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post #20 of 22 Old 05-26-2014, 07:53 PM
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That wall mart refurb has an AMD Athlon 3.0 Ghz it is multiplier locked OEM Athlon II x2 250 not a black edition and not likely you can unlock any additional cores especialy with OEM bios . With an inexpensive HD5450 or HD6450 video card
it will do HD over HDMI just fine. The OEM 7XX G Nvidia chipset will not . It will encode DVD's fine just not as fast as a modern 4 core i5 or even an i3 or a Pentium OTOH but it will do the job just fine with a new video card they want too much $$ for it though .

$241.00 is to high for that one at Wall Mart , One thing is the hdd might have some serious hours on it looks like an older off lease business PC those are often run 24/7.non stop All hdd's fail it's not a question of if but when not to mention the 7xxG AMD motherboard chipset is not known for being reliable in the long term .

Problem is by the time you buy that wall mart thing ,pay tax on it and add in a video card for HD and HDMI you can get
a new Pentium slimline with HD and HDMI from Dell . or buy the same Dell at Best Buy for the same price they stock it .
just don't let them pound you for expensive warranty ,HDMI cable or any set up fees if they try that crap just get it from Dell .or Frys carry out.
turn it on connect it and let windows update itself .Make sure MSE is enabled ofc .


The new Dell slimline 3000 comes with win 8.1 and a much faster (twice as fast as the Athlon II x2 250 )
Intel Pentium-G3220 2 core (CPU /GPU with Intel HD graphics ) /HDMI and 500GB hdd for $329.00 .
If you need more storage USB enclosures and 1 or 2 GB drives are cheap now .

The Dell is about the best least expensive and not half bad new budget PC you can get Lenevo and HP are stuffing slow AMD notebook CPUs in thier least expensive desktops now at least Dell is still using a real desktop CPU in their budget build . Its not huge (or real small ) either
Height: 10.5 inches
Width: 4 inches
Depth: 15 inches


You can also usually find like new or actually new late model Lenevo ,Gateway or HP i3 boxes on Ebay being sold as refurbished a lot of them are only 6 mo. out of production for about $340.00 those can be good buys many are actually unused and brand new just out of the new mdse. sales channel..

I bought my H.P. i5 P7 box like that in 2011 and more recently a refurbished but actually new 2013 Sony TV like that in Feb 2014 saved a lot of money. Both items were actually new and unused and in original cartons at reasonable buy it now prices . Just use top rated plus sellers most of those seller are fine never had any problems with top rated plus sellers even when I had to return something .I built my own boxes for many years ,cheaper to buy one now and fix it up a bit
unless you need a custom or gaming box.

Oh Netflix and Amazon prime DO NOT support HD video streams on PC with the one exception being Netflix but Only on a windows 8.1 PC with IE 11 browser like the Dell other than that get a Roku if you want Netflix or Amazon prime HD it looks pretty good BTW so does Amazon prime HD .sometimes better than some of my Dish TV HD channels !

The ASUS Eee Box linked above in an earlier post will do the job as well and it's efficient and small and works fine for some folks.

OTOH not much storage on the Asus Eee Box , a smaller slower HDD and only 2/3 the CPU power of the DELL and no ODD (DVD drive ) and only 2 GB ram vs 4 GB ram with the Dell .

The Dell Pentium has more CPU /GPU power to run the Tuner/DVR also . it's a size /wattage vs power trade off . A reasonably powerful real small embedded i3 /i5 NUC set up can set you back 6 or 8 bills no free rides . The Pentium will rip DVD decently also .other than size and low power
use the Dell has significant advantages. The ASUS Eee Box comes with Win 8.1 pro so WMC is likely available or included it's otherwise not available on win 8.1 Home on the Dell but there are decent and sometimes better free open source alternatives such as XMBC .

Wall Mart refurb sells yesterdays older stuff nobody wants at too high prices even their refurbish TV's are high and usually older models .


An ~ 3 Ghz Intel Core Duo PC and a video card will also work much better than an Athlon II x2 lots of choices . as mentioned in an earlier post sometimes New Egg has deals on those


If you just want you watch Netflix and You Tube in HD a Roku does it all very well without the expense and the overhead of a PC but it won't run a home run Tuner/DVR .

The hdd in this PC lasted only ~ 2.5 yrs . I replaced it recently with a bigger faster one and a much faster 4 core AMD Phenom II x4 955 CPU (reasonably overclocked of course .) scored the CPU on Ebay auction cheap and an put in an HD6450 video card and a decent sound card w/built in headphone amp .

It was originally an HP slimline Athlon II x2 250 . I bought in new in may 2010 only thing left of it is the MB ,case ,case fan, and PSU .
It's much faster now almost 3x about the same as a new i3 . It's fine for ripping DVDs and using as a daily driver . I have a newer i5 box for heavy work.

An 3 Ghz Intel Core Duo and a video card will also work better than an Athlon II x2 lots of choices .

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post #21 of 22 Old 05-26-2014, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
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 lots of choices

:rolleyes: ...And all just to watch tv like we used to. Thanks for making something simple so complicated cable industry. Thanks.


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post #22 of 22 Old 05-27-2014, 01:27 PM
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This HP P-7 at new egg is $239.00 decent specs 1TB hdd ,Athlon II x4 640 propus 4 core CPU ,Win 8 x64 , 4 GB RAM , ODD , mem card reader. It's more powerful than the new Pentium box it would need an inexpensive HD 5450 or HD 6450 video card they run about $25.00 - $35.00 plenty of power and 4 cores a lot of computer for the money the HP p7 's were 2011 -2012 builds for the most part .

I have an HP P7 Intel i5 box also in addition to this hot rodded O.C. slimline I'm typing on it's decent .

These will run almost in a dead heat with an Intel Core i3 2100 ( 2 core) box even faster on *some things except single thread nonetheless plenty fast .Plenty of power and 4 cores I would pick this over the New Dell slimline more power 4 cores , more storage and dual channel ram .


Passmark score for the CPU is 3349 (it's no i5 or i7 to be sure but it will hold it's own with an i3 in most things ). I've seen them run as high as ~3600 passmark even more overclocked although they are not great overclockers they are more than plenty for most users at stock clocks more powerful than a lot of new entry level boxes . You will rarely see the beach ball . Its a 65watt CPU which is comparable to an Intel sandy bridge 2nd gen Core i3 2100 CPU energy use .

I would guess it probably has a ~220w power supply plenty to run an HD 6450 they only use about 7 watts on average most of the time the PC will be using way less than 200 w anyway unless you have all 4 cores running 100% which won't be often
unless you are a hard core gamer (that video card won't do that anyway ) or doing heavy video editing .

If you have cash and are OK with a modern mid tower desighn I would highly recommend it at this price .


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883148136R

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