Guide to Building a HTPC, Workstation and Server - Page 118 - AVS Forum
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Old 09-24-2008, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by sevendustweb View Post

Hello:

I recently bought a new LG GGC-H20L and tried to run a Blu-Ray disc with TMT. The end result was stuttering video that was painful to watch. When viewing the CPU Performance in Task Manager, it was at 100%

I currently have a Core 2 Duo E6420 with a NVidia GeForce 8600 GTS (256 MB) in my HTPC.

My first question is: Do I need to do anything software related to fix the problem, or is it time to upgrade? I have hardware accelleration enabled in TMT.

If it's time to upgrade, I want to make damn sure my upgrades offer a flawlwess Blu-Ray experience. Not so much perfect audio (I realize the whole HDMI lossless audio issue), but definitely video. I don't do any gaming on this system; ONLY HTPC duties.

I was thinking of a small upgrade to a Core 2 Duo E8500 and an ATI Radeon HD 4850 (512 mb - Asus) to ensure no problems with my Blu-Ray playback.

Any comments on this upgrade would be much appreciated. Let me know if this is enough (or if it's overkill - pplease add suggestions for hardware). If I can get away with only upgrading the video card, let me know.

I am ready to make a purchase and need some advice.

Thanks

My current system is a C2D E6400 (2.133Ghz), XP, Radeon HD 3450 and Pioneer Blu-ray player. I can get stuttering trying to play the infamous 'killa.sampla.x264 file unless I use Media Player Classic - Home Cinema version.
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Old 09-24-2008, 08:03 PM
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Renethx: can you suggest a cheap performance case (normal case, don't have to be a htpc case) say around 100$ for your atx, high end, intel on the for the updated latest recommended systems? thanks
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by KooSoul View Post

Renethx: can you suggest a cheap performance case (normal case, don't have to be a htpc case) say around 100$ for your atx, high end, intel on the for the updated latest recommended systems? thanks

- COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP (my favorite case)
- Antec Nine Hundred
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Old 09-24-2008, 10:34 PM
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After reading this thread from pretty much starting with page 1 (and re-reading many posts! ), I think i'm finally ready to build a new HTPC to go with the new Plasma sitting in the bedroom... Props to Renethx for all of the insights and recommendations and the ongoing contributions that benefit all of us.

My objectives are to do SD/HDTV (probably some post processing involved), DVD, BR (mkv and BR drive in near future - Black Friday? ), 5.1, all through Meedio front end (still TBD), music, and possibly light gaming (ie, emulators, not COD4).

Picked up NSK2480 from Fry's with a rebate and now looking to fill it up...

Original plan (pretty much Renethx' Mid Range AMD system with Mb upgrade):
CPU x3 8750
Mb gigabyte GA-MA78GPM-DS2H
Cooler Scythe SCSK-1000 100mm Shuriken CPU Cooler
HDD WD 320G Green HDD
memory A-DATA ADQVE1A16K DDR2-800 2 x 1GB Kit
OS WinXP

No GPU - per Renethx, this MB/CPU combo should handle everything i need it to, no?

So Fry's runs an add today, with the x4 9750 and GA MA78GM S2H Mb about the same price as my chosen pair above...

Am i better off with the Fry's deal or going with the original game plan? If I add a GPU later, would that favor the original plan or the Fry's deal?

TIA!
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Old 09-24-2008, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVer View Post

My objectives are to do SD/HDTV (probably some post processing involved), DVD, BR (mkv and BR drive in near future - Black Friday? ), 5.1, all through Meedio front end (still TBD), music, and possibly light gaming (ie, emulators, not COD4).

Picked up NSK2480 from Fry's with a rebate and now looking to fill it up...

Original plan (pretty much Renethx' Mid Range AMD system with Mb upgrade):
CPU x3 8750
Mb gigabyte GA-MA78GPM-DS2H
Cooler Scythe SCSK-1000 100mm Shuriken CPU Cooler
HDD WD 320G Green HDD
memory A-DATA ADQVE1A16K DDR2-800 2 x 1GB Kit
OS WinXP

No GPU - per Renethx, this MB/CPU combo should handle everything i need it to, no?

So Fry's runs an add today, with the x4 9750 and GA MA78GM S2H Mb about the same price as my chosen pair above...

Am i better off with the Fry's deal or going with the original game plan? If I add a GPU later, would that favor the original plan or the Fry's deal?

X3+GA-MA78GPM-DS2H is slightly better in gaming (because of SidePort memory; an extra core of X4 is less important in gaming). X4 is better for CPU intensive tasks (e.g. transcoding). X3 is better in power consumption (15W-20W less at idle). There are two Phenom X4 9750, 125W (HD9750XAGHBOX) and 95W (HD9750WCGHBOX). Make sure to get the 95W version if you go with 9750.
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:40 PM
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I'm thinking of going with the following configuration (this is the low end Intel config.). My goal here is to play mainly 1080P blu ray rips that will be hosted on my media server. Will the following configuration be able to handle that? I've been hearing that the G45 chipset doesn't handle 1080p at 24? Should I hold out for the upcoming ATI 4550?

CPU: Pentium Dual-Core E5200 2.50GHz Socket 775, $84.
Motherboard: ASUS P5Q-EM Intel G45
Memory: A-DATA ADQVE1A16K DDR2-800 2 x 1GB Kit, $34.
Graphics Card: GMA X4500HD (integrated in the motherboard chipset), $0.
HDD: Using a 300GB sata disk I have unused right now.
Case: Antec NSK1480, $105
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infiniterb View Post

I'm thinking of going with the following configuration (this is the low end Intel config.). My goal here is to play mainly 1080P blu ray rips that will be hosted on my media server. Will the following configuration be able to handle that? I've been hearing that the G45 chipset doesn't handle 1080p at 24? Should I hold out for the upcoming ATI 4550?

No 24Hz playback support yet (or forever). I haven't tested HD 4550, but if it works as advertised, then no IGP can compete with it (except power consumption and price [except G45]). HD 4550 is expected by the end of this month. I will do comparison test betweeh HD 4550 and IGPs once I get hold of it.
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

No 24Hz playback support yet (or forever). I haven't tested HD 4550, but if it works as advertised, then no IGP can compete with it (except power consumption and price [except G45]). HD 4550 is expected by the end of this month. I will do comparison test betweeh HD 4550 and IGPs once I get hold of it.

There isn't anything that has 24hz playback? I have a Samsung A650 set that does 120hz (via AMP). Will this be something I'd notice as a problem?
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
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The problem could occur with any TV supporting 24Hz.
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Old 09-25-2008, 02:10 AM
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My compliments on this topic, it has a huge amount of information in it!
Like many, I've been working on my configuration for months now, and I think I settled on a final config now.
With all the experts here, I figured I'd run it by you guys, see if I forgot anything, or am missing better options.

Antec Veris Media Fusion Remote MAX
Be quiet Dark Power PRO 450W
GigaByte EP45-DS3
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.00GHz Boxed
Scythe Ninja 2
Kingston 4GB(2 x 2GB), PC2-6400, DDR2
Asus EAH4670/DI/512M
Samsung HD252HJ - 250GB HDD
Pioneer DVR 20X DL Sata

I'll be running either XBMC or Mediaportal.
Fire away
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightner View Post

Like many, I've been working on my configuration for months now, and I think I settled on a final config now.
With all the experts here, I figured I'd run it by you guys, see if I forgot anything, or am missing better options.

Check the compatibility of Ninja 2 with Fusion Max. (Ninja 2 may be too tall.)
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post

No 24Hz playback support yet (or forever). I haven't tested HD 4550, but if it works as advertised, then no IGP can compete with it (except power consumption and price [except G45]). HD 4550 is expected by the end of this month. I will do comparison test betweeh HD 4550 and IGPs once I get hold of it.

Why would the 4550 be any different than the 4850 in terms of 24p playback? All ATI, it appears, have audio drift when used with TMT, right? Then 4550 will have the same issues, I assume?

TiVo is on it's way out - stream everything!
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Old 09-25-2008, 10:22 AM
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I have also been reading this thread for a while and am about to make two HTPC's. Used for BR, MKV HD, DVD...
motherboards I am considering
GA-EP35-DS3P ~$100
GA-EP45-DS4R ~$100
GA-EP45-DS4P ~$130 open box item
Any real advantage to choosing one of these?

Planning to use an E8400 for the processor.
Planning to use either HD4650 or HD4550 for the video card. If the HD4550 is good enough I will go with that.
I haven't researched Cases much yet.
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Old 09-25-2008, 10:53 AM
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Hi guys,

I don't get it.. i just bought this cable from monoprice:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2


and it also don't work w/ my TV (Samsung LN40A650). When i plug it in, it's not recognized by my TV. However, the other cable works..

This is the second cable i bought that don't work. So are there different type of VGA cable???

This one works however:
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanylapep View Post

Hi guys,

I don't get it.. i just bought this cable from monoprice:

and it also don't work w/ my TV (Samsung LN40A650). When i plug it in, it's not recognized by my TV. However, the other cable works..

This is the second cable i bought that don't work. So are there different type of VGA cable???

This one works however:

Well at monoprice they have VGA and SVGA, that might be a place to start?
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Smitty2k1 View Post

Well at monoprice they have VGA and SVGA, that might be a place to start?

What do you mean?

Last time i got a VGA cable, and now a SVGA cable. Both don't work. The SVGA one i got from monoprice. Someone said VGA and SVGA use the same cable..

The only working cable is one i got from work's monitor but i thought all vga/svga cables are the same?
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:02 PM
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VGA is VGA is VGA. Is the video card you are using in some way "unique"? I ask this because some trader's use different graphics devices and may therefore also use an odd "pin out" on the "work" cable. If the card and the cable BOTH came from work, then that would explian why only those two work together.

To easily resolve this all you need to do is to pick up a $15 ohm meter @ any radio shack and simply map out the pin-outs on each end of a standard cable (either of the ones you got online) and then do the same thing on the "custom" cable you got from work. I would be willing to bet you "dollars to donuts" that the pinout on the blue one is NOT standard and therefore the card you are using is also probably NOT standard and that would explain why none of the standard cable work, right?

From time to time, the Gene Pool could use a little chlorine ...
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndabunka View Post

VGA is VGA is VGA. Is the video card you are using in some way "unique"?

.....

I would be willing to bet you "dollars to donuts" that the pinout on the blue one is NOT standard and therefore the card you are using is also probably NOT standard and that would explain why none of the standard cable work, right?

Hi ndabunka,

I have not done anything with the laptop/graphic card. All i did was plug one end of the VGA cable to the TV and leave the other end loose. So the "black" cable, when i plug it to the TV, it is not recognized (i cannot switch to PC mode). When i plug the "blue" cable, the TV detects it right away, and i can switch to PC mode, even tho it's a black screen (no feed).

So i'm not sure it has anything to do with the video card I'm using. However, if you want to know, FYI, i also did try to connect the video card/laptop to the other end of the cable, and in the "blue" cable case, i get image, but not for the "black" one. but i guess this is irrelevant of the problem.
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelG View Post

I have also been reading this thread for a while and am about to make two HTPC's. Used for BR, MKV HD, DVD...
motherboards I am considering
GA-EP35-DS3P ~$100
GA-EP45-DS4R ~$100
GA-EP45-DS4P ~$130 open box item
Any real advantage to choosing one of these?

GA-EP45-DS4R? I don't see this model number at GIGABYTE site. The main difference between EP35-DS3P and EP45-DS4P is

- The two PCIe x16 slots work at (16,4) (PCIe 1.1) in EP35, while at (16,-)/(8,8) (PCIe 2.0).
- 8 SATA ports in EP35, 6 SATA ports in EP45
- One Gb LAN in EP35, two Gb LAN in EP45
- EP45 supports Dolby Home Theater (for S/PDIF users)

So each board has its own advantages and disadvantages.
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Old 09-25-2008, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post

GA-EP45-DS4R? I don't see this model number at GIGABYTE site.

Sorry I meant GA-EP45-DS3R. I am leaning towards this board because it seems to have everything that I need for a great price. Thanks for all the information renethx, it is greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-25-2008, 02:32 PM
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Alright, the time has come. I want to put my order in tonight or early tomorrow so I get the components early next week. I've decided not to wait on the new Radeon cards and stick with the motherboard I have now. As always, suggestions for improvement are welcome. I'm actually quite pleased with the price and I believe I can afford $50-100 in upgrades should it seem like a good idea. The wish list is right here however the components are listed below.


Case: Antec Black M FusionRemote with 350W PSU.

Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-EG45M-DS2H

Processor: Intel Pentium E5200

RAM: 4GB of G.SKILL (2x2GB)

HDD: WD800JD 80GB, 7200RPM drive (note for upgrade consideration: I use a Drobo for storage, don't need a massive primary drive)

Cooler: Scythe Ninja Mini

LITE-ON DVD burner, SATA connected

ADESSO Wireless KB with trackball
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Old 09-25-2008, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Satan. View Post

Alright, the time has come. I want to put my order in tonight or early tomorrow so I get the components early next week. I've decided not to wait on the new Radeon cards and stick with the motherboard I have now. As always, suggestions for improvement are welcome. I'm actually quite pleased with the price and I believe I can afford $50-100 in upgrades should it seem like a good idea. The wish list is right here however the components are listed below.

Ninja Mini (H115mm) does not fit Antec Micro Fusion (H120mm including feet).
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Old 09-25-2008, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Ninja Mini (H115mm) does not fit Antec Micro Fusion (H120mm including feet).

Good catch! Will the retail HSF work?
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Old 09-25-2008, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Satan. View Post

Good catch! Will the retail HSF work?

If 'retail' means the cooler bundled with the retail box CPU, then yes. You should first try it before looking for a retail (I mean third-party) cooler.
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Old 09-25-2008, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post

If 'retail' means the cooler bundled with the retail box CPU, then yes. You should first try it before looking for a retail (I mean third-party) cooler.

Yeah, I mean the bundled cooler. I read somewhere in this thread that the Ninja was much quieter, but hopefully the stock cooler will be fine.

Other than that, do you see anything wrong with that build?

EDIT: I'm comfortable in about $80 of an upgrade. Best spent on processor?
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:18 PM
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renethx and other knowledgeable posters,

First, thank you for this thread. I learned a ton going through it. I am ready to build my first HTPC, but I would really appreciate feedback on this build before I pull the trigger tonight and order all of the parts.

This PC will mainly just be used for streaming audio and DVDs from my server. It's possible that I will put a Blu-Ray drive in later on (already have a PS3 though).

Case - SILVERSTONE SUGO SG02B-F
MB - Foxconn A7GM-S AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX
Memory - Kingston 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
CPU - AMD Athlon X2 4850e 2.5GHz Socket AM2 45W
HDD - Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM
PSU - SeaSonic SS-350ES 350W ATX12V
OS - Vista Ultimate 32-bit

Does anyone see any possible problems with this build? Any and all advice would be appreciated.

EDIT: I will be adding the Radeon HD 4550 as soon as it becomes available.
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by OSUBuck View Post

renethx and other knowledgeable posters,

First, thank you for this thread. I learned a ton going through it. I am ready to build my first HTPC, but I would really appreciate feedback on this build before I pull the trigger tonight and order all of the parts.

This PC will mainly just be used for streaming audio and DVDs from my server. It's possible that I will put a Blu-Ray drive in later on (already have a PS3 though).

Case - SILVERSTONE SUGO SG02B-F
MB - Foxconn A7GM-S AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX
Memory - Kingston 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
CPU - AMD Athlon X2 4850e 2.5GHz Socket AM2 45W
HDD - Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM
PSU - SeaSonic SS-350ES 350W ATX12V

Does anyone see any possible problems with this build? Any and all advice would be appreciated.

EDIT: I will be adding the Radeon HD 4550 as soon as it becomes available.

Yeah, that sounds pretty good to me. Personally I'd bump to 4GB since RAM is so dirt cheap right now.
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Satan. View Post

Yeah, that sounds pretty good to me. Personally I'd bump to 4GB since RAM is so dirt cheap right now.

So Radeon HD 4550 and the 4850e will be plenty for video playback?

Edit: I'm an idiot. Just after I post this I find this post: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...postcount=3288
Guess I should have read every page of this massive thread.
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Satan. View Post

Yeah, that sounds pretty good to me. Personally I'd bump to 4GB since RAM is so dirt cheap right now.

How does 4GB of Kingston RAM for $35 sound (at Frys.com)?

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Old 09-25-2008, 03:39 PM
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How does 4GB of Kingston RAM for $35 sound http://shop4.frys.com/product/5622671"?

Very nice. Rebates always make me worry, though. Any experience with Kingston rebates?
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