Guide to Building a HTPC, Workstation and Server - Page 26 - AVS Forum
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post #751 of 19195 Old 01-12-2008, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by scmeis1 View Post

I am dead set on 2 parts of my new HTPC. The powercolor 3850 extreme with an HDMI output. It does output sound in HD, I have confirmed that with powercolor. The other is the LG GGC-H20L for blu-ray and HD-DVD playback.


Where I am stuck is horse power. The powercolor works best with PCI-E 2.0, so the question is which direction do I go?

AMD or Intel
Intel I was considering a Q6600 w/ P35 board or X38 board.

Amd I was considering a X2 5000+ black edition CPU, but since I am ususally all about intel, do not know much about amd boards.

I think 4G of ram is plenty of throughput of HD content, sound and video.


Since this HTPC is going to be streaming from my upstairs gamer, through my home gigabit network (good to be a CCIE here). I do not need much of a HDD.

Welcome to AVS. Yes, this is the place for all HTPC related needs, bar none. Incidentally, I'm a CCNP myself by day.

Multiple cores (well, past two anyway) won't help you with HTPC duties. In this case, I'd recommend the E6750 or E6850. If you can wait another few weeks, the new E8400 or E8500 would be an even better choice. All of that horsepower can play almost anything you throw at it, especially considering that when the drivers are configured correctly (or working at all!), that ATI video card will do the heavy lifting. Even if you can afford it, I don't recommend a quad-core for an HTPC because it'll get hotter, require more (ie. possibly 'louder') cooling and use more electricity for something that we like to think of an appliance. Might as well keep keep it quiet, cool and low'ish powered for something that may stay on 24/7.

renethx has posted an Excel spreadsheet within this thread that illustrates all the motherboard options. I'm partial to the Gigabyte P35 boards myself. I don't think you'll need PCIe 2.0, but it won't hurt if you are set on an X38 board.

Assuming you run Vista, yah, 4GB RAM is great. But your HTPC won't need it unless it's doing non-video-watching duties too. I wouldn't argue against 4GB though at all.

-Robert
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post #752 of 19195 Old 01-12-2008, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Valnar View Post

Assuming you run Vista, yah, 4GB RAM is great. But your HTPC won't need it unless it's doing non-video-watching duties too. I wouldn't argue against 4GB though at all.

-Robert

Adding to Robert's comments...

You'll probably only be able access about 3.3GB of memory on Vista 32-bit due to address range limitations. (The video card, BIOS, etc., take up some of the 4GB limit.) You'll have to go to 64-bit to gain access to the entire 4GB of RAM.

And once you go to 4GB and 64-bit, you'll start to run into driver issues with some hardware, such as the Hauppauge capture cards. In general I've got everything working on my 64-bit system but make sure you research the components before making the switch.
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post #753 of 19195 Old 01-12-2008, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by HappyFunBoater View Post

Adding to Robert's comments...

You'll probably only be able access about 3.3GB of memory on Vista 32-bit due to address range limitations. (The video card, BIOS, etc., take up some of the 4GB limit.) You'll have to go to 64-bit to gain access to the entire 4GB of RAM.

And once you go to 4GB and 64-bit, you'll start to run into driver issues with some hardware, such as the Hauppauge capture cards. In general I've got everything working on my 64-bit system but make sure you research the components before making the switch.

HFB, I'm in the process of thinking about upgrading my HTPC. I'll have Hauppauge capture cards as well. If you don't mind, could you tell me what your hardware setup is and what you had to do to overcome the 64-bit problems? Since I am pretty much starting from scratch, and don't paln to do this again for several years, I would like to make it as future-proof as possible which might include 4GB ram and 64-bit to be able to use it all.
thanks,
Murray
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post #754 of 19195 Old 01-12-2008, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by MurrayW View Post

HFB, I'm in the process of thinking about upgrading my HTPC. I'll have Hauppauge capture cards as well. If you don't mind, could you tell me what your hardware setup is and what you had to do to overcome the 64-bit problems? Since I am pretty much starting from scratch, and don't paln to do this again for several years, I would like to make it as future-proof as possible which might include 4GB ram and 64-bit to be able to use it all.
thanks,
Murray

I gave up on the Hauppauge 1800 after a few weeks and returned it. Supposedly reducing the memory solved most people's problems, but I never got it to work. Similar problems were reported on the 1600 and various USB products from Hauppauge. It would scan channels but never displayed a picture without returning an error. I went with an AVerMedia card and it's been perfect.

As far as other hardware, I went with a fanless ATI HD2600XT video card in an Intel DP35DP motherboard with the E6850 CPU (also fanless). Video drivers have been rock solid and the machine is damn fast. With only a single 18cm fan the system stays cool enough at full load, and it's almost completely silent. The only problem I've had is the Intel temp and fan monitoring software doesn't work with 64-bit Vista. But SpeedFan and Everest work great. I also had problems with a Logitech AF webcam and Skype, but they seemed to work out the driver issues several weeks ago.

As far as software, Advanced WMA Workshop (to convert music formats) is the only thing I've found to not work. I think it worked with less memory, but the company hasn't been responsive to support emails.

I can't think of any other issues, but if I do I'll be sure to post them. Let me know if you have any other questions.
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post #755 of 19195 Old 01-12-2008, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by HappyFunBoater View Post

Adding to Robert's comments...

You'll probably only be able access about 3.3GB of memory on Vista 32-bit due to address range limitations. (The video card, BIOS, etc., take up some of the 4GB limit.) You'll have to go to 64-bit to gain access to the entire 4GB of RAM.

And once you go to 4GB and 64-bit, you'll start to run into driver issues with some hardware, such as the Hauppauge capture cards. In general I've got everything working on my 64-bit system but make sure you research the components before making the switch.

I h ad vista 64 from day one, and helped get driver sets ready at first. So oh boy do i know about driver issues. creative was the worst!

I was considering the Gigabyte p35-dq6 if I went intel. I here that it can allow you to use your video card and let you decode the audio out it's spdif. Then again, i also here its damn good at outputting video and audio through its HDMI. The whole point is money is not a concern, the concern is to build something that works with my nero 8 media home. I have all my movies categorized by blu-ray, hd-dvd, and regular dvd. I want to be able to stream them down stairs to play on the 52" samsung dlp. The audio will be output to my onkyo. I was even looking for a UPnP blu-ray/hd-dvd player that could play streamed movies. hell 1000$ is nothing if it does what I ask.


So the issue remains, the powercolor 3850 extreme was rated as one of the best HD movie players that decoded both vc-1 and h.242. The only question was how to output the audio, as I have read many people have had issues with lossless. As for horse power, I can not wait. I have to have this built this week, so waiting is not an option. Though upgrading later is fine with me.

So direction comes to mind, Intel or AMD. I have read a ton that says go AMD due to power and heat. Memory is always key, more memory the better things run. I have 8 Gig on my other rig, so I intended on 2 or 4 gig on this.

Whoa, lots to think about. I do have Pdvd ultra, (only way to play the actual movie is to turn into an iso and mount it.) I have nero 8 ultra, I have read about just about every player. Questin is which one outputs the audio signal the best and which does the video.... Argg the room is spinning LOL
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post #756 of 19195 Old 01-12-2008, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post

You already have a good mb and enough RAM. What you need are:

- 16-port SATA RAID controller card. E.g., HighPoint RocketRAID 2340, PROMISE SuperTrack EX16350 (HW XOR and RAID 6). Insert the card to the second PCIe x16 slot of the Maximus Formula board.


The last configuration may be the cheapest and simplest.


While I agree with most of this, there are problems with the promise ex16350. I own the card and use the maximus formula. The major problem is that you can not have your OS drives on this controller. Vista complain about any raid driver while the promise controller is in use. It will not install, i went round and round with microsoft, and even their help desk is useless. I had to run 2 WD raptors on the onboard raid, then put the promise controller back in. Then I could boot up my drives. If u try to run your OS off the promise raid card, you will just spin your wheels until you give up. Trust me, I did it for 3 days with promise help desk and microsoft. Promise finally told me that this was how it had to be done. I currently use my promise controller with 10 WD7500aaks drives in a Raid 6 using 2 x (5x3) sata hot swap cages.


This is seperate from my HTPC i am currently trying to build above.
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post #757 of 19195 Old 01-12-2008, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by scmeis1 View Post

I h ad vista 64 from day one, and helped get driver sets ready at first. So oh boy do i know about driver issues. creative was the worst!

I was considering the Gigabyte p35-dq6 if I went intel. I here that it can allow you to use your video card and let you decode the audio out it's spdif. Then again, i also here its damn good at outputting video and audio through its HDMI. The whole point is money is not a concern, the concern is to build something that works with my nero 8 media home. I have all my movies categorized by blu-ray, hd-dvd, and regular dvd. I want to be able to stream them down stairs to play on the 52" samsung dlp. The audio will be output to my onkyo. I was even looking for a UPnP blu-ray/hd-dvd player that could play streamed movies. hell 1000$ is nothing if it does what I ask.


So the issue remains, the powercolor 3850 extreme was rated as one of the best HD movie players that decoded both vc-1 and h.242. The only question was how to output the audio, as I have read many people have had issues with lossless. As for horse power, I can not wait. I have to have this built this week, so waiting is not an option. Though upgrading later is fine with me.

So direction comes to mind, Intel or AMD. I have read a ton that says go AMD due to power and heat. Memory is always key, more memory the better things run. I have 8 Gig on my other rig, so I intended on 2 or 4 gig on this.

Whoa, lots to think about. I do have Pdvd ultra, (only way to play the actual movie is to turn into an iso and mount it.) I have nero 8 ultra, I have read about just about every player. Questin is which one outputs the audio signal the best and which does the video.... Argg the room is spinning LOL




Ok after hours of research today, I have started to narrow down options.


P/S Corsair CMPSU-520HX
Sound card ASUS Xonar D2X 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express
Video card Powercolor 3850 extreme
HDD 2x WD1600AAJS
Blu-ray/HD-DVD LG GGC-H20L

MoBo I have 3 in mind, unsure at the moment.
ASUS P5E-VM HDMI
GA-P35-DQ6
GA-P35-DS3R

I am still undecided on RAM, processor and case. I am not sure if I should get a case with a remote or buy a remote setup.
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post #758 of 19195 Old 01-12-2008, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
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CPU

It depends on where video playback process is done, CPU or GPU. GPU can accelerate playing back BD / HD DVD movies with PowerDVD or Digital Theater (or Nero?). In this case, a Celeron or Sempron single-core processor is enough. Howerver, hardware acceleration is not avaiable for many mkv files right now. So playing back these files is done by CPU and a relatively fast CPU is necessary:

- Core 2 Duo or Pentium Dual-Core, 2.2GHz (or higher). L2 cache size does not matter at all.
- Athlon 64 X2, 2.4GHz or higher.

System Memory

1080p 24-bit color video at 24 frame rate requires memory access at the rate:

1920 x 1080 x 24 x 24 = 1194 x 10^6 bit/second
= 149 x 10^6 byte/second
= 142MB/s

Apart from video playback, the minimum system memory is 512MB for XP and 1GB for Vista. So

- 1GB for XP
- 2GB for Vista

is just enough for HTPC.
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post #759 of 19195 Old 01-12-2008, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Video playback process consists of
  • Decoding (bistream processing, iDCT, motion compensation, deblocking)
  • Post Processing (deinterlacing etc.)
Decoding is done by the dedicated engine UVD (universal video decoder) and post-processing is done by 3D engine (shader units). The main difference between 2600 and 3850 is 3D eingine:

- 2600: 120 stream processors, 128-bit memory bus, 256-512MB RAM
- 3850: 320 stream processors, 256-bit memory bus, 512MB RAM

UVD is idenitical (UVD+ is just a marketing-hype?). Considering 2600 achieves near perfect HD HQV scores, there is no evidence that post-processing by 3850 is better than 2600.

So I would say, go with HD 2600 Pro/XT for a pure video playback HTPC. If you want a modest gaming HTPC, go with HD 3850.
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post #760 of 19195 Old 01-12-2008, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Video playback process consists of
  • Decoding (bistream Processing, iDCT, motion compensation, deblocking
  • Post Processing (deinterlacing etc.)
Decoding is done by the dedicated engine UVD (universal video decoder) and post-processing is done by 3D engine (shader units). The main difference between 2600 and 3850 is 3D eingine:

- 2600: 120 stream processors, 128-bit memory bus, 256-512MB RAM
- 3850: 320 stream processors, 256-bit memory bus, 512MB RAM

UVD is idenitical (UVD+ is just a marketing-hype?). Considering 2600 achieves near perfect HD HQV scores, there is no evidence that post-processing by 3850 is better than 2600.

So I would say, go with 2600 Pro/XT for a pure video playback HTPC. If you want a modest gaming HTPC, go with HD 3850.





i wanted the HDMI output which is only available on the powercolor that i could find. What would you suggest?
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post #761 of 19195 Old 01-12-2008, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by scmeis1 View Post

i wanted the HDMI output which is only available on the powercolor that i could find. What would you suggest?

That's not correct. Almost every HD 2600 XT model has HDMI output and every HD 3850 model has it (actually comes with a ATI-proprietary DVI-HDMI adapter that supports both video and audio).
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post #762 of 19195 Old 01-12-2008, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post

That's not correct. Almost every HD 2600 XT model has HDMI output and every HD 3850 model has it (actually comes with a ATI-proprietary DVI-HDMI adapter that supports both video and audio).

Which Mobo would you suggest based on using the HD 2600XT and the ASUS sound card?
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post #763 of 19195 Old 01-12-2008, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by scmeis1 View Post

Which Mobo would you suggest based on using the HD 2600XT and the ASUS sound card?

Well, any decent P35 ATX / G33 mATX mb is fine. I prefer:

- GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L for ATX
- ASUS P5K-VM for mATX

GA-P35-DS3L recently got Editor's Choice Award at AnandTech and highly praised by x-bit labs.

x-bit labs
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None of the three Asus mainboards on Intel P35 Express chipset that we have tested so far left such a favorable impression as Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L.

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post #764 of 19195 Old 01-12-2008, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Well, any decent P35 ATX /G33 mATX mb is fine. I prefer:

- GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L for ATX
- ASUS P5K-VM for mATX

GA-P35-DS3L got Editor's Choice award at AnandTech and highly praised by x-bit labs.

x-bit labs

Ah and it was just the board I was about to purchase. Thanks! Now I am having a difficult time choosing a HD 2600XT, I am a nvidia guy. I love how I can overclock the hell out of them, but seeing this is blu-ray/Hd-dvd playback, I had to go with ATI. They are just ahead of nvidia and at a much lower price point. I could care less about price, but I want quality! I think I am going to settle on HIS 512 HD 2600XT. Any preference, I am glad to have a reference like this. I am very good at giving wireless and network advice. It is my job with a extremly large global company. Thank you again!



Oh yes, a decent HTPC case. I do not need extravagant. I need remote control (can be bought), and nice looking. I was considering the SILVERSTONE LASCALA 10 CS-SST-LC10B.
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post #765 of 19195 Old 01-12-2008, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Video playback process consists of
  • Decoding (bistream processing, iDCT, motion compensation, deblocking)
  • Post Processing (deinterlacing etc.)
Decoding is done by the dedicated engine UVD (universal video decoder) and post-processing is done by 3D engine (shader units). The main difference between 2600 and 3850 is 3D eingine:

- 2600: 120 stream processors, 128-bit memory bus, 256-512MB RAM
- 3850: 320 stream processors, 256-bit memory bus, 512MB RAM

UVD is idenitical (UVD+ is just a marketing-hype?). Considering 2600 achieves near perfect HD HQV scores, there is no evidence that post-processing by 3850 is better than 2600.

So I would say, go with HD 2600 Pro/XT for a pure video playback HTPC. If you want a modest gaming HTPC, go with HD 3850.


Using your guide here, I decided the best bang for my buck was a Core 2 Duo E6420. I figure I can over clock to about 3.0Ghz which is plenty. Ill just have to find a good cooler, low noise! AGain thank you for all this valuable information.
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post #766 of 19195 Old 01-12-2008, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by scmeis1 View Post

Using your guide here, I decided the best bang for my buck was a Core 2 Duo E6420. I figure I can over clock to about 3.0Ghz which is plenty. Ill just have to find a good cooler, low noise! AGain thank you for all this valuable information.

Wait! How much do you pay for E6420 (FSB 1066MHz, 2.13GHz)? At eBay? It's an old processor with FSB 1066MHz. If it's a retail box (~$190), then it's not the best bang for the buck at all. Wait till January 20 and buy E8200 (45nm, FSB1333MHz, 2.66GHz, ~$163) or E8400 (45nm, FSB1333MHz, 3.00GHz, ~$183) or Pentium Dual-Core E2200 (FSB 800MHz, 2.20GHz, ~$95) if you want to save money.

Overclocking any C2D/Pentium DC procesor to 3.0GHz is no problem with GA-P35-DS3L. And remember that the L2 cache size (1MB, 2MB, 3MB, 4MB or 6MB) does not matter at all for video playback.

E6xxx: 4MB L2 cache
E8xxx (45nm replacement of E6xxx): 6MB L2 cache
E4xxx: 2MB L2 cache
E7xxx (45nm replacement of E4xxx): 3MB L2 cache
E2xxx: 1MB L2 cache.
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post #767 of 19195 Old 01-12-2008, 06:34 PM
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Damn I wish I knew that. I will have to look at that when it comes out. I only paid 160$ for it. Ill have to turn around and sell it, but thats ok. I am known for jumping to fast. I just needed something up around the 16th. I will have no problem selling it though!

Just purchased the RAM too. OCZ Platinum Rev2 rated for 4.4.4.15 at 2.1v. That is very nice tight timings
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post #768 of 19195 Old 01-12-2008, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by scmeis1 View Post

Damn I wish I knew that. I will have to look at that when it comes out. I only paid 160$ for it. Ill have to turn around and sell it, but thats ok. I am known for jumping to fast. I just needed something up around the 16th. I will have no problem selling it though!

Just purchased the RAM too. OCZ Platinum Rev2 rated for 4.4.4.15 at 2.1v. That is very nice tight timings

Again memory timing does not matter at all for video playback. Yeah, fast timing is not harmful, but useless.
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post #769 of 19195 Old 01-12-2008, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Wait! How much do you pay for E6420 (FSB 1066MHz, 2.13GHz)? At eBay? It's an old processor with FSB 1066MHz. If it's a retail box (~$190), then it's not the best bang for the buck at all. Wait till January 20 and buy E8200 (45nm, FSB1333MHz, 2.66GHz, ~$163) or E8400 (45nm, FSB1333MHz, 2.66GHz, ~$183) or Pentium Dual-Core E2200 (FSB 800MHz, 2.20GHz, ~$95) if you want to save money.

Overclocking any C2D/Pentium DC procesor to 3.0GHz is no problem with GA-P35-DS3L. And remember that the L2 cache size (1MB, 2MB, 3MB, 4MB or 6MB) does not matter at all for video playback.

E6xxx: 4MB L2 cache
E8xxx (45nm replacement of E6xxx): 6MB L2 cache
E4xxx: 2MB L2 cache
E7xxx (45nm replacement of E4xxx): 3MB L2 cache
E2xxx: 1MB L2 cache.



Where did you get those prices. I am going to see if I can pre-order!
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post #770 of 19195 Old 01-12-2008, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by scmeis1 View Post

Where did you get those prices. I am going to see if I can pre-order!

The price is 1000 qty. Actual retail price is slightly higher. For example, E6750 (65nm FSB 1333MHz, 2.66GHz) is $183 (1000 qty.) but is sold at around $190.

The price list is here (did you really read my guide?). It's well-known all over the Internet.
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@renethx
If I'm set on a quad (Q6600), which I am for heavy video processing is there any new quad processor coming out soon that I should wait for instead of the Q6600?

PS, I read the xbitlabs review of the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L, just reading the Abit IP35Pro review now. The burnt power supply connector was interesting. Was he overdoing it or should that have not happened?

He seems to like the Abit as one of his favourites so far in my read. What's your take on these two for overclocking and heavy video encoding work (VC1 and AVC).
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post #772 of 19195 Old 01-12-2008, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
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@renethx
If I'm set on a quad (Q6600), which I am for heavy video processing is there any new quad processor coming out soon that I should wait for instead of the Q6600?

PS, I read the xbitlabs review of the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L, just reading the Abit IP35Pro review now. The burnt power supply connector was interesting. Was he overdoing it or should that have not happened?

He seems to like the Abit as one of his favourites so far in my read. What's your take on these two for overclocking and heavy video encoding work (VC1 and AVC).

Q9300, 2.50GHz, FSB 1333MHz, 6MB L2, 95W, $266 is worth waiting (Q1 2008; March?). By analogy with QX6850 vs. QX9650 (both 3.00GHz), the power consumption will be remarkably lower.

An annoyance of GIGABYTE boards is that when Vcore manually selected in BIOS, Vcore never drops at idle even if EIST/C1E is on (multiplier drops fine). Abit board does not suffer from this problem. If you want to raise CPU voltage and still want cooler running at idle, an abit board (IP35-E, IP35 or IP35 Pro) is a way to go. This is particularly true for a quad-core processor. (But raising voltage is unecessary up to 3.00GHz for Q6600.)
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post #773 of 19195 Old 01-12-2008, 08:49 PM
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I'm building a new machine in an OrigenAE H6 case and am trying to decide on the mATX mobo. So far I have narrowed it down to the Asus P5E-VM, Gigabyte GA-G33M-DS2R or EVGA 112-CK-NF77-A1. I plan to add a video card so the IGP is not a big deal. All have pros and cons but meet my basic specs including SATA RAID 5 support. One downside to the Gigabyte board is no S/PDIF out so I lose a slot for an audio card. Any suggestions to sway me one way or the other?

EDIT: Oops, my bad. It looks like the Gigabyte boad has a S/PDIF header but no ports so I'd need some kind of add on S/PDIF bracket if I go that route.

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post #774 of 19195 Old 01-13-2008, 12:30 AM
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renethx: I wanted to congratulate you on your excellent guide. Its so full of usefull information that it took me a while to finish reading it.

I decided to build the low end System #1 Also note that the AMD 5000 black edition has gone down in price to $99 which makes this a cheaper system:


I am getting:

GIGABYTE GA-MA69GM-S2H AMD AM2 Socket $74.98
SAMSUNG HD501LJ 500GB SATA 7200 RPM $104.98
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Dual Core Black Edition $99
Crucial Ballistix 2GB kit DDR2-800 PC2-6400 $74.90 - $30 MIR= $44.90
ANTEC New Solution Series NSK2480 $79.90 - $30 MIR = $49.90
Scythe NINJA MINI $39.90

Total $413.66 after rebates
And im paying 21 bucks in shipping charges mostly for the case

Now I do have a question: I own a Harmony 880 Remote. This Antec case does not come with an IR port, so what would be my best option to add to the case so I can control my HTPC with my harmony remote?

The other option is to go with the Antec Fusion Black case but that will add another 100 bucks to the cost but will come with the IR and VFD display.


Im planning to use this system entirely as HTPC to view HD files and that includes MKV files, so hopefully this is enough since the CPU can be easily OC to 3.0Ghz
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post #775 of 19195 Old 01-13-2008, 01:44 AM
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I'm gradually updating my home AV network to digital, and atm am adding an HTPC to the DirectTV DVRs and other stuff I have. The HTPC would be used for DVD playback into a 7 year old 65" 1080i Mitsubishi Diamond, along with some 480i TV recording (for the next year or so) to distribute TV to five other locations throughout the house . . . and BD when I finally upgrade the AV Receiver and TV. No gaming, nothing else.

Based on your guide (fabulous, btw), I'm considering two engines to drive my new HTPC:

1) GIGABYTE GA-MA69GM-S2H + AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ BE
2) EVGA 112-CK-NF77-A1 LGA 775 + Intel Core 2 Duo E6850

The rest of the kit is the same for both:

Antec Fusion Black
Crucial Ballistix DDR2 800
Scythe Ninja Mini
Samsung Spinpoint 500gb (I have a large NAS elsewhere on the gigabit wired network)
LG Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM GGC-H20L
An appropriate video card if/when needed.

I'd really prefer the comfortable Intel solution for its faster processor (I can OC either or neither as required) and lower power (heat) requirements. I have never used AMD and generally have preferred nvidia graphics for games, MMORPGs, and miscellaneous work.

But I'm grudgingly (lol) favoring the AMD approach because the Gigabyte mobo provides an easy 1080i COMPONENT output that I need immediately, and because I plan to use a Mitsubishi DLP WD-65833 for which (I think I have learned) the overscan control ATI provides would be better.

Have I got this right? This stuff is pretty new to me . . . is there an easy way to get 1080i component out of the Intel solution? . . . are the ATI graphics all that important for my planned next TV?

Sorry for the noob questions . . . thanks for any advice . . . and thanks for all your work.
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post #776 of 19195 Old 01-13-2008, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcliff View Post

I'm building a new machine in an OrigenAE H6 case and am trying to decide on the mATX mobo. So far I have narrowed it down to the Asus P5E-VM, Gigabyte GA-G33M-DS2R or EVGA 112-CK-NF77-A1. I plan to add a video card so the IGP is not a big deal. All have pros and cons but meet my basic specs including SATA RAID 5 support. One downside to the Gigabyte board is no S/PDIF out so I lose a slot for an audio card. Any suggestions to sway me one way or the other?

EDIT: Oops, my bad. It looks like the Gigabyte boad has a S/PDIF header but no ports so I'd need some kind of add on S/PDIF bracket if I go that route.

Either Asus P5E-VM HDMI or Gigabyte GA-G33M-DS2R should be good. I gave a brief description of building a coaxial S/PDIF bracket in the previous "Core 2 ..." thread. The eVGA board has only 4 SATA ports.
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post #777 of 19195 Old 01-13-2008, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricardol View Post

Now I do have a question: I own a Harmony 880 Remote. This Antec case does not come with an IR port, so what would be my best option to add to the case so I can control my HTPC with my harmony remote?

The other option is to go with the Antec Fusion Black case but that will add another 100 bucks to the cost but will come with the IR and VFD display.

The cheapest way is add Microsoft Remote Control and Receiver for Media Center PC with Windows. You need only the IR receiver, but it's cheap (only $22) anyway.
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post #778 of 19195 Old 01-13-2008, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twoboxer View Post

I'm gradually updating my home AV network to digital, and atm am adding an HTPC to the DirectTV DVRs and other stuff I have. The HTPC would be used for DVD playback into a 7 year old 65" 1080i Mitsubishi Diamond, along with some 480i TV recording (for the next year or so) to distribute TV to five other locations throughout the house . . . and BD when I finally upgrade the AV Receiver and TV. No gaming, nothing else.

Based on your guide (fabulous, btw), I'm considering two engines to drive my new HTPC:

1) GIGABYTE GA-MA69GM-S2H + AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ BE
2) EVGA 112-CK-NF77-A1 LGA 775 + Intel Core 2 Duo E6850

The rest of the kit is the same for both:

Antec Fusion Black
Crucial Ballistix DDR2 800
Scythe Ninja Mini
Samsung Spinpoint 500gb (I have a large NAS elsewhere on the gigabit wired network)
LG Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM GGC-H20L
An appropriate video card if/when needed.

I'd really prefer the comfortable Intel solution for its faster processor (I can OC either or neither as required) and lower power (heat) requirements. I have never used AMD and generally have preferred nvidia graphics for games, MMORPGs, and miscellaneous work.

But I'm grudgingly (lol) favoring the AMD approach because the Gigabyte mobo provides an easy 1080i COMPONENT output that I need immediately, and because I plan to use a Mitsubishi DLP WD-65833 for which (I think I have learned) the overscan control ATI provides would be better.

Have I got this right? This stuff is pretty new to me . . . is there an easy way to get 1080i component out of the Intel solution? . . . are the ATI graphics all that important for my planned next TV?

GA-MA69GM-S2H + AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ BE is definitely the cheapest and onboard video is fine perhaps until you play BD. 5000+ BD is also fine for your purpose.

I am not sure if NVIDIA GPU works with your TV. If you want to go with the Intel platform, you will need to buy a discrete graphics card for component video out. A possible combination is

- Core 2 Duo E8400 (3.0GHz, January 20, ~$183)
- ASUS P5K-VM
- Sapphire Radeion HD 2600 XT (comes with component video cable)
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post #779 of 19195 Old 01-13-2008, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

The cheapest way is add Microsoft Remote Control and Receiver for Media Center PC with Windows. You need only the IR receiver, but it's cheap (only $22) anyway.

Another option to keep in mind is getting a "free" remote and receiver with a video capture card. I got the AVerMedia ATSC PCIe capture card and the remote appears very, very similar to the Microsoft remote above. (Of course nothing is ever free, but the cost difference in the remote and non-remote version of the card was in the $20 ballpark if I remember correctly.)
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post #780 of 19195 Old 01-13-2008, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Either Asus P5E-VM HDMI or Gigabyte GA-G33M-DS2R should be good. I gave a brief description of building a coaxial S/PDIF bracket in the previous "Core 2 ..." thread. The eVGA board has only 4 SATA ports.

Thanks. I'm thinking the P5E-VM is probably the way to go. I've read about some people having problems here but it seems like most if not all of this is related to HDMI. If I'm using a separate video card, it doesn't look like there are too many negatives with this board.

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