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Guide to Building a HTPC, Workstation and Server - Page 29

post #841 of 19097
Can anybody tell me how this low budget rig would do with x264 1080p content, standard DVD and bluray/hddvd content in 1080p ???

Basic needed: 2 PCI slots for two DVB-S2 cards and HDMI straight on board + 7.1 audio integrated chipset. (Thats why I went for the gigabyte)

Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H MB
Corsair XMS2 Xtreme TwinX DDR2 PC6400/800MHz CL5 2x1GB mem
Antec NSK2480 case
Samsung SpinPoint T166 HD252KJ 16MB 250GB harddrive

AMD Athlon X2 BE-2350 (2,1GHz)
or
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ (2,2GHz)

added later: Bluray drive or LG combo drive (DVD-burner laying around until i decide or hddvd is dead ) and two Technotrend DVB-S2 tunercards.

Also a couple of 120 mm Noctua fans and perhaps a passive CPU-cooler if it's to noisy and the CPU can stand passive cooling)

Reviews say u need 1.6 ghz E2140 CPU or more for HD-content in 1080p utilizing the video acceleration on the motherboards GPU (in this case ATI's avivo technolgy in the ATI Radeon X1250 GPU)
post #842 of 19097
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdbrown View Post

Would this system work well and be HDCP compliant?

Yes.

I am not objecting to 64-bit OS, but some applications may not work (a recent example is ArcSoft DigitalTheater).
post #843 of 19097
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mascot View Post

Can anybody tell me how this low budget rig would do with x264 1080p content, standard DVD and bluray/hddvd content in 1080p ???

Basic needed: 2 PCI slots for two DVB-S2 cards and HDMI straight on board + 7.1 audio integrated chipset. (Thats why I went for the gigabyte)

Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H MB
Corsair XMS2 Xtreme TwinX DDR2 PC6400/800MHz CL5 2x1GB mem
Antec NSK2480 case
Samsung SpinPoint T166 HD252KJ 16MB 250GB harddrive

AMD Athlon X2 BE-2350 (2,1GHz)
or
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ (2,2GHz)

added later: Bluray drive or LG combo drive (DVD-burner laying around until i decide or hddvd is dead ) and two Technotrend DVB-S2 tunercards.

Also a couple of 120 mm Noctua fans and perhaps a passive CPU-cooler if it's to noisy and the CPU can stand passive cooling)

Reviews say u need 1.6 ghz E2140 CPU or more for HD-content in 1080p utilizing the video acceleration on the motherboards GPU (in this case ATI's avivo technolgy in the ATI Radeon X1250 GPU)

Athlon 64 X2 2.2GHz is fine for 1080p x264. However it will struggle with BD / HD DVD. I would add a discrete graphics card for this purpose (HD 2600 XT/Pro or HD 3670/3650) rather than overclock CPU to 3.0GHz.

BTW AMD 780G chipset is coming soon that is equipped with UVD. So we don't need a fast processor or a discrete card any longer.
post #844 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Yes.

I am not objecting to 64-bit OS, but some applications may not work (a recent example is ArcSoft DigitalTheater).

Thanks for replying renethx. I have heard about apps not working, but most of the time they are progs I had not heard of before.

In terms of cooling - I was looking at Noctau NH-U12F as it is very quiet and I' like to make sure the Q6600 stays cool. However I think this may be too high as the case has a height of 170mm and the HSF is 155mm. Not sure if the case height includes the feet or not so I'm probably better off going for the scythe ninja mini. Have people been able to just use a HS and the case exhaust fans to keep these Q6600 cool? Is the ninja mini loud?

Cheers
-cdbrown
post #845 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

I am sure it comes with a cooler.

Renethx, I received my E8400 and it is indeed full retail boxed product with cooler. Do you think the stock cooler will be adequate for this CPU since its should theoretically generate less heat than the older core 2 duos?
post #846 of 19097
I see the Samsung SpinPoint drives recommended and on everybody's list of components. Are there any speed or reliability advantages of using these over whatever the best deal on a SATA drive is at the time I am ready to pull the trigger and buy all my parts? My HTPC will be in another room in a well cooled equipment closet so acceptable heat and noise should not be an issue for me.

thanks,
Murray
post #847 of 19097
The original GPU I was looking at didn't mention anything in the specs on MSI's website about being HDCP compliant so I checked around a bit more and have decided on the Asus EN8600GT Silent 512MB DDR3 unfortunately it's a bit more expensive. Would this card be overkill for seamless BR/HD playback and some gaming? I see alot of posts recommending the ATI 2600 series and not so many the nVidia 8600 series. Are the Ati's better for less money?
post #848 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

BTW AMD 780G chipset is coming soon...

Let's hope so... http://www.digitimes.com/mobos/a20080115PD216.html
post #849 of 19097
renethx -

I have ordered the 1st wave of parts, plus the OEM of Vista Home Premium.

Last big item is the tv tuner. I know you've been busy with the other chapters of the guide, but any thoughts on what the top 3 or 5 cards might be.

I have been using a Hauppauge 150 MCE for standard definition cable and a Fusion 3 for OTS HDTV in my present rig.


Gene

Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Agreed. LG Super Multi Blu BD/HD-DVD-ROM is a kind of standard optical drive right now. Unless you already have Xbox HD DVD player, this is still a way to go. HVR-1800 should be on the TV tuner recommendations. (But I haven't written it yet.)
post #850 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by MurrayW View Post

I see the Samsung SpinPoint drives recommended and on everybody's list of components. Are there any speed or reliability advantages of using these over whatever the best deal on a SATA drive is at the time I am ready to pull the trigger and buy all my parts? My HTPC will be in another room in a well cooled equipment closet so acceptable heat and noise should not be an issue for me.

thanks,
Murray

I think the main advantage to SpinPoint is they are very quiet.

I have one in my Dell PC at work and cannot hear it from two feet away.
post #851 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by rooobosmith View Post

I think the main advantage to SpinPoint is they are very quiet.

I have one in my Dell PC at work and cannot hear it from two feet away.

I will also have to vouch for the Western Digital 500 GB WD5000AAKS. I have 3 of them in my HTPC and you can't hear a thing sitting right next to them. Very quick as well. Got them at Newegg a couple of weeks ago for 99.99 with free shipping.
post #852 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by borgdaddy View Post

I will also have to vouch for the Western Digital 500 GB WD5000AAKS. I have 3 of them in my HTPC and you can't hear a thing sitting right next to them. Very quick as well. Got them at Newegg a couple of weeks ago for 99.99 with free shipping.

I strongly agree. I've got two of the 750GB versions in my HTPC and they're almost completely silent. And very fast.

They also claim to have special actuators that withstand thumping bass when your HTPC is next to your speakers. I forget the details, and it may honestly be a bunch of crap, but the spec sheet sure sounds good.
post #853 of 19097
Yes, I am looking forward to adding a second 500GB HDD onto my HTPC, so that way I have one HDD running XP MCE 2005, and the second one running Vista Home Premium, so that way I can do stuff in both the old and new OSes. I sort of feel that would be the best move, at a time like this.

My initial drive was a Seagate 500GB SATA/300 that BB had on sale for $99 a few months back.
I probably may pick up that WD 500GB that you mentioned for that same price. When XP goes obsolete, I'm wondering if those two would work in RAID for Vista for a full TB of space?
post #854 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

I am sorry for confusion. There are several cheap OCZ RAMs that require high voltage to run that cuases an incompatibility problem with many mbs. This applies to not only OCZ but other enthusiast-class RAM. So I gave a general caution to newbies. If you know what you are buying well, OCZ or any other brand RAM is fine.

Thanks. I see what you're saying. I did have to increase voltage for mine to 2.0
post #855 of 19097
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcliff View Post

Renethx, I received my E8400 and it is indeed full retail boxed product with cooler. Do you think the stock cooler will be adequate for this CPU since its should theoretically generate less heat than the older core 2 duos?

The retail cooler should be fine as the power consumption is remarkably low (~30W at full load according to x-bit labs).
post #856 of 19097
The mini ninja dropped the CPU temp about 4-5 degrees with arctic silver but too much noise with the stock fan at 2400 rpm's. It's much quieter now I bought a 4 pin PWM fan for it. I don't know why they don't come with one. The ninja fan made more noise the the stock CPU fan.
post #857 of 19097
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdbrown View Post

The original GPU I was looking at didn't mention anything in the specs on MSI's website about being HDCP compliant so I checked around a bit more and have decided on the Asus EN8600GT Silent 512MB DDR3 unfortunately it's a bit more expensive. Would this card be overkill for seamless BR/HD playback and some gaming? I see alot of posts recommending the ATI 2600 series and not so many the nVidia 8600 series. Are the Ati's better for less money?

8600 GT / HD 2600 are far from overkill for gaming. Rather most people choose HD 3850 / 8800 GT for this purpose. It depends on games.
post #858 of 19097
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by etcarroll View Post

renethx -

I have ordered the 1st wave of parts, plus the OEM of Vista Home Premium.

Last big item is the tv tuner. I know you've been busy with the other chapters of the guide, but any thoughts on what the top 3 or 5 cards might be.

I have been using a Hauppauge 150 MCE for standard definition cable and a Fusion 3 for OTS HDTV in my present rig.


Gene

Silicondust HDHomeRun (LAN), $170
AutumnWave OnAir GT (USB), $160
AVerMedia AVerTV Combo PCIe (PCI Express), $85 (white box), $110 (retail)
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1800 (PCI Express), $95 (white box), $105 (retail)
Vista View Saber DA-1N1-E Combo (PCI Express), $100
ATI TV Wonder 650 Combo PCI Express (PCI Express), $120
post #859 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Athlon 64 X2 2.2GHz is fine for 1080p x264. However it will struggle with BD / HD DVD. I would add a discrete graphics card for this purpose (HD 2600 XT/Pro or HD 3670/3650) rather than overclock CPU to 3.0GHz.

BTW AMD 780G chipset is coming soon that is equipped with UVD. So we don't need a fast processor or a discrete card any longer.

The Gigabyte I've chosen have the Radeon X1250 GPU with ATI AVIVO. Isn't that enough to offload the CPU with bluray/HDDVD?? I'm confused...

No, I don't want to overclock, and I would prefer an integrated solution to keep my HTPC cool & quiet. A discrete graphics card has always been the option, like the silent HD2600XT but I would prefer an onboard solution. This rig will never be used for any gaming. Videoplayback, music and photos and utilizing twin tuner DVB-S2 satellite tv for viewing and recording.

When will the 780G chipset be around? I don't mind waiting another month or two... also I'm gonna check out a Intel based alternative.

Is there any onboard solution with UVD support, HDMI (without adapters), and two PCI slots (for my two DVB-S2 cards) that u can recommend??
post #860 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcliff View Post

Renethx, I received my E8400 and it is indeed full retail boxed product with cooler. Do you think the stock cooler will be adequate for this CPU since its should theoretically generate less heat than the older core 2 duos?

The stock cooler is definitely adequate, it has to be--that's the whole point of Intel packaging it with the CPU. The only times where it wouldn't be adequate is with high ambient temperature, severely restricted airflow, or when running the CPU out of stock spec (i.e. overclocked).

Plus it all depends on how well you want your CPU cooled. Lower temps are always better, without a doubt... Changing my stock Intel cooler on an E6600 to a Thermalright XP-120 led to a drop in temp on the CPU cores of greater than 12C. So even overclocked, the CPU is running cooler than it did at stock speed, with the stock cooler

Quote:
Originally Posted by rooobosmith View Post

I think the main advantage to SpinPoint is they are very quiet.

I have one in my Dell PC at work and cannot hear it from two feet away.

Yes but there are more advantages, it all depends on what SpinPoint we're talking about. The new SpinPoint F/F1 is actually the fastest 7200rpm SATA drive out there right now, and by a bit of a margin. It's actually as fast as/faster than WD's 10k rpm Raptor-X in nearly every category

Quote:
Originally Posted by borgdaddy View Post

I will also have to vouch for the Western Digital 500 GB WD5000AAKS. I have 3 of them in my HTPC and you can't hear a thing sitting right next to them. Very quick as well. Got them at Newegg a couple of weeks ago for 99.99 with free shipping.

I think a lot of HDDs are pretty quiet these days. Your WD SE16s are certainly fine drives (and often available on the cheap) but a note for new drive purchasers--other drives like power saving drives are around as fast and now about the same price.

They generate less heat, [theoretically] even less noise; and, of course--less power consumption. Power savings aren't huge as HDDs don't draw that much power to begin with but it's still about half the power. When using mulitple drives, the power savings start to add up.

WD GP drives and Hitatchi HiVert are the most prominent power saving drives these days and the HiVert at least has been priced similarly to WDs SE16 for the last month or so, making it a great choice for HTPC users, multiple drive users, and really all PC users.
post #861 of 19097
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mascot View Post

The Gigabyte I've chosen have the Radeon X1250 GPU with ATI AVIVO. Isn't that enough to offload the CPU with bluray/HDDVD?? I'm confused...

No, I don't want to overclock, and I would prefer an integrated solution to keep my HTPC cool & quiet. A discrete graphics card has always been the option, like the silent HD2600XT but I would prefer an onboard solution. This rig will never be used for any gaming. Videoplayback, music and photos and utilizing twin tuner DVB-S2 satellite tv for viewing and recording.

When will the 780G chipset be around? I don't mind waiting another month or two... also I'm gonna check out a Intel based alternative.

Is there any onboard solution with UVD support, HDMI (without adapters), and two PCI slots (for my two DVB-S2 cards) that u can recommend??

AVIVO does not necessarily mean UVD. In fact currently no IGP suports hardware acceleration for H.265 or VC-1. If you read Unofficial Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H Mboard HTPC Thread, you will see that the minimum CPU clock is 3.0GHz for BD / HD DVD playback.

780G will be announced on January 23, 2008 but available only in China initially (as the driver for Hybrid CrossFire is not yet good). It will be available early March for the rest of the world. It looks like that GeForce 8200 mGPU (supporting PureVideo HD Generation 3) comes first (February 14?).

A summary of IGPs supporting hw acceleration is here.
post #862 of 19097
Wow... 8200 mGPU supporting 3rd gen PVHD? Well, guess that puts my 8800GT to shame.
post #863 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Yes (don't forget to install Realtek HDMI driver). There is no HDMI specs on cable length. 16 feet (5 m) is no problem. A longer cable may require quaility, I don't know. Please search the forum with three keywords: HDMI cable length.


Thanks again renethx. I was over on the ATI Radeon HD thread but those guys are so far ahead they do not entertain simple questions such as this...

Which of the manufactures of the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT are better to go with for my XP system? There are so many.

Also, I'm assuming the 512 DDR2/GDDR3 memory type cards are best?

Thx
post #864 of 19097
renethx -

Once again, thanks.

Now to pull the extra drive out of my existing htpc as I await 'big brown' to start delivering the new parts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Silicondust HDHomeRun (LAN), $170
AutumnWave OnAir GT (USB), $160
AVerMedia AVerTV Combo PCIe (PCI Express), $85 (white box), $110 (retail)
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1800 (PCI Express), $95 (white box), $105 (retail)
Vista View Saber DA-1N1-E Combo (PCI Express), $100
ATI TV Wonder 650 Combo PCI Express (PCI Express), $120
post #865 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Athlon 64 X2 2.2GHz is fine for 1080p x264. However it will struggle with BD / HD DVD. I would add a discrete graphics card for this purpose (HD 2600 XT/Pro or HD 3670/3650) rather than overclock CPU to 3.0GHz.

BTW AMD 780G chipset is coming soon that is equipped with UVD. So we don't need a fast processor or a discrete card any longer.



I was going full bore Intel until I read this. I started to investigate, and if their claims are true. I think I will wait for this chipset to come out. I looks like it will be able to stream 7.1 audio out through its integrated HDMI port if available. I plan to do this with a HIS HD 2600xt and get a decent AMD 5000+. I am almost convinced that waiting will be worth it now. Even though I bought the gigabyte p35-ds3L board and had been waiting on the e8400 to launch in 2 days.


http://translate.google.com/translat...780G%26hl%3Den
Renethx, what is your opinion on the upcoming release of the AMD 780G chipset paired with the SB700 Southbridge chipset. I have been looking at the ASUS M3A78-EMH HDMI
post #866 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8IronBob View Post

Wow... 8200 mGPU supporting 3rd gen PVHD? Well, guess that puts my 8800GT to shame.

Well you can't really compare to the 8800. Nvidia doesn't put hardware decode features in those because (and this is their excuse) if you use an 8800-series card you probably have a high end machine with a fast enough CPU to decode HD just with the CPU. I think it's a rather lame excuse, but it's how they market their products anyway. Perhaps they will add acceleration to the 9800 series cards?
post #867 of 19097
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerome8283 View Post

Which of the manufactures of the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT are better to go with for my XP system? There are so many.

Also, I'm assuming the 512 DDR2/GDDR3 memory type cards are best?

Thx

Sapphire is a safer choice (control the fan with RivaTuner). You can find the 512MB version with +$20 (but 512MB does not affect video playback performance).

BTW HD 3670, a 55 nm replacement of HD 2600 XT will be released on January 23, 2008. It's slightly better in 3D performance (+5%) and temperature (-9℃), but consumes more power (+8W at idle). A detailed review is [First Review] ATI Radeon HD 3670 256MB aka. RV6358. Once it (and HD 3470/3450) is released, HD 2600/2400 will be phased out.
post #868 of 19097
Hi,

I have been reading all the threads but seem to be missing some basic concept.

I would like to setup a central "Media Server", where I have all my DVDs, CD's encoded.

In my house, I would then like 5 or 6 other "clients" that are beside each one of my TVs, to be able to bring up and see the DVD/CD selected from the server. etc.

I would also like to play or record DVR like functionality from any of the TVs, including OTA,etc. There will probably only be 2-3 "TVs" on at a time viewing TV material.

I already have a 1 G Lan throughout the house.

Clearly, I want each of the clients to be as cheap as possible, since there are many of them.

What do I need:

(1) Server
- Software
- Hardware (I know lots of HD probably in Raid)
- Can I have the tuners here?
- Central Graphics cards for decode and then stream to the other PCs?

(2) Client PCs
- Software
- Hardware
(do I have to have a high end graphics card here, or can I stream it from the server)?
- how powerful a CPU

Thanks!!!

pps
post #869 of 19097
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scmeis1 View Post

I was going full bore Intel until I read this. I started to investigate, and if their claims are true. I think I will wait for this chipset to come out. I looks like it will be able to stream 7.1 audio out through its integrated HDMI port if available. I plan to do this with a HIS HD 2600xt and get a decent AMD 5000+. I am almost convinced that waiting will be worth it now. Even though I bought the gigabyte p35-ds3L board and had been waiting on the e8400 to launch in 2 days.


http://translate.google.com/translat...780G%26hl%3Den
Renethx, what is your opinion on the upcoming release of the AMD 780G chipset paired with the SB700 Southbridge chipset. I have been looking at the ASUS M3A78-EMH HDMI

Both GeForce 8200 mGPU and 780G will be killer chipsets for HD HTPC. Unfortunately HDMI audio still remains at the S/PDIF level. We have to wait for PAP (Protected Audio Path) in Vista.
post #870 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by pps88 View Post

Hi,

I have been reading all the threads but seem to be missing some basic concept.

I would like to setup a central "Media Server", where I have all my DVDs, CD's encoded.

In my house, I would then like 5 or 6 other "clients" that are beside each one of my TVs, to be able to bring up and see the DVD/CD selected from the server. etc.

I would also like to play or record DVR like functionality from any of the TVs, including OTA,etc. There will probably only be 2-3 "TVs" on at a time viewing TV material.

I already have a 1 G Lan throughout the house.

Clearly, I want each of the clients to be as cheap as possible, since there are many of them.

What do I need:

(1) Server
- Software
- Hardware (I know lots of HD probably in Raid)
- Can I have the tuners here?
- Central Graphics cards for decode and then stream to the other PCs?

(2) Client PCs
- Software
- Hardware
(do I have to have a high end graphics card here, or can I stream it from the server)?
- how powerful a CPU

Thanks!!!

pps


I have that exact setup. I have the my xbox 360 play normal dvd's and hd-dvds. I am building a htpc to play in the living room all formats. My bedrooms plays off the server(and a gamer to boot). My roomate will only be able to view regular dvd's he has a non-HD tv.

You have to decide are you going to store blu-ray/Hd-dvd also? I can tell you right now, I have 10Terabytes of storage and Blu-ray and HD-DVD take up a ton of room. Anywheres from 15G - 52G is the max I have had. Normal dvd's take up 3G - 7.6G abouts. AS you can see HD movies take up from 2 - 8x a normal dvd. It quickly adds up.


I have a high end server.
Qx9650 w/ Asus maximus formula (got it for 1000$ package deal on ebay).
(OC to 4.6 Ghz)

8G of G.Skill RAM
8800GT 512 (OC to 735, 1825 shader, 2070)
Promise ex16350 16 port raid card
10 x 750G wd7500aaks
2 x 150 Raptors (OS)
3 x 1T Fantom drives (External)
creative x-fi platinum
koolance exos-2 water cooler (upgraded fans to silverstone 110CFM)
LG GGC-H20L (blu-ray/HD-dvd) player
1 samsung OEM writemaster
SIIG 3 port firewire 800 card (for the Fantom drives).
I use nero 8 with their media home (it shares all media files with all devices on your network. xbox 360, playstation 3, other computers).
Also have Pdvd (not my favorite).

Drives are all in 2 (5x3) sata drive cages for hot swapping.
Case is a coolermaster stacker 830


I also have the logitech bluetooth keyboard and mouse setup. Hope this gives you some ideas.
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