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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All


I have a Sharp Z10000 Projector, and have decided to build a HTPC to use the DVI input.

I'm very experienced building computers, so I have no problems putting it together.

I've decided on a Micro PC (Shuttle XPC Product).

I'll go with a P4 based system, running DDR SDRAM.

I can get a system with onboard GF4 MX (128MB), however I don't know if this will be enough to get the best from my Projector. Similarly, I don't know if I need to buy another 9700 Pro (I have one in my office PC) to use in the HTPC. The really high end cards are great for games, but I'm unsure if they are necessarily needed for HTPC - Ferrari for a Toyota's job?


I guess I just need some advice on what I need, rather than what is the best product on the market - there is no use building a HTPC that can't be fully realised with the projector:


What speed CPU would do a good job?

How much DDR RAM should I put in?

Do I need another scaler card? If so, what card, made by what manufacturer?

What video card should I use?

Could I use a SB Audigy 2 for sound? Will it do the job?


I really appreciate any comments on what I should be looking at without going OTT unecessarily.


Thanks!


Sean
 

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The amount of CPU power and RAM really depends on what you want to do with this HTPC. If all you plan to do is watch DVDs and such, then a fairly slow system, like a 1.8GHz Celeron would do.


However, if you intend to watch HDTV or to play back WMP9 HDTV video then you will want the fastest CPU you can afford.


I have a 3.06GHz HT enabled P4, and 512MB of RDRAM, and I still can't play back 1080p WMP9 files smoothly. But I can plan 720p and 1080i.


As for HDTV MPEG2 streams, a 2.4GHz is about the minimum I would recommend.


As for video, I would recommend any card based on the ATI R300, such as the ATI 9500, 9500 Pro, 9700, or 9700 pro. You needn't get the 9700 pro if you don't intend to play games, but you will want the quality video scaling, DVI output, and DxVA that these cards offer.
 

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I would suggest that you go for as much CPU as you can afford.


The current favorite method for best PQ is to use S/W decoding with ffdshow processing and this is generally a CPU intensive operation.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jvincent
I would suggest that you go for as much CPU as you can afford.


The current favorite method for best PQ is to use S/W decoding with ffdshow processing and this is generally a CPU intensive operation.
Ok, basic question, one that has been on my mind.


Just how does one switch from S/W decoding from H/W? Is it in the video card setup?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok....so I should buy a fast CPU and forget about spending lots on a Video Card? Will an Onboard GF4 MX (128MB) do the job if I have a fast CPU and lots of RAM?
 

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Sean,


Could you expand a bit on what you want to acheive with this HTPC? Upgrading incoming 480i signals to ??? or DVD 480p/1080p playback. The level you need is very dependent on what you want it to do for you.


If it is all 480p work, then a 1 Ghz CPU with 256 RAM and Radeon 9000 (DVI out?) is fine for what you want. If your projector handles 1080p and you want to hit that mark, then the requirements jump quite a bit...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi


I want to run DVD/HDTV at 1080i if possible.

I have Sharp Z10000 with native 16:9 resolution at 1280X768.

My DVD player is Pioneer S-633A (Fullmotion Progressive scan)


So what do I need to do this?

What about scaler card etc?


If I need to spend the money then I will, I just don't want to overspend for no reason.

Thanks.
 

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dandrewk,


If you are using TT there is a box for DXVA that enables H/W acceleration. When checked it uses the features of the video card for some of the functions as opposed to doing it in S/W.
 
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