AVS Forum banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,478 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, so I have just under $400 in gift card value to spend at Best Buy.
It's only valid in-store or at the non-marketplace portion of their website.
They don't have anything that interests me really. But I'm really mad at my HTPC right now so the whole $400 is getting blown on upgrading it. Here is what I have right now:


  • Intel Core2 Duo E6750 @ 2.66GHz
  • 8GB RAM
  • SoundBlaster Z audio card
  • AMD R7 240 video card
  • SSD with ~500/500 read/write
  • Dell Optiplex desktop

I rarely ever game but who knows.

I watch ripped full quality MKV BluRays in regular and 3D.
And also watch .wtv from local HD recordings.
This is all on a ~130" screen, so I can actually see small differences in video quality and want to concentrate on MadVR capability since it sounds like that's the way to go, but it may be too much for my current video card (which I absolutely HATE).

Any suggestions?

I'm also very interested in moving to a quad core CPU. This current build just isn't as good at multi-tasking as my old Intel duo core Q6600 quad core was.

Best Buy's computer stuff:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/electronics/computers-pcs/abcat0500000.c?id=abcat0500000
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,005 Posts
Spend $79 on a Windows 8.1 tablet. They can play Blu-Ray from a USB flash drive. Spend a little more for a tablet with HDMI out, a USB hub, and a USB Ethernet dongle. You can run PowerDVD 15, VLC, Kodi, Splashtop, and everything else.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ncarty97

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,603 Posts
You mention the details on your HTPC yet are not happy with the quality of the ~130" display which you never mentioned the brand/model number. Maybe my eye isn't as 'sharp' as yours, but I have been running HD4550, HD5450, HD6450 & HD6570 video card for years driving my Sony VPL-VW15, and now my Epson 8350 with beautiful image quality at both 720p (Sony) and 1080p (Epson).


Have you considered it's the display, not the HTPC, you should be focusing on?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,478 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
....you could get some parts to upgrade what you have or start a new build.
Yep, that is the point of this thread. :)
To replace parts in my existing build that are most in need of an upgrade.
Thanks for those links! Are those what you would buy with this budget?

Spend $79 on a Windows 8.1 tablet. They can play Blu-Ray from a USB flash drive. Spend a little more for a tablet with HDMI out, a USB hub, and a USB Ethernet dongle. You can run PowerDVD 15, VLC, Kodi, Splashtop, and everything else.
Tablet?
My existing computer can do everything that tablet can do already?

You might be able to use that to buy Kindle gift cards, which you can then use to buy what ever you want through Amazon :) I do this with my reward zone certificates, lol.

Bill
Awesome idea, lol. :)
I checked but couldn't find any Kindle cards on the Best Buy website. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,478 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Yep, we have a Best Buy on every corner here in Austin/Round Rock, TX. :D
I suppose the brick'n'mortar may have cards that the website wouldn't have. Can check it out on Sunday. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,565 Posts
You can blow your wad on a next-gen video card later this year when the stacked memory cards hit. Those should have excellent MadVR performance - at least on paper - due to the stacked memory being directly connected to the GPU and computational cores. That's really all you can do apart from doubling the memory. Building a new HTPC later this year or sometime next year would be the best option though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,478 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
LexinVA, I'm mad at my HTPC right now. lol

Ya'll are funny.
Is the HDMI cable MadVR compatible?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,714 Posts
But I'm really mad at my HTPC right now so the whole $400 is getting blown on upgrading it. Here is what I have right now:


  • Intel Core2 Duo E6750 @ 2.66GHz
  • 8GB RAM
  • SoundBlaster Z audio card
  • AMD R7 240 video card
  • SSD with ~500/500 read/write
  • Dell Optiplex desktop

I rarely ever game but who knows.

I watch ripped full quality MKV BluRays in regular and 3D.
And also watch .wtv from local HD recordings.
This is all on a ~130" screen, so I can actually see small differences in video quality and want to concentrate on MadVR capability since it sounds like that's the way to go, but it may be too much for my current video card (which I absolutely HATE).

Any suggestions?
You clearly do more than just HTPC duties, or you wouldn't be complaining about multi-tasking duties

Also, being really mad doesn't explain much. If you really hate your current video card because of something to do with AMD, bad news it's still the best choice for the niche subset of video card selection criteria that is MadVR. When you say that interests you, naturally a newer AMD recommendation will follow. They have specifically better performance in this particular area, but given that you are running an old dell it's unlikely the PSU is worth a sh1t. Dell's pretty consistent at not overkilling PSU sizes, so if you go beyond the PCIe "lane" powered cards and into the big boy dedicated PSU 6 pin or 6+8 pin cards you may end up needing another PSU

Without knowing your motherboard it will be hard to determine whether you are getting pcie 2.0x16, which can be problematic if you go all in on a video card but only have an x1 or x4 slot

Also, your CPU is slightly weaker than the fanless j1900 (celeron) by passmark standards, which is actually an atom processor with beefed up intel graphics

A simple move to a desktop class dual core pentium or celeron would obliterate your current CPUs performance (single and multi-core performance), and your memory bandwidth would be much higher when getting away from the front side bus architecture. At the same time, that "era" of PC could have had ddr3 or ddr2. If your ram is ddr2 then you won't be able to reuse it. DDR3 should be fine to reuse though it will be a little higher voltage than current tech

All that being said, if you have the right stuff under the hood then a simple video card -- if necessitated a video card and psu upgrade -- could give you what you are looking for

If not, you'll probably be looking at more than your budget since not much can be reused. You could hit your budget easily at basic 1080p playback, integrated Intel graphics, and plan for a video card purchase around black Friday this year.

Also, if BB doesn't have the stuff you are looking for you can also just sell the cards to Plastic Jungle and purchase from newegg or amazon instead. I find newegg and microcenter to be the cheapest, but BB will obviously price match for you if they carry what you want
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,843 Posts
Thanks for those links! Are those what you would buy with this budget?
Not from Best Buy. I'd rather put the $400 towards getting a new dishwasher or refrigerator or whatever else makes the wife happy at Best Buy, then get the PC parts I want at places like Newegg or Microcenter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,478 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Sounds like I have more research to do on MadVR.
My preferred player is Zoom Player Pro and it loved my old nVidia card and HATES my new ATI R7 240 card.
I just can't seem to get anything working with the R7 using the typical higher settings I'm used to, without suffering from severe video lag (lags behind audio) whenever I start multitasking.

Did not realize ATI was the preferred MadVR card. I just bought it because it had dual HDMI (which I prefer for my setup) at a nice price.

Thanks so much for that informative post!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,478 Posts
Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Wow, my CPU got beat out by a Celeron.
I thought this Core2 Duo was pretty decent.

I'm really leaning towards throwing an i5 mobo/CPU combo into this existing desktop. And maybe tossing more $ in to get a better PSU. :)
I do use virtual machines for training/work purposes. And use this as an MCE DVR. And I often surf the Internet while watching TV/movies.

Best Buy does price match NewEgg and Amazon so prices aren't an issue as long as they stock the parts I need.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top