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Hello, I am in The proccess of "cutting the cord" of cable. Its way to expencive for me to pay for so many channels I don't watch. So I'm consitering using some old hardware that I have setting around to put a capture card in, and use it for ota programs, and Netflix. But I'm conserned if this hardware would be strong enough to handle win7, xbmc, and windows media center. Here are the specs;


-old dell MB

-Pentium 4 3.0 ghz ht

-Wintv-HVR-1600 Tuner (Says "On-board MPEG-2 encoder, allows your computer to run at full speed", does that mean that it will use less system resources?)

-1gb DDR ram

-500gb we blue

-this gpu : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814134076

-DVD drive.


Is this fast enough for OTA HD watching and recording


A friend of mine was conserned that this wouldn't be enough for the capture card but he was unsure. So I need your opionions/experience.


I was also consiterinig this as an alternate :


this MB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186215

This CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103888

And 2 of these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139640


I don't have much of a budget.


Which option would be better?



I asked this over at Tom's Hardware but apparently its dead.



Keep in mind I already have the tuner card that says "On-board MPEG-2 encoder, allows your computer to run at full speed", does that mean that it will use less system resources?

If so hopefully I can get by with the P4 for now, until I save enough for a new better machine.
 

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Not much choice there. IDK about using any single core processor for Live TV, it may begin dropping frames and then crash because it cannot keep up.


I can't vote because I think that either choice is as bad as the other..


If you already have the tuner and the P4 just try it and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Does the On-board MPEG-2 encoder on my tuner card make any difference? The minimum requirements stated on the box said 2.2ghz P4 w/ 1gb Ram
 

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If that is the minimum requirements then give it a whirl with the updated graphics card.


I got so sick of my P4 hanging, I ditched it for an i5-650 two years ago. You need to start saving your money for a new computer.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ya, I'll give it a go...

I'm looking around my room, I think I have a slightly newer intel CPU thats a little faster.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadams639  /t/1417462/is-this-fast-enough-for-a-htpc#post_22165603


-this gpu : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814134076

That video card is next to useless. The only reason I can think of for buying that video card is if the motherboard you plan on using doesn't have integrated graphics. I don't recommend the AMD set-up, either. You can get a much better option for around the same cost as the AMD you've listed.


LGA-1155 motherboard (~$50): http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007627%20600093976%204025&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&Order=PRICE&PageSize=100

Intel Celeron G530 CPU ($50): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116409

same RAM as you listed above


Vastly capable and upgradeable HTPC for only $10-15 more than your suggested AMD set-up.


The Pentium 4 3GHz should be good enough for OTA HD playback. CPU utilization would be high but as long as you keep background tasks to the minimum, it should be fine. I'd probably disable anti-virus though. Netflix HD requires considerably better hardware, though so if you want Netflix, then go with the Celeron G530 (Sandy Bridge).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd  /t/1417462/is-this-fast-enough-for-a-htpc#post_22165754


That video card is next to useless. The only reason I can think of for buying that video card is if the motherboard you plan on using doesn't have integrated graphics. I don't recommend the AMD set-up, either. You can get a much better option for around the same cost as the AMD you've listed.

LGA-1155 motherboard (~$50): http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007627%20600093976%204025&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&Order=PRICE&PageSize=100

Intel Celeron G530 CPU ($50): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116409

same RAM as you listed above

Vastly capable and upgradeable HTPC for only $10-15 more than your suggested AMD set-up.

Agreed. If you have a Microcenter its the same price as the AMD set-up and will run rings around it.
 

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I didn't even think about the vid card specs. My P4 needed a video card so I think the OP will need one but I still don't think the OP will be happy with the P4 as an HTPC.


The celeron G530 is the best suggestion and it looks to be in the OP's budget range. I'll probably be using that for a budget miniITX build for a kitchen TV at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well i found a Celeron D 325 @ 2.53ghz, the reason for the graphics card is my TV only has DVI in, so I had to get a card with that.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have one of these : http://ark.intel.com/products/27108/Intel-Celeron-D-Processor-325-(256K-Cache-2_53-GHz-533-MHz-FSB)

I think it would be the best (free) option
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadams639  /t/1417462/is-this-fast-enough-for-a-htpc#post_22165868


I have one of these : http://ark.intel.com/products/27108/Intel-Celeron-D-Processor-325-(256K-Cache-2_53-GHz-533-MHz-FSB)

I think it would be the best (free) option
Not really. That's likely going to perform worse than the Pentium 4 you already have. Seriously, sinking any money into that build is a waste. If you're going to need to spend $50 for a video card anyway, you're better off adding another $50 to replace the MB/CPU/RAM. If budget constrained, 2GB of RAM would be enough.
 

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This is what I'd recommend:

1.) If you're able to use the PC without spending any money (maybe your friends are getting rid of old parts or something), then go ahead and use that PC. Stick to the P4 3.0GHz w/HT. That's likely faster than the Celeron D 2.53 GHz and P4 2.66 GHz you found.


2.) If you have to spend money (e.g. buy video card) in order to get that PC working, just ditch the MB/CPU/RAM and spend an extra $50-60 for a new platform.


Even if you get a video card for the old build, performance will be marginal and there will be plenty of tasks it won't be able to do (Netflix HD, YouTube 1080p, Hulu, 1080p H.264, etc). Heck, it might not even run xbmc smoothly. Sinking funds into that build is just money down the drain. If it at least had a PCI express x8/x16 slot, then it would be easy to recommend a GPU upgrade as you can recycle it for a future build, not to mention $20-35 PCI-e video cards are capable of decode acceleration for Blu-ray 1080p. However, $50 for a GeForce 6200 AGP? Really not worth it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadams639  /t/1417462/is-this-fast-enough-for-a-htpc#post_22166327


Would something like this do the job?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131697
Quote:
Originally Posted by jadams639  /t/1417462/is-this-fast-enough-for-a-htpc#post_22166342


Or maybe this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157307

Neither of those are good enough for Netflix 720p, that's for sure. I can't think of a good reason to go with that E-350 mATX when H61 mATX + Celeron G530 will cost you less and perform much, much, much better. The Atom D2700 is slightly less expensive, sure, but you're sacrificing a lot of performance to save $10-15.
 
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