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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if I would be able to use a Compaq Preserio 1278 for my HTPC. I am in the process of building an xga projector (more info at diyaudio dot com forum, under the video section). If it is possible to use this as my htpc. It will be dedicated solely for that purpose. My goals for to be able to play dvds, do a little gaming, and have dolby digital 5.1. The specs are as follows:


• 433 MHz AMD-K6®-2 processor with 3DNow!™ technology • 12.1" HPA display • 64 MB 100 MHz SyncDRAM, Shared Memory Architecture - 4 MB Dedicated for Video Memory • 4.8 GB hard drive • 24X Max CD-ROM drive • 512KB L2 Pipeline Burst Cache • Notebook weight = 7.3 pounds • High-capacity Lilon battery • Integrated 56K ITU V.90 PCI modem(3) • JBL Pro Audio System with Bass Reflex • Trident Cyberblade 3D Graphics


-Spinnaker
 

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I've tested such things on my old desktop k6-2 400; it works for playing video, but just barely and that depends alot on the video format. You really need at least a p3-800, imho.
 

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Thank you doug_k for the reply.


I am going to be given this laptop, and I am on a very limited budget, so anyway I could make this work would be great. Would it cost more to use this laptop and add componented that would increase performance, or would it be cheaper to build a htpc from scratch? Would installing a better video card increase performance? Would it be possible to overclock the cpu on this chip, and how successful have people been with overclocking cpu's on laptops? I am very new to htpc, so I would appreciete as much feedback on this subject as possible.


Thank you,

Spinnaker
 

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the constraints in upgrading a laptop are so tight that i think you'd find it worth your while to build a desktop HTPC instead.


i have a dell inspiron 5000e (PIII-650) w/ 20GB hard drive, 128MB, DVD-ROM, 15" TFT panel, s-video out, and ATI Rage3D video (4MB). about the only thing i can upgrade on this is the RAM, hard drive, and i can swap out the DVD-ROM for other media bay units (CD-RW, battery, etc.).


it'll play DVDs fine, but can only output via s-video, so it won't improve on a STB DVD player. i'd have to get a USB sound card to decode DD/DTS if i want to hook it up to a receiver. the hard drive is slow... and the fan is maybe 30mm, so it's noisy as hell when it starts up. overclocking? forget about it, the laptop runs hot enough to make it uncomfortable to use on your lap as it is.


in short... no real point to using it as an HTPC. you could prolly build a desktop for $500 or so and it would easily outperform the laptop you're receiving.


hope this helps.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Spinnaker
.... Would installing a better video card increase performance? ....
I do not think any laptop will allow you to do that.


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You are going to be extremely limited by that laptop as is the case with most laptops. I didn't look extensively, but I didn't find any Compaq/HP DVD drive available for that system. So, you will have to get an external USB DVD drive You're looking at about $125 for a 16x drive. For audio, to get 5.1 you are going to have to get a USB snd card (the internal one won't do it) like the Extigy which goes for about $100. That right there is already a $200+ investment for a system that probably won't be able to play DVDs fullscreen without lots of choppiness.


Unless you're looking at playing solitare with 2ft tall cards, gaming is pretty much limited to something with static images as any 3D game made within the past 3-4 years will choke that video card instantly.


As far as overclocking, it's very rare to be able to overclock a laptop. Even if you could, the stock heatpipe/sink will not be able to properly cool the system which'll cook the CPU in no time.


That laptop is almost 4 years old, which is pretty much ancient. As with anything, if it's being given to you, it's not worth much since "you get what you pay for."


I would recommend that you try and sell the laptop... maybe you can get $100-$200 for it. Then use that money to build a real HTPC...
 
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