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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hope this isn't too simple a question for this board (a lot of the reading I've done is over my head...but I'm learning.



I just want a basic computer to run movies and play music in my budget home theatre. (It's the starter - the big one in the basement in 10 years...)


I've looked at a couple of $400ish computers - just wondering if anyone had any experience or would offer any suggestions/advice about these two:


AsRock ION 330:

WON't LET ME POST THE ADDRESS BUT:

w w w . canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=024006&cid=DPC.405


Gateway SX2800:

w w w . markways.com/detail/1077/Gateway_SX2800_02H/


Or other models?


I just want a basic, quiet pc to run movies (dvd and avi) and to play music (cd and mp3).


Any help would greatly be appreciated.


Thanks
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by adil.hoxha /forum/post/18180218


Hope this isn't too simple a question for this board (a lot of the reading I've done is over my head...but I'm learning.



I just want a basic computer to run movies and play music in my budget home theatre. (It's the starter - the big one in the basement in 10 years...)


I've looked at a couple of $400ish computers - just wondering if anyone had any experience or would offer any suggestions/advice about these two:


AsRock ION 330:

WON't LET ME POST THE ADDRESS BUT:

w w w . canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=024006&cid=DPC.405


Gateway SX2800:

w w w . markways.com/detail/1077/Gateway_SX2800_02H/


Or other models?


I just want a basic, quiet pc to run movies (dvd and avi) and to play music (cd and mp3).


Any help would greatly be appreciated.


Thanks

I would seriously look for a system with either an Intel i3-530 or an AMD X4 635. Both CPU's are priced relatively the same, with the AMD platform probably being cheaper overall (and it gives you enough processing power to do some image enhancement a la ffdshow). Unfortunately most places are selling complete systems with these processors in the $500-800 range for some reason (especially for the AMD as they tend to be in the $700-800, which makes no sense at all since the CPU+motherboard+4GB RAM can be had for about $300).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fallen Kell /forum/post/18180323


I would seriously look for a system with either an Intel i3-530 or an AMD X4 635. Both CPU's are priced relatively the same, with the AMD platform probably being cheaper overall (and it gives you enough processing power to do some image enhancement a la ffdshow). Unfortunately most places are selling complete systems with these processors in the $500-800 range for some reason (especially for the AMD as they tend to be in the $700-800, which makes no sense at all since the CPU+motherboard+4GB RAM can be had for about $300).

They sell for that much money because they also include a case, power supply, optical drive, hard drive, typically a card reader, a keyboard, a mouse and a full OEM OS license, that all stacks up quickly, plus more often than not they come with some form of warranty and are fully assembled and tested before being shipped out, both of which also cost a noteable chunk of change on top.


Sure, a lot of people here are capable of putting a system like this together for themselves, but some aren't, and even some that are, are willing to pay the relatively minor extra cost for getting a system that is fully assembled, tested and guaranteed. I've even considered it lately.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by adil.hoxha /forum/post/18180218


Hope this isn't too simple a question for this board (a lot of the reading I've done is over my head...but I'm learning.



I just want a basic computer to run movies and play music in my budget home theatre. (It's the starter - the big one in the basement in 10 years...)


I've looked at a couple of $400ish computers - just wondering if anyone had any experience or would offer any suggestions/advice about these two:


AsRock ION 330:

WON't LET ME POST THE ADDRESS BUT:

w w w .


Gateway SX2800:

w w w . markways.com/detail/1077/Gateway_SX2800_02H/


Or other models?


I just want a basic, quiet pc to run movies (dvd and avi) and to play music (cd and mp3).


Any help would greatly be appreciated.


Thanks

either of them would be fine.


You're comparing:


e5400 with 2x 2.5ghz cores, 4gb ram and geforce 210


with


Atom with 2x 1.6ghz cores, 2gb ram and geforce 9400


The Gateway is a better all-around machine - more RAM and better CPU. The Atom has better hardware acceleration of HD video (more powerful graphics chipset). The 210 graphics on the Gateway will do 1080p so there's no issue there.


The Gateway is the one I'd suggest as the better of the two for what you're proposing.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by etheesdad /forum/post/18181097


either of them would be fine.


You're comparing:


e5400 with 2x 2.5ghz cores, 4gb ram and geforce 210


with


Atom with 2x 1.6ghz cores, 2gb ram and geforce 9400


The Gateway is a better all-around machine - more RAM and better CPU. The Atom has better hardware acceleration of HD video (more powerful graphics chipset). The 210 graphics on the Gateway will do 1080p so there's no issue there.


The Gateway is the one I'd suggest as the better of the two for what you're proposing.

To play devils advocate I'll present the other side of the decision and you can pick which is more important:


Despite the Gateway having a faster CPU and more ram, the ASRock does have a faster GPU(though not by much) and with the Atom processor will use much less power, be smaller and likely quieter, if not silent.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtosDracon /forum/post/18181145


the ASRock does have a faster GPU

No, it doesn't . The G210 is slightly faster/better than the older 9400 in every metric. It eats less power too.


The Gateway is more than twice the machine that the Asrock is. An E5200 is at least 2-3 times more powerful than a dual-core Atom. Add that to the doubled RAM and more than doubled HD capacity, and it's not even a competition.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by candre23 /forum/post/18181166


No, it doesn't . The G210 is slightly faster/better than the older 9400 in every metric. It eats less power too.

Actually, all of the metrics besides one are improved marginally, while the memory badwidth has been halved versus the 9400GT card, which isn't the same as the 9400 chipset. The G210 does add MPEG4-ASP hardware decoding, which very few will actually use, and it WILL use more power than an integrated solution, hands down.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtosDracon /forum/post/18181189


the memory badwidth has been halved

Halving the memory interface does not half it's real-world throughput. I guarantee actual memory throughput on the G210 (with dedicated memory on-card) is faster than the 9400 (sharing system memory). Pick any benchmark or task you like, the G210 will win every time. Maybe not by a lot, but it is still unarguably the better chip. Nvidia built it specifically to replace the 9400.


Quote:
Originally Posted by etheesdad /forum/post/18181171


Benchmarks?

I linked a spec comparison in my first reply. You can see a 3DMark 06 comparison here . Artificial benchmarks aren't everything, but the G210 scored 50% higher than the 9400. That's a big enough margin to be pretty conclusive.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by candre23 /forum/post/18181338


Halving the memory interface does not half it's real-world throughput. I guarantee actual memory throughput on the G210 (with dedicated memory on-card) is faster than the 9400 (sharing system memory). Pick any benchmark or task you like, the G210 will win every time. Maybe not by a lot, but it is still unarguably the better chip. Nvidia built it specifically to replace the 9400.



I linked a spec comparison in my first reply. You can see a 3DMark 06 comparison here . Artificial benchmarks aren't everything, but the G210 scored 50% higher than the 9400. That's a big enough margin to be pretty conclusive.

3D mark has NOTHING to do with HTPC performance. I'm not arguing that it's slightly faster at minesweeper, I'm saying that:

A) it's a stand alone card with separate memory and voltage regulation, so it's going to consume more power

B) it will provide absolutely no performance increase while watching video or playing audio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It will be hooked up to my 42" LG Plasma (remember...starter for the living room...
and through my Yamaha receiver for sound.


I did think the Gateway was a much better machine all-around - wasn't sure if I was missing something. I was leaning that way - might do some light pc stuff to in the living room (little word pro, little surfing...) and wish the AsRock had a USB in the front. (But if it does boot up in a couple of seconds...that would be nice!)


Fallen Kell - those processors will make a significant difference for the money?


Didn't mean to start an argument - but I do appreciate any input. From reading it seems that they both have a decent graphics systems and will do the job for me fine?


Thanks for the input.
 
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