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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys this is my first post here. In 2005 i built a pc strictly for gaming...however i want to convert it to a bonafide HTPC and want to know what components to get rid of and what to keep. I especially want to know if my graphics card is up to the task. Here are my components.


Processor:


AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Venice 2.2GHz Socket 939 Single-Core Processor Model ADA3500BPBOX


Video card:


BFG Tech BFGR68256GTOCX GeForce 6800GT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Supported Video Card


Motherboard (will prolly get a new one) :


EPoX EP-9NPA+Ultra 939 NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra ATX AMD Motherboard


Soundcard:


Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Value SB0400 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card - OEM


Case:


Antec LifeStyle SONATA II Piano Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 450W SmartPower 2.0 Power Supply


Memory:


CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model VS1GBKIT400


Since building the PC i kinda fell out of the loop on things tech related. I will be getting a 42 1080p Lcd soon so some pointers will be appreciated. BTW i'm running xp but will be getting Vista.


Thanks to everyone that took time to look and respond. This is a great site.
 

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I have a 3200+, 1GB and a 6600GT and it runs everything but blu-ray perfectly with room to spare.


So, it depends what you want to do with it.


Plenty of machine for DVD's and high def rips/downloads/streams/cable/sat.


If the tower case is an acceptable shape and size, you are all set.


PS I would stick with XP, since Vista is simply an excuse to force upgrades for no reason (imho).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by headkiss /forum/post/14291211


What do u mean "runs everything but Blu-ray" ?

I'm assuming he means that the computer can play almost any video format (.iso .mkv .avi .divx .mpg4 etc.) but the computer cannot handle straight blu-ray rips or blu-ray movies.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So would my system be able to handle straight Blu-ray movies? if not do i need to upgrade the video card or processor? i just want it to be able to handle high def movies and output them in 1080p. Sry i'm a noob at this stuff.
 

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if you want to just play bluray discs and stuff then just get a video card that supports HW acceleration like the ati radeon hd2600. if you want to play mkv rips of bluray discs though, not all are compatible with HWA so youd need a better cpu to play those.
 

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If you buy new mobo, it will mean you will be buying new CPU and ram as well.


The video card should be good enough for HTPC. If you going to be playing blu ray discs, with a good CPU, most of the processing will be done by the CPU. Nowadays if you get a good GPU/video card, it will process the blu rays for you, so lessen the load on your CPU. Its all up to you. If your main issue is just DVDs and downloaded movies, then your current video card will do the job. It doesn't take much to play blu rays, DVDs, or downloaded movies. Video cards are for gaming mostly. Just focus on a decent CPU, that where all the processing comes in for playing movies.


Also what size of harddrive are you using?? If you are going to download tons of movies, I suggest 320 gigs at least, or if you can 500 gigs.


Your sound card is decent, as long as it has optical out for the 5.1 movies from DVDs or blu ray. The movies you download will just the simple 2.0 stereo, so it doesn't really matter.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I intend to buy a 500gb hardrive. And yes i want to be able to play blu ray rips...i dont care about dvd. So any recommendations on a solid processor and mobo? And what is HW? Man i'm clueless....need to brush up on the tech
 

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Oh and i read somewhere that a card that has HDCP is required whatever that means. I just checked the specs of the 6800gt and it does not support HDCP. Thoughts?
 

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well your cpu alone would have a hard time playing bluray anyway, and the 6800 doesn't have support for bluray decoding, so not supporting hdcp (witch was vendor dependent at the time i think) is non-issue



All of ati's cards from the 2000 series on (2x00, 3xx0, 4xx0) all support blu-ray decoding and hdcp (i'm not exactly sure what nvidia ones do however)
 

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If you're going for purely HTPC (no gaming), have you considered getting a motherboard with integrated graphics?


MB: Gigabyte 780G - $90

CPU: AMD Athlon X2 4850e 2.5GHz - $80

RAM: 2x1GB DDR2 800 SDRAM - $50 (ave price before rebates)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by headkiss /forum/post/14297161


Oh and i read somewhere that a card that has HDCP is required whatever that means. I just checked the specs of the 6800gt and it does not support HDCP. Thoughts?

In all honesty, if you really want to play blu-ray, and associated mkv rips, you are going to need a new Mobo, Processer and Ram, and possibly a new Video Card that supports HDCP, or install AnyDvd to get around it. And that's not even getting to the audio side of it.
 

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I have a simple setup of -


AMD 4400x2

GA 780g mobo

2GB ram

1TB HDD


I can play all HD content fine, 1080p included. It didn't cost me much, offers spdif optical, coxial, and it looks like they are starting to sort out the HDMI audio with the onbard audio.


Overall I am extremely happy with my setup and two friends have bought the same setup with a slightly more powerfull CPU since they were cheaper when they purchased their parts.
 

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Your rig is plenty adequate for HTPC. However, if you want to playback BD/HD DVD, your cheapest upgrade would be to replace your video card with an ATI HD 3450 for under $50. Make sure it supports audio output thru HDMI and you should be good to go.

Here's one for $20 after MIR
 
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