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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am building my first HTPC and am wondering which AMD cpu i should use from these choices:


Athlon X2 4450e $53; 4850e $56; or 5050e $60

Athlon II X2 245 $68

Phenom II X2 545 $90

Phenom II X3 710 $99


The HTPC will play DVD, Blu-ray, and HD-DVD movies on a Panny 42" plasma. Eventually, I will add a tuner card but not until I conduct further research. I am not sure about game playing ability as I have a Phenom 9950 for that, although playing on a 42" screen does sound cool.


So, what do you think would provide the biggest bang for the buck? I have already spent more on this project than anticipated and I still have to buy mobo, memory, another hdd, wireless keyboard, and psu so price is a factor, hence nothing over $100.
 

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Athlon II X2 240, $60, or 245, $67 or 250, $87 is enough for video playback. L3 cache in Phenom II has little effect. Which graphics card are you using?
 

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If you're using onboard graphics you may need a processor with a faster Hyper Transport to get the best deinterlacing options available. That means you'd need, I think, the Athlon II or Phenom processors. If you're using a video card you can probably get away with the 5050e.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry, I should have added more specs. I'll be using a 790GX motherboard with the HD3300 IGP. I don't want to have to add a discrete card unless it's necessary just to keep things quiet, as quietness is key. Although, the IGP will definitely limit any game-playing ability but that's what I have my main computer for anyway.
 

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Then you'd better avoid an older K8 processor (Athlon X2 4450e, 4850e, 5050e). HT 2.x will be the bottleneck of IGP performance.
 

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Check if the motherboard will support the 245 or any other similar AM3 processors. If not, then look to a 7850 processor. Very good solution in between the 4x50e processors and the Athlon II processors but runs a little hotter.


Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I checked my mobo's cpu support list and the 4450e and 4850e are not supported so now it is between the other choices. Would it better to get the 5050e and a cheap discrete gfx card instead of the higher wattaged Phenom II's or Athlon II'S?


One other thing I should mention is that quality is the most important consideration, then quietness, followed by power consumption.
 

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Odd that the 4450e and 4850e are not supported yet the 5050e is. They're all basically the same family with just different clock speeds.


The Athlon II X2 245 for $8 more than a 5050e is a way better processor.


What do you mean by quality - picture quality, component quality? In my opinion, the 245 with integrated graphics be it 8200/8300 or 785G should work well and give a good picture. I run a 4850e with 8200 graphics and it's good for me but I don't play any interlaced content (like recorded live content) and it seems that the lower end solutions can have shortcomings with interlaced content. But, the 245 with the faster HT buss should overcome these issues. However, there are others who feel a more power graphics solution is required for any use.


Peter
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlasich /forum/post/16955071


I checked my mobo's cpu support list and the 4450e and 4850e are not supported so now it is between the other choices. Would it better to get the 5050e and a cheap discrete gfx card instead of the higher wattaged Phenom II's or Athlon II'S?

Purely in terms of power consumption probably not, since even low-powered graphics cards use at least 20W or so (and require either active cooling or very good case ventilation, which might add noise). On the other hand, the current motherboard graphics are not powerful enough for the best deinterlacing mode (motion adaptive), so if that is important to you a discrete card might be a better choice. You might also run into trouble with Blu-rays that have a secondary video stream (PiP), since the 790GX doesn't support UVD2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sorry, I should have specified what I meant by quality. Picture quality is what I am not willing to sacrifice.


I'm new to the Blu-ray scene so please forgive my ignorance but what is the PiP (Picture in Picture?) feature? Is this something that is optional on the disc (i.e. watching the movie but want to skip to another chapter without exiting to the menu) and therefore can be used or not?


Since I am getting some really good respones from some knowledgeable people, I have one other question. This is about networks, which I have little knowledge of but will be setting up. I only have one Blu-ray/HD-DVD drive but two computers. I was thinking about putting it in an external enclosure so I could easily move it from computer to computer but I am wondering if instead, I could install it in one computer and then access the drive across the network.


Thanks everyone for your help thus far.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlasich /forum/post/16955534


I'm new to the Blu-ray scene so please forgive my ignorance but what is the PiP (Picture in Picture?) feature?

Yes, picture in picture. It's used for special features such as video commentaries than run in a window concurrently with the main movie. Such discs require decoding of 2 video streams in parallel, which the current ATI chipsets (except the new 785G) don't support in hardware, so one stream has to be decoded in software.
Quote:
Since I am getting some really good respones from some knowledgeable people, I have one other question. This is about networks, which I have little knowledge of but will be setting up. I only have one Blu-ray/HD-DVD drive but two computers. I was thinking about putting it in an external enclosure so I could easily move it from computer to computer but I am wondering if instead, I could install it in one computer and then access the drive across the network.

It's possible to share the drive over the network, but unless you circumvent the copy protection, you can't directly play back the movie on another computer, since normally the AACS copy protection requires that the player software has direct access to the drive.
 

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I would actually suggest the 705e.


2.5Ghz triple core CPU @ 65W.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...03683&Tpk=705e


Multi core good for transcoding, etc.

2.5Ghz for pretty decent speed

65W for low power

Good HT link speed as well.

$124 at Newegg.


It is a good blend of low power, multi core and decent frequency at a reasonable price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Java Jack, the 705e does sound enticing, particularly the 65w but it is just beyond my price range. If I didn't have so much other components to buy, I think that would be the cpu to get.


Thanks Rigby Reardon for clarifying the Pip feature in Blu-ray. It is something I could live without but prices on 785G mobo's aren't bad. Now, I have more choices. I was originally going to use the 790GX ATX mobo from my main pc and get a micro-ATX for that pc because I would like to start downsizing my systems - I'm tired of having a huge tower taking up space when there's hardly anything in it and I was planning on replacing the tower with a Lian Li cube case that I could stuff in the corner, but two mobos are definitely not in my budget.


Too many choices, too few dollars.
 
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