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Building a HTPC...

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by ShadowFold, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. ShadowFold

    ShadowFold New Member

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    I got everything picked cept the GPU. Im gonna recycle my old PSU whitch is a Bestec 300w with 19a +12v rails. It ran a 90w cpu and a 7600GS fine. I was either gonna get a HD 3450 or HD 3670 whitch ever is better for blu ray movies and built in HDMI audio. So witch would be better for a HTPC? Sound is not an issue so a fan is fine.
  2. ktr

    ktr

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    The key feature you want is HDCP, without it...you wont be able to play any HD content. As for the 3450 or the 3670...i dunno, not much info on it. Just get the cheapest that has hdmi and hdcp. If you want to game on it, then go for the more powerful.
  3. ShadowFold

    ShadowFold New Member

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    Yea both cards have that. Would the 3670 be better for HD or just for gaming, theres a 50$ diff thats pretty big!
  4. Franklinwallbrown

    Franklinwallbrown New Member

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    I want to watch HD movies too...and I don't know the best card to get either. Which is better for HD? ATI or Nvidia?
  5. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    3450/3670 wont have any difference for blu ray, only in gaming power.

    Blu ray and H264 are still fairly CPU dependant, more than video card - the only real advantage those cards will give you is native HDMI, WITH audio. (a good bonus)

    My advice, after watching lots of HD movies (mostly 720P) is this:
    2.4GHz AMD or above - my FX-62 at 2.8Ghz uses upto 80% CPU power on 1080p media, and around 60-80% for 720p.

    On intel, a core2 duo 2GHz is enough. Pentium 4 we HAVE managed to get some 720p files working smoothly around 2.2-2.4GHz, but not 1080p (which most bluray disks will be). This required a paid codec called CoreAVC

    Ram doesnt really matter - 512MB in XP and 1GB in vista had everything smooth for us.

    your 300W PSU should be fine, i ran my media PC (before the 8800GT) off a 220W fortron. I'd be more concerned about noise, as nothings more annoying than a loud media PC.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2008
  6. ktr

    ktr

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    the 3450 should be more than enough. The lowest recommend HTPC HD card is like the 7300gt.
  7. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    see my post which took so long to write you guys beat me to it.

    Apart from HDCP, and the ATI cards ability to pass on audio (using the TV speakers) there really is no difference - while i cant test blu ray disks, i can test H264 files which is the same codec used in those disks. Performance results i found are above.


    But it doesnt support HDCP, thats the flaw there.
  8. Franklinwallbrown

    Franklinwallbrown New Member

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    So, AMD is better for HD?
  9. ShadowFold

    ShadowFold New Member

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    Sweet, yea this is not for gaming. I have a HP mobo with a X2 4200+(my old rig) just gonna put some stuff in it and make a HTPC. A HD3450 would suffice then?

    ATi = HD leader. ATi's cards are awsome for HD cause the HD 2000 and forward series have built in HDMI and tons of HD features.
  10. Franklinwallbrown

    Franklinwallbrown New Member

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    Well, I want mine for HD & gaming, but that isn't your problem.
  11. ShadowFold

    ShadowFold New Member

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    HD + Gaming go with a HD 3850/HD 3870. My HD 3850 is amazing on a 56'' HDTV :toast:
  12. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    not any better for HD. They just have audio and video on the same cable. This only matters if your speakers require HDMI input, such as those on a very expensive screen.

    Most of us use analogue speakers, or optical home theater speakers on a Home theater setup.

    Its a bonus, but it doesnt make it any better for the video side of things.

    As for HDCP, all Nvidia 8 series cards support it, as well as ATI's x2k series - the x3k series adds the audio feature on top of that.




    Bonus audio makes it the leader? i see it as a nice feature, but not a deal breaker here.

    4200+ with 3450 should be fine. Thats around 2.4Ghz stock isnt it? That should playback nice and smooth.
  13. Franklinwallbrown

    Franklinwallbrown New Member

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    Then if you were to go HD & gaming, it would depend on if you were going to hook it up to a TV or not?
  14. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    by HD, he is talking about connecting to a HDTV over HDMI. If you use any other form of screen, its totally irrelevant.

    If you want gaming and HD, i suggest an 8800 series card, assumin the size isnt an issue. If size is an issue i'm not sure what to reccomend, as the 8500/8600 GT from nvidia have pretty poor 3D performance imo. (i dont know how they compare to the 3450/3650 tho)
  15. ShadowFold

    ShadowFold New Member

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    Actually with a AMD X2 4200+ and a HD 3850 I handled all my games 30fps+ at 1920x1080 even crysis(all high no AA). I havent tried with my 3ghz c2d yet I will later tho lol
  16. Franklinwallbrown

    Franklinwallbrown New Member

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    So if you want to watch HD movies over a computer monitor, it doesn't matter? What exactly is AA (anti-asailing?)? What does it do?
  17. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    assuming the 3850 is smaller than an 8800Gt (i beleive it is) that would make it my #2 combo card then.
  18. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    Anti aliasing is for games only, and at the cost of quite a bit of power reduces the jagged edges on the sides of objects.

    It reduces the 'staircase effect' on teh side of in game objects, simulating gaming at a higher resolution.

    HD movies are no different from PC screen to TV - as long as both support HDCP (which most 22" and up screens do)

    the only advantage ATI have is that you can get audio over the same cable as video. You can always run the audio cable seperately, or even juse use different speakrs (seriously, most TV speakers suck anyway. Its only a convenience thing)
  19. ShadowFold

    ShadowFold New Member

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    The ones on my TV are actually really good. AA pretty much doesnt play well with ATi's newer cards. I get 80-120fps on CoD4 with none and 62-70fps with 4X AA whitch is what I play with, I cant see past 25fps anyway.
  20. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    can you connect them via analogue or optical? (analogue is more important, since optical isnt on many 'gamers' sound cards)
  21. ktr

    ktr

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    he said both had hdcp.
  22. ShadowFold

    ShadowFold New Member

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    I plugged it up thru HDMI and sound came thru the speakers :confused:
  23. Franklinwallbrown

    Franklinwallbrown New Member

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    So, your recommendation would be an 8 series Geforce, preferably an 8800 if I want to play high end games such as Crysis?
  24. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    in google, it says only a few models of 7600GT (refershed models) have HDCP, and NOTHING lower from nvidia.
  25. ShadowFold

    ShadowFold New Member

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    I reccomend a HD 3850 or 3870...

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