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Media Center CPU

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by pt, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. pt

    pt not a suicide-bomber

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    Hi, wich is the best cpu for a media center not intended for games?
     
  2. Thermopylae_480

    Thermopylae_480 New Member

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    Any Pentium 4 generation, or later, Celeron, or a Sempron would be adequate to the task and have a low cost. I would recomend the Semprons, I think they run cooler and since you are creating a media center PC you would want to get away with as few fans as possible. Of course pretty much any CPU is up to the task of web surfing, playing movies, and listening to music.
     
  3. wtf8269

    wtf8269 New Member

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    Unless you want PCIE, I would just get an Athlon XP with a mobile Barton core.
     
  4. bruins004 New Member

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    It really depends on how much you are willing to spend in total....
     
  5. Zedicus

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    VIA C-media if u want tiny and quite.
    socket A unless u absolutly cant live without PCI-E.
    mobile socket 754 if u need pci-e
     
  6. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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    i have been using a p3 tualatin @ 1.2ghz with agp radeon 9550 until recently when i got a 42" plasma and run 720p to it. because the plasma pixels are not square i have to rescale the output video and the cpu was too slow for that
     
  7. Thermopylae_480

    Thermopylae_480 New Member

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    I like the idea of using one of the moblie CPUs. The energy consumption is less and you can get away with a little less cooling. I really don't think PCI-E should be that much of an issue. There are plenty of AGP cards that are more than up to the task.
     
  8. pt

    pt not a suicide-bomber

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    I ain't building one, but i may think of it in the future, so a new celeron will do fine right
    , doesn't need a dual-core
     
  9. zekrahminator

    zekrahminator McLovin

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    AMD with an Arctic Cooling CPU silencer (or whatever they call that series A64 CPU coolers lol) is what I'd reccomend. 3200+ is low cost, effective, and will suit your needs just fine. Any reliable motherboard will do for media center PC, and I think that for HTPC a 6800GS would make you very happy. ATI is better for gaming in my opinion, but Nvidia is alot better with the prettyness of video/games.
     
  10. yogurt_21

    yogurt_21

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    well as posted in the intel vs amd thread, if you go 775, theres a smithfield 805 for 133$ thats a dual core.
     
  11. pt

    pt not a suicide-bomber

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    btw, whic are the vital components of a media center
     
  12. wtf8269

    wtf8269 New Member

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    A nice TV tuner, bitchin sound card, and big hard drive is what most of your money should go towards. Everything else doesn't matter that much unless you're picky about speed.
     
  13. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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    i disagree .. tv tuner is kinda useless because of long pc boot up time.
    do you have the equipment to profit from a sound cards vs. on-board?
    quiet harddrive is more important (samsung sp160n series is VERY quiet, i use one)
    get/mod a quiet psu
    get a quiet cpu cooler + run it slow (7v works good)
    disconnect the vga fan :)
     
  14. pt

    pt not a suicide-bomber

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    So, do i realy need a tv tuner, or a GFX card with HD - ready will do fine?
     
  15. Zedicus

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    common myth, media centers dont need to be absolutly silent. just dont sit it in a place where the sound is going to echo and be directed towards you.

    onboard audio SUCKS, get sumthing beter.

    u dont need a tv tuner unless u want to use yur media center to record shows.

    media centers, (computers in general) should NEVER be turned off.

    invest in a good wireless remote and if u want to do websurfing and stuff a good wireless keyboard.

    get a VIVO graphics card, they come with a HDTV dongle.... usually.
     
  16. Aevum

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    a turion or a sampron could do the job quite well,
     
  17. pt

    pt not a suicide-bomber

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    What about the Disk Sata/Sata 2?
     
  18. zekrahminator

    zekrahminator McLovin

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    no real performance difference, I'd be more worried about RAID 0 vs. RAID 1. W1zzard's right (duh :p) about the CPU cooler. I'd reccomend something from Arctic Cooling, they're quiet and do just as good a job as the Zalman coolers, if not better. Antec SP-500 is a VERY quiet 500W power supply, and then get a NVsilencer5 for that 6800GS I reccomended earlier. After that, a gig of ram, an audigy 2, a TV tuner card (if you're watching/recording TV), and at least one DVD burner makes up a HTPC. Motherboard is your choice really, just make sure it's stable and quiet. Happy Gaming...or whatever you do with an HTPC :laugh:
     
  19. pt

    pt not a suicide-bomber

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    There are any sempron socket 939?
     
  20. Thermopylae_480

    Thermopylae_480 New Member

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    Wow, some of these suggestions would be great for a gaming system, but I fail to see the use of a 500 watt PSU, raid, a Dual core processor, or anything but a budget video card in a media center. They aren't designed for gaming after all. I can play music and DVDs on a PII with a soundblaster live and a ATI Rage Pro Turbo with 8MB of onboard memory. I still recomend something better than that if you want to do it right though.

    I suggest:
    Either a Mobile Processor (just if you want energy efficency and less heat), a Celeron (Celeron D at the most), or a Sempron.

    Either a X550 - X700, or a X1300-X1600 (at best). These all have HD out, so what more do you need? I would recomend some 9x00 series cards and their Nvidia equivalent, but I don't know which ones support HDTV out, I know some do. Check them out, I'm sure a 9500 would do the job too. Definetly a 9 series card if you never plan on needing an HD out signal.

    512MB of DDR 400, or DDR2 400-533 (Depending on Motherboard, and processor chosen) and make it the main companies value chips which are completely reliable. You don't need OCZ's or some other companies super memory.

    If you plan on having a nice speaker system, get a nice 7.1 Creative card. I like Audigy 2 or later, but a SB Live! would do too. Otherwise, just get a board with decent onboard.

    A TV tuner or ATI All in Wonder card is nice if you want to record TV, or convert your old VHS(great if you have a bunch of family video you don't want to lose) to DVD.

    If you plan on recording TV, video, and storing music, you will need a lot of storage, at least 250GB. Serial ATA is nice, but IDE ATA 133 is plenty fast to play back music and video. If not, then get something small. The only reason you would need any kind of raid is if your affraid of losing data. So raid 0, is out. Why would you need to access a song in 1.0 x 10^-9 seconds? I don't have raid, and I can call up 5GB video files in less than half a second.

    If you don't go out and buy a super video card or processor, and for a media center you don't need head room for OCing, a 300Watt PSU is fine. Depending on how many Optical drives and HDDs you want to run you could probably manage a 250 Watt. Whatever you get, get a good brand. The cheap brands are notoriously unreliable.

    Optical drive(s) that reflect your needs.

    A Micro-ATX board and a small case would be nice so you can conceal it easily if you want. Otherwise... whatever tickles your fancy.

    Personally if I were building a media center, I would scrap and scrounge parts, before I even went to a retail store.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2006
  21. zekrahminator

    zekrahminator McLovin

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    EIDE doesn't come in 150 flavor :p . ATA133 is the highest I've seen...and you're absolutely right. I forgot the main things about a HTPC and just assumed a great gaming PC would make an awesome HTPC. Main points in an HTPC is QUIET, reliable, and gets the job done. You mentioned just about everything for "gets the job done", though PT, you may want to upgrade to 1GB and 430-500W if you're getting lots of really good parts. I still stick with my opinion on 6800, due to lots of video enhancements. Last thing, an AMD processor like the 3200+ has low heat output and low power consumption, making it really good for an HTPC. Hope we've helped!
     
  22. Thermopylae_480

    Thermopylae_480 New Member

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    Lol. Thanks. My mind does that so much. I'll think one thing and combine parts of two different things when I type it down. I meant ATA133 :roll: . I still disagree with the 6800GS if you want the advancements a X1300-X1600, or 7300-7600 is about 120 dollars cheaper.
     
  23. pt

    pt not a suicide-bomber

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    Thanks a lot for all the sugestions, but there is a 939 sempron, or a socket 754 will do fine?
     
  24. Thermopylae_480

    Thermopylae_480 New Member

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    754 is perfectly fine. Unless you want PCI-E.
     
  25. zekrahminator

    zekrahminator McLovin

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    lol we might be telling him to go in circles :laugh:. Silly me, I forgot about the whole "avivo" and the low price of X1600 lol
     

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