Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

HTPC HD Upgrade?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • HTPC HD Upgrade?

    I have a home theater PC in my living room with
    Athlon 2600 XP
    Socket A motherboard (462)
    786 MB ram
    Gforce 4800
    Windows 2000

    I've never had any problems with anything I threw at it. Lately since I have been using it to play HD files I'm getting some hiccups. I suspect it's the preprocessor. I could get a 3200 for $100 bucks on fleabay, but I think the gains would be minimal. What is the minimum processor speed for HD content? Anyones have any ideas or suggestions on the cheapest way to upgrade?

  • #2
    Re: HTPC HD Upgrade?

    actually, you will see a decent improvement, but also look into 2gigs of ram as it is dirt cheap. the video could be the biggest bottleneck though, if possible, look for even a 6 or 7 series GF card.

    even doing all three upgrades, you should only be out 150 - 200.
    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
    The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

    If all else fails: "rm -rf /"

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: HTPC HD Upgrade?

      The video card is your bottle neck for HD video. I have been reading a lot in articles lately where they talk about how the GPU handles HD video, and the newest 8800s are pretty good at it, but the 9000 series from Nvidia, like the 9600, are doing extremely well with HD.

      The new stuff from AMD/ATI like the 3850 and 3650 are also good, and the 3650 is under $100. Google for some reviews with keywords like HD and 3850, or HD and 9600.

      EDIT:
      I would say just about any of these cards would be a huge bump and probably solve your hicup
      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...k=&srchInDesc=

      They are all DX10 AGP cards (which I assume is your interface).
      Last edited by Bamboo; 03-16-2008, 02:07 PM.

      LINKS

      * *


      Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

      -Carlos A. Urbizo-

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: HTPC HD Upgrade?

        Thanks for the replys, but I don't think it's the video card because I'm only getting a hiccup with my old azz card. I'm talking about 19GB files. I would like to look at the articles that say you need an 8000 card to watch HD. While I'm running them there is no strain on the Ram, but the cpu is maxxed. DX deosn't play a role in movies as far as I know.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: HTPC HD Upgrade?

          But your graf. card is doing the rendering, and takes the stress off the CPU. For instance, when buying a TV tuner card, if you have a weak CPU you need to find a card with hardware incoding to run smooth, but if you have a strong CPU you can buy a cheaper card and let the CPU do the work. Best case would be to get both the CPU and GPU, cause man, that card is ancient. It might be possible though for you to get a much more modern Motherboard and CPU for about the $100 you would spend for just that Socket A CPU.
          Here is an article from 2 years ago that will help explain.
          http://firingsquad.com/hardware/build_a_htpc/page4.asp
          That is just the GPU page, and the 1st couple of paragraphs are important. And the way prices are for GPU cards now, you can get a really good one for under $100. For instance, the 7600 GT they talk about at the bottom of the page and say it costs $160 is now as low as $66.
          And they are almost all now offer support for HDCP, which wasn't the case when the article was written.

          There is a whole new gen. of integrated motherboards about to be released that are actually good at graphics, and can handle HD. They can actually handle a lot of games as well, so you could consider spending $200-$250 for a new MB, CPU, and RAM and just drop it in your old case. Would get you through much further down the road than spending $100 on a very old CPU.
          Links:
          AMD 780G changes the graphics game
          Intel talks P45, G45 and X48
          AMD 780G: Preview of the Best Current IGP Solution
          That last article above might be a really good read for you, since it includes pictures.

          There are a TON more article that just came out in the last 2 weeks about this, but I don't usually read them since I am not interested in integrated graf.


          Here is something about what CPU you need, and I'm not sure even with that 3200 you are looking at will be enough.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_theater_PC#Hardware

          So, getting the 3200 might barley tide you over for now, but you will soon be wanting something more that can handle all the stuff like Digital Downloads and other things coming out soon.

          LINKS

          * *


          Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

          -Carlos A. Urbizo-

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: HTPC HD Upgrade?

            This looks pretty nice. Thanks for helping find it. I know its MicroAtx, but for the price who can complain. I chose AMD because the new Intel chipsets don't support HDCP
            http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131273

            Any recommends on a best bang for my buck cheap AMD processor? All the reviews talked about using the MB with the 4850e, but it's not out yet.
            Last edited by Hambergler; 03-16-2008, 09:33 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: HTPC HD Upgrade?

              I will also add that I think the AMD/ATI video cards produce better video. The colors look better or something. This is just for normal DVD video though.
              Im not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
              - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
              - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
              - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
              - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
              - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
              - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: HTPC HD Upgrade?

                Might also want to consider the Gigibyte board
                http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128090
                They are sold out on newegg and it is $99, but ClubIT has it in stock and for $82.
                Read the reviews on newegg as they are really good
                http://www.clubit.com/product_detail...temno=A4830739

                One review says
                "I watched ""300"" in HD from an XBOX360 HD-DVD player and the picture was stellar...yes...STELLAR. On an X2 5000, the CPU load was only 20%. I have not tweaked anything yet. Definitely a winner for an HTPC."

                That 5000+ is only $89:
                http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103194
                but they do have cheaper ones than that if you really arn't ever going to do games or video editing or anything.
                What monitor are you using by the way? Like a nice LCD HD or Plasma?

                And for RAM
                http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820145440
                or
                http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820211066
                is super cheap and look how good the reviews are.

                And what OS are you going to use? Notice you can get a special deal with some of that stuff on newegg for Vista.
                Might want to read this
                http://cybernetnews.com/2008/03/09/m...-media-center/
                Would make is really easy to have your own DVR and nice interface.

                LINKS

                * *


                Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

                -Carlos A. Urbizo-

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: HTPC HD Upgrade?

                  The GIGABYTE board is a little nicer. I'm using a 50" LCD. I'm all about the HD and my cable company's HD box has a DVR built in. The only way I have found to record to HD non over-the-air content to PC is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CableCARD with a PCI Adapter. But as you can see from wiki the cable companies are not supporting the technology properly and there has been massive complaining on AVS forums. So DVRs aren't quite ready for HD yet as far as I can tell. I haven't decided on the OS. I don't know how HDCP will effect me. And are there any real benefits from Vista for a HTPC besides a flashy interface? Vista does have a bigger foot print and the OS in this case is more of a click through, rather then something I look at for an extended period. I may just stick with 2000.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: HTPC HD Upgrade?

                    There is the Windows XP media center
                    Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 w/SP2B - OEM
                    That would add a really nice interface and not much overhead.

                    And vista has media center built in. Might want to read up on Vista and HDCP.

                    Using the computer as your DVR would let you do a lot of other things the one from the cable company won't let you do, like burn all your shows to disk and other stuff.

                    LINKS

                    * *


                    Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

                    -Carlos A. Urbizo-

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: HTPC HD Upgrade?

                      Originally posted by Bamboo View Post
                      There is the Windows XP media center
                      Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 w/SP2B - OEM
                      That would add a really nice interface and not much overhead.

                      And vista has media center built in. Might want to read up on Vista and HDCP.

                      Using the computer as your DVR would let you do a lot of other things the one from the cable company won't let you do, like burn all your shows to disk and other stuff.
                      If I can't record HD a DRV won't do me any good. Plus I store everything on hard drive. I may try the XP media Center.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: HTPC HD Upgrade?

                        you could also consider linux.

                        Those small htpc boards with built in vid are nice. I plan on putting one together in about 6-10 months. I will be putting my 40W athlon 1640 LE in it. I will be putting it together when blue ray drives come down in price. right now you can get a good quality blu ray disk drive for 150ish.

                        Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough! Benjamin Franklin

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: HTPC HD Upgrade?

                          MythTV is the canonical Linux solution.

                          While trying to google the Windows-based PVR solution I'd read about in an earlier thread on Windows RF remotes (BeyondTV and the Firefly remote), I found this resource:

                          http://www.pvrblog.com/
                          Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                          snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                          Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: HTPC HD Upgrade?

                            BeyondTV is supposed to be a good program.
                            Links:
                            Beyond TV Comparison Chart

                            System Requirements

                            "Beyond TV does not support Windows Vista 64 bit, only x86 32 bit"
                            Bastards. Hope that changes soon, cause I haven't found many programs that haven't updated.

                            LINKS

                            * *


                            Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

                            -Carlos A. Urbizo-

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: HTPC HD Upgrade?

                              Along with the link I posted above:

                              MyFive: Reasons I Love Windows Vista Media Center

                              They just did another one this morning:

                              CyberNotes: Six Amazing Plug-Ins for Vista Media Center

                              As a side note, after reading the stuff above, I decided to take my old rig out to the living room and hook it up to the TV. Well, after spending hours trying every connection cable I have (you would stare at me and wonder what was wrong with that guy if you knew how many odd and spare cable/connectors I have), and trying every setting in the control panel, I have finally given up. Just can't get it working right, except to get some horrible purple looking fuzzy mess to show up through component cables.
                              I have decided I will hold off till I get a LCD TV with tons of inputs.

                              But anyway, hope the links above help add some new joy to someone's TV. :D

                              LINKS

                              * *


                              Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

                              -Carlos A. Urbizo-

                              Comment

                              Connect

                              Collapse

                              TeamSpeak 3 Server

                              Collapse

                              Advertisement

                              Collapse

                              Twitter Feed

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X