HTPC build up. Video Card and the rest of the system

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  1. #1
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    HTPC build up. Video Card and the rest of the system

    Following suggestions from hardware.no I was keen to buy following card: AOpen Aelous 6600 GT 128 MB. However looking at possibles connections I do not see video in. S Video seems to be used only for video out signal. Is it possible to connect video in somehow with this card?

    This card is adviced by Mastiff and I trust his advice, would like to follow it. Hardware.no under "PC anbefalinger" section also have collected whole machine, where they suggest to use PowerColor Radeon X600 PRO 256 MB AIW. This one seems to have all necessary connections.

    I am also bewildered on CPU and mobo selection.
    Mastiff advice is :
    CPU Intel Pentium 4 540J 3,2 GHz
    Mobo ASUS P5AD2-E Premium

    HD.no advice is:
    CPU Intel Pentium 4 550 (3.4 GHz)
    Mobo ASUS P5GDC Deluxe

    I am looking for a system, that I can potentially use for HTPC, but not at the moment as I don't have projector and looking PC output on CRT tv or PC screen doesn't benefit from having HTPC tuning as far as I can understand.

    Hope for some advice.

  2. #2
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    Velger å svare på norsk, siden du åpenbart sikkert leser norsk men helst skriver engelsk.

    Skal du ha et kombi kort med video inn og ut må du se etter et AIW kort (ATI) eller et VIVO kort. Vet jeg har sett det siste finnes med 6600 GT, men under et annet merkenavn. Burde være mulig å finne enten på Hw.no ellr f.eks Komplett.no.

    Når det gjelder hastighet er vel svaret som det tidligere har vært at for å vise film med WinDVD/PowerDVD trenger man ikke i nærheten av de nevnte prosessorer og HK. For å kjøre ZP/FFdshow + div. filtre er det fint med "jo raskere jo bedre". Har selv en P4 2.8 med 800 FSB., og den greier fint å dra rundt ovennevnte med et par tre filtre på og fortsatt ligger under 50 % CPU.

    Og som du sier - på en TV skjerm ser du vel neppe særlig forskjell. På en god PC skjerm med høy oppløsning vil du derimot godt se forskjell, eller evt. en god projector.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, you are right, I can read Norwegian, but don't want to make funny comments since my Norwegian writing is not that good... I started looking english forums, but I found that this forum is better if you live in Norway as many parts discussed you can easily find in the shops.

    Yes, I am looking for possibility to use FFdshow to improve quality, but again, probably only when I have projector. Maybe even to try overclocing. Waiting for the next part of Mastiff guide, that should cover that part. I am almost convinced to use P4, even if Alan Cooke at htpcnews.com (well respected user at well respected site) selected AMD64 for his HTPC guide. There is still a possibility to discuss what is the best value for money at any given time. Mastiff suggested 540J 3,2 GHz, that costs around 1844 NOK, Would 550J 3,4 MHz increase the quality that one could feel? It costs 500 NOK extra, but maybe it is worth it?

    One more question. Is DDR2 RAM better for HTPC than DDR RAM? I plan to put 2 X 512 into mine (I know 512 must be enough for pure video watching, but I think extra should help for other taskt, like encoding video).

    I am planning to build pc with water cooling following again Mastiffs guide. But this is also my first build from scratch (if one can use this word for just collecting different parts together..), before I only updated PC. Would you say water cooling system is too complicated to implement?

    I can also see many people use SATA hard disk. Is ther any reason Mastiff suggests Ultra ATA hard disk? Maybe it is because for video watching it does not play significant role, but it would play role when you copy files a lot. I am asking this, since the price does not seem to be different much.

  4. #4
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    How about replacing suggested RAM Corsair XMS2 TWINX DDR2 -675 512 (2 X256) - 1154

    with Corsair Value Select DDR2-533 1024 MB (2x512) - 1094 NOK.

    Seems like I do not understand something since 1024 MB cost less than 512 MB. Can someone advice?

    If the value option is not adviced, I can see three options to select:
    Corsair XMS2 TWINX PRO DDR2-675 1024 MB (2x512) - 2144 NOK
    Corsair XMS2 TWINX DDR2-675 1024 MB (2x512) - 2170 NOK
    Corsair XMS2 TWINX PRO DDR2-533 1024 MB (2x512) - 2505 NOK

    Now this is weired. I thought Pro is better than non Pro and I also thought 675 is more than 533, but the price above show opposite. Can someone shed some light on it?

  5. #5
    Intermediate Mastiff sin avatar
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    I suggested the ATA disk because it's less noisy than the S-ATA counterpart. As for the rest, I still stick to P4, but I don't think you will gain much by going from 3.2 to 3.4. Let's just say that the thing doesn't run on 3.2 when I'm done with it... :wink:

    Video in will be covered in the TV tuner card section, that's why I haven't bothered with that in the regular graphics card.

    As for water cooling, my father could have done it with the guide. My wife says she could do it. I wouldn't really trust my mother to do it, but then it usually takes her a year or so to learn how to work the car radio every time my father changes cars (around every five years, so she'll get to use it for four years...)!

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    Thanks, I am really encouraged now getting reply straight from Mastiff itself. I wait patiently until final part of a guide will show up so see how the thing will run (Any idea on timing?). So I go with water cooling, god bless me.

    If advice on RAM could be received, I am ready to place my orders. Will take a day or two until I get the best combination of web shops though (don't want to involve to many to save 100 NOK or so).

    Also what about CPU paste. Something like: Arctic Silver Arctic Silver 5 or Arctic Cooling Copper Compound. Probably doesn't matter much, but still would be great to receive ok on product from experts.

  7. #7
    Intermediate Mastiff sin avatar
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    Made me feel like a celebrity here, thanks! Anyway, go for the AS5, it's the best paste there is. Also the full series of articles are going to take some time to finish, there's a lot of ground to cover.

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    You are a celebrity! I looked into you achivements at home (on your web page) and the number of entries in this forum. Really impressive. Hardware stores that will sell me their kit based on your advice have to squeze out something for you as well. I have seen many people follow your advice. It can't be just coincidence...

    Could you share your word of wisdom on RAM? And I am ready then.

  9. #9
    Grunnlegger lygren sin avatar
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    MasWiz... That's for spending hours and hours filling your AV-friends with PIV PIV PIV PIV arguments, finally Intel found out making Mastiff a celebrety was worthwhile and made their arrangements... hehe, kidding.

    When it comes to RAM and generelly all aspects of your HTPC, the faster the better. Anyhow, the RAM is about a million times as fast as the harddrive, making the importance of a fast harddrive much more important than DDR vs. DDR2 RAM. RAM is seldom the bottleneck of a HTPC, but as always, the faster the better...

    I would put my money on a PIV 3,2 as well. You gain practically nothing upgrading to a 3,4. Save your money or spend it on a better graphic-card.

  10. #10
    Intermediate Rikky sin avatar
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    Sitat Opprinnelig postet av lygren
    RAM is seldom the bottleneck of a HTPC, but as always, the faster the better...
    RAM is often a bottleneck when it comes to 1:1 FSB overclocking.

  11. #11
    Grunnlegger lygren sin avatar
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    As I said, the faster the better, but my advice still stands... Put your money on graphics and harddrive over DDR2. If you have the money, purhcase maximum performance in all categories of course, but the money does not always come in unlimited portions, does it... 8)

  12. #12
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    Well, faster is better is my understanding as well. I would continue that with faster -> better - > more expensive... But quick look at hadware.no gave me this:
    Corsair XMS2 TWINX PRO DDR2-675 1024 MB (2x512) - 2144 NOK
    Corsair XMS2 TWINX DDR2-675 1024 MB (2x512) - 2170 NOK
    Corsair XMS2 TWINX PRO DDR2-533 1024 MB (2x512) - 2505 NOK

    Which one to choose??? I decided to use pc also for my daily work: browsing, video editing, etc. so that is why I choose to go over 512 with RAM.

    When it comes to CPU then fine, decided. 3,2 PIV it will be.

    Now the graphic card. That was one thing I was certain about, but lygren suggest to upgrade it??? My choise is AOpen Aeolus Geforce 6600 GT 128 MB. Would some other card would make "a sound improvement"?

    Hardrive. Since lygren suggest to spend extra krone in this, what would be your advice? I bought Mastiff's argument for silence. His suggested hardrive has 7200 rpm. The fastest today is 10 000 rpm as far as I know, but is tha what you suggest? Or is it SATA type that you suggest? I got advice from Mastiff that SATA is louder, so one has to find the compromis between louder and faster. I say hardrive speed will never be a bottleneck in video viewing. It will make difference on copying files, but come on, copying 4.7 GB will probably end up 10 sek faster (this is just my guess). Is it worth the effort?

  13. #13
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    All that a faster harddrive gives you is faster loading times. From a 7200 seagate to a 10K raptor, the difference is significant enough to make it worth the money in my opinion. When playing movies, you will see no difference though. There is virtually no load on the HDD. If you want to get short booting times, and short loading times in games, go for raptor. If you need the silence, go for seagate 7200. Maybe even a laptop hdd. Those are slow, but very quiet usually. I think you get them with sata also, but i have no experience in this. I have a raptor, and I am happy with that =)

    -Ko_deZ-

  14. #14
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    Booting time is important... How much faster will that be ? 10 sek? I think that does not pay for silence. I am taking your point, thank you. However I am not a big gamer.

    Still waiting for RAM advice, please see above. If RAM is not a bottleneck as it was adviced, why would Mastiff advice on expensive one, when the value option of Corsair is significantly cheaper?

  15. #15
    Grunnlegger lygren sin avatar
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    If you want speed and silence combined, use a small raptor drive for Windows and the rest of the programs, and a large 7200 rpm disc for the media etc. This will increase boot-time significally without increasing the overall noise all that much (except for booting and program-reading).

    Your chosen graphic-card is probably OK, but remember that it exist a lot of different GeForce 6600 cards, where some are much quieter than others... If you are to use a lot of 3D games, I also would reccommend that you consider the 6800 series as well, as the 6600 does not perform that well on 3D games...

  16. #16
    Intermediate DrErling sin avatar
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    6600GT gir veldig mye for pengene også i 3D spill. Jeg spiller HalfLife2 på 1280x1024 på high uten at jeg merker noe lag...

    Skjønner ikke vitsen med 6800GT når det koster en tusenlapp mere.

    Finn heller et 6600GT som har mulighet for RGB ut, slik at CRT tven kan få seg godsignal frem til evt projektorkjøp.

    DrE

  17. #17
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    Video card I plan to use is AOpen Aeolus Geforce 6600 GT 128 MB. Again, I am not a gamer, so I better spend extra NOK for extra hard drive you are advising for faster boot up. 80 gb 10000 rpm should be fine for that. What about noise, during video playback though?

    What about RAM? did I touch forbidden theme Seems like nobody is willing to give advice on that? Price difference between value option and Pro is significant. Please see my post above with few RAM options and their prices.

  18. #18
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    Minne og slikt så er det beste stedet for svar extremesystems forumet:

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...play.php?f=164

    De har mange lister over fabrikanter og modeller og hva slags chipper som sitter på disse og også hva slags hastigheter og instillinger de kan kjøre på.
    Som forum tittelen sier "out-of-spec-only", men mye godt her. Tipper det er chip fabrikant (og spesifikasjoner) som gjør forskjellen på de modulene du spurte om på side 1.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the link will give it a try... I was hoping for short explanation and link to performance weakness on value pack, so I would save some time. You are probably right, saying it could be manufacturer of chips.

    Also since Mastiff recomended higher RAM than value pack (I am sure he knows the price difference) this might be worth the money. It could be also linked to potential overclocing that will come in his next reviews on hw.no. But still it is 1000 NOK difference, so one would like to hear some technical pros/cons before going out and buying.

  20. #20
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    ok. think I finalised list for pc that should also be ready for HTPC functionality. Comments appreciated.

    EDIT: Please post the list directly on this forum rather than linking to a password protected external site. Thanks in advance!

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