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64Bit or not

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by dapex, Feb 26, 2005.

  1. dapex

    dapex
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    Just curious to know if you folks think that a HCPC actually benefits from 64 bit chips or not? Just looking and the amd64 3200 is twice the price of the normal AMD3200, ebuyer bascily says it will allow the computer to benefit from FUTURE 64bit software, if thats the case then where is everyone build systems around the AMD64???

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  2. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    No point whatsoever IMO, now or in the foreseeable future. :)

    A 64-bit version of Windows will be out shortly supposedly, but how long it'll be before all the software we currently use on an HTPC will be available in 64-bit versions is anyone's guess.

    Since a PC using an XP3200+ or P4 3.0 or greater is more than adequate to handle most things thrown at it, and here we're talking about FFDSHOW for all intents and purposes as little else requires very much CPU power, I see no technical arguments for using an AMD64 if it costs more.

    The usual arguments about 'futureproofing' are also supect since the next technological development that'll affect HTPCs is HD DVD playback. Right now there is no indication just what extra hardware will be needed, it's not impossible to imagine that current hardware will be inadequate to support the protection mechanisms which Hollywood may demand before licensing HD playback on PCs.
     
  3. FruitBat

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    What about heat/noise considerations?
    Is the "Cool n' Quiet" feature not all it's cracked up to be? (or not worth the extra cost)
     
  4. mephistopheles

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    AMD64 is certainly a cool runner. I recently built a S939 system around a Gigabyte K8NXP-9 for a friend and couldn't get the cpu temp above 41C under the heaviest sustained load using just a Thermaltake Tower 102 and Panasonic 92mm @ 7VDC (midi tower case with no exhaust fans).

    'Cool 'n' Quiet' (or whatever it is) should stop the cpu fan completely below (I think) 40C, and then progressively increase it up to 50C, when it will run at max speed. It didn't work for me, however, although there was a noticeable difference in fan speed when booting (max) and entering Windows, by which time it had slowed to inaudible. It never stopped altogether, though.

    IMHO a P4 Northwood, which will usually overclock substantially on stock voltages and timings without much extra heat, is the optimum for HCPC, since it is much, much cooler than the Prescott. I use a 2.4 overclocked to 3.34 and hit 52-4C max. AMD32 XP3200+ will also do a great job, if you have a modded board to unlock the multiplier (very simple trick!).

    However, the advantage of 'future-proofing' via AMD64, whilst not necessarily of benefit for HCPC performance, as KraGorn has pointed out, is a wider resale market should you decide to unload the system, or, for that matter to swap it out for some alternative application.
     

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