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Another have I got it right before I order my HCPC Bits thread

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Hawklan, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. Hawklan

    Hawklan
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    Hi

    I'm looking to build my first HCPC and would really like your input before I go to Overclock.co.uk to order the majority of my bits
    The HCPC will act as a video and audio processor feeding a poweramp / speakers and Plasma + Projector

    The motherboard and the SLi Graphics card is a bit OTT at the mo it just gives me some upgrade potential in the future

    Concerns I would appreciate some input / recommendation are:
    Performance - i.e. will I be able to run Hi-Def material
    Noise - (to loud or high pitched)
    Relevance of the components for a HCPC
    Heat

    Hardware
    Motherboard:
    A8N-SLI Deluxe
    http://www.asus.com/products/mb/socket939/a8nsli-d/overview.htm

    Processor:
    AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Winchester 90nm

    Graphics Card:
    Gigabyte GeForce 6600GT 128Ma VIVO PCI-E (Fanless)
    http://www.giga-byte.com/VGA/Products/Products_GV-NX66T128VP.htm
    Will this run cool enough for me or will something like the GALAXY Glacier 6600GT be better for me
    http://www.gfe.com.hk/news/listst1.asp?s_id=13

    Sound Card:
    LynxTwo BA
    http://www.lynxstudio.com/lynxtwo.html

    Case:
    Stands Unique 390A (In anodized Black)
    http://www.standsunique.com/Claritas-july04.pdf

    Hard Drive:
    Samsung SpinPoint 160G Serial Hard Drive

    RAM:
    1 GB Kingmax PC3200 SuperRAM 400Mhz

    DVD Drive:
    NEC ND3520 16x 16 DVD±RW

    Power Supply:
    300w 2U high server based PSU (From Stands Unique)

    CPU Cooler:
    Zalman CNPS7700-Alack

    HCPC Software
    Theatertek
    DVD Region Free
    Girder
    Powerstrip
    Dscaler
    Xlobby

    Many thanks

    RON
     
  2. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    I don't have experience of that graphics card but I did have a Galaxy Glacier 6800 and if the 6600 is fitted with the same type of cooler (an Arctic Cooler 5) then I'd recommend that. Unlike the fanless one, which allows hot air to simply radiate into the case, the Glacier vents it out of the adjacent backplate (ie. it uses the first PCI slot's backplate space) and so doesn't increase case ambient temperature. In turn that'll help cooling the CPU.

    These days I prefer Seagate Barracudas to Spinpoints, ever since Samsung switched from their original motor supplier last summer with a sorry increase in noise.

    I think that PSU is underpowered in view of the fact you seem to be going for SLI at some point, you'll need far more that a 300W supply to power two graphics cards. Indeed 300W is a tad on the low side for just one of these new series beasts and a larger hard disk, it'll work but I'd go for at least 350W and possibly 400W for safety, and if you get something like a QTechnology (not to be confised with Q-Tec) you'll get an extra vent of case air via its' dual fans.

    Not sure what you're planning to use DScaler for, if you want to post-process DVD video then you'll need FFDSHOW, AFAIK DScaler can't take internal DVD drive video feed.

    This machine will have no problems playing all currently know hidef material, the 6600 has hardware-assisted WMV decoding and the CPU is more than enough for a software-only operation. Since there are no HD players yet nor even pre-announcements it's unknown what requirements there'll be for this aspect.
     
  3. Hawklan

    Hawklan
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    Hi

    Thanks for your advice
    The 6600 is fitted with an Arctic Cooler so I'll be going that route (I was just concerned about the noise of a fan - But on further reading the Arctic Cooler may well be quiet enough

    Hardrive wise I initally chose the spinpoint on the advice from a technical guy over at Overclock - But if the Seagate runs quieter than I go for that as well

    Regarding the SLI approach - It's really just a case where the technology is available, I may never use it but without a compatible motherboard I never will. Sli with PCIe seems to be the next evolution of Graphics cards

    The PSU is a little bit on the light side but since I want the Stands Unique 390A Case I'm pretty much stuck with it, unless you can recomend another that will fit inside the case

    The Dscaler software just show how much I don't know I intended to use it to process say sky video / tivo. (apparently there may be the ability in the future to produce PLL2 (Who knows)

    Well I'll place my order tomorrw - The LynxTwo B will take a while (needs to come over from the states) - But all going well I hope to have it up and running next weekend

    Are overclock a good company to deal with or would you recommend another?

    Many thanks again for your help

    RON
     
  4. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    The Arctic cooler fan is very quiet.

    I have a good deal of time for Overclock and their advice, ask them what they think. Since Samsung changed their motor last summer I've never bought one, I suppose it's possible they had a change of heart or maybe their new supply got better.

    I don't know that case at all so I'd not be able to swear that any particular PSU would fit. As long as you recognise the potential limitation of 300W then that's the main thing, you won't get a nasty surprise later.

    DScaler does indeed process external signals, often fed by a Sweetspot, since you didn't mention any off-board kit I was assuming on-board only hence my comment about FFDSHOW, that's what you'll use to process DVD playback if you want to do internal scaling and other processing.

    As I say, I like Overclock .. that's Overclock NOT Overclockers ;) .. I've dealt with them for 5 years, in that time I've bought 5 or 6 mobos, processors, graphics cards etc. etc. and not had a single problem and had some good advice when needed. They offer a system build service though they seem to have dropped the simpler setups, I used them to mount the processor and memory on the mobo and test it but that service doesn't seem to be listed any more, which is a shame.
     
  5. Razor

    Razor
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    I have seen test on 2 6600gt cards in SLI cmpared to the X800XT PE and the ATI X800XT won on performance. ATI also have their own version of HD hardware. The added bonus is that you will free up one slot.
     
  6. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    Which ATI cards have HD support? I've not been paying much attention to recent new cards from them, especially as I got sucked into the '6xxx rulez' mentality, before going back to my trusty 9600 :).
     
  7. Hawklan

    Hawklan
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    Hi

    Since the Asus Sli mother boards have 2 x PCI Express x16 slot
    instead of 1 for the non SLi ones - I guess got nothing to loose by getting the A8N-SLI Deluxe

    I must admit I've always liked ATI graphics cards even when they were not doing so well (stupid huh!)
    What slot PCIe slot does the ATI X800XT fit into the PCIe x1 or the PCIe x16

    Many thanks

    RON
     
  8. mjn

    mjn
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    Asus recommend at least a 350w PSU, with 20A on the 12v rail!
     
  9. Hawklan

    Hawklan
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    Hi

    Yeh I know
    Can anybody who knows the Claratis 390A recomend a 350w PSU (I think it needs to be Micro ATX sized) that will fit. If not I may have to go for another case (I really don't want to as they are very nice)

    Many thanks

    RON
     
  10. Razor

    Razor
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    The PCI used on the X800XT PE is 16.

    Concerning ATI's HD support:

    Cutting Edge Video Technology
    RADEON® X800 graphics technology gives you more than just a great gaming experience. It also has sophisticated video processing, filtering and acceleration features that make multimedia applications more efficient, inspiring and fun. With VIDEOSHADER™ HD, RADEON® X800 graphics technology takes advantage of its advanced shader processing engine for user programmable video effects, video quality enhancement, and encoding and decoding of many video standards, including MPEG1/2/4, Real Media, DivX and WMV9. RADEON® X800 Graphics Technology also supports the latest high-definition and wide display formats, giving users bigger and more vivid movie, gaming and Internet experiences.

    VIDEOSHADER™ HD
    VIDEOSHADER HD is a key feature of the video processing engine that allows it to tap into the power of the programmable pixel shader units of the RADEON X800 3D core. This allows shaders to be used to accelerate many different video processing tasks, including noise removal (VIDEOSOAP), de-blocking (FULLSTREAM), adaptive de-interlacing, frame rate conversion, color space conversion, and much more. VIDEOSHADER HD also provides the flexibility required to support all of the latest video formats, including MPEG1/2/4, Real, DivX, and WMV9.
     
  11. JohnS

    JohnS
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    Theres no denying that the Claritus case is pretty but I think it would be well worth considering a case that supports a regular atx psu. By using a psu with a 120mm fan you probably wont need an additional exhaust fan.

    How about the dvine case? http://www.quietpc.com/uk/htpc.php#ht400

    Dont forget a decent heatsink and fan for the cpu. If it fits, the thermalright xp120 with a quality quiet fan like a papst or panaflo. The cooler the chip, the less heat in the case to get rid of, the less fans, the less noise.
     
  12. mdekkers

    mdekkers
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    cool thread! As for the case, personally I decided to go for a Silverstone LC10M, because I can fit a silenx psu in it myself. It also has good cooling performance (but am swapping out the fans that come with the case for some silenx fans, super silent - only 12dba!!)

    as for the graphics card, i toyed with the idea of a 6600 for a while, but had a change of heart at the last moment, and based on reviews and recommendations, decided to go with an ATI X850XT PE - not in the least as the HTPC will also be a gaming platform. can't wait to see Everquest II in 1920 resolution on my 46" Tosh :D

    as all the stuff should be in my possesion today, i'll let you know tomorrow how I got on!
     
  13. Hawklan

    Hawklan
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    Hi

    OK guys it looks like I might well be on a mission for new case - If you have any ideas for one that looks as good as the Calaratis and can take a ATX Motherboard and full size ATX PSU I'd very much appreciate it

    Many thanks

    RON
     
  14. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    Thanks for that info, seems ATI have been busy in recent times. :)
     
  15. Razor

    Razor
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    No problem Kragorn. I am very happy with my X800XT PE, especialy on games and HD material. Its a shame that there isnt more HD around.
     
  16. Hawklan

    Hawklan
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  17. Hawklan

    Hawklan
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    Hi John

    To be honest I don't really like the dvine case?

    Regarding the thermalright xp120 is available? Overclock do not have them in stock with no due date even the thermalright website talks about when they are in mass production
    http://www.thermalright.com/a_page/main_product_xp120.htm

    Regarding the papst or panaflo how quiet are they
     
  18. JohnS

    JohnS
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    Ron,

    I think overclockers have the xp120.

    A good source of quiet pc computing is http://www.silentpcreview.com/ and they have lots of good advice as to what really works as opposed to manufacturers claimed figures for noise output.

    I use a 92mm panaflo, slowed by a zalamn fanmate to its slowest speed on a thermalright sp94 on my P4, this was regarded the best hsf at the time.

    The other thing that the above site recognisees is that many forums exagerate massively on what size psu is required to run a certain system, theres lots of good advice there about it.
     
  19. Razor

    Razor
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    HAWKLAN

    Interesting atricle, all I know is that it has always been a hard card to get hold of (limited supply). I have had a few friends wait for over 4 weeks and still no card, they went for a 6800ultra and Gt instead.
     
  20. lfletcher

    lfletcher
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    I have a regular ATX PSU in a 390a case (SilenX 450W). Had to turn it upside down so that it didnt affect the top part of the case closing but it does fit. Im sure I read that the newer ones (I got the case when it first came out) have a way around this now.
     
  21. Hawklan

    Hawklan
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    Hi Ifletcher

    Thanks very much mate you have put my mind at rest
    I will be placing my order today

    Many thanks

    RON
     
  22. JohnS

    JohnS
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    Just be aware Ron that if you turn a psu upside down then you will lose the exhaust effect of a side mounted fan.

    Under that option I would choose either a fanless psu and use an exhaust fan or failing that make sure you select a psu that vents front to back.
     
  23. Hawklan

    Hawklan
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    Hi John

    Once again I am in your debt - I will be very carefull before I place the order

    Many thanks

    RON
     

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