First HTPC build which way to go? Intel/AMD, NVidia/ATI

steelez

Standard Member
I'm looking to build my first HTPC. I have already bought the case (matx) and have the basics planned (modular PSU, 4gb RAM, Blu-ray/HD-DVD combo drive).

However, I am unsure whether to jump on the Intel or AMD side of the fence or if there's even a huge difference apart from personal preference.

The options seem to be a 780g based motherboard with an AMD 5050e or a 9300/9400 based motherboard and something like an Intel e5400. I am assuming that the onboard graphics will work to decode HD movies with either option? I will more than likely be using 720p, if that makes any difference.

One deciding factor may be the sound output. I have read that the 780g board will only output sound in stereo and not full surround though I am not sure if that's correct. My amp has a digital input and I plan to use that in the short-term, probably upgrading it to a full HDMI amp in the future.

I've been researching for a few days and I'm starting to feel a little lost/overwhelmed by the amount of information so any advice is appreciated, especially from somebody who runs a similar system already.
 

theraq

Novice Member
HI,

For HTPC ATI cards are best for their multimedia and 7.1 over HDMI support. I think Intel will be better solution if you go for. But AMD are good too! it all depends on personal choice... If you need my suggestion I will say Intel.

Check here my system (for HTPC+Gaming)


Thanks
 

DJMALLZ

Novice Member
hey bud
do a search on the zotac 9300 ITX wifi motherboard.. it's an intel based board.. (intel are my fave.. they more robust if you ask me..) but then again that's my opinion

i will be building my htpc this month too and will use that motherboard, done loads search on it.. and current users on overclockers forums recommend it aswell because you really dont need a video card with that board, the integrated 93100nvidia outputs 1080p properly.. do some search on it..
GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi
 

jameson_uk

Novice Member
One deciding factor may be the sound output. I have read that the 780g board will only output sound in stereo and not full surround though I am not sure if that's correct. My amp has a digital input and I plan to use that in the short-term, probably upgrading it to a full HDMI amp in the future.
The 780G will do standard surround via a digital connection (ie. DD/DTS) but is not capable of outputting the new HD audio. The 9300/9400 boards will output 7.1 audio via HDMI.

One consideration here is SD playback. The 9300/9400 boards are meant to be better for de-interlacing and scaling of SD material but on the other hand the 780G is cheaper...
 

littleickle

Standard Member
What TV are you plugging this into? If it's a Toshiba don't get a board with ATI graphics, you won't be able to get anything above 800x600 resolution over HDMI.
 

steelez

Standard Member
It's a Panasonic so hopefully that won't be a problem.

I'd finally decided to go down the 780g route only to find, after getting my account fixed with ebuyer, that half the products I wanted are now sold out. :suicide:

I'm going to have to try and find some other supplier/parts or convince the wife to increase the HTPC budget (yeah right!).
 

steelez

Standard Member
Well I got the parts ordered and ended up with the following:

Silverstone SG03 case
Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H GeForce 9400
Intel E5200 Processor
Scythe Mini Ninja
4GB Crucial RAM
OCZ 400w Modular PSU
LG Blu-Ray/HDDVD Combo drive
320gb Samsung F1 hard drive

I also downloaded Windows 7 today to install on it.

Thanks for the help everyone!
 

Presuming Ed

Well-known Member
I'm not entirely convinced about this de-interlacing issue on 780G boards. I've got a 780G board and have never seen any evidence of it. All I can say is I've never ever seen any material that hasn't been correctly de-interlaced by the machine and the picture quality on a Panasonic 37" Plasma is far superior to the output from the Sky+ box I had earlier.

Processor (a 5050e) is far from taxed, whether it's SD, broadcast HD, DVD or Bluray Disc, well ripped or badly ripped MKV files.

I've never seen anyone post that de-interlacing performace affected their viewing experience or looked poor. Everyone just seems to have read it somewhere or heard it somewhere.
 

wHoMe

Active Member
Think you made the right choice as there are a few advantages to using nVidia at the moment namely more options when it comes to GPU hardware acceleration, ATI you get DXVA on some mkv where you get a choice of DXVA, VDPAU and CUDA on nVidia the last two being on all mkv not just those encoded correctly
 

CKO

Standard Member
Well I got the parts ordered and ended up with the following:

Silverstone SG03 case
Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H GeForce 9400
Intel E5200 Processor
Scythe Mini Ninja
4GB Crucial RAM
OCZ 400w Modular PSU
LG Blu-Ray/HDDVD Combo drive
320gb Samsung F1 hard drive

I also downloaded Windows 7 today to install on it.

Thanks for the help everyone!
Please take care when using the mini-ninja...
Since the mini-ninja uses a side fan vs. the top intel stock fan, the northbridge/GPU heatsink get practically no airflow.

When I used just the mini-ninja, the GPU temp would easily reach 75c+, and that's without real load.
Under load, it easily reached 95c+ which is not healthy.

I installed a mini-kaze 40mm to blow air directly at the heatsink and now the GPU idles at 35-40c and under load not more than 70c.
 

steelez

Standard Member
Thanks for the info, I'll keep an eye on it. I just had a look at the motherboard layout and I may be ok due to the layout of the case. I'll have 2x 120mm fans in the front, blowing air in over the board which should then be extracted by the PSU fan which sits directly over the motherboard. I'll definately check the temperatures though now you've mentioned it. :thumbsup:

My order should arrive Friday which will give me all weekend to play around with it. :clap:
 

steelez

Standard Member
All the parts arrived today. It all went together really well except for the mini ninja, which does NOT fit in the SG03 case, despite what I had read (it's not even close). Currently I am using the stock HS/Fan which has had no issues.

I still have a lot of the software to install but windows 7 is on there and running really well. I'll spend more time tweaking tomorrow. So far I've just been using my monitor but have an HDMI cable and plan to test it on the TV.
 

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