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HCPC spec - how much horsepower ?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Steve1138, Jun 13, 2003.

  1. Steve1138


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    HCPC - how much horsepower ?

    My decision for how much is needed (or justified) hinges on deciding which bus speed to go for on the MoBo.
    The default option is a 533 MHz board and the "ultimate" being a 800 MHz board...
    The board also determines the type of RAM, CPU and graphics board I'd get... which obviously raises the price a bit.
    The big question is whether the additional speed & power is needed or sufficiently benificial to justify the higher cost:

    Main elements are
    512 MB DDR RAM - probably Corsair XMS Cas 2
    P4 2.4 GHz CPU
    Radeon 9xxx GPU
    with exact types being determined by the MoBo FSB choice (533 or 800)
    Seagate Barracuda (2) HDD's (60 or 80 and 120)

    533 MHz (ASUS P4PE)
    - AGP4x
    - RADEON 9000 128 Pro (AGP 4x) eg.: HIS Excalibur ViVo
    - DX 8 only ?
    - i845 chipset
    - PC2700 (533 MHz) RAM
    - non Hyper threading (2.4 GHz) 533 FSB P4 CPU\
    - 6 x PCI

    800 MHz (ASUS P4P 800)
    - AGP8x
    - RADEON 9200 128 or 9500 128 (AGP 8x) eg.: HIS Excalibur, Sapphire
    - DX 9 available
    - i865 chipset
    - PC3200 (533 MHz) RAM
    - Hyper threading (2.4 GHz) 800 FSB P4 CPU
    - 5 x PCI

    both setups have good overclocking possibilites. LAN, RAID - if present - will not be used.

    PC will be used as
    - DVD / dig.vid. file player
    - video capture
    - some video editing / encoding / transcoding (also done on another PC)
    - later as scaler / vid procesor for (not yet acquired) projector.
    - (will not be optimised for gaming - hence no 9700 / 9800 on the list)

    DVD burning may stay on the main home PC (SONY 500), as I'll soon have combi ADSL + wireless network and can transfer captured files to main home PC for most processing work.

    additional cards will include
    - analog capture cards (xCapture (Conexant 2388) and Terratec (Philips SAA7134)) - already got.
    - MPEG hardware capture card (VIDAC Vmagic ? new (next) version)
    - digital sat card (Pinnacle ? or new sat Nebula Electronics..)
    - Terratec sound card w. optical I/O - already got

    so chaps - is it worth paying for the higher performance ?
    (IS THERE any real world "higher performance" for these duties ?)
    Main area it might help is in the analog capture at high resolutions, to avoid dropped frames.
    Less of an issue for the MPEG hardware capture ?
    and no issue for the dig.Sat card which saves MPEG II direct to the HDD

    Finally - the ASUS board with SiS chipset instead of i865 (equiv to P4P 800) looks really good at much lower price...
    what experience with SiS based boards ?
    I couldn't find any reviews

    Thanks for any comments
  2. nathan_silly


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    The P4PE has a standby problem, brother has one. Latest BIOS seems to help, but could be a hardware thing, so it might pop up again. It occasionally doesn't boot up if left plugged in for a few hours.

    Been reported on a the PC forums, it's not just my brothers mobo. General minor fault.

    Not sure if Asus has fixed this problem.
  3. Rob.Screene

    Active Member

    Sep 29, 2001
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    Trophy Points:
    Berks, England
    Hi Steve,

    Wow, these specs are so high-end, I can't even imagine their performance! Makes my P4 2.0GHz HTPC and Athlon XP 2400+ (at 2600+) desktop both sound like toys.

    cpu power/memory bandwith is beneficial to

    a) Dscaler
    When running a few filters and JudderTerminator.

    -However with my pb tv-100 Philips SAA7134 card, I see no noise from playstation2 or x-box, so I run only with a TomsMoComp and a chroma output offset filter. 2.0GHz/400MHz bus seem plenty for this and a noise filter, but it really isn't needed.

    If you watch laserdiscs via Dscaler, you might need a noise filter, even with the saa7134 chip?

    b) MPEG2/DVD encoding
    2-pass encoding plus AVisynth pre-processing for video noise reduction, chroma offset fix, etc.

    -Sounds like you plan on 1-pass hardware encoding, so I'd have thought the cpu requirement is low here.

    c) Video real-time DVD post-processing with ffdshow
    Probably with TheaterTek or ZoomPlayer+sonic filters.
    Apparently software resizing to 1440x960 is ideal, then applying a mild noise filter to this high-def reolution image, then a sharpness filter is ideal for most DVD's and reportedly provides better scaling than even a Radeon overlay.

    -I tried 720x960 on the 2GHz and it worked fine with the nosie reduction before the resize. I didn't really notice an improved picture than standard TheaterTek though.

    I found TheaterTek+ffdshow+Reclock was getting a bit of a bleeding edge software setup, so I have bought a holo3dgraph hardware video processing card and an Xcard hardware MPEG decoding card on order, I'd probably only need a 300MHz HTPC now.

    I've yet to install these, as I want to do a capture of the Empire Strikes Back with the pb tv-100 before I pull it and do a WinXP build around the holo3d card. I've about seven films stacked-up to watch, as I just finished a work deadline, requiring long hours on some urgent work.

    Personally, I'd wait a week and see it it's better putting the money towards a holo3d+xcard+2GHz+ processor, as it may be easier to use, a little better for film DVD's (PDI connection), miles better for video DVD's (Faroudja DCDi) and give smooth pans and no judder.

    Mind you, I'm sure when John cuts Dscaler 5, I'll probably drop everything to run his DVD transport+decoding+deinterlacing+post-processing software solution and use every bit of the 2.4GHz capable processor.

  4. Steve1138


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    after seeing some comments about dropped frames in Dscaler when running a couple of filters I decided to go for the top spec.

    If it seems OK, I'll upgrade the Home PC with same MoBo / CPU / RAM and maybe drop the HCPC graphic card to a 9000

    THX peeps

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