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Help! Want to buy a HCPC

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by MartinCo, Apr 14, 2001.

  1. MartinCo

    MartinCo
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    okay...
    planning to buy a HCPC soon to eventually use with some sort of projector.

    any major do s/ dont s with the list below?

    probably a 16x (Pioneer?) DVD,
    a 32mb Geoforce 2 MX,
    basic Soundblaster 5.1
    and either PowerDVD or WinDVD.

    is processor speed so vital now?

    the minimum speed now seems to be
    a Duron 800 or 850 - way
    above what software players list
    as minimum.

    any suggestions / alternatives
    would be much appreciated...
    the cheaper the better!
     
  2. Radioactive__Man

    Radioactive__Man
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    I'm also thinking of "adding on" to my current PC.

    Personally I am going for a Creative Encore with DXR3 hardware decoder board, mainly for the DTS output and lesser hit on the cpu.
    All I have to do is find out if it is region free before I buy it !.

    I'll be upgrading my SB Live value for a SB Live 5.1, even though I will be doubling up on the audio 5.1 decoding side of things.

    I used to run a Pioneer 6X SCSI slot loader DVD and it ran fine with a PIII 450 using PowerDVD, so anything above that should be fine, but I'd recommend at least a PII700 and a healthy chunk of ram, just to be on the safe side and if you want to do a bit of multitasking.

    BTW, I still have a brand new OEM GeforceII MX for sale if you are interested.
     
  3. GaryG

    GaryG
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    Looks good...

    Would use a Radeon in preference to the GeForce it used 10bit DACS instead of 8bit Dacs, better colour fidelity.

    Would use an M-Audio 24/96 instead of a Soundblaster, much better quality all-round, it can rival top-notch dedicated CD players
     
  4. MartinCo

    MartinCo
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    okay... I'm assuming from others posts
    that I will have no problem passing
    the DD/DTS bitstream to my amp via the
    digital out on the soundcard.

    had considered this but dont see many new
    PCs with a Radeon in...(buying from scatch).

    never heard of this card... expensive?

    only using the output for DVDs but still
    interesting.
     
  5. Craig Crane

    Craig Crane
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    WARNING!
    You'll get a much softer picture with the creative decoder card setup.

    Anything over 500mhz should be fine for the software players, but as they say, "the more, the merrier".

    Try not to clog up the HTPC with stuff like office, virus scan, scheduled tasks, etc etc etc. My solution was to build a dedictaed HTPC, and then network it to another PC (laptop, in this case). Any downloads that I need go via the Laptop, get scanned for virus's, then get sent to the HTPC. This ensures that the HTPC is completly isolated from the rest of the world! This is a solution that works great for me, but might be to everyone else's liking.

    The M-audio is considered the mutts nuts, and can be found
    here
     
  6. Craig Crane

    Craig Crane
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    ...and if a search yeilds no results, just put a post there, and I am sure the likes of Xcel will tell you exactly why its not the best option.

    good luck
     
  7. Radioactive__Man

    Radioactive__Man
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    Please elaborate, and what are you comparing it to ?
     
  8. Craig Crane

    Craig Crane
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    To elaborate...

    I used the same card for a while, and was very pleased. However, on a big screen, I noticed that the image was a lot softer, than either WINDVD or POWERDVD. Do a search on the AVSFORUM and look for comparisons. If in doubt, try the trial version of either software DVD player. If your PC is fast enough, you will see what I mean.

    However, if you intend to use the creative for casual viewing, whilt doing other stuff, stick with the creative. But personally, I would not use it for HTPC on a big screen.
     
  9. Branxx

    Branxx
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    MartinCo,

    M-Audio Audiophile 2496 card costs £180 in UK and $180 in US. Some shops with music studio equipment on Charing Cross road in London have them in stock.

    With regard to potential use of MPEG hardware decoder card like Creative Encore with DXR3, I see no upside in having one at all. Not only will the picture quality be inferior to WinDVD or PowerDVD, it is also much more difficult to upgrade. With processor speeds now generally around 1GHz mark, PowerDVD even without motion compesation support would utilize not more than 50% of the processor time. If you use ATI Radeon card with the supplied ATI DVD player the processor utilisation will be around 20% with the picture quality when projected onto a large screen being way beyond Creative Encore.
     

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