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Is my 1Ghz Celeron enough for HTPC ? & Which Radeon GFX Card ?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Tempest, Nov 7, 2003.

  1. Tempest

    Tempest
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    Rather than waffle on, some direct questions.
    Much appreciate any answers/comments:

    This is to drive a Panasonic AE200 Projector.

    ======================================
    1:

    I have the following spec PC

    1 Ghz Celeron running on an ABit BX6 Rev-2 Mboard.
    512MB PC133 Ram
    Adaptec SCSI narrow card with a SCSI Pioneer Multiregion DVD Drive.

    Is that meaty enough to play DVD's via theatertek ?

    ======================================
    2:

    I currently have a Voodoo5 5500 but I think I need to change this to a Radeon Card to get the best DVD Quality.

    What's the cheapest card that would bive me excellent results on my machine ?
    I've been told a high end Radeon would be wasted as a 1Ghz Celeron can't take advantage of it anyway.
    ======================================
    3:

    I have a SBLive 1024 sound card which has that small little yellow jack plug for it's digital out. How the hell do I connect that to my Videologic Digitheatre DTS sound systems Coax Digital in?
    ======================================

    4: How do you get around the fact that you want a monitor for your PC for normal use and ALSO have it connected to the Projector as well ?
    Do you really need a seperate PC ?
    ======================================

    5: Can you buy HTPC's all kitted up for my needs for a GOOD price ?
    ======================================

    Many thanks
     
  2. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    1. Yes, that should be fine.

    2. Any Radeon will do - the 7000 or VE will suffice, though the 9600 is slightly better.

    3. If that's a spdif digital out, then yes, use a phono to phono to connect to the digital in on your amp. Ensure that the sound card is set to output digital.

    4. Get a Radeon card with two outputs - most have DVI and VGA, while others have facility for two vga. My old VE does.

    5. Possibly, but I always build my own. Might be a good idea to star a seperate thread for that question if you don't get any joy from this one.

    HTH

    Gary.
     
  3. Tempest

    Tempest
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    Cheers for the answers Gary.

    Ok, so I want a Radeon Card. And YES I want one with two outputs.

    As it won't be a dedicated PC I need to have one output connected to my monitor, the other to the Projector.

    Are there issues (Quality wise) or Powerstrip wise with this ?

    Yes, it's a small yellow round spdif digital out mini jack plug. Not sure about where to get a lead to connect this to a coax in.

    I am wondering if trying to make a machine to be a normal PC and a HTPC is asking too much. Esp on the graphics card and two outputs issue.

    Appriciate views from others on doing this kinda thing.

    Like would it be better to spend say £400 on a cheap 2nd PC and just devote it to HTPC.

    I'd like to know how much you can get a HTPC for. Just the basics. for this job alone.
     
  4. CodeThief

    CodeThief
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  5. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    I don't see the need for you to do that, if the CPU you have is up to whatever else you want to do with it then it'll make a fine HTPC .. the only thing about having a separate HTPC is logistics, ie. it can only be used for one thing, for all intents and purposes you'll not want to play Quake and watch a DVD at the same time ;), so if there's more than just you in the household it may lead to arguments. :)

    Setting up dual-monitor output is pretty easy, Powerstrip is a breeze when you can simply cut/paste other people's settings. Get a 9600 non-Pro card, these don't have a fan so are quieter, use the primary output for the projector and secondary for the PC monitor ... makes playing DVDs easier because by default the DVD player will output to the primary monitor.

    IMHO though, driving a PC via a monitor while watching a DVD on the pj quickly became tedious so now I just use the pj unless I'm going to spend some time using it as a PC, then I simply switch resolutions and use a monitor .. horses for courses really.
     
  6. Tempest

    Tempest
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    KRaGorn:

    Thank's for your answers.

    Is it easy to get a 9600 NON Pro with two VGA out connectors ?

    One for the monitor and one for the Projector ?

    I won't want to use both together, though not sure how it all works. Like may have to turn on the PC 1st and go to my monitor to turn the res down ready for the projector.
     
  7. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    AFAIK all 9600s are dual-output plus s-video .. you get one VGA and one DVI with a DVI->VGA adaptor in the box.

    Basically, the problem running with two outputs is the Windows was never designed for it and it's all a large kludge. The main problem is getting programs to run on the secondary .. I asked about this issue recently on here, you may want to read this thread which is where it was discussed.

    You wouldn't have to adjust the resolution before switching TO the projector, the pj will resize the incoming video to a resolution it can support, and while it makes reading, say, a 1024x768 desktop somewhat hard on the pj it is doable for something like resolution switching.

    My advice would be to try the dual-output approach and see if it's acceptable for you, falling back to my way of working if you have problems.
     
  8. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    FYI, this is the 9600 I use, I'm not saying it's the 'best' but at least you can guage other cards against it as far as price is concerned. :)

    Note that the 9200 may be okay, I never tried one of those so wouldn't want to comment one way or the other. Also, if you want a TV tuner as well you'll need one of the "All In Wonder" (aka. AIW) varieties of ATI cards.
     

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