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New HCPC build spec help

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by CrispyXUK, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. CrispyXUK

    CrispyXUK
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    Hi all,

    I will be getting a projector next month so will be building an HCPC for but am confused with which FSB speeds to use between RAM, MB & CPU etc.

    HCPC Spec will be;

    Intel P4 2.5 -/+
    512MB Ram (In dual configuration)
    Radeon 9600XT
    I have already sorted storage, software and soundcard.

    Looking at www.overclockers.co.uk there are various types of ram, MB & CPU with different things on em, would like some help on what to get.

    Thanks
     
  2. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    If you get a P4 2.4C 800Mhz FSB one then you're best of getting some dual channel PC3200 Ram, for HTPC usage it doesn't need to be low latency , crucial stuff will do the job. The multiplier with a P4 2.4C is 12 (FSB of 200Mhz * 12 = 2400Mhz or 2.4Ghz). PC3200 ram is rated at 400Mhz which is what the P4 motherboards use (200Mhz FSB doubled up). PC3500 ram is rated at 433Mhz and is good for an FSB of up to 216Mhz (433/2). With a P4 2.4C that would equate to 216 * 12 = 2592Mhz or 2.6Ghz approx i.e. a 0.2Ghz overclock. You only need the PC3500 or PC3700 ram if you are planning on overclocking the CPU otherwise there's no point getting it. Also you can still overclock the CPU to e.g. 250FSB (250 x 12 = 3000 i.e. 3Ghz by setting the DDR ratio to 5:4 (i.e. (250 /5) * 4 = 200Mhz). A motherboard like the Asus P4P800 or Abit IC7 are good ones to get.
    Hope that helps..

    Cheers,
    Andy.
     
  3. CrispyXUK

    CrispyXUK
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    Thanks very much Andy, any chance you could help with an similar spec'd AMD based machine?
     
  4. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    lol, sorry but I don't know much about the AMD stuff. If I was getting one I'd probably get the Athlon 64 3000+ as it's a bargain and an MSI motherboard (K8T Neo). Don't ask me about overclocking those though, haven't a clue. The P4s are good as far as price/performance ration is concerned and aren't as risky as the Athlon 64 is at the moment.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  5. KraGorn

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    I have an ASUS A7N8X and use the on-board coax digital output, with an XP2000+ that's far more powerful than's needed.

    512Mb in two 256Mb strips largely because memory was (is?) cheap and 2 strips are needed to make use of the DUAL-DDR feature .. really not necessary but it was 'free' more or less. That said, the beast works with a single 256Mb strip with no difference in results. Forget fast FSB numbers, they'll not buy you anything for a pure HCPC.

    The most important card is the graphics, an ATI 9600 non-Pro (ie. fanless card) is generally considered the 'best'. I see no benefit in the XT, and if it has a fan a big negative there. ;)

    All this runs TheaterTek driving a Z2 via DVI at 1:1 mapping .. absolutely no problems with video or audi performance showing the CPU/memory is more than enough. :)
     
  6. CrispyXUK

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    Thanks Kargorn, but this will be a gaming rig.

    Anyway 9600XT is already done, next step is the RME souncard for some lovely SPDIF and Stereo, also got zoom player setup lovely so i'm not too bothered about theatretek as i have the sonic codecs, i'm really just interested in the base computer specs
     
  7. KraGorn

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    Ah right .. your opening post made it sound like you were building an HCPC for your new pj and that was its' sole role.

    Certainly you need some more poke for gaming :) .. IMHO a 2800+ is probably the 'sweet spot', the premium for a 3000+ seems a bit steep for me. Memory too idally would be 400 FSB which the Barton AMDs support. I still think the ASUS board is the most appropriate, there's nothing I can think of it doesn't support. :)
     
  8. AndyH

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    Kragorn - glad I spotted this thread as I was just looking at the ASUS board for a AMD HCPC.

    Could you elaborate on the ATI card please, I'm wondering which specific ones are fanless. All the pics of various 9600's I've just looked at all seem to have fans?

    Cheers!
    Andy

    PS - Edit - Done some research, I guess you're talking about the Sapphire cards?

    http://www.sharkyextreme.com/hardware/videocards/article.php/2245951
     
  9. CrispyXUK

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    You'll want an XT as they overclock themselves when needed :). that and they are the newer versions :)
     
  10. KraGorn

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    No, those are way OTT for an HCPC, they're gamer's toys :) I have a 9800 Pro with one of those Zalman coolers in my games machine, but for playing DVDs that's far too much power.

    The card in my HCPC is the Sapphire Atlantis, there are one or two other non-Pro 9600s around .. there's absolutely no point in anything more powerful if all you want to do is play DVDs at top quality. :) They're tried, tested, Powerstrip and TheaterTek understand them and 9700/9800 cards offer nothing at all over 9600s for non-graphics applications, and in this context playing a DVD isn't a graphics application.
     
  11. CrispyXUK

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    Well I was refering to the 9600XT which is about £99, thought it might have some improvements in there image wise.
     
  12. KraGorn

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    The main point I'm trying to make is that any card with a fan is to be avoided due to noise .. the noise of my 9700 and 9800 were highly intrusive .. ny card more powerful than a non-pro 9600 will need a fan, which is why IMHO they're unsuitable for HCPCs. Sure, you could put a Zalman on one, at the cost of £30+, but then you'd have spent at least £50 more than necessary and have more heat to dissiplate, causing you to then look at system cooling as a potential source of noise.

    Believe me, the XT will have no improvement in DVD playback quality whatsoever, ATI have not changed their MPEG decoder throughout the life of the 9xxx series.
     
  13. CrispyXUK

    CrispyXUK
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    would PC3200 work in my current Shuttle SS51 P4 box?
     
  14. CrispyXUK

    CrispyXUK
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    here are the specs for it;

    Mainboard
    FS51 V2.0

    Form Factor - Shuttle Form Factor
    CPU - Socket 478___Pentium 4 & Celeron__400/533MHz FSB__
    Chipsets - North bridge:SIS 651B____ South bridge:SIS 962L
    Memory - DDR 200/266/333 * 2
    VGA - SiS 651,__performance 256-bit 3D engine_
    Audio - Realtek ALC 650 supports 5.1 channel audio,__Support Digital SPDIF
    Expansion Slot - PCI * 1,__AGP * 1
    IDE interface - ATA-133____
     
  15. Ethics Gradient

    Ethics Gradient
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    yes - its the same stuff as the ddr 200/266/333, just rated to run faster should you have a mobo that would utilise it.
    Note: alot of people use pc3200 ram with 333mhz chips on boards they can overclock.
     
  16. Ethics Gradient

    Ethics Gradient
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    Another thing you should consider is future upgradeability:

    a new mother board / case form factor, memory spec and graphics card bus are due for release this year. If you are looking for a machine that you can continualy upgrade and keep up with the spec over the next few years, it may be advisable to hold off buying kit till later in the year.
    The new specs will mean that future motherboards, cpus, ram and even cases will not be compatable with currently available kit - though I doubt that will affect available kit for atleast the next year - but something that should be considered depending on your needs.
     
  17. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Some of the above point are raised here.
     
  18. KraGorn

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    Will someone PLEASE tell me what on earth overclocking has to do with an HCPC?

    Given that pretty much any entry level system these days has far more power than is needed to play DVDs etc. the only thing overclocking brings is heat generation .. it adds nothing whatsoever to image quality or audio quality.

    Why recommend solutions to a non-problem? Yes, for gaming, image processing etc. then fine, more CPU/memory power the better, but any old 1GHz P3 will play DVDs using PC2100 memory.

    It may be sexy to overclock a CPU or GPU, but it's got nothing to do with watching DVDs on a plasma or projector from an HCPC.

    :rolleyes:
     
  19. CrispyXUK

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    Well its not something I would do but its handy to know what you can do with you HCPC once you have upgraded.
     
  20. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Agreed re overclocking, you don't need to do it, I was merely explaining that you only need the faster ram if you overclock your CPU (P4 anyway).

    Cheers
    Andy.
     
  21. CrispyXUK

    CrispyXUK
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    Very True.

    But it is also true to have RAM that you're CPU can transfer between without waiting.
     
  22. Mr. Wilby

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    If you're running powerful codecs, such as FFDshow, Dscaler etc, you'll want as fast a PC as possible. Of course... you pay the price with increasing cooling measures or noise...

    Often cheaper than buying the latest and greatest though.

    DScaler in particular requires pretty beefy HW, and many wouldn't use their PJ (for TV viewing) without it.
     

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