New PC specs ??


Well-known Member
Hi There,

Been out of the HTPC loop for a little while (3-4 years) the last latest and greatest thing was the Radeon 8500....which due to helping ATI out over at AVS i got free !

Looking probably at Dscaler for a CRT projector using whichever DVD player of the time (WinDVD / PowerDVD / Theatertek...has anyone actualy emerged best yet? )....I also have an X-card & PDI loop card (I think thats correct) somewhere....

Anyway the HTPC i built a few years back has become useful as a general work pc at home and the spec has grown poor over the years so i really need to build a new one.

Due to having a Kit area outside the main Cinema, noise probably won't be an issue (And the hours i searched for quite DVD/Hard drives and modding Mbs & Graphics cards to be silent is now wasted)...It'll probably end up in my rack, but rack mount cases are expensive and ugly so it'll prob be a standard desktop rack is for practicality, not glossy show, thats what the screens for !

Anyway, i have a few hundered to play with...i guess a spec round £500 or so excluding OS/Progs.

What do people surgest now then ???



Active Member
I don't think there'll ever be a 'best' player, the three you mention all have their followers for differing reasons .. I use TT because it allows use of FFDSHOW and uses the NVidia codecs which on my syste (an H77 720p DLP on to a 92" screen) produced the best results for me.

Of course your X-Card provides a different route .. presumably X-Card -> DScaler .. in my limited experience TT+FFDSHOW produced noticeable better results than an X-Card but that was about 12 months ago so things could have changed.

To be honest, pretty much any current-range mobo/process will be more than adequate for DVD playback, and it's too early to know what requirements hidef media will demand and there are not currently availabl egraphics cards with the necessary copy-protection support for playback of either HD-DVD or BluRay media.

What display system are you planning to use? IMX the larger the screen the more the difference in products shows? That said, I think it's pretty much the consensus that for a video card either an ATI 9600 or an NVidia 6200 is the choice, the NVidia allegedly is better for hidef WMVs due to on-board acceleration, IMHO that's more illusory than real but if you want to play safe then the 6200 is the way to go.

Choice of processor is also pretty much irrelevant, AMD 64s are popular of course. Maybe a small 'micro ATX' 'shuttle' type system with a suitable card would do, these are great except for the noise but you say that's not an issue so with that out of the way then they're probably the easiest system to deploy.


Distinguished Member
If you are buying a new o/s, you may as well buy MCE and have a play around with the GUI in there. An nvidia 6600 card and the nvidia purevideo codec give excellent picture quality, and if you buy a supported tv card you can use it as a PVR also.... as well as music, pictures, lots of plug-ins... Outside of the MCE interface you have XP pro so cn run all your ususal progs.

I have mine running on an old Shuttle SN41G2V2, and a powered usb2 hub for expansion - this is a fairly budget solution.
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