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New PCI-e HTPC

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Embarker, Oct 13, 2004.

  1. Embarker

    Embarker
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    I am trawling the internet to try and piece together a new HTPC as my current HTPC has been promoted to Server Status.

    From my old PC i'd like to keep my pci RME card and daughter card, so that's the sound side sorted.

    Gfx card will be a 6600GT, so hopefully no need for a capture card unless I decide to try sdi modding my sky + box.

    For the case i've decided on the accent front loader from Quietpc.
    I like the look of the Abit AA8 DURAMAX (LGA775) Motherboard (MB-051-AB) which only supports the LGA775 Prescott chip. Is this a good buy?

    Any help greatly appreciated :lease:

    Rgds

    Dave
     
  2. Baggy

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    I think a big problem with the LGA775 is the lack of Quiet Coolers.
    Up until recently the only option was the Intel retail.
    Not heard one myself but from what I've read it's not the quietest of things.
    Anyone have any experience using any alternatives?
     
  3. KraGorn

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    Water cooling perhaps? .. says a 775-compatible head should be out pretty soon.

    Will also soon be able to take care of the noisey nVidia card you're planning to get :) .. as am I, but the AGP version and I'm seriously looking to water-cool.
     
  4. Baggy

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    Also the Thermaltake BigWater internal kit will fit 775 CPU's.
     
  5. dsp fan

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    I guess its a similar line of question but if you wanted to buy an HCPC today, from any of the great companies sponsoring or advertising here what spec would you go for today.

    What s/w would you get them to load ?

    A potential HCPC buyer trying to find his way throught the advice

    cheers :lease:
     
  6. philipb

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    To slightly hijack this thread, save opening a new one - is there any advantage from a HTPC standpoint of PCI express?
     
  7. KraGorn

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    Personally I'd never buy a ready-made PC, HTPC or otherwise, so can't really advise, I prefer to pick and choose components.


    As far as PCI-e is concerned, from the very little I've read on the subject of PCI-e I'd say not, although whether the advent of hardware-based HD decoding and processing will need more power than an 8x AGP can deliver I'm not sure.
     
  8. philipb

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    Thanks - thought so.

    So press ahead then with my new MB and graphics card but keep install but keep my P4 S478. When I've done this in the past I've always ended up having to reinstall XP. I get that dreaded blue screen. Any advice on how to avoid it? Could i just reinstall XP over the exisitng install preserving everything else on the C drive?
     
  9. philipb

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    Just did a quick search and BertG seems to have done what you're trying to do.

    You could PM him.
     
  10. KraGorn

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    I'm waiting till someone publishes some benchmarks comparing a PCI-e and AGP version of the same basic card, eg. a 6600GT maybe.
     
  11. philipb

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    Um, my post above was meant to be on another thread :blush:

    Losing it.
     
  12. Embarker

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    My concern is that AGP may not support 16 piplelines.

    Bearing in mind that a xt9600 has four :eek:
     
  13. Embarker

    Embarker
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    Bump

    Getting twitchy now as Overclockers have the 6600gt in stock. Is there any board that supports PCI-e that is not LGA775. Or will I have to go watercooling or just put up with the hot and noisey LGA775?

    This card seems to be one of the few that will give tearfree graphics when using VMR9

    Bitten by the upgrade bug now :rotfl:
     
  14. Embarker

    Embarker
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  15. KraGorn

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    Don't the 6800GT and Ultra support 16, they're AGP.
     
  16. rhinoman

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    The nforce 4 boards are out soon and are to support pci-e, not sure about the intel 775 socket and its lack of decent coolers and going against the grain, but my current intel 865 has been less stable than the amd system it replaced, can feal an upgrade coming on.....
     
  17. KraGorn

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    So what AMD is your processor of choice for an HTPC John? I put together a 3.0 Prescott system but am not happy with it, heatwise and performance wise, so am considering going back to AMD, I had a 2000+ HTPC before that.
     
  18. rhinoman

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    I'm not decided yet, my current p4c is a 2.6 and without overclocking it plays all the hidef stuff that I've tried, it of couse clocks to 3.13 without any problems and the stability doesn't change.

    I beleive that the nforce 4 will start off with the socket 939 but they will probably add the 754 later, as long as the chip is not the 2800 sempron I dont think it will really matter, I think they will all do what we need. The 939's are too expensive at the moment so probably a 2800 or 3000 Athlon 64.
     
  19. KraGorn

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    I lost track of the AMD products and their relative performance, I also wish they'd settleon one packaging, 939, 754 etc. etc gets kind of confusing.

    Any idea how a 3000 '64 compares to a Prescott 3? The reason I'm concerned is that my Prescott clips at 100% CPU if I'm too agressive with FFDSHOW.
     
  20. Embarker

    Embarker
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    my amd is o/c to 2.41g and it runs 400fsb so this but it higher than a xp3200, have no info in the 64, but my chip a xp2500 mobile cost just £50. I just want the 6600gt to finish things off - may wait and see how much the agp version will be as my pc runs at 38c full loaded.
     
  21. Mark Ward

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    Hi Dave,

    Wouldn't an AGP version be more restricted on performance? Surely the PCIe bus has been developed to allow greater throughput of Data? Surely no matter how much processing power the GFX card has there has to be a bus related limit to the rate data can be fed to it.

    I don't know, I'm just surmising.

    Mark.
     
  22. KraGorn

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    Yes Mark, you're right, the PCI-e bus I think I've read is equivalent to AGPx16.

    To my mind though, in the context of this discussion, the issue though is how much power a card in an HTPC application requires. Sure, games like DOOM 3 et. al. need massive processing and will need more in the future, however what I think is less clear is how much bandwidth is needed to decode and process video streams.
     
  23. Mark Ward

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    I'm a real techno thicky when it comes to GFX card performance, but from Mr.D's excellent description in the TT2 thread of texture mapping if I understand correctly the 3D performance of the card is actually utilised for 2D mapping in VMR7 & VMR9 modes.

    Mark.
     
  24. KraGorn

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    True, my lack of experience with VMR is showing ;), most of my playing has been done with Overlay due to problems I've had with VMR of unknown origin.

    However, it still begs the question whether 8x AGP is a limiting factor or not. If it isn't then PCI-e isn't offering anything and one is forced to use more expensive processors in order to get that feature, at least in the short term.
     
  25. Embarker

    Embarker
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    Thought i'd give this a quick bump, as my server is now at 1.2tb and is in desperate need of a new home in the house.

    I've decided to "build" a cheap mobo/chip combo for my server with on board VGA. And then re-shell my HTPC in a shiney new case. This way I can "move" the server to it new home and get it all settled down.

    My fx5600 is not doing a bad job so i'll just put a zalman on it and get a new case for now.......

    Watch this space though :hiya:
     
  26. KraGorn

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    I'm still waiting for 6600GTs to become available in AGP form.
     
  27. MrDemon

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    a 6600 is not that high a spec

    a 9600 xt is about the same as a 6600

    or why not look at a 9800 ultimate with no fans at all :)

    the 7000 ones looks nice and good value but are not out yet in the UK

    D
     
  28. KraGorn

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    Yes, but the 6600 has on-board WMV decoding as well as the VPP which does 3:2 pulldown, and still quite enough power for HTPC usage from the accounts I've read over on AVS from guys who know a hell of a lot more than me. :)
     
  29. Embarker

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    the 6600 is puported to be the killer card for HTPC use. The WMV bit is duff on the 6800, so i'll wait for either a quiet cooler solution for a PCI-e mobo/chip, unless the 6600 in agp form is idenitcal to it pci-e brother.
     
  30. HarshKarma

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    AFAIK it's only the WMV encoding that's duff, the decoding is supposed to be fine once it's turned on in the drivers.

    --
    Edward
     

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