Popular Choices Why ?

Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by villa_restal, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. villa_restal

    villa_restal
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    Hi all

    I have notices that both these parts are popular chaoices for a home maek HTPC

    Motherboard
    : Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H
    CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5050e AM2 1MB 2.6GHz 45W

    Why?

    and what should i expect to pay for them ?

    Cheers in advance ... a HTPC Newbie looking to make his first one no i have retired my old Xbox Mk1 with Xbmc .... o that remindes me has anyone tried the windows Xbmc and will it work with a remote?
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  2. Mateh

    Mateh
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    The CPU is specially designed to be more power efficient and uses less watts. It is a 45W TDP CPU. The 'e' stands for efficient. The other non 'E' models can vary from 55w to 75w

    The motherboard contains a 780G AMD chipest which utilizes an onboard Radeon 3200. The board also has HDMI Output and is powerful enough to handle bluray playback. Put simply the board has all the qualities that we look for in a HTPC motherboard. The motherboard also has: PCI-E 2.0 x16 interfaceIntegrated SATA 3Gb/s with RAID functionFeatures high speed Gigabit Ethernet and IEEE1394High quality 106dB SNR ALC889A HD audioIntegrated HDMI/ DVI interface with HDCP

    Read about it the 780G Chipset here: AMD's 780G chipset - The Tech Report - Page 1

    There are alternatives to these componenets, I.,e you could go for one of the 4850e, or 4050e CPU's which would be just as sufficient as the 5050e. But the price difference is so little I dont see why anyone would want to do this.

    Hope this answers your questions
     
  3. MikeK

    MikeK
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    CPU TDP is only a guide!

    Basically it's the chip maker's recommendation about how much power the cooling system design should be able to dissipate - it's not really a specific figure about how much power any particular CPU chip will use!

    Under "normal" operating conditions, I suppose you could consider it as the maximum power a chip is likely to use - however, it is only a guide.

    Practically the entire range of Core2Duo chips, for instance, have a TDP of 65W, from the 65nm Conroes to the 45nm Wolfdales, with clock speeds from
    1800MHz to over 3000MHz - however they won't all use the same power.
     
  4. villa_restal

    villa_restal
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    cheers lads.... they look like ideal choices then, i was thinking of using a x3 phenom is there any good reasons to keep way from these more powerfull cpus? also is this the motheroard that has a hidden bios option to overclock the ati card thats built onto it? so i can play haigher end games?
     
  5. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois
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    An excellent answer - I think I may add this to the guide...
     
  6. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    Yep - the HD3200 / 780G based boards - are a great compromise between cost and quality. They deliver excellent standard Blu-ray 1080p movie replay with a low cost CPU and are reliable. They also have a good feature set (GigE, Firewire, plenty of USBs etc) for the money. As the HD3200 has enough power for good quality decoding of H264/VC-1/MPEG2 (the three codecs used on Blu-ray) in hardware - you don't need an expensive (and hot running) CPU - a 5050e is a good compromise between cost and power. (So you still have a machine that is snappy enough for MP3 encoding, web browsing etc.)

    They aren't perfect - the HD 3200 will struggle with dual-stream PIP on newer discs (as it doesn't have the grunt for decoding two streams so one is delegated to the CPU I believe) - and it only offers PCM 2.0/DD5.1/DTS5.1 audio via HDMI. It also has limitations when it comes to de-interlacing - which is important for SD viewing. Similarly, if you want to do video transcoding with the CPU, the 5050e may show its speed limitations a bit. Howeve this may not be an ideal application for an HTPC...

    For a low-cost, high-quality Blu-ray player (and for replaying other progressive content) with DVD quality HDMI sound - it is very difficult to beat the 5050e and MA78GM-S2H or similar motherboard.

    The minute you want to improve the de-interlacing performance or have Blu-ray quality audio via HDMI (i.e. True HD and DTS HD, or multichannel PCM) you need to look either at a more modern IGP solution (8200/8300, 9300/9400) or a low-cost separate video card (4550) but these are both more expensive routes to go down (though if you go for a 4550 you don't need a motherboard with IGP)

    However if you want a low-cost, easy-to-set-up and pretty good set-up - the 780G motherboards are excellent.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  7. Scott_Mac

    Scott_Mac
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    They are indeed good components, eBuyer, Scan etc may be worth a look, but I bought from Amazon as they were the cheapest at the time when you factored in delivery...

    See my thread with links to what i bought.

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/8675476-post22.html
     

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