Upgrade Time- Reccomendations Please

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by rhinoman, Nov 24, 2002.

  1. rhinoman

    rhinoman
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    Current setup:-

    AE100

    Abit VH6 mobo
    Celeron 1.2 Tualitin
    Zalmann Cooler
    Enermax PSU
    512mb of PC133
    Sapphire ATI 9000 128mb
    Cheap soundcard with optical out
    Pinnacle Rave
    Theatretek
    Dscaler 4.01
    Win XP pro (heavily hacked about)

    While the DVD picture is quite superb, my Sky+ feeding the Rave card is only okay, its not that is particularly suffers a great deal of noise but it does consistently drop frames. I had been on the verge of ordering a H3D but with recent comments by Jeff especially, saying that the new CX23*** cards grab svideo about as cleanly, and that I have no great desire to go SDI DVD player then I think that the money would be better spent upgrading my motherboard and processor for extra grunt for DScaler.

    AMD or Intel?

    I have no particular preference to which to go for, my desktop machine is an Athlon 2200+ with PC2700 ddr and an Asus A7V333 and seems nice and stable, cooling ability or the lack of need to is probably my higher priority. I probably wont overclock so that ability doesn't really concern me. The machine is a dedicated HTPC connected to my LAN for internet, music sharing, displaying photos etc stored on my server.I dont play games.Wake on IR would be a nice feature but not that important as I rarely turn it off.

    Suggestions please:-

    Which processor and how fast, how important is onboard cache in the chip (celeron or pentium 4), and of course which motherboard?

    Thanks
     
  2. Garrett

    Garrett
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    To start you off the AMD 2100XP is the best bangs for buck and AMD are good processors. Go to the AMD site for MB recommendations.
     
  3. nutcase_1uk

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    And AMD have just done another price cut, so they be even cheaper :) I have a personal preference for Intel at eh mo, I've found them easier to keep cool, and hence quiet etc. Nothing 'wrong' with AMD, just Intel is that little bit more refined. AMD chips tend to outperform the equivalent Intel chip however. Not that a little bit of difference would be noticable in 'real world' computing.
     
  4. Garrett

    Garrett
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    The XP2100 is about £74 the next one up the 2200XP is over £100 I think £121 at present which is quite a bit for a little more power. If you wait till after Christmas the prices should come down some more baring something drastic or the exchange rate going down. At present there is a slight price rise on most components, I just got a WD JB, HD before they started going up (along with other HD’s).
     
  5. rhinoman

    rhinoman
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    From ebuyer:-

    XP2100+ £73.01 inc VAT......not a lot of money.

    I seem to remember reading something about the latest Athlon chips having a different core material and so being easier to cool, I know it applied to my 2200+ but didn't to a lot of the lower chips, anybody know about the 2100+ ??

    Why is it so many normally recommend intel chipsets for stability, I cant say I've ever had many problems with via myself and what symptons would I get with an unstable motherboard chipset.
     
  6. Jeff

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    Stick with what you have, just get a XCapture card. Your 1.2 Celeron is plenty for DScaler especially if you don't use the noise filters.
     
  7. Jeff

    Jeff
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  8. rhinoman

    rhinoman
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    Thanks Jeff, dont suppose you know what to click to order it?

    I do seem to have some trouble with Dscaler dropping frames though, not so bad with 2:2 pulldown stuff but with the video settings, simple weave is okay, even with adaptive noise but tomsmocomp barely copes, greedy 2frame is awful and this is without any of the "auto select" options, hence the upgrade consideration.

    Incedently I am running a cut down version of XP pro with 512mb of PC133. I am using both outputs of my Video Card, (one feeds a small tft for casual tv watching and selecting music from the server), would this be stressing the processor?
     
  9. Jeff

    Jeff
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    John,

    I bought my cards from the US and got badly stung on shipping and customs charges, not sure how to order from the french site maybe you could email them if there is a contact address somewhere on the site. If you get the xcapture card we can to through the variuos DScaler settings, you should be able to run fine without dropped frames.

    Jeff
     
  10. rhinoman

    rhinoman
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    Thanks Jeff, I've just emailed them in English. I'll let you know how I get on.
     
  11. JohnAd

    JohnAd
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    Guys

    Normally I'd agree with Jeff on the processor requirements but I've just added some stuff to TomsMoComp that will use even more processor and it now just runs without film detect on a PIII 1Ghz so maybe the extra headroom of a better processor will be required soon. Don't go mad though and as you say some faster processors are pretty cheap, what puts me off is having to choose AMD or intel for the MB/memory etc and am following this with interest as I probably need an upgrade shortly.

    The XCapture is definitely worth it as there is little need for the noise filters with one of these.

    John
     
  12. Jeff

    Jeff
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    If I where to upgrade I'd probably go for a 845 based mobo with a 2.4 or 2.53Ghz P4. Just make sure that you stay away from Via chipsets.
     
  13. squishysdomain

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    The reason that the Athlon XP 2200 is better on Power performance is that it is a 0.13u device - everything upto XP2100 is on 0.15u. I use an XP2200 and _underclock_ it down to XP1800 so its easier to cool. The Pentium 3s are the best in terms of CPU power versus thermal power - by a factor of 2 compared with both Athlon and P4 but the choice of motherboards stink. After XMAS AMD will start producing more 0.13u Athlons - and they will be the ones to get as they are even lower power (about 15%) than the current ones. 1800MHz is more than enough for your needs so I would wait and get one of these once they come out.

    Have you considered a DVB card for inside your PC. Hauppage has a range of them? I've not tried the "Sky" (Satelite) decider, but I have the Digital Terretrial decoder and it works very well. The software is awful (so whats new) but the picture and sound quality are great plus you can record the original source material direct to the hard disk. I'd love to hear from someone who has tried the Satelite decoder - especially if they've managed to get it working with the smartcard!!
     
  14. rhinoman

    rhinoman
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    Hi John,

    Thanks for the inside info, I must say that the idea of a new motherboard, processor and memory coming in at about £200 or £250 with 512mb, is definatly easier to swallow than ~£650 for a H3D, leaves room for the Xcard and maybe a top soundcard upgrade as well:D Should also allow plenty of headroom for future advances.

    Next thing on the agenda is to make Dscaler a little more wife friendly. Anybody have a airboard-pronto ccf with the most common Dscaler settings?
     
  15. rhinoman

    rhinoman
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    That was something like I read :D That also explains the price jump from 2100+ to 2200+. :(
     
  16. triplebj

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    Just to be picky, the Athlon < XP2200 is 0.18 micron, not 0.15 :)

    I would recommend an nForce2 based motherboard with wonderful built in sound and optical out. I am going with the Asus A7N8X and probably a XP2200 or XP2400. I don't think it's worth paying over 100 quid extra just to get a 166 MHz FSB !?

    Maybe if the XP2600+ gets under £200, I'll change my mind......

    BJ
     
  17. squishysdomain

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    I thought that the Palomino cores were on an optically shrunk 0.18u process with an official feature size of 0.15u but I'm not going to argue ;).

    The IO power is one of the big contributers to the overal power consumption - which is why I underclocked the FSB to 100MHz. 166MHz is better for absolute performance, but HCPCs don't need it. I changed my CPU from an XP1800 to an XP2200 the other week and have noticed not an ounce of difference, even when playing intense games. Providing there is enough CPU not to drop frames, why pay the extra for more power (CPU) and more power (heat).

    One thing that made a huge difference to my HCPC was WINDVD 4.0 Pro. It has an option of using the DVD hardware acceleration on my Radeon based card. So does the Radeon DVD player but the latter cannot do the sound decode properly... Previous to the upgrade my Nova-T DVB decoder dropped frames all over the place (it uses WinDVD for its display) but now its as smooth as silk
     
  18. surrey lad

    surrey lad
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    Hi John,

    After reading this thread along with others, here and over the water, I finally placed my order about half hour ago, jeff's words of wisdom convinced me it was the right card to buy.
    I had the same problems as you with the French site, wheres the order button? $63 including 2 day shipping from the states is what I've just paid, wonder what the final bill will be.

    Did you ever get your card from france? Did jeff kindly help with the dscaler settings? Couldn't share them with us, could you.:blush:

    I'm totally new to dscaler, haven't even downloaded it yet. But after experiencing TT 1.5 on my barco cine 7 last weekend, I'm convinced that feeding ondigi box via RGB into LIDO doubler might not be the best solution. I've already got a rgb(scart) to s-vhs converter.

    What version of dscaler is needed, where can it be downloaded from?

    Sorry for all the questions but any help would greatly be appreciated. Wifes put her little foot down, given me till march to finish hcpc project, can't afford to learn the hard way any more. Bought her a pronto for christmas, i thick thats what done it for her!!!!!! :confused:

    Set up consists of asus p4t-e mb, intel 2.2g cpu, 512 rdram, ati 7500, m-audio 410 sound card (only ever use spdif out into EAD processor), xp pro. Still awaiting Dign case.

    Many Thanks

    Surrey Lad;)
     
  19. rhinoman

    rhinoman
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    Hi Surrey Lad,

    Read about your Dign troubles over at AVS:(

    No I didn't order the Xcapture from the French site, wasn't sure enough about the order process and I already had the Pinnacle Rave so I decided initially to upgrade my PC, (see my other threads).

    Where did you get your Xcapture from?

    I'm using Dscaler 4.13 which I dont think has the Xcapture compatibility, although I am quite impressed with the results I'm getting and my extra PC horsepower has definatly helped as I can now run more of the bits that I feal enhace the picure,(adaptive noise and sharpness filters, judder terminator, fall back to video on bad detection, automatic video/film detection and I increased the search on tomsmocomp to 7).

    I'm sure Jeff or JohnAd could probebly help us out with the newer beta version of Dscaler with Xcapture support;)

    It'll never be finished:D But you do need to allow a fall back solution for when tweaking goes wrong. I use a multiboot setup and Ghost to clone a working image as follows:-

    C xp +ghost no drivers at all
    D C + drivers and programs stable
    E clone of D that I use normally and try tweaks on.

    This allows a fall back from E to D if a new driver or tweak messes something up, boot into D (wife happy cause its not broke) next day clone D over E and try again. The C with no drivers means a major software or driver change wont take to long either as the longest bit is loading the OS. It definatly takes the pain out of HTPC :cool:
     
  20. surrey lad

    surrey lad
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    Hi John,

    Thanks for the quick responce. :kisses:

    Placed the order last night with Prolink in the US. Every thing was going according to plan, filled out my personal details, clicked on United Kingdom for country of destination, entered in my credit card details and hit the submit button. Hey that was easy.:p

    "Let the rest of the lads know" I thought. After placing my post I checked for any mail. Hey that looks like my order confirmation, not.:( $120 including card and shipping, is how much they want, add to that any duties that apply and your looking at quite a lot of money for something that's only really worth £30.

    I've asked the question over at AVS if anyones had any joy importing a card at a more reasonable price, I'll keep you posted.

    I'm also running a triple boot system 3 x xp pro.
    1st xp is for general use, this is where I experiment:D or as the case is quite often:confused:
    2nd xp is for DVD ripping onto a separate 120g storage drive:devil:
    3rd xp is the HCPC.
    Some where amongst all of this is a partition for storing my image files using Ghost.

    Problems I have are getting the time to set up programs like girder. I spent the whole of the christmas break trying to get my wife's pronto ;) to work with girder. Easy when you know how but these things all take time.

    Do you think my idea of converting RGB to s-vhs, and using dscaler is better than RGBs to RCVS 500 switcher and then into the lido doubler in the cine 7?

    I've also got a nova-t, what a load of rubbish. Fine when you're viewing on a 17" monitor, but when projecting on to a fair size screen it looks awful. Images are pretty sharp from what I can remember( never used it for more than an hour) motions aren't smooth.

    Better stop myself before I go way, way of topic.

    Many thanks

    Surrey Lad;)

    P.s Think dign case is lost, sent it back to thomas via fedex. They can't tell me where it is at the moment. Tracker on there web shows no movement after 9/1/03:rolleyes:
     
  21. rhinoman

    rhinoman
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    Hi Surrey Lad,

    Yeah, I did the prolink thing too and bailed at the delivery cost :eek:

    Havent played with girder yet but do have Theatretek and my pronto quite happy, my Xmas was spent trying different cooling solutions in the Dign after the upgrade to XP2200+ , great processing power but was much more trouble to cool than the Celeron but I'm happy now.

    I've not compared other solutions for scaling Sky other than a short time with a proV. Sold the proV after sorting the Dscaler processing issues and I'm only using The Pinnacle Rave. Haven't much idea about your cine 7 either as I'm a panel pj man.

    Important things of note for capturing via svideo in a PC is/are PSU type, (I've got an Enermax EG365) and how good the mains is to the source and the PC, I've had few problems but I have an independent 6mm mains spur for the hifi and pc. I dont know what difference it has made as I didn't try it without but I havent had any of the herringboning that others have complained about.

    I'm not unhappy with my Sky+ picture, sure theres a little noise in the picture but I think the Dscaler filters help and when an Xcapture becomes available at a sensible cost I'll try one, most of the problem is the Sky quality in the 1st place.

    My Dign arrived damaged but fortunatly I managed to get it repaired without too much trouble after deciding that I wasn't going to get anywhere with Thomas. I still beleive his intention was good but it has gone really pearshaped. Hope you get your sorted.

    Regards
     
  22. surrey lad

    surrey lad
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    Hi John,

    Looks like there still might be hope for us:D

    This was the responce I got from AVS

    Hi Surrey lad

    I contacted Prolink some time ago and they supplied the following info..

    "Currently we have 2 distributors in UK. They are,
    Hugn Symons
    Tel: 0870-849-0208
    http://www.hughsymons.com

    THX Trade Limited
    Tel: 0870-756-8480
    http://www.thx-trade.com"

    I didn't follow it up as I plan to get a Holo3dgraph.... all the best

    Paul.

    Plus I got a PM

    Try www.newegg.com . They have the card now and may be better on shipping. Prolink is just goofy with their shipping charges.

    I'll check them out later on.:)

    Surrey Lad
     
  23. rhinoman

    rhinoman
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    I've emailed newegg to see if they ship to UK.

    I've got to say, I beleive that the H3D is too expensive for the improvement if you already use an onboard HTPC DVD player like Theatretek and more my concern is the long term lack of upgradability once gone down this route. Dscaler can only improve and I'm sure that later in the year more "quality" capture cards will become available helping us get the most out of it. Sure the H3D is user friendly but Dscaler once its set is not that bad either.

    Just my 2p.
     
  24. surrey lad

    surrey lad
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    John,

    The last section of my post was relating to a private mail I got.
    I share your views on the H3D.:cool:

    I've spoken to THX, they should hopefully be stocking the Xcapture soon, possibly within the next 2 weeks. They've got my number, hopefully they will keep me posted.

    Better still, I contacted Hung Symons who are trade only. They can get these for us, but we would have to order via a retailer.
    They gave me the number for one of their retailers.
    Spoke to Steve at Horsham IT. He can take orders from individuals and then place an order with Hugn Symons. He doesn't need big numbers to place the order, just a few would do.

    You can contact him on [email protected]

    This is not a Powerbuy

    Best regards

    surrey lad;)
     
  25. rhinoman

    rhinoman
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    Have sent Steve a mail too.:)
     
  26. surrey lad

    surrey lad
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    :D Horsham IT have just mailed me. The first shipment is due in the UK next week.

    £50 all in, inc vat and P&P. Not bad, better than $120 +taxes/duties. Cheques going in the post tonight.:)

    Considering the amount of interest over the Xcapture in the US I'm surprised there hasn't been more interest shown here.
    Really thought I was doing some people a favour. :confused:

    Anyone else ordered the card?

    surrey lad:rolleyes:
     
  27. rhinoman

    rhinoman
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    Surrey Lad,

    I've just sent the cheque off for mine, maybe you should start a new thread that this is available incase people have missed it in this one, there must be more interest than just you and me.

    Regards
     
  28. surrey lad

    surrey lad
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    John, have a look at the new thread.

    Xcapture coming soon to the UK.

    surrey lad;)
     

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