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Old 06-17-2008, 01:20 AM   #1
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Default htpc cpu? dual or quad?

Dad's been using his VCR for the past 20 years, and its gonna be useless by next year. He wants something heavy duty and powerful. He wants something HD compatible.

C2Duo or C2Quad? I would imagine Duo as Media Center in Vista probably wouldnt take advantage of 4 cores over two, correct? We wanna save money so we'll probably get an E6550 or E6600.

We'd get 4GB of DDR2-800, and install Vista Ultimate 32-bit. Is this okay?

We picked a Hauppauge HVR-1600 (supports up to 1080i and MCE) is this okay?

Thing is, with our VCR, we could always put the jack from the wall to the VCR Antenna input, and then output that from the VCR to the TV - so we could record our shows and watch them without using hte VCR, and the quality would be equivalent for both the TV and VCR even though both were using it, and we could watch completely different channels uninterrupted.

So our PC wouldnt have that, so we would need a signal-spliiter, right? but then wouldnt we lose signal? We have antenna TV (and its in 1080p and we love it) and we either GET IT or DONT GET IT (thats how digital TV works) so if we split it, isnt there chance we wont get any signal at all if both are trying to access the external signal?
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:24 AM   #2
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Default Re: htpc cpu? dual or quad?

Quote:
Dad's been using his VCR for the past 20 years, and its gonna be useless by next year.
Don't you know you can get a digital converter?
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: htpc cpu? dual or quad?

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Originally Posted by umakemebetter View Post
He wants something HD compatible.
He wants to record in 1080i and all.

My last question is: how dependent on GPU is Video recording? Not much, right?
Because we dont wanna spend much money on a GPU. It's my dad - therefore no gaming.

I was thinking an HDCP-compliant 8500GT (something good enough to run Aero and Media Center, thats it), is that alright?

and the case i picked comes with a 300Watt power supply. Is that enough? Here are the peripherals that will be connected to it:
* Gigabyte G31 microatx mobo
* 4GB (2x2GB) ddr2-800
* hauppauge HVR-1600
* E6550
* 250GB seagate SATA-II drive
* 18x DVD+/-RW drive
* 8500GT
* DIAMOND XtremeSound 7.1-channel soundcard (just something with 24-bit, 96KHz, and Dolby audio support)
* in the future, a BD-RW (i'm listing this cuz i dont want the supply dying after i put that in)

300 should be about enough, right?
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:35 AM   #4
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Default Re: htpc cpu? dual or quad?

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My last question is: how dependent on GPU is Video recording? Not much, right?
Because we dont wanna spend much money on a GPU. It's my dad - therefore no gaming.
Video recording is mostly dependent on the CPU, not GPU.
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: htpc cpu? dual or quad?

For a HTPC, I would recommend a 780G chipset: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813186141
The IGP will take a lot of load of the CPU during playback.
And pair ir with one of AMD's low TDP Athlon X2s: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103255

Quote:
Video recording is mostly dependent on the CPU, not GPU.
A GPU (as long as it has the appropriate encoder) can take most of the load of the CPU.
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: htpc cpu? dual or quad?



i forgot a buncha things - everythign is listed here now
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:43 AM   #7
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Default Re: htpc cpu? dual or quad?

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Originally Posted by 01001010 View Post
Video recording is mostly dependent on the CPU, not GPU.
Keep in mind that the hauppauge hvr-1600 has hardware encoders on it. Thus lessening the load on the cpu.

Personally, I think the most important pieces of a PVR are the hdcp-compliant video card for playback, large capacity hard drives to record high def (an hour typically goes 6.5gb-8gb) and of course the tv tuner. The cpu doesn't have to be duo or quad, especially if all it's doing is recording and playback. So, if your choices are just duo or quad ... go with duo and put your money into the video card.

***Note*** Going back over your specs ... I'd consider going with a 500gb or even a 750gb hard drive. Granted I record a lot of NFL games and their about 22 gb (3 hrs) each, but after setting Media Center to record different series then forgetting about them, the hard drive can fill up pretty quick.

A quick question. Is this PVR being hooked up to a home theater audio receiver? Or just a computer surround speaker system? Mine is through my receiver, so I just use the pc's onboard audio out. Maybe you could save money not getting the audio card.
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:05 AM   #8
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Default Re: htpc cpu? dual or quad?

We also want to use it as a DVD player and we want the available 5.1 and 7.1 Dolby outputs and 96khz audio, which is why i chose a card

oh, and the integrated 780 chipset should be HDCP compatible (especially considering it HAS an HDMI output of its own)
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:19 AM   #9
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Default Re: htpc cpu? dual or quad?

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Originally Posted by umakemebetter View Post


i forgot a buncha things - everythign is listed here now
Everything looks great, but just get a SATA disk drive, it's only about $5 more but you get a nice, thin, neat cable which is important inside a HTPC case.
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: htpc cpu? dual or quad?

You might also consider getting a blu-ray disk drive ... they're going for $140 at newegg.com last I checked. 'Course that depends on your budget and if you don't already have a player or PS3.

And I second worshipme ... go all SATA. Faster transfer speeds as well as small, thin cables.
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