Pro's and Con's of HTPC?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Max Malloy, Oct 5, 2001.

  1. Max Malloy

    Max Malloy Stunt Coordinator

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    Just wondering what the pro's and con's of HTPC are? Thanks!
     
  2. Gordon Moore

    Gordon Moore Second Unit

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    Pros
    ====
    1. Cost
    2. Limitless scaling options
    3. Upgradable
    4. Can do more than a stand-alone player (play games, applications etc...
    Cons
    =====
    1. Cost (if you upgrade)
    2. Noise...a whole wack of fans can be noisy. 12X and 16X DVD-Rom's are the norm and can be noisy when spinning. Remedied by placing the PC elsewhere.
    3. More complicated thans a standalone player (dependant on your skill level.
    4. Still doesn't beat the most expensive DVD players but, then again, they beat players in the same price category hands down.
    As always: visit www.avsforum.com for up to date info in this area.
     
  3. Abdul Jalib

    Abdul Jalib Stunt Coordinator

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    A Radeon HTPC with ATI Player absolutely destroys the best stand-alone DVD players - also beats the very best DVD player coupled with the very best scaler - spend $100,000 or more and you cannot even equal a $500 HTPC for 1080i upscaled DVD.
    I'm dealing with a con right now. I replaced my motherboard with a ECS K7S5A to get rid of a VIA bug, and this caused the Radeon drivers to need to be reinstalled, and I haven't quite come up with the right incantation to regain proper performance.
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  4. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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  5. Abdul Jalib

    Abdul Jalib Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm very happy with the ECS K7S5A motherboard, compared to my previous motherboard, the MSI K7 Master, which had a VIA 686B southbridge that caused accessDTV to crash in time-shift mode. The problems I'm having now are due to having to reinstall the Radeon software, not because of the motherboard.
    Out of the box, there is one major compatibility problem I've seen mentioned on the K7S5A: the floppy does not work under WinXP - you must flash the latest BIOS for this. There are also floppy issues for Win 98/ME, mostly that the motherboard does not like 3-pin floppy drives. I can't boot from my 4-pin floppy, even when I set it to have boot priority, but I can't find others with that problem. The motherboard is probably more heat sensitive than most, as the northbridge and southbridge are combined into one chip. I read something about a potential problem with 1.2+ GHz Thunderbirds if you don't flash the BIOS (you can't adjust the voltage without an overclocking BIOS), but I didn't run into that problem with my 1.4 GHz Thunderbird, though I'm running mostly at 1.05 GHz due to cooling problems.
    It's hard to go wrong with $65 for a solid AMD motherboard with onboard ethernet and no evil VIA chipset and $105 for a 1.4 GHz Thunderbird (like from http://www.newegg.com).Click to subscribe to Philips_HDTV discussion group
     
  6. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    Do you know of any good threads in other forums for me to read?
    I am a little confused when you say 3-pin. Are you referring to the ribbon cable and how many pins? I have an old standard floppy that uses a big ribbon cable.
    I am thinking about putting a 1.4GHZ in one.
    Thanks,
    C. Ryan
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  7. Abdul Jalib

    Abdul Jalib Stunt Coordinator

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  8. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the link. I will read through it tonight.
    I just don't want issues when putting the system together. I would rather pay $100 more and have it work right the first time. I want to use this board to build both my and my parents system. Would really hate to run into problems on my computer, but it would be hell if it was my parents.
    Thanks again,
    C. Ryan
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  9. Abdul Jalib

    Abdul Jalib Stunt Coordinator

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    The ECS K7S5A probably the best board for AMD systems. However, this board is bleeding edge. You could always pay the extra for Intel if you want something proven.
    My one suggestion on the K7S5A is to immediately go into the BIOS and dial it down to 100/100, which will be 1.05 GHz for a 1.4 266 FSB Thunderbird. Do this fast, in case you messed up your heatsink installation. Get the system installed and stable and cool (shoot for < 55 C CPU temperature when stressed) like that before cranking it up to 133/133 for 1.4 GHz (which will run hotter, but you have to keep it a few degrees under 70 C at all times.) Don't use an async timing like 100/133 with this motherboard, as it doesn't like it.
    After updating to the latest drivers (010920, i.e., September 20), I can now boot from the floppy drive, which I discovered is indeed missing the third pin on the controller, as is standard for a TEAC floppy drive. For your parents' system, you had better flash to this BIOS, so that they won't have floppy troubles in the future and be confused about why.
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  10. JohanK

    JohanK Second Unit

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