need suggestion for cpu/mobo

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Frank Bon, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. Frank Bon

    Frank Bon Stunt Coordinator

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    I will be building my 1st HTPC soon and would like it to be able to play 1080p trailers. I would also like it to play bluray/hd dvd in the future.
    What is the amount of cpu power for troublefree playback? Any suggestions of whether to go w/AMD or Intel? As far as mobo goes what chipset gives the most "bang for the buck" for the corresponding CPU?
     
  2. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Well the next gen Core2Duos are getting great benchmark reviews from the various DIY sites. I'd wait at least until those are released and see what chipsets support them. Of course, AMD will soon answer with their own improvements I'm sure. It's a helluva thing, the waiting game...
     
  3. Frank Bon

    Frank Bon Stunt Coordinator

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    Isn't the core 2 duo out now? If so, what speed is the minimum I can get by with?
     
  4. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    E6300 will be more than enough. You can get one for $200 and the mobo's start at $50.
     
  5. Frank Bon

    Frank Bon Stunt Coordinator

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    How does the core2 E6300 compare with a p4 3.6Ghz? (both are about the same price)
     
  6. Frank Bon

    Frank Bon Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks, those were helpful links:
    I can get the e6400 for $40 more I was wondering what mobo would you pair it with would like to keep the mobo under $160 or total of $400 between CPU&mobo
     
  7. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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  8. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    The Core 2 Duos are excellent, and pretty much lead the pack for performance, but you could also take advantage of the lowered prices for Athlon X2 64. A 4800+ or 4600+ is about equivalent to an E6300. Well, unless you're planning to overclock - the Core 2 Duos are reportedly very overclockable, and overclocked they'll beat the AMD's for similar money.

    On the other hand, if you're buying everything new (and you'll have to for Core 2 - mobo, CPU and memory) then the Core 2 Duo is probably the best choice all round.
     
  9. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    As a matter of fact I just placed an order for a second E6400 setup (the other is going to my friend). I did a lot of research and since the ASUS mobo is not very available at the moment I went with the DFI. I think this is a very good "budget" gaming system. A little better on paper than the first with 965 chipset mobo but even that went over 100fps on Battlefield 2 at the highest settings and 35-60fps in Oblivion without overclocking.

    GIFTS GUILD WARS FACTION PC RTL - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$0)
    VGA ATI X1800XT 256MB 100-435840 R - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$209.99)
    MB DFI INFINITY 975X 775 - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$184.99)
    CPU INTEL|CORE 2 E6400 2.13G 775 R - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$237.00)
    MEM 1Gx2|G.SK F2-6400CL4D-2GBPK R - Retail (Qty=1, Price=$199.99)

    Extended Warranty Fee: $0
    Subtotal: $831.97
    TAX: $0
    Shipping and Handling Charge**: $10.38
    Total: $842.35
     
  10. Rommel_L

    Rommel_L Second Unit

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    Frank, Since you're building an HTPC, it makes more sense to use Core2 since you have all the horsepower that you'll need and it runs cool. You don't need to OC since the lowest-end cpu (E6300) is equivalent to a mid-end AMD X2 cpu.
     
  11. Frank Bon

    Frank Bon Stunt Coordinator

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    I happen to have 2 sticks (1gb ea.) of kingston hyperX pc3500. From what I'm reading this memory may not be adequate for a core2duo system. What is the best CPU I can use with this ram?
     
  12. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    There is nothing wrong with that memory but you will have trouble finding a motherboard that supports DDR and Conroe processors. There are some but most likely they would be the bottleneck on your system.
     
  13. Rommel_L

    Rommel_L Second Unit

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    All mobos (except for one that I can think of) that support Core2 use DDR2 memory modules. Check this link for the mobo that can use your memory.
     
  14. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    That is one reason to (possibly) go with the AMD X2 chips instead. There are motherboards that can handle those and that memory. However, I'm not entirely possible that the new AM2 CPU socket type is available on motherboards that take plain DDR and not DDR2.

    Socket 939 boards with DDR capability however abound, but socket 939 is making its exit fast - there will be very little possibility for CPU upgrades past an X2 4800+ on that socket, and even those CPU's won't be around for that much longer.

    But of course, if you have that DDR memory and want to use that to save money, you'd still have to change out the memory too later if you were changing the CPU to something even faster down the line, and at that point replacing the motherboard too would add only marginally to the total.

    That was the thinking I did when I recently ordered an Athlon X2 while they can still be had for socket 939. It will boost the power of my existing socket 939 gear to the max of what it can do, I'll use it for a few years and then change out the whole shebang when the next need to upgrade hits.
     
  15. Frank Bon

    Frank Bon Stunt Coordinator

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    As much as I want to go with the core2duo, I think the x2 4800+ will handle anything a HTPC will throw at it. Saving the $150-200 on new memory will get me a fusion5gold hdtv card. How about a suggestion for a socket 939 mobo? (atx) I noticed many of these have onboard nforce video. Does the video get its memory from the system ram?
    I should note that this computer will not be used for gaming. I just want to be able to display 1280 x 720 (for now)without powerstrip and I will want to be able to display 1920 x 1080 to a large lcd display in about 1-2 months down the road
    ** not opposed to buying a seperate video card; in fact, I think it may be a wiser choice
     
  16. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    For HTPC you can getaway with a Sempron, I think we all got carried away with the new Duo's. If that is not enough when the HD-DVD and BR drives really hit the market at affordable price then you get something faster. Don't worry about it being fast enough down the road because you can always upgrade to a comparable or faster machine at a cheaper price when the time comes.
     
  17. Rommel_L

    Rommel_L Second Unit

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    Sami,
    I don't think we got carried away with Core2. The reason is that it is the total package (for cpus, that is), it's blazing fast and it runs cool (a must for htpc). The only thing we didn't take into consideration is Frank's budget constraints, which he unfortunately left out. That is the downside of a Core2-based system, it can cost a pretty penny after everything is all said and done.

    Frank,
    I believe you need more research and planning on what you want for your HTPC with going over your budget. Here's a good link that could give you some ideas on how to plan, budget and build an htpc...
     
  18. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    HTPC really doesn't need all the horsepower, a low end budget processor is more than qualified to do the job. If it is not used for gaming or other processor intensive tasks then you really don't need to put a lot of money into it.
     
  19. Frank Bon

    Frank Bon Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree I need to do more research. I hope to be able to thoroughly read the link in your post tonight. At a quick glance it looks informative.
    -Basically this is the hardware I already have (or have ordered)at this point:
    -case Silverstone LC-17 (black)
    - 2gb kinston hyperX pc 3500
    - power supply 450w Enermax (not sure of the model #; it is a quiet power supply pulled from an older system)
    -samsung 18x dvd rw drive(black)
    -western digital 160gb sata hdd (OS and applications)

    WHAT I NEED:
    cpu,mobo,hdtv card(thinking of divico fusion5gold~$150),hdd,video card

    My budget for this: is max $1000.00 (would be nice to do it for $750)

    I am really open and interested in hearing about how you would finish this HTPC if it were you. I also want to thank everyone who has posted thus far. every post has been helpful.

    edited to add: The cost of the OS doen't need to be added I have other $$ budgeted for that.
     

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