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Processor and Video Questions

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm building an HTPC, but i'm doubtful on what CPU and video card to use. I plan to watch Blu-rays, DVD's, and MKV/MP4 video files, in 720p, 1080i and 1080p, and 3D blu-rays. I also have a 1080p-capable, 3D-capable TV. I also plan to Boinc on it while i'm not watching too demanding stuff, or just not using it.

I have a 2.13 GHz E6400 (half turning my sig rig into an HTPC) i can use on a new motherboard (Biostar G31m+). I plan to give it a light OC to maybe 2.8-3 GHz just to avoid video bottlenecks. But i don't know if to get a C2Q, maybe a Q9xxx series, with a 1333 MHz FSB (my C2D has a 1066 MHz FSB) to get a higher overclock (maybe 3.5 GHz) and get advantage of morwe.

I also dunno what video cards to use. I'd recycle my old n' trusty XFX 9400 GT but it lags on 3D and Blu-ray playback, plus my motherboard won't fit it (since i'm adding 2 PCI cards, and there's no separation between PCI-E and PCI slots, and the 9400 GT i have is wider than a single slot card due to it being fanless and having a hugeass heatsink). So, i've decided to upgrade the card. I'm torn up between a Galaxy GTX 460, a MSI GTS 450 and a Sparkle GT 430. All have 1 GB memory, but the GT430 has DDR3, and the others have GDDR5. Plus, of course, the memory bandwidths, chipset differences, and the power connectors. The reason i chose them are their single slotness and price range within my budget.
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post #2 of 5
For a HTPC, if you need 1080p 3D then the graphics card is going to be the limiting factor. While having the CPU close to 3GHz can't hurt, you'd still need a HD-3D capable card.
The 430 is a slow; it is so slow that it doesn't even have all post processing effects in drivers (like AMD's 55x0). The 440 is just as bad, as it is only a slightly pumped-up gt 220. GTS 450 is your entry point as tests have shown it can handle 1080p 3D & PiP. In theory this GPU would offload much of the workload so you'd probably have enough CPU left to BOINC while watching movies, but it's left to see how it works for you (I haven't found this particular test anywhere). The GTX 460 @150W may just be a bit too hot for a single slot cooler which means three things: overheat, noise or both.
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post #3 of 5
That E6400 should do 1080P with medium-high bit-rates fine, no need to upgrade.
Have you installed the codecs correctly? If not sure install the latest K-Lite Codec Pack, and use MPC or WMP for viewing. If you use XBMC check the DXVA box on, so that your GPU can help.

Again that 9400GT should do blue-ray fine, with DVXA or VPAU. The choices in GPU upgrades you suggested will not improve performance except in 3d and while intensively up-scaling which you said you will not do. If you have to upgrade because of the fit, buy the GT430 anything above will not be an improvement for an HTPC.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Well, even tho i do not plan to upscale, i do plan to do 3D, which makes my 9400 go crazy. The fit issue was rather a secondary one, since i can buy a fan from a dead card or something, but i can't change performance.

I do use MPC, been using it for a while along CoreAVC 2, so i already have a base to make GPU video. For Blu-rays and DVD i use Arcsoft Total Media Player 3.

I've half-chosen the GTS 450, but i've "found" an alternative card, which is an XFX Radeon 5770, within my same price range, and it's a brand i can trust (have had 2 XFX cards, all were damned stable and hella nice OCers). I could give up GPU Boincing to get better performance on videos (it won't be a cruncher per se, and i half need NVIDIA since my favorite project is Seti@Home). Which is better between the two?
Edited by Starbomba - 3/4/11 at 3:19am
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post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbomba View Post
I've half-chosen the GTS 450, but i've "found" an alternative card, which is an XFX Radeon 5770
Not sure if the HD 5770 would do 3D.
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