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Discussion Starter #1
I have a tendency of "over-building" my systems. Except for my HTPC. My current HTPC isn't doing much more than playing TV while I'm sitting in front of my workstation. It's running on an old:

P4-2.4GHz
ABIT BE7
1.5GB DDR-333
nVidia GeForce 6600GT AGP (128MB/128bit)
Realtek AC'97 Onboard
Maxtor 200GB IDE
Seagate 7200.11 500GB
Seagate 7200.11 750GB
Hauppage PCI TV Tuner (WinTV-HVR1600)
Windows 7 Ultimate.

Assuming I want to keep my current TV Tuner card, what are the absolute minimum system suggestions for a computer to play TV and do the occasional record?

I can get a hold of a fully-assembled Core-i7 860 system (Case + Power) with 2GB of RAM and ATI Radeon 4350 for CA$650 (roughly US$620), but that just seems like such overkill for a TV systems....


So yeah. This is is a challenge. Please don't suggest a configuration that's significantly slower than an i7-860 system and more expensive than CA$650, 'cause then it just doesn't make sense.

Anyways, bring on the suggestions!
 

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You can use the integrated graphics, unless you're going to need multi-channel audio over HDMI. Then you'll need a separate card. I recommend either a passively cooled Radeon HD 3450 in Hybrid Crossfire, or an HD 4550 stand-alone.

For a power supply you want something around 350-400W that's 80 PLUS Certified. PSUs are most efficient when they're operating at at least 1/2 of their rated load, so avoid going with more power than you need. 80 PLUS certified PSUs have guaranteed levels of efficiency that makes them the most cost efficient for long-term use. Antec & Corsair are two name brands, but there's nothing wrong with considering well reviewed units from other manufacturers.

Cases are highly personal decision. Antec, Lian Li & Silverstone make some of the more attractive ones. nMedia makes some of the more affordable ones. With your TV Tuner you'll need a full height case.
 

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Beyond
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Quote:


Originally Posted by ComGuards
View Post

I have a tendency of "over-building" my systems. Except for my HTPC. My current HTPC isn't doing much more than playing TV while I'm sitting in front of my workstation. It's running on an old:

P4-2.4GHz
ABIT BE7
1.5GB DDR-333
nVidia GeForce 6600GT AGP (128MB/128bit)
Realtek AC'97 Onboard
Maxtor 200GB IDE
Seagate 7200.11 500GB
Seagate 7200.11 750GB
Hauppage PCI TV Tuner (WinTV-HVR1600)
Windows 7 Ultimate.

Assuming I want to keep my current TV Tuner card, what are the absolute minimum system suggestions for a computer to play TV and do the occasional record?

I can get a hold of a fully-assembled Core-i7 860 system (Case + Power) with 2GB of RAM and ATI Radeon 4350 for CA$650 (roughly US$620), but that just seems like such overkill for a TV systems....


So yeah. This is is a challenge. Please don't suggest a configuration that's significantly slower than an i7-860 system and more expensive than CA$650, 'cause then it just doesn't make sense.

Anyways, bring on the suggestions!


Just to clarify the statement in bold. You are saying you don't want to pay more for less but you will take a significantly slower system than a i7 860 if it's a lot cheaper. Do I understand you correctly? What components do you all need? Is the TV Tuner the only thing that is going to be carried over? Or are components like the hard drive and case carried over?
 

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C2D E3200 or the AMD 240, very cheap. Pair it with a cheap board, a 3450 or 4350, 2GB RAM, and slap some big drives in there. Can do full 1080p no problem whatsoever and it's very cheap.

I use an E3200/3450/Biostar G31/2GB RAM. Does everything I throw at it.
 

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Premium Member
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4,484 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Quote:


Originally Posted by Ben the OCer
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Just to clarify the statement in bold. You are saying you don't want to pay more for less but you will take a significantly slower system than a i7 860 if it's a lot cheaper. Do I understand you correctly? What components do you all need? Is the TV Tuner the only thing that is going to be carried over? Or are components like the hard drive and case carried over?

That pretty much sums it up. I know it's hard to quantify performance, but it's kind of pointless buying a Q9550-based system (for example) for $700.

TV Tuner is the only thing that's going to be carried over. As for Hard-drive, I don't need anything fancy since I have about 16TB of storage available over iSCSI to use as storage...
. In fact, you can safely assume that I'll probably migrate one or both of my current HDDs over as well. So it's basically a "bare-bones" build, so-to-speak...

I'm out to figure out what the absolute minimum specs are for a HTPC that's just gonna be used for basic TV watching and recording. I'm not running HD at this time, but would be nice to factor it in for the future.

The P4-2.4Ghz is starting to croak. Me thinks it's going to die soon, lol.
 

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Beyond
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4,493 Posts
Quote:


Originally Posted by ComGuards
View Post

That pretty much sums it up. I know it's hard to quantify performance, but it's kind of pointless buying a Q9550-based system (for example) for $700.

TV Tuner is the only thing that's going to be carried over. As for Hard-drive, I don't need anything fancy since I have about 16TB of storage available over iSCSI to use as storage...
. In fact, you can safely assume that I'll probably migrate one or both of my current HDDs over as well. So it's basically a "bare-bones" build, so-to-speak...

I'm out to figure out what the absolute minimum specs are for a HTPC that's just gonna be used for basic TV watching and recording. I'm not running HD at this time, but would be nice to factor it in for the future.

The P4-2.4Ghz is starting to croak. Me thinks it's going to die soon, lol.


OK, that's what I thought. Then the Athlon II X2 245 and a 785G mobo like everyone else is recommending should do the trick. Personally I'd get an AM3 motherboard and DDR3 given the trend of DDR2 prices.
 
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