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Going to build a new HTPC for ony 1080p movies and family photo's

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January 7, 2009 5:12:03 PM

I am going to build a new HTPC for my family room and hook it up to our new 42" 1080p Phillips LCD which as 3 comp. and 3 HDMI.
I am considering using a mATX AMD780G w/ HDMI onboard with a 45w AMD X2, 2GB DDR2-800 Mem. and a notebook 2.5" 160GB harddrive w/ XP Pro 32bit or Vista HP 32bit.
the idea is to have a silent HTPC that will play 1080p movies such as Blue-Ray, HD-DVD and downloaded HD movies without lag, show back family photo's and be very energy efficient as well. Thats why I want to go with the notebook HDD and the 45W X2. I have a DVR through Dish Network, so I dont need the pc to act as a PVR/DVR. I will have a system on the network that will be my backdoor for all my media storage w/ 1.5TB storage for media.

Im pretty sure I can meet my needs with the system I have spec'ed out, but I would like some opinions on the HW and SW side of the build.

thanks
January 7, 2009 5:21:36 PM

A 780G and low power AMD CPU are a great foundation for a HTPC. I'd highly recommend Vista as the OS. The built-in media center actually works very well. I use Vista for my HTPC and have been very happy with it.
January 7, 2009 5:25:55 PM

thanks, thats also why I will go with just a SATA notebook HDD too. but I need it to play all 1080p movie formats including downloaded from the web. I was considering vista, but i love the performance of xp. and the system will have to be on standby but able to back and operational my tapping a key in only seconds. (thats the only reason vista is in the mix. it has better powersavings without hanging too bad.
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January 7, 2009 6:01:17 PM

Vista plays all the formats that I use, including downloaded content. I use the Vista codec pack. Vista is also very fast resuming from standby. Since SP1 the performance of Vista is neck and neck with XP in a lot of things.
January 7, 2009 10:58:32 PM

thank you!!! any issues with playback of 1080p movies??
January 7, 2009 11:00:11 PM

also, is 2GB enough to run vista?? with onboard HD3200 taking 512MB?
January 8, 2009 12:43:50 AM

With the price of RAM, you might as well get 4GB and 64-bit Vista.

I don't have a Blu-Ray player, but 1080i content plays fine.
January 8, 2009 12:49:36 AM

is a 2.3G X2 good enough?
January 8, 2009 1:04:11 AM

thanks...
January 8, 2009 7:21:11 PM

would it be better to wire the pc used for storage and the HTPC to the router than use wirelessG?
January 8, 2009 7:27:00 PM

I'd use a hard wire if you have the option. Wireless hasn't been the most reliable in my experience. It's also pushing it to try to stream HD content over a wireless connection. A hard wire ensures you're getting the full speed out of your network without signal variances and possible dropped connections. I also had the option of using WirelessG, but chose to hard-wire it instead. I'm very glad I did.
January 8, 2009 8:11:33 PM

DooSPX said:
HTPC that will play 1080p movies such as Blue-Ray, HD-DVD and downloaded HD movies without lag


My last rig had an 2.25ghz X2 (well, Opteron 165) and even using CoreAVC as the codec for 1080p .mkv's it would still stutter occasionally, though not bad.

Will the 780g's chipset hardware decode the .mkv's?
January 11, 2009 2:14:37 AM

Does anyone else think the 780G will decode 1080p .mkv's without stutter?
January 11, 2009 2:48:07 AM

From what I've read, the 780G can handle all 1080p reguardless of file format, even with a single core. Some mobos utilze sideband memory for some dedicated onboard graphics memory.

however, a low end graphics card will give a slightly better picture. I'm guesing it isn't anything that can be seen easily. it is also more power draw.
I think the 4550 is under 25 watts, a 4670 is 60 watts peak. so its not to much power.

I also vote for Vista64 and 4 gigs.

I've had VERY bad luck with 780G Gigabyte boards. 1 month of use out of 3 boards.
January 11, 2009 3:27:59 PM

I have a Gigabyte 780G with sideport w/ 8GB of ram and a X2 6000 OC'ed to 3.4 on Air with a AC Freezer Pro 64 in a CAD box that I have had for about 6 months and its doing well. It can 3d render a ext. view of a house in under a minute. (knock on wood)
!