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HTPC help

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May 4, 2010 8:18:59 PM

Hey everyone.

I was cleaning up the junk my last home had accumulated these past few years. I came across my old rig specs are:

Thermaltake Armor Jr
Intel DG965RY
Intel C2D E4300 @ stock
Transcend 2GB axe ram 800+ overclocking stix 4-4-4-12
250GB WD + 80GB Seagate HDD's
Tt toughpower 420W PSU
xfx 7600GT 256mb

since i shifted into my new house, i was wondering if i could use this rig as a media pc/HTPC...

i'm open to suggestions, but
1) i cant swap the proc/mobo combo - that also mean the rams as well. Though i can add some more ram :) 
2) i can go for a GPU, maybe in a few months time as i'll also have my 32"lcd tv come in by then
3) the casing can be swapped as this is my bro's old rig
4) sound card - ah yes! sound :)  ofcourse anything from having to use the onboard soundcard

Thanx to your replies!

More about : htpc

May 4, 2010 8:24:29 PM

^ The's a good HTPC.

I would buy 2 gb more ram though.

And maybe a CPU upgrade.

Stay away from sounds cards, they are a waste.
May 4, 2010 8:42:24 PM

um i dont think i can change the proc...or maybe i can...hows about an E7500?
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May 4, 2010 8:47:16 PM

A guy on hard Fourm has an E8400 for 85$, Shipped.
May 4, 2010 8:53:03 PM

can you pass on the link... :)  and i live in bangladesh, any chance he'd be willing to sell to a pal in uk? that friend of mine'll send it here
May 4, 2010 8:56:09 PM

scratch the thought -he's selling it locally :( 
May 4, 2010 9:06:56 PM

I have a similar machine as my HTPC currently, including the 7600GT. Running as an HTPC really isn't all that demanding. The 7600 GT isn't perfect, but it gets by with a minimum of problems. If you later have the cash to upgrade to a 5670, that's probably the way to go.

Unless you think the onboard sound is terrible, all I'd suggest is add some more storage and maybe another 1-2 GB of memory.
May 4, 2010 9:08:42 PM

Lutfij said:
scratch the thought -he's selling it locally :( 


Grrrr....

He didn"t post that last nite.
May 4, 2010 9:13:57 PM

lol, no worries - though i'll pop down to my microcenter ad see if they have any C2D's in stock.

@ coldsleep - 5670? just a while back i was looking at an ati sapphire 5770 and the radeon 5450...them any good or should i stay with the 5670? about the sound card - the drivers in windows 7 make it a kicker but i was thinking of getting a dedicated sound card, but naahhhhh...will keep with the 1 onboard like builderbob said
May 4, 2010 9:16:47 PM

^ Stick to 5770!

20-40$ more, twice as fast.

I remian critical of the 5670
May 4, 2010 9:27:07 PM

I don't see a need for the 5770 if you're not gaming, but if you went ahead and bought it, it's certainly not the end of the world. If you are planning on gaming with this machine, by all means, get the 5770 (or higher) and you should be fine.

As far as I know, the 5670 is pretty solidly aimed at being a cheap(ish) HTPC video card that does full 1080p output and can do sound over HDMI as well.
May 4, 2010 9:28:12 PM

The 965 chipset doesn't officially support the 45nm chips. You'll have to check the CPU compatibility on Intel's site for your motherboard. Since it's Intel brand I would say the chances of a new 45nm working are slim to none. The E4300 will work fine for a HTPC anyway. I don't know why you'd waste your money on a CPU upgrade for a HTPC.
May 4, 2010 9:33:12 PM

yeah i read bout the 5 series ati's doing HDMI and DP's but havent read much into the 5670.

About the gaming bit - it used to run Race Driver GRID a few years back. Now i'm beginning to think it might get a revival with gaming though that'd be VERY casual, nothing hardcore :) 

didnt buy a card yet but if advised will save up for one like i said in the OP.
May 4, 2010 9:36:18 PM

@shortstuff :)  - I'm just taking a look around though if any of you advised otherwise in getting an obsolete proc...maby i'd give it a thought, as the core i's are bloody pricy here.
May 4, 2010 9:41:43 PM

I wouldn't waste your time upgrading to another Core 2 Duo. The E4300 will work fine for your intended use. It'll be more headache than it's worth since 45nm chips are the only viable "upgrade" and they're not supported by the chipset on your motherboard. Some motherboard manufacturers have put out BIOS revisions that offer support for the 45nm chips, but I'm fairly certain Intel hasn't.
May 4, 2010 9:42:28 PM

As I mentioned originally, acting as an HTPC isn't very demanding. Pretty much any dual-core processor should be able to handle it just fine. You could probably even get by with a 5-year-old single core if you needed to.
May 4, 2010 9:47:30 PM

@ coldsleep - lol

@ shortstuff_mt - yeah i found that to exist with gigabyte mobo's. Andthe Bios upgrades were flawless!

so i keep the proc - *like i wanted* and get more ram and in time get a 5670 or 5770?
May 4, 2010 9:52:53 PM

I would do the 5770, So much faster, can do everything perfectly, only a few dollars more.

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May 4, 2010 9:54:00 PM
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Yes, that's a good plan. If you can swing it I would just replace your 2GB with a quality 4GB 2x2GB kit. Filling all the RAM slots on a motherboard can cause stability issues, especially if the RAM isn't the exact same kit as what you already have.

The 5670 and the 5770 are both plenty powerful for a HTPC. Make your decision based on how much gaming you see yourself doing on the system in the future.
May 4, 2010 9:54:25 PM

will keep you guys posted when my 32" Lcd tv comes in
May 4, 2010 9:56:01 PM

Best answer selected by Lutfij.
May 4, 2010 11:38:58 PM

Keep in mind that it won't necessarily cause problems to fill all the slots. I've never had problems even putting different brands/sizes in all four slots.

My HTPC is a 4200+ x2 with a HD 4670 (the 5xxx weren't out at the time, or at least the lower ones). And I can still play batman arkham asylum pretty much maxed at 720p. I doubt your system will give you any trouble with simple things like hulu.
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