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Convert old gaming rig to HTPC

Last response: in Systems
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July 21, 2010 8:05:37 PM

Hello all. Thanks for taking the time to read my post and offer input.

I have a custom built system from a few years ago that I am looking to repurpose as an HTPC. My current parts should be sufficient, but I'm curious how I can improve power efficiency so that my HTPC won't be so loud or such an energy hog.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within 6 months

BUDGET RANGE: whatever it takes, but I don't think I need many new parts.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: ability to watch HD video at 1080p, file server, P2P filesharing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED:

1) Processor - Intel QX6700 quad core

2) RAM - 4 x 2 GB DDR2 RAM (so, from 1 and 2 I'm looking for a new motherboard that takes an LGA 775 slot processor, and uses DDR2 RAM, but has onboard graphics capability sufficient for 1080p viewing)

3) HDD - using Seagate 1.5tb LP drives in RAID 5, and an old 80gb hard drive for the operating system

4) misc - mouse, keyboard, speakers, monitor, optical drives

5) Power supply - 500w

As an fyi, my current build uses an NVidia sli 680i motherboard, and two 8800 GTX graphics cards in sli

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES:

OVERCLOCKING: no

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

As I understand it, a single 8800gtx is more than sufficient to play video over HDMI at 1080p (correct?), so no need for me to continue using both of my 8800gtx cards.

I'm thinking that if there is an LGA 775/DDR2 mobo with onboard graphics sufficient for my purposes, it will be a cheap part, and will lower my HTPC's noise and power draw by cutting out the huge graphics card.

Any advice?

Thanks,

Atropos
July 21, 2010 10:16:03 PM

You might want to see if you can sell that QX6700 and get a CPU with a lower powerdraw, as to a motherboard look for one with a geforce 9200 or 9300 IGP.
The 8800 GTX does not support DXVA (offloading the decoding from the CPU to the GPU) so it would not be worth the noise, heat and powerdraw to use in a HTPC.

If possible, you should see if you can sell the CPU, motherboard and ram, and get an i3 530, a H55 motherboard and some DDR3 ram, this would give you an extremely power effecient HTPC and it would run very quiet, and it would be near perfect for the task.
July 21, 2010 11:42:32 PM

Maybe you should experiment with underclocking your CPU and lowering the volts to cool it down. Set the multiplier at 7.5 and lower the volts until it's not stable, then bump them up again.

Also, you can experiment with your 8800 GTX to see how it handles blu-ray before committing to a new card. If a new card is in order, a lowly HD5450 would get you there for fifty bucks.
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July 22, 2010 12:11:20 AM

yeah i would think a radeon 5450 would be perfect too. downgrade to a dual-core (not kidding)...
July 22, 2010 1:52:27 AM

Thanks for the input - lots of good ideas to consider.

I couldn't find any good point of reference - does anyone know what a used qx6700 quad core extreme cpu would even sell for nowadays?
July 22, 2010 2:18:06 AM

check ebay :) 
July 22, 2010 2:24:45 AM

Unfortunately, nothing but a bunch of unrealistic "Buy it Now" listings... no actual auctions to use to see what people are actually buying them for.
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