Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

New HTPC or New Build

Last response: in Systems
Share
September 13, 2010 11:45:42 PM

Hi all,

Long time lurker, first time poster. Love tom's hardware and this seems like the place for the best advice.

I'm looking at building a rackmount HTPC. Since I'm a relative noob (my last build was a 486 lol) you can say i've been outta the loop for awhile. Just wondering if anyone can reccomend which route I should go or the recommended specs for the unit. The main purpose of the HTPC will be video playback (HD) and possibly gaming (max resolution 1080p) through a projector.

My question is thus. I currently have a Q6700 destktop (HP) with 4 gb ram and a BFG 9800 GT 1MB video card. I'm wondering if that would be sufficent for the HTPC (use those componets) and do a new desktop build or get new stuff for the htpc and keep desktop the way it is.

Main use for the desktop would be video conversion, internet and odd game, etc. Should I stick with the Q6700 for the desktop or put it in the HTPC?

If I do a new desktop build I'm probably leaning towards an AMD setup with a 955 or 965 BE processor and probably a 5770 or nvidia 460 vid card, 4 gb ram, along with a couple WD 1TB Black edition hard drives. Overclocking may be a factor if I do a new desktop build.

Sorry for not using the correct form, but again I am new. Budget is about $1500 CAN.

Thanks for your help and look forward to reading your replies.

More about : htpc build

September 13, 2010 11:53:40 PM

Those parts are overkill for an HTPC, but they're also kinda high on the noise/energy/heat side of things.

Newer processors do end up being a significantly faster in video encoding, but it may be worth it to wait for SB/BD.
m
0
l
a b B Homebuilt system
September 14, 2010 12:47:06 AM

samoyed_storm said:
The main purpose of the HTPC will be video playback (HD) and possibly gaming (max resolution 1080p) through a projector.

You will want a dedicated graphics card for gaming at 1080p; preferably an HD 5850 or GTX 460. That's a pretty tall order for an HTPC.

samoyed_storm said:
My question is thus. I currently have a Q6700 destktop (HP) with 4 gb ram and a BFG 9800 GT 1MB video card. I'm wondering if that would be sufficent for the HTPC (use those componets) and do a new desktop build or get new stuff for the htpc and keep desktop the way it is.

Those components would certainly be sufficient for an HTPC (overkill, like sp12 said), but they aren't very practical. The 9800 GT is loud and inefficient, and it probably will not be enough for games at 1080p. The Q6700 is just inefficient.

samoyed_storm said:
Main use for the desktop would be video conversion, internet and odd game, etc. Should I stick with the Q6700 for the desktop or put it in the HTPC?

If I do a new desktop build I'm probably leaning towards an AMD setup with a 955 or 965 BE processor and probably a 5770 or nvidia 460 vid card, 4 gb ram, along with a couple WD 1TB Black edition hard drives. Overclocking may be a factor if I do a new desktop build.

Sorry for not using the correct form, but again I am new. Budget is about $1500 CAN.

I don't think it's worth it to upgrade from a Q6700 to a Phenom II. If you are thinking about overclocking, it's barely faster at video transcoding clock for clock. This is an area that intel processors dominate in; an i7-950 or overclocked i5-750 would be a serious improvement (30-40% improvement clock for clock). Here are some pertinent benchmarks:

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/desktop-cpu-charts-2...

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/desktop-cpu-charts-2...

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/desktop-cpu-charts-2...


Putting it altogether, I would upgrade your desktop to an Intel i5-750 or i7-950 build and use the Q6700 in your HTPC. Although the Q6700 isn't ideal for an HTPC, it's more than powerful enough and will be quiet since it will not be heavily loaded. Intel's Sandy Bridge (coming out Q1 2011) will be great for HTPCs with its improved integrated graphics, but the integrated graphics will definitely not be powerful enough for gaming at 1080p. There are plenty of decent LGA775 mATX and mITX motherboards out there if you want to use a smaller case. You could try the 9800 GT out in your HTPC. If it's distractingly loud, I would sell it while it's still worth something or save it as a backup.
m
0
l
September 14, 2010 4:10:28 AM

Thanks folks for the quick reply. I think I'll use the old desktop parts for the HTPC. I've been wanting to do a new build for about the last year now, and finally will have an excuse to do one.

Now all I need to do is convince the wife that I need a new desktop....anybody have any suggestions on that?

Thanks again.
m
0
l
!