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HTPC upgrade for 3D Blu-ray

Last response: in Systems
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April 19, 2011 6:56:27 PM

I have found many answers in this fantastic forum and now I need your advice on a system specific issue.
I would like to upgrade my system so that it is able to play 3D Blu-ray movies on my TV.

I would like to keep the noise level as low as possible. At present, you can't hear anything from the system unless you put your ear right next to it, and I would like to keep it that way.
Budget: max 500 Euro (400 pounds, 700 dollar)

My present system specs:
Case: Orienae S16T (with a touchscreen connected with VGA)

Motherboard: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd., GA-MA78G-DS3H, with onboard Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 3200 Graphics, 512 Mb

Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) Dual Core Processor 5050e, x64 Family 15 Model 107 Stepping 2 (with passive cooling, SST-NT01-E Silverstone)

OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium , Service Pack 1, 32 bit

Hard Drives: 1 SSD C: Total - 61130 MB, Free - 32176 MB; 1 HDD D: Total - 953865 MB, Free - 75565 MB;

RAM: 2814 Mb available, 4GB total

Optical drive: LG CCG-H20L

PSU: BeQuiet! 350W

Monitors: The SD TouchScreen mentioned above (VGA) and a Samsung HDTV UE46C8700 (HDMI)

Blu-ray player PowerDVD 10

Any other specs needed?

At present I can play 3D Blu-rays, but with extreme lagging and CPU lavels at 100%.
Do you know what components need to be replaced and if so, can you suggest suitable replacements.

More about : htpc upgrade blu ray

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a b B Homebuilt system
April 19, 2011 8:32:35 PM

With hardware acceleration enabled, your CPU % should be very low.

Your setup should be sufficient for smooth blu-ray playback. Have you ensured that hardware acceleration is enabled in PDVD?

Regardless, your onboard HD3200 cannot play 3D blu-ray. For that, you will need a radeon HD5xxx or better video card or an nvidia equivalent.

AMD just released their new HD6xxx mid level cards today (HD6570 & HD6670). Both would be good choices for 3D blu-ray playback. That will also give you HD audio bitstreaming over HDMI if you have a capable receiver. Perhaps go for a passive cooled HD5450 or wait for a passive cooled HD6450 to be released to maintain your silent HTPC.

You really need to discover why hardware acceleration is not functioning though, because right now your CPU is doing all of the playback decoding and that won't change with a new video card.

Edit- there's already a passive HD6450 out. That would be a good choice to consider.
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April 20, 2011 9:09:03 AM

Thanks a lot for the tips!

I do have hardware acceleration enabled in PowerDVD. When playing normal Blu-rays my CPU is at 20-30%, it's only when playing a 3D Blu-ray that the CPU goes to 100% and I hope that will change with a graphics card that can handle HD 3D...

Do you think my PSU (350W) will still be enough with the HD6450? (even though at least 400W is recommeded)
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 20, 2011 12:23:27 PM

They always recommend way more wattage than is needed in order to cover their arses.

Here is the load system power consumption from the Anandtech HD6450 review:



That system has a power hungry s1366 Core i7-920 in it and it is still below 200W when torturing the video card with Furmark. 350W is PLENTY for your low power build if you added the HD6450.
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April 21, 2011 7:15:41 AM

Thanks a lot for your advice!

I think you're right as well about hardware acceleration not working. It is enabled by default when playing Blurays in PowerDVD and the playback is lagging. When I play a DVD in PowerDVD hardware acceleration is not enabled and it plays smoothly, BUT if I enable hardware acceleration I get lagging even with a DVD...

But this is a different issue and probably doesn't belong in this thread.
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April 21, 2011 7:16:33 AM

Best answer selected by fidde.
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