Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Htpc processor question

Last response: in CPUs
Share
September 19, 2011 7:05:19 PM

I'm seeking to build a HTPC, but this is my first build; while technically capable, I have no experience of specifying individual components in a machine having, up until this time, bought pre-built systems. While I'm able to get a general idea of the overall performance of a machine (having kept myself up-to-date on the latest hardware releases via Tom's Hardware for the last few years) I've no idea whether individual components are capable of what I need them to do, or whether they are just overkill.

As previously mentioned, I'm intending to built a HTPC; however, all it really has to do is be a media server. In the short term I have almost 700 DVDs that need to be stored on hard drive for easy access; in the future I will probably replace these DVDs with Blu-ray versions, so I might end up pushing the storage much higher.

My intention is to connect it directly to a HD TV and home theatre amp / receiver, running Ubuntu linux 64 bit; using XBMC as the media software. I don't need to receive / record live TV; I'll probably use Chrome to watch online TV if I can't get it thought XBMC.

Really all it's got to do is access and play back .iso images from a locally-connected hard drive.

My initial thoughts were for an Intel Sandy Bridge CPU, as I believe it's worth spending a little more money for something which would last longer.

I was initially thinking of a quad-core CPU - probably a Core i5 2400S, but I've started to doubt this choice as surely it's overkill for a htpc? I thought a quad-core initially because, as I've mentioned, I've got almost 700 DVDs to backup as an .iso image to the hard drives - my thinking being that it would complete quicker with a faster CPU. But, as I thought further, I realised that I'm not trying to transcode the DVD; merely just seeking to copy it to the hard drive, preserving all the structure of the DVD intact.

So that made me think whether something like a Core i3 2100 would be better? Or is even this overkill? Would an AMD E350 APU be enough?

Or is it worth waiting until next year and waiting for Ivy Bridge?

But since I don't know how much processing power copying / backing up a DVD to hard disk actually needs, I thought I needed to ask people who know an awful lot more about CPUs than I do! All comments and suggestions to help a novice builder would be gratefully received!
a b à CPUs
September 19, 2011 7:19:17 PM

I reckon the best HTPC CPU at the moment has to be

AMD A8 3850, Lynx Core, Quad Core, S FM1, 2.9GHz, 4MB Cache, GPU 600MHz, 100W, Retail

As it means you have a decent Quand Core CPU with a pretty amazing on die GPU which can not only easily run Blu Ray but even play games at medium settings.
Related resources
a c 102 à CPUs
September 19, 2011 7:21:18 PM

I think you should do some research into how you will copy 700 DVDs to the PC as I think it will take a serious amount of time and a huge hard drive or drives. I am not sure but I think the DVD drive will be the bottleneck to copying the disks so processor power may not be important (Please check I am not sure). I think Llano chips may be ideal for your requirements (or the E-350).
September 19, 2011 7:22:16 PM

Thanks, Uther39, eleclerc, and simon12 for your replies.

Uther39: I've not seen any benchmarks for the new AMD APUs, but I know they have far better GPUs than Intel's CPUs. Can you point me in the director of any benchmarks?

simon12: I know it'll take an awful long time - it's a 'long term' project! ;)  That's why I wanted to ask just how much processing capability it would actually need to copy them, and if the Sandy Bridge CPUs are overkill.
a b à CPUs
September 19, 2011 7:24:30 PM

If only used as a storage+playback device, pretty much any decent CPU released in the last 3-4 years will be enough; the bottleneck will probably be the DVD drive anyway :p .

As for keeping ISO versions of DVD and/or BluRay, have you estimated the amount of memory that will require as it might be a reason to transcode them; 700 DVDs, if they use the full 8GB they can hold will take close to 6TB of space ...
September 19, 2011 7:28:10 PM

Zenthar said:
If only used as a storage+playback device, pretty much any decent CPU released in the last 3-4 years will be enough; the bottleneck will probably be the DVD drive anyway :p .

As for keeping ISO versions of DVD and/or BluRay, have you estimated the amount of memory that will require as it might be a reason to transcode them; 700 DVDs, if they use the full 8GB they can hold will take close to 6TB of space ...

Thanks Zentar.

Yep, as mentioned above this is a long term project - including the copying of the DVDs! ;) 

Yeah, I've already posted a question on the hard drive section of the forums - I realise I'll be looking at at least 3 x 2TB drives (as 2TB are substantially cheaper than 3TB in the UK). And I realise there's no quick way around the copying of the DVDs …
September 19, 2011 7:30:25 PM

eleclerc said:
Core i3 2100 can read blu-ray with stereo 3d!!!
I think this is the smartest choice you can do.

Intel® Core™ i3-2100 Specs :
http://ark.intel.com/products/53422/Intel-Core-i3-2100-...
Max TDP : 65 W!

Intel® HD Graphics 2000 in it!

Info about HD Graphics 2000
http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/quick-referenc...



For your DVD's, 4.7GB x 700 = 3.29TB
This is a lot of data! If you buy a 3TB HDD, think about a UEFI BIOS motherboard

Thanks for the info eleclerc, particularly for the UEFI BIOS warning …
September 19, 2011 7:33:55 PM

i3 2105 and i3 2125 have the HD 3000 on them.
a c 141 à CPUs
September 19, 2011 8:48:56 PM

The graphics chips in the Intels (HD, HD2000, & HD3000) have issues with playing 24p. If you are a videophile and use the 24p refresh rate then you will need an aftermarket card. I'm not sure if the E350 or the new A6 or A8 APU's rate well for this or not.

I have the i3-2105 in one htpc and an AMD phenom ii x3 with hd4250 graphics in another. Both play videos fine, can handle light gaming for the grandkids, and run Win7 & Media Center without any slowness. Some one private messaged me why I went with an x3, well its just as power full as the A8 but only cost $50. The motherboard was $50 and the integrated graphics does everything I need it to. So for $100 I couldn't go wrong. You only need the A8 if you plan on gaming (a bit more in than what the hd4250 can handle) in your living room.
September 19, 2011 8:56:20 PM

popatim said:
The graphics chips in the Intels (HD, HD2000, & HD3000) have issues with playing 24p. If you are a videophile and use the 24p refresh rate then you will need an aftermarket card. I'm not sure if the E350 or the new A6 or A8 APU's rate well for this or not.

I have the i3-2105 in one htpc and an AMD phenom ii x3 with hd4250 graphics in another. Both play videos fine, can handle light gaming for the grandkids, and run Win7 & Media Center without any slowness. Some one private messaged me why I went with an x3, well its just as power full as the A8 but only cost $50. The motherboard was $50 and the integrated graphics does everything I need it to. So for $100 I couldn't go wrong. You only need the A8 if you plan on gaming (a bit more in than what the hd4250 can handle) in your living room.

Thanks popatim. I'm guessing that, as I'm not sure if I'll be using 24p or not, that I'm not a videophile! ;)  But it's something else for me to think about if I find out that I am using 24p (actually, I think my Camcorder can record in HD 24p mode) - but I wouldn't be putting that through the htpc anyway …
a c 471 à CPUs
September 19, 2011 10:53:16 PM

My 2 cents on this topic...

Since it does not seem you are going to encode the DVDs, but strictly store them in your HTPC, then you really do not need much processing power. DVD videos are pretty much very easy to play with any single core processor. For example, my 1st HTPC was built around a single core Athlon XP-M 2600+ back in 2003. I encoded most of my movies to AVI files using DivX, but I did store some direct DVD rips for playback. I had an AIW Radeon 9600 Pro graphics card and there were no playback issues (such as stuttering) whatsoever.

Blu-Ray videos or any HD video format generally requires more processing power to decode the video stream compared to DVDs. Therefore, a dual core CPU is recommended along with a graphics card (basically any modern one will do) to assist in the decoding for video playback w/o any issues.

Ripping DVDs or Blu-rays is really limited by the CPU at all. Ripping is generally limited by the DVD / Blu-Ray drive and the write speed of the hard drives. There will be no ripping performance difference between a single, dual, triple or quad core CPU.

It is a toss-up between the AMD Llano A4, A6, A8 APUs or a Core i3-2105 CPU. I would probably go with whatever is the least expensive. However, if encoding video is something you are considering doing, like encoding movie to a MKV file using the x.264 codec, then a powerful quad core CPU is recommended like the Core i5-2500k.

Llano APUs basically have weak CPU cores and a strong graphics core. The "Sandy Bridge" Core i3-2105 has a strong CPU core and a somewhat weak graphics core (Intel HD 3000). Either one is more than enough for your needs.
September 20, 2011 2:47:48 AM

FWIW, with DVD drives being so cheap these days, you could go for two optical drives....that would almost halve your time of ripping. In terms of storage, obviously more compression is detrimental, but take a look at something you reincode to say an mkv or xvid. If the quality is good enough, why not go that way and save yourself storage space?
September 20, 2011 3:29:23 AM

Well i don't know if you care but I had this built for someone else and modified it for you. If you want it on a different countrys newegg just ask.
HD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... x4
Sata Cables http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... x6
CD Drive http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... x2
Case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... x1
Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... x1
Ram http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... x1
Proc http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... x1
PSU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... x1

Subtotal: $649.83
8 TB of storage, 3 core processor, 2 cd drives, 8GB's of ram.

Hope that gives you an idea of price! Have a nice day!
September 20, 2011 6:57:04 AM

jaguarskx said:
Since it does not seem you are going to encode the DVDs, but strictly store them in your HTPC, then you really do not need much processing power. DVD videos are pretty much very easy to play with any single core processor … Blu-Ray videos or any HD video format generally requires more processing power to decode the video stream compared to DVDs. Therefore, a dual core CPU is recommended along with a graphics card (basically any modern one will do) to assist in the decoding for video playback w/o any issues.

Thanks, jaguarskx, for the information. That's what I thought, but I needed to check.

jaguarskx said:
Ripping DVDs or Blu-rays is really limited by the CPU at all. Ripping is generally limited by the DVD / Blu-Ray drive and the write speed of the hard drives. There will be no ripping performance difference between a single, dual, triple or quad core CPU.

That's what I'd already found - I've already got a Nehalem Core i7, but a slower DVD drive on my desktop and it took about twenty minutes to write a complete DVD. I knew it couldn't be limited by the Core i7, so I thought it had to be the DVD drive …

jaguarskx said:
It is a toss-up between the AMD Llano A4, A6, A8 APUs or a Core i3-2105 CPU … Llano APUs basically have weak CPU cores and a strong graphics core. The "Sandy Bridge" Core i3-2105 has a strong CPU core and a somewhat weak graphics core (Intel HD 3000). Either one is more than enough for your needs.

I realise that the Llano APUs have a weak CPU; is it worth waiting until the 'Stars' cores are replaced by the Bulldozer APUs (is that right?). In the same way, would it be worth waiting until Ivy Bridge processors come out, as they are supposed to have better graphics performance? (I should point out that there are no time limits for this build.)

jaguarskx said:
However, if encoding video is something you are considering doing, like encoding movie to a MKV file using the x.264 codec, then a powerful quad core CPU is recommended like the Core i5-2500k.

This might be something that I end up doing in the future; that's why I had considered Intel SB as I knew they were more efficient CPUs than AMD's current generation.

As a compromise, what would the i5 2400S / 2500S be like (I thought a 65w part would be better for an HTPC than a 95w part)?

Then again, I suppose I could always swap the processor a couple of years down the line if I need more power …
September 20, 2011 7:01:14 AM

bob100684 said:
FWIW, with DVD drives being so cheap these days, you could go for two optical drives....that would almost halve your time of ripping. In terms of storage, obviously more compression is detrimental, but take a look at something you reincode to say an mkv or xvid. If the quality is good enough, why not go that way and save yourself storage space?

Thanks, bob100684 - that's looking laterally, and I would never have considered it; in fact, I never knew it was possible to copy two DVDs at the same time! I wanted to preserve the DVDs intact, including all menus, etc.; but if it's possible to do that whilst compressing them at the same time, it's certainly something I'll look at.
September 20, 2011 7:04:45 AM

yo_yo2400 said:
Well i don't know if you care but I had this built for someone else and modified it for you. If you want it on a different countrys newegg just ask.
HD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... x4
Sata Cables http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... x6
CD Drive http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... x2
Case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... x1
Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... x1
Ram http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... x1
Proc http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... x1
PSU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... x1

Subtotal: $649.83
8 TB of storage, 3 core processor, 2 cd drives, 8GB's of ram.

Hope that gives you an idea of price! Have a nice day!

That's great, yo_yo2400! That's really helpful! :) 
September 20, 2011 7:51:47 AM

Friend, you need a processor that has a small TDP, so that the fan coolin it doesnt produce noise. that can ruin your HTPC experience. For what you want its ok to go with any Sandy bridge, as longs as its TDP is 45W maximum. that includes the Pentium Sandy Bridges, wich are 35W and only $90. They are perfectly capable of deliverin 1080p blueray without any loss in quality. BTW, these small TDP processors alredy come with a low profile heatsink, as HTPC cases are usually low in height.

Having said all that, I would wait for Ivy Bridge, as its expected to bring quad cores to 35W and at lower prices.

You will need some TB hard drives for all the DVD backups. Make sure the drives are 5400RPM, this specs is low noise and no heat. 7200RPM would produce noise and heat and its not recomended for HTPC.

BTW, you do not need a videocard, onboard HDMI is fine!
September 20, 2011 8:07:55 AM

A processor nobody seems to have mentioned yet is the I5-2500T 45W same basic performance as the 2400S for 20w less. Only HD2000 but on z68 MB with quicksync should be plenty to do 1080p playback. With 4 physical core and a 3.3GHz turbo freq should be more than up to the task of copying multiple DVD's at once. Depending on the case you use should be able to go with a fanless heatsink.
September 20, 2011 8:36:20 AM

Thanks leandrodafont and jbart1981! I'd not even though of fan noise, so that's another consideration! I'd thought of using 'green' drives, mainly because they are, in the UK, half the price of regular / performance drives, and my budget is pretty tight!
a b à CPUs
September 20, 2011 10:39:32 AM

jbart1981 said:
A processor nobody seems to have mentioned yet is the I5-2500T 45W same basic performance as the 2400S for 20w less. Only HD2000 but on z68 MB with quicksync should be plenty to do 1080p playback. With 4 physical core and a 3.3GHz turbo freq should be more than up to the task of copying multiple DVD's at once. Depending on the case you use should be able to go with a fanless heatsink.
With an i5-2500T, you could probably go with an H67/H61 chipset also if you don't plan on using a dedicated graphic card.
September 20, 2011 10:53:09 AM

Zenthar said:
With an i5-2500T, you could probably go with an H67/H61 chipset also if you don't plan on using a dedicated graphic card.

Thanks, Zenthar. Initially I don't intend to use a discrete GPU, but I might find in the future it's an upgrade worth making.

Incidentally, after looking at Anandtech's coverage of Ivy Bridge, I am tempted to hold off the build until IVB is released, especially on account of the lower TDP and increased GPU performance.
September 20, 2011 11:05:30 AM



http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also - "Ivy Bridge is backwards compatible with existing LGA-1155 motherboards, although there will be a new chipset for Ivy Bridge and new motherboards to enable some features (e.g. PCI Express 3.0, native USB 3.0)."

Which means to me - and I might be wrong - you could always upgrade the CPU to an IvyBridge later but won't get the advantages of PCI 3.0 or onboard USB 3.0 which really should not be a big deal since most MB have a solid separate USB 3.0 chip and you won't need PCI 3.0 without a super high end graphics card

Will 700 DVD's to get copied I would say the sooner you start the better :) 
September 20, 2011 11:14:53 AM

jbart1981 said:
… Which means to me - and I might be wrong - you could always upgrade the CPU to an IvyBridge later but won't get the advantages of PCI 3.0 or onboard USB 3.0 which really should not be a big deal since most MB have a solid separate USB 3.0 chip and you won't need PCI 3.0 without a super high end graphics card …

Thanks jbart. I'd missed that part - and you're quite right: for this build those things won't be important.
jbart1981 said:
Will 700 DVD's to get copied I would say the sooner you start the better :) 

LOL I think I better had ;) 
a b à CPUs
September 20, 2011 12:28:59 PM

spaceman_spiff said:
Thanks, Zenthar. Initially I don't intend to use a discrete GPU, but I might find in the future it's an upgrade worth making.

Incidentally, after looking at Anandtech's coverage of Ivy Bridge, I am tempted to hold off the build until IVB is released, especially on account of the lower TDP and increased GPU performance.
If you are looking for a "budget" build, IB is probably not an option, I think the cheapest model is planned to sell for a bit over 300$ which is the price of an i7-2600K ...
a b à CPUs
September 20, 2011 2:03:16 PM

For a HTPC, you don't need anything more than a dual-core CPU. Have a look at the Pentium G620...it's socket 1155, and has a TDP of 65W. There's also the 620T which has a TDP of 35W and runs a bit slower, but you can take the standard G620 and downclock it in the BIOS to get the same result. The difference between the i3 chips and the G620 is the capability that the i3 adds for transcoding. Ripping DVDs is not transcoding, and is not taxing on a system at all. I would definitely +1 the lower TDP if you can help it, the sound of silence is worthwhile. My HTPC is still audible, but only just and not at all when the TV is on.

If you're using a receiver, and you're moving to Bluray as well, you want to be able to bitstream the audio so that the amp will put out TrueHD / DTS-HD. I'm not sure on the corresponding Nvidia cards, but you want at least a 5xxx series AMD card. 6xxx series if you want to future-proof for 3D. The HDMI cable will be used for both audio and visual, so you won't need to bother with an audio cable, too.

Going back to the silence issue...700 DVDs is going to be easily more than one drive. More drives = more noise...I use an SSD in my HTPC because the spinning HDD it had beforehand was audible (although it wasn't always seeking, more on loading and your case will influence this, too). It may be outwith the scope you have, but have you thought about a server for storing all your data? Bluray streams fine over gigabit cabling.

Lastly, check out Media Browser. I use this for my own set up...looks quite slick.
September 20, 2011 2:28:07 PM

@ Diellur

Sounds like you have nice setup and know from experience. My recommendation of the 2500T was two-fold it is only 45W but has a pretty decent computing power. It is a little pricey though. My concern over recommending a dual core pentium had nothing to do with the eventual playback but the amount of time it would add to the ISO creation process. With 700 DVD's to get onto his HD even an extra minute or two for each movie turns into 15-25 hours of burning time.

Do you have any real word experience with ISO creation speed differences between processors?
The last time I did any real DVD copying it was with P4 and took about 20 - 30 minutes per file. So that doesn't help this situation :( 
The OP was thinking about using dual dvd drives to speed up the process - would that saturate the capabilities of the pentium G-series processor?

As you can tell my real world experience lately doesn't match up to my theoretical understanding of processors.
a b à CPUs
September 20, 2011 2:50:11 PM

From the TDP point-of-view, the 2500T is a good candidate. I forgot to say, another reason I recommended the G620 is because it's about half the price of the i3-2100. That's what swung it for me!

In terms of creating ISOs, I actually rip my DVDs to the folder format as TMT 5 reads these fine. However, I've done this on my old HTPC (i5-760...don't ask), my new one (G620), my gaming rig (i5-2500K), my old laptop (Acer 6930G) and my (very) old gaming rig (single-core Athlon). I didn't notice an appreciable difference in the ripping process across these machines. Bear in mind that DVD ripping, once the copy-protection is defeated, is just copying data...it won't tax a modern CPU in the way transcoding does. Also, how the CPU is used will depend on the software you use to rip the DVD. If you've got a quad-core CPU and the software is written to only use two cores, then those other two cores on your quad-core chip are effectively wasted for that task. As that's one of the criteria you're using to choose your CPU, it's worth thinking about. Oh, I use DVDFab and DVDShrink.

I don't know for sure if 2 drives would saturate a G620, but I highly doubt it. The time it takes to rip two disks simultaneously might be slightly longer than it takes to rip one by itself, but it would be quicker to dual-rip than use a single drive twice for two seperate DVDs (if you understand what I mean...?) At the end of the day, 700 DVDs is going to take you a long time...but you're only going to go through that process once (do yourself a favour and back up!!) Once that's done and you're ripping as you buy, you'll probably not be caring too much about the CPU inside your HTPC.

Hope this all helps...I've pasted in my HTPC specs for your info. It's got a small HDD as I have a WHS box in a cupboard where I store all my media:

Motherboard: Asus P8H61-I
CPU: Pentium G620
CPU Cooler: Stock
Memory: 2x2GB Corsair DDR3 (9-9-9-24)
PSU: Silverstone 500W Modular
SSD: 60GB Corsair Nova
HDD: None
Graphics: Asus HD 6450
Case: Silverstone Grandia GD06B (Black)
Optical: Samsung Bluray Reader
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium (x64)
September 20, 2011 2:56:40 PM

Zenthar said:
If you are looking for a "budget" build, IB is probably not an option, I think the cheapest model is planned to sell for a bit over 300$ which is the price of an i7-2600K ...

Whoops! More than slightly over my budget for a processor!
September 20, 2011 3:10:30 PM

Thanks, diellur & jbart for the information. The more I think about this the more I realise I'd just got an idle thought of "Wouldn't it be good if …", without actually thinking about the logistics of actually creating it. I'd read somewhere else (I can't remember where) where someone had a home server in the cupboard with all their media on it, but used a very simple, low powered HTPC for the actual connection to their home cinema. I'd dismissed this at the time as overkill for my very modest needs, but now I'm thinking that 6 to 8 terabytes of DVDs is not really what's called upon for an 'average' HTPC - but it might be for a home server.

I think I need to do a couple of things: Actually think about what I need out of the build, and whether or not a home server would be better, and start saving - because I think this is all going to end up being a whole lot more expensive than I'd initially thought!
September 20, 2011 3:25:30 PM

DVDshrink is what I used way back when. It may only be written to use 1 or 2 cores but that was where having 2 DVD drives popped up as an Idea to speed up the process. If each instance of DVDshrink - which IIRC is a transcoder that will remove extra languages, menus etc. - uses 2 cores than running 2 drives will require 4 cores.

Taking the transcoding part out of the equation to play back 1080p video streams requires very little processing power now that most processors have hardware level codecs processing. Even an ION or ION2 based thin client would be enough.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 20, 2011 4:16:30 PM

For the uses you have described for this HTPC an i3 2105 would be ideal. It has a very low power draw, HD 3000 graphics, and is a hyperthreaded dual core processor. The A8 3850 is certainly a more powerful chip, but extra performance comes at the cost of higher energy use. The AMD 3850 uses 50% more power than the i3 2105. An HTPC is meant to be on all the time and power consumption is a concern.

Both of these processors are fast enough for your HTPC. They are likely overkill in all honesty.
September 20, 2011 4:37:24 PM

thanks jbart & pacioli – I'm personally tending more towards Intel rather than AMD at the moment, mainly because the Stars cores on the current Llano processors aren't up to the same level as SB. However, after all the posts I've received – thanks to all for contributing; it's really helped a great deal – it's clear that I'd not thought the whole concept through.

It's obvious now, but at the start I just didn't have a clue just how much storage space would be required, and therefore the amount of noise which would be generated - not ideal for a HTPC!

Thanks for all the help given to me. I've learned a lot since starting the thread – mainly that a vague idea about what I want isn't good enough to specify a build; but also that there is no substitute to experience – so many of you who have already done what I was attempting, can tell me the problems and pitfalls before I start. That's helped me go in with my eyes open; and I now know that I'm going about this the wrong way.

It's clear that a home server is the way to go but, tragically, I just don't have the budget for both a Home Server and an HTPC: and both are required in order to accomplish what I want to do.

Thanks once again! :) 
a c 471 à CPUs
September 20, 2011 6:33:59 PM

jbart1981 said:
DVDshrink is what I used way back when.


I generally do not recommend DVDShrink since it degrades the video quality a bit too much for my liking. However, since it is a free download there is no harm trying it out.
September 20, 2011 7:09:08 PM

My comment more of a response to diellur since they referenced DVDshrink in their post than a recommendation for what to use. With 700 DVD's to copy I would definitely suggest the OP research thouroughly the options that are available. I was honestly surprised the software was still in circulation the last time I copied a DVD was about 5 years ago.
a b à CPUs
September 20, 2011 7:39:32 PM

jbart1981 said:
DVDshrink is what I used way back when. It may only be written to use 1 or 2 cores but that was where having 2 DVD drives popped up as an Idea to speed up the process. If each instance of DVDshrink - which IIRC is a transcoder that will remove extra languages, menus etc. - uses 2 cores than running 2 drives will require 4 cores.


Standing ready to be corrected...but I'm not sure that's the case. I'd have thought the 2 programs were likely to use the same proportion of the first 2 cores, rather than be smart enough to detect the first 2 being used and then switch to the second 2 cores.

pacioli said:
An HTPC is meant to be on all the time and power consumption is a concern.


Is it? If you're using it to record, then OK, but the OP has said they don't want to use it for recording. In which case, it's only needed on whenever a film is to be watched. I only turn on my HTPC and server when I want to watch something...what's the point on having it on when I don't need to use it? If it's purely used for media, then it's a waste of power and money having it on when it's not being used.

jaguarskx said:
I generally do not recommend DVDShrink since it degrades the video quality a bit too much for my liking. However, since it is a free download there is no harm trying it out.


If you set it up to not compress the output, you won't come across that issue (not in my experience, anyway).


I'd personally avoid onboard Intel graphics due to the 24fps issue with Bluray...if you're going to build it, might as well build it right the first time! Also, you could build the HTPC first and play movies off disk to see if you like it. Then, if you do, build the server. If it's just sending files down the network for movies, it doesn't need to be high spec (or expensive) at all.
September 20, 2011 7:48:11 PM

diellur said:
Is it? If you're using it to record, then OK, but the OP has said they don't want to use it for recording. In which case, it's only needed on whenever a film is to be watched. I only turn on my HTPC and server when I want to watch something...what's the point on having it on when I don't need to use it? If it's purely used for media, then it's a waste of power and money having it on when it's not being used.


I guess people use HTPCs for different things. At my house with 3 kids it just seems like the damn thing is on all the time... lol!
a b à CPUs
September 20, 2011 8:08:03 PM

Haha! I've not got kids (yet) so I can't comment, but it sounds like you have a very different usage! Not sure I'd let my kids near my HTPC...probably end up with a slice of toast jammed in the Bluray player or something...
September 20, 2011 8:09:41 PM

When you select your power supply make sure it has enough Sata Power connectors, I origanally linked one with 4 of the proper power connectors and had to revise it. Also look at sata pci cards if you want anything more because most motherboards that are not for enthuasists will have 6 sata ports.

Have a nice day!
September 20, 2011 8:22:28 PM

diellur said:
Haha! I've not got kids (yet) so I can't comment, but it sounds like you have a very different usage! Not sure I'd let my kids near my HTPC...probably end up with a slice of toast jammed in the Bluray player or something...


Kids destroy Blu-rays/DVDs. Its best to just have them able to access the files over the network.
September 20, 2011 9:17:11 PM

Amd Phenom ii x4 840 (quad core 3.2ghz)
2 high speed dvd drives or 2 blu ray writers(2 or more of them to copy alot of dvd's at once, 700+ will take forever lol)
decent htpc case and maby aftermarket cooler
and a decent gfx card
a c 141 à CPUs
September 20, 2011 10:49:14 PM

go for the home server build then every pc in the house with a drive or two can rip dvd's at the same time.
!