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Old PC, now HTPC, Blu-ray?

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July 11, 2012 12:31:15 AM

I've got an old PC, bought in 2003, turned it into an HTPC (just added a bigger PS and a nice video card) when I built my i7 rig. I want to add a Blu-ray drive to it. It's got a couple SATA ports on the motherboard, but I figure they're probably 1.5s. Will that be a problem as far as throughput goes? I know the ports will be compatible with the drive but will it be fast enough for Blu-ray? Is it a better idea to get a SATA 3.0 PCI card and hook the BD drive up to that?

More about : htpc blu ray

July 11, 2012 12:37:48 AM

Hi :) 

A better idea would be to look at the system requirements for a BR drive, particularly as your machine is so old...

All the best Brett :) 
July 11, 2012 1:05:47 AM

BR drives are SATA 2.0. SATA 1.5 won't cut it for throughput. An add-in card is the way to go, but first use device manager to verify that you don't already have 2.0 ports.
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July 11, 2012 1:09:48 AM

Hmm i know peeps with a Socket 939 dual core and something like a HD 4350 HDMI do ok but i am thinking you are on a P4 socket 478? If your specs are too outdated why not just buy a Blu Ray player?
July 11, 2012 1:10:03 AM

Great point, not getting a lot of specifics from manufacturer's websites about system requirements on those drives, but did find an ASUS one whose system requirements suggested my processor was not quite up to snuff to handle the drive. My graphics card was more than enough and I've got plenty of memory. Still a bad idea to give it a go?
July 11, 2012 1:27:59 AM

Yeah it's a 478 socket P4, video card is a HD4650 with an HDMI port. I didn't want to buy a blu-ray player because I prefer to maintain the common interface I have right now (Windows Media Center), as well as keeping my components footprint constant. But I might just have to suck it up and do that anyway.

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July 11, 2012 2:11:16 AM
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It will work and it will be fast enough. No point getting the PCI SATA III card. The PCI bandwidth is less than SATA I (133MB/s vs 150MB/s). BD at 1x is 4.5MB/s. Even USB 2.0 have enough bandwidth for BD (up to 6x). The fastest BD I found so far is 12x (54MB/s) which is well within SATA I bandwidth. Should worry about whether the CPU+GPU combo have enough power to decode the DB video.
July 11, 2012 2:19:44 AM

Pyree said:
It will work and it will be fast enough. No point getting the PCI SATA III card. The PCI bandwidth is less than SATA I. Even USB 2.0 have enough bandwidth for BD. Should worry about whether the CPU+GPU combo have enough power to decode the DB video.



It's a 3GHz P4, and I mentioned my video card (HD4650) earlier. Thoughts on whether those will be sufficient?
July 11, 2012 2:23:32 AM

Offloading the BD video to the 4650 should work. Your BD drive, does it come with BD media player software?
July 11, 2012 2:43:37 AM

I didn't buy a drive yet. I would love a suggestion for one with good software to help with the offloading.
July 11, 2012 4:33:53 AM

abekl, is the pioneer drive OEM?

Edit: Found out it is not and include Cyberlink Media Suite 8.
July 11, 2012 4:43:54 AM

Yes, it is OEM, but it comes with a Blu-ray suite of apps.
July 18, 2012 1:33:32 PM

Best answer selected by natsibley.
July 18, 2012 1:35:12 PM

Bought that drive and installed it, works great so far, although I've only watched two-thirds of one Blu-ray. CyberLink PowerDVD wasn't playing it on the full screen for some reason, but that's a problem for another google search and some exploration. Thanks for everyone's help.
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