HTPC specs...Good enough? or not even close?

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ethan_9219 Offline
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Post: #1
Hi,

I am looking to purchase a small computer to use as an htpc in my bedroom. I have both a 720p and 1080p television, either of which can be used in my bedroom.

I don't have any high-def movies stored. My collection is all DVDs.

So, just wondering if these specs may be good enough;?

http://www1.ap.dell.com/au/en/home/deskt...&cs=audhs1

I am looking at the one titled "Dell Studio Hybrid Desktop (R211209AU)", with the price tag of $999

Thanks in advance for any help and advice!
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uncertainty Offline
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Post: #2
ethan_9219 Wrote:Hi,

I am looking to purchase a small computer to use as an htpc in my bedroom. I have both a 720p and 1080p television, either of which can be used in my bedroom.

I don't have any high-def movies stored. My collection is all DVDs.

So, just wondering if these specs may be good enough;?

http://www1.ap.dell.com/au/en/home/deskt...&cs=audhs1

I am looking at the one titled "Dell Studio Hybrid Desktop (R211209AU)", with the price tag of $999

Thanks in advance for any help and advice!

ATM the XBMC for windows does not support GPU acceleration and relies on the CPU. The T6600 is a mobile cpu (mainly found in laptops) and the specs for it put it in the range of an AMD 6000+ X2. I have an AMD 6000+ X2 and 720p works fine for me but 1080p drops alot of frames and causes stutters. Maybe someone else that has the T6600 could give you a definative answer.
(This post was last modified: 2009-06-30 03:16 by uncertainty.)
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DarthV Offline
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Post: #3
For $999 ? Definitely overpriced!

What sort of things do you want this HTPC to do? Just play DVDs? Stream SD content? 720p? 1080p? Browser? Apps?
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ethan_9219 Offline
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uncertainty Wrote:ATM the XBMC for windows does not support GPU acceleration and relies on the CPU. The T6600 is a mobile cpu (mainly found in laptops) and the specs for it put it in the range of an AMD 6000+ X2. I have an AMD 6000+ X2 and 720p works fine for me but 1080p drops alot of frames and causes stutters. Maybe someone else that has the T6600 could give you a definative answer.

Thanks for the reply. So, this processor should be fine for 720, even though the graphics is integrated? At the moment, i only play dvd rips from the HDD (no HD content), so i don't know how powerful a machine i need?
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DarthV Offline
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If you're just looking for a straight media player, there are all kinds of stand alone devices that will do the trick for you. For around $300AUD, you could buy a popcorn hour. Or for less, a hacked WD media player. I know this is a HTPC enthusiast forum, but sometimes they aren't the best fit for specific uses Wink Decide on what you want this new piece of tech to do for you, then we can give you more tailored advice Smile
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ethan_9219 Offline
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DarthV Wrote:For $999 ? Definitely overpriced!

What sort of things do you want this HTPC to do? Just play DVDs? Stream SD content? 720p? 1080p? Browser? Apps?

Basically, i just want it to play my DVD movie and tv show rips, and a bit of music. But, i need for it to be able to run a few light applications in the background etc. I want to use it for web browsing as well, checking emails etc.

So, basically a multifunctional-type PC, that i can use XBMC on with no performance issues.

I agree, for what it is, the price is a little high. But, i'm really just looking for a quick-fix i think. Lack of time is driving me away from building an HTPC.


DarthV Wrote:Decide on what you want this new piece of tech to do for you, then we can give you more tailored advice Smile

Just as above, really. I do need it to be a computer as well! Because, when purchased, it will be the computer that connects to the wi-fi router for delivering the internet to other machines. So, it needs to be always on, and function as a computer.

Thanks everyone for the help so far!
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A|ex Offline
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i am new to the HTPC scene as i have been using my WDTV and now i am looking for hte next step up. I have just purchased the following spec and waiting for the new case to be delivered (as i found out my current case had the PSU in such a bad place you could not install SATA cables of MB.

1x Antec Fusion Remote Veris Black
2x Noctua NF-P12 Vortex Control 120mm Quiet
1x Logitech Dinovo Edge Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard
1x CIT 500W MATX PSU
1x ASUS P5QL-EM iG43 Motherboard
1x Intel Core2 Quad Q9450
1x Pioneer DVR-216DBK SATA Black
2x Western Digital 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 32MB Cache
2x OCZ 4GB Kit (2x2GB) 800MHz/PC2-6400 Memory Platinum
1x 4TB NAS (1gig link)

I am going to try the XBMC live first and see how that goes, if that fails i will go ubuntu and XBMC. My next step after getting the basic movies, mp3 etc working is to work on some sort of karaoke addon with mics etc. Then slowly phase out my Panasonic PVR 500GB with this setup, i need to find or ask on here about a good TV tuner to record TV/ Sky etc

Is it worth going ubuntu/ windows if you can go live? i assume the standard install comes with some sort of web browser?

Final question, i have a 52" sony TV and i am not sure whether to use VGA or HDMI as i am a little low on HDMI on both my TV and sound system. I would need to decomission a PVR, DVD or something. Would the onboard graphics of the machine motherboard be capable of 1920x ... ? for xvid movies or maybe even bluray?
(This post was last modified: 2009-06-30 20:11 by A|ex.)
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tstack77 Offline
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Post: #8
ethan_9219 Wrote:Basically, i just want it to play my DVD movie and tv show rips, and a bit of music. But, i need for it to be able to run a few light applications in the background etc. I want to use it for web browsing as well, checking emails etc.

So, basically a multifunctional-type PC, that i can use XBMC on with no performance issues.

I agree, for what it is, the price is a little high. But, i'm really just looking for a quick-fix i think. Lack of time is driving me away from building an HTPC.

Just as above, really. I do need it to be a computer as well! Because, when purchased, it will be the computer that connects to the wi-fi router for delivering the internet to other machines. So, it needs to be always on, and function as a computer.

Thanks everyone for the help so far!

The ONLY thing that craptacularly overpriced Dell has going for it is size. Everything else in it is garbage.

If you're just going to be putting windows on the machine, your best bet is going with a microATX case/motherboard and adding the pieces. You'll get a system twice as nice for 2/3rds the cost, that WILL be able to play HD when you're ready for it in the future.

I don't know the retailers in Australia, but I can put together a list from newegg here and you can find the components there. If your holdback is from the 'building your own PC' part, I can only say to jump in--it truly is simple and it will take 2 hours max (well worth the $300 saved and future-proofing).

Let me know your concerns.

-axel
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ethan_9219 Offline
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Post: #9
tstack77 Wrote:The ONLY thing that craptacularly overpriced Dell has going for it is size. Everything else in it is garbage.

If you're just going to be putting windows on the machine, your best bet is going with a microATX case/motherboard and adding the pieces. You'll get a system twice as nice for 2/3rds the cost, that WILL be able to play HD when you're ready for it in the future.

I don't know the retailers in Australia, but I can put together a list from newegg here and you can find the components there. If your holdback is from the 'building your own PC' part, I can only say to jump in--it truly is simple and it will take 2 hours max (well worth the $300 saved and future-proofing).

Let me know your concerns.

-axel

Yeah, i plan on just putting Windows on the machine, most probably XP as i presume XBMC would run smoother on it as opposed to Vista?

And, yeah, future-proofing for HD sounds good as i have quite a collection of blu-rays, it's just that i don't have the space for them on my HDD.

That would be absolutely great if you could put together a list for me, as i've really no idea about all the hardware etc. that would be good. I'd really like it to be as quiet as possible, if it can be.

Thanks a lot!
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vskatusa Offline
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Post: #10
Be carefull about dell studio hybrid. The hdmi implementation is "buggy" - HDMI does not output 5.1 audio but only 2 channel stereo. One has to read thru all the fine print to get this info.

I use SONY laptop which doubles as a laptop + media streamer for my 50 inch plasma TV.

SONY VGN-FW390 works flawlessly - connected to my DENON AVR 2807 using HDMI and denon is connected to my plasma tv using HDMI.

The video is streamed wirelessly from NAS using draft N to laptop - get 5.1 dolby digital!
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tstack77 Offline
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Post: #11
HERE is a quick list from newegg, I used the mini-itx platform so you can see just how much better (and cheaper) a damn-near equally small rig can be.

Let me know if you have anymore questions.
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tmpdir Offline
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Post: #12
A|ex Wrote:i am new to the HTPC scene as i have been using my WDTV and now i am looking for hte next step up. I have just purchased the following spec *snip*

in case your wondering why you don't get a answer... your crossposting, just create a new thread with your question to get some help on this.
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