HTPC Spec

vbimport

#1

Optical drive: Samsung SH-B083L/RSBP Bluray DVDRW Combo
HDD: Western digital WD10EARS - CAVIAR GP 1TB 64MB SATA/300 8.9MS
RAM: Kingston KVR1066D3N7/2G - Memory/2GB 1066MHz DDR3 Non-ECC CL7 DIMM x2
Mobo: Foxconn A7DA-S-3.0 Motherboard AMD Phenom II Socket AM3 AMD 790GX+SB750 ATX RAID Gigabit LAN (ATI Radeon HD 3300)
CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 635 AM3
Case: ANTEC SONATA III 500 V2-UK
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS9900-NT (this is an object of engineering beauty; I recommend it to anyone)


#2

Yes?
//Danne


#3

I don’t have any negative comment other than the case you listed. IMO, an HTPC should blend in with other A/V components like the A/V receiver etc. I built mine using this case and it fits right in with my other components. Most people don’t perceive it as a computer unless I point it out.

A couple other things is I would get DDR3 running at 1333mhz and a 1.5 or 2 TB hard drive since the differences in cost is minimal. These are minor comments though.


#4

In that case…

  1. WD Green HDDs have known issues (TLER and LCC) and the amount of power you save is very small.
  2. Get 1333 RAM as UTR mentioned
  3. 790GX is old, 785G is better [B]but[/B] doesn’t support more than 2 ch LPCM which makes 880G the only decent choice having video acceleration in mind. Intel HD Graphics is although much better than ATi in video performance (deinterlacing etc) and have no issues with bitstreaming and LPCM.
  4. No EE CPU or even somewhat evergy efficient…
  5. Way too large case, ITX (perferably) or mATX
  6. Use a 2.5" to keep the noice down since HTPCs “shouldn’t” be used for storage, that’s why you have a NAS unit. :slight_smile:
    //Danne

#5

If the HTPC is only for playing movies, audio, TV, viewing pictures, and perhaps some web browsing or other light work. Then you probably don’t need such a powerful PC.

I built an HTPC around an ATOM N330 ION using a Zotac ITX motherboard.

I used a tiny case as well from Antec

Don’t be put off by the ATOM, coupled with the ION graphics which are integrated into this board, it can cope with 1080p HD video with ease.

With the case above, you can only fit 2.5 inch drives and a slimline BD player. I used an SSD as i stream content to the HTPC across the network so I didn’t require a large HDD in the HTPC.

It draws around 35W and is completely silent.


#6

…and it’ll be useless when it cannot accelerate video
//Danne


#7

[QUOTE=DiiZzY;2536959]…and it’ll be useless when it cannot accelerate video
//Danne[/QUOTE]It does accelerate video.

ION
Intended Operating System: (Ion): Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, 7, (Ion-LE): Microsoft Windows XP
Memory Interface: DDR3-1066 or DDR2-800
DirectX 10 Support: Yes
Graphics Cores: 16
Core/Shader Clocks: 450/1100 MHz
Texture Fill Rate: 3.6 Billion/second
Maximum Anti-Aliasing (AA) Sample Rate: 16x
RAMDACs: 300 MHz
Maximum High-Dynamic Range (HDR) Precision: 128-bit
Maximum Analog Resolution: 2048 x 1536
Maximum Digital Resolution: 2560 x 1600
Graphics APIs: DirectX 10.0, OpenGL 3.2
Full HD decode (1080i/p): Yes, with NVIDIA PureVideo or VDPAU
Display Options: HDMI, Dual-link DVI, DP, or VGA (any 2)
HDMI Version: 1.3 (according to the manual of the zotac ION itx-f board)
PCI-Express 2.0: 20 lanes (1×16 and 4×1)
SATA Speed: 3 Gb/s
RAID: 0, 1
Networking: BASE-10/100/1000
Audio: HDA (Azalia)

Video review
[B]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkuV6RCPIuM&feature=related[/B]


#8

[QUOTE=Dee;2536944]If the HTPC is only for playing movies, audio, TV, viewing pictures, and perhaps some web browsing or other light work. Then you probably don’t need such a powerful PC.

I built an HTPC around an ATOM N330 ION using a Zotac ITX motherboard.

I used a tiny case as well from Antec

Don’t be put off by the ATOM, coupled with the ION graphics which are integrated into this board, it can cope with 1080p HD video with ease.

With the case above, you can only fit 2.5 inch drives and a slimline BD player. I used an SSD as i stream content to the HTPC across the network so I didn’t require a large HDD in the HTPC.

It draws around 35W and is completely silent.[/QUOTE]
I’m building mine around the ION and 330 too. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883103235&cm_re=acer_revo_ion--83-103-235--Product and so far it handles all I’ve thrown at it. 16 CUDA cores= plenty of video acceleration…


#9

[QUOTE=olyteddy;2536993]I’m building mine around the ION and 330 too. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883103235&cm_re=acer_revo_ion--83-103-235--Product and so far it handles all I’ve thrown at it. 16 CUDA cores= plenty of video acceleration…[/QUOTE]Yeah, they are great little performers as an HTPC, and very under-rated by many people.
As soon as they see “ATOM” they think of netbooks. But coupled with ION graphics they are excellent for an HTPC in my experience.

They produce next of no heat, low power consumption, and silent. All these factors are important for me. :slight_smile:


#10

[QUOTE=Dee;2536944]If the HTPC is only for playing movies, audio, TV, viewing pictures, and perhaps some web browsing or other light work. Then you probably don’t need such a powerful PC.[/QUOTE]

I agree. The first HTPC I cobbled together used old parts I had lying around. It was a 2.2 ghz dual core socket 939 CPU, Radeon X700 video card, 2 gb of DDR400 RAM and an old Samsung 120gb hard drive. It worked great for internet browsing and video playback.


#11

The 330 is also a Hyper Threaded dual core and the ION can accelerate encodes too, so with the right codecs, they make decent encoding machines too (I’ve seen 8X to 10X using AVC reported)…The deciding factor on mine was the missus wants it as invisible as possible. I’m going to mount everything but the optical drive behind the set.


#12

Seems like I need to be more verbose…
It’ll work very poorly (close to useless) [B]IF[/B] it cannot accelerate video which it can’t all the time and even if it can it doesn’t do a great job at it (Intel HD Graphics performs better for instance although tests seems to be somewhat inconsistent). So no, it’s far from “ideal”…
All CUDA accelerated encoders performs worse than what’s available so what’s the point in promoting bad performance?

…and speaking of size…
https://sp.ts.fujitsu.com/dmsp/docs/ds-esprimo-q1510.pdf :slight_smile:
https://sp.ts.fujitsu.com/dmsp/docs/ds-esprimo-q9000-estar5.pdf <-- Business model

//Danne


#13

[QUOTE=DiiZzY;2536997]Seems like I need to be more verbose…
//Danne[/QUOTE]I’d say, perhaps you need to do more research into ATOM 330 and ION. :wink:
The ATOM D510 uses Intel graphics and can’t even cope with 720p effectively, while the ION can cope with 1080p.
Of course, I done my research on ATOM 330 ION long before I made a purchase.

Tested with the following.

[ul]
[li]AVI - no problem
[/li][li]WMV - no problem
[/li][li]MPEG2 - no problem
[/li][li]MPEG4 - no problem
[/li][li]DivX - no problem
[/li][li]DivX HD - no problem
[/li][li]Xvid - no problem
[/li][li]Real media - no problem
[/li][li]Quicktime - no problem
[/li][li]Flash - no problem
[/li][li]DVD playback - no problem
[/li][li]BD playback 720p - no problem
[/li][li]BD playback 1080p - no problem
[/li][/ul]

In fact, I haven’t found a video file format that causes a problem with ION.

[edit] From what i can see. ION is basically an nVidia 9400M GPU, which is not exactly new technology, but explains why it out performs Intel graphics, and copes with video playback without issues.


#14

The D510 uses a version of the X3100 which is far from Intel HD Graphics or the ION platform and Intel has never advertised it to replace it either. That appears just to be your conclusion.

As for ION, try playing a H.264 which doesn’t comply with Base or Main Profile and you’ll have a nice slideshow. WMV3 doesn’t work either, as for Quicktime and Real Media (and AVI) they’re containers for a lot of formats which all doesn’t work. Applying postprocessing isn’t really available either since the CPU is too slow such as deinterlacing (good ones such as YADIF) and/or resampling. Both Intel and ATi provides quite good deinterlacing compared to old ION chipset hardware-wise although software still performs better. Having this is mind, you might as well buy a media player instead of an ION-box if you only want to view “most” formats.
//Danne


#15

…and speaking of size…
https://sp.ts.fujitsu.com/dmsp/docs/...rimo-q1510.pdf :slight_smile:
https://sp.ts.fujitsu.com/dmsp/docs/...000-estar5.pdf <-- Business model

Impressive, perhaps, but where do you get one? My Revo is available lots of places.


#16

[QUOTE=DiiZzY;2537026]As for ION, try playing a H.264 which doesn’t comply with Base or Main Profile and you’ll have a nice slideshow. WMV3 doesn’t work either, as for Quicktime and Real Media (and AVI) they’re containers for a lot of formats which all doesn’t work. Applying postprocessing isn’t really available either since the CPU is too slow such as deinterlacing (good ones such as YADIF) and/or resampling. Both Intel and ATi provides quite good deinterlacing compared to old ION chipset hardware-wise although software still performs better. Having this is mind, you might as well buy a media player instead of an ION-box if you only want to view “most” formats.
//Danne[/QUOTE]So far I haven’t anything that doesn’t play properly, but I’ll let you know if i find something that wont play.


#17

It’s available in EU (I’ve only checked .no .se .fi .de .co.uk .it but it seems to be widely available through the whole region) although I’m not sure about US/CA. Fujitsu’s US site only lists the business model which probably is quite expensive and CA doesn’t list any at all.

The only model I know that’s available in US/CA is ASRock CORE 100HT but it has some odd/bad hardware choices compared to Fujitsus model. The ASRock is also available in EU a bit cheaper in general than Q1510.
//Danne


#18

Wow, thanks for all the comments, guys and gals :slight_smile:

I went for a big case, because I intend to add a full-height dual digital terrestrial receiver card and probably a dual freesat receiver as well as multiple additional HDDs; if possible I’d like to have my entire DVD collection stored uncompressed on this system. That’s also the reason that I went for the quad core CPU; I’ll probably even upgrade it in the future when the price comes down

With regards to the RAM; according to the mobo specs that I got off the mfrs website, 1066 was the max that it would support; in any case with the hardware en/decoding that the onboard ATI chipset offers, the CPU shouldn’t be too stressed.

In the meantime, I can’t seem to get the digital optical sound output working, so if any of you peeps might be able to point me in the right direction, please head over here.

Slainte

midders


#19

Sorry to have gotten OT midders, yours looks to be a very healthy build for HTPC. HTPC, IMO is coming of age. for a great example of the potential, look at some of the vids over at vimeo.com.


#20

[QUOTE=olyteddy;2537056]Sorry to have gotten OT midders, yours looks to be a very healthy build for HTPC. HTPC, IMO is coming of age. for a great example of the potential, look at some of the vids over at vimeo.com.[/QUOTE]

Every time I show a friend or family member what I can do through my HTPC they walk away saying “I have to get one of those.” Most of them actually do it. IMO, the HTPC will eventually end cable TV service as the HTPC replaces the cable box all together. Heck, look for future HDTVs to have they own mini computers built in. These ITX boxes are getting small enough for this to happen.