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922 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 106538 26-Jul-2012 01:17 Send private message

Just wondering if anyone thinks I'll get a better experience if I were to upgrade any of the main components of my htpc? Im not really having any issues except a bit of pixelation on some Freeview HD channels and sometimes when I skip through ads on recorded TV it takes a little while for it to "gather itself" and start playing normally again on some Freeview channels. This has got worse as time has progressed. Video playback incl BR rips seems fine.

I watch Freeview HD, Sky and SD / HD videos on my HTPC. No major gaming at all. Win7MC x64

The stuff that would make a possible difference if upgraded is:

Asus P5Q-L main board
Intel Dual core E8400 3.0GHz CPU
Blackgold BTG3540 TV Tuner
Hauppauge PVR-150 MCE Edition
Asus EN9600GT-Silent Passive GPU
4GB Supertalent DDR2 800 RAM


Possibly graphics card would be first thing to upgrade but not sure if thats even necessary...

What are your thoughts?





HTPC: Silverstone Crown CW02 case | Asus P5Q-L main board | Intel Dual core E8400 3.0GHz CPU | Thermalright Ultra120-Extreme Passive CPU Cooler | Blackgold BTG3540 TV Tuner & Hauppauge PVR-150 MCE Edition | Asus EN9600GT-Silent Passive GPU | 4GB Supertalent DDR2 800 RAM | 5+TB HDD space | LiteOn DH-401S BD/DVD/CD reader | Corsair HX-520w PSU | 1 single Noctua Silent Case fan | Logitech diNovo Bluetooth Media Desktop | Logitech Harmony 785 Universal Remote | Logitech Wireless Rumblepad 2 | Windows 7 Media Center, MediaBrowser & Arcsoft Total Media Theatre

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2578 posts

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  Reply # 662147 26-Jul-2012 06:44 Send private message

Yip upgrade graphics. GPU video processing has come a long way since the 9 series video cards. Only issue is there are very few passive Nvidia cards these days for the rest I think we are OK.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 662155 26-Jul-2012 07:16 Send private message

Nety: Yip upgrade graphics. GPU video processing has come a long way since the 9 series video cards. Only issue is there are very few passive Nvidia cards these days for the rest I think we are OK.


Thanks. Looks like a few passive Nvidia cards on Pricespy still. Way more passive Radeons though, I thought they were fine to go with these days? Or are there still interlacing issues?




HTPC: Silverstone Crown CW02 case | Asus P5Q-L main board | Intel Dual core E8400 3.0GHz CPU | Thermalright Ultra120-Extreme Passive CPU Cooler | Blackgold BTG3540 TV Tuner & Hauppauge PVR-150 MCE Edition | Asus EN9600GT-Silent Passive GPU | 4GB Supertalent DDR2 800 RAM | 5+TB HDD space | LiteOn DH-401S BD/DVD/CD reader | Corsair HX-520w PSU | 1 single Noctua Silent Case fan | Logitech diNovo Bluetooth Media Desktop | Logitech Harmony 785 Universal Remote | Logitech Wireless Rumblepad 2 | Windows 7 Media Center, MediaBrowser & Arcsoft Total Media Theatre

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  Reply # 662172 26-Jul-2012 08:40 Send private message

I tried to upgrade my HTPC to an ATI card from an old 8800 and had no end of troubles with driver conflicts and black screens. Moved back to a newer NVIDIA card and haven't had any more problems. I did install all the right drivers and removed all the old ones the driver manager said would conflict, just not the entire OS and main software.

I'm sure if I had reinstalled everything from scratch an ATI card would have probably been fine but I didn't feel like doing that at all.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 662184 26-Jul-2012 08:56 Send private message

The only thing you should upgrade is your operating system. Go mythbuntu :)

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  Reply # 662186 26-Jul-2012 09:07 Send private message

The last 2 ATI upgrades (ie the last couple of months) seem to have finally sorted the H.264 issues, despite no mention in the release notes.

I use an Asus E35 M1 Pro board with onboard ATI GFX and it now works fine.


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  Reply # 662217 26-Jul-2012 10:16 Send private message

Personally I would still go Nvidia unless you have a real problem with them. Hopefully ATI have finally sorted their issues out but quite frankly they have had issues for years with our Freeview why take the risk? Nvidia just works. No if buts or maybes. If you do go passive I would make sure it is a good passive card however as I have a XFX passive a couple of years ago that used to get really really hot. Never failed but I never felt comfortable with how hot it used to get.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

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  Reply # 662218 26-Jul-2012 10:22 Send private message

Unless you need some increased performance to transcoding or something that, I'm not seeing a need to upgrade.

I only upgraded a 2gb AMD Dual Core 3600 machine recently cos the motherboard failed (actually turned out it was just the HDD becoming flaky). So I took that opportunity to upgrade the CPU - but I do some transcoding and conversion.

And as @sbiddle says ATI has come a long way, and I'm finding it pretty good after coming from an Nvidia 8600GT.




Previously known as psycik

NextPVR Based HTPC:

Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, SiliconDust HDHomeRun Dual DVB-T Tuner, NextPVR, Plex Plugin 
Clients:
Popcorn Hour A-100, 1xATV2, 1xATV3, Roku3
Windows 7 Ultimate Host (Plex Server)
3x2TB, 1x3TB, 1x4TB + 1x1.5TB using DriveBender, VMWare Workstation 10 with 1xW7, 2xW2k3 1xUbuntu 11.10 Desktop, 1xWHS2011, Plex, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex

UnblockUS - Unblock your freedom

2233 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 662686 26-Jul-2012 23:05 Send private message

Don't upgrade, leave as is.




HTPC - Intel i3-2100 / 12GB DDR3 / GA-Z77X-UD5H / HD4670 1GB / HVR2200 / 750GB + 4 x 3TB / Win 7 x64 / MediaPortal 1.5
PC - Intel e8500 / 8GB DDR2 / HD5830 1GB / Win7 x64

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 662721 27-Jul-2012 06:54 Send private message

But possibly do a rebuild on w7.

New gpu drivers and tuner drivers on a clean system can do wonders.





Previously known as psycik

NextPVR Based HTPC:

Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, SiliconDust HDHomeRun Dual DVB-T Tuner, NextPVR, Plex Plugin 
Clients:
Popcorn Hour A-100, 1xATV2, 1xATV3, Roku3
Windows 7 Ultimate Host (Plex Server)
3x2TB, 1x3TB, 1x4TB + 1x1.5TB using DriveBender, VMWare Workstation 10 with 1xW7, 2xW2k3 1xUbuntu 11.10 Desktop, 1xWHS2011, Plex, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex

UnblockUS - Unblock your freedom

825 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 97


  Reply # 662733 27-Jul-2012 08:19 Send private message

As for the seek speed, consider doing a nightly defrag on you recording disk. Id say GPU might worth looking at. I'm going to move my HTPC out of the lounge and run a long HDMI cable. That way I can have a full tower and not worry about noise. Because it seems impossible to find a card which is lowprofile, silent (no fan) and has tuns of video processing power. This is especially important for the 1080i content from freeview HD and sky.



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  Reply # 662739 27-Jul-2012 08:44 Send private message

mcraenz: As for the seek speed, consider doing a nightly defrag on you recording disk. Id say GPU might worth looking at. I'm going to move my HTPC out of the lounge and run a long HDMI cable. That way I can have a full tower and not worry about noise. Because it seems impossible to find a card which is lowprofile, silent (no fan) and has tuns of video processing power. This is especially important for the 1080i content from freeview HD and sky.


Why have a video card at all, just go Intel ivy-bridge. Handles 1080i freeview fine. 

My latest build is an ivy-bridge i5 (an i3 would also do) with stock cooler and an HVR 2200 capture card. That's it. just the CPU fan (on silent mode) and the power supply fan - whole thing is near silent. For quick channel change I use an SSD for OS and time-shift with a HDD for recording - everything else sits on a server under the house.




"Political correctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

My thoughts are my own and are in no way representative of my employer.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 662740 27-Jul-2012 08:46 Send private message

geekiegeek:
mcraenz: As for the seek speed, consider doing a nightly defrag on you recording disk. Id say GPU might worth looking at. I'm going to move my HTPC out of the lounge and run a long HDMI cable. That way I can have a full tower and not worry about noise. Because it seems impossible to find a card which is lowprofile, silent (no fan) and has tuns of video processing power. This is especially important for the 1080i content from freeview HD and sky.


Why have a video card at all, just go Intel ivy-bridge. Handles 1080i freeview fine. 

My latest build is an ivy-bridge i5 (an i3 would also do) with stock cooler and an HVR 2200 capture card. That's it. just the CPU fan (on silent mode) and the power supply fan - whole thing is near silent. For quick channel change I use an SSD for OS and time-shift with a HDD for recording - everything else sits on a server under the house.


Same with the AMD A8 (and I'm assuming the A6 and A4 as well since the video GPU is the same)  - but I understand your hesitancy regarding AMD, but I have no issues at all, and no GPU fan.




Previously known as psycik

NextPVR Based HTPC:

Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, SiliconDust HDHomeRun Dual DVB-T Tuner, NextPVR, Plex Plugin 
Clients:
Popcorn Hour A-100, 1xATV2, 1xATV3, Roku3
Windows 7 Ultimate Host (Plex Server)
3x2TB, 1x3TB, 1x4TB + 1x1.5TB using DriveBender, VMWare Workstation 10 with 1xW7, 2xW2k3 1xUbuntu 11.10 Desktop, 1xWHS2011, Plex, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex

UnblockUS - Unblock your freedom

335 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 662803 27-Jul-2012 10:18 Send private message

My 2 cents worth would be the following:

Upgreade the GPU - Agree that NVidia just works so this seems to be the logical option here.

The other upgreade you might consider is installing a SSD as the OS drive. I run MediaPortal and have a 120GB SSD drive as the OS drive. It also houses my MediaPortal install and the database and TV cache. It makes for fast channel changes, improves seek times, and re-boots are awesomely fast.




My HTPC - Case Antec Fusion Remote, MOBO Intel DH67BLB3, CPU Intel Core i5-2400S 2.5 GHz, RAM 8GB  DDR3 1333, HDD 120Gig Corsair Force Series 3 SSD system | WD Caviar Black 2TB data, Tuners Black Gold BGT3595 dual DVB-S/S2, dual DVB-T, Video nVIDIA GeForce GT 520, 1024MB, Sound Intel® High Definition Audio (onboard), OS Windows 7 x64

498 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 10


  Reply # 662844 27-Jul-2012 11:13 Send private message

Recently moved to a AMD A6-3500 with 8GB, SSD and 2.5" laptop drive for recording. Apart from a single scaling issue during one video driver upgrade, it runs fine and only draws about 80watts in recording and playing TV. It is silent as well. WAF factor very very good.




Home Server: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3, AMD FX-6100, 16GB RAM, 17TB, UPS, 2 x HP P410/256 8 Ports SAS/SATA, 3 x Norco SS-500,  ESXi 5.5u1, WHS 2011 (16TB HDD), W2K12 for Unifi.
Media Center: Silverstone GD01, AMD A6-3600, Asus F1A75-M PRO, 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws-X 1866, 120GB Samsung EVO Pro + 750GB WD7500BPK HDD, APC UPS, DVB-T AVerTV TwinStar HD, HD Homerun, Blu-ray player, Windows 8.1 with MCE, MediaBrowser3, Freeview HD, LG 55LA6230.
Kids Media Center: Gigabyte Brix 3227, 120GB mSATA SSD, 4GB Ram, HD Homerun, Windows 8.1 with MCE, MediaBrowser3, Sony KDL40W4000 iDTV.
Main PC: Intel C2Q 2.5Ghz, 8GB RAM, NVidia GTX760, 90GB OCZ Agility 3, 750GB WD7500BPK HDD, 2 x 24" Panasonic LCD TV, Blu-ray drive, Windows 8.1 with MCE, Mediabrowser3, HD Homerun.
House: 100/50 UFB, ONT to Router in Garage, Router to 16p switch and voice line, 16 x CAT6 Ethernet ports in house. Unifi Wifi.



922 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 14


  Reply # 663090 27-Jul-2012 20:12 Send private message

Thanks guys I already have the OS on an SSD but will do a defrag on the recording drive and see if that helps. I'm not having any playback issues so may hold off on gpu upgrade for now... This setup should at least see me out for another year or two I'm hoping. will upgrade gpu next though when I feel motivated to do so




HTPC: Silverstone Crown CW02 case | Asus P5Q-L main board | Intel Dual core E8400 3.0GHz CPU | Thermalright Ultra120-Extreme Passive CPU Cooler | Blackgold BTG3540 TV Tuner & Hauppauge PVR-150 MCE Edition | Asus EN9600GT-Silent Passive GPU | 4GB Supertalent DDR2 800 RAM | 5+TB HDD space | LiteOn DH-401S BD/DVD/CD reader | Corsair HX-520w PSU | 1 single Noctua Silent Case fan | Logitech diNovo Bluetooth Media Desktop | Logitech Harmony 785 Universal Remote | Logitech Wireless Rumblepad 2 | Windows 7 Media Center, MediaBrowser & Arcsoft Total Media Theatre

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