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42 posts


#90398 21-Sep-2011 09:36
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Hi there,

 I’m looking at building a new HTPC. In my current system (old) using the 2210 TV Tuner, HD channels stutter and breakup making them unwatchable.

 I’m thinking of a mATX build. I’d like it quiet so anything to get rid of unnecessary heat is a good thing. Therefore I’m thinking of ditching a discrete graphics card.

I’m thinking either G620 or the 2100/2105.

 I’ve been trawling the net for days looking at recommendations, but haven’t found any definitive answers. I bounce between a CPU with on-board GPU, back to a cheap CPU with discrete graphics every other article/forum I read.

What I really want to know is will these CPUs handle, de-interlacing live HD TV, recording HD TV, and/or recording however many channels is possible (last night I had 4 SD channels recording while watching one of those live) and watching a 1080p video off the local drive?

I know you can’t give guarantees or anything, but if anyone has experience with a similar build not using a graphics card AND watches TV I’d love to hear from you.

What I’ve noticed on forums is that everyone says “oh you only need an old P4 to play movies blah blah blah” but they don’t talk about de-interlacing live HD TV and recording TV etc.

 Also I’ve heard about the i3 24.97 (or whatever it is) bug/glitch. What are your thoughts on this? Does anyone with this hardware notice it or does it bug you?

 Also noticed they are not that many HTPC cases available in NZ, which is understandable…the HTPC market is not exactly booming let alone little old NZ. I’ve been looking at the Silver Stone ML03B which is about $130.

 Thanks heaps.


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1332 posts

Uber Geek
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  #523901 21-Sep-2011 09:45
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From my understanding, discrete cards are really only useful when the software you intend to use is able to take advantage of the GPU decoding ability. I use Plex as my home media software and it is able to make use of the GPU in my Mac Mini to decode high definition files.

Which HTPC software are you intending to run on your media centre?

42 posts


  #523905 21-Sep-2011 09:54
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Currently running MediaPortal, I'll probably stick with it too.


241 posts

Master Geek

  #524133 21-Sep-2011 15:36
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My understanding is that just recording programs only uses a little bit of CPU power and the biggest bottleneck is usually hard drive access.  The GPU usage is possibly zero and CPU minimal as the raw data is just dumped from the TV tuner to the hard drive without any real processing.  Therefore it is a good idea to have the TV recorded to a decent quality/speed drive and a preferably a different physical drive to the OS.  The only time you'll tax the GPU (and not really have any work being done by the CPU at all) is with whatever program you are watching.  The only proviso is if you are perhaps editing something else in the background and that program is capable of offloading some of the work from the CPU to the GPU.  This is why people say you can get away with a P4 as long as you have a decent graphics card (and I don't mean top of the range, pretty much anything from the last year or two should do).  I still run a basic 1.8GHz Core2Duo with Nvidia 8400GS in my old machine and it does everything just fine

Again, as far as I understand, the i3 integrated graphics problem really only happens with Bluray type material, when the media is encoded at 24 frames per second (23.975hz I think).  Basically you get a repeat of a frame every now and then (can't remember how often). This is not a problem with most shots but if you get a slow panning or flying shot, the extra frame makes the motion judder slightly.  Personally I am happy to live with it for now but each to their own.  I can really only suggest you try and see how it looks if possible and decide for yourself.  I'm pretty certain it is not a problem with live/recorded TV as it is 50Hz natively.  I've never seen it in my recorded TV anyway (incl old TV3 HD stuff).  Apart from that, the onboard graphics handles everything I can throw at it so far plus it handles all sorts of audio too.  If you really hate it you can of course add a video card in later but I guess that defeat the purpose a bit.

My 2c worth anyway...

425 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #524167 21-Sep-2011 16:32
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I have a Pentium G620 based HTPC, running Mediaportal. I've had endless problems, but that's due to a bad TV tuner card. Using my other TV Tuner, everything runs perfectly.

I only have DVB-S reception, but at one point (when my dual-tuner card was working properly) I managed to watch one and record 26 channels simultaneously, while running Skype, siptosis, uTorrent and 2 instances of jDownloader in the background.

The onboard GPU seems to handle everything fine, but I'm only using SD content, output to a 1366*768 display. Not sure how it'll handle Freeview HD or 1080p displays, but I imagine it'll be fine. It's fine with 720p x264 encodes.

Haven't come across the 23.976Hz issue, but that's because our plasma doesn't accept a 24p signal anyway.

If you're in Auckland I'm happy to let you test the system, see if it works for you. I'd also consider selling it for the right offer (minus the faulty TV tuner card, of course).

732 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #524293 21-Sep-2011 21:02
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IF your running Windows the GPU on the new Intel chips should suffice, probably need to consider a discrete Nvidia GPU if you suspect there will be some penguin loving in your future.

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  #525007 23-Sep-2011 13:25
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Alright, I'll probably go with a 2105 to be safe.

Is the GPU on the A6, A8 chips more for 3D graphics than 2D?

2889 posts

Uber Geek

  #525390 24-Sep-2011 18:19
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G620 / G840 shouldn't be used on boards that have onboard gfx, instead you should use i2100 because the G series doesn't support HT which is needed for good onboard gpu performance.

(This was my understanding anyway, that i read ages ago, but a quick google can't find any information on this, so maybe im wrong)

HTPC / Home automation (home assistant) enthusiast.

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