CPU selection guide!

Discussion in 'Mainboards / CPU / RAM' started by jcee, June 6, 2005.

  1. jcee

    jcee Portal Pro

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    What CPU fits best with a HTPC (specially Media Portal)?!

    I am going to buy a new AMD board and struggling between the many different CPU types. I do not want to waste money if I do not have a benefit from it in Media Portal.

    I do understand that Mhz is not always what wins the race. There are other thinks like L2 cahce, 32/64bit etc.. So could you please share your opinion:

    1. Should I go for max Mhz OR better take some 100 Mhz less if I get more L2 cache (512 instead of 256)?



    2. Should I go for a more expensive Athlon 64 as it does 64-bit instead of a cheaper Sempron CPU, or is 64-bit not supported?

    3. For which core do I have to go? I read so many .. Newcastle, Paris, Clawhammer.. I got lost because of so many information...



    Please help.. !

    I am going to use Mediportal but would like to be prepared to record and playback at the same time .. maybe even convert to DIVX in the background in the near future...

    My current Atholon1400 seems to have been died on the weekend, it does not boot anymore.. so I need somethink new.. !
     
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  3. Callifo
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    Callifo Retired Team Member

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    I went with an AMD for my htpc. Basically I went with a Sempron because they are cheap and run very cool. While other see a use for AMD64's for a htpc I dont think there is. If you can obtain all your 64bit drivers and a 64bit version of MP then it *may* be useful but that on its own will be a hard task.
     
  4. poppy10

    poppy10 Portal Member

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    MediaPortal isn't coded for 64-bit systems, so you won't notice a difference. If anything performance might be slightly worse, as WindowsXP 64 needs to run MP in 32-bit emulation mode.
     
  5. jcee

    jcee Portal Pro

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    Just to make sure I understand everything ...

    IF I use Win XP 64(!) in the future I will have better performance with an Athlon 64 ... IF Mediaportal comes in 64-Bit version..!!



    That are a lot of IFs!!!

    Seem that Sempron is the right one to go with .. And if there is any money left, spend it for the mobo or more mem!!
     
  6. SiLenTYL
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    SiLenTYL Retired Team Member

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    i have a MSI MEGA 865
    its CPU is the Intel P4 3.2Ghz Intel CPU...non-prescott that is

    the 3.2Ghz P4 Prescott edition is the MAX for it now....but there was no support for it at the time i bought it..and its not like im about to go out an buy a presscott edition just coz i can ;)

    I find this very quick..even when running 1080i/1080p high definition TV or files...its simply flawless....and im picky when it comes to HD

    the only other thing i can do is buy a new graphics card(8x AGP) with more hardware acceleration..but i find my ATI 9800 Pro quite good too....the new ATI x700, x800 and x850 and the high end nVidia cards, 6600GT, 6800 series also have further hardware acceleration specs...reducing the load on the CPU even more, making the system overall more stable, which produces smoother video

    i may get a newer AGP card next year..just for that reason only

    anywayz...raw CPU speed is not the only thing u have to look at when deciding to build a system....u must also consider your graphics card as it does a fair amount of the work in MP
     
  7. AllenConquest

    AllenConquest Portal Pro

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    My main concern when deciding on a CPU was how cool could I run it. So I went for the 35w Athlon XP-M which I run with just a case fan (no CPU fan). The system is very quiet.
     
  8. poppy10

    poppy10 Portal Member

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    You forgot... IF you also get 64-bit drivers for your graphics card and TV card etc.
     
  9. Smirnuff

    Smirnuff Portal Pro

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    Its a pretty sure fire thing that MP will be available in both 32 and 64-bit flavours when the time comes (i.e. .NET 2 goes RTM and drivers are more readily available), some team members, including frodo, have already purchased their 64-bit HTPC kit.

    Like SiLenTYL, I'd be focusing more on my choice of graphics cards, a card like a 6600 with support for Pure Video will free up ooodles of CPU cycles for you to do other things while a movie or TV is being viewed.

    Cheers,
    Smirnoff.
     
  10. vbap

    vbap Portal Pro

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    I certainly agree with AllenConquest - get a CPU that runs "cool". Especially if this is a dedicated HTPC that will go into the lounge room.
    My CPU is an old P4 1.80 cooled with a Zalman copper cooler. My wife complained about the noise, so I replaced the PSU from an Enermax to an Anetc Phantom (fanless). The only fan that runs is the Zalman (on lowest speed setting), and it's quiet (so is wife !!)

    If I had to build again, I would go for a mobile CPU like Allen (just a case fan???awesome...).

    But then again, check out this article at (http://www.silentpcreview.com/article169-page1.html) - Athlon 64 could well be a good choice (the new Venice Core runs even cooler). And note, the use of Athlon 64 does not mean you need to have 64-bit software. If you run 32-bit Windows, then all your software can be 32-bit.
     
  11. SiLenTYL
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    SiLenTYL Retired Team Member

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    keep in mind that the x64 bit version of WinXP does NOT contain a x64 bit version of Windows Media Player...

    and all the codecs and drivers are not x64 bit either

    the result will mean anything u do in the background(which supports x64 bit) will be faster than normal....but MediaPortal itself wont be perfectly x64 bit !

    u will be waiting a long time for code to be converted over to x64 bit if u do go this road
     
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