How do I turn this system into a HTPC?

Santilli

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Hi
I'm considering creating a home PC out of the following system:
GA-K8N Pro- SLI F7
AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3200+
2 gigs ram
XP Pro Service Pack 3
10K SCSI 147 gig boot
Radeon X850XT video card
2 NEC DVD 3540A
Linksys Wirless-G PCI adapter

Connecting to a Yamaha RX-995 and A Panasonic 32” TV with S-video and standard old style cable connections only.

What would I need, besides probably a new video card, and which one, to convert this to a HTPC?

Thanks

GS
Specs:

Processor - Socket 939 supports AMD Athlon64 X2/ 64 FX/ 64
Chipset - NVIDIA nForce4 SLI MCPs (media and communication processors)

Integrated peripherials
1. T.I. IEEE1394b controller
2. CICADA8201 Gigabit LAN PHY chip
3. Realtek ALC850 Audio AC'97 Codec

Memory
1. Type: Dual channel DDR400/ 333/ 266 -184pin
2. Max capacity: Up to 4GB by 4 DIMM slots

Internal I/O Connectors
1. 4 X Serial ATA || connectors (3.0Gb/s)
2. 2 x UDMA ATA 133/100/66 Bus Master IDE connectors
3. 1 x FDD connector
4. 3 x USB 2.0/1.1 connectors (supports 6 ports)
5. 2 x IEEE 1394b connectors (supports 3 ports)
6. 3 x cooling fan pin headers
7. CD in

Expansion Slots
1. 2 x PCI-Express X 16 slot, supports two PCI-Express interface Graphics cards with SLI mode
2. 2 x PCI-Express X 1 slots
3. 2 x PCI slots (PCI 2.3 compliant)

Rear Panel I/O
1. 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
2. 1 x RJ45 port
3. Audio (4 x Line-out/ 1 x Line-in/ 1 x MIC) connector
4. Coaxial S/PDIF input/ output function
5. PS/2 Keyboard/ Mouse
6. 1 x COM port
7. 1 x LPT

CPU/AGP/DIMM setting
1. CPU HT / Multiplier / Vcore Voltage adjustable via BIOS
2. PCI-ExpessX16 Voltage / Clock adjustable via BIOS
3. DIMM Voltage / Clock adjustable via BIOS

Power
1. ATX power connector and ATX 12V connector
2. Power-off by Windows 98/ Me/ 2000/ XP shut down and switch

Form Factor
1. ATX form factor
2. 30.5 x 24.4 cm

H/W Monitoring
1. System health status auto-detect and report by BIOS
2. Hardware detecting and reporting for case open, CPU voltage, and fan speed

BIOS
1. 2 X 4M bit flash ROM, Award BIOS

Other Features
1. NVIDIA SLI multi-GPU support
2. Support NVIDIA Firewall
3. Norton Internet Security
4. Download Center
5. XpressTM Installation
6. XpressTM Recovery
7. Q-FlashTM
8. @BIOSTM
 

Stereodude

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Well, the motherboard doesn't have any fans, so that's good.

1) Get an OCZ Vertex 30GB SSD to replace your SCSI boot drive [silent].
2) Get a fanless nVidia graphics card (86xx / 95xx series or greater with HDCP) [silent, more capable, and future proof for when you get a HDTV with HDMI].
3) Stick the system in an Antec P180 case or similar [quieter]
4) Replace HSF with a Scythe Ninja or similar [quieter].
5) Replace the PS, if noisy, with something quieter
 

LunarMist

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Where are the data drives? You will probably want 1TB or greater @5400 RPM, i.e., WD EADS or Samsung F2.
 

ddrueding

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Are you going to store media on this machine? Or elsewhere on your network? Other than that, quiet would be the other goal. You have enough processing power to do whatever you need, just start swapping out bits with quieter ones. 10k SCSI disks are almost certainly too noisy, even installing the OS as a small partition at the front of the aforementioned 5.4k 1TB disks would be better.
 

Santilli

Hairy Aussie
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Messages
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The power supply is already quiet. Seasonic 550.
The fans are on a variable switch on the front, and, all are Vantec Stealths.

It's in a Antec 160 case. And, it has a Scythe Ninja already.

Storage is two removeable SATA bays, and the SCSI drive is not very noisy. Also, if I can hook it up to the Denon, noise isn't going to be much of a problem.

So, how do you do video out, or, is the s-video out sufficient for everything?

What video cards would you recommend? I have not had a problem with ATI, only because when the cards go south they replace them for free.

That said,I would need dual DVI out with S-video as well.

Also, is the onboard sound out sufficient?

I'd like to do this this week, and, at a minimum cost.
 

Stereodude

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I'm a big fan of fanless video cards for HTPC's (no pun intended).

Neither of those cards will work. You need one that has a video out. Like this.
 

Santilli

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I was hoping to find a card with a 9800 processor, 1 gig memory, and a video out and HDMI. No such luck. Any suggestions?
 

Santilli

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David built it, and, the goal was a gaming machine that was quiet.
With its' removeable SATA drives, it's perfect for getting rid of a lot of DVD's.

I also don't want to give up it's gaming abilities.
 

Santilli

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Well, I was set on 1gig of memory, until I saw this card for 40 bucks cheaper then the 1 gig cards, with 2 gigs:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814187054

While the 9600 isn't blazing, it's faster, IIRC, then the 850XT, and, it has 4 times the ram, that is a real issue in Quake 4, and some other games I play, since it keeps me from playing it at the highest settings, due to paging. Plus, it has a S video out, and, I can always go DVI to HDMI for an ouput cable, if I buy an HDMI screen.
97.00 is a very good deal, with that much memory. It it's too slow, SLI is a possibility, provided two cards will fit...

Now, that step is done. What about connecting the Computer to the amp? S-video, or a cable setup?

Thanks

GS
 

ddrueding

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I don't remember if that motherboard has SPDIF or TOSLINK out? If it does, hook that up to your receiver and forget about it. If it doesn't, I have one of Merc's favorite cards sitting around (Auzentech X-Plosion). Pretty much as good as it gets.
 

Santilli

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Thanks David. Should I buy another one of those cards, and go SLI?

In reading stuff, I've found the 1650 AGP card is supposed to be about 60% of the 3850 AGP Sapphire card.

I can't figure out if the lack of video ram keeps the 1650 from playing Quake 4 at Ultra settings, or, it's the lack of gpu power.
 

ddrueding

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Don't go SLI (or as it is called with ATI cards, crossfire). Compatibility and driver issues are simply not worth it.

Another thing to realize is that you are going to be lucky to get 800x600 resolution out of an S-Video cable. That card will play all games really well at 800x600.

A 9600GT is going to be much faster than what you have, and is probably at the bang/buck sweet spot at the moment.
 

Santilli

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I'm planning on having the S video link to to the Panasonic 32".

I can hook up another Samsung 22-24" for the games...

thanks David...
 

udaman

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Well, I was set on 1gig of memory, until I saw this card for 40 bucks cheaper then the 1 gig cards, with 2 gigs:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814187054

While the 9600 isn't blazing, it's faster, IIRC, then the 850XT, and, it has 4 times the ram, that is a real issue in Quake 4, and some other games I play, since it keeps me from playing it at the highest settings, due to paging. Plus, it has a S video out, and, I can always go DVI to HDMI for an ouput cable, if I buy an HDMI screen.
97.00 is a very good deal, with that much memory. It it's too slow, SLI is a possibility, provided two cards will fit...

Now, that step is done. What about connecting the Computer to the amp? S-video, or a cable setup?

Thanks

GS

What do you mean by "highest settings" be more specific. Never planning to upgrade to W7, or are you planning to, or keep it @32bit? DDR400 is slow memory for your MB...consider that as a possible limiting factor, rather than huge amounts of GPU ram?

That said, without more specific info (which won't do me any good, because I know nothing), suggest a visit & reg on avsforum.com the HTPC gaming subforums.

link

In-game benchmarks using FEAR and Quake 4 showed that even with maximum quality settings turned on, the card produced frame rates that were overkill for smooth game play
^^^see above comment, not that this is recommended card, which it is not for said quiet HTPC, but:

runs fairly quietly and is barely noticeable when up against standard CPU coolers and case fans. It's also the first gaming card to require two dedicated PCI-Express, 6-pin power cables to run. MSI state that a 400watt power supply will be sufficient, but keep in mind your other hardware's power requirements.
:D


see other posts in this thread besides quoted below

I guess I should have asked which OS you had first, before knocking you for only having 2GB RAM. But even so, if it were me, I would just get the additional 2GB so it's there when/if you do upgrade to a 64-bit OS, and it won't hurt to have just the extra 1GB in the meantime. It won't boost performance at all for regular HTPC activities, but it will help out with the gaming.

And that HD 4850 with fanless cooler for $149 after rebate is a decent deal, although you can get a 4830 and overclock it to the same speed as the 4850 for about 30% less. The HD 4830 setup I have cost me $74 for the card (after rebate) + $30 for the Accelero cooler + $7 for the fans = $111, and I have it running just as fast as a 4850 - all for ~$40 less. But I did have to make some mods to the cooler to make it fit, and it only has 512MB RAM instead of 1GB.


Think you'll need to ask someone on some forum with all the games you intend to play, at your specific quality settings...for a usable/accurate answer. Do a Google search, seems there are some issues with 1080p and some gaming PC card setups.

probably not useful link-MSI-HDMI, but who can tell without more specifics :p

Can you wait another month or longer? ATI/AMD have newer, slightly higher performing GPU's about to ship, then you have to wait for specific HTPC cards from the various card specialists. Perhaps a 4770 would work in fanless mode.

Then again, you could try silentpc.com forums.


Must be a Q4 subforum on some gaming sites, that will know just how much RAM (GPU) is really necessary...but maybe

4770 specs

particular compares the Radeon HD 4770 with Nvidia's GeForce 9800 GT, showing superiority in both features and performance. According to AMD, the Radeon HD 4770 will provide 9.7 GFLOPS per dollar, and 12.0 GFLOPS per watt. By comparison, the 9800 GT only provides 5.1 GFLOPS per dollar and 4.8 GFLOPS per watt. Additionally, the 40nm Radeon HD 4770 utilizes GDDR5 memory (512 MB, 128-bit) and provides 1960 GFLOPs of processing power; the 65nm/55nm 9800 GT uses GDDR3 (256-bit) memory and provides 504 GFLOPs of processing power.

Additionally, the Radeon HD 4770 will offer a core clock of 750 MHz, 640 stream processes, a memory clock of 800 MHz, and a memory bandwidth of 51.2 GB/s. The card is estimated to use around 80W thanks to the 40nm manufacturing process, somewhat smaller in power consumption when compared to the 55nm Radeon HD 4850 and 55nm 4830. However, the Radeon HD 4770 will come with 826 million transistors, meaning it contains 130 million less than the 4830 and the 4850 (both with 956 million).

Although the Radeon HD 4770 looks to be that last card to ship within this half of 2009, the card is expected to retail around $99 USD. Out of the nine AMD cards set to ship within Q1 and Q2 2009, the Radeon HD 4830 is the only other card offering a $99 USD pricetag. According to the slide taken from AMD's presentation, the HD 4870 X2 (2 GB) will retail for $399, the HD 4870 (512 MB) for $169, and the HD 4890 (1 GB) for around $260.

With nine cards hitting retail shelves during this half of the year, it's definitely a great time to upgrade the existing graphics card. AMD offers a great selection, with cards not only addressing both the enthusiast and the performance-seekers, but consumers wanting to maintain a tight budget. Look for the affordable Radeon HD 4770 to hit retail shelves on May 4.
4830 is likely to be discontinued when these newer GPU's start shipping next month, so you could get that at significant close-out pricing.
 

MaxBurn

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Crap, I had a lot of typing done accidentally clicked a link and lost it. Summary:

Plan a budget for LCD or Plasma whichever you prefer. You won't be able to read anything on a 32" tube TV using S video or component. I can just barely read normal text like this forum on a 50" analog rear projection set using component at 1920x1080. You will have to have a monitor to use the computer and load drivers or files etc, not everything can be done through MC. To top all that off when you have a TV plus a monitor in mirror multi monitor mode you loose the ability to do overscan adjustments on the TV. Neither my X1950XTX nor my GTX260 can do it, don't know why just annoying. All of this goes away with a LCD or Plasma with "just scan". I have an LG 47LH40 coming Tuesday, so very happy to be nearly done with this hassle. In my opinion the component out on both the X1950XTX and the GTX260 is pretty good and AVS forum could probably do you better for searching for a card with decent analog out. Green button likely as well.

Sound looks like your head unit supports 5.1 analog in, I suggest you use that with some cable adapters. I have wrestled with optical and always had lip synch issues even though my X-Fi Titanium says super low latency processing or whatever, doesn't matter not good enough.

Consider Win 7 beta, I hear the codec support is far better than Vista MC, meaning it supports "some" codecs naively in the media player inside MC. This is such a massive short falling that I can't even use MC most of the time but I am a little different and I torrent everything and don't have cable. MC is much more useful if you have cable.

Because you can't use the MC remote all the time when you can use MC a wireless mouse with some range helps a lot. I have an ancient Logitech Trackman Live that is excellent for this.

I buy all my cables here now, great store with excellent quality cables cheap. Only mention because I just bought a couple really long HDMI cables.
http://www.monoprice.com/home/index.asp

I don't see any issue with the PC you list other than the obvious noise issue people already pointed out. My PC makes noise but behind a desk or a rack it's fine to me.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q9550 Quad 2.83 12MB Cache, Supermicro C2SBA+II, 4GB PNY, BFG 260 OC2, 300GB Raptor for OS, 2x750GB Seagate RAID1 storage, 1TB Samsung F1 for workspace and VM's, LG SATA BD/HD-DVD DVD-RW GGC-H20L, Pioneer DVR-108, Antec P180, Seasonic SS-550HT, X-Fi Titanium, Samsung LN32-A550 32" monitor and Toshiba 50H81 50" HT monitor.
 

Pradeep

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If you are looking for HTPC capability, stick with ATI. The nvidias don't support 7.1 audio over HDMI. If/when you upgrade to a blu-ray reader you will be able to take advantage of the high def audio.
 

Stereodude

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If you are looking for HTPC capability, stick with ATI. The nvidias don't support 7.1 audio over HDMI. If/when you upgrade to a blu-ray reader you will be able to take advantage of the high def audio.
Neither does ATI if you're running Windows XP in a lot of cases. I bought a 4550, tried it, and returned it to Newegg (less the restocking fee) because it wouldn't pass HDMI audio in my system thanks to ATI's driver writing incompetence.

FWIW, nVidia has much better video acceleration capability for H.264. Their DXVA acceleration is more capable, and they have the whole CUDA thing that lets you do things like this and this. ATI also still has problems with smooth playback at 1080p24.

Lastly, even if it works you get crippled HDMI LPCM audio that's down sampled and restricted because the cards don't have a Protected Audio Path (PAP). Basically if you want proper HDMI audio from your HTPC you'll need to add a ASUS Xonar HDAV card.
 

Santilli

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I've been reading at the avsforum, and someone did a chart on cards that support 7.1 sound.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1093445
Pretty much, nothing I can afford supports 7.1, so move on.

David, what do you want for that sound card? I'm also looking for any used LCD's you have laying around. PM me with prices. I'm close enough I could drive over today.

Udaman:

see link above, and, you'll find pretty much none of the cards, including ATI, support the stuff I want to do, so, I'm moving on, and, when they do, I'll look at it again, or, buy a decent Sound card.

The most useful tool I've found for video cards is this:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-radeon,2218.html

"A slim $15 spread gives us just enough room to recommend the GeForce 9600 GT, which offers enough performance over the Radeon HD 4670 to justify that price increase if you have it in your budget. The GeForce 9600 GT is a great performer thanks in part to its high-end 256-bit memory interface and speedy DDR3 memory. The worst thing we can say about the 9600 GT is that it's sandwiched between the ~$70 Radeon HD 4670 and the ~$100 GeForce 9800 GT cards."

What they don't mention is I can't find a 100 dollar 9800 GT with the 1 gig ram I'm after, and the connectors, on newegg. IIRC, Quake 4 and Far Cry both load some giant maps, and, if these 500 mb maps are paged, the game sucks.
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/quake_4_cpu_performance/page2.asp
It appears that with the game set at Ultra, I just need a faster processor. I've got a 3200, and, the high frame rate at ultra settings are with the AMD Athlon 64 FX-57
AMD Athlon 64 FX-55
AMD Athlon 64 FX-53/4000+

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/quake_4_cpu_performance/page10.asp

However, the 3200 runs it at 66 fps at 1600 with Ultra settings. I could get nearly 90 fps with 1024.

They suggest SLI as a way to get much better performance at high resolutions, nearly a 40% jump going to SLI. Wonder if that's gpu power, or added VRAM?
 

Santilli

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I plan to have a monitor, hopefully a Samsung for gaming, and, I'm after the HTPC mainly for torrent and DVD's.
A High Definition TV is going to come around, but, not until they drop a bit more in price.
 

Stereodude

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The integrated sound on the motherboard has a coax SPDIF output which should be adequate assuming you have a DD/DTS capable receiver.
 

Santilli

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Thanks Stereodude. Yes, the amp is so capable. Now, I need to get the two next to each other, and see what kind of cables I need...
 

Santilli

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Much as I hate to admit it, I bought monster cables just like that a while back, before I found out about the company. I've got a couple sitting in a box by the door, one of many things I need to go through, and either use or throw out...
 

ddrueding

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Another thing to keep in mind, the signal is digital, so cable length is irrelevant. Don't worry about putting them next to each other.
 

MaxBurn

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I'm interested to know how things work out for you and the optical connection, if you don't hit lipsynch issues I will give things another try. What I believe I am talking about is the Dolby Digital Live support and it being delayed when playing a regular avi file through optical to the amp.

Man I just can't believe monster, you know they are suing a transmission repair (as in vehicles) company?

I'm sort of thinking about a xonar but unlikely to be soon. I canceled my blue ray subscription through netflix because of the steep price increase they had lately. Hoping that they will give a little on the price if there is enough lash back, they have a history of being responsive to customer demand.
 

Stereodude

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I canceled my blue ray subscription through netflix because of the steep price increase they had lately. Hoping that they will give a little on the price if there is enough lash back, they have a history of being responsive to customer demand.
I decided to drop from 3 discs to 2 discs.
 

Pradeep

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Greg, the amount of video memory matters most when running at high rez. The 2GB card you linked to is massively slower than a modern ATI card with "just" 512MB. Memory type and bus bandwidth are crucial differences.
 

Pradeep

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Neither does ATI if you're running Windows XP in a lot of cases. I bought a 4550, tried it, and returned it to Newegg (less the restocking fee) because it wouldn't pass HDMI audio in my system thanks to ATI's driver writing incompetence.

FWIW, nVidia has much better video acceleration capability for H.264. Their DXVA acceleration is more capable, and they have the whole CUDA thing that lets you do things like this and this. ATI also still has problems with smooth playback at 1080p24.

Lastly, even if it works you get crippled HDMI LPCM audio that's down sampled and restricted because the cards don't have a Protected Audio Path (PAP). Basically if you want proper HDMI audio from your HTPC you'll need to add a ASUS Xonar HDAV card.

Your linked article seems to indicate that ATI cards using AGP or 1x PCI-E slots have some issues (bandwidth limitations). Seems irrelevant given Greg will be using an x16 slot.

I'll take UVD2 over some niche CUDA hype from nv.
 

Santilli

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The current card, 850XT, ATI, used to be state of the art. It does not have an s-video out, which is why it's being replaced, not to mention that with 512mb of memory, it just won't load the
Quake 4 maps, much less anything more current, at Ultra settings.

As David, and Tom's have pointed out, the 9600 GT, at 85-100 dollars, is probably the most bang I'll get for my bucks. I could double the speed, going to a 9800, but, that would also increase the cost by about 50 dollars, and, I would get half the memory. Worst comes to worst, I can always go with another card, and go SLI.

It should still be an increase in speed, a great increase in gpu memory, and the drivers are more likely to work with the Nvidia chipset then ATI's.

"Modern" ATI cards are also much more expensive, and, I just don't need that much more for what I'm running.

I'm currently using Blockbuster's unlimited plan, instead of cable. 3 disks, and, they went from 20 dollars a month to near 40. I was going to drop them for net flix, but, it sounds like they followed blockbusters lead.

As for monster suing a transmission company: good on em. I'm at a point where I don't trust ANY of the mechanics I've gone to lately.
I took my Toyota in for a tune up, and, the car came out of the shop pulling hard to the right. I went to a mechanic with a Hunter alignment machine, and, his quizzical look, and comment that there was NO WAY the car could be this far out of alignment, unless someone took a wrench to it, and did it on purpose made me think about suing them, but, causation is difficult.

Same thing happened with a local Midas shop, and my girlfriends' Mercedes. The car pulls hard right, and, it went into Midas fine, only needing brakes. She was pulled over and got a DUI, and, I can't help but think that the front end alignment contributed to the cop pulling her over. It requires constant, minor adjustment to keep the car driving straight, and, since the tires are 6 years old, I can't get anyone to align the front end without first buying new tires.
I've taken it into two shops, and, they all want to charge 300 dollars for installing 180 dollars worth of parts, and, none of them can tell me for sure which part is bad. Sort of like taking a sledge hammer to drive in a small nail.

Two of the top shops both have about 2000 dollars in recommended repairs, and, they are both a different set of repairs. One shop says the motor mounts need replacing. I took them to our schools' mechanic, he tested them, and found nothing wrong with them, or the front end, that alignment wouldn't fix. Mechanics now seem to think they are the new doctors. They all charge around 100-120 dollars an hour? Since when did they become the new doctors?>>>
Doctors and lawyers spend 3-4 years, and, about 150 grand to make that kind of money. How do these guys rate it? The irony is that a number of projects I would have been able to do it they charged even 50 dollars an hour are simply out of the question at that labor rate. With such labor costs, cars that could be fixed up are better off being junked, wasting more resources, and, further limiting jobs, since rather then fixing old cars, we simply buy new ones, that puts more mechanics out of jobs...

As for the sync of sound and lips, I'm having that issue with torrented TV shows, now. For some reason, it will go out of sync if I pause the DVD programs, either Power or Nero, and then restart. If I do it a couple more times, it may sync back up.

Pradeep: Odd you mention the memory speed. That's been one of the plus points by most of the reviews for the 9600 GT. Most of the 9600 cards came with 256 mb of VRAM. I can't help but wonder if Quake 4 was designed for cards with 1 gig of ram, at least at Ultra settings? Wonder if the SLI speed improvements are from going to 256 mb of vram to 512, or 512 to 1 gig?

Anyway, I even wonder if the card, or game can use the 2gigs of memory effectively? We'll see...
 

Stereodude

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Your linked article seems to indicate that ATI cards using AGP or 1x PCI-E slots have some issues (bandwidth limitations). Seems irrelevant given Greg will be using an x16 slot.
nVidia's DXVA acceleration supports higher profile level H.264 streams, which will be significant with Greg's not so powerful CPU. There are other ATI driver problems mentioned, but that wasn't the basis of my recommendation.

I stand by my recommendation. Aside from the HDMI audio portion, nVidia makes a more capable card for video playback.
 

Stereodude

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Pradeep: Odd you mention the memory speed. That's been one of the plus points by most of the reviews for the 9600 GT. Most of the 9600 cards came with 256 mb of VRAM. I can't help but wonder if Quake 4 was designed for cards with 1 gig of ram, at least at Ultra settings? Wonder if the SLI speed improvements are from going to 256 mb of vram to 512, or 512 to 1 gig?

Anyway, I even wonder if the card, or game can use the 2gigs of memory effectively? We'll see...
Try this one if you want lots of VRAM.

There is only 1 9600GT with 256MB of VRAM on Newegg. 17 have 512MB and 8 have 1GB.
 

Fushigi

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OT: No comment about the skills of the mechanics but the high labor prices are to cover the costs of tools, facility, training, and all other overhead as well as profit. Not to mention the mechanics are paid their hourly whenever on site whether they are actively repairing a vehicle or sitting idle waiting for work to come in.

I would be surprised if a mechanic got even a third of the charged labor rate.

Also OT: A vehicle pulling hard to one direction could also have warped brake rotors.
 

Santilli

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Try this one if you want lots of VRAM.

I did. Thats the one I ordered Saturday night. The combination of VRAM, and, the price made it too good to pass up.

I would have liked a 9800 GT, with a gig of VRAM, at least, but, I couldn't find one for much under 150 dollars...
 

Santilli

Hairy Aussie
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Messages
5,078
Seth:
If you look at the test page on the article in fudzilla, it's kind of hard to figure how the 4830 'wipes the floor' with the 9800. Their test results just don't give a clear winner, which is kind of what Tom's said about the two cards.

Since I've got an Nvidia motherboard, I'm going with Nvidia this time. It's 100 bucks, it should be about 30-50 % faster then the 850XT, and, it will have the s-video out I'm after.

ATI's drivers and software are less then inspiring...
 
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