Confused on htpc specs, looking at a few options. - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 2012-04-17, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Confused on htpc specs, looking at a few options.

Can someone explain what is more important on these options. I am debating between a few system:
AMD A8 with 1 pci x1 and 1 pci x16
Intel I3 with 3 pci x1 and 1 x16
AMD A8 in a slim form factor with 2 pci x1 plus integrated hdmi

The first 2 have dvi and supposedly support 5.1 sound. Ram varies but I think I would upgrade to 6gb

What confuses me is:
If integrated hdmi is important
Do I need to add an hdmi card to do the surround sound
If I add a graphics card then I use up a slot that I would have put a capture card
I wanted to have 2 capture cards colossus or maybe I should use the USB ones although they cost more
For now I would likely wait on the hd capture card and just get the 2250 but I wanted next year maybe to add the HD ones.

Any advice.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 2012-04-17, 10:27 PM
 
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Model numbers and brand names would be helpful.

Bill
My blog
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 2012-04-17, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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These are made by HP so I have no clue on the models of the components. My guess is your reply will be to stay away from built systems
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 2012-04-17, 11:15 PM
 
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Based on just the APU the A8 is fine and should handle all HD playback. The HDMI should have 8 channel audio, there may be a TOSLINK output (optical AC3).

Which i3 is it? Integrated video? Current Intel integrated 3000 graphics can't playback 23.976 Hz video properly, aside from that it's also powerful enough for HD playback.

Knowing which HP models is the only way to tell you more.
e.g. HP Pavilion DV6

Bill
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 2012-04-18, 12:28 AM
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I just went through the same process and decided on an Intel i3 for an HTPC (I ended up getting an i5 because I got a really good deal on it).

The AMD chips are an older design and use a lot more power. That was an important criterion for me since I expect it to be in use a lot.

I'm still using a PVR, but I plan to get a tuner and "cut the cord" over the summer.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 2012-04-18, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks,

So does it really matter if I go with two USB capture devices like the Hauppauge HDPVR vs making sure I can use PCI X1 internal slots on the new PC. I have been basing much of my decision on the ability to use internal cards, when at the end of the day perhaps USB is the better choice.

thanks
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 2012-04-18, 09:28 AM
 
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I believe in one box, one plug.
You can have twice the numbers of tuners to slots (2-4-6?)
I have three tuners (1 dual, 1 single) but there are times when a fourth would be used if I had it.
Having two external USB tuner "boxes" is not for me.

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