So I have been back at it again!!!
The prices on RAM, CPUs and such have got so low that I just could not hold off any longer.
The bedroom HTPC got upgraded to an AMD X2 setup so I figured that I would update this thread so my HTPC adventures are still updated. I have commented on my upgrade in other threads but it should be in here too.
Precisely, I upgraded to:
- AMD X2 4000+
- 2 x 1GB DDR2-667
- ASUS M2A-VM HDMI (AMD 690G based motherboard)
One thing to keep in mind if you are building a new HTPC and you plan on using onboard video, is that although the Intel C2D CPUs are faster than the AMD X2s, the new AMD 690G based motherboards are debateably the best boards to use. The 690G chipset is only available for AMD CPUs.
As I have comments all over the place on other threads, I will summarize my 1 month of use of this new setup:
If you are looking for confirmation on how much horsepower you may want for the future or if onboard video can perform, the answers are:
Get a dual core anything! I must say that although the previous guts were quite responsive, it is VERY nice having a dual core CPU so that the multitasking nature of an HTPC is smoothed out. Every press of a button on the remote is immediately responded to now.
Yes, onboard video can get the job done! In particular, the new AMD 690G based boards and the latest drivers now bring performance that we ALL would never have associated with onboard video. AMD now rates the 690G as 1080p in MPEG2, VC-1 AND H.264 capable so long as the CPU is at least an X2 4600+ and you have at least 1GB of DDR2-667.
The only issue to watch out for with the 690G boards is that there are some that are laid out well and some that are not. For instance, the ASUS boards are good but there are much better out there. Excellent options are the Sapphire PE-AM2RS690MH
, Sapphire PI-AM2RS690MHD
and the Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H
. The best thing to remember is that there are many board makers that are producing 690G solutions and if one board layout is not what you need, another board maker likely has a design that fits your needs.