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HTPC thoughts and questions

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Junglebizz

Member
Joined
May 8, 2003
Location
BC
So I've had an HTPC for many years that has always consisted of old parts that I stopped using after an upgrade. Most recently my system was comprised of a Phenom II x3 720 on a MA790X-UD4P with 4GB DDR2 and a Radeon 6450. I've come into a number of new parts after a friend gave me her old computer, and now I'm experimenting, trying to come up with the best combination that is powerful yet silent. I was noticing with my most recent setup that during video playback that I was getting micro stuttering, so I'm hoping some of these newer parts will fix that. Thoughts?

As for the parts:
CPU - Phenom II x3 720 or an AMD Phenom II x6 1090t
Heatsink - Sunbeam CCTF
Motherboard - MA790X-UD4P or MA890FXA-UD5
Ram - 2x2GB DD2 or 2x4GB DDR3
Video - 6450 or 5770



- Would I gain anything by going with the 1090t over the 720 in an HTPC? In my tests so far, the only thing I gained was a lot of noise and heat. Do more cores do anything for video?
- Is there any reason to go DDR3 over DDR2 for an HTPC? Same with going 8GB vs 4GB?
- I know the 5770 is overkill, but is there any advantage to using it over the 6450 for an HTPC?
- Finally, what is most likely causing the stuttering?
 

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
Are your drivers up to date for the graphics card? That may be your microstutter issue, or your card may be on its way out. The only advantage I'm aware of with 6 cores would be video editing. Nice score, BTW. :) I'm leaning towards keeping the X3 and bumping everything else with the new(er) parts, but I'm like that and I don't have to do the work, so.... If I can have 8 GB of DDR3 for the same price as 4 GB of DDR2 at the same cost I'd do it. Better/newer/probably more life left are fair arguments. You can probably sell the 1090t and make a couple bucks with the upgrades. Win/win!
 
OP
Junglebizz

Junglebizz

Member
Joined
May 8, 2003
Location
BC
Are your drivers up to date for the graphics card? That may be your microstutter issue, or your card may be on its way out. The only advantage I'm aware of with 6 cores would be video editing. Nice score, BTW. :) I'm leaning towards keeping the X3 and bumping everything else with the new(er) parts, but I'm like that and I don't have to do the work, so.... If I can have 8 GB of DDR3 for the same price as 4 GB of DDR2 at the same cost I'd do it. Better/newer/probably more life left are fair arguments. You can probably sell the 1090t and make a couple bucks with the upgrades. Win/win!

I had the same thought late last night actually. The system, after many reconfigurations, is currently the x3 on the 890fxa board with the 8gb ddr3 and the 5770. I had a Zalman fanmate 2 controller that I put on the CPU fan to bring the RPM's down under 1200 making the htpc sound like background noise. I still use a Panasonic Plasma tv that has 4 fans in the back, so this fan noise just sort of blends in to that.

I agree also about the life of the parts. Might as well get the most out of it while I can. The system is never left on, it's just turned on to watch a movie or a few shows, then turned off. I have to be mindful of the kids messing with it as well.

From what I have seen, interestingly enough, if I were to sell the 790x-ud4p, even on ebay, they are going for almost double what an 890fxa-ud5 is! I might sell the 1090t as I have no use for it unless I made a media server, but I'm not big on having systems running in my place that aren't touched 95% of the time, using up power.

The rest of the system consists of a Corsair TX850W PSU, a 60GB OCZ Vertex 2 Extended SSD, a 3TB Seagate HDD, a Coolermaster Centurion 534 Case and a DVD Burner. I also added a pcie USB 3.0 riser card to it from when I used the 790x as it did not have USB 3.0.
 
Last edited:

Pinky

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Location
Narf City, USA
What's the video source that's stuttering? If it's compressed, make sure you have the latest codecs. If it's being played from an online streaming service, make sure network drivers are updated and nothing else on the network is eating bandwidth while you're streaming. Might also want to tinker with different browsers.

The x6 will definitely play any of today's compressed video without a hitch. So if it comes down to your x3 not being up to the task (TBD), then the x6 is a logical replacement. You could also underclock and undervolt the x6 some if it helps in lower temps and fan speed needed to keep it cooled.
 
OP
Junglebizz

Junglebizz

Member
Joined
May 8, 2003
Location
BC
MKV sources mostly. I don't recall stuttering with Netflix or streaming. I know one of the major changes that fixed thing was changing video players. I used to use VLC in the past, but after a while, the video would stagger so much it was unbearable. With MPC it is a lot better. I've never found a need for things like XBMC or anything fancy. I haven't had time to test a video on this new hardware so maybe the issue is gone already? I know it used to be a lot worse on my old Q6600 system until I changed to this x3.