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superklye
02-26-05, 06:29 PM
Here is what I'm thinking...

I've got the Biostar M7NCD Pro board laying around now that I've got the NF7-S in. I've also got the 2x256MB PC3200 that DOES work with the board at PC3200 speeds.

From my old computer, I've still got my Tbred 1700+. Would popping that thing into the M7NCD (and OCing it some, of course) with the 512MB RAM be a decent MCP?

What other sort of things do you guys recommend? I would have to get a DVD-ROM, and three 250GB drives (or bigger) along with the Hauppauge PVR-250 card...but what else?

superklye
02-28-05, 02:28 PM
Okay...

So I was thinking, since I'm going to need a video card anyway, why not get the eVGA GeFORCE FX 5700 Personal Cinema.

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-130-195&depa=0

Anyone have/use this card? How is it compared to say, a separate video card and PVR setup?

CainSyris
03-02-05, 12:27 PM
Okay...

So I was thinking, since I'm going to need a video card anyway, why not get the eVGA GeFORCE FX 5700 Personal Cinema.

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-130-195&depa=0

Anyone have/use this card? How is it compared to say, a separate video card and PVR setup?


Are you building a media PC or a Media Center Edition PC? A media PC depends on your application.

Lets say you want to build the most flexible, meaning the one that can work with the most software. You would not build one with an AIW-esque video card in that scenario because MCE won't work with any solution that has video encoded by the CPU primarily (like the card you have there).

MCE primarily encodes video in MPEG2 for playback, but it requires (or at least REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wants a hardware device to do it), so it is best to go with the low-end nV-tv cards (eVGA has them) or better yet the Hauppauge MCE150 line. You could even go with the normal 150 line, but as long as its either 150, 250, or 500, you'll have hardware encoding just fine. 150's the cheapest, 250's the older model that does the same as the 150 (no better), and the 500 is the 150 x 2 squeezed into one board (dual tuner). Going Hauppauge has the benefit of allowing you to go BeyondTV with Snapstream or MCE or probably SageTV, though I've not messed with that application any.

The question you should ask yourself is if the CPU you mention is fast enough to play the video you need played at the resolution you need played smoothly and stably over a period of time. I don't have the answer to that, only you do.

But what you will need:

1) Software dvd decoder to play dvd files (if necessary) or to play the mpeg2 files that are generated by your tv card.
2) Hardware dvd encoder to encode the files that come off your tv, whether you're recording or simply watching the tv.

MCE requires (not recommends) that you have software doing the decoding. It will not (or will barely if you break it) allow hardware assistance on playback and it will not (or will barely if you break it with ATI's all in wonder) allow a non-hardware-based encoding device to encode.

So what do you intend to do with your system? Serve media over a LAN? Record TV? Store your media? Burn dvds? Burn cds? Rip dvds? Rip cds? Etc, etc.

For a MCE PC:

Fast CPU and an equivalent motherboard.
512-1024megs of memory.
As much hard drive as you need depending on your storage.
To burn dvds, buy a dvd burner.
To be MCE-compatible, go Hauppauge MCE150. 70 bucks.
To make your files play better, buy a GF6600 (no GT) for 120 bucks.
To play those dvds, buy that dvd codec from nVidia (bronze, silver, gold?).
Throw in a case, etc.
Buy Windows MCE 2k5. Its good, if temperamental.
Mix.
Swish.
Rinse.
Repeat.

superklye
03-02-05, 12:50 PM
Awesome...thanks a lot for your input.

I thought the FX 5700 Personal Cinema was like a Hauppauge card, but maybe not. I'll have to get a video card then, too.

But yeah, I'll take everything you said here into consideration. I'll give it a whirl with the 1700 OCed, and if it still isn't enough, i can just make that a server or something and buy an A64-based machine for the steaming media PC.

I want it to be a DVR type thing and have streaming video/music.

ragejg
03-02-05, 01:07 PM
What will be your monitor?

And IMO you'll want AT LEAST 768mb RAM...

Will this be in your living room?

superklye
03-02-05, 01:25 PM
yeah, it'll be in the living room, attached to my 27" TV

ragejg
03-02-05, 01:29 PM
Like this?

http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/attachment.php?s=&postid=182420

:D

You have a cordless keyboard and mouse, right?

Cool, a 5700 will do fine, and yes, the Personal Cinema is basically like an AIW card or a vidcard + a Happauge card....

Here, here's my um, review, persay, of a 5600 personal cinema... the 5700 would probably trump it nicely in gaming performance...

http://www.nvnews.net/reviews/chaintech_5600_personal_cinema/index.shtml

superklye
03-02-05, 01:41 PM
exactly like that...thanks. :) And thanks for the review and stuff. I'll read that after this meeting. I really appreciate the help!

superklye
03-02-05, 03:42 PM
Alright, I just read the review and it seems like a good card.

I can only assume that the 5700 PC card is better because of 256-bit 256MB (faster) RAM, faster core, etc.

And the PC cards do hardware-based MPEG-2 encoding, correct?

ragejg
03-02-05, 03:45 PM
Not 256 bit memory interface, superklye... 128, mang... It'll prolly score around 28-32k in Aquamark3, 12k in 3dmark01, 3k in '03... run Doom3 just fine @ medium detail @ 800x600...

An AIW 9600 might be a bit of a better choice, however... unless of course nv ever makes an AGP 6600 Personal Cinema... :p:p

six_storm
03-02-05, 03:46 PM
I'm going to buy a Mac Mini in a within the next few months so that will be my HTPC/MCPC. I'd love for my PC now to be attached to my 25" TV in my room, but there isn't much I can do about the accomodations. Oh well. If I had some old stuff laying around, I'd put one together for a HTPC/MCPC. Go get em superklye!

ragejg
03-02-05, 03:49 PM
Hmm, I wonder, six_storm, if you can play LAN Halo games still, with one being a mac and the other a PC....

superklye
03-02-05, 03:50 PM
Not 256 bit memory interface, superklye... 128, mang... It'll prolly score around 28-32k in Aquamark3, 12k in 3dmark01, 3k in '03... run Doom3 just fine @ medium detail @ 800x600...

An AIW 9600 might be a bit of a better choice, however... unless of course nv ever makes an AGP 6600 Personal Cinema... :p:p
Yeah, I just checked...it's 128-bit memory, 256-bit core interface or something.

But still...I don't care much for ATi, but if the 5700 PC isn't hardware based-encoding and the AIW 9600 is...I guess that's what I would have to do, eh?

ragejg
03-02-05, 03:55 PM
The reason I say ATI is that I had an AIW 8500DV, and it was just a smoother experience than the NV offering, and offered dang near as good of performance (heck, I think it could run PS 1.4 better than the 5600 could do PS 1.1 actually). I think ATI places more emphasis on their AIW line that NV does with it's PC line... plus the Remote Wonder just keeps getting better and better...

six_storm
03-02-05, 04:09 PM
Hmm, I wonder, six_storm, if you can play LAN Halo games still, with one being a mac and the other a PC....

Let me rephrase . . . As far as my music and any downloaded movie clips that I might have, that's what I'll use my Mac Mini for. My PC (see specs below) makes a killer HTPC, just needs a TV Tuner card and more space to store stuff.

superklye
03-02-05, 04:12 PM
I did a little more research on the FX 5700 Personal Cinema and I still can't find anything about it being hardware-based MPEG-2 encoding or not. :mad: Maybe I'm just missing it or something, but I can't find anything.

However, the 5700 PC supports HDTV. :)

superklye
03-02-05, 04:32 PM
nevermind, I found it finally...it uses the Philips SAA7133HL encoder