Reasonably priced HTPC 2600 pro/XT or Nvidia solution with HDCP

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Joined: 19 Aug 2007
Reasonably priced HTPC 2600 pro/XT or Nvidia solution with HDCP

Hi guys!

Not been paying to much attention to current hardware after my last HTPC build.

I currently have:

skt 754 3400+
1 gb crapo DDR 400 RAM
7600GT
PCI-E skt 754 ASUS mainboard

I bought last week a 360 HD-DVD drive. I just wanted a cheap toe-in-the-water into HD films. Great I thaught, but my cpu tops out at 100% load during playback Sad & lags like hell.

So im in the market for a new flash HDCP G-card. I have been reading several reviews & am now totally split between ATI & Nvidia.

Reviews are saying that the ATI 2600 pro takes away alot of the work for the cpu, although it has a slightly poorer image quality comapred to the 8600GT. Is the image quality on the ATI so bad it should be totally avoided?

On the Nvidia front, im worried that a 8600GT would not offload enough of the cpu & would still be laggy on my skt 754 3400+. Should I not be worried? I also cant find a HDCP 8600GT card in England for love nor money!!!!

I am not willing to pay £130 approx ($270?) on a G-card, so this rules the 8600GTS HDCP out.

Im totally confused, can anyone guide me?

PS: Has htpcnews.com died? I loved those forums everyone was so helpful. Im sure missingremote will make me feel welcome. I think I recognise some of the names on this forum from htpcnews, was Lothar a htpcnews troll? Tongue

Cheers Oxy

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Joined: 30 Sep 2006

With that old of a CPU you'll want an ATI 2600Pro/XT it does full offloading of VC1 and H.264. Whereas the NVIDIA 8600GT/GTS only does partial offload of VC1 and full offload of H.264.

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Joined: 19 Aug 2007

kewl, do you know if the stock fans on the 2600 XT series are loud?

Could you recommend an aftermarket fan that aint to large?

Does that zalman copper gpu fan fit?

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Joined: 30 Sep 2006

There are some silent and quiet models around for the 2600XT,
MSI makes a passive model:
http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_spec.asp?model=RX2600XT-T2D512EZ&cl...

As does Gigabyte:
http://www.gigabyte-usa.com/Products/VGA/Products_Spec.aspx?ClassValue=V...

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Joined: 19 Aug 2007

Thanks for your help sphere.

I live in the UK & cant find on any e-tailer the 2600 XT passive cooled, which is rather annoying to say the least.

So I have gone for a 8600GT, HDCP & passive cooled!

http://www.giga-byte.co.uk/Products/VGA/Products_Spec.aspx?ProductID=2577

I think this means I will need to upgrade my cpu, ram & mainboard. Think ill have to move the Gigabyte DS3, 2 gb ram and e6300 out of my "gaming" tower and relegate it to HTPC use. Should make a sweet HTPC.

One question are the vista nvidia drivers ok? Should I move to vista ultimate 32 bit for HTPC use?

Do I need to purchase Purevideo HD program? or will PowerDVD 7.3 on its own be good enough?

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Joined: 30 Nov 1999

Anyone check this 8500GT out?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814127301

MSI NX8500GT-MTD256EH

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Joined: 30 Sep 2006

dagar wrote:

Anyone check this 8500GT out?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814127301

MSI NX8500GT-MTD256EH

Nice. If I hadn't bought the Gigabyte 8500GT already I'd jump on that one.

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Joined: 30 Sep 2006

dagar wrote:

Anyone check this 8500GT out?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814127301

MSI NX8500GT-MTD256EH
The 8500 series are having major driver issues and don't provide the full HD video post-processing feature set due to lack of GPU power. An 8600GT/GTS is needed for the full noise reduction, etc. in HD.

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Joined: 30 Sep 2006

oxymoron2006 wrote:

Thanks for your help sphere.

I live in the UK & cant find on any e-tailer the 2600 XT passive cooled, which is rather annoying to say the least.

So I have gone for a 8600GT, HDCP & passive cooled!

http://www.giga-byte.co.uk/Products/VGA/Products_Spec.aspx?ProductID=2577

Looks good Smile

oxymoron2006 wrote:

I think this means I will need to upgrade my cpu, ram & mainboard. Think ill have to move the Gigabyte DS3, 2 gb ram and e6300 out of my "gaming" tower and relegate it to HTPC use. Should make a sweet HTPC.

Yeah that will be a great HTPC base.

oxymoron2006 wrote:

One question are the vista nvidia drivers ok?

Eh, there OK for HTPC use, the gaming performance is quite mediocre, same with ATI.

Quote:
Should I move to vista ultimate 32 bit for HTPC use?

Vista Home Premium is just fine. And yes use the 32-bit version.

Quote:
Do I need to purchase Purevideo HD program? or will PowerDVD 7.3 on its own be good enough?

PowerDVD Ultra will be fine, you'll need it for HD DVD playback anyway.

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Joined: 30 Nov 1999

The latest ForceWare beta build 163 (released yesterday) adds VPP for the 8500.
http://www.nvidia.com/object/winvista_x86_163.44.html

I'll see how bad they are when my MSI card arrives Laughing out loud wouldn't be the first 90 bucks I've ever wasted  :Smile

----
"Added HD video post-processing for H.264, VC-1 and MPEG-2 HD content on GeForce 8500 series products."

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Joined: 19 Aug 2007

hope this gigabyte 8600GT's heatsink fits in my lc13 case :s i forgot to check Sad

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