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Small debate

cscpianoman

Golden Member
Feb 10, 2005
1,023
108
106
So my current HTPC build picked up a few errors to where it makes sense to reinstall the OS. However, I am debating before doing that to see if it is worth it to make a few upgrades.

CPU: Athlon II 250
VIDEO: AMD HD 4200
MEM: 4GB - DDR2
HDD: all 7200rpm drives - there are 3 of various sizes.

I essentially use this for backups, neorouter server, media serving/plex with transcoding, netflix, very light gaming. It does feel a bit sluggish at times.

Could I just get away with a SSD upgrade and leave everything else the same or do the AMD APU upgrade path? I am never opposed to upgrading hardware, but would like to keep costs/energy use lower, but not a deal breaker.

Thoughts?
 

LoveMachine

Senior member
May 8, 2012
491
3
81
What specific things are you looking to improve? If Plex transcoding, you are CPU bound if streaming to more than one device. For direct media playback, your GPU (I'm assuming this is integrated into your motherboard?) is the limiting factor. The 4200 series could play 1080, but barely, and doesn't support any of the newer audio streams (DTS-HD etc.) over HDMI, and any newer game would just choke the poor thing. Netflix can use GPU acceleration, btw. A SSD drive would improve general use activities, but not really any of the above actions.
 

cscpianoman

Golden Member
Feb 10, 2005
1,023
108
106
Overall, just trying to improve overall responsiveness. I think it is just as you said, it works and it has worked for the several years I have had it, but just barely. We use it so extensively as our main media hub that it has certainly felt that it has needed a boost. Thanks for the input on the HDD.

I think in the back of my mind I was trying to create ways to convince my wife:p (Though she doesn't need much convincing, she agrees it needs to be upgraded!)

EDIT: Yeah, it's the integrated 4250 stuff from 4 years ago
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
I'd scrap the whole thing. Ebay the parts you have and buy new stuff - don't spend the time rebuilding a machine you know is already old. The time to rebuild and reinstall everything (for me) outweighs the cost of new hardware. You could use a <$100 MB+CPU combo that would be significantly faster than that setup, and most energy efficient too.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,210
38
91
I'd scrap the whole thing. Ebay the parts you have and buy new stuff - don't spend the time rebuilding a machine you know is already old. The time to rebuild and reinstall everything (for me) outweighs the cost of new hardware. You could use a <$100 MB+CPU combo that would be significantly faster than that setup, and most energy efficient too.
MB+CPU+RAM... he has DDR2 in the current system.

OP, for less than $200 you can get an H81 mobo, an Intel Pentium G3220, and 4GB RAM and have a very capable HTPC setup. For an extra $60-80 you can get an SSD (if it's just the OS and some programs you can cheap out and spec a 64GB SSD, if you have more on it you should go to a 120GB, with the goal to maintain at least 50% free capacity.)

The storage is what it is... you can replace it as you go. I had 5 drives in my HTPC for a while... it drove me nuts. I've pared it down to 2x 2TB primary storage drives and 1x 3TB backup storage drive, plus the 64GB OS SSD. You can get a 3TB drive on sale for $100 if you are patient.

You could also just reload the OS on your current system... it would probably help for a while. It's amazing what a clean OS install can do...
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,210
38
91
Thanks for all the input. I like the G3220 idea.
To be honest, the G3220 is overkill. For strict HTPC duty (but not encoding! ) you could even run a Celeron and save a little money; but for your stated purposes the G3220 should be a good fit.

I just caught the 'light gaming' in your OP... what does that include?
 

SaurusX

Senior member
Nov 13, 2012
993
0
41
The HD4550 with 512MB DDR3 is the base minimum required to get vector adaptive deinterlacing of 1080i material. The 4200 just doesn't have the chops.
 

cscpianoman

Golden Member
Feb 10, 2005
1,023
108
106
Light gaming is mostly stuff for my kids including the Lego game series, he loves some of the online games and some other kids stuff to keep them entertained.

My other rig is the powerhouse for gaming, but when I am on that one I shift my son over to the HTPC.
 

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