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HTPC...back to the drawing board

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4 replies to this topic

#1 of 5 OFFLINE   Mathew Shelby

Mathew Shelby

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Posted April 04 2003 - 03:27 AM

Ok everyone I need your help. I am trying to put together a HTPC for Infocus X1. I have read the ATI cards are best for this purpose. Which one do I need. (I know don't needcan't afford the AIW 9700. So what card should I get. I am not a gamer. The HTPC will be used strictly for dvd playback. Convince me that I need an AIW. Last but not least, let's try to find a good deal. I have been looking at the AIW8500DV because it is not top of the line, but not the cheapest either.

I am going to be trying to use that methodology when putting together my first HTPC. I can't afford top of the line but I don't want the cheapest either. I have an old (1.4 ghz Athlon) system laying around that all this will go into.

I also need a sound card that can go to my receiver (HK AVR525) Is it necessary to have 7.1 soundcard for a 7.1 receiver? Or do I just need one with optical out? If I went with the Revolution 7.1 would I expereince a noticible difference over "just any old soundcard". can you please give me some soundcard models in different price ranges?

#2 of 5 OFFLINE   Joe Szott

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Posted April 04 2003 - 03:58 AM


For just DVD playback and no PVR duties, a Radeon 7500 is all you really need. You can go higher than that if you like (8500, 9000), but if it is only for DVD playback, the 7500 is just fine. The difference in an AIW is that it has audio/video inputs that are used for PVR (Tivo) and other capture purposes. For strictly DVD output, just get a regular Radeon. I assume you are not playing many games on this system either, right?

If you want to get something fairly new (for a little light gaming), I suggest the Sapphire Radeon 9000, great card for little $$$. Take a peek on Pricewatch, should be <$100 everywhere right now.

Soundcard, I don't know. I think if you give an HK525 a 5.1 signal and put it in their proprietary sound mode (forget the name), it should up convert the signal to 7.1 sound. Really this is fine as how many games you figure are actually programmed to deliver true 7.1 sound (I'm guessing none)? So you can let your HK convert it to 7.1, or let your sound card convert a 5.1 game to 7.1, same end result. And since you already paid for the HK, I'd just depend on it.

HTPCs involve a lot of opinion, so whatever you decide -- enjoy...

#3 of 5 OFFLINE   Mathew Shelby

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Posted April 04 2003 - 04:06 AM

Thanks Joe. If I go with the Sapphire Radeon 9000, will the software be the same as ATIs? Also if I decide I want the capability of PVR later what would I need then? A TV tuner card? What else?

Also would you recommend a souncard? The Revo 7.1 is $99. Preferably something less than that. What would you recommend?

Is this the one you are talking about at Newegg?

9000 64MB DDR TV ATI OEM RADEON 9000 Atlantis 64MB W/TV out

What would I do for software, drivers? Could I download the drivers/software from ATI? My understanding is that when you buy bulk you don't get software/drivers...

#4 of 5 OFFLINE   brentl



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Posted April 04 2003 - 04:26 AM

Sapphire and ATi are partners. It has been said that Sapphire has made products for sale with the ATI name.

I have an 8500LE that works great, and it came with an ATI labelled disc with drivers and software.

The drivers from ATi will work fine if you get a Sapphire.

You basically need a card that offers a digital out. They come in either a COAX digital cable or a 1/8th in cablwe that you just buy an adopter for.

Hercules Fortissmo 3 comes to mind as a good value.


#5 of 5 OFFLINE   Mathew Shelby

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Posted April 04 2003 - 06:49 AM

Why did you choose the 8500LE? I am curious. Where can I find the sound card you are recommending?