First HTPC potential parts list...

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Eric Shafer, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. Eric Shafer

    Eric Shafer Auditioning

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    This is my first post after much research on the subject.

    This HTPC will just be used for DVD (deinterlacing), and music storage/playback.
    No gaming or PVR features Yet [​IMG]

    Case (antec/cooler master)
    ASUS P4S533-VM SIS 651, Celeron 2.0, 256Mb DDR333
    ATI 9600SE with DVI
    DVD Rom
    Seagate Barracuda 80gig, 7200 RPM
    M-Audio AP2496

    Any problems I may run into?

    The ATI 9600SE with DVI connected to a HD RPTV via DVI cable should work as long as the TVs DVI in supports HDCP correct?
     
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    HDCP isn't a factor with HTPCs. Any TV with a DVI input can accept a PC DVI signal. It's the DVD players with HDCP that won't output to a TV without HDCP compatibility. Confused yet?

    For playing DVDs this sounds great. Consider getting a 9600 "Ultimate" edition which is the fanless version of this card. If your OS is Windows XP you should bump up to at least 512mb of ram. Nothing's worse than a DVD player that takes 2 minutes to turn on! Oh and your sound card rocks. [​IMG] Have you decided to store your audio as lossless or compressed?
     
  3. Eric Shafer

    Eric Shafer Auditioning

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    Thanks for the help with the DVI HTPC to TV connection!

    No problem, 512Mb of ram is only $10 more.

    I would definetly be intereseted in a fanless Video Card (since operating noise is something I am trying to keep at a minimum).

    However I have yet to see any of the "Ultimate" cards in my searching.

    Anyone know of an online E-tailer that sells this video card (or another comperable ATI fanless card)?
     
  4. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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  5. Daryl Furkalo

    Daryl Furkalo Second Unit

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    Nothing against the Celery processor per se, but if you ever down the line want to use something like FFDShow for de-interlacing and other post-processing, the Celery ain't going to get the job done. Any AMD XP would be a better choice, P4 costs more. Also for gaming, the 9600SE is a terrible card, for 2D you should be fine.
     
  6. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Like Daryl, I'd recommend staying away from a Celeron if you ever wish to play high-def movies in the future (like Windows Media 9 HDTV for example). I'd suggest a P4 2.4 GHz or Athlon XP 2500 or better. These should handle the 720p WM9 formats at least. It MIGHT handle the 1080p ones, but I'm afraid to try that on my Athlon 2200 system. [​IMG]
     
  7. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I'll third the recomendation to skip the Celeron chip. Get an AMD 2500+ Barton (or higher if you can) and get the Asus AX7NE-Deluxe motherboard as it has onboard DD encoding so you won't need that M-Audio sound card which free up some budget for the CPU.
     
  8. Erik*R

    Erik*R Agent

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    As per what the others have said besides that Celeron processor the system sounds good. What I have been doing for a few friends is using the Shuttle mini PC systems for home theater on the cheap and D.Vine cases for the nicer ones.


    The Shuttle AMD64 system = mega power [​IMG]
     
  9. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    AMD chipsets have caused nightmares for MANY people in HTCP realms. I had endless mysterious dropped frames and dropped audio locks with my old AMD based system, the vanished when I went with a true P4. Read AVS for a hundred more horror stories-- some work great- others have you having you pulling out your hair.




    Onboard surround chips doesn't necessarily have anything to do with DVD (as many are used for surround ENCODING from video games to a DD bitstream-- this would have zero to do with DVD). Geting a pure path from disc to a digital output for the audio is the KEY, and the only one I have seen that does this right is the maudio card.

    -vince
     
  10. Erik*R

    Erik*R Agent

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    Interesting.. I have had no AMD issues that were caused by the chip/chipset. I have had driver issues but those would have been there regaurdless of AMD/Intel.

    I say just use what your familiar with and what works for you. Any Modern CPU (especially the 2ghz+ models) will have enough ummph to decode/encode just about anything you need as long as you have the Ram (I recommend at least 1 gig).

    Quick edit... I agree on the MAudio card. It uses a few extra mhz out of the CPU but it is worth it for the sound.
     
  11. Daryl Furkalo

    Daryl Furkalo Second Unit

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    Some new motherboards like the Asus Andrew mentioned have on-board SPDIF out, so a separate sound card isn't necessary.
     
  12. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Good point Daryl. I was using the S/PDIF on my Asus mobo for a while until I started heavy gaming on it. It worked great, for anything other than gaming due to the heavy hit on performance when a lot of audio channels were being processed.
     
  13. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Vince I'm not sure why you had problems with the AMD chips but from what I've read and my own personal experience say otherwise. My Barton's been rock solid with no issues at all...I wouldn't recomend a VIA chipset for any AMD CPU though as those tend to have more driver issues.

    As for the DD encoding its very nice for playing back the new windows HD clips and yes it really shines for games...for DD its just a digial pass though to the processor. The only thing the maudio has on the onboard digital out is its better handeling of PCM material as it doesn't reclock it to 48.
     
  14. Chester II

    Chester II Stunt Coordinator

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    Eric dude,

    My thoughts:

    Dump the Celeruin.....go P4 2.6 ghz minimum - - trust me
    Get the Seagate Barracuda 120 gb as a minimum--I did and my hd is ALREADY full with movies.....[​IMG]
    I put a Zalman passive heatsink on my Radeon 9700 pro and eliminated the fan noise....highly recommended if you end up with a video card that has a fan
    Any M-audio solution is right on......and sexy


    Good luck dude,

    Chester
     
  15. Daryl Furkalo

    Daryl Furkalo Second Unit

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    Some of the AMD mobo's use the Soundstorm on-board digital audio out, which is nearly indentical to the Xbox on-the-fly DD encoding, very awesome for games that support it.
     
  16. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Daryl my AX7NE-Deluxe does that
     

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