Another HTPC...3 monitors, optical needed. Help

Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by chaosss, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. chaosss

    chaosss
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    Hello,

    Firstly to outline the scenario which may help spec choice.

    Requirements:

    Three LCD TV's, 2 of which to be fed by HDMi, and 1 by component (or possible composite which is rubbish I know but will do for the time).

    Optical output for sound (Toslink).

    Able to play 1080P material at full resolution.

    No optical drives required at the moment although capacity for HD-DVD/Blue Ray in the future.

    Must be near silent.

    Will only be used as an HTPC. No game playing or any other use. Storage taken care off courtesy of a NAS box.

    So components I think I will buy:

    1) CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E4500, S775, 2.2 GHz, 800MHz FSB, Allendale Core, 2MB Cache, Retail £77.20

    2) Graphics Card: 512MB Sapphire HD2600PRO PCI-E(x16) 128Bit 1000MHz GDDR2, GPU 600MHz CrossFire 2xDVI-I/HDTV Retail £49.88

    3) Hard Drive: 250GB Samsung HD250HJ Spinpoint, SATA II, 7200 rpm, 8MB Cache, 8.9 ms, NCQ £34.79

    4) PSU: 550W EZcool Silent pPFC Power Supply AMD & P4 Ready 12cm Silent Fan 24Pin 6xPCI SATA £19.85

    5) Ram: 2GB (2x1GB) Corsair TwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC2-6400 (800), 240 Pins, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 5-5-5-12 £34.24

    6) CPU Cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro £14.68

    Makes a total of £236.72

    What I need is a motherboard and that is where I am baffled. I need optical out on it and support for composite would be a bonus. Help please on what motherboard to choose and the above components for my requirements.

    I don't need a case as I already have one but will buy Vista on top of the above.
     
  2. Zarch

    Zarch
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    CPU, Graphics and Mem look fine for all playback types and the 2600 card will come into its own when you add hd-dvd or blue-ray.

    Its the "splitting" of the signal that worries me. Theres no way you'll drive more than two screens off a basic graphic card. But i think the 2600 will do two screens. (clone mode for your need?)

    If you want to drive more than that then is something like this a possibility? http://www.tvcables.co.uk/cgi-bin/tvcables/4-way-hdmi-splitter.html

    expensive, but sounds like it does the job. although it doesnt support component. maybe you'll have to find some sort of component to hdmi convertor or cable? If such a cable exists?

    Don't know.... just thinking out loud with the above and just did a google search! lol.



    my HTPC build is based around the Foxconn P4M9007MB-8RS2H mATX motherboard and it will do eveything you want it to.(including toslink) but its getting hard to get holfd of now.... it was only about £35 as well.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Foxconn-P4M9007MB-8RS2H-Motherboard-Definition-8-channel/dp/B000OMHEF8

    You could also look at the Asus P5B series, it looks like its got toslink output onboard and its only £55. (if your case can take ATX boards?)
     
  3. chaosss

    chaosss
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    Thanks for the reply.

    To clarify the graphics situation. Was planning on running the 2 LCD's of the 2600PRO then either installing another graphics card (or using mobo graphics) to drive the 3rd screen. For the moment the 3rd one is unimportant (as I can just slot in a cheapy PCI card to give me composite output). All outputs will show the same content so clone mode all around ;-)
     
  4. dclayton

    dclayton
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