Audio only HTPC, advice needed


Active Member
I've been searching in vain for a pre/pro to upgrade my Pioneer receiver to and can find nothing suitable in my price range. After some thought it occurs to me that a HTPC could offer a good solution.

What I'm looking for is:

Excellent sound quality - what sound card should I go for? RME and Lynx look like a good place to start but I'm not at all familiar with their products. I would like to take digital inputs from my CD player, DVD player and DivX player. I'm guessing this may be a problem, 3 digital inputs isn't something I see on many sound cards.

Good looks - I love my current Thermaltake Tsunami but it's far from suitable for HTPC use. I want something small with a look of quality.

Low noise - I guess this will be based around the PSU, CPU and case fans. My Tagan PSU is very quiet so that would probably make a good choice. I'm less sure about the CPU and case fans though.

My display is CRT with scart and component inputs so I see no point in going for a high price video card or using the HTPC for any of that functionality at this time. I would think this will also negate the need for a very powerful CPU.

I'd like to do this for about £600, which given the lack of need for an expensive video card or CPU, I'd hope is feasible.


Novice Member
Audio is not something I use my PC for, however it seems to me that the RMEs are mainly used by folks requiring high-end audio, M-Audio is another brand well thought of.

3 digital inputs will be tricky to deal with, not sure where I'd look for that sort of kit. I've used Dolphin Sound in the past, maybe they've got something, they do a range of pro/semi-pro music cards for PCs.

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