Converting gaming rig to HTPC

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Rigs' started by Member 639844, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. Member 639844

    Member 639844
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    Hi all,

    Im after some thoughts on what to do with my PC. Its a desktop machine that was originally built for high end gaming a couple of years back. I want to use it as a HTPC as well a gaming machine and currently its not ideal for that use. The GC is an ATI 5970 black edition (DVI out only), and it has 6Gb of Ram. I know I need to up the Ram, so any tips on good value sticks would be appreciated, the MB supports triple channel DDR3 IIRC and has 4 slots. Processor is an i7 Quad. The MB also has slots for 2 graphics cards, so Im thinking of getting a pair of cards that will be HD audio compatible, with HDMI outputs, would be a good way forward. Im guessing there is probably a route to go with this were a pair of lower priced cards will give me 90% of the performance of one really expensive high end one. I'll sell the card Ive got now, so any ideas on its current value would be useful too. The machine is quite noisey, but Im not worried about that right now as I dont plan to keep it in the listening room.

    All input appreciated.
     
  2. Member 639844

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    Just to add, Im thinking something along the lines of a pair of of Nvidia GTX660 cards, just trying to figure out if they will carry 7.1 HD audio out over HDMI.
     
  3. vertico

    vertico
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    GTX 660 is good graphics card.
    Something worth noting:
    check whether your MB support SLI configuration;
    check whether your MB / CPU support maximum speed of RAM. 2x8GB DDR3 1600 sticks are about £145
     
  4. Member 639844

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    My MB is an Asus Rampage II Extreme with 2 GC slots and Im pretty certain it supports SLi config. Ill take a look at that Ram, the MB support upto triple channel 2000 DDr3 ram. Is it worth seeking out the max spec ram, or going with your suggested ram, which looks pretty good to be fair.
     
  5. vertico

    vertico
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    I am guessing your CPU is a Core i7 9 series, which support max RAM speed of DDR3 1066, I think RAM these day is backward compatible, this may help.
     
  6. Member 639844

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    Hmm, thats a good point, give me ten mins to check on that.

    Edit:

    Machines not plugged in and the cpu is covered by the cooling fan, so cant currently find out the exact model.
     
  7. vertico

    vertico
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    you can use CPU Z to check your CPU model no. :) no need to take out cooling fan.
     
  8. Member 639844

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    The tower is disconnected, I'd have to dig all my cables out and set it all up again to turn it on and find that out, which is a bit of a pain. I'd put it in my living room, but currently thats not workable (WAF) so its been unplugged ready to sell of some bits and replace them, then move it into another more suitable final resting place.
     
  9. EndlessWaves

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    The only Quad Core i7s they made for Socket 1366 are the Bloomfield ones, (i7 920-965 & i7-975).

    SLI/Crossfire does come with some quirkiness so I'd generally go for a single card unless you're getting substantially more performance for the money. I take it you're plugging this into a single 1920x1080 screen? That's not a very demanding graphical setup by today's standards, so your 4-5 year old CPU may end up being the limiting factor (although it's still perfectly reasonable).

    Your current 5970 may well be capable of 7.1 over HDMI, many were. Typically you needed to use the DVI to HDMI adapter that came with it though, the wiring was slightly different to allow sound so generic ones wouldn't work.
     
  10. Member 639844

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    Thanks for the tips, I guess Ill have to do some more digging when I get some time. Ive used my current GPU with its adapter and do plug it into my amp/tv, but cant get audio through it, and the AVR doesnt seem to like it either. Your correct on the screen in use.

    I figured I would likely get better VFM running a dual card setup, and have thought about a dual monitor setup that would allow me to use the PC as an HTPC and gaming machine at the same time (though not performing both function simultaneously), basically using the same rig as a HTPC in the living room, but also a normal desktop in another room when I want to game. Im still undecided on this bit though, and might just use it for games form the sofa when the misses is working or whatever. The other thing about a dual card scenario is that I can buy one card now and another next month, spreading the cost.
     

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