Help me adapt this PC for Home Cinema

Reficul

Standard Member
Hi, I am thinking of buying a Panasonic AE100 projector, and have decided to adapt what is now my second PC to use with it.

This is what it looks like now:

1GHz Athlon
256MB PC133
GeForce3 Ti200
Soundblaster PCI 512
Sony 12/40 DVD ROM
Windows 2000

I notice that everyone like Radeon graphics cards. Now, I still want to use this PC for gaming on a normal monitor, so I was thinking of buying an 8500 (or maybe the 9000s when they become readily available) - that would be an upgrade over the GF3 anyway. Sound okay so far?

Next, I want to connect it to my Videologic Digitheatre DTS (just for films, not for gaming), so I will need a sound card with digital audio output(s). Can anyone recommend a cheap-ish (say about £50) card that can pass through a DD5.1/DTS datastream at reasonable quality?

Finally, will the DVD Drive be okay? PowerDVD complains about Sony drives not following the standard very well, or something like that. I've never really used it for watching films, so I can't be sure of the quality.

Thanks.
 

MAW

Banned
I'd just bung in a soundcard, or maybe a usb digital sound solution, like the ABIT, and try it out. If it's good, leave it alone. If not, try the radeon, we're splitting hairs at the top of the market here after all. Your overall spec should be OK, though personally I hate W2000, espec. for gaming. OK for film I guess.

As to the DVD drive, I've had the odd bit of trouble with drives, you never know till you try it, so go ahead, they're easy to change later. Spend the money you save on shutting the thing up, athlons need cooling, and they're often noisy, so visit www.quietpc.com to get the necessary....
 

michaelm

Banned
I use an Athlon XP 1800+ with 512Mb DDR2100 memory and Windows XP Pro (sooooo much better than 2K), Asus Geforce2 64Mb card w/tv-out, Asus E616 DVD-Rom and PowerDVD and I have to say the picture quality is very good indeed on my Toshiba 32" WS telly, in either composite or Svideo.

Before that, I had the same video, player and software on a PIII 700 and it was much the same.

The good thing about the Asus player is that the region ****er can be reset by holding in the play and stop buttons on the front of the drive when powering-up the pc. No customised bios software required and ne'er a problem with PowerDVD.

I would recommend downloading and licensing a program called TvTool though, as it allows you to resize your video output to the correct tv format (640x480 and 800x600 are not true tv sizes), disable macrovision and perform all sorts of other tweaks to your tv output that Nvidia leave out of their drivers.

I also have a C-Media soundcard with spdif in/out which passes through the dd5.1 and dts audio to my Sony 930 amp and I can hear no difference between it and my Toshiba 3109, Samsung 709 or Cyberhome 528 players. It cost me around 7 quid.
 
K

Kramer

Guest
Originally posted by Reficul

Now, I still want to use this PC for gaming on a normal monitor, so I was thinking of buying an 8500 (or maybe the 9000s when they become readily available) - that would be an upgrade over the GF3 anyway. Sound okay so far?

The Rad 9000 is a stripped down version of the 8500.

Your GF3 Ti would outperform it in gaming terms - DVD playback slightly better on the Rad.

I've used GF2 GTS & GF4 Ti 4200 driving the PJ, & they provide excellent results.

If you really want the best of both worlds, a Rad 9700 Pro would fit the bill, but @ over £300, not cheap.

A Rad 8500LE would be the best choice (£15ish dearer than the 9000, way better gaming & good DVD etc...).
 

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