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Is this a terrible idea? - gaming on HTPC

Ramius

Prominent Member
As a console gamer I've no idea about PC gaming so apologies if these questions are stupid.

After being slightly underwhelmed with my Xbox One I fancy trying some PC gaming.
My plan was to add an GTX 750 Ti (suits my PSU) to my HTPC and play games sat on my sofa using a controller on my plasma TV.
My TV is not full 1080p so I'd be playing at 720p with options set for a solid 60fps.

I've just discovered that I'll also need to invest in a sound card with DD Live / DTS Connect for 5.1 over optical.
Is this correct? Is there a 'go to' sound card for this?

Any other flaws in this plan? Or should I just get a PS4?

Cheers
 

bladedripper

Distinguished Member
Plenty here game on there tvs and love it so not a stupid question..:)
 

Jamezinho

Distinguished Member

DAZ UK 74

Distinguished Member
I moved back to pc gaming a few years ago now and haven't missed my consoles one bit. I play on a TV and also have it set up as a media player. Nothing like sitting back on the couch running your entire life from a 360 controller lol.

Sadly I carn't give you any info on the sound card etc as I am as thick as a whale omelette when it comes to that sort of thing.
 

Ramius

Prominent Member
Yes, that's correct. The 'go to' card is probably this: Sound Cards and Digital-to-Analog Converters - Xonar DX

....or at least that's the card I went for anyway.

Thanks, I'll have a look at that.

So things should all work as I expect, great.


I moved back to pc gaming a few years ago now and haven't missed my consoles one bit. I play on a TV and also have it set up as a media player. Nothing like sitting back on the couch running your entire life from a 360 controller lol.

Sadly I carn't give you any info on the sound card etc as I am as thick as a whale omelette when it comes to that sort of thing.

Cheers :) My PC is pretty good but not used to it's full potential. It'll be good to have to the option of platform choice when gaming.
 

Jamezinho

Distinguished Member
Thanks, I'll have a look at that.

So things should all work as I expect, great.

I use my sound card for surround headphones. My PC is hooked up to my 5.1 system in my living room as well, but for that I send the audio over HDMI to my AV receiver. So in my case I have one HDMI cable from the graphics card to the AVR and then another HDMI cable from the AVR to the TV. If this is an option available to you then you don't need a sound card at all.
 

Ramius

Prominent Member
I use my sound card for surround headphones. My PC is hooked up to my 5.1 system in my living room as well, but for that I send the audio over HDMI to my AV receiver. So in my case I have one HDMI cable from the graphics card to the AVR and then another HDMI cable from the AVR to the TV. If this is an option available to you then you don't need a sound card at all.

Ah, so you get full 5.1/7.1 via HDMI from the graphics card.
 

Jamezinho

Distinguished Member
Ah, so you get full 5.1/7.1 via HDMI from the graphics card.

That's right but you need to pass the raw audio data over HDMI to the receiver to decode. If you go down the optical route then you need the sound card.
 

holtehero

Distinguished Member
Without trying to sound controversial, is there much point spending money on a PC when you can only play at 720p due to the TV - especially when you already have a next gen console?

I would say if you were able to view @1080p and then achieve 60Fps then absolutely its worth it

Also with the PC, you probably have a wider choice of games via Steam etc (and they are certainly cheaper)

Regarding sound, alot depends how your sound is currently set up. From any Nvidia 7 series card you can get audio via HDMI so that could be output to a TV or an Amp, it just won't be DD Live.

To get DD Live as you say you need to have either a good onboard sound chip (and some hacked drivers) or buy a card like mentioned above
 

Chox1988

Distinguished Member
Without trying to sound controversial, is there much point spending money on a PC when you can only play at 720p due to the TV - especially when you already have a next gen console?

I'd say so, its not ideal by any means, and i really would suggest that you get the tv first, but the pc back catalogue, coupled with the fact even at 720p the detail level you can get most games to, plus lots of AA will still probably look better than the consoles. Not to mention the fact games are dirt cheap, I feel really aggrieved when i pay for a full price console game now.
 

Ramius

Prominent Member
Without trying to sound controversial, is there much point spending money on a PC when you can only play at 720p due to the TV - especially when you already have a next gen console?

I would say if you were able to view @1080p and then achieve 60Fps then absolutely its worth it

Also with the PC, you probably have a wider choice of games via Steam etc (and they are certainly cheaper)

Regarding sound, alot depends how your sound is currently set up. From any Nvidia 7 series card you can get audio via HDMI so that could be output to a TV or an Amp, it just won't be DD Live.

To get DD Live as you say you need to have either a good onboard sound chip (and some hacked drivers) or buy a card like mentioned above

All feedback is welcome:)

Hacked drivers? My current MB is an ASRock Z77 Extreme 4-M (Realtek ALC898). Can you point me in the right direction? I need a solution of 5.1 over optical for my AVR.

I'd say so, its not ideal by any means, and i really would suggest that you get the tv first, but the pc back catalogue, coupled with the fact even at 720p the detail level you can get most games to, plus lots of AA will still probably look better than the consoles. Not to mention the fact games are dirt cheap, I feel really aggrieved when i pay for a full price console game now.

That's good to hear. The only investment I need to make is the GPU and possibly the sound card.
I'm liking the look of MSI GeForce GTX 750 Ti Gaming OC. Quiet and low power requirements.

Cheers
 

Chox1988

Distinguished Member
That's good to hear. The only investment I need to make is the GPU and possibly the sound card.
I'm liking the look of MSI GeForce GTX 750 Ti Gaming OC. Quiet and low power requirements.

Cheers

they are ideal for a low power htpc, any old sound card will do, it'll be transmitting digital not analog audio.
 

Jamezinho

Distinguished Member
they are ideal for a low power htpc, any old sound card will do, it'll be transmitting digital not analog audio.

No, to game with true 5.1 audio you need a soundcard that features Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect. This is required in order to encode and compress 5.1 so it can travel via an optical cable which is bandwidth limited. The cheaper sound cards basically create fake surround from two-channel audio (pro logic). The other option is bitstream the raw audio data over HDMI to an AVR which can do the decoding.
 

Chox1988

Distinguished Member
No, to game with true 5.1 audio you need a soundcard that features Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect. This is required in order to encode and compress 5.1 so it can travel via an optical cable which is bandwidth limited. The cheaper sound cards basically create fake surround from two-channel audio (pro logic). The other option is bitstream the raw audio data over HDMI to an AVR which can do the decoding.

fair play, i knew optical was bandwidth limited but i always thought it just needed the connection and you were then good to go, i stand corrected
 

Jamezinho

Distinguished Member
fair play, i knew optical was bandwidth limited but i always thought it just needed the connection and you were then good to go, i stand corrected

It's basically because PC games use uncompressed audio and I believe you can only run two channels of uncompressed audio through an optical cable. With a console the data is compressed.

With HDMI you have a much higher bandwidth so you can send all the uncompressed data down the pipe for the AVR to sort out.
 

holtehero

Distinguished Member

Jamezinho

Distinguished Member
^ Definitely.
 

Theydon Bois

Distinguished Member

Jamezinho

Distinguished Member
Glad to hear it. :smashin:
 

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