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Joining the HTPC gang

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Peter O Sullivan, Aug 24, 2003.

  1. Peter O Sullivan

    Peter O Sullivan
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    (Will someone tell asap if the motherboard is decent since I need to order it tonight cause its being removed from the deals)

    I have started working again now finished college so will be getting money once again. I am ditching the dvd player and moving upto HTPC. The PC wont be used for only HT though, in order of importance
    1. HTPC 2. MP3 player 3. Video editing for a miniDV 4. 3D modelling using SolidEdge or maybe 3D StudioMax 5. Games

    Here is what is on my list

    MSI 865PE NEO-FIS2R mother board. This has a intel 865PE soundcard (5.1) built in so I shouldn't need to invest in a separate one, or should I? Does anyone know what connection would be on this for the output of sound, can't find it on the spec's
    [/URL] http://www.komplett.ie/k/ki.asp?action=info&AvdID=1&CatID=10&GrpID=10&p=34590&s=fp[/URL]

    Intel Pentium 4 2.4Ghz PC800 512kB cache. 800Mhz is the fastest the board can handle iswell
    [/URL] http://www.komplett.ie/k/ki.asp?action=info&AvdID=1&CatID=4&p=34351&view=default[/URL]

    Two Corsair 256MB DIMMs 184PIN SDRAM, Bus rate 200Mhz (DDR400/PC3200) the fastest the board can handle
    [/URL] http://www.komplett.ie/k/ki.asp?action=info&p=32070&t=1014&l=2&AvdID=1&CatID=17&GrpID=9&s=pl[/URL]

    Western Digital Caviar 120Gb, 7200RPM with 8Mb buffer, this is one of the best prices I found. Are all hard drives decent now anyway (just talking about the well known brands). Not sure if I will get this, can ye make up my mind.
    [/URL] http://www.komplett.ie/k/ki.asp?action=info&AvdID=1&CatID=9&GrpID=10&p=31024&s=fp[/URL]

    The graphics card, a recommended Radeon but thought this one with more memory would be better for 3d rendering and editing. Any of ye know better, still has to be perfect for HT though. It is the Sapphire Radeon 9600 Atlantis 256MB DDR AGP, ATI 9600, DVI-I, TV-Out.
    [/URL] http://www.komplett.ie/k/ki.asp?action=info&p=38493&t=278&l=2&AvdID=1&CatID=24&GrpID=1&s=pl[/URL]

    I will be getting the gyration keyboard (full size) and mouse but will use some cheap thing at the start for money reasons

    Will someone let me know of a alright dvd drive that is not region locked (like the one I have). Some cheap one till I invest in a dvd writer, prob the new pioneer, I thinks it’s the DVR-106 or something. Would there be any problems with it if I got the american version of it?

    I also have to get a 10 or 15metre VGA cable to go from the PC to the Tosh MT1. Any decent cable out there?

    Just in case ye are wondering (thought of this when I was just about to post it), no I don’t work for Komplett.ie, my friend just told me about them and said that they delivered on time at a decent price. From what I have seen, I would recommend them once they don't cock up my order!

    Any input would be grateful. Could some please just check that I have the right memory for the motherboard and what case can I get for it that will match up all the connection on the back, i.e. the internal sound card, where is that connection going to be.
    Any one had any prob's with that graphics card? And should I change any thing on my list

    What a long messy post, but thanks in advance for any help
     
  2. Branxx

    Branxx
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    From experience I would advise not to expect much audio quality from the built in soundcard. Almost universally, they are AC97 specfication that means CD audio is resampled from 44.1KHz to 48KHz and mangled with windows kmixer.

    THis would make audio sounding flat with reduced sound stage and presence.

    I'll most probably endup disabling buitin soundcard, so check if there is a motherboard without this feature in the firs place and save money.

    Check Intel D875PBZ. There are no particularly exciting features on this mother board apart its rock solid performance.
     
  3. Peter O Sullivan

    Peter O Sullivan
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    This is what I wasn't sure of, but why would a company bother putting a 5.1 sound card into it if they are going to butcher the sound to bits. I think they supply a optical audio card with it, would it still be crap quality?
    Found this review on it there a few mins ago
    http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1402
    I think I might just order it anyway, they seem fairly happy with it, and if I didn't beleive reviews I wouldn't be chuffed with my tosh mt1, pioneer 626d and sony str-db830, all I had never seen before but just bought them because of the reviews this place gave them. Can't ruin a good tradition! Another 200Euro gone on HT, another grand to go :D
    If need be I will have to buy a seperate sound card.
     
  4. gab2001uk

    gab2001uk
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    I would reccommend Seagate Barracuda drives, as they are very quiet. I have 2 120GB in my HTPC, one for multiple -partition OS's (HyperOS) and one for AV use for DigiTV and AV recording / DVD ripping etc.
     
  5. Peter O Sullivan

    Peter O Sullivan
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    Noise wouldn't be a major problem for me. If it is too noisey, I could enclose it in its shelf area and put two queit fans in the back of the enclosure.
    Just ordered that motherboard anyway, have to wait 2 weeks till next pay cheque for some more of the stuff.
    One other thing, you use it for recording digital tv. I don't have dig. tv but do you (Graham) have any idea how much space analogue tv would take up if I was going to do the same? No point at recording at a mad high quality with crap analoque quality.
     
  6. TEK

    TEK
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    You haven't really mentioned what your sound setup will be playing on but unless you've got some real nice kit to play with then I'd settle for the onboard sound to get you going and then take your time thinking about a seperate soundcard as an upgrade path

    If you're going to be doing a lot of DV editing then I think you might be better off doubling up on those HDs. 120gb may sound a lot but once you've got your MP3s and a few high quality grabs from the HTPC or DVD-Video images it doesn't leave a lot for editing and mastering. I have one machine here setup for editing and I have 2 drives in it so that I can use the second one just for the DV stuff and OS/apps etc on the first. Personally I don't think there's a lot of differnce between drive brands these days as I use them all on my 8 pc network. Currently for my media stuff I use Maxtor 200gb drives as these are the largest they do at 7200rpm before dropping to 5200

    I only briefly scanned over the spec of that motherboard but I couldn't see a firewire port... you'll need one for DV capture so get a seperate PCI card - cheap and cheerfull, doesn't need to be anything special.

    Other than that it all sounds tip top for what you need mate
     
  7. Peter O Sullivan

    Peter O Sullivan
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    Just to let ye know, my sound setup is just a Sony STR DB830, 2 MA bronze 2's as rears, a paradigm cc350 as centre and two old pioneer speakers as mains (to be replaced) and a big dirty DIY Tempest sub. I intend to replace everyone with bronze 2's sometime. If I notice crappy sound I will have to get a seperate sound card but i don't think i should I if I just use a coaxial out (if the card is supplied) into the sony for decoding? But if I look at this site it says these come bundled:
    http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/roundupmobo/msi-865pe-neo2-fis2r-i865pe.html
    Cables: 4 SATA (with two power supply splitters), 1 ATA66/100/133 (round, in red cambric) and 1 FDD (round, screened);
    MSI D-Bracket (bracket with two USB (2.0) ports and 4 POST LEDs);
    Bracket with S/PDIF-Out (TosLink & Coaxial);
    Bracket with 3 FireWire ports;
    Which doesn't sound bad, even though I'll get the one with none of this :mad:
    I do intend to get another HD iswell for more storage of programs and for editing.
     
  8. oscar_p

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    Personally I've never had any problems with Crucial memory. IMHO Corsair is over-hyper and over priced.

    Also I read a review over the weekend that tested DDR400 (3200) from the major chip producers (Crucial, Kingston, Corsair) - the crucial modules came out on top.

    I'l try and dig it out and post the URL.
    :suicide:

    Upto you, just my 10 pence !
     

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