1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Thinking on bulding HTPC. Help Needed...

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by jrosado, Dec 19, 2004.

  1. jrosado

    jrosado
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Messages:
    172
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Portugal
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi:

    I'm considering bulding an HCPC. The main reason it's because the Panny DVI board does not handle PAL signals very well, so i'm going to a PC to take full use of it.

    The main use will be dvd-video, divx, mp3 and cd music. so far i have a few elements, but also some indecisions. I'me new to this stuff, but here it goes the items i've pickuped:

    Asus Terminator 2 chassis

    Asus ATI 9200 graphics Card (I've chossed this one because there is no fan)

    80GB serial ATA Hardisk (samsung or other)

    Asus DVD-ROM model DVD-E616P2 . This drive is quiet and easy to make multiregion

    2* 256MB, Kingston DDR400

    No my doubts:

    Which processor: Pentium or Celeron? Will Celeron be enough? wich speed? The less heat it generates, better, because i want it to be very quiet.

    Altought the motherboard has sound in board, the digital output is on front. Wich sound card should i choose? The sound card must have a digital output.

    Any sugestions are welcome.

    Regards,

    J. Rosado
     
  2. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    I'd suggest you go for an ATI 9600 SE, also fanless but slightly better MPEG decode support. Samsung disks are now a dubious choice, they switched motor suppliers in the summer and reportedly the new ones are nowhere near so quiet, Seagate Barracudas are perhaps back in pole position again.

    A Celeron will be fine if all you want to do is hardware-assisted DVD playback, anything more such as post-processing using FFDSHOW, software-only WMV HD etc. a P4 will be needed IMO.

    No thoughts about a soundcard really, I use on-board, but the M-Audios seem to be popular for HTPCs.
     
  3. groovyclam

    groovyclam
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Messages:
    202
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +1
    As KraGorn says, definitely upgrade to the ATI 9600 SE graphics card.

    Also 80G might be a bit small for the HD - Windows and apps take about 7G and 1hour of Mpeg2 is about 2G, 1 hour of DivX/XdiV is about 0.5~0.8G and then there's all your mp3s and photos. If you can afford it go for a 160G drive - I just about cope with that.

    You'll definitely want the HD space if you fit a digital terrestrial TV card for PVR recordings.
     
  4. jrosado

    jrosado
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Messages:
    172
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Portugal
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi:

    Thans for all the answers. I'l guess i'm going toa P4. As for the graphics card, 9600SE would be a good choice, but the asus model does not seem to be fanless - at least in the photos in asus website; maybe another brand?

    As for the HD, 80GB will be enough for me. I've allready got 60GB+160GB in my main computer. I've also a 250GB which i placed inside a external case with USB2.0 and firewire interfaces. Also, any recordings will be made on my main computer.

    Kragorn: what is the soudncard of your mainboard? Were can i see the specifications of that M-audio? I was considering the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Zs or the Zs platinum, that has a remote :)

    also, for now, and for controling the PC, i was considering a wireless keyboard and mouse (this one optical).


    Regards,

    J. Rosado
     
  5. groovyclam

    groovyclam
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Messages:
    202
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +1
    As far as I am aware, all Radeon graphics cards are built to the same speck, so all 9600SE's should be fanless. Are you sure you are looking at an "SE" - only the SE and the plain 9600 ( no suffix ) are fanless. The other types of 9600 card have fans. The SE should be about £40 and the vanilla 9600 ( no suffix ) about £70.

    The Sapphire versions of the 9600SE and 9600 are definitely fanless and can be got from dabs.com ( and probably other places )
     
  6. groovyclam

    groovyclam
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Messages:
    202
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +1
  7. jrosado

    jrosado
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Messages:
    172
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Portugal
    Ratings:
    +0
    Ok... If you say they are fanless, i belive you ;) . Just that the pictures in Asus website don't show it like fanless: Asus 9600SE . I will have to see it at my local pc store.

    As for the output, as i said in the beginning, i'm going to use the DVI output to connect to my Panny plasma :thumbsup:


    Regards,

    J. Rosado
     
  8. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
  9. gpender

    gpender
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2002
    Messages:
    272
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +1
    Soundcard wise I'd go for an RME......... M Audio are better than the creative cards but they still don't get near the RMEs. This could be regarded as stating the obvious given the difference in price, but I make the coment safe in the knowledge it's worth spending a few quid more on the RME. Check out www.millennium-music.biz for prices (they are the cheapest around) they've got pretty much everything on there....I don't know whether they ship to Portugal though
     
  10. jrosado

    jrosado
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Messages:
    172
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Portugal
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi:

    Thanks for all the answers. Having in consideration that the decoding work will be done by my receiver (except for dvd-audio), should i really consider such expensive cards?


    Regards,

    J. Rosado
     
  11. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    IMHO no, the RME would be a great card for PC-based audio but is way overkill for SPD/IF to a receiver IMHO. :)
     
  12. petrolhead

    petrolhead
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2002
    Messages:
    4,485
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Newcastle
    Ratings:
    +82
    Has anyone thought about some of the newer purpose built PCs like the Hi-Grade or EPC

    Has anyone bought one
     
  13. Ridcully

    Ridcully
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2002
    Messages:
    334
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +29
    Sapphire 9600 is fanless if you want to go up a spec. Alternatively you could try the 9600 ultimate which is also fanless.

    KraGorn, interesting comment about the hard discs. Was think of getting a new one so will have to take this in to acccount
     

Share This Page

Loading...