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upgrade cinema HTPC advice

goodguys

Standard Member
Hi And thanks for reading this post.

I have a htpc which i purchased about 7 years ago and am wondering if it is time to upgrade.

It consists of a Gigabyte GA-MA785GPM-UD2H motherboard, asus d2x souncard, 4 gigs of ram, windows 7 pro.

I am using the asus d2x card for 2-channel sound to a quad 405-3 amp and a pair of speakers

The mobo's dvi output is sent to an overhead projector for the picture.

What do you think?

Q1. Is the Gigabyte GA-MA785GPM-UD2H outdated, what i don't like is that when i plug a flash drive into the usb ports it gets very hot, it has always done this.

Q2. Is the asus d2x souncard outdated. Personally I don't like the 3.5mm jack sockets, would prefer rca's.

Would i get significant improvements in performance by upgrading anything


Many thanks in advance. John.
 

28061

Established Member
You'd be better off posting this in the media player forums I think.

The hot USB drive does seems bit odd.

To be honest, it sounds like you've got a bit of 'upgradeitis'! Either the kit fits your needs or it doesn't - doesn't matter if it's ten years old, as long as it does what you want.

As you're outputting via DVI, I assume it's not full HD. You could perhaps upgrade the video card to HD with HDMI, depends on if your projector is up to the job or not.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
What Speakers and 'Overhead Projector' are you using?

OHP hopefully doesn't mean a classroom style device :)

Joe
 

goodguys

Standard Member
Hi. Thanks for the replies, much appreciated.

The equipment is working fine, have got some loose change at the moment, though i'd better spend it before the wife founds out.

I have a benq mp771 projector which is also a few years old like the rest of my equipment. The speakers are b&w dm220.

Finally, as a possible alternative I also looked into openelec as an operating system rather than windows,

After a morning of experimenting I found the picture and sound quality of running windows to be better than open elec.

Also openelec does not have an equalizer for the audio and i cannot live without an eq. I did email openelec support but they confirmed there is no eq plug in.

I did like that i needed very little ram and cpu power with open elec but open elec will not let me access the asus soundcard like windows does so i cannot use the eq and functions of the asus.

Q. Is there any way this can be done, is there any plug in for open elec to allow access to the soundcard, or is there any software similar to openelec which does have eq plug ins, i have googled but have found similar software but no eq or soundcard access.

Many thanks. John.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
HTPC - is a whole other world of discussion with as 28061 suggests a dedicated Forum here on AVF.

Projector - if you have control of your lighting and flexibility in your mounting arrangement there are far better Full HD Projectors you could add to the system, the BenQ is really a 'presentation' projector.

Joe
 

goodguys

Standard Member
Hi. I also found audiophile linux, is that audio only or video as well.

How difficult is it to set up xbmcbuntu with the eq for pulse audio, could a beginner with no previous knowledge do it.

Thank you.
 

goodguys

Standard Member
Hi. Thanks for the reply.

Just something i stumbled onto by chance, on a lot of the forums people are saying the sound quality is better on linux than windows.
Some are reporting night-and-day differences.
Speculations are: " linux needs less system resources "
"Fewer conflicting services "
" Windows ressampler sucks "

Thought i might install linux and give it a try. But i can't find drivers for my Gigabyte GA-MA785GPM-UD2H motherboard, asus d2x souncard. Is this going to be a problem?

Do you have any opinions or experiencies on linux vs windows audio quality, seems to be a lot of heated debate about it.

Many thanks. John.
 

plum23

Established Member
It was a few years ago. Now if you use WASAPI output with Windows it's a direct bitstream, so if you output to a external DAC then it makes no difference

I wouldn't bother trying to find drivers - just try booting your pc from a linux usb stick (a "live" install) and see if it works. That way it isn't installed onto you hard drive and leaves your windows setup intact.
 

goodguys

Standard Member
Hi. Thanks for the replies, much appreciated.

Thought i would try installing windows 7 on my pc but i get the message

" Windows cannot be installed because the hard drive is gpt partition style"

With the Gigabyte GA-MA785GPM-UD2H motherboard, does this have the required uefi bios, can't find it anywhere. Or is there a work around for this.

Should i convert the gpt partiton to mbr and try to install windows again, i just want to convert the windows partiton to mbr, not the entire hard drive. It is a wd black 3tb, converted to two partitions, one 60 gig partition for windows, the second partition is back for all my files and i don't want to lose these files. Is there software, paid or free, which can convert the gpt partiton to mbr without affecting the back up partition at all.

Many thanks.John.
 

cjed

Prominent Member
It's not the partition that's MBR (Master Boot Record) or GPT (GUID Partition Table), but the disk - it's how the information about how the disk is partitioned is stored. GPT is the more modern partitioning scheme. There are utilities that allow you to convert from GPT to MBR without wiping your existing partitions - for example, this one. However, this will probably result in the disk becoming non-bootable (not a problem as you're going to install Windows 7 on it ?).

You mention that you "don't want to lose these files" - do you not have a backup ? If you don't have a backup, the best thing to do would be to get another disk, initialise that as MBR and install Windows 7 onto it, then copy the data across from your original disk.
 

28061

Established Member
+1 for another disk. They're cheap enough nowadays & it's just not worth risking data that you care about.
 

goodguys

Standard Member
Hi. Thanks for the reply.

I did follow the link but it states " Converting the disk requires that all partitions and volumes are deleted on the disk first."

Which i don't want, just want to convert the one partition from gpt to mbr, but it looks like it is not possible.

Should i give up?

I don't have a back up, just converting the disc to mbr seems like the quickest way of doing things.

Thank you
 

cjed

Prominent Member
... I did follow the link but it states " Converting the disk requires that all partitions and volumes are deleted on the disk first." ...

If you're referring to this link, it only says that about the two solutions using built-in Microsoft disk management tools. If you download the EaseUS Partition Master utility in solution 1, it claims to do it without any data loss. I haven't tried it myself, and it does say that "(hard disk with system installed is not supported)", so you may need to delete the Windows System partition first.

However, if the data on the disk is important it would be very reckless to try anything like this without backing the data up first.
 

goodguys

Standard Member
Hi. Thanks for the replies.

Looks like i can't have gpt and mbr on the same disc. The disc must be entirely gpt or mbr.

Many Many Many thanks for all the advice.

Massive respect to all those who helped. Thank you. John.
 

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