1. N0sferatU

    N0sferatU Ancient Guru

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    I'm waiting for the parts to come in (my current machine I built in June 2005 so I'm long over do). This time no gaming as my current boat did that for me before being converted into a HTPC. Now I'm doing it right (quiet and sleek design). Let me know what you guys think. I'm just waiting for the parts to come.

    Cliff Notes
    -Lian-Li PC-C37
    -GIGABYTE GA-73PVM-S2H (has HDMI and a Geforce 7100 onboard)
    -CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX
    -Gyration GYR4101US
    -Intel Core 2 Duo E7400
    -4GB G.SKILL Memory
    -Western Digital 1TB Green Drive
    -Auzentech Forte 7.1
    -XBMC via Windows XP SP3

    *and 3.5TB already on my current mid-tower ex-gaming rig (I plan on wirelessly streaming all my 720p/1080p MKV HD content off) :)


    The Case.
    Lian-Li PC-C37
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112186

    [​IMG]

    Motherboard
    GIGABYTE GA-73PVM-S2H
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128072

    Remote Control
    Gyration GYR4101US
    -Mother of all remotes
    -RF (goes through walls)
    -controls mouse with your hand (think Nintendo Wii)
    -just watch the video in the link if curious (I paid $108 not $149 btw ;) )
    http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3871746&Sku=G128-1064

    [​IMG]

    Power Supply
    CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139008

    Intel Core 2 Duo E7400
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115206

    4GB G.SKILL Memory
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231207

    Western Digital 1TB Green Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136317

    Auzentech Forte 7.1
    I'm going to miss my Auzentech X-Meridian as it won't fit in this new case (has to be a low-profile PCI card) so I had to get another high-quality analog sound card again. This time low profile and from the same company. Dedicated headphone amp is a nice plus
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829156010

    Misc. got a cheap HDMI cable, arctic silver, and a free locking SATA cable

    Grand Total - $797 shipped and waiting
     
  2. SnooSnoo

    SnooSnoo Maha Guru

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    Very nice, cept I'd have gone for a 8xxx/9xxx onboard, dunno if your budget wouldev covered.

    Have fun, and post pics of the build! :)
     
  3. Joey

    Joey Ancient Guru

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    Why aren't you going with Vista? For video playback quality and general convenience Vista pisses all over XP.
     
  4. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    As for your XM, can you not just get a slot extender to put the larger card sideways ?

    Would be a great card to use for a Media PC.
     

  5. MrBozack

    MrBozack Master Guru

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    XP's media center is much less buggy and slow for me. I like XP for HTPC too. Plus you get DSOUND. :nerd:
     
  6. Pete1989

    Pete1989 Master Guru

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    I use Boxee, for my Media Center - check it out.
     
  7. pysik

    pysik Master Guru

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  8. N0sferatU

    N0sferatU Ancient Guru

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    I have a friend with the same motherboard and him running XBMC had no issue running HD content (which is what I plan on using forget Windows Media Center). I used to use MediaPortal as well but I'll give all 3 a shot again. I might even give Vista one last chance (I've given it four failed attempts on 3 other machines before).

    XP is flat out faster than Vista on similar hardware but it's a new machine so I'll give Vista one more chance. Anyways I make my XP install look rather nice anyways. See the youtube video below of my XP install. :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AikPfV4wgTM
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2009
  9. deltatux

    deltatux Ancient Guru

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    I use Windows Media Center on a Windows Vista x64 install. I got zero problems here.

    My media centre works like a charm, it was a good $400 build w/ tuner and everything.

    deltatux
     
  10. N0sferatU

    N0sferatU Ancient Guru

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    Here she is. I gave Vista a try yet again...as usual it's slower and I hate the interface. It's running XP like a champ. :D

    Here's the install shots. I plan on going back in and re-doing some of the wiring. I just batched it together real fast to make sure it "worked." I'm thinking of moving the fan on the right side of the photo near the PSU and putting it in the bottom left corner of the photos next to the 5V plug. Thoughts? :)

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  11. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Schweeet!
     
  12. deltatux

    deltatux Ancient Guru

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    Nice build but I would've saved money on the soundcard since it'll be useless if you use your HDMI cable for audio and video.

    For most HTPC setup, the motherboard's audio is already more than sufficient.

    Also, HTPCs don't need that powerful of a CPU. The GPU does most of the horsework when it comes to decoding video streams.

    My build cost me US$400 build or about CAD$500 (currency I paid in) only has an Athlon 64 X2 3600+ w/ an ASUS Radeon HD 3450 chip and it runs like a champ.

    If I was building your HTPC, I'd take your old parts and slap it into the HTPC and put your Intel Core 2 into your actual system instead. Especially because you're running an XP based media centre, your old parts will excel in it.

    deltatux
     
  13. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Onboard audio chips aren't that good for anything. Especially a HTPC. If you want to get into Bluray using HDMI audio you need a bit more then any oboard can supply.
     
  14. deltatux

    deltatux Ancient Guru

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    You'd be surprised at the quality of a good motherboard onboard audio. The boards I have, gives really crisp bass and sound. Only thing lacking I think is good 7.1 support but I'm not too sure since I don't have a 7.1 setup to care about. I'm using the ALC883 on my HTPC and it's fantastic. My desktop has an ALC1200 w/ DTS support and enhancements.

    As for HDMI, the audio will not even go through the soundcard unless you split the audio to another speaker and not route it to the TV.

    So, if you're HDMI-ing to your TV, that extra soundcard is basically a sitting duck doing nothing.

    deltatux
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2009
  15. SnooSnoo

    SnooSnoo Maha Guru

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    You can allways wire the soundcard to an amp/reciever and just use HDMI for video transport to the tv. I second that the onboard audio is useless, just for the sheer noise. Its unberable.

    Btw, I'd just put the most silent fans I can get wherever I can put one, aslong as it doesent become noisy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2009

  16. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    I have heard most of the newer onboards and they still don't compete with the current crop of soundcards.
    If you like the sound great, you would have a hard time convincing people that onboard is the way to go for anything.

    Depends on many things. I have a soundcard that supports true HDMI audio. Something your onboard sound doesn't.
    People think "Yeah, HDMI!" Too bad they are really getting nothing over S/Pdif in with onboard. Plain old DD and DTS....none of the newer formats.

    HDMI is supposed to be slit at the receiver, allowing the receiver to process the audio and send the video off to the Display.
     
  17. deltatux

    deltatux Ancient Guru

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    I'm pretty sure that your soundcard can't carry the video link over HDMI. So your video card becomes your sound card as well when you pipe audio through your HDMI cable. So that's why I say that the soundcard is useless in this case. Unless, you are piping to an external pair of speaker and using your TV for video only.

    As for the onboard vs. soundcard, ofc a soundcard is better, but for most people for watching movies, an onboard is more than enough. Obviously if you're an audiophile then I can see where there can be problems.

    deltatux
     
  18. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    You would be wrong because the soundcard does carry the video link.
    -Card has input for DVI and integrates it along with the audio to the HDMI cable for transport to a receiver.
    -Full HDMI audio specs by the way -Which is what you need to enjoy Blu ray in all it's glory.

    Alternatley I can just use the card to listen to the movie through analog -Again HDMI spec audio such as Dolby Digital +, Dolby True HD, DTS-HDMA
    all over the speaker without a seperate receiver.

    I undestand what your saying, but it seems you don't really know what is avialable for PC hardware for HDMI A/V. What is worse is most of the time your not even getting full high resolution audio with onboards that are linked to a GFX card. -you just get the old Dolby Digital and DTS.
    -seems your not getting that part either.

    For most people? -Just because it is enough for you doesn't mean it is good enough for most. Personally when I watch a movie I want all the audio goodness the producers wanted it to have. This is why people build home theaters to enjoy all the A/V at home.
    Why would I use a cheap onboard chip worth points of a cent and then try and tell myself and others, sounds good enough?
    You don't need to be a audiophile to want good quality in your home theater.

    Maybe we should get back to the topic at hand.
     
  19. N0sferatU

    N0sferatU Ancient Guru

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    I'm coming from an Auzentech X-Meridian and I can assure you onboard is utter crap. Analog > Digital with the cream of the crop sound cards.

    I run 6 RCAs out to a Denon unit and the HDMI is just my video output for me.
     
  20. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Yes, it is a shame that you can't use that X-Meridian 7.1 for your HTPC. There is no onboard out there that wold ever even come close to a XM.

    I know you can get port extenders that allow you to install the card sideways over the pci slot but that cases doesn't allow it. Oh well.

    Enjoy your HTPC Nos.
     

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