First of all, my main HTPC should be able to,
1. Produce less power / less heat
2. Produce LPCM 7.1
3. Be powerful enough to play any 1080p playback
It turns out AMD 785G DOES NOT SUPPORT 7.1 LPCM. However, ATI HD 4850 offers 7.1 LPCM output as well as better de-interlacing. So my choices would be something like this,
Motherboard: AMD 785G chipset or mATX motherboard w/o the onboard VGA (any suggestion?)
CPU: AM3 (Regor)
Discrete Graphics Card: ATI HD 4850
My questions are,
1. Can I use just 1 HDMI cable to send both audio & video from this HTPC setup to my Denon amp? HD 4850 supports 7.1 LPCM as well as video, so I'll disable the onboard HD 4200 of the 780G mobo and connect HDMi cable directly to the HD 4850's HDMI port. Is this possible?
2. I also found out that HD 4850 does not support PAP. It means you won't get the full res. lossless audio. Apparently, audio will be downsampled to 16 bit/48 khz. (I don't want to go down the route of MKV encoding / FLAC - it's just too time consuming). What I want to know is, what's the end result like when downsampled to 16 bit / 48 khz compared to full res. audio? In terms of % (just roughly), how much of % would you rate for 16 bit / 48khz when the full res. audio is 100%. I'm not an audiophile but I use Denon 3808 amp + 5.1ch speakers. If there's not much of difference for an average HTPC viewer, then I don't actually mind about the PAP issue or down-sampling.