Guide to Building a HTPC, Workstation and Server - Page 53 - AVS Forum
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post #1561 of 19332 Old 03-17-2008, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
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CardNation

Sorry, I have no idea. The Italian Job is VC-1, right? Maybe somebody in the unoffical thread is able to give suggestions.
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post #1562 of 19332 Old 03-18-2008, 02:40 AM
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Thanks for this guide, it really helped me a lot in choosing the right components for my HTPC! I decided on the following:

Case: Antec NSK2480
CPU: Intel C2D E8400
Motherboard: MSI G31M2-FD V2
RAM: 2x DDR2 1024MB PC-800 CL5 Kingston
HD: WD5000AAKS
GPU: Gigabyte GV-NX86S256H

These components can be found for roughly 600.

The purpose of this HTPC should be a bit of gaming and watching ripped h.264 movies.

I still have the following questions regarding this setup:
  • The motherboard is not too expensive, but has no 1x PCIe slot - for what would I need this? I haven't bought any computer hardware since the release of PCIe, so I'm a bit behind the times I guess
  • Is the 8600GTS still a good choice? I do not intend to do hardcore gaming, but playing some 2007, 2008 games would be nice.

If you have any other comments, I'd be glad to hear them!
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post #1563 of 19332 Old 03-18-2008, 02:52 AM - Thread Starter
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PCIe x1 is not essential, but most TV tuners transitioned from PCI to PCI Express and sound cards are following.

8600 GTS was replaced by 9600 GT. For games, 9600 has near twice the performance of 8600.
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post #1564 of 19332 Old 03-18-2008, 03:44 AM
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Thanks for the feedback, renethx! The motherboard will be allright then: HD over cable is still in its infancy where I live, so I probably won't care for a TV tuner card in the next few years, and I only have a stereo sound setup, so I also have no need for a sophisticated sound card.

Regarding the graphics card: I would prefer a passively cooled one and I could not find one with a 9600GT chip. On the other hand, I found the Sapphire Ultimate Radeon HD 3870 which is <200 and passively cooled. With regard to games performance, is the HD3870 comparable to the 9600GT?
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post #1565 of 19332 Old 03-18-2008, 04:36 AM - Thread Starter
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post #1566 of 19332 Old 03-18-2008, 11:05 AM
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anyone have any comments for the Sapphire Ultimate 3850. Passively cooled. Would use it for gaming and for ht use when called upon. I know it's quite expensive but it looks like a great card(I like overkill).

http://www.overclockersclub.com/revi...3850_ultimate/

thanks
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post #1567 of 19332 Old 03-18-2008, 12:27 PM
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Thanks for a great thread! After reading for what seems like forever, I think I have chosen all of my components. Please let me know what, if anything needs to be changed.

MB:GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-S2H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Brisbane 2.6GHz 2 x 512KB
HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE WD5000AAJS 500GB
Case: Antec Black Aluminum Veris Fusion Black 430
LITE-ON Black 12X DVD-ROM 32X CD-ROM SATA Blu-ray DVD-ROM
CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
Scythe SCMNJ-1000 80mm Sleeve "NINJA MINI" CPU Cooler

OS: vista home premium
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post #1568 of 19332 Old 03-18-2008, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by king67rsss View Post

Thanks for a great thread! After reading for what seems like forever, I think I have chosen all of my components. Please let me know what, if anything needs to be changed.

MB:GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-S2H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Brisbane 2.6GHz 2 x 512KB
HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE WD5000AAJS 500GB
Case: Antec Black Aluminum Veris Fusion Black 430
LITE-ON Black 12X DVD-ROM 32X CD-ROM SATA Blu-ray DVD-ROM
CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
Scythe SCMNJ-1000 80mm Sleeve "NINJA MINI" CPU Cooler

OS: vista home premium

There are two caveats (which I should address in the guide).

- The chipset of GA-MA78GM-S2H may be still the revision A12 (engineering sample) that may (or may not) have bugs.

- You need a HT 3.0 processor to extract every last ounce of performance out of the HD 3200 graphics core (see this post).
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post #1569 of 19332 Old 03-18-2008, 04:09 PM
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with these caveats would you make any changes??
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post #1570 of 19332 Old 03-18-2008, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by king67rsss View Post

with these caveats would you make any changes??

Well, just wait until April. Mbs with the A13 revision and the cheap Phenom 9150e will be available by then.
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post #1571 of 19332 Old 03-18-2008, 11:10 PM
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thanks for the quick remark, I have come to the same conclusion on building a new htpc instead of upgrading.
Do you have an opinion on using unRaid?
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post #1572 of 19332 Old 03-19-2008, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Well, just wait until April. Mbs with the A13 revision and the cheap Phenom 9150e will be available by then.

You said this a month ago, when you said "Just wait until March."

Care to indicate how long it will really be? I'm guessing more like June, not April.

TiVo is on it's way out - stream everything!
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post #1573 of 19332 Old 03-19-2008, 07:49 AM
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Edit: Fixed - no more problems.

I got the new Gigabyte board delivered on Monday, and I'm pretty happy with what I'm seeing so far, but I've got a problem. The system won't post unless I clear the CMOS every time. It doesn't seem to matter if I save default BIOS settings, or set them myself. I juggernauted through a Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 installation just for shits and giggles, but having to clear the CMOS every reboot is unacceptable, so I've got to find a fix.

Mobo: GA-MA78GM-S2H RS780
CPU: AMD 64 X2 5000+ Black (Scythe Ninja Mini)
RAM: Corsair XMS2 2x2GB x 2
Case: Antec Sonata III
PSU: Antec Earthwatts 500
HDD: 2xSamsung Spinpoint 750GB

Obviously the ram is overkill, but I got it very very cheap, and I'm gonna fiddle with some server virtualizatoin stuff anyway. I know the mobo might be buggy, but it doesn't look like other people are having this problem. I'm effectively going to turn this into a random backup 'puter when the 780G chipset matures and the G45 boards are released in competition later this year.

Other notes: I get a single short beep for everything-is-a-go after I clear the CMOS, and then F1 through a post error screen if I want to boot. If I restart (out of BIOS/Windows/whatever) I get nothing at all... the system just hangs after everything spins up. Any thoughts?
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post #1574 of 19332 Old 03-19-2008, 07:53 AM
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will it boot up OK with just 1 stick of ram? and 1 HD?

Take care,
Seth

AMD 5000+BE @2.6GHZ 2GB ram, 820GB storage
Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H 780G chipset
Nvidia DualTV, HDHomerun, MCE keyboard and remote. SageTV
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post #1575 of 19332 Old 03-19-2008, 09:06 AM
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I was looking at getting one of those Gigabyte boards along with an AMD 5000+ or 5400+, but after hearing some issues with HD playback, from some users I'm second guessing that.

Is there a good mATX mobo I could pair with a standalone GPU that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? I'd really hate to pay for a nice board like the GB MA69 S2H and not even use the on-board graphics. Might as well save a few bucks to get a better GPU?

~Tighr: Not helping the situation since 1983

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post #1576 of 19332 Old 03-19-2008, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by setherd View Post

will it boot up OK with just 1 stick of ram? and 1 HD?

Yeah... I was being lazy and didn't want to pull pieces out. I got it all working on my lunch break. Boots every time. Thanks.
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post #1577 of 19332 Old 03-19-2008, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Dubs View Post

Yeah... I was being lazy and didn't want to pull pieces out. I got it all working on my lunch break. Boots every time. Thanks.

well.... what did you do?

Take care,
Seth

AMD 5000+BE @2.6GHZ 2GB ram, 820GB storage
Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H 780G chipset
Nvidia DualTV, HDHomerun, MCE keyboard and remote. SageTV
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post #1578 of 19332 Old 03-19-2008, 11:45 AM
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I've been trying to learn about HTPCs for a while and this is a fantastic forum. I do have a few questions that I'd like your opinions on:

1. I have a 56" Samsung DLP TV (1080p) that I would like to hook up the HTPC to. I called Samsung and they say they support HTPC on their new models but not mine (a year old). Both the TV and my HT Receiver have HDMI connectors, do you think I'll have any problems?

2. I would like to put a gaming Videocard into the box. Would I be able to play games like Crysis on the TV at 1080p resolution with a 9800gx2 or comparable?

3. Will any audiocard be able to send digital signals through the HDMI out on the computer's videocard or only certain ones (and if certain one, which)?

4. And lastly, I've ripped a few dozen of my kids dvds to my home server already usinf anydvd and clonedvd. They are in multiple VOB files, is this the format I need to run them in on the HTPC for best quality or should I be converting them to a single file (MPEG-2?)?

Thanks again!

Joe
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post #1579 of 19332 Old 03-19-2008, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by setherd View Post

well.... what did you do?

Sorry, I should have stated in case someone else runs into it.

Since the only components I had installed were CPU, RAM, 2xHDD, and an optical drive I unhooked or uninstalled everything except 1 stick of ram and the HDD I had already installed vista on. It booted up from there no prob, and did so again after a reboot without clearing the CMOS.

Upon reboot I got a prompt screen asking about AHCI... I enabled it (not realizing at the time that because I had already installed Windows in IDE mode this would cause problems). I also saw (for the first time) that the board was recognizing my ram as SINGLE CHANNEL 64bit. I added the optical, and a second stick of ram, stopping the system at the BIOS level (since the hangups had been before that point previously). I repeated the steps adding a second DIMM, and then the third and fourth in one step since the system had recognized the first two together as DUAL CHANNEL 128bit. Then I tried to boot into Windows. I got a blue screen...

Thinking it was the RAM, I pulled out 3 DIMMs and tried again... same problem. I thought about it, realized I had allowed the BIOS to enable AHCI, and manually turned it off in the BIOS. The system booted into Windows without a hitch. I reinstalled all DIMMS, and the second HDD. Now everything runs smoothly.

I'm still not exactly sure why the system hung in the first place, but I can only assume it has something to do with the ram. Is it possible that the system did not recognize the four DIMMs as two sets of dual channel ram when simultaneously installed? Even if this is the case, why would it hang before the BIOS only on a reset?
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post #1580 of 19332 Old 03-19-2008, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Dubs View Post

Sorry, I should have stated in case someone else runs into it.

Since the only components I had installed were CPU, RAM, 2xHDD, and an optical drive I unhooked or uninstalled everything except 1 stick of ram and the HDD I had already installed vista on. It booted up from there no prob, and did so again after a reboot without clearing the CMOS.

Upon reboot I got a prompt screen asking about AHCI... I enabled it (not realizing at the time that because I had already installed Windows in IDE mode this would cause problems). I also saw (for the first time) that the board was recognizing my ram as SINGLE CHANNEL 64bit. I added the optical, and a second stick of ram, stopping the system at the BIOS level (since the hangups had been before that point previously). I repeated the steps adding a second DIMM, and then the third and fourth in one step since the system had recognized the first two together as DUAL CHANNEL 128bit. Then I tried to boot into Windows. I got a blue screen...

Thinking it was the RAM, I pulled out 3 DIMMs and tried again... same problem. I thought about it, realized I had allowed the BIOS to enable AHCI, and manually turned it off in the BIOS. The system booted into Windows without a hitch. I reinstalled all DIMMS, and the second HDD. Now everything runs smoothly.

I'm still not exactly sure why the system hung in the first place, but I can only assume it has something to do with the ram. Is it possible that the system did not recognize the four DIMMs as two sets of dual channel ram when simultaneously installed? Even if this is the case, why would it hang before the BIOS only on a reset?

first off great forum, i've been lurking and contemplating building another PC (HTPC). thanks to all you contributors.

i had a similar problem on an older Gigabyte board (GA-7N400L) when upgraded to x2 1Gb RAM...would not post with both sticks. removed one, and let it boot up, then shutdown and added the other in the second channel. got a "bolded" bios message "Dual Channel Enabled" with the full 2 Mb. no problems since.
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post #1581 of 19332 Old 03-19-2008, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrybadman View Post

Do you have an opinion on using unRaid?

It's a good OS for a media server.
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post #1582 of 19332 Old 03-19-2008, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tighr View Post

Is there a good mATX mobo I could pair with a standalone GPU that doesn't cost an arm and a leg?

ECS AMD690GM-M2, $30 after rebate? It's still a AMD 690G board. Only two DIMM slots and PCI LAN chip though.

Also look at GeForce 6100 mbs (only two SATA ports).
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post #1583 of 19332 Old 03-19-2008, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fratar View Post

1. I have a 56" Samsung DLP TV (1080p) that I would like to hook up the HTPC to. I called Samsung and they say they support HTPC on their new models but not mine (a year old). Both the TV and my HT Receiver have HDMI connectors, do you think I'll have any problems?

2. I would like to put a gaming Videocard into the box. Would I be able to play games like Crysis on the TV at 1080p resolution with a 9800gx2 or comparable?

3. Will any audiocard be able to send digital signals through the HDMI out on the computer's videocard or only certain ones (and if certain one, which)?

4. And lastly, I've ripped a few dozen of my kids dvds to my home server already usinf anydvd and clonedvd. They are in multiple VOB files, is this the format I need to run them in on the HTPC for best quality or should I be converting them to a single file (MPEG-2?)?

1. I can't say for sure, but there should be no problem.
2. No problem.
3. GeForce 9800 GX2 supports S/PDIF pass-through. So you connect the internal S/PDIF connector of the motherboard to the S/PDIF connector of the video card. You don't need a sound card.
4. VOB is fine, should be playable with many media players.

BTW 9800 GX2 supports HybridPower. So with an appropriate motherboard (GeForce 8200/750a SLI/780a SLI/MCP7A), you can turn off dGPU (discrete GPU = 9800 GX2) and save power when you do not play games.
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post #1584 of 19332 Old 03-20-2008, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

1. I can't say for sure, but there should be no problem. (about 56" Samsung DLP TV (1080p) )

There are a lot of the early 1080p DLPs that won't accept 1080p via HDMI. Best to look in the Display forum here for your model to be sure.

I would assume it won't work. Component should work, but likely at 1080/30.
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post #1585 of 19332 Old 03-20-2008, 08:33 AM
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Thanks guys.

One more question (in two parts) I've read that most on board audio systems are not that good, do all soundcards have the internal connector for the video card? Also, does the 3870 x2 have a similar connector? Thanks again.

Joe
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post #1586 of 19332 Old 03-20-2008, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fratar View Post


1. I have a 56" Samsung DLP TV (1080p) that I would like to hook up the HTPC to. I called Samsung and they say they support HTPC on their new models but not mine (a year old). Both the TV and my HT Receiver have HDMI connectors, do you think I'll have any problems?

Joe

My Samsung HLS6187W (08/2006 build) supports HDMI 1080p input. I use a Gigabyte 8500GT video card, DVI-HDMI adaptor cable.
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post #1587 of 19332 Old 03-20-2008, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fratar View Post

One more question (in two parts) I've read that most on board audio systems are not that good, do all soundcards have the internal connector for the video card? Also, does the 3870 x2 have a similar connector?

Analog part of the onboard audio codec is poor. S/PDIF is as good as a discrete sound card. 95% of motherboards have an internal S/PDIF connector. I don't know about discrete sound cards. When choosing a sound card, you need to note two things:

- Not every sound card supports DTS Connect/Dolby Digital Live.
- Not every sound card supports EAX 5.0.

3870 X2 has a built-in HDMI audio controller so that you don't need an external sound device.
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post #1588 of 19332 Old 03-23-2008, 12:05 AM
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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814150229
is performance and price good for this card?

also if i get this dvi to hdmi cable and plug it from the xfx card to the lcd tv with hdmi will it provide sound through my pc speakers which are connected to the tv using rca white and red audio cables?
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...mat=4#feedback

is this the setup to go or i'm i better off with this card?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127301
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post #1589 of 19332 Old 03-23-2008, 01:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fpsfreak View Post

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814150229
is performance and price good for this card?

also if i get this dvi to hdmi cable and plug it from the xfx card to the lcd tv with hdmi will it provide sound through my pc speakers which are connected to the tv using rca white and red audio cables?
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...mat=4#feedback

is this the setup to go or i'm i better off with this card?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127301

This XFX model should be avoided because it does not support HDCP. Most 8500/8600 cards do not support S/PDIF pass-through. Exceptions are:

- ZOTAC ZT-85TEG2P-FCL 8500 GT
- ZOTAC ZT-86TEQ3P-FSL 8600 GT
- ZOTAC ZT-86TEQ4P-FCL 8600 GT (overclocked model)

in addition to the MSI model (MSI NX8500GT-MTD256EH).
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post #1590 of 19332 Old 03-23-2008, 01:25 AM
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i just heard zotac has not so good warranty,how about this card i'm about to purchase this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127319
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