Originally Posted by greggplummer
Shameless plug: I wrote an article in my blog
about how the D2Audio amps for this motherboard compare to other Class-D products.
I agree with mnn1256 to some extent, even though I am a big proponent of Class-D technology. Those little Class-D modules still need ample power supplies with big capacitors along with fairly large and hefty toroidal transformers (unless you go with SMPS) to provide power comparable to his Anthem AV7. There are several high end products using Class-D modules that have more power and better specs than Anthem amps, but they sure weigh more than 8 lbs. and wouldn't work well inside an HTPC connected to the PC's power supply. You can't get that kind of sound quality and power inside an HTPC. At least not yet.
That's not a shameless plug... good blog anyways. I agree with everything you say, and I have noted your coment on the power supply issue. If I go with this board it will likely mean going with a 750+ watt power supply.
For me at least, HTPC means "One box to rule them all!" and, more importantly "One control to rule them all!!!" I've done the component thing and I am over it. Tuners, amplifiers, tape decks, cd players, vcr then dvd players. Wires everywhere. Five or six controls laying all over the place. Componants that don't all match, or worse, not buying something only because it wouldn't fit in....
Now I've got one box... It does FM, NTSC and ATSC tuning... it does CD's (well, rips them anyways), DVD's, and maybe soon BRD's. Plus, I get down loadable content and streaming content.
One Box! There is still a lot of wires, but its a lot better. Now the goal is to make the box the best box (within my budget, of course). The Video stuff is relatively easy, and ultimately rest with the panel.... the audio has thus far been the weak link. The 7411 board with the D2Audio solution goes a long way towards addressing that link.
Could one do better with seperate components? Sure. Would heavy amps sound better? I guess. If I spent twice as much as plan to over the next year could I do better? Yeah. But How much better?
I'm right now thinking of this board with the 5.1 card, a Phenom 9850 processor and a blu ray drive. Maybe some Happauge component capture devices and an OTA/FM tuner. All wrapped up in a nice TF8 or TF11. That's it.
No AVR. No Amp. No PS3. No PreAmp, PostAmp, Tuner, tape deck, vcr, etc. No dials, no buttons, no blinking lights, no diplays (except the video screen, natch). And just one remote, one remote that won't require reading the manual to get it to change the channel or adjust the volume.
It's not perfect, nothing is. But for me, for what I want, the 7411 is just about there.
You can also find a similar board hiding out, apparently, inside the Alienware Hanger 18
. Though I don't care much for the case, the price is way out of whack, thier choice of tuners would not be mine, and I don't care for the gyration remote/keyboard, the board is there, as well as the reason I always DIY