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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to be building an Audio-Only pc to stick in

my entertainment center in my living room, and would

love to get some feedback from you guys on my

proposed hardware buying spree. I'll give a list and

some thoughts on the subject if I have any..


This machine will be playing .WAV or .APE (lossless compression)

files stored on a file server stored in the basement and connected

by a 100Mb lan connection. Connected to a reciever that can take

optical or coaxial PCM bitstream information.


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Processor: Via C3 866


- Can be run fanless for quiet operation

- It's not a powerhouse, but hopefully good enough

to run winamp.

Motherboard: Asus CUV266


- Can handle PC2100 RAM for good performance.

- Onboard LAN so I can eliminate 1 PCI card.

RAM: Micron PC2100 128MB Stick


- 2 of these for a total of 256MB

Video: Leadtek GeForceDDR


- I already have an extra one of these, so it's "free."

- has TV out so I can run it without hauling a monitor around.

Audio: M-Audio Delta DiO 2496


- Coax and optical digital outputs built on the card.

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda IV


- Quiet

- Could I find a 5400rpm drive cheaper and even more quiet?

Power: Zalman ST-300BLP


- Quiet and 300w should be plenty of power for this machine.

CPU Cooler: Zalman 3100CU


- Large Surface area, all copper for good cooling w/no fan.

- Will this fit in the case?

Case: DIGN


- If I can get one....

- Black or Silver.. Hrm...

Accessories: SilentDrive Enclosure


- Make the Barracuda even more quiet.

- Heat a problem??? I read a review on the web that said the 'cuda

worked OK in this situation.

IR Control: ???????


- Is there some hardware that will allow me to control WinAmp

with music and playlist functions so i can rid myself of a keyboard

in my living room?

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I've learned a lot on these forums in the last couple of weeks.

Thanks in advance for any comments or suggestions on my

system.
 

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This should be a satisfactory system, even for DVD playback. For audio only it will be more than enough. The Barracuda is an extremely silent drive, you shouldn't worry about it. In fact, worry more of your CPU fan, case fans and power supply fans. These are usually the more notorious noise makers.


The Audiophile 2496 is a good and cheap soundcard, but don't expect miracles from it. It sounds really good, but it won't rival a good, standalone CD player. At least mine didn't...


As for IR control, the general concensus is to get a Pronto and IRMan, with the Girder software, but while I have all of them, I haven't figured out how to use them satisfactorily, so right now, even after more than half a year, I'm still relying on my Logitech cordless mouse/keyboard.
 

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If you get the 410 audio board instead of the 24/96, and PDVD 4.0 or WINDVD, then you could also do DPLII surround. WMP 7.0 will be fine for internal CD decoding. If you want to store full 16.44 files then you'll have to get another program
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by ShockValue


IR Control: ???????


- Is there some hardware that will allow me to control WinAmp

with music and playlist functions so i can rid myself of a keyboard

in my living room?

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For the IR control, have a look at www.luminosity.co.uk

It's a bit of free software for a palm pilot that controls winamp. Currently only works with serial connected palm pilots but might work using IR.

IR range from the palm probably won't be that great, but since you can pick up a Palm V for very little money compared to a Pronto, it might be a cheap way to get started (have it dedicated to the PC, sitting in it's cradle). I've seen it running on my friend's setup, he only has a palm with cradle and an amp sitting in view, the PC is hidden away in a cupboard, no cd player etc. It works well.


If you want to control more than the PC (ie dvd player, amp etc), then the other solutions will probably be better, but this is simple and I've seen it working in the above setup.


The rest of the setup sounds ok, but since you're building this for audio only, you might want to look at the following motherboard:
http://www.viatech.com/en/VInternet/mini_itx.jsp

It's small, has most things integrated and has PCI for adding the M-Audio 2496. Quiet operation is probably important to you and this MB looks good due to the lack of fans. I've seen one system using this or a similar MB in a fan-less design.


Since the PC will only be used for audio, any fairly modern spec PC will be fast enough and I'd suggest saving money by not using PC2100 ram etc. It's only going to sit there generating extra heat, and the performance increase won't be noticeable on an audio only PC. If you think the PC might do more in the future, then it's possibly worth going for it.


Hope this helps...


- AV Spyder
 
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