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Discussion Starter · #2,441 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidbeez /forum/post/14220439


What are your thoughts on the ASUS Maximus II Formula other than it's pricey?

IMO it's not worth its price. The board has several frills:


- great-looking heatsink

- 8 fan connectors out of which 7 are controllable (vs. 4/3)

- dual PCIe Gb LAN (vs. dual PCIe/PCI Gb LAN)

- SupremeFX X-Fi audio card


4 fan connectors are enough for a HTPC case. I don't know how useful the teaming is. SupremeFX X-Fi audio card is useless if you use multichannel LPCM HDMI on HD 4850/4870.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,442 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by xj-boonie /forum/post/14220768


Does the ABIT A-N78HD also support DTS Connect?

No.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,443 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Huston /forum/post/14221021


Hello,


I am looking to build a very low power htpc. What I want to do is play back downloaded Xvid, DiVX content to my 1080p monitor and 5.1 speakers. Right now, I use my wife's laptop and things work really well, but it would be cool to get a remote and use it from a distance.


I also have a WHS running so I have enough storage on the network, and my desktop will edit or capture what I need.


So basically, I need a media extender type box. I want it to be low power (green), but still be able to decode HD content properly.


I have read a lot of info here, but I have a hard time figuring out the low power solutions.


Thanks,


Roger.

The power consumption at idle/BD playback:


MicroATX System Low-End I: 46W/78W

MicroATX System Low-End II: 68W/84W

MicroATX System Low-End II with GeForce 8600 GT: 72W/88W


A BD drive is added in this test. The first two are good for 1080p. If you are concerned about good deinterlacing, the last system (GeForce 8600 GT) is recommended (the first two are poor in this respect).
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,444 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by termite /forum/post/14222125


Video Card:


- Previous recommendation for the video card was

this XFS 8600GT card. However I also see this
Asus 9600GT card mentioned here. Would it be better

to get this 9600GT card ?

The main differences between 8600 GT and 9600 GT (except for price and 3D performance) are:


- 9600 GT offers extra features like Picture-in-Picture and Dynamic Contrast Enhancement

- 9600 GT performs slightly better in deinterlacing (in particular when Aero is on).


If you want to be sure, go with GeForce 9600 GT.
 

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To renethx,


Thank you for your last feedback on the ASUS Maximus II Formula.


As you predicted, the Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS5 and GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DQ6 to be award winning mobos, how do they compare against each other for use in an HTPC and how do these boards compare with the GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS4P? You recommended the DS5 in your high-end system so I'm asking this because I cannot find the DS5 for sale in the USA. This limits my choice to the DQ6 or DS4P.


Your feedback is appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,447 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidbeez /forum/post/14223366


As you predicted, the Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS5 and GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DQ6 to be award winning mobos, how do they compare against each other for use in an HTPC and how do these boards compare with the GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS4P? You recommended the DS5 in your high-end system so I'm asking this because I cannot find the DS5 for sale in the USA. This limits my choice to the DQ6 or DS4P.

Read this post . DQ6 has 4 x PCIe Gb LAN and 2 x PCIe 1.1 x4 slot; these features may not be useful for most users. So practically you have two choices: GA-EP45-DS4P or P5Q Deluxe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,448 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by xj-boonie /forum/post/14223446


What type of audio would I get over S/PDIF from the A-N78HD?

S/PDIF is limited to stereo LPCM, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS. But if you use PowerDVD 8, you can get any HD audio track in BD movies (Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD MA, LPCM) through S/PDIF: PDVD decodes it to LPCM and then encodes into Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS.
 

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This is my first attempt at an HTPC although I have built gaming rigs and workstations in the past and I am looking for any comments or thoughts.


*Case: Zalman HD160 Plus

*MoBo: GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS4P

*CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield

*Memory: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800

*Graphics: ASUS EAH4850/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850

or

*Graphics:ASUS EN9600GT

*Sound: HT OMEGA CLARO Plus+

*Tuner: Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1800

*PSU: ZALMAN ZM600-HP 600W Modular

*PSU Cooler: ZALMAN 9500A 92mm 2 Ball

*Blu-Ray Drive: LG Black Blu-ray GGC-H20L

*HD Storage (x2): Western Digital Caviar WD10EACS 1TB

*HD OS: Western Digital Caviar WD3200AAJS 320GB


I have the case and the tuner already, but I cannot figure out which video card to get.


The system will be tied directly into a Denon AVR-3808ci receiver. The AVR is the hub with HDMI running everything to my projector (Epson 1080 UB). I want to get good sound and video with the potential later to do gaming.


Thanks,

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,450 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by smburns25 /forum/post/14223672


This is my first attempt at an HTPC although I have built gaming rigs and workstations in the past and I am looking for any comments or thoughts.


*Case: Zalman HD160 Plus

*MoBo: GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS4P

*CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield

*Memory: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800

*Graphics: ASUS EAH4850/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850

or

*Graphics:ASUS EN9600GT

*Sound: HT OMEGA CLARO Plus+

*Tuner: Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1800

*PSU: ZALMAN ZM600-HP 600W Modular

*PSU Cooler: ZALMAN 9500A 92mm 2 Ball

*Blu-Ray Drive: LG Black Blu-ray GGC-H20L

*HD Storage (x2): Western Digital Caviar WD10EACS 1TB

*HD OS: Western Digital Caviar WD3200AAJS 320GB


I have the case and the tuner already, but I cannot figure out which video card to get.


The system will be tied directly into a Denon AVR-3808ci receiver. The AVR is the hub with HDMI running everything to my projector (Epson 1080 UB). I want to get good sound and video with the potential later to do gaming.


Thanks,

Steve

ATI Radeon HD 4850.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx /forum/post/14222849


The main differences between 8600 GT and 9600 GT (except for price and 3D performance) are:


- 9600 GT offers extra features like Picture-in-Picture and Dynamic Contrast Enhancement

- 9600 GT performs slightly better in deinterlacing (in particular when Aero is on).


If you want to be sure, go with GeForce 9600 GT.

Thanks for good info. Price of this Asus 9600GT seems almost double

the price of the XFS 8600GT so it looks like the 8600GT is a better value

considering my intended usage.


Finally I'm narrowing down on a motherboard for this system and

picked Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3R. In this price range, do you have

other recommendations which might be a better price/feature/performance

value for my components ?


Also would the MB & video card fit OK inside my case (Antec Sonata 3) ?


Thanks again for all the guides.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,452 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by termite /forum/post/14223969


Finally I'm narrowing down on a motherboard for this system and

picked Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3R. In this price range, do you have

other recommendations which might be a better price/feature/performance

value for my components ?
ASUS P5Q PRO (~$150) is another choice. It has two more SATA ports, but has only one Gb LAN port and no optical S/PDIF out.

ASUS P5Q-E (~$160) is basically identical with P5Q Deluxe except for CPU power circuitry (8 phase power vs 16 phase power, which means Deluxe is better in overclocking) and an optional fan for water-cooling/passive-cooling (that does not matter). So you can save $50.

Quote:
Originally Posted by termite /forum/post/14223969


Also would the MB & video card fit OK inside my case (Antec Sonata 3) ?

Yes.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx /forum/post/14220154


If you like ASUS, then you don't have to switch to GIGABYTE. But one feature missing in P5Q Deluxe is Dolby Home Theater (or DTS Connect).

Renethx, a few questions on DTS Connect:

What exactly does it do?

Is this something that can be obtained through the proper card (4850 or 4870)?


Thanks
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbadalucco /forum/post/14224480


Renethx, a few questions on DTS Connect:

What exactly does it do?

Is this something that can be obtained through the proper card (4850 or 4870)?


Thanks

DTSConnect and DDLive allow the creation of a DD/DTS bitstream from discrete channels.


This is mostly used for multi-channel audio games, however it can sometimes be useful for movies and players if you really want to take an HD audio stream and turn it back into a DTS/DD stream over SPDIF. Likely not much better than the core DD/DTS tracks, but some folks like to do this.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx /forum/post/14224034

ASUS P5Q PRO (~$150) is another choice. It has two more SATA ports, but has only one Gb LAN port and no optical S/PDIF out.

ASUS P5Q-E (~$160) is basically identical with P5Q Deluxe except for CPU power circuitry (8 phase power vs 16 phase power, which means Deluxe is better in overclocking) and an optional fan for water-cooling/passive-cooking (that does not matter). So you can save $50.



Yes.

Thanks renethx ! P5Q-E does seem quite attractive. I'll compare this with

the GA-EP45-DSR3 and try to make a call. Would you recommend

DDR2-800 memory for these boards or would I be better off with else ?


Thanks again for all your insights !
 

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After one DOA MB it's finally running and I like it so far. I have a couple of issues that this may or may not be the place for.


1. Having a really hard time getting it to connect to the main PC. Can't pin anything down signal strength looks good but, sometimes it connects and sometimes it won't.


2. Anytime I change the source on the TV and then switch back I get a black screen and have to reboot the PC to get it to work.


Any ideas or where to better ask would be appreciated.

Thanks


Parts:

SILVERSTONE Black SST-LC17-B

ENERMAX MODU82+ EMD525AWT 525W

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS4P

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz

Crucial Ballistix 2GB

SAPPHIRE 100233L Radeon HD 3450 256MB DVI dongle to HDMI to TV

SAMSUNG SpinPoint T Series HD501LJ 500GB

LITE-ON Black 12X DVD-ROM

Vista Home Prem


Trendnet TEW-432BRP 802.11G Router

Trendnet EW-pp3PI PCUI

Panasonic TH-42PZ77U

Toslink to Denon AVR-4802
 

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renethx, I can not tell you how much I value your opinions. Which you back up with documentation and facts. I built my first HTPC back in Feburary with your recommendations. Now, as I sit back and watch all this new hardware come out. I wondered to myself, do I have the best bang for my buck and do I have the best HD aduio/HD video out put I could have. I do not think so, so my question is this. What is the best MOBO/VIDEO/AUDIO solution out there to get the best picture and audio. I currently have a sapphire 2600HD video, gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L and HT Omega claro plus+. I prefer a HDMI solution of course. Price and company no issue here. Thanks!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by scmeis1 /forum/post/14227302


renethx, I can not tell you how much I value your opinions.... What is the best MOBO/VIDEO/AUDIO solution out there to get the best picture and audio.

+1,000



It would also be nice to have a "current best build" and "current budget build" for those of us who can't spend the weeks of time that it would take to decide each item individually. While I'm at it, it would be nice to know what each video card offers to the HTPC user -- each new version is marketed/designed around the 3D performance, but (for example) why would an HD4850 be any better than last generation, for HTPC video quality??
 
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