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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of my goals for the year is a HTPC build. I picked up a system off a guy and started. This is what I have so far:


Case: Antec NSK1300

Power Supply: 300W (built in)

Main Board: MSI RC410M (7173)

BIOS Version: 1.3B7

Audio: On board Realtek ALC880

CPU: Intel Pentium 4 3.4 GHz w/ HT

RAM: 2 x 1 GB 533MHz DDR2

HDD: 500 GB SATA

DVD-RW SATA

Nvidia GE Force 6600

Hauppauge PVR-150 w/remote

Windows Vista Ultimate


DVI -> HDMI -> 50" Plasma TV (720p)


TV is analogue cable.


The Nvidia 6600 is a little noisy, but I'm OK with it. My PROBLEM is that the video and audio will cut out from time to time. Just watching TV is no problem... in fact if the audio/video cuts out, I can just hit "TV" on my remote and the problem resolves.


I'll try to explain this better... if I'm watching TV for a while and then go to "Music" or explore the menu system of MCE, the audio and video will cut out. There does not seem to be excessive heat from the system, and if I go back to just watching TV, the problem is fixed. If I exit media center, the screen remains black. So, I'm thinking it has to do with the resolution.


I'm thinking this is a power supply issue? Any thoughts? Maybe 300W from the supplied Antec case isn't enough.


The Achilles Heel to correcting the PSU issue (if that is what it is) is the case. I can't seem to find a more powerful PSU that would find where the stock PSU is. I was thinking an external PSU (Nesteq Nova 600W, XG Magnum 600W External), but I can't seem to find any place to actually purchase one of these.


If I can't fix the PSU problem, would I be able to get a microATX mainboard that would be happy with the 300W PSU, have HDMI onboard (support 720p), at least 5.1 audio? Thoughts are: Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H, Intel DG35EC, ECS G43T-M, Asus B5E-VM.


Your opinion is valued.


Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the responses so far.


I tried turining of HT, that didn't help. Slowed the computer down to a crawl.


Removed the nVidia card and tried the onboard video with a regular monitor... didn't help.


Tried MCE in a window vs. full screen. No luck there either.


So, I'm not thinking power supply either. Which kinda sucks because I purchased a new low power video card. Not a complete loss because it's passively cooled which will cut down on the sound issue.


I'm currently working on the premise that it might be a problem with the SATA drive. I've read about problems with SATA RAID and Vista. I had to update the BIOS just to install Vista on the SATA drive in the first place. I have a 40 gig IDE that I'm going to install Vista on and see if I have the same problem.


I didn't personally put the box together... maybe the MB has a short? Would that cause this kind of problem? I would think that the MB wouldn't load at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Unfortunately, I can't point to one specific thing that resolved this issue. Here's what I did:


1) Replaced the nVidia 6600 with the ATI 3450. The ATI card gives me more HTPC related features, less power, and I'm using the Sapphire passively cooled card... so, less noise.


2) Reinstalled Vista to an older 40 gig IDE drive I had lying around. The 500 gig SATA drive is just storage now.


I think the ultimate cause of all my problems is hard drive related. I had endless headaches installing Vista until I upgraded the BIOS. The SATA/RAID drivers did not get installed on installation (right now I have "SATA as IDE" checked in my BIOS). Maybe I'll get around to re-installing Vista, again, with the drivers if I continue to have problems.
 
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