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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This question has made me finally register so I could ask it. I have a few clients that are pretty good with computer tech stuff, and they seem to have a good grasp at what is discussed on these forums too. I've learned about 1/2 from reading these forums for the last year, and 1/2 from listening to these clients talking. What's funny is that they talk about issues that seem to get resolved here, and then a few days later talk about "how they found the solution." :D :D


Well, back to the point...


What I am trying to find out is all the information I can get for the option of Low Profile cards that would be used to build a decent HTPC. I'm not sure that the technology has been brought to this arena yet. And if it has, if the products are any good.


What I need info on specifically would be video cards, TV tuner cards, audio cards, capture cards, and any other cards that would be beneficial for putting together a nice quality HTPC. It doesn't have to be the most powerful or the ultimate HTPC, just a very decent and respectable HTPC.


I'm not worried about the mobo, the networking, the cooling or the cases, as all that happens to be my specialty. Something will be designed to meet these needs. If people can be as specific as possible with the other components, as in what's currently available and what would be better if it was implemented.


If I can document enough information, even about products that aren't being manufactured (as in wish-list items), I can try to persuade manufacture's in the right direction. This may sound weird, but there is a major point to all this. There are some products that can come to market in the near future if the industry has solutions in the Low Profile format.


So, any and all help in this matter is greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Lots of views but not comments one way or the other?
 

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Hi Andrew,


Perhaps the reason you're not getting much response is that there are few low profile cards out there. Last time I looked, I found some serial port cards, one RAID card, a basic sound card and one AGP card (based on a TNT2 - not something that would excite a HTPC enthusiast).


Part of the problem is that there's simply not much board area on a short, low-profile card. Certainly no room for a TV tuner, for example.


Probably the best option for home theater use would be one of the motherboards based on the nVidia nForce chipset. That has decent enough onboard perhipherals to satisfy the audio & video requirements of a reasonable HTPC. Since I know your interest is in uATX, the Abit NV7m might be a suitable candidate, though I understand the SPDIF connector is on a separate optional bracket.


Paul
 

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I have a low profile PC, primarily for music playing purposes, but also for basic DVD/VCR functionality.


Its based on a Aopen 340A case with Celeron 1GHz with Zalman CPU cooler. The PSU fan is immediately to the side of the CPU and provides enough cooling without any additional fan, so it is very quiet.


In the PCI/AGP slots are currently a Aopen NIC with a low-profile bracket, an ATI TV Wonder VE and an OEM Radeon VE from Supergrace. These latter two cards are short enough to fit but I've had to remove the fitted standard sized brackets. There was a post on low profiles Radeon 7500s a few months ago, but I've not found one in the UK.


I've never found a suitable low profile sound card, so I'm using a rather old Opcode Datport USB device for two channel sound only, although I have an M-audio Sonica on order.


Also attached to the USB port is Psion Wavefinder DAB radio.


Martin
 

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Low profile gforce mx cards are out there as well as ati 7500's and matrox g550's. ethernet is easy as many are ~1" tall. the killer is audio and capture. I only know of two capture cards that are low profile one is the ati tv wonder ve and the other is a 878 based card with 3 composite in's and no tuner. The best bet for audio seems to be c-media/crystal/nForce onboard or usb toslink.


Don't forget about riser cards. You can get just about any combination of hights and angles to suit.
 
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