AVS Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, im in the process of spec'ing a HTPC for use on a Hitachi 53" rear projection HD ready tv.


I would love to hear your feedback before i start investing.


Case-- Directron desk top 7109 charcoal black atx case

cables --rounded ide and floppy cables

memory-- 512 meg memory

hard drive--western digital 7200 rpm ultra ata100 120gb 8mb cache

m-board-- giga-byte ga-7vrxp atx mbd sa kt333 ddr333

processor-- athlon xp 1700 256k socket a

video-- ati all in wonder radeon 8500dv

dvd-r-- hp dvd100i combo drive

sound-- sound blaster extigy usb ext sc

speakers-- creative inspire 5.1 digital 5700

hd enclosure-- silent drive

power supply-- atx ultra quitet psu 300w


all i need is an affordable RF keyboard/mouse


i am concenred that the ATI 8500dv does not currently support HDTV, their web page says that they will offer it soon, does anyone know when soon is?


sound- i know that i could spend a million $$ getting sound perfected. I really want a solution that is reasonable and still sounds good.


I'm starting from scratch, (havn't even bought the TV yet) so any help is appreciated.


thanks


steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,496 Posts
"sound-- sound blaster extigy usb ext sc"


Do a search, I believe they do not work for DD and or DT or is it just SPDIF


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"the ATI 8500dv does not currently support HDTV"


Again, do a search, I don't think it ever will. I think it references a 3rd party application to do it. - this means it would have to be done in software.


Not sure if round cables are worth it for Desktop Cases


Finally MB/CPU do a search on the giga-byte MB and Athlon. Some have had problems with VIA chipsets. Stability in HTPC seems to be with Intel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
The HP DVD100i doesn't write to dvd-r. It uses dvd+rw. Not sure if you meant to go this route but I would advise against it. If you want to stick with HP, the DVD200 will allow you to write to dvd+r and dvd+rw but they are still hard to find and the more expensive option.


Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
I took the advice of many in this group and went with a Seagate Barracuda IV 7200 RPM drive. It's VERY quiet (I cannot hear it at all from 2 feet away) and doesn't need an enclosure.


If you are interested in making your HTPC really quiet, Xcel has posted awesome advice as to how to do this... check out his "best in class" post.


Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,867 Posts
stvinatl,


Welcome to the forum. The parts list you comprised for your PC seems to be from the viewpoint of a hardcore gamer. First and foremost, get that out of your head. If you want a good reliable HTPC, you have to think a little differently.


Go Intel - The i815EP for a PIII or the new i845E chipset for a P4. The ASUS P4B533 is a great motherboard. I just got one of the first ones last week from Newegg.


Processor: PIII or P4 as needed. Any clock speed will do, but you don't need much. The Intel chipset motherboards are much more stable and tend to work better with off-brand capture cards and other hardware better. Also, they stay cooler and don't require loud fans like an Athlon.


Sound card:

cheap: Zoltrix Nightingale Pro 6

Expensive and perfect: M-Audio series. Read the forums for specific recommendations.


Video: ATI Radeon 7500 for the best visual quality, bar none. The ATI 8500 has broken drivers for setting gamma, although that may change in the near future. Get a separate BT878 based TV Tuner/capture card for cableTV, scaling, or for use with dScaler. The Pinnacle PCTV Pro is good, as is the Zoltrix TV Genie.


HDD: Seagate Barracuda IV is quiet if its important to you. Western Digital makes the loudest EIDE hard drives in the industry. They always have. Maxtor is somewhat in the middle.


I don't know why you'd need a DVD Burner for a HTPC. I'd put one in my main PC instead so I can edit the video and author it, etc. But I'd go with the Pioneer DVR-104. DVD-R/W is the way to go. DVD+RW has multiple problems from what I've been reading, and isn't the industry DVD format standard. I can personally attest to DVD-R's working well and also personally attest to DVD+RW's NOT working well in certain DVD players. DVD+R(W).... never again for me!


And most importantly, search all those terms you (and I) have listed and read, READ, READ other posts on this forum before you buy anything. It will all help to sink in.


Robert
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
554 Posts
1. Ditto DVD-R vs. DVD+RW. Pioneer DVR-A04 recommended.


2. ATI 8500dv - a nice idea on paper, but they have been well aware of the many outstanding issues with this card and as yet chosen not to address them (in favor of focusing on the further gaming enhancemnts). Among the issues: still no component dongle, gamma curve break, nothing on the HDTV front (a hardware add-in component *is* required).


3. Sound: SB Exdigy may be fin for a small room and small speakers and non-critical listening. For a "livingroom" type htpc, recommend M-Audio Audiophile 2496 card connected to your receiver's coaxial S/PDIF digital audio in.


Good luck


Alec
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Agree with mikemunday and Alec... the dvd100i isn't the way to go... I still don't get the full difference between dvd-r and dvd+r, but apparently the Pioneer uses the -r and the HP the +r... anyway, if you do get the 100i, HP has a trade in program right now to get the 200i (which has +r & +rw @2.4x) for $105... in most cases doing this would be cheaper than getting the 200i. (100i OEM $287 + trade-in $105 = $392... 200i Retail = $472)...


and since it's been brought up (don't mean to trudge on your thread) can someone generalize the difference between the +r or -r? Is there one? Is it a proprietary thing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,316 Posts
Beating AMD isn't really fair if you don't tell them the whole story.


I've gone with AMD for my last few systems and have been fine with it and I build lots of PCs. The problem with chipsets was not system wide ( I've had both the supposedly bad chipset and soundcard and it worked fine for a year for me.)


If you want to stay away from Via, there are other vendors who make great chipsets for AMD that have features you can't get on Intel (Nvidia nForce for example.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
FWIW, I'd have to go along with the recommendations that you choose an Intel-based HTPC. I'm entirely happy with my 3 AMD-based systems, but AMD processors run hotter than Intel's. More heat means you need more cooling, and more cooling generally means more noise. I'm in the midst of building my current HTPC around a 1.6A P4 running rock solid at 2.1 GHz, in the Asus P4S333-M motherboard, and so far it's performing beyond my expectations - I went micro-ATX because I just HAD to have the Coolermaster ATC600SX1 case. Just about anything you get with the Intel 845D, E, or G chipsets will perform well. The aforementioned P4B533 is probably among the best P4 platforms out there, but it's priced with that in mind. I'd recommend a good look at the P4S533, which is based on the SIS 645DX chipset.


I'd also second the recommendations of the Radeon 7500, possibly the AIW if you want those features. I'd definitely recommend getting a card "built by" ATI, rather than just "powered by". ATI is bad enough about drivers without introducing new kinks to their already mediocre update schedule. I got the Sapphire (powered by) Radeon 7500, and it runs fine since I've reflashed the BIOS to the ATI BIOS, but for the difference in cost, it's hardly worth the trouble.


Other points:


Seagate drives are quiet, WDC's are absolutely not! Everything else is in between.


Haven't gotten the M-Audio card yet (I'm still using an !gasp! Audigy), but those seem to be the best solution at a reasonable price. I have no idea what an Extigy is good for, other than maybe connecting a laptop to good headphones or some such.


Definitely look for xcel's post mentioned by DCypher, and re-read Valnar's post in this thread - especially the part about read, read, read. You've managed to find one of the most useful, friendly, and information-rich sites on the net. The time you spend learning is a lot more productive than time you spend troubleshooting, delousing, swearing, and returning.


Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,867 Posts
It has not been proven that any chipset other than Intel (Not AMD, not VIA, not SiS) will work 100% perfectly with PCI cards that include PCI bridge chips. Multifunction cards usually contain PCI bridges, like the SB Live + Firewire, or a USB 2.0 + Firewire PCI card. IOW, those cards that combine the functionality of two PCI cards to save a slot. Intel chipsets work fine. Others.... well.... maybe not quite so well, if at all.



While I only touched on it briefly in my first post, the "other" big plus on Intel CPU's is the heat/noise factor. Trust me, that alone makes it worth it.


My main system is a Lian-Li PC60 case with a bunch of fans and a modded 120mm blowhole on top. Sure I hear the noise, but its for gaming, productivity and surfing. Having the quietest system you can possibly make is important in an HTPC.


Panaflo and Pabst fans have become my friends..... Oh, and the Zalman coolers- both for CPU and the passive cooler for the Radeon 7500. I forget the part numbers.....


-Robert
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top