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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, guys.


I have a very expensive PC in a Cooler Master HAF 932 full tower. It is, thus, too big to stay in my TV room. So, it sits in my office. Thing is, wife and I are planning to have our first baby next year. Which means I will lose my office so it can turn into THE BABY ROOM. So, we will either (1) leave the PC in the Baby ROom, without any room left to be using it, or we will try to get a smaller case for it and move it to the TV room.


So, the big question is, what do I have to do to turn my Gaming PC into a HTPC? Here are the specs of my PC:


Processor: Intel i7 980x

Graphics card: 2 x EVGA Geforce GTX 580 (SLI) - these have HDMI output.

MoBo: ASUS RAMPAGE III EXTREME

RAM: 3 x 4gb 2000mhz Corsair Dominator

OS: Windows 7 Ultra


Since I don't intend to record TV shows on my computer, I dont think I would need a TV Tuner card.


Is it as simple as plugging in my Graphics card to my AVR using the HDMI cable? And installing XBMC in my computer?


I really dont care about having a NAS or doing anything fancy. All I care about is watching movies and series and catalogueing everything with XBMC.


Today I have an Xtreamer and I am not satisfied because it's not powerful enough to run XBMC properly. It lags so much that it becomes nothing more than a media storage/player. Which is not that efficient when you have A LOT of media content and can't use XBMC to help organise everything.


Now, it's gonna take a year or so for the baby to come. In the mean time, while the PC is still in the office, suppose I already want to turn it into an HTPC? It is physically distant from the TV. How would that work? I dont want to do wireless streaming, because I don't trust in wireless streaming of full HD content. Would I have to pass a huge HDMI cable from behind the wall all the way to the AVR?


Thx for your time.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by henriquefd /forum/post/20884288


Hi, guys.


I have a very expensive PC in a Cooler Master HAF 932 full tower. It is, thus, too big to stay in my TV room. So, it sits in my office. Thing is, wife and I are planning to have our first baby next year. Which means I will lose my office so it can turn into THE BABY ROOM. So, we will either (1) leave the PC in the Baby ROom, without any room left to be using it, or we will try to get a smaller case for it and move it to the TV room.


So, the big question is, what do I have to do to turn my Gaming PC into a HTPC? Here are the specs of my PC:


Processor: Intel i7 980x

Graphics card: 2 x EVGA Geforce GTX 580 (SLI) - these have HDMI output.

MoBo: ASUS RAMPAGE III EXTREME

RAM: 3 x 4gb 2000mhz Corsair Dominator

OS: Windows 7 Ultra


Since I don't intend to record TV shows on my computer, I dont think I would need a TV Tuner card.


Is it as simple as plugging in my Graphics card to my AVR using the HDMI cable? And installing XBMC in my computer?


I really dont care about having a NAS or doing anything fancy. All I care about is watching movies and series and catalogueing everything with XBMC.


Today I have an Xtreamer and I am not satisfied because it's not powerful enough to run XBMC properly. It lags so much that it becomes nothing more than a media storage/player. Which is not that efficient when you have A LOT of media content and can't use XBMC to help organise everything.


Now, it's gonna take a year or so for the baby to come. In the mean time, while the PC is still in the office, suppose I already want to turn it into an HTPC? It is physically distant from the TV. How would that work? I dont want to do wireless streaming, because I don't trust in wireless streaming of full HD content. Would I have to pass a huge HDMI cable from behind the wall all the way to the AVR?


Thx for your time.

I am not sure how big of a hit you would take if you sold it and built from scratch, that thing is overkill in every department.


If you want to keep the components try to find a nice looking case that can fit you mobo(ATX I am guessing) and maybe ditch the video cards for something cheap and silent.
 

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You could sell one 580 and have enough money to build a fairly nice HTPC.. Then you have a gaming rig and a HTPC, that's what I do.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj /forum/post/20885155


Actually, that only takes about 9 months.

i was going to say the same thing... but then saw they were in the planning stage....


i am in same situation but really think i prefer not to lose my media/game/pc office.


so the baby will have to find its own place to sleep.
 

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I would not be fast to give up my only gaming PC for HTPC use. What about putting a very small 4' wide or a corner type desk in your TV room? Like was said before you might be big time money ahead selling it and buying more lowly HTPC parts. HTPC really doesn't require that much computing power.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fschris /forum/post/20885242


i was going to say the same thing... but then saw they were in the planning stage....


i am in same situation but really think i prefer not to lose my media/game/pc office.


so the baby will have to find its own place to sleep.

How about building a really nice baby house and put it next to the dog house?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro /forum/post/20885385


I would not be fast to give up my only gaming PC for HTPC use. What about putting a very small 4' wide or a corner type desk in your TV room? Like was said before you might be big time money ahead selling it and buying more lowly HTPC parts. HTPC really doesn't require that much computing power.

I have been thinking about it and I think I will try to turn the Gaming PC into a HTPC while still being able to play on it. Difference is that I would be using my Panasonic VT20B as a monitor instead of my Dell U2410. And I would be sitting almost 9 feet away from it, on the sofa. And I would have to use wireless mouse and keyboard on some sort of retractable desk that I could hide when not using my PC to play games. At least untill we can afford a bigger place... by which time my PC will be outdated already. =P That's the price of getting married, kids! Think twice before doing it! Marriage is like a crowded party. Those who are out want to get in, and those who are in want to get out. =P


EDIT: If I turn it into a HTPC I would have to get a HTPC case for it, right? I dont want to have to push the power button all the time, since I can turn all my other electronic devices with a remote. By getting a HTPC case I can use a remote to turn my PC on and it would blend with the other equipments, since HTPCs look neat. I wonder, though, if a HTPC case would greatly affect the computers performance while gaming...
 

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You will not find a HTPC that cools as well as your 932. Not to mention only a select few will allow for larger cards. I don't know of any that one of your 580's would fit into but you don't want a card that puts off that much heat either way.


Depending on what you play a 560 / 570 with an aftermarket cooler would probably be as good as it will get (just guessing). I play more games on my HTPC than I do on my gaming rig anymore. Different style games mind you (DMC4, Alice, etc..) instead of FPS's.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by henriquefd /forum/post/20885469


EDIT: If I turn it into a HTPC I would have to get a HTPC case for it, right? I dont want to have to push the power button all the time, since I can turn all my other electronic devices with a remote. By getting a HTPC case I can use a remote to turn my PC on and it would blend with the other equipments, since HTPCs look neat. I wonder, though, if a HTPC case would greatly affect the computers performance while gaming...

A HTPC case has nothing to do with remote control. Just buy a cheap $10 HP Media Center IR Receiver from eBay and plug it into a USB port. Those cases that come with integrated IR usually use some third party software that is rather crappy. The external USB MCE receivers are plug and play.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just realised something else: Ok, I have a great(two, actually) graphics card with HDMI connection. So i can just connect my computer to my AVR. no problem. But what about the sound? I know the HDMI cable is supposed to pass through both audio and video, but is tehre are audio being output from my Graphics Card? If not, would I need to buy a good sound card for my PC? One with HDMI connection?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj
Audio is being sent through your graphics card's HDMI port. How about you just try it and see what happens.
At some point I will do that. Just want to make sure I have it all set before I unplug everything and carry that monster to the TV room. Trying to save me some headaches. =P


Anyway, thx for all the advice!
 

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The HDMI will carry your audio. If it doesn't then it will either be a lack of driver or the HDMI audio is not enabled.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by henriquefd /forum/post/20884288


Hi, guys.


I have a very expensive PC in a Cooler Master HAF 932 full tower. It is, thus, too big to stay in my TV room. So, it sits in my office. Thing is, wife and I are planning to have our first baby next year. Which means I will lose my office so it can turn into THE BABY ROOM. So, we will either (1) leave the PC in the Baby ROom, without any room left to be using it, or we will try to get a smaller case for it and move it to the TV room.


So, the big question is, what do I have to do to turn my Gaming PC into a HTPC? Here are the specs of my PC:


Processor: Intel i7 980x

Graphics card: 2 x EVGA Geforce GTX 580 (SLI) - these have HDMI output.

MoBo: ASUS RAMPAGE III EXTREME

RAM: 3 x 4gb 2000mhz Corsair Dominator

OS: Windows 7 Ultra


Since I don't intend to record TV shows on my computer, I dont think I would need a TV Tuner card.

Is it as simple as plugging in my Graphics card to my AVR using the HDMI cable? And installing XBMC in my computer?


I really dont care about having a NAS or doing anything fancy. All I care about is watching movies and series and catalogueing everything with XBMC.


Today I have an Xtreamer and I am not satisfied because it's not powerful enough to run XBMC properly. It lags so much that it becomes nothing more than a media storage/player. Which is not that efficient when you have A LOT of media content and can't use XBMC to help organise everything.


Now, it's gonna take a year or so for the baby to come. In the mean time, while the PC is still in the office, suppose I already want to turn it into an HTPC? It is physically distant from the TV. How would that work? I dont want to do wireless streaming, because I don't trust in wireless streaming of full HD content. Would I have to pass a huge HDMI cable from behind the wall all the way to the AVR?


Thx for your time.

Yes it is that simple. Ignore the "overkill" comments, especially as you will probably want to play games on it periodically.


As for the wall thing, you can certainly go that route. There's a number of approaches you can take. For video and sound a decent long HDMI cable will work fine (get one from Monoprice). For your keyboard/mouse that's another issue, you can get a USB extender cable if not too long and that should also work out ok. I wouldn't really recommend wireless USB hubs.


Lastly a Harmony remote will work wonders. If you can get your hands on one of the original Microsoft WMC remotes (the dell ones may be for sale still in some locations) you can setup the IR receiver in your living room connected to a USB hub connected to the PC. This will allow you to control WMC if that is your choice.


The final piece of the equation will be power on/off. You can either do this manually or you'll need to look into other more complex solutions for remote power on. With it in the other room it's not as easy as a simple IR power on module.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by santiagodraco /forum/post/20892025


Yes it is that simple. Ignore the "overkill" comments, especially as you will probably want to play games on it periodically.

I always ignore those comments. I had the opportunity to buy my dream computer and I went for it. Love it. Dont regret it one bit. =P

Quote:
As for the wall thing, you can certainly go that route. There's a number of approaches you can take. For video and sound a decent long HDMI cable will work fine (get one from Monoprice).

Yeah, I have been looking at that option, because I am so excited about using my gaming rig as a HTPC that I want to do it right away, but without moving it to the tv room. Soooo, it seems I will have to use an HDMI extender using CAT 6 cables, because it's a long passage all the way to the tv room. I've seen these options:

HDMI Extender - 333 feet


and this one

HDMI Extender 150 feet


Both promise to deliver 1080p. I am just not sure if I can trust that promise and wonder if someone has used a similar product before and can testify for or against it.

Quote:
For your keyboard/mouse that's another issue, you can get a USB etender cable if not too long and that should also work out ok. I wouldn't really recommend wireless USB hubs.

yeah, cables are out of the question. Wife won't allow me to have long cables coming all the way from the rack to the sofa. Someone said something about using bluetooth. Maybe that's the way to go?


EDIT: here, it was in another forum. Someone gave me this idea: "Wireless controllers that are bluetooth or 2.4ghz wireless don't need line of sight. Any infrared controller will come with a USB plug that can be easily attached to a USB extender and placed wherever it needs to be. If you plan on using infrared controllers, don't even think of making your wife/GF point the remote away from the TV, or you may end up sleeping on the couch with your computer."


Here is a picture of the tv/living room, if it helps visualising the situation:



Quote:
Lastly a Harmony remote will work wonders. If you can get your hands on one of the original Microsoft WMC remotes (the dell ones may be for sale still in some locations) you can setup the IR receiver in your living room connected to a USB hub connected to the PC. This will allow you to control WMC if that is your choice.

I will check into that. Thanks!

Quote:
The final piece of the equation will be power on/off. You can either do this manually or you'll need to look into other more complex solutions for remote power on. With it in the other room it's not as easy as a simple IR power on module.

I'm actually considering a new case like Antec Remote Fusion MAX. They say I can fit 2 video cards in it and the case looks big enough for all my computer parts. Plus, it is not ugly like my HAF 932 AND it has a remote. Win win.
 
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