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is this a good candidate for HTPC?

ooztuncer

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#1
OK, I am such a nice guy, lol, that as a seller I don't want to sell my parts to one of my friends unless he can use it in its HTPC.

What I am looking for is your opinions whether my parts would be a good fit for him.

Asus A8n-SLI deluxe
Venice 3200 - AC Freezer 64 pro
Patriot 2x1024mb ddr
Built by ATI X1900XT (512mb)
160gb Hitachi Deskstar (Sata II)
NEC 3540A 16x DVD Writer
NZXT Performance Power (PP) 500w

The sole purpose of his PC is to get plugged into his home theater so that he can watch downloaded content on his HDTV.

i am 100% sure that X1900XT needs an accelero x2, vf-700, etc. to reduce the fan sound.

Let me know what you think and please feel free to recommend new parts and a case!
 
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#2
The parts used in a htpc doesn't really mater to much. The major things to be considered is...

a) will it run cool and quite
b) will it be able to display content correctly and clearly on the TV
c) the OS, does it have media center or equivalent.

Other things to consider is...but not to important (consider these the extra)

a) the form factor (ie: htpc case, or some mATX box).
b) TV tuners, capturing cards, DVB cards, Cable cards...some video feed.
c) can it accept HD content and display it as HD (blu-ray, hddvd, etc.)
d) sound, can i plug it to a sound system.
e) peripherals: wireless keyboard/mouse, remote control, flash card reader, VFD...

IMO, wireless input devices is a must!
 

ooztuncer

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#3
thanks ktr for the reply.

in your must list > will it be able to display content correctly and clearly on the TV? > i believe X1900XT does a decent job, but my concern is perhaps a 8400 or 8500 series cards do a better job?

Also, what would be your recommendation for a case? SFF, micro atx, mid-tower, etc.


Also from my friend's point of view, "I'm looking at using the Cooler Master CM Media RC-282 chassis which I believe should have both plenty of space and quiet cooling. In an ideal world I'd go fanless with the MB and VC but in my situation that isn't 100% necessary so I'm not going to worry about it. Also, I don't need bleeding edge tech for any of this, just the ability to play lossy downloaded content on my HDTV so all of the components seem plenty capable of that."


Thanks again...
 

3991vhtes

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#4
What exactly does HTPC mean? I've been wondering that for a while. Thought I would ask in a thread that's already discussing this instead of make a new thread :eek:
 

panchoman

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#5
htpc= home theater pc
 
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#6
thanks ktr for the reply.

in your must list > will it be able to display content correctly and clearly on the TV? > i believe X1900XT does a decent job, but my concern is perhaps a 8400 or 8500 series cards do a better job?

Also, what would be your recommendation for a case? SFF, micro atx, mid-tower, etc.


Also from my friend's point of view, "I'm looking at using the Cooler Master CM Media RC-282 chassis which I believe should have both plenty of space and quiet cooling. In an ideal world I'd go fanless with the MB and VC but in my situation that isn't 100% necessary so I'm not going to worry about it. Also, I don't need bleeding edge tech for any of this, just the ability to play lossy downloaded content on my HDTV so all of the components seem plenty capable of that."


Thanks again...
How are you connecting htpc to the tv? Via hdmi...or vga...or dvi...or svideo...etc.

If it is hdmi, i would recommend a card with hdmi, perhaps a 2600, which has pretty good decoding performance and abilities.
 

ooztuncer

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#7
hmm, I connected my X1900XT via dvi-hdmi cable and it looked really nice on my 8th generation Panny industrial plasma (720p). I would say, same quality with regular sd dvd's...

It is a great point though (i.e., I mean vid cards). I know that X1900XT is still a very good card for games but to reduce the cpu load for TV playback, I am hesitating.
 
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#8
Those parts will make a perfect media centre. The only thing I would do would be to sell the X1900. You should be able to get around $120 for it at least, and grab a 2600xt...

That would really top it off.
 

hat

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#9
I think an x1900 is too much. For a HTPC, I would just buy a passively cooled HD2400 or something...
 

n_maher

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#10
Hi there, my name is Nate and I'm the one looking at ooz's parts. First of all thanks for all the constructive help, I appreciate it. Now to answer a bunch of questions...

a) will it run cool and quite
I think w/ an aftermarket cooler on the VC I should be in pretty good shape. Of course, as others have said I may just be better off moving the card and getting a passively sinked card.

b) will it be able to display content correctly and clearly on the TV
Sure seems to me like the X1900 should have plenty of power to handle whatever I throw at it. My plan was to use a DVI-HDMI cable.

c) the OS, does it have media center or equivalent.
I've got a copy of Vista Ultimate ready to go. It was free so I'm going to use it.

a) the form factor (ie: htpc case, or some mATX box).
As mentioned, I've chosen a case that should accommodate the MB.
b) TV tuners, capturing cards, DVB cards, Cable cards...some video feed.
At this time not a concern. Future, maybe, but the idea with this build is to get a stable platform up and running and start working on the wife-acceptance-factor of having a computer in the living room. :)

c) can it accept HD content and display it as HD (blu-ray, hddvd, etc.)
Not even remotely a concern.

d) sound, can i plug it to a sound system.
I'll probably add a cheap SC w/ a digital out to run to my HT receiver. [edit]Upon further review it looks like the MB should have digital outputs on board, bonus.

e) peripherals: wireless keyboard/mouse, remote control, flash card reader, VFD...
For now I'll just be running it with a wireless keyboard/mouse. No need for a remote just yet but I already have a Harmony 880 that should fit the bill if I ever get the itch.

One other point of interest - I may occasionally take the box out of the stack for a bit of light gaming. Nothing super heavy and I don't require peak performance by any means so for that reason I would like to keep the X1900. COD3 is coming out in a couple weeks and I'm like a moth to the flame.

Thanks again for the help folks.

Nate
 
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#11
as long as you got these...

a) will it run cool and quite
b) will it be able to display content correctly and clearly on the TV
c) the OS, does it have media center or equivalent.
things down, then you are ok!