HTPC parts advice

massec

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Nov 4, 2008
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I'm looking at building a bluray HTPC for my living room, I want to hook it up to my HD tv and speakers(I do not want to run Television through it though). I read the article published about a week back, and I tried to find the parts.

However I have two oldish large good quality speakers, which need to go to an amp, they use normal audio jacks. But when I tried to find the sound card mentioned in the article I couldn't find it. Could someone give me advice on what parts I should be looking for and what parts worked well for them.

cheers
massec

p.s. I should mention I was trying to get it to be as cheap as possible, while still been able to play blu-rays/mkv files and been quiet.
 

calinkula

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What kind of budget do you have?

In terms of quiet try to find parts that have passive heat sinks (meaning no fan). Fans just cause noise. My suggestion is find a quiet PSU and one quiet 120mm fan for cooling.

A video card like this would be very nice depending on your case/budget.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161253

What kind of A/V reciever do you have? If you have one that can handle HDMI inputs or at least optical input it shouldn't be too hard to find hardware for the HTPC.
 

2shea

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If you were wondering why a nearly-outmoded 780G motherboard was priced close to $200, here’s your answer. MSI’s MS-4140 sound card interfaces with the Intersil D2Audio DAE-3 digital amplifier built onto the Media Live DIVA motherboard. The chip connects directly through the HD Audio bus and doesn’t necessitate any extra power input to the board.
From there, you actually have two connectivity options: the MS-4140 or the MS-4141 (not part of the Newegg bundle, but available separately). Since we’re not dealing with the latter, let’s discuss it first.
There is your soundcard :)
 

DiscoDuck

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If you have a receiver, there is no need for a soundcard with an amp built on it. With decent hardware video decode for bluray, get a motherboard with digital out to send to the receiver's digital input. Unless you have a newer receiver with hdmi audio input, 7.1 HD audio on a pc is a pit of misery.
 

KyleSTL

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I agree, doing the amp-card thing is not the best way to go. I would suggest a case like the Antec NSK2480 (it comes with a 380W Earthwatts PSU) and the Scythe Mini Ninja (it was pretty much designed for this purpose). Get a good motherboard (read: G45, GF 9300, 780G, or GF 8200) and an Intel E5000 or E7000 series CPU (or 45W dual core Athlon X2 for the AMD platforms). If picture quality is a high priority get a good midrange discrete card for it's additional post-processing capabilities (9500GT, 9600GSO, 9600GT, HD 4650, HD 4670).

Factor in that you'll need AnyDVD or PowerDVD Ultra to watch BluRay (~$100) and you should have a sweet machine.
 

massec

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Can I skip the video card and use the phenom from the article?
And I cannot find the sound card mentioned in the article on uk sites, so is there another way of connecting my speakers to the htpc.

(I found this case http://www.ebuyer.com/product/141005 and was thinking I would probably just replace the fans if they are too loud)
 

massec

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This motherboard has the hd3200 that is used in the article, So I guess it should work. But I still need a way to amplify the speakers, without buying an external amp. http://www.ebuyer.com/product/148368


Could I use a athlon 5050e (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/149212) and a 9400gt (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/155626) instead of a single phenom 9350e?
 

KyleSTL

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Scythe's Kama Bay Amp

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article817-page1.html

I would suggest using the 5050e if you have decided on an AMD platform. If you just want a decent BluRay player, the onboard GPU is fine. If you're concerned about getting the absolute best picture quality, that's when you should spring for a discrete card.

I'd suggest searching for more HTPC build reviews online to better educate yourself. The HTPC that Tom's built, while good, is certainly not the gospel when it comes to building similar systems.
 
Hmm the good news is Egg finally has a cheapo 790GX mATX (no high priced crazy crossfire matx lol) so here is my suggested multi core HTPC
TA790MATXx3.jpg