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HTPC upgraded at long last! Why are they such a chore?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Weeeew! I waited long enough to do this, mostly due to wanting to upgrade my main gaming rig for Skyrim, BF3 and SWTOR so I could use the guts to give my aging HTPC a new lease on life so I could actually use and enjoy it again, haven't been able to even watch 720p or quality streaming vids for awhile now


This was my first HTPC I ever built, back in 2006 when I got my new job and decided to treat myself. Like now, I used the guts from my previous gaming build to start with and what i've been using up until last week.

Athlon 64 San Deigo 3700+ 2.2ghz *Last good Athlon I owned*
Asus A8SN-CM mobo with nvidia nforce 430 *Miss those nforce days*
2 gigs DDR2 Corsair XMS 3200
720gig WD Caviar
Onboard audio *And I wondered for years why my audio sounded crappy, live and learn*
Antec NSK 2480 case w/Antec 380watt PSU
Windows MCE 2005 *gift from previous job*
Windows MCE remote
Cheapo Logitech wireless mouse/keyboard

I bought an ATI sapphire card of some kind years ago but I could never get the worthless drivers and resolution to work correctly and finally gave up and went to using the onboard Geforce 6150 which turned out to be MUCH better anyway. Last ATi card I ever purchase after that stress bin.




Anyway, it worked pretty well these last few years but with a few issues that I could never resolve no matter what I did and finally, it was time rectify them

1. MCE 2005 is utterly retarded with any type of video format thats beyond .MWV or .AVI. God knows how many hours I spent getting .MKV, .MOV .MP4. I must of tried dozens of codec packages to finally get most of my vids to play
2. Dunno wether it was due to nforces gigabit drivers and or MCE 2005 crappy gigabit support but I could NEVER get file transfers to go faster then 10 megabytes via my gigabit network on Cat6. For large transfers, iv'e had to use my freaking USB stick or yank the HDD out and frankenstein it to my main machine. Made transfering gigs of tv seasons a real ass ache

Needless to say, I didn't use my HTPC much in the past year due to the frustrating issues above and the fact that my crusty old Athlon 64 simply couldn't play almost any 720p video feed without hiccuping or pausing. Hell, even Netflix streaming and Youtube HD feeds worked crappy.

Now that i've got my new gaming machine built, I finally had some newer components to give my HTPC a new lease on life and be able to enjoy it again!

Core 2 Duo E8500 @ 3.8ghz *Cause OC a HTPC is so OCN!*
Asus PVE-VM HDMI *onboard HDMI, no more conversion cable, yah!
4gigs G.Skill DDR2 800 *No more swap file usage for big vids!*
Scythe Shuriken slim HSF
Audigy 2 with custom PAX drivers *huge difference in sound quality*
Windows Vista 64 bit Premium *Finally, a new OS with updated MCE!*




Build itself was easy as pie, especially with that roomy Antec case. Not the smallest or prettiest of cases, but it works, cools well and flexible!

After cursing the now defunkt Atheros company for their shoddy gigabit drivers support and literally hours of downloading Vista patchs I finally had my new working HTPC. Well, sorta. Turns out even Vista's MCE is still retarded in recognizing file types beyond Microsofts standard stuff. UNNNGGG!!!!

Another couple of hour of research, trial and error and I finally found a nice custom codec driver package to make MCE recognize everything without registry hacking it to death. Mucho thanks to Shark 007 for his efforts in making MCE usable for us! http://shark007.net/x64components1.html

Thinking that I was finally done turned out to be wishful thinking *sigh* Next it turns out Intels onboard video is pretty stupid in regards to recongizing digital TV's of any kind and creating custom rez profiles. Try as I might, I couldn't get the vista desktop resolution to fill my sonys 50" screen along with MCE when loaded, either one is smaller then the other. Looks like i'll need to purchase a PCI-E nvidia card so I can make some custom rez settings so I can get my full 50" of viewing working. Anyone got cheap suggestions?

Settling with my res problems for now, last night I needed to transfer some new vid files from my game rig to the HTPC. After saying a prayer and crossing my fingers and slapping Vista around to getting file and networking sharing to work, I prayed my gigabit would at long last be utilized and moved some 1080p vids over, watched and held my breath. Huzzzahh!!! I was transferring vids at 90-110 megs a sec!!. Woooo at last, my gigabit networking also works!!!!

AT LAST, I now have my *new* HTPC up and running and I got to finally watch my HD shows on my big screen TV with no hiccuping, stuttering or audio cutting out! Have to say, watching 1080p MLP is more enjoyable on the big screen! My ol reliable audigy 2 also gives me better sound quality and I don't have to crank the volume all the way to hear stuff thanks to better power output, no more shoddy onboard! Anyone know why building and making these things work is such a long, tedious chore to the point you wonder why you even bother? Soooo glad im done now though....

My steps later on are to upgrade the HDD to a terabyte + size and a bluetooth keyboard/mouse of some kind. I hope to replace the TV as well with a new 55" flat screen from Sharp or Sony down the road as im dying for more HDMI inputs as well as native 1080p support.

For now, i've got some serious HD vid watching to do!


"Night Fire"
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"Night Fire"
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Intel Core i5 2500k @ 4.6ghz ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z eVGA GTX 570 Superclocked @ 850/1700/1990 G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
WD Caviar Black 640 AALS Intel 520 Cherryville SSD 120gig *Thanks OCN!* Asus DRW-2014L1T Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell U2412M Viewsonic VX2025WM Saitek II Antec TruePower New 550w Antec mini P-180 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech Mx518 IceMat X-Fi Titanium w/PAX drivers 
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post #2 of 9
You still have a working NES and SNES?
post #3 of 9
To be honest they are really easy and you just did/do not know what you are doing with a HTPC. Doesn't look like you did much research or ask any questions about software/codecs/components.
Nice setup though.
Got Cheap?
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Got Cheap?
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Phenom II 965 Asrock 870 Extreme3 Sapphire 6850 sniper 2x4gb DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD blue 500gb cheap dvd-rw 7 x64 21" LG 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
KA-558 Antec TP-750 NZXT Gamma MX518 
Mouse Pad
Xtrac Ripper 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Athlon II x2 240 Biostar A870u3 2x2gb gb ddr1066 Samsung h154ui 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 204ui Western Digital WD10 EADS Western Digital WD20 EARS Western digital WD2500 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Western Digital Blue 500gb dvd burner Windows 7 x64 Remote Desktop 
PowerCaseOther
Antec EA500-d Norco 470 Flexraid 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon II x4 620 ASUS M3A78-EM 5450 G.Skil 2x2gb DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Western Digital Blue 500gb none Windows 7 x64 46" lcd 
KeyboardPowerCaseAudio
RII Antec EarthWatts EA-380 Norco 420 Polk Audio Monitor50 x5 
AudioAudioOther
Polk Audio Monitor 30 x2 Bic F12 sub Acoustic Research ARRX18G 
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post #4 of 9
I see no Dreamcast there...

Not a true gaming setup.
The Little Li
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post #5 of 9
Nice! but mine is better! lol
    
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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NateN34 View Post
I see no Dreamcast there...

Not a true gaming setup.
I know, I need one along with a PS2
"Night Fire"
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Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
WD Caviar Black 640 AALS Intel 520 Cherryville SSD 120gig *Thanks OCN!* Asus DRW-2014L1T Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell U2412M Viewsonic VX2025WM Saitek II Antec TruePower New 550w Antec mini P-180 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech Mx518 IceMat X-Fi Titanium w/PAX drivers 
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"Night Fire"
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 2500k @ 4.6ghz ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z eVGA GTX 570 Superclocked @ 850/1700/1990 G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
WD Caviar Black 640 AALS Intel 520 Cherryville SSD 120gig *Thanks OCN!* Asus DRW-2014L1T Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell U2412M Viewsonic VX2025WM Saitek II Antec TruePower New 550w Antec mini P-180 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech Mx518 IceMat X-Fi Titanium w/PAX drivers 
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post #7 of 9
Love the poster setup! Oh and the HTPC is nice.
Big Blue
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8 gigs G.SKILL Sniper (2x 4) Corsair 128GB SSD LG BluRay Corsair H60 
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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hick View Post
To be honest they are really easy and you just did/do not know what you are doing with a HTPC. Doesn't look like you did much research or ask any questions about software/codecs/components.
Nice setup though.

I prefer doing this my way until I despretly need help
"Night Fire"
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Intel Core i5 2500k @ 4.6ghz ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z eVGA GTX 570 Superclocked @ 850/1700/1990 G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
WD Caviar Black 640 AALS Intel 520 Cherryville SSD 120gig *Thanks OCN!* Asus DRW-2014L1T Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell U2412M Viewsonic VX2025WM Saitek II Antec TruePower New 550w Antec mini P-180 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech Mx518 IceMat X-Fi Titanium w/PAX drivers 
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"Night Fire"
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 2500k @ 4.6ghz ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z eVGA GTX 570 Superclocked @ 850/1700/1990 G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
WD Caviar Black 640 AALS Intel 520 Cherryville SSD 120gig *Thanks OCN!* Asus DRW-2014L1T Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell U2412M Viewsonic VX2025WM Saitek II Antec TruePower New 550w Antec mini P-180 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech Mx518 IceMat X-Fi Titanium w/PAX drivers 
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post #9 of 9
Looks good. Only thing I'd change is Vista for Windows 7. Just because Vista takes a little bit extra resources that I'd rather go into playing my actual content. Other than that good stuff.

If building and setting up pc's didn't take work and take as long as they did my wife would be even madder because I'd spend more money on parts to fill my time with
The 2600k
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The 2600k
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Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Viewsonic VX2739wm Viewsonic VX2739wm Logitech G15(original) 
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