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HTPC questions

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'd like to set up an effective HTPC, just enough to watch Blue ray/HD contents. my main concern is audio quality, I want a high quality audio too. Please recommend a cost effective components. CPU intergrated GPU, does it competent? do I need a sound card for a decent audio output? thanks.
First PC
(13 items)
 
  
CPURAMHard DriveOS
166-MHz Pentium 16 MB RAM 2.1 GB Win 95 
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First PC
(13 items)
 
  
CPURAMHard DriveOS
166-MHz Pentium 16 MB RAM 2.1 GB Win 95 
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post #2 of 8
I would go with an amd apu, because the integrated graphics are good for the price you pay for them. if it is urgent then get llano, if not then get trinity when it comes out. since this is an htpc, i'll assume you'll want small form factor. you won't need a sound card, the 7.1 audio will be fine if you are on a budget, and they take alot of space too.

amd a6 3650 $110
asrock a75m-itx $90
kingston 4gb ddr3 1333 low profile ram $22
Rosewill RS-MI-01 BK Mini ITX Tower $50
Rosewill RA-MOLEX-SATA 4 pin female Molex to 15 pin male SATA adapter $5 (you'll need it for the bluray drive)
if you want a hdd, then get:
Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 $85 (and they have a $10 off promo code)
and if you want an ssd then get:
Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 $83 (it's on sale, it's normally $105)
LITE-ON Black bluray drive $60 (it has a $7 off promo code)
and before shipping, tax, or os, it comes to about:
$430
now i know you can probably do better with an intel build, but if all you're doing is watching movies and maybe some internet videos, it will be a cost effective build that will handle all of it.
post #3 of 8
I would suggest: this. This will shave off $125 off the price tag. For simple media it should be more than sufficient.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Asinity. That's freaking WOW! can that thing load Window 7?
First PC
(13 items)
 
  
CPURAMHard DriveOS
166-MHz Pentium 16 MB RAM 2.1 GB Win 95 
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First PC
(13 items)
 
  
CPURAMHard DriveOS
166-MHz Pentium 16 MB RAM 2.1 GB Win 95 
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post #5 of 8
Yes, mine runs Windows 7 perfectly. The E-350 isn't a powerhouse by any means but for a HTPC? Certainly.
post #6 of 8
Asininity can that handle 1080p perfectly? looks like a good solution if it can.
post #7 of 8
3D Blu ray u better off with Llano A6 and u mentioned high audio quality : if you want Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, etc you'd have to go with a HDMI in/out AVR
El Pinguis Cattus
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Heka 710 @ 3ghz UVOC Biostar A880G+ HD4250 Surroundview with discret... Sapphire HD 4670 HDMI, Videomate Compro X50 (An... 2 X 2 GB KVR 1333 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD 640GB, Hauppauge HVR-3000 (Digital FTA + STB) LG DVDRW SATA W7 Ult / Ubuntu 11.04 64 bits Acer X233H + 32" Panny LCD TV 
KeyboardPowerCaseAudio
iPazzport RF HTPC kb/trackpad combo CM Silent Pro M500 Chenming Clone shoebox Pioneer VSX-416 + Kenwood LSK-727 Floor Standers  
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El Pinguis Cattus
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Heka 710 @ 3ghz UVOC Biostar A880G+ HD4250 Surroundview with discret... Sapphire HD 4670 HDMI, Videomate Compro X50 (An... 2 X 2 GB KVR 1333 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD 640GB, Hauppauge HVR-3000 (Digital FTA + STB) LG DVDRW SATA W7 Ult / Ubuntu 11.04 64 bits Acer X233H + 32" Panny LCD TV 
KeyboardPowerCaseAudio
iPazzport RF HTPC kb/trackpad combo CM Silent Pro M500 Chenming Clone shoebox Pioneer VSX-416 + Kenwood LSK-727 Floor Standers  
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Reply
post #8 of 8
The Realtek ALC887 on the MSI ITX I linked is really meh for audio. You could always buy a sound card, but remember the MSI board only has a PCI Express 2 x16 so I think you would have to get a PCIe sound card.

As for the video I have not had a chance to personally take mine for any laps, but here's this:
Quote:
The Graphics capability
Tagged and labeled under the Vision engine there's a nice graphics subsystem embedded into the APU responsible for many tasks, embedded is a Radeon HD 6310 (Vancouver Radeon HD series 6000) which can drive real low-level games, but most of all is perfect for Full HD content playback, DXVA hardware acceleration and post processing. You guys all know UVD right, the Universal Video Decoder technology from ATI, well the 3rd generation UVD core logic has been embedded into the GPU so VC1. H.264, DIVX/XVID acceleration is all supported.
Link to review/article

Here's the conclusion for the MSI ITX from another article: link

On 1080p playback: link to Youtube

The Asrock a75m-ITX comes with a Realtek ALC892 audio. While the 892 is a step above the 887's audio (the MSI ITX) the audio (as far as I know) isn't great either way and you may be interested in buying a audio card anyways. Both the Asrock and the E350IA-E45 have a single PCI Express x16 so you would have to buy a PCIe card for either one.

Because you're concerned about audio I would look at the Asus Xonar DX. It all depends how much you have to spend. If you're working on a budget the MSI would be good, especially if you were to buy a sound card with it.
Edited by Asininity - 4/9/12 at 9:55am
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