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Socket 775 htpc build

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February 15, 2011 11:35:27 AM

a friend of mine is giving me his old socket 775 motherboard (with windows vista ultimate) b/c he's upgrading his mobo. I'm wondering how fast of a cpu I need for an HTPC build.

also, I'm going to need a video card with audio capabilities through the HDMI output. I was thinking all of the HD4000 series and up from ati have audio support through the HDMI, but I didn't know what video cards nvidia has for audio support through HDMI ports.

I'm thinking of going with this processor

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

will this be good enough for an HTPC? I want to be able to record 2 shows at 1/watch 1 and record 1 at a time with a haupauge dual tuner

or, will I need a quad core to do this. also, I plan on overclocking this cpu to at least 3GHz and I'm pairing it with 2x2gb ddr3.

More about : socket 775 htpc build

a c 159 à CPUs
February 15, 2011 11:45:20 AM

If your old board supports it with the current bios version, then I would get that cpu. The quads are nice, but produce more heat and use more energy. If you don't care about heat or power comsumption and your htpc case is large enough to move some air, then the quad core would work better.
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February 15, 2011 12:04:56 PM

I'm not concerned about power consumption or heat. My main concern is money. I don't want to spend $100 more on a quad if this dual core will do the job. I'm also going to be playing blu-ray's but I don't plan on ever going 3d.

so, will this proc be enough? basically I want the cheapest processor that will be able to do this. I don't plan on using it for anything else... I already have a 6 core gaming pc for vid encoding/gaming. this is strictly for recording tv programs and playing (non-3d) blu-ray.
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a c 133 à CPUs
February 15, 2011 12:07:27 PM

That will be perfect for an HTPC I am assuming you are gonna pair it with a cheap GPU if so that is all you will ever need for what you are doing.
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a c 159 à CPUs
February 15, 2011 12:09:46 PM

The e3300 will work fine. You may also find some q6600 cpus used for around $100; that cpu has been around awhile, but works great; uses 95 watts like the newer quads, running at 2400.
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February 15, 2011 12:16:33 PM

thanks guys. I am planning on buying a gpu also, but I need one that supports audio through the HDMI output. any suggestions?
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February 15, 2011 12:26:15 PM

are there any nvidia cards that have audio through the HDMI that I can compare.

the reviews don't look good on that card... it seems the 5xxx series have driver issues that the 6xxx series have fixed (unfortunately the mainstream 6xxx series haven't been released yet).
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a c 159 à CPUs
February 15, 2011 12:29:12 PM

If you don't need a separate video card, newegg has an msi g41M-e43 board with onboard video and hdmi port for only $36 after rebate. It may be all you need.
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February 15, 2011 12:35:20 PM

I'll need an add on vid card. the mobo is an asus maximus extreme with a copy of windows vista ultimate. it's either buy an add on vid card, or buy a new mobo (with decent onboard gfx) and a copy of windows.

buying a new mobo is not cost effective.
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a c 159 à CPUs
February 15, 2011 12:44:02 PM

It is if you sell the old board. It all depends on whether you plan on gaming on your htpc. For everything else, onboard video may work fine. The board I recommended is specifically designed for htpc's. But a separate video card is always faster.
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February 15, 2011 12:50:15 PM

I'm not going to take a gift from a friend and then sell it.
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a c 133 à CPUs
February 15, 2011 12:52:57 PM

No Nvidia cards have native audio you will have to do ATI if you want audio via HDMI the 5570 has full 7.1 audio support.
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February 15, 2011 1:01:26 PM

thanks for the help guys, you save me $100 easily.
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a c 133 à CPUs
February 15, 2011 1:03:14 PM

No problem that's what we here for :) 

Good Luck on your build
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a b à CPUs
February 15, 2011 3:22:38 PM

saaiello said:
No Nvidia cards have native audio you will have to do ATI if you want audio via HDMI the 5570 has full 7.1 audio support.
I just wanted to make a slight correction. Some, but not all, cards from Nvidia can bitream full HD audio over HDMI too. For example: GeForce 430, 450, 460, and 560Ti. The GeForce 430 was specifically designed for HTPC use.

Just letting the OP know to open up some options for a card.
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a c 133 à CPUs
February 15, 2011 3:27:39 PM

rwpritchett said:
I just wanted to make a slight correction. Some, but not all, cards from Nvidia can bitream full HD audio over HDMI too. For example: GeForce 430, 450, 460, and 560Ti. The GeForce 430 was specifically designed for HTPC use.

Just letting the OP know to open up some options for a card.

Forgot they added that when Fermi came about. For his needs though the HD 4350 at $29.99 is perfect.
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a b à CPUs
February 15, 2011 3:38:02 PM

^Agreed, unless 3D blu-ray is on the to-do list.

I find it strange that Nvidia does not offer HD audio on the high end cards like the 570 and 580. Very confusing...
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February 15, 2011 4:35:39 PM

The HD4350 will not be able to bitstream HD audio from Bluray like DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD. If that's something you want you can also find HD5450 cards for $29.99 AR.

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a b à CPUs
February 15, 2011 4:56:13 PM

^That's right. Though it can do 7.1 LPCM. At this point, there really is no reason to get a low-end 4xxx card when a 5xxx card does more for the same or lower price. When are the low-end 6xxx cards coming out?? Then AMD/ATI will really have a good HTPC card: HD audio bitstreaming + HDMI 1.4a (3D blu-ray support) + low power.
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a c 83 à CPUs
February 15, 2011 6:06:34 PM

sepayne21 said:
are there any nvidia cards that have audio through the HDMI that I can compare.

the reviews don't look good on that card... it seems the 5xxx series have driver issues that the 6xxx series have fixed (unfortunately the mainstream 6xxx series haven't been released yet).


6XXX is actually out, problem is the 64XX, 6570, 6670, 6750,6770 all went OEM exclusive with no confirmation as to whether they'll ever have a retail release date. But when Nvidia still hasn't caught up in the mainstream market, why bother releasing such products when the market is still flooded with 5XXX cards.
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February 16, 2011 3:32:31 PM

it's an asus maximus formula. I don't have the model number, but I'll pick it up on friday.

so, you guys say the nvidia geforce 430 has native sound through the hdmi output? if this is true, i may go with nvidia. can anyone confirm?
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a c 133 à CPUs
February 16, 2011 3:40:45 PM

Yes the 430 has audio via HDMI and it will even do bitstream for blu-rays too.
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a b à CPUs
February 16, 2011 6:20:17 PM

For a HTPC a decent sound card (at least IMHO) is a good thing.
If on a budget the lower end Asus Xonars are nice.
I went for a Xonar DG (35 USD w/ shipping).
Even on my low end Creative T4400 4.1 system there
was a noticeable difference in sound quality.
A sound card is not a %100 necessity but nice to have
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a b à CPUs
February 16, 2011 6:53:25 PM

^are you using analog out with that xonar sound card? A sound card would be an improvement in that scenario. Plus, a low-end Xonar will not bitstream DTS-MA or Dolby TrueHD.

I can't imagine a sound card making a difference using a digital (HDMI) output since the lossless audio is bitstreamed to the A/V receiver which translates the stream and outputs the audio to the speakers.
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a b à CPUs
February 16, 2011 9:46:05 PM

rwpritchett said:
^are you using analog out with that xonar sound card? A sound card would be an improvement in that scenario. Plus, a low-end Xonar will not bitstream DTS-MA or Dolby TrueHD.

I can't imagine a sound card making a difference using a digital (HDMI) output since the lossless audio is bitstreamed to the A/V receiver which translates the stream and outputs the audio to the speakers.


Very true.
I use the 1/8 inch outs to a computer surround sound.
I am kinda of old (40) so I prefer analog.
I still think that a hi end turntable going into a good receiver is
the best sound.
No matter how good the A/D converter is there is going to be a
loss.
Like I said Im kinda of old :D 
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February 16, 2011 11:29:00 PM

Is a x38 board It should have a Sound card bundle with it. Did he just give you MB alone?
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a c 133 à CPUs
February 17, 2011 12:17:06 AM

I think his main issue was that he does not want all these wires it is nice to have a single connection to do it all.
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a b à CPUs
February 17, 2011 1:42:48 AM

saaiello said:
I think his main issue was that he does not want all these wires it is nice to have a single connection to do it all.


True for a living room setup that is nice.
I installed the Xonar DG and I was suprised that the onboard is still enabled with the sound card in.
So I can select between 3 line/mics,1 front headphone,1 back headphone with amp,3 1/8 outs oncard,1 1/8 out onboard,1 toslink on card, and hdmi off of HD4650.
Wasnt able to do that on older machines I had.
For a dedicated HTPC then the HDMI is best option.
Though receivers with enough HDMI I/O's that pass video can be pricey.
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February 17, 2011 12:40:22 PM

yes, all I want is my cable signal coming into my HTPC (haupauge card) and 1 HDMI leaving my pc to my TV.

also, yes, it is an x38 mobo.
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a b à CPUs
February 17, 2011 1:19:57 PM

Well dont listen to any of my rambling :) 
The other posters put up some good suggestions for card.
HD5450,HD5570 or Geforce 430 are all great choices.
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a c 133 à CPUs
February 17, 2011 1:31:06 PM

I have experience with Haupauge cards which one you planning on getting because not all have HD and forget getting it to work right with Comcast they do not allow it. The only way I could get it to work with comcast was to use an IR blaster and the cable box and unfortunately you cannot pass HD signal via coaxial cable. So do take this all into consideration before you waste money on a tuner card like I did. I ended up ditching the whole setup and gave in to Comcast and got an HD DVR box.
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a b à CPUs
February 17, 2011 9:16:20 PM

^Excellent choice for the TV tuner.

For the CPU it depends on what you plan on using the HTPC for. If it's only media playback then the celeron is perfectly fine.
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a c 133 à CPUs
February 17, 2011 9:55:08 PM

sepayne21 said:
will that cpu make any difference for an HTPC over the e3400? if I was playing games, it might, but I already have a gaming pc.

I'm getting this capture card. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That was the one I tried and had no luck with it never worked right with comcast or the boxes they have. It does not allow HD direct input from a cable box. It will only be able to use HD if it can pull it direct from the signal. I would check with your cable provider before buying it.

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a b à CPUs
February 17, 2011 10:02:25 PM

No TV tuners can pull HD from a cable box. If you use a cable box, you must use one of these two capture devices to get HD (up to 1080i via component cable) from a cable box:

Hauppauge HD-PVR
-or-
Hauppauge Colossus (not yet available)

Coax TV tuners can record unencrypted clearQAM directly from a digital cable coax from the wall, or you can spend $$$ and get a CableCard tuner to get all of the encrypted cable channels, HD included, without the need of a cable box.
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a c 133 à CPUs
February 17, 2011 10:22:10 PM

Yes I know this now well found this out a year ago I was just making sure the OP knows this before spending his cash on a card. Problem with most cable companies they are encrypting everything these days so you are forced to buy one of their boxes.
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a b à CPUs
February 17, 2011 10:33:59 PM

^I hate Comcast. They are evil. I dropped them and now only use OTA, Hulu, Netflix, and a few others for my content.

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!