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Building a Media Center PC

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January 2, 2012 5:42:33 PM

I am building a media center PC. I have a couple of questions.

First, do dedicated video cards that are not integrated to the motherboard provide sound through a HDMI cable to a TV?
Second, is there a way to determine if a card does provide that sound?

I do not want to spend the money on getting a good video card only to find out I would have to use the integrated video card to get sound to my TV.

Could someone please look at the potential system specs and tell me if anything doesn't mesh?

Thank you.

Potential SYSTEM SPECS from newegg.com:

RAIDMAX Simplex ATX-618B Black Steel / Plastic MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Model #:ATX-618B
Item #:N82E16811156253

BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
Model #:A880G+
Item #:N82E16813138283

GIGABYTE GV-N440D3-1GI GeForce GT 440 (Fermi) 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
Model #:GV-N440D3-1GI
Item #:N82E16814125366
Return Policy:VGA Standard Return Policy

Rosewill Stallion Series RD500-2DB 500W ATX12V Power Supply
Model #:RD500-2DB
Item #:N82E16817182044

AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition Deneb 3.5GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Desktop Processor HDZ970FBGMBOX
Model #:HDZ970FBGMBOX
Item #:N82E16819103894

CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory Model CMX8GX3M2A1333C9
Model #:CMX8GX3M2A1333C9
Item #:N82E16820145315

SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-222AL/RSBS LightScribe Support
Model #:SH-222AL/RSBS
Item #:N82E16827151236

More about : building media center

a b U Graphics card
January 2, 2012 6:58:39 PM

Ya most good cards with HDMI can do sound out over HDMI, but todays integrated are more then enough to lpay HD movies so why waste the money and increase heat and noise with buying something that is overkill.
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January 2, 2012 7:14:46 PM

Well, I would like to play the occasional League of Legends game too :) 
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a c 92 U Graphics card
January 2, 2012 7:24:25 PM

you might just want to do a build arround an fusion APU as it has integrated graphics more powerful than the 440 and only slightly less cpu power. You'd be able to play all your media as well as some light gaming.

would turn out to be cheaper probabably.
An A8-3670 is about $150 with gpu and cpu integrated on the same chip.
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January 2, 2012 8:54:59 PM

Are you planning on a serious GPU upgrade later? Otherwise you can get better, lower PSUs and the APU suggestion above, it's actually cheaper than 150.
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January 2, 2012 9:04:59 PM

I don't plan on upgrading for sometime. What do you suggest?
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Best solution

January 2, 2012 9:48:43 PM

CPU/GPU - AMD A8 3870k (145)

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

It is integrated but should give about the same CPU/GPU power as your above combo with less power/heat, and is overclockable.

Mobo - ASUS F1A75-M (100)

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

Offers more modern features than the 8xx board above like USB3.

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

Biostar has a cheaper board if you'd prefer. I'm just more familiar with the ASUS.

Memory 8GB DDR3 1600 (48)

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

Stuck with the same brand but a slight speed increase will help this CPU.

PSU - Antec EarthWatts 380W

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

Sturdy PSU with good rails and high efficiency, should be able to accept a minor discrete card upgrade later.

Since it's an overclockable CPU, i'd also suggest an aftermarket CPU cooler, but I didn't check to see which would fit in your case.
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a c 92 U Graphics card
January 2, 2012 10:42:10 PM

^^ +1

if you want to go cheaper, one of the other APU would also be ok if you are willing to sacrifice some performance.
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January 3, 2012 2:27:41 AM

Wow, never heard of an APU but after reading up on them, it sounds a great way to save money. So this APU, do you think it would run LoL fairly well?
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a c 273 U Graphics card
January 3, 2012 2:33:04 AM

This topic has been moved from the section Graphics & Displays to section Systems by Mousemonkey
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January 3, 2012 3:01:23 AM

kr0wnage said:
Wow, never heard of an APU but after reading up on them, it sounds a great way to save money. So this APU, do you think it would run LoL fairly well?


I couldn't find any particular benchmarks for LoL, but I don't think it's too demanding. The A8 APU can even do Skyrim if on Low settings and that's a fairly demanding game, so I'd guess medium settings at least. I would definitely say get an A8 if you just use the integrated, it has a better GPU. It will be at least about as good as the 440.

I mentioned a "decent graphics upgrade later", these APUs when combined with a few certain discrete cards can be crossfired for a 2 GPU configuration. The HD6670 when used with an A8 makes a 6690D2 combo, and has been reported to play Skyrim up to high settings, so should be enough for any "normal" gaming. It's also fairly affordable (about $70-100) and wouldn't need a larger PSU, should you feel gaming is lacking later on.

It's always nice to keep a low power draw, especially on a media PC that will be on a lot.
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January 3, 2012 3:33:33 AM

Very cool, thanks for the help kinggraves, I appreciate it.
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January 10, 2012 12:10:52 AM

Best answer selected by kr0wnage.
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