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HTPC/Gaming pc..need some thoughts

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June 13, 2012 11:56:13 PM

Hi

I found some very insighful threads here regarding HTPC and gaming computers.
I have a couple follow up questions as to the information I found.

My new system (which I'm building tomorrow,) will utilize the GTX 570 out via HDMI into my SONY tuner
and out into my 47lh90 tv. Upon set up I will disable the mobo's IGP in BIOS.
While gaming, it's my understanding that with the proper setup in Windows, I will have audio (from the game program itself,) and the video all going through HDMI.

Now, do I need to disable the onboard sound when gaming?(I won't be using a soundcard) It didn't seem like I had to from what I read...but I'd like to confirm.

Also, When watching Blu rays, do I need to utilize the IGP?

Here is a quote from another post regarding comments to another users HTPC/gaming computer, as a whole, it was a vey informative response:

"I think it looks like a good build. I wouldn't worry about a sound card: modern motherboards have great built-in sound, and adding another card will hinder airflow. That GTX 580 you listed earlier looks like it will be quiet, and the Z68 motherboard will make it easy to switch to the 2120's IGP for movie time."
The post was too old to reply to, so I bring it up here. .
That reply reads like Blu rays must be watched via the IGP and not through the GTX 570..is that correct? I'd have to bounce back and forth from the BIOS everytime I game.

I'm trying to simplify this set up as much as I can. It's going to be my gaming and home theater set up.

Thanks for any info you guys can give!
Thoughts and comments would also be much appreciated.
I had a 1500.00 USD budget....this came in at 1499.68.

Here's my system specs:

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Corsair 16GB DDR3 1600

Corsair HX750 PSU

LG 12x Blu-ray drive UH12LS29.

MSI Z77A-G43

INTEL i5-2500k

EVGA GTX 570 HD 2560MB

Samsung 830 256GB SSD

WD Black 1TB 7200

Rosewill Challenger

More about : htpc gaming thoughts

a b 4 Gaming
June 14, 2012 12:58:44 PM

1) You shouldn't need to disable the motherboard's IGP. Installing the GTX570 and connecting your home theater setup to it should be sufficient to tell your system to output audio and graphics through your graphics card.

2) You shouldn't need to disable your on-board sound. Windows 7 will only output audio through a single device at a time. Select your graphic card's HDMI audio as the default audio device and you're good to go.

3) Concerning the Blu-Ray comment in the other thread. No, Blu-Ray does not require the motherboard IGP. The comment must have been made in reference to the OP wanting less overall power consumption/noise levels. A computer uses less power and makes less noise using an IGP than a discrete graphics card.

4) Just glancing at your build:
4a) You don't need 16GB of RAM. Unless you're running several virtual machines at the same time, 8GB is more than enough.
4b) Given that motherboard, I'm guessing you're not going to go with SLI. In that case, you probably don't need a 750watt PSU. Drop down to the 650 watts Corsair if it saves you a few bucks.
4c) You really don't need a 256GB SSD for your OS and programs (unless you've got a boat-load of games/programs). I've been running on an 80GB HDD for a couple years now. Recommend you drop down to at least a 128GB SSD.

That should shave off $100 or so.

-Wolf sends
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a b 4 Gaming
June 14, 2012 4:08:48 PM

One small issue with your proposed setup you should be aware of:

The GTX 570 does not have it's own audio. If you use that card, you will need to use S/PDIF from the motherboard. Some GTX 570's have a 2 pin S/PDIF header that allows the S/PDIF audio from a motherboard header to be patched into the HDMI stream so you get both audio and video over one cable, but it's probably easier to just run an optical cable from the motherboard.

The downside to S/PDIF is that you will be limited to standard DD/DTS. No HD audio from blu-rays, if that matters to you. The motherboard HDMI will pass HD audio though. Tough call.
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a b 4 Gaming
June 14, 2012 6:13:56 PM

Good catch rwpritchett! :sol: 

-Wolf sends
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June 14, 2012 6:59:19 PM

Thanks for the replies so far guys! I really appreciate them.

Yeah Wolf..I thought the same thing about the RAM and SSD.
The RAM was so cheap that I guess I was thinking of longevity.
The SSD...well sometimes I get the more is better attitude.
Same thing with the power supply, but the reason behind that is I might upgrade the video card with the EVGA step up program in a few months,
so I may need that extra power with a better GPU.


The 1500.00 dollar budget was more of a personal limit. I could have gone more if need be, and kinda wish I stepped up the motherboard model for the sound features. I Prefer a one card setup, so I wouldn't use SLI.
I also wish I spent more on the case. We'll see though, it hasn't even arrived yet...I'm sitting here waiting for UPS. If it comes too late, I'm going to have to put this off until tomorrow.

Rwpritchett, do the 5xxx series cards still need to be patched like that? I thought the signal comes from the application and then sent through the gtx 570...(PCIe bus) While the gtx 570 doesn't process the sound it allows it to pass through to HDMI without being limited to a two channel sound. I haven't used one of these yet so I'm obviously confused/ clueless. I wish UPS would get here so I can get my hands on it and try it out.

I'll post updates when the system is up and running...which might not be until tomorrow night at this rate.

Thanks again guys!
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a b 4 Gaming
June 14, 2012 7:40:45 PM

I stand corrected, the 570 and 580 were the first GF110 cards do do away with the 2-pin cable S/PDIF and do pass motherboard audio through the PCIe bus.

They are still limited to standard DD/DTS though. I don't know why Nvidia gimped the audio bitstreaming on their high end cards. The 560/550/520 can do HD audio, but the 570/580 cannot.

Edit- you can do 7.1 LPCM from that 570, so that's pretty darn good if you don't care about the little lights on your receiver saying HD audio
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June 15, 2012 5:19:30 PM

Sorry, does anyone mind if I slightly hijack this thread? I have a question regarding the HTC570, and passing audio through it over the pciE bus to an hdmi connection out to a tv. My question is this: will the gtx570 only pass through on board audio produced on the motherboard, or can it pass though audio produced on a discrete soundcard which is set to 'speakers', the default Windows sound?

That's my general question. My specific situation, in order to be more clear, is this: I currently own an asus xonar d1 soundcard in my current (6 year old computer, gtx260 connected to discrete soundcard VIA internal s/pdif cable). I love the soundcard. I am planning a new build (3570k, z77 mobo, gtx570, etc). I will mostly use the computer in the usual manner, gtx570 output to computer monitor, soundcard output to computer speakers. But occasionally I will switch my monitor output to my hdtv, which is hooked up to the second gtx output VIA hdmi. I want this connection to send both audio and video to the tv. Not too concerned about the audio format. In my current computer I have to switch displays, and also go into Windows sound controlo disable the primary sound 'speakers', and set s/pdif to default sound in order to send sound to my tv VIA hdmi.

I have read that the gtx570 can now send audio out on hdmi VIA its pcie bus. Does anyone know, does this involve changing settings in Windows soundevery time you want to use the tv?

Also,does anyone know if the audio sent by the gtx570 will be from a discrete sound card, or just the moherboards on board audio?

Finally, does anyone have any idea if the asus xonar d1 (which uses a pci interface) can send its audio out through the gtx570? If so, I'll probably buy a z77 motherboard which has a regular pci slot. If not, I'll buy an asus xonar dx (same card, but pcie interface), and then possibly get a different motherboard.

Thanks so much for any help. I've been searching a ton on this issue,but to no avail..
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June 18, 2012 1:23:01 PM

Well everything worked. I didn't have to disable on-board sound or video. I switched from BF3 to Saving Private Ryan (DVD.) It's funny how sometimes the things you worry about aren't the problem...but the things you don't give a thought to give you trouble. For example, I never knew my Blu-Ray player wouldn't play Blu-Rays without special software. That special software doesn't come wih most OEM Blu-Ray Players apperently.
I also didn't know that there is virtually no decent free Blu-Ray player software out there. Lesson learned.

For the most part though, everything runs awesome....and the highlight I think is the SSD drive. I love the fact the my computer starts in 10 seconds; not to mention the speed at which all the programs run.

For those that care, I've been running BF3 on Ultra with no problems.

Thanks again for the input.

To Ghost, I don't know for sure what will happened with a dedicated soundcard. I can't see it being diferent.
Also, since my HDMI goes out from the video card into a stereo system, I just switch the hardware on the stereo remote to 'tv' and I'm good to go.
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