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HTPC help

Last response: in Home Theatre
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December 11, 2009 3:28:14 PM

hi all, need help with my htpc build. im goin so far with

AMD Athlon II X4 620Quad Core, Socket AM3, 2,6GHz

MSI 770-C45, Socket-AM3, DDR3ATX

Crucial DDR3 1066MHz 4GB KIT, CL7

Sapphire Radeon HD 4650 1GB DDR2

Western Digital Caviar Black

2 400w silent psu (have them as spairs)

and i finally i have a midi antec tower case

so my quesstion is do people think this system will be ok out putting 1080p mkv rips. the set up would be my htpc, onkyo av receiver connected through hdmi. can the graphics card pass through the true hd audio to my reciver.i ask this because ive read that it is now possible for mkv's to contain dolby true hd and dts-hd

im sorry for all the questions im just new to the area of HTPC

thanks
dave

More about : htpc

December 11, 2009 9:26:18 PM

I believe you need one of the newer Radeon HD5xxx series video cards to get HD audio. The HD4xxx series can do LPCM, but not bitstream HD audio. You can also research converting the HD audio to FLAC since you are already interested in mkv.

You should be OK with 1080p mkv's with this setup BTW. My Phenom II X4 905e (2.5GHz) plays 1080p mkv's from blu-ray rips just fine with an onboard HD4200.
December 29, 2009 10:41:50 PM

It depends on what OS you plan on using. If this is a Linux build then there are better component choices.

If this box is going to be near the TV then I would go with a WD green hdd to reduce noise. (But keep in mind that the green hdds shouldn't be purchased if you plan to set them up in a RAID configuration.)

I would have picked a microAtx board unless you plan to fill the slots. (I would have also picked a correspondingly smaller enclosure.) And I would have picked a board with optical spdif and esata. And, I would check to make sure the BIOS supports Wake-on-USB. The manual would say if it does.

If you're only going to be using this for HTPC purposes then you can save some money and stick with 2GB ram for now. Remember, the video card also has a good chunk of ram on it. You can always add ram later when it drops in price.

I believe rwpritchett is right about the Radeon HD5xxx series. I think there needs to be a minor correction about LPCM and the HD4xxx - it only does 2-channel LPCM, but that's sufficient for 95% of people. Just so you know.

The last think I would consider is how I would want to interact with it. You could use a wired or wireless keyboard, or infrared or RF remotes. Perhaps something like this? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Notice this comes with an IR receiver.
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December 30, 2009 11:22:19 AM

vanekl said:
I believe rwpritchett is right about the Radeon HD5xxx series. I think there needs to be a minor correction about LPCM and the HD4xxx - it only does 2-channel LPCM, but that's sufficient for 95% of people. Just so you know.
I'll respectfully disagree- the HD3xxx only do 2-channel LPCM, but the HD4xxx really can do 7.1 LPCM.

From AMD's website:
Quote:
ATI Radeon™ HD 4000 Series graphics: HDMI with 7.1 digital surround sound support and integrated DisplayPort technology with audio


From Anandtech:
Quote:
Like the rest of the Radeon HD 4000 series (4870, 4850, 4670 and 4650) the new Radeon HD 4550 and 4350 both support 8-channel LPCM over HDMI. This makes these two cards the perfect addition to any HTPC for use in a 6 or 8 channel home theater setup.

December 30, 2009 11:34:10 AM

Oh, I think I see the problem. I thought you were talking about the integrated GP, and you must be talking about the discrete cards. AMD /said/ that the IGP was going to support 7.1 channel LPCM, but the tested motherboards do not. I cannot say one way or another regarding the discrete cards.
December 30, 2009 11:39:06 AM

Yeah you're right about the onboard. I'm very disappointed that AMD dropped 7.1 LPCM from the 785G HD4200 chipset :(  What a bummer. I hope they add HD audio bitsreaming to the next oboard chipset. Does the oboard HD4200 bitsream good ol' DD/DTS 5.1 over HDMI? I'm using S/PDIF right now but I've been considering updating my receiver to an HDMI capable one.
December 30, 2009 11:55:56 AM

Yes, DD/DTS 5.1 decodes 2-channel and synthesizes it to 5-channel. It's a totally synthetic sound. This works whether the signal is spdif or hdmi (depending, of course, on your receiver, which in the vast majority of cases shouldn't be a problem).
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