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HTPC HTPC AM2 motherboard - help

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by GavX, 16 Jun 2008.

  1. GavX

    GavX New Member

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    I am looking to get myself a HTPC for downstairs to replace the DVD player and freeview box. I have a few old parts for it (4200+ AM2, 1gb Corsair RAM, 6600GT with Zalman cooler) and have eyed up a case, hard drive etc. I am juust stuck on the motherboard. I need a microATX case I think, but there are hundreds (ok, hyperbole there) of motherboards around my price range (£50) and I havev no idea what is good and bad. I have managed to get it down to the 770/780G chipset, but I am still not exactly sure if that is a good choice, and I am not sure what board to get, gigabyte have 4 boards with the same chipset and I can't really tell the difference except in price :waah: can someone guide me?
    ta
    Gavin Allan
     
  2. fathazza

    fathazza Freed on Probation

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    well gigabytes website doesnt seem to want to load pages quickly for me at the mo, but at a guess the differences would probably be whether they are atx or matx, or have onboard video or not. (as well maybe some other features like extra sata ports, usb headers etc)

    Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H is the matx 780g board, and given it is a 780g board will have onboard video with onboard bluray acceleration and hdmi out. Tho whether you want to use that i dont know... im sure someone else will be able to tell you how it compares with your 6600gt.

    what case are you looking at? the thermaltake lanbox lite is fairly decent for the money.
     
  3. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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  4. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

  5. GavX

    GavX New Member

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    well I was planning on using the video-out on my graphics card, as I will have one of the chunky CRT TVs downstairs (but it is slowly dying, meaning a new one might just be months away...) can you do that with onboard? As for a case I was thinking the Antec 2480 as it can fit under my TV replacing the DVD and freeview box, and there is not much space for a cube next to the TV. I think the Antec case JUST fits... need to get the ruler out though, but I have lost it :( Thanks for the links, that will keep me entertained before the gadget show on channel 5 :D
     
  6. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    CRT - with SVideo? Not easily, it's VGA, DVI and HDMI now.
     
  7. fathazza

    fathazza Freed on Probation

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    some of the 690g boards still had s-video outs...

    tho you might just be best off using your 6600gt on a 780g board and then switching to the onboard stuff when you get your telly.
     
  8. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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  9. GavX

    GavX New Member

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    I thought with the right scart to S-video out (the round one of the back of most graphics card, with about 7 pin?) you could hook that and audio up to your scart to get your PC displaying on your TV, albiet 480v320 or something nice and low? hense why I wanted to use my 6600GT. Onboard video looks fairly decent these days but for my TV it doesn't come with HDMI, VGA, DVI etc, just a fewe scarts, its "retro".. I think its a hunk of crap myself...
     
  10. GavX

    GavX New Member

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    latest problem :( Looks like I am working with only 137mm headrom, and the Antec case I am eyeing up is 147, so I am now looking for another case with similar qualities, a bundled PSU would also be helpful. I doubt I can make this case fit in 137mm (removing the feet?) and I am not really wanting to buy one just to return it, if someone has one is it exactly 147mm high, and is that with feet? Are the feet removable, and if so how much space does that free up? Ta
     
  11. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Get a 780G board, dump the 6600GT and get a low profile HD 3650 with S-video - you'll be able to take advantage of Hybrid CrossFire and more shader power for UVD. You can get a low profile case too - try Silverstone or looking on KustomPC, they have a good range.
     
  12. fathazza

    fathazza Freed on Probation

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    antec do a low profile case too iirc for around the same price as the one you were looking at. the silverstones will be fairly expensive.. Bear in mind with low profile cases it severely limits your expandability to either half height cards or using a riser card depending on the case

    if all you want to do is play back sd stuff onto a normal tv buy an xbox one and plonk xbmc on it. Will be a lot cheaper in the long run.
     
  13. GavX

    GavX New Member

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    I may get another graphics card for itin the future, but for now no, this is going to be a show string budget :( Ideally <£150 minus software which I think can be done, the main factor here is only having 137mm of space, and most cases are 140+mm or about 100mm but half heigh expansion cards, and seeing as I can't use onboard graphics to display an image on an old TV I have been knocked back a fair bit. Ihad a look at the Antec half heigh, looks good but only uses half heigh which is an issue for the TV card and GPU unfortunatly. I will have a look at the tv stand tonight to see if I can tempt it to giving me another 10mm or so :D
     
  14. fathazza

    fathazza Freed on Probation

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    http://www.scan.co.uk/product.aspx?ProductId=21522 get a new av rack instead then... thats 29 quid delivered at the moment on today only if you qualify for bit tech or various other places free delivery options.

    i bought one the other week and am very pleased with it, especially given its gert cheap, it will probably be cheaper and less hassle in the long runthan fannying around with a low profile case
     
  15. EnglishLion

    EnglishLion working for the good of mankind...

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    I'd sell the 6600gt and get a motherboard with decent onboard graphics. The key to HTPC is to keep temps down and therefore noise down. It's likely that you'll have a small case and maybe like me you'll have it in some sort of cabinet. Even if the GPU is passive it still adds to the overall case temp.

    If you're outputting to a CRT then your options are limited. I bought an ASUS M2NPV-VM (6150 gpu) for mine and it's great for output to a CRT but you'll be hard pushed to find one now, I looked for a mate in the same situation and couldn't find one at all. So I found the Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H for him as it came with a tv out bracket to connect to the main board. See here http://www.ebuyer.com/product/136367/show_product_overview.

    Beware of motherboards with an 'optional' tv-out bracket as you may find it impossible to source the 'optional' bracket!

    Also is it a widescreen CRT TV because it can be fiddley trying to get a PC to output native widePAL output - let me know if you need help.

    I can very highly recommend Hauppague Nova-T 500 dual DVB-T tuner it's excellent, as for cases, well I splashed out on a Silverstone LC11M from Scan and it looks the part but I had to replace the noisy 'silent' fans with some that were actually quiet (akasa amber series - although I think the sharkoon fans are better these days). It's only 96mm high and takes full size cards via a riser - alot of silverstone htpc take full size cards on a riser.

    Finally have you considered what HTPC software you will be using? I've got XP MCE and use the XP MCE IR remote, it's far from perfect but it works OK.
     
  16. GavX

    GavX New Member

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    Well if a motherboard can take the job of my GPU, I will more than willingly use that offer. The TV I think is a Sony Triton or something, 26" or so, not a widescreen. It has 2 Scart and a S-Video and the phono out audio thing. I think I have a leadtek TV card, hooked it up before and worked a treat with Vista, so since this is a budget build it will do until I aquire more monies
     
  17. HeXeN

    HeXeN Straight from Hell

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    I've got to say that best one for HTPC is now realy AMD780G chipset :).
    Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H - i have bought it, i'm pleased as hell :) - default set for on board graphic is 500MHz but when you add few V to NB it can be set to 850MHz with stock cooling. Give it a AMD 5000+ Black Ed. (there is no block on multiplyier) so you can hit nice score without touching FSB (this board isn't good at FSB OC style). As people before said get low profile ATI card - you will make hybrid Cross Fire connection with onboard graphic for more power.
    I/O back panel is just full of needed things - HDMI ,DVI,VGA - and what is good this onboard video can handle 1080p without use of your CPU :)
    There's also a AI in ATI catalyst so if onboard will not handle DX10 games CPU will help a bit.
    MAx 16GB of RAM - don't know if it's tre but there are specs on net that say that!

    Did I forget something??

    Greatz!
     
  18. GavX

    GavX New Member

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    Well my server runs the black edition 5000+, but the media centre PC will inherit it whenever I replace it, but most likely wont need to as it will just be sitting indle on vista and recording the odd program. I may be getting an HDTV in a few months so the HDMI might prove useful soon. Ordered up the 780G gigabyte so its in the post, thanks
     
  19. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk New Member

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    Do the mobos mentioned here, and the 780G chipset support TrueHD, 1080p as well as audio thru HDMI 1.3a out to the TV? I am looking to build a HTPC with all on-board video/audio, etc., but cannot seem to find a mobo that guarantees HDMI 1.3a output.

    And is there a reason why most here seem to prefer AMD over Intel?

    TIA!
    Hawk
     
  20. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Not yet, drivers for the ALC889a chipset that work with PowerDVD 7 or 8 Ultra will come in Q4 this year, and unless you buy the Asus Xonar HDAV soundcard that's the only other choice.

    AMD 780G is a fantastic chipset, just like the Nvidia 8200 (although we haven't yet tested it to the same quality degree), and low power AMD X2 processors are very inexpensive and efficient. Intel's G45 chipset isn't out yet that should compete with these and given past experience I expect the boards to be more expensive than the AMD competition. In our AMD 780G article we built a basic machine for the same price as a PS3 :)
     
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