help selecting the best components (1 Viewer)

mickb

Portal Pro
June 8, 2005
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Hi, I am new to the HTPC community and am wanting to try and learn from the vast experience of the members. I have the basis of my system but am in need of advice on the sound card and the video card. For the sound I need to connect to my Onkyo 5.1 amplifier and my wife needs microphone inputs for her karaoke DVD's. I have 2 Fusion HDTV tuner cards but my TV's are just standard analog CRT set, with my main TV being a 90cm. Any advice as to what cards/configuration will give me the best sound and video quality would be greatly appreciated.

My system config so far is:

AMD XP 2800+
512M Ram
1 x 200 GB & 1 x 160GB Hard drives
2 Fusion tuner cards
Windows XP Pro (Service Pack 1)
Accent HT 400B Case

Looking forward to your feedback

Mick
:lol:
 

dman_lfc

Retired Team Member
  • Premium Supporter
  • July 28, 2004
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    At a minimum you want either a Nvidia FX5200 or ATI Radeon 9600.
    Try to go for passively cooled cards to reduce HTPC noise.
    I use the FX5200 becuase the Nvidia drivers give better overscan options than the ATI drivers and you can set a custom resolution of 720x576@50Hz easily plus the quality is superb.

    If you're connecting via S/PDIF to your Onkyo amp then basically any card that has the appropriate connection interface and is at least AC97 certified will be fine for you. Others may suggest otherwise but it's not going to make much difference.
    Try and aim for a Motherboard with integrated sound and SPDIF bracket or even those connections on board. (Realtek is a good chipset, ADI Soundmax is aok too)

    DMAN
     

    Callifo

    Retired Team Member
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  • December 7, 2004
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    From what Ive experienced, definately look at a nvidia solution. Ati drivers just arent together in terms of tv-out functions. 6200 with the hdtv support would further futureproof it.

    If you using digital connectors for your sound go with a soundstorm supported motherboard. I assume when you say 2800+ you mean Socket A?

    Another 256mb stick of ram couldnt hurt either.
     

    mickb

    Portal Pro
    June 8, 2005
    83
    10
    64
    Travelling Australia
    Home Country
    Australia Australia
    Thanks for the reply DMAN & Callifo. It seems that the consensus is for the Nvidia video card. I agree that more ram is better and will source another 512M.

    Once I have got it finished I will post photos etc for comment.

    Thanks again for the advice. :lol:
     

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