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75 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 29041 20-Dec-2008 13:44 Send private message

Hi all,
Just got a new 40" 1080P Samsung TV that I want to make full use of and am trying to build a HTPC on the cheap. Just need some recomendations on parts I should get :-) The motherboard I have is an Albatron K8SLI-AM2 1.0 and am wanting to get an AMD CPU around the $100 mark that would be fine for Freeview HD + Recording & watching up to 1080P videos(Have several MKVs). Ram I have which is 1.5gb (2 sticks), will buy a 500GB HDD for it (Seagate SATA II). Also need a gfx card for the hardware decoding but not sure what to get. This machine will be purely for HTPC so nothing amazing needed (just needs HDMI out and can do Freeview hardware decoding). I already have a Huappagge HVR-3000 which I'll put into it. Will probably need a PSU and would be after a quiet one (not sure yet as I don't know if I'll get one with a case.)

Basically I've been an Intel person (never had AMD) but I got the motherboard off a friend with some other stuff so I thought I'd make use of it :-) In other words I really know nothing about AMD so really not too sure what to get.

Any help is really appreciated :-)

Thanks,

Matt

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  Reply # 185311 20-Dec-2008 13:58 Send private message

For the CPU anything in the X2 range will do (X2 is duel core). One of the low power options is a good idea as it will run cooler.

CPU best bet for video is a Geforce 8500GT or above. If it will only be for media centre duties then I would go with the 8500 as it will run the coolest but still do everything you need. ATI cards seem to still be a bit of a mission to get going with our freeveiw where as NVidia just works.
As for HDMI done bother get a card with HDMI out. They have a premium price tag but in fact DVI = HDMI. It just does not support the full sound bit that HDMI does but then neither do the HDMI video cards. It can pass though SPDIF though so make sure you get is one that will take SPDIF from your soundcard and put it though the DVI port. Mine does that I know there are others that support it to.
Then either get a cable that is DVI to HDMI or get a converter from DVI to HDMI and use a HDMI cable. Personaly I suggest going with the first option as it is less connections.
The PSU I have in my sig I am very happy with. My case is very quiet with the HDD being the loudest thing in there. Speaking of which go for one of the "green" HDD's that can slow the spin speed down. From what I have heard they are very quiet which is a good thing in a media centre.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64



75 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 185313 20-Dec-2008 14:11 Send private message

Hey thanks,

Darn I just bought a HDMI cable yesterday, waiting for it in the post so I'll a HDMI2DVI converter plug.. Although completly unrelated, the LCD has 3 HDMI in and 1 VGA in. I tried going via DVI to VGA with my main pc (GFX card - 9600GT) in which it shows the xp boot screen then as soon as it goes to go into windows the TV has a message saying "mode not supported". So I thought I'd just buy a HDMI cable in hope that it would fix it...anyhow... It's possibly not changing to a resolution that the TV supports but I'm not sure as I obviously can't see anything on the screen..

Also anyone else with some input regarding the HTPC is greatly appreciated :-)

Thanks,

Matt

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  Reply # 185319 20-Dec-2008 15:06 Send private message

You are correct. By using a DVI to HDMI the video card does a handshake with the TV and is told what resolutions the TV can display.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

722 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 185467 21-Dec-2008 11:59 Send private message

mattie47: Hey thanks,

Darn I just bought a HDMI cable yesterday, waiting for it in the post so I'll a HDMI2DVI converter plug.. Although completly unrelated, the LCD has 3 HDMI in and 1 VGA in. I tried going via DVI to VGA with my main pc (GFX card - 9600GT) in which it shows the xp boot screen then as soon as it goes to go into windows the TV has a message saying "mode not supported". So I thought I'd just buy a HDMI cable in hope that it would fix it...anyhow... It's possibly not changing to a resolution that the TV supports but I'm not sure as I obviously can't see anything on the screen..

Also anyone else with some input regarding the HTPC is greatly appreciated :-)

Thanks,

Matt

Mattie,
 What resolution is the PC set to? My TV's manual states that with HDMI/DVI input, the VESA mode will only accept the following resolutions: 800x600@70hz; 1024x768@60hz; 1360x768@60hz (native). It also states, "The set might operate abnormally if a non-standard video format is selected." Can you manually select one of these resolutions & check it's viability? What mode is your TV set to? In the TV's menu/setup, set HTPC to on. Also make sure your input source list is set to the right HDMI socket.

I have had no issues with my Samsung 32"R8 LCDTV connected to my HTPC via HDMI cable & DVI>HDMI dongle -see sig. That's not to say you won't: after all, we're talking computers here. So you should not have any problems.

For example I originally built my Freeview HTPC upgrade using an AMD CPU. I had issues with my video card NOT resuming ANY signal from standby. All hardware components were replaced individually. I eventually went Intel & had no issues since. That is a very rare, but not repeatable issue. As I found out in my research into the matter at the time.

One other area to be aware of is that some [all?] Samsung TVs don't operate at 1:1 pixel mapping with all the HDMI sockets. Try the different HDMIs with your HTPC & reboot between attempts.








Silverstone LC14 HTPC Case/Intel E4600 CPU/GA-EP35-DS3 MOBO/Asus EN9500GT graphics/2GB RAM/total 2TB HDD space/HVR-2200 & 2X 150MCE tuner cards/LG GGC-H20L BD Drive/MCE2005/Mediaportal/TVServer 1.1.0Final/LG 55"3D LED-TV/Denon AVR-1803 receiver/X1 projector

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