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2785 posts

Uber Geek

# 30245 2-Feb-2009 17:38
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I'm building a new HTPC system and was going to use a Core2Duo CPU. I want something with no onboard fans, at least 1 firewire port (not essential, can use a PCI card), coaxial (RCA) SPDIF audio output (going into a videocard with an HDMI combiner). Something that will handle a quadcore CPU in the future would be good. Not sure if supporting a 1600Mhz FSB is going to be a future-necessity or not, but I suspect it might be useful for a future QuadCPU upgrade. Doesn't need to handle any more than 4GB RAM.

I don't need SLI, but as well as the 1 PCIe videocard, about the only other card going in there will be a DVB-T Tuner card.

It'll be going into a Silverstone SST-LC17 case which is a full-size case so there will be plenty of room, the CPU fan will be replaced with a high quality ultra-quiet one instead. It'll eventually have a Blu-Ray drive stuck into it probably too once the prices improve.

So, any recommendations for a good board? Something under $400 preferably.

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139 posts

Master Geek

  # 194350 5-Feb-2009 20:33
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ASUS P5Q PRO here.

The Asus P5Q PRO mother board is core2 and core2 quad compatible. Suports 1600MHz FSB and 4x1200MHz DDR2 ram. It has coaxial SPDIF audio output. The motherboards has 1PCIe x16, 1PCIe x8, 3PCIe x1 and 2PCI slots. The motherboard allso has 2 x IEEE 1394a ports and 12 USB2.0/1.1 ports. It allso supports 6 sata drives with RAID 0, 1, 5 10 support.

It has everything you would need for your HTPC and plent of PCI/PCIe expansion slots, USB slots and Sata HDD slots. Has a heat pipe and no fans. Costs $301 from qmb. Alternativly you could get ASUS P5Q for $240 from qmb which is basicly the same as the pro version without as many PCIe slots.

If you didn't want the 6x internal sata ports, the 1200MHz DDR2 ram, 8 channel audio, onboard GB lan, 1600Mhz FSB you could get a cheaper mother board. Although for a HTPC it would be nice to have those PCI/PCIe ports to plug stuff like Tv cards in. It would allso be nice to suport 7.1 surround sound. But Remember that those other mobos that only have 4 or so sata ports would mean you could only have 3 internal HDDs and 1 Blu-ray drive (attached with sata).

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