HTPC Upgraded - tiny review inside

For small-form factor PCs and the (extremely small) people who love them.

Moderators: mac_h8r1, Nelliesboo

HTPC Upgraded - tiny review inside

Postposted on Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:04 pm

I'll probably be changing some system parts in the HTPC this weekend. My wife's little brother is in dire need of a computer replacement, so that gives me good reason to upgrade. He was using my (very) old AMD XP 1800+ on the NF7-S and it finally bit the dust on the weekend. I still have to see what the actual cause is.

I will be giving him my Gigabyte 690G board with the AMD X2-4200 on it, as well as either the 7600GS or the 3650 vid-card and Win XP with 2GB Ram.

I ijust asked my sister to pick up the X2-7750 from Amazon for me. They have it on sale for $59.99 right now - original price is $89.99 ($105 up here before the whopping 13% tax). I'll probably end up with a 780G board from Gigabyte or Asus. Should be a fun-filled weekend for me!!! :)
Last edited by lex-ington on Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
. . . this is the digital projection of your mental self. . . .

Darth Lex-idius vs. Obi Lex kanobi
lex-ington
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2920
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:59 pm
Location: Toronto, ON

Re: HTPC Upgrade

Postposted on Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:54 am

lex-ington wrote:I just asked my sister to pick up the X2-7750 from Amazon for me. They have it on sale for $59.99 right now - original price is $89.99 ($105 up here before the whopping 13% tax).
Newegg's got it for US$60 -$5 (code "CPU345") with free shipping.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15323
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: HTPC Upgrade

Postposted on Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:10 am

For some reason she doesn't like purchasing from newegg. I don't know if its because she lives in California, but she has purchased it for me already and I know she always get free shipping from Amazon.

Time to plan out my purchase strategy.
. . . this is the digital projection of your mental self. . . .

Darth Lex-idius vs. Obi Lex kanobi
lex-ington
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2920
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:59 pm
Location: Toronto, ON

Re: HTPC Upgrade

Postposted on Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:05 am

A little review after this weekend's swaps/upgrades:

1. I bought the cooler Master Elite 360 - nice case, but not thought out very well. If you have more than one HDD, ignore this case. I got the OCZ silencer 500W PSU to go with it, and for $33 it was worth it. So now I have my main system sitting on top of my desk. It feels nice to have four cores of power sitting in a small case.

2. I put the 690G board in the Linux box, and now its smokin' - working happily at whatever I give it. I think I may try my hand at folding on that box.

3. My wife's little brother is in heaven. I retired his system (my old AMD XP-1800 on an NF7-S board with 1GB DDR-333 and a Radeon 7500 w/128MB ram - it bit the dust finally) and gave him an X2-4200 on an Asus M2N-E board w/2GB DDR2-800 memory, my 7600GS vid-card, a new DVD-RW drive, my Enermax Liberty 400W PSU and an 80GB SATA drive.

Anyone wants the AMD XP-1800+ processor? I'm about to throw the whole thing out.

4. The trouble begins!!!! I bought the Asus GeForce 8200 board to put into the HTPC - fine. I got the X2-7750 processor to put in the HTPC - fine. I bought 4GB of DDR2-800 memory to put in the HTPC - fine. I uninstalled all the chipset and graphics drivers for the 690G that was in there - not fine. I had to re-install windows to get the graphics to work properly (HDMI connection). After installing all oft he drivers, I get sound for all system activities - including starting up Windows Media Center. I get NO SOUND what-so-ever when watching a movie - I get picture . . .lovely picture - just no sound. Very frustrating. I went through every option I could find. . . . still no sound. I am at a loss with this one. I'll try re-installing the drivers tonight, but my gut feeling says this will be a painful experience. I think the board is the M3A78-VM. I may end up getting a 780G board if this problem persists.
. . . this is the digital projection of your mental self. . . .

Darth Lex-idius vs. Obi Lex kanobi
lex-ington
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2920
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:59 pm
Location: Toronto, ON

Re: HTPC Upgraded - tiny review inside

Postposted on Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:11 am

Are you sure the HDMI connection on that board will pass audio through it?
Skrying
Gerbil Jedi
 
Posts: 1792
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:37 am
Location: Missouri

Re: HTPC Upgraded - tiny review inside

Postposted on Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:15 am

If it doesn't allow audio through then I shouldn't hear anything right? not even system sounds. . . . . .but those play just fine. I'll be pissed if it only allowed certain sounds through. . . .really pissed.

There was nothing on the Asus website that said it didn't?????? :-?
. . . this is the digital projection of your mental self. . . .

Darth Lex-idius vs. Obi Lex kanobi
lex-ington
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2920
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:59 pm
Location: Toronto, ON

Re: HTPC Upgraded - tiny review inside

Postposted on Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:26 am

What are you playing movies with? What type of movies with what sort of audio data? What is your hdmi audio connection hooked up to?
...
mattsteg
Gerbil God
 
Posts: 15752
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Applauding the new/old variable width forums

Re: HTPC Upgraded - tiny review inside

Postposted on Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:54 am

The movies are played using Media Center.

Just normal DVD discs - nothing saved or converted in any way.

The computer is connected using the on-board HDMI connection to the T.V.

The similar setup worked fine using the 690G board. I made the switch in preparation to get a new TV-tuner card since that was the only thing giving problems with the 690G setup.
. . . this is the digital projection of your mental self. . . .

Darth Lex-idius vs. Obi Lex kanobi
lex-ington
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2920
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:59 pm
Location: Toronto, ON

Re: HTPC Upgraded - tiny review inside

Postposted on Mon Mar 16, 2009 12:25 pm

Have you set up what audio formats your TV can accept in your audio drivers? It might be getting audio streamed directly off of the DVD in a format it dislikes. If you can't find somewhere to set that, you could maybe install something like ac3filter and make adjustments there.
...
mattsteg
Gerbil God
 
Posts: 15752
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Applauding the new/old variable width forums

Re: HTPC Upgraded - tiny review inside

Postposted on Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:27 am

mattsteg wrote:Have you set up what audio formats your TV can accept in your audio drivers? It might be getting audio streamed directly off of the DVD in a format it dislikes. If you can't find somewhere to set that, you could maybe install something like ac3filter and make adjustments there.


I was going to use your ac3filter suggestion last night, but the computer is now freaking on me. I was going to uninstall the VIA audio drivers and the nvidia drivers (why would anyone make you install two sets of drivers to control one function is beyond me) and the computer just started shutting off for no reason.

Now I am starting to think that after switching from an X2-4200 to the X2-7750 and changing the mobo that the power draw may be a bit much, but i only changed those two components, so I doubt it can seriously put that kind of a power drain on a 300W PSU (albeit the PSU did come with the case and the case is an nMedia 200B).

But I had no problems at all pushing sound through HDMI with the 690G board - I only didn't get sound using the TV-tuner. I may have to put the 780G board in there and see what happens.

I am not impressed with the GeForce 8200 though. I used the gigabyte version of that chipset in my sisters HTPC build, and she just mentioned that she had to iron out some problems, mostly work-arounds though, not actually solving the problem.

Well . . . . . .I see another swap session inmy future if I can't get this board stable - WITH sound - by the weekend.
. . . this is the digital projection of your mental self. . . .

Darth Lex-idius vs. Obi Lex kanobi
lex-ington
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2920
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:59 pm
Location: Toronto, ON

Re: HTPC Upgraded - tiny review inside

Postposted on Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:13 am

The swap session went much better than I had anticipated.

I purchased a Gigabyte GA-MA780G-UD3H. The Asus M3A78-EM went into the HTPC, which is probably where it should have been in the first place.

The Gigabyte board is slimmer than most ATX boards, which allowed me to get my second HD into the Cooler Master 360 case without any trouble. Most of the drivers installed smoothly, until I introduced the SB Audigy to the mix. There seems to be a problem with the PCI Bus that the system can't find a driver for. The Audigy drivers works fine, but the PCI Bus driver is bugging me. Its the only outstanding item in the Device Manager.

AT LAST!!!!! The HTPC is working properly again. Remember, I am replacing the Asus GeForce 8200 board with the Asus 780G board. As soon as I changed the boards and fired up the system - installing all of the drivers - she works flawlessly now. Perfect sound and picture, and no hiccups with anything attached to the USB ports. I wonder if I can RMA the other board without the receipt, cause I tossed it all.

My sister brought up her Logitech Mini DiNovo for me to see (since I recommended it) and I WANT one. What a neat little piece of equipment.
. . . this is the digital projection of your mental self. . . .

Darth Lex-idius vs. Obi Lex kanobi
lex-ington
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2920
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:59 pm
Location: Toronto, ON

Re: HTPC Upgraded - tiny review inside

Postposted on Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:44 pm

Congratulations. I've been having a heck of time with my M3A78-EM.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15323
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: HTPC Upgraded - tiny review inside

Postposted on Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:52 pm

lex-ington wrote:There seems to be a problem with the PCI Bus that the system can't find a driver for. The Audigy drivers works fine, but the PCI Bus driver is bugging me. Its the only outstanding item in the Device Manager.


Assuming it's a PCI Input Device that's missing, that's the gameport on the Audigy, which isn't officially supported under Vista.
i5-2500k @ 4.5ghz | ASUS P8Z68-V | nVidia GTX780 | 32gb DDR3| 2x SSDs 2x HDD | Antec Solo II | Dell U2713HM
Mentawl
Gerbil XP
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 446
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2004 5:21 pm
Location: UK

Re: HTPC Upgraded - tiny review inside

Postposted on Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:48 am

I wish it was the one with the game port, then all would make sense. Its the one with a Firewire port on it. I do know it is an Audigy, not an Audigy 2 or 4.

Ahhh well.

I now notice that whenever I have the HTPC on, the network goes crazy and all the computers drop their connections. I bought a Belkin Wireless N USB adaptor - since my router is a Belkin Wirless N1 - and though the connection strength is much strongert han the wireless G card, it only stays connected for about 5 minutes, then everything drops. I should put this in the networking forum, but it is in the HTPC.
. . . this is the digital projection of your mental self. . . .

Darth Lex-idius vs. Obi Lex kanobi
lex-ington
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2920
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:59 pm
Location: Toronto, ON

Re: HTPC Upgraded - tiny review inside

Postposted on Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:37 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:Congratulations. I've been having a heck of time with my M3A78-EM.


Could you elaborate? I'm considering hopping on the Newegg combo deal for a dedicated Linux box. This board w/ Phenom 9850 Quad for $160.
hans
Gerbil Team Leader
 
Posts: 242
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: NH

Re: HTPC Upgraded - tiny review inside

Postposted on Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:33 pm

lex-ington wrote:I wish it was the one with the game port, then all would make sense. Its the one with a Firewire port on it. I do know it is an Audigy, not an Audigy 2 or 4.


Yeah, I have the same card - it has a game port in the form of pins on the card, but none actually on the slot cover of the card. So it's actually there, but you need a seperate cable to use it.
i5-2500k @ 4.5ghz | ASUS P8Z68-V | nVidia GTX780 | 32gb DDR3| 2x SSDs 2x HDD | Antec Solo II | Dell U2713HM
Mentawl
Gerbil XP
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 446
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2004 5:21 pm
Location: UK


Return to SFF Station

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: rwpritchett and 9 guests