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I just picked up a an EVGA 7600GS. The price is very good and the performance is impressive (for an AGP card.) I was using a 9800 AIW. The ATI hardware and drivers have so many problems with dual displays it's pathetic. The ATI drivers are just plain broken since v5.1, basically making the card obsolete before its time (which was shortly after I bought it.) I am still using the ATI 9800 for HTPC. Picture quality is good and it works well enough but will probably switch it to the 7600 at some future date. The 7600 is also a lot quieter than the 9800. The 9800 requires a third party cooler, where the 7600s stock cooler is quiet enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #62
Yes, TV out on the ATI cards is a disaster. One should only use them for VGA or DVI connections.

I had actually seen "OK" TV out from the 6.3 Catalyst drivers but after that, they really went to hell. On ATI video cards less than a DX 9, the drivers were basically crap after Cat 3.1.


On another note, I have also discovered that the EVGA 7600GS AGP is NOT HDCP capable. Neither is the Sapphire X1600 Pro AGP or the ATI X1300 Pro AGP.

With the above discoveries, I will not be moving my HTPCs to HDDVD/BD until it is an absolute must. It might be sacrelige(sp?) to some to say this, but my HTPCs upsample DVDs so well that I just do not see the value in it for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #64
A few updates...

All of my firewire issues were actually due to my DCT6200. I believe I noted it in the thread linked above, but just in case, I am saying it again.

VISTA

Well, I decided to tinker with Vista...

On the good and surprising side, Vista ran fairly well on my current bedroom HTPC:

Asus A7N8X-VM
Athlon XP 2500+ (Barton)
1 GB RAM (2 x 512MB)
Radeon X1600 Pro 256MB
40 GB Samsung (Boot)
160GB Hitachi (Recorded TV)

I even went in and turned on AeroGlass and it was all pretty and still did not appreciably slow my system down.

On the downside, HUGE install. The install after all the standard crap, patches, updates and newest drivers topped out at over 10GB. But, whatever, the drive I used for testing was a brand new Seagate 320GB 7200.10 series so there was no drive issues to speak of (Actually scored 5.2 with that drive in the Vista performance thingy).

The first thing that I did not like was totally a personal preference thing. The new MCE interface. Others have raved but to me, EW!!! I also saw possible WAF issues as my wife is not technically inclined and there is just enough of an interface change from 2005 to Vista that she would more than notice. So, to avoid those, I took the test hard drive out and that was the end of that.

Otherwise, it is neat. It works well and looks pretty but I can now personally say that it is a total waste of money and time. This is not something I would go out of my way to get unless MS totally drops all support for MCE 2005.

I suppose the most facinating thing is that short of having to use the XP driver for my Gigabit NIC (D-Link DGE-530T), I had not one driver or hardware issue to speak of.
 

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Recommend HTPC Case....

Ok....here is what I have sofar.

Motherboard: Asus A8NVM-CSM mATX
CPU: Venice 3000+
Memory: Ultra 2x512 pc3200
Video: Leadtek Nvidia 6600GT
Tuner: Hauppauge PVR-150MCE
PSU: Antec True Power 450
HD: 80 gig Maxtor (yes I need a larger one).

All currently running MCE 2005 and not running too bad.

Anyways....i need a nice black case to go with all of this. Can anyone give some recommendations?
 

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Discussion Starter #66
My personal fav for mATX is the NSK2400. I have one and it is awesome. I just wish Antec would make a version with the capacity for a standard ATX as well.
 

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yeah I would prefer black.......since my 61inch RCA DLP is black, and my pc is sitting right next to it. So people............keep the recommendations coming!

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #69
Well, only the very front of the case is grey. The rest is black.

Otherwise, I would look at the Silverstone LC10 LC13 or LC20.
 

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I also like Coolermaster cases. I've built a couple of desktops with them and they have very nice build quality and look sharp. They have a couple of HTPC cases that come in silver or black (the CM Media 250 & 260). They might be worth a look too.
 

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I just got an Antec Fusion from Canada computers for $184 cash. There is so much room in it to work, and it's well laid out. Am going to be using an matx board with it that is HDCP compliant and had HDMI. If money is not an issue, checkout the OrigenAe cases, best looking cases out there
 

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Discussion Starter #72
jacksparrow said:
I just got an Antec Fusion
Jes...

That is a sweet case. It is the upgraded and fancified version of the NSK2400. If I redo my downstairs system, I will likely use a fusion case.
 

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Discussion Starter #73
The LC17-B from Silverstone is on sale at NCIX...

The only thing is that case does not have a powersupply with it.
 

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plummer said:
Anyways....i need a nice black case to go with all of this. Can anyone give some recommendations?
It looks like you are putting a system together on a budget. The case suggestions here are good but some are a bit expensive. The Nmedia HTPC-400BA Media Centre Case is on sale at ncix.com for $100 this week only. You will need to add an MCE receiver and remote to complete it.

I can personally recommend a Silverstone Lascala LC20M-B. It may be overkill for your HTPC since it accommodates a full ATX motherboards and costs about $205.

If you want to upgrade the hard drive, ncix.com also has a couple of 500GB drives on for about $130.
 

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Well.........yeah budget is an issue. I'm not interested in spending more than $200. Yes i'm currently deciding on a 500gig hard drive from ncix or else a case. (gotta take it one at a time).

I really like the Silverstones........however I see those Nmedia's....and features like the interior section for the mce receiver are high on my list.

Basically I am just looking for something that is decent quality......and looks good.
 

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I picked up an NSK2400 from Canada Computers yesterday and hopefully the Biostar T7050 arrives from NCIX today so I can build my htpc.
 

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If you want a case that looks right at home with other home-theatre equipment, I would highly recommend the Silverstone LC11 series. It's really thin, but is surprisingly roomy inside. I've got the LC11M-S (silver with VFD), but Canada Computers has the black non-VFD model in stock for a really good price.
 
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