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Old 06-01-2016, 12:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help with low-end htpc build

Doing a low-end htpc build for a friend.
Parts list:

DELL OptiPlex 780 (refurb)

Refurbished: DELL Desktop Computer 780 Core 2 Quad Q6600 (2.40 GHz) 4 GB DDR3 500 GB HDD Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit - Newegg.com

ASUS HD 6450 (refurb)

ASUS EAH6450 SILENT/DI/1GD3(LP) Radeon HD 6450 1GB 64-Bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready Video Card Manufactured Recertified - Newegg.com

or ASUS GT 610 (non refurb)

ASUS GeForce GT 610 DirectX 11.1 GT610-SL-1GD3-L 1GB 64-Bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Newegg.com

ASUS sound card (non refurb)

Asus MIO-892 Sound Board - Newegg.com

The machine will, hopefully, do the following:

1 - Provide a virtual jukebox using an add-on sound card. I'm going digital audio out to a converter to output to existing speaker wire in standing speakers.

2 - Provide a home theater using an add-on video card. I'm going HDMI out from an add-on card directly to a flat screen LCD (HDMI - in).

Here are the questions. The video cards, both are low profile to fit into the DELL chassis. One is PCIe 2.0 x 16, while the other is PCIe 2.1 x16. The OptiPlex motherboard is PCIe compatible. Do I need to worry at all about this PCIe slot being compatible with the card?

Secondly, which video card would you think would perform better for movie applications?

And lastly, would you suggest anything else? Anything different? Anything that would cause concerns?

I am going low end to accommodate a $250 limit here.

Thanks for your input.
Mark
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Old 06-01-2016, 12:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help with low-end htpc build

Go with a 710.
EVGA GeForce GT 710 DirectX 12 01G-P3-2711-KR 1GB 64-Bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 Low Profile Video Card - Newegg.com

What is the audio going to?
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Old 06-01-2016, 01:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help with low-end htpc build

Audio is going out to a converter that will take it to some old school stereo speakers. So... I will go optical sound out to converter and speaker wire out of converter to stereo speakers. This is for the virtual jukebox... iTunes (a few thousand songs).
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Old 06-01-2016, 02:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help with low-end htpc build

Optical out will not give you the best sound quality. I'm not sure what you mean by "converter." If this is an outboard DAC, why wouldn't you use a USB DAC? Cost? Also, does the DAC have gain? If not, it can't drive speakers. Finally, if your speakers are truly old, they aren't magnetically shielded. They and the monitor could interfere with each other.
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Old 06-01-2016, 02:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help with low-end htpc build

By what is it going to I was more so asking you to specify what you mean by converter. Also if you're using iTunes there's no point in trying to use optical or anything fancy. Just use stereo out to some form of amp.
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