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 Post subject: Gaming HTPC
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:57 pm
Posts: 3
Hi everyone,

I'm attempting my first htpc build and have a few questions on chipsets and mother boards. I want to build a gaming htpc using the sandy bridge P67 or possibly a Z68 chipset when it comes out. I can't seem to find a lot of information on this type of htpc build. Most sites are only listing h67 builds and info. My total price for the build is $1000, but might be a little more if I decide to wait for the Z68. I want to be able to watch and record over the air channels and cable. Play 3D movies and games.

Questions:
Is Z68 chipset worth waiting for over the P67 chipset? I plan on playing games and since the IGP has an issue with playing 24P is there any reason to still want to use it? I was kind of interested in lucidlogix's Virtu software because you can somewhat conserve power and only use the discrete graphics card when it's needed, but I haven't been able to find prices for it or even if it's available for sale to the consumer yet.

What features make a good HTPC motherboard and which one do you recommend for P67 that is micro atx?

Also any good links you know of for building a gaming htpc would greatly be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming HTPC
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
Posts: 2457
Location: ITALY
htpc_newbie23 wrote:
Is Z68 chipset worth waiting for over the P67 chipset?

Who knows? It should be so, as Z68 should give the Quick Sync feature to the P67.
With all other respects, it should be equivalent to a B3 (flawless) P67.

htpc_newbie23 wrote:
I was kind of interested in lucidlogix's Virtu software because you can somewhat conserve power and only use the discrete graphics card when it's needed, but I haven't been able to find prices for it or even if it's available for sale to the consumer yet.

As far as I know, if you have two monitor and extended desktop through the IGP, you should be able to use discrete graphics and have QuickSync: at anyway, this alleged solution should be far less energy efficient than Lucid Virtu.

htpc_newbie23 wrote:
What features make a good HTPC motherboard and which one do you recommend for P67 that is micro atx?

Also any good links you know of for building a gaming htpc would greatly be appreciated.

I don't know if you will like it, but you may give a read to the Missing Remote site.

With reference to the mobo, my personal advice is for the best ASUS you can afford.

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Regards,
Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming HTPC
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:57 pm
Posts: 3
Thanks for the info and especially that link to missing remote. That site has a lot of useful info for a newbie like me :)

I figure by the time I do enough research on hardware and software to know what I want the Z68 will be out so if I don't like it I can get a P67 board at a discount. I read an article where Lucid is suppose to be selling their software to motherboard vendors so I'll keep an eye out for it. If I find something I'll post the link here.

I guess are there any pitfalls to having a gaming htpc I should know about? Any issues with playing games at the same time your recording shows? I've never had a htpc so I'm kind of looking for problems to avoid, lessons learned, that sort of thing. What problems have you guys ran into with builds?

Thanks,
Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming HTPC
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:57 pm
Posts: 3
I'm having a really hard time trying to pick out a htpc case. I think most of the trouble comes from not understanding how the lcd/vfd displays work and if they are compatible with windows 7. I've read a lot of reviews of people having problems with them. What htpc cases have a vfd display that works with windows 7 for under 250 dollars?

I am kind of leaning towards the zalman hd160. Newegg has them for $200. Does anyone have one of these and use windows 7? How do you like the display?

Thanks,


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming HTPC
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:45 am
Posts: 518
Location: 128.0.0.1
Do you really need a VFD Display? I realize that they further the camouflage of making a PC look like a stereo component, but they don't see to serve any practical purpose.


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 Post subject: Re: Gaming HTPC
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:44 pm
Posts: 332
Location: Seattle
tim851 wrote:
Do you really need a VFD Display? I realize that they further the camouflage of making a PC look like a stereo component, but they don't see to serve any practical purpose.

I used a program called LCD Smartie to control the display that came with my Nmedia case. Using plug-ins I made it show fan speeds, CPU and memory usage, internal temperatures, voltages...

It can control just about any LCD or VFD display and has a lot of optional plug-ins that add features or let it display data from other programs: http://lcdsmartie.sourceforge.net/


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