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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How's it going fellas.

Considering building a HTPC that would allow me to listen to and create 96Hz 24 bit audio at minimum. Trying to catch up on the latest and greatest, but also wondering if I can use any of the parts in the 3 Desktop cpu's that are in retirement. Don't believe I can after glancing at a few components. All of the PC's are 2005-2010 models. Are there any parts aside from the hard drives that aren't obsolete? Gut says to just put a new version of Windows, other software and send them to someone who would get a lot out of them like a school or Church in Africa.

Is my assumption on the parts correct?
 

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Why would you think they cannot work? I have used, as back-up, an old WinXP laptop or an old Vista AIO for music server and the can handle all the formats with the right software and external DAC.

Now, you say HTPC but you specify "96Hz 24 bit audio at minimum." I have no experience with video files but the audio is EZ.
 

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What are you planning on doing with the PCs exactly? Are you going to play 1080p video? If you are just playing high quality audio, you'll want a good sound card or an external DAC. Pretty much any PC should be able to handle that.

If you post more details on the PCs I could help you decide what to do. I'm assuming they are commercial off the shelf PCs? (Dell,HP,etc)
 

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I have used spare PC's for alot of different tasks... its hard to say what you can use without knowing what CPU / graphics etc...

A really nice DIY PC is going to run you about 1K ... obviously one can be built for less / on the cheap... Im talking about a really nice CPU/and graphics card ... that said let us know if you have a working budget...

Otherwise just spend $300 on a nice graphics card / $100 for a 3tb drive / put windows 8 on one of your PC's and there you have a HTPC...

Im not in the let's buy the cheapest parts available crowd so tell us more about what you can spend vs what you have...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have used spare PC's for alot of different tasks... its hard to say what you can use without knowing what CPU / graphics etc...

A really nice DIY PC is going to run you about 1K ... obviously one can be built for less / on the cheap... Im talking about a really nice CPU/and graphics card ... that said let us know if you have a working budget...

Otherwise just spend $300 on a nice graphics card / $100 for a 3tb drive / put windows 8 on one of your PC's and there you have a HTPC...

Im not in the let's buy the cheapest parts available crowd so tell us more about what you can spend vs what you have...
Thank you.

The reason I was thinking it wouldn't work (effectively) was the processors on the cpu's. The parts I mentioned glancing at were the new Intel processors which appear 10x faster yet I don't know if an HTPC requires a fast processor. Does it?

1 is an HP, a Dell, and the Gateway has a slot for an external drive. Read briefly about a 3 hard drive configuration where they are mirrored and it acts as 2 actual drives (the other 2 configurations seemed to be prone to if 1 drive crashed, they all do.

Wanting to watch 1080p via HDMI. Also the ability to create and play HD audio such as WAV, FLAC, ALAC, in samplings of 96Hz, 32 bit. Capability of 192Hz audio would be nice, although not needed as I don't believe my AVR can process above 96Hz.

Now that I think about it since it will be plugged into my AVR that converts the 1080i Comcast sends to 1080p that shouldn't be much of an issue.

So with a Asus Essence XT, a 3TB drive from WB I believe is the name (is there a particular color of there products you'd recommend?) a add on with USB, and HDMI inputs and putting a new version of Windows 8 on it I'd be able to do that?

A better power supply, additional fan, or other components would be required?

Thanks again to all 3 responses. Really appreciate the help gentlemen
 

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The CPU only becomes an issue if you wan to do things like rip your blurays or dvd's to your hard drive and the like.... intensive cpu power needed or it takes forever....

The Asus STX is and excellent way to go with the audio .... be aware that it comes in 2 flavors - PCI and PCIe so youll need to choose accordng to the slot you have available on the motherboard.

If you do upgrade the video card you'll probably want to up the Power supply as well... but this becomes an issue with some computer cases that DELL and HP make ...they have proprietary power supply...

Here is a sample of the system builds on NEWEGG that I thought might fit your budget....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.2008544

This is a really nice system. It has a SSD for the main hard drive - really fast - and a 1TB for storage. All you would need to complete this system is your ASUS sound card - you could actually get away with the XONAR DX7.1 unless you have to have the STX :flex: - and add WIN 8 or 7 ( i prefer 7 ultimate ) and your still way under $1000
 

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My music server is a Win7-64 desktop with a 5-yr-old motherboard running fastest available 6-core processor (Phenom II X6, 4-yr-old technology) and DDR-2 memory. Even when running EQ on the server, CPU use barely cracks 2%.

If you WANT a new system, no harm in it. You probably don't NEED it, except for compatibility reasons. Many high-performance apps and hardware, including bigger hard drives, want to run on a 64-bit system, so Win7 or Win 8 64-bit is a necessity and available drivers may decide what hardware you can use, which means newer motherboards, etc, etc, etc... So it is probably compatibility questions that will drive you to a newer system, not horsepower.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The CPU only becomes an issue if you wan to do things like rip your blurays or dvd's to your hard drive and the like.... intensive cpu power needed or it takes forever....

The Asus STX is and excellent way to go with the audio .... be aware that it comes in 2 flavors - PCI and PCIe so youll need to choose accordng to the slot you have available on the motherboard.

If you do upgrade the video card you'll probably want to up the Power supply as well... but this becomes an issue with some computer cases that DELL and HP make ...they have proprietary power supply...

Here is a sample of the system builds on NEWEGG that I thought might fit your budget....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.2008544

This is a really nice system. It has a SSD for the main hard drive - really fast - and a 1TB for storage. All you would need to complete this system is your ASUS sound card - you could actually get away with the XONAR DX7.1 unless you have to have the STX :flex: - and add WIN 8 or 7 ( i prefer 7 ultimate ) and your still way under $1000
Apologies for the late reply. Busy week.

RTS 100x5, Thank you very much. All of you guys. Tomorrow or next time I get on I will make a $20 donation on your behalf. Really appreciate the help.

HaRd to get assistance at times, thanks gentlemen.

Didn't want to put it in one of the cpu towers. Wanting something smaller if I can. Attached some photos of the HD Plex enclosure I'd really like to use if it's big enough. Think it looks excellent. Never seen one like this, and the heatsink on the side is cool. You believe this is too small or not right for what I'm trying to do? Does making lossless or lossy music, along with an option I may of left out. Using a separate drive for torrenting only. Does that change everything?

Last factor I realized today when turning on the PS3 for the first time in a long time is the noise. What's required to make it silent? May be because it hadn't been used in over a year, but that was a nuisance
 

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The PLEX box looks fine to me though Im not familiar with it.

Also take a look at these mini PC's on NEWEGG that many ppl are using just for your purpose... In most cases you just need to add your external USB hard drive for storage.... Some of them require more internal parts like memory so read carefully ....:eek:lddude: . they are very small form factor and very quiet though you wont get the ASUS STX sound quality which is more important for my system than noise

apparently we cant post newegg links anymore . how interesting

just look up MINI PC on Newegg.com .....:nerd:


 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The PLEX box looks fine to me though Im not familiar with it.

Also take a look at these mini PC's on NEWEGG that many ppl are using just for your purpose... In most cases you just need to add your external USB hard drive for storage.... Some of them require more internal parts like memory so read carefully ....:eek:lddude: . they are very small form factor and very quiet though you wont get the ASUS STX sound quality which is more important for my system than noise

apparently we cant post newegg links anymore . how interesting

just look up MINI PC on Newegg.com .....:nerd:


That's odd they won't let you post a link to newegg. Especially considering at the bottom of the page it has them listed as a affiliate. Must be late on the bill. Anyways

Are the reasons older PC's, PS3 are so loud because of the fans, and hard drives with moving parts unlike any drive available today with no moving parts?
 

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Strange... your other link worked fine. Did you try it more than once? Might have just been a hiccup.

Newegg - mini PCs. Can't seem to duplicate the issue no matter how hard I try, and it doesn't appear we are having any issues other than this thread. It is jinxed. :huh:
 

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Thanks for checking / Ya I tried to edit and add it again ....nothing .... o well onward ...

Hey Sonnie have you tried the Download version of DIRAC on your PC ? Its pretty impressive so far...
 

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I haven't tried it yet, but probably will eventually. I got so much going on right now with opening my new businesses that I haven't had much time to play. I know... it's sad... I could cry I guess.
 
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