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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll list what I am looking for and if you guys could tell me which models to consider I would greatly appreciate it!
Wants:
-Analog out for 5.1 music and video
-Be able to add a Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium external soundcard
-HDMI out that is compatible with 1080p plasma(ability to stream 1080p)
-I do not watch Blurays through my laptop, I use a dedicated BR player(I do stream though)
-16" or bigger screen
-1600x900 resolution or higher(768p would be acceptable though I suppose)
-Intel i5 or better processor(other brands equivalents fine as well)
-500gB or more hard drive
-Two USB 3.0 ports

Price range -- $600 - $1100
TIA!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't really use it as a HTPC....I'm a multimedia user I suppose. I very rarely use it for anything video related other than watching short clips of music or videos.
I use it for music streaming, school, work and web surfing.
Didn't know where else to ask.
 

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Dell makes a great computer and bang for buck they are hard to beat and have great customer support and repair/replacement policy if it breaks or quits working during the warrentee.
 

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hi, I would suggest the same DELL brand laptop. I have DELL laptops for quite a while now and was never disappointed. Price is fine regarding the quality, and customer service is really good. The XPS I am now using just makes it fine for any application: music, deejaying, sound processing, and office tasks are running smoothly. Another interesting point is that DELL does not lock their laptops like some other brands, and you can install different operating systems. I could easily install a multiboot with seven, linux, geekbox and a backup/restauration option using partimage on a single drive. Be careful when you purchase a computer, specs are not always the most important... regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I think I am going with the XPS 17....however, how can I improve the SQ for:
1. Playing CD's to AVR
2. Streaming 256/320kbs to AVR
3. Streaming Blurays to AVR

I mistakenly thought I could just add a Sound Blaster X-Fi card....but now I have no idea how to improve it...unless I am right in guessing that I need an external DAC that is USB capable and my XPS 17 would have USB 3.0 ports.
If that's wrong, then can I/do I replace the internal card?
 

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I think I am going with the XPS 17....however, how can I improve the SQ for:
1. Playing CD's to AVR
2. Streaming 256/320kbs to AVR
3. Streaming Blurays to AVR

I mistakenly thought I could just add a Sound Blaster X-Fi card....but now I have no idea how to improve it...unless I am right in guessing that I need an external DAC that is USB capable and my XPS 17 would have USB 3.0 ports.
If that's wrong, then can I/do I replace the internal card?
I have no idea about replacing the internal sound card, I think it is not possible as the sound chipset is mounted right on the motherboard. What I am doing is: for pa applications, I connect a motu firewire 24/96 to the laptop and links to the deq via aes. When at home, I built a usb to spdif transceiver connected straight in the dcx (dcx has an aes to spdif upgrade inside). there is also a headphone jack to monitor analog output from the dac. Both systems are good, really better than the embedded sound card :D.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
When at home, I built a usb to spdif transceiver connected straight in the dcx (dcx has an aes to spdif upgrade inside). there is also a headphone jack to monitor analog output from the dac. Both systems are good, really better than the embedded sound card :D.
I will read up on this as it is Chinese to me right now, but thanks!
 

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If you're worried about sound and are set with Dell products, might as well step up to an Alienware. You will have no problems finding the sound processing you're looking for. My 6 year old M9700 has Toslink and SPDIF out and it even supports DTS 5.1, as old as it is.

My wifes year old Lenovo supports DTS-HD through HDMI output. I paid half price for it @ Newegg on a daily deal and couldn't be more happy with it. Newegg ALWAYS beats Dell's site's price and carry the same service and warranty as you would get directly through Dell. Of course, the selection is not as wide.

I do like Dell's XPS hardware, but they reserve the goodies for their Alienware line.
 

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I have a Dell XPS 17 sitting on my desk at the office. It is the 3D version. I got the 3D version even though I was not planning on using it because it has better PQ. It is quite good no doubt. There were just a few quirks that I did not like about it... mostly personal things. I use a laptop quite a bit and I am picky.

I am now using an HP ENVY 17 (latest edition) and it is a step above the XPS 17 for me. Performance is about the same. I have 8GB RAM in both, a solid state drive for the OS with a regular HD for backup an data. The features are what I like better, but it is mostly personal preferences. Things like backlit keyboard and how it actually functions, fan noise, sound, cooling, etc. These are all superior on the ENVY. The ENVY is also much easier to access from the bottom. Of course I got mine with a 30% off coupon, so it was not a bad price at all. My wife and I both ordered one and we really like them.
 
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