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Old September 26, 2009, 08:16 AM
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Default Old Gaming PC into HTPC - have any advice?

I just recently built myself a new gaming PC and workstation and now have my old PC components that I'd like to put into an HTPC build.

Here's what components I have:
2x Seagate 750GB SATA HDDs (for RAID)
WinXP MCE 2005
OCZ Modstream 550W modular PSU
ATI Radeon X1900XTX
DFI LANParty NF4 Ultra-D
AMD Opteron 165 OC'd @ 2.8GHz
Thermalright XP-120 heatsink + Panaflo fan
1GB OCZ RAM

My main concern is the huge heatsink + fan combo on the motherboard. I'm wondering if it will fit as-is in a Silverstone Lascala LC17B or an nMedia 6000B HTPC case. Is it even worth it to do this?

I'd love to be able to use these components for an HTPC since they're still in great condition and I've been wanting to build an HTPC for some time now.

Do any of you have any recommendations as far as whether or not this is feasible with the current hardware or perhaps any opinions on whether I should first replace the CPU heatsink/fan combo?

I'd also like to be able to game on the HTPC every now on then. Before I built my new PC I was playing games like Fallout 3, Resident Evil 5 and Dawn of War II on this old hardware and it ran well for the most part with mid and sometimes high settings. Should I be worrying about the heat output while gaming if this goes in an HTPC build? The HTPC will be in a well-ventilated area since my TV sits on a very wide stand.

Would love to hear your guys' thoughts and opinions. Thanks in advance!
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Old September 26, 2009, 08:25 AM
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Should be no problem, and a great htpc. If the thermalright doesn't fit then get another cooler. Or ask around the web and see if any one else has that combo of heatsink/case.
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Old September 26, 2009, 09:55 AM
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I am pretty sure the HSF w/ fit in the LC17B. I use an AXP-140 on my Q8200 and I still have a lot of clearance. Just double checked. The AXP-140 is 70mm high, the XP-120 is only 63mm high, you'll have no problem. Is the X1900XT capable of DXVA, if not I guess the CPU should still have enough power for most videos.
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Old September 26, 2009, 10:48 AM
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Thanks for the replies so far guys.

lowfat thanks for the clarification. I know the AXP-140 is just slightly higher so yeah it looks like it will fit.

I'm absolutely sure the X1900XTX supports DXVA.
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Old September 26, 2009, 05:01 PM
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I'd suggest scrapping the X1900XTX and replace it with a HD4350. Then you'd have native HDMI support, along with low power consumption and very little or no noise.

However that would kill any plans of gaming, but most HTPC cases are very poorly ventilated so that X1900XTX is going to run hot and heat up everything else in the case, and probably get rather noisy too.

I'd also be inclined to run Windows 7 on it, but 1GB RAM is lacking.
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Old September 26, 2009, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrom17 View Post
I'd suggest scrapping the X1900XTX and replace it with a HD4350. Then you'd have native HDMI support, along with low power consumption and very little or no noise.

However that would kill any plans of gaming, but most HTPC cases are very poorly ventilated so that X1900XTX is going to run hot and heat up everything else in the case, and probably get rather noisy too.

I'd also be inclined to run Windows 7 on it, but 1GB RAM is lacking.
My X1900XTX is definitely one noisy beast. I'm considering getting a 4350 for the native HDMI but right now I'm more than happy with it hooked up to my 42" LCD HDTV using a DVI-to-HDMI cable and an analog 3.5mm-to-RCA cable for the audio. Is there a significant advantage of downgrading to a 4350 for the HDMI apart from less heat?

I'm sure I can easily sell the X1900XTX without any problems and gaming on this HTPC build wouldn't be a top priority anyways. I'm just trying to see if I can throw these components into an HTPC build without having to spend too much else. I'd love to throw it into a new tower build but I don't have the space in my already too small apartment.

What's your take on my replacing the existing stock heatsink/fan combo on my X1900XTX with an aftermarket cooler? Or is it more worth it to go with a 4350 and sell the X1900XTX?

Thanks for your input. I really appreciate it. This is my first foray into building an HTPC since I usually just hook up my MacBook pro to my TV and watch encoded videos that way.
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Old September 26, 2009, 10:23 PM
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Well the HD4350 also has some better post-processing video options too which will help make things look better.

As for heatsink swap, the price of the HD4350 would be the same or less than a heatsink, so choice is yours. If you still want gaming capability, a HD4650/70 would be more capable of doing so, while still being pretty low power/heat/noise.

And I have no idea what kind of sound system you have, or what kind of media you're playing back, but stereo audio wouldn't be my choice. I'd want digital of sorts to get 5.1+.

HTPCs generally should be nearly silent so that the sound of fans doesn't overcome that of what you're watching, or you have to turn up the volume ridiculously high just to hear all those whispering parts in movies. Though of course, this is totally up to you.
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Old September 28, 2009, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrom17 View Post
As for heatsink swap, the price of the HD4350 would be the same or less than a heatsink, so choice is yours. If you still want gaming capability, a HD4650/70 would be more capable of doing so, while still being pretty low power/heat/noise.
FWIW I use a passive Sapphire 4670 in my HTPC and I'm happy... I think the passive one is hard to find though. It'd probably get pretty toasty though if I was gaming on it but I'm not so minimal airflow works fine.
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