Replacing HTPC Guts

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs & Equipment' started by one swell foop, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. one swell foop

    one swell foop [H]ard|Gawd

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    Sorry to be lazy and post here, but I'm so far out of the loop on low to mid-level new hardware it's not even funny.

    I've got a HTPC that's running a chip I don't recall sitting in an EVGA 750i SLi FTW mobo, vid card is a GTX 670, and I have an old PCI Xonar D2 sound card sitting in there, all housed in a nice Silverstone HTPC case. OS is windows 10 run off a SSD.

    Something has been crashing regularly and causing video and audio to cut out. Recently (last night) display artifacts have begun to appear. Reinstalling and updating drivers hasn't worked, and the most recent drivers for the mobo are from 2015 and for Windows 7. I don't know if it's the video card, motherboard, or one of the other components.

    If I needed to replace the chip, mobo, ram, and video card, is there a current setup that is recommended? The case will take an ATX motherboard. I'd like it to be somewhat future-proof in that it should be able to handle 4k video. It's mostly used for watching netflix and playing hd content off my home network.

    Do I even need a sound card these days? They don't even make motherboards with a slot for the Xonar D2 any more and the thing had crappy drivers anyway. Less cost is mo' better.

    Are there motherboards that also pump audio out through the HDMI port? I run everything to my home theater receiver and visuals out to my TV.


    Any input or advice you guys have would be much appreciated!
     
  2. Blue Fox

    Blue Fox [H]ardForum Junkie

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    An Intel NUC will do what you want and will probably be way easier than piecing everything together. They are fairly cheap too. Newer models support hardware 4K HEVC decoding as well and have an integrated IR receiver. HDMI audio has been the norm for quite some time now, so you won't need a separate sound card.
     
  3. trentchau

    trentchau [H]ard|Gawd

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    Maybe try a GeForce 1030 low profile. Still reasonably priced. 35 watts of power and supports 4k
     
  4. sinisterDei

    sinisterDei Gawd

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    You probably don't even need a HTPC these days, unless you also use it for living room gaming and such. I generaly recommend Rokus or Shields to people because if all they want is media playback, then they generally have you covered and you don't have to deal with the 'mess' of having a HTPC.

    That said, as my signature will attest, I personally still run a HTPC. I do a good bit of living room websurfing, emulated gaming, and other such things that a HTPC enables.

    For your direct questions, yes, HDMI will contain audio and you don't likely need a separate sound card. Honestly one of the Ryzen 2200G type systems seems pretty darned attractive as a HTPC option if you've already got the case for it, given the combination of performance and low price.
     
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  5. Vengance_01

    Vengance_01 [H]ardness Supreme

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  6. sinisterDei

    sinisterDei Gawd

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    Yes, that's what I was referring to. Nvidia's Shield is more $ than a Roku stick or Chromecase, but less than assembling a full HTPC. It can handle 4K content from all the major providers, and can run PLEX and Kodi. You can also play all the Shield compatible games, and if you want to play 'bigger' games you can use it with GameStream assuming your gaming PC has an Nvidia card to stream games to your TV. I don't own one personally, mind you, but I've recommended them for a few friends who have all thoroughly enjoyed them. And, as I said, less $ than assembling a HTPC from scratch.
     
  7. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge Not the Idiot YOU are Looking for

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    I love my Shield. It does everything I need, all in one place.

    [only other device I seriously considered was the Apple TV 4K; Roku's are ad-infested, and anything cheaper than a Roku is either slow or cumbersome or both and likely has limited support for stuff like Dolby Vision etc.]