PC integrated into HT


Feb 3, 2006
Hi all, posted this in homebuild forum but this might be a better place.

Current GPU, a 4870, is starting to crap out. There's a flashing on webpages and video, and heavy artifacts on games, that stopped when i threw in my old x1800xt. Other parts of current rig include an E8500, 4 gigs of ram, p182 case, Corsair 650 W TX PSU, Samsung 830 128Gig SSD, couple other HDDs.

Other than the busted 4870, my system pretty much does what I need it to do, though there are a few games out now that'd I'd like to get. Namely, Battlefield 3, Skyrim, SC2, and maybe Guild Wars 2. Also wouldn't mind giving 3d a try down the road a bit. So, I'm thinking a decently powerful GPU would be in order. Which would be largely pointless with my e8500, right?

I was really hoping to hold out for Haswell before building new, but don't really want to be stuck playing 5 year old games for the next year. Haven't researched it all that much but what i've seen is maybe a 10% per clock increase expectation over Ivy. Is there any other info y'all have heard on that? Would you wait for Haswll at this point?

If I buy now, I'd be looking at something like the following:
CPU Cooler?
Z77 mobo
BluRay Burner
8 or 16 gigs memory? (I do some photo editing, though I can't say i've really needed more than 4).
GPU? 7870 ($230 after mirb, includes 2 games i probably wouldn't otherwise buy), 660 Ti $300 (w/ Borderlands 2, wouldn't mind that), or 670 ($400 w/ Borderlands 2). The Nvidia boards would have the advantage in 3d down the road it seems, and are more powerful. But the 7870 is significantly cheaper.

The real reason for this post, though, is that I would want to integrate the new system into my home theater more than my current rig is. Basically, I'd like to have the option of running HDMI (including sound) to my reciver to output sound and and video to my plasma TV. THis wouldn't be the primary monitor. I would have a monitor, but sometimes would like to game or watch movies on my HDTV. Most gpus only have 1 HDMI output i've noticed. So, would I be able to to send sound and video to my home theater and still send sound and video to my computer monitor without having to change settings everytime i want to watch a movie or game on my big screen? How?

Any help is greatly appreciated!
I have a similar setup. I use HDMI for audio and video to my HDTV. I also use DVI to HDMI to my 1080p projector with S/PDIF Audio to my receiver. I use a program called AutoHotKey. Using that, I can set up a couple of function keys to switch the default audio device from HDMI to S/PDIF.

So for me:

ALT+F9 --> Audio to HDTV
ALT+F10 --> Audio to Receiver

I also have a hot key set up in AMD Vision Engine Control Center preferences to swap displays. Don't know if they have anything similar in NVidia's Control Panel.

-Wolf sends