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Thread: New home setup (need help/advice)

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    Question New home setup (need help/advice)

    Hi guys,


    Hopefully I'm posting this in the right place?? I'm changing my set-up at home, which is going to result in my systems tower being located in a wardrobe approx 2.5-3m away from my monitor and keyboard. I mainly use the system for gaming but am confidant that the new location for the tower should be ventilated enough to keep everything cool. (Although this will have to be monitored)


    Sorry about the poor quality of my drawing but I'm no expert! Hopefully it should provide enough information that you guys will be able to help me.



    Red = sockets
    Green = computer tower
    Yellow = peripheral / monitor

    (Depth of the desk is unknown as it doesn’t exist yet, however it will be made from a standard piece of kitchen work surface)


    What wires am I going to need so that my wired keyboard/mouse can still be "plugged" into the main tower and operate as normal (I would use wireless however several years ago when I had that set-up I found it in-effective for gaming as it caused pauses in actions while it emptied its cache).

    With the monitor being so far away from the tower is their either a way I can connect it wirelessly to my tower or if not what wire would be suitable for this (it uses the cable with the white end? (DVI??)) And not lose quality due to the length of the cable.

    My sound for the PC is connected to a Yamaha AV receiver which is located under my T.V would a 3.5mm to 3.5mm jack be a good enough sound output or are their better options to get the most out of my soundcard (onboard with AFAIK 6 outputs on the rear of my tower).

    Because the tower is so far away from my actual monitor and would require opening the wardrobe each time to access it to turn it on/off is their any way I can turn the computer on/off without having to open my wardrobe to do so?

    I'm pretty sure I'll need some kind of USB hub at my desk so that I'm able to easily connect anything to my computer such as cameras/phones, headphones (3.5mm would be preferable although would buy a USB set if that was the only viable option) and possibly my mouse/keyboard as well. I was considering also using this with a USB DVD drive again so that I don't have to leave my desk to watch a movie/listen to music. What type of USB hub would be suitable for this?

    Lastly I really want to use as few wires as possible so that my room doesn’t look like a total mess (especially where you'll be able to see behind the computer. This may mean I need some form of cable management system.


    I think that’s everything....for now at least! Hopefully you guys will be able to offer me some advice!

    Thanks

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    Re: New home setup (need help/advice)

    Out of interest, why?

    It's certainly possible, but it's a very complicated way of doing things!

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    Re: New home setup (need help/advice)

    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Out of interest, why?

    It's certainly possible, but it's a very complicated way of doing things!
    Because of the very small size of my room and that large size of the tower theirs no where to put the tower. I've looked at wall mounting, having it under the desk or even lay on its side with the monitor sat ontop of it (can't due to the side vent) so this was the alternative option to be able to still have the computer rather than having to get rid of it

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    Re: New home setup (need help/advice)

    Looking at that suggested layout it would be a nightmare of cabling not even considering the costs involved.
    I am not even sure it would work without signal degradation.
    Why not have a (albeit narrow) desk where the TV is currently?

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    Re: New home setup (need help/advice)

    Considering the distances we're talking about, I think you should just look for appropriate cables online.

    If you buy a 10m HDMI cable from a good retailer, it will be appropriately shielded. And you can get USB extension cables as well, which work extremely well.

    10m DVI

    5m USB Repeater

    If you want a USB hub, make sure you get a powered one - i.e. with its own power supply. The USB cable probably won't carry enough power to run a whole hub on its own.

    As for audio, I don't really know - not my strong point. If your motherboard has an optical-out you could use that?

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    Re: New home setup (need help/advice)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sacred View Post
    Depth of the desk is unknown as it doesn’t exist yet, however it will be made from a standard piece of kitchen work surface
    I believe that will be 600mm depth as standard then.

    Have you considered simply transplanting your computer into a different case? You can get a few full atx-sized desktop cases with reasonable ventilation, which would make the whole process considerably easier to manage. It would also raise your monitor, which would almost certainly be better from an ergonomics point of view (when sitting comfortably upright you should be looking directly at the toip 1/3 of your monitor...).

    Otherwise, I'd go for what snooty has suggested and just buy appropriate cables. It'll be a bit of a pain running them all round the room, but if you keep them close to the wall behind the bed / TV where possible it shouldn't look too bad.

    As to sound, whether it's worth using more than just a stereo 3.5mm cable will depend on whether your AV receiver is stereo or full surround. If it's just stereo, then a decent quality 3.5mm cable (if this is a standard AV receiver I'd've thought you'd want 3.5mm plug to 2x RCA Phono) will be absolutely fine - otherwise it's going to depend entirely on what inputs your receiver has.

    Headphones: trickier, as having them plugged in anywhere may cut your sound to the receiver. Probably, you're looking at having a headphone extender cable. You could try plugging it into the front audio ports of your case first: it's possible that the extender on its own won't cut the sound to the speakers. Otherwise probably run the extender to your desk then plug it in to the PC / Receiver as you need to use it. Another option would be to get a pair of speakers that carry headphone and mic to your desk, but realistically that would mean bypassing your AV receiver, which it sounds like you don't want to do. Or, if your soundcard / motherboard has fine-grained software output control, it may be possible to map the outputs selectively, so when you wanted to use headphones you'd go into the audio controls and just change which output the stereo signal is being sent to...?

    Hmm, lots for you to digest there!

    EDIT: to add a p.s.: I used to run my HTPC monitor (26" widescreen 1280x768) off a 5m long VGA cable with no noticable degradation of signal quality, so you should be fine with a 5m DVI cable.

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    Re: New home setup (need help/advice)

    Thanks for all of the input guys

    Quote Originally Posted by rkingb View Post
    Looking at that suggested layout it would be a nightmare of cabling not even considering the costs involved.
    I am not even sure it would work without signal degradation.
    Why not have a (albeit narrow) desk where the TV is currently?
    I'm happy to have the cables run under the carpet behind the bed/T.V just dont want them to get to where the desk is and look like ive got a wealth of cables hanging down.
    The chair I have is 27" wide and was only bought last year at over £100 and I really don't want to have to replace/downgrade to a smaller one. So the desk needs to be able to accomodate the chair when not in use.

    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Considering the distances we're talking about, I think you should just look for appropriate cables online.

    If you buy a 10m HDMI cable from a good retailer, it will be appropriately shielded. And you can get USB extension cables as well, which work extremely well.

    10m DVI

    5m USB Repeater

    If you want a USB hub, make sure you get a powered one - i.e. with its own power supply. The USB cable probably won't carry enough power to run a whole hub on its own.

    As for audio, I don't really know - not my strong point. If your motherboard has an optical-out you could use that?
    Thanks for the advice, are their any good USB hubs out there? More importantly are their any ones that should be avoided?

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    I believe that will be 600mm depth as standard then.

    Have you considered simply transplanting your computer into a different case? You can get a few full atx-sized desktop cases with reasonable ventilation, which would make the whole process considerably easier to manage. It would also raise your monitor, which would almost certainly be better from an ergonomics point of view (when sitting comfortably upright you should be looking directly at the toip 1/3 of your monitor...).

    Otherwise, I'd go for what snooty has suggested and just buy appropriate cables. It'll be a bit of a pain running them all round the room, but if you keep them close to the wall behind the bed / TV where possible it shouldn't look too bad.

    As to sound, whether it's worth using more than just a stereo 3.5mm cable will depend on whether your AV receiver is stereo or full surround. If it's just stereo, then a decent quality 3.5mm cable (if this is a standard AV receiver I'd've thought you'd want 3.5mm plug to 2x RCA Phono) will be absolutely fine - otherwise it's going to depend entirely on what inputs your receiver has.

    Headphones: trickier, as having them plugged in anywhere may cut your sound to the receiver. Probably, you're looking at having a headphone extender cable. You could try plugging it into the front audio ports of your case first: it's possible that the extender on its own won't cut the sound to the speakers. Otherwise probably run the extender to your desk then plug it in to the PC / Receiver as you need to use it. Another option would be to get a pair of speakers that carry headphone and mic to your desk, but realistically that would mean bypassing your AV receiver, which it sounds like you don't want to do. Or, if your soundcard / motherboard has fine-grained software output control, it may be possible to map the outputs selectively, so when you wanted to use headphones you'd go into the audio controls and just change which output the stereo signal is being sent to...?

    Hmm, lots for you to digest there!

    EDIT: to add a p.s.: I used to run my HTPC monitor (26" widescreen 1280x768) off a 5m long VGA cable with no noticable degradation of signal quality, so you should be fine with a 5m DVI cable.
    Had a quick check and yes the desk should be 600mm deep.

    My computers currently in an Antec 300 case which I assumed is probably the smallest I can go if I'm still wanting to keep my GTX260 (as shes one big card). Would a smaller atx-sized case be able to fit everything in just as easily?

    Never thought of bracketing the monitor, any advice on how to do this (mounted from the desk or the wall? The monitor I've got is a bit of the cheap side (AG neovo H-W22) although looking at the back of it, it does have mounting threads so I assume it would be suitable for most mounting systems?

    I've bought a 3.5mm to phono cable this morning and tried that with my desktop/av receiver and its working a treat so think I'm sorted on that one
    I'm happy for the headphones to share/bypass the av receiver as sometimes I only want headphone sound, due to the recession I've lost my house and had to move back in with my parents so although their happy to have me the room I'm in is 1/5th the size of the room I use to have when I lived in a house share in Leeds and they don't appreciate hearing me shooting/killing things all night long.

    Thanks for all of the great input guys am going to get looking for cables on eBay (unless theirs somewhere better??) will post here before buying anything to get your opinions.


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    Re: New home setup (need help/advice)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sacred View Post
    Thanks for the advice, are their any good USB hubs out there? More importantly are their any ones that should be avoided?
    At the end of the day, it's fairly basic tech. If you buy some cheap junk though, I suspect it'll probably break its internal connections after 12 months or the power supply will go pop.

    I've got one at work, a Belkin, that's never missed a beat - works perfectly. Beyond that though, no experience, so can't offer much advice.

    You'll get what you pay for, so pick a decent brand and you should be fine.

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    Re: New home setup (need help/advice)

    Kinda on hold right now, waiting to get new windows fitted before I set-up my computer. Anyway I've been looking at the turning my computer on without opening the wardrobe and have come across two options.

    This first being this http://www.sk4.co.uk/index.php?optio...id=15&Itemid=8 using my iphone or ipod touch I should be able to get it to boot my PC through the network. Has anyone done this before and how well does it work?

    The other option that I've heard of would be to have it boot from pressing a key on my keyboard, how is this possible and does anyone know how I can setup my keyboard to try this?


    Thanks,

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    Re: New home setup (need help/advice)

    WOL works really well... never used it from a phone, only from another PC on the network, but it is very easy to use and effective.

    I know you could boot from PS/2 keyboard/mice, USB support for that feature seems to be much more patchy.

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