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post #1 of 74 Old 02-25-2013, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi All,

Long time lurker, first time poster and I am looking for advice on the ultimate HTPC. This is the final piece to my theater and it's time I upgraded my current HTPC.

My budget is $25,000 US.

I'd like it to match the rest of my system in terms of quality and capability. I need it to do everything a HTPC should do with extreme excellence. I think I would also like a 4U chassis to fit perfectly into my existing Rack. I have a Silverstone Grandia now, and while it's pretty it's not as functional. I struggle to find a good place for it. I think I'd like to incorporate this theater into my dual server rack or my theater racks. But I am clueless about cases; I need a suggestion for a good one.

Here is what I have my eyes on:


Motherboard:
ASRock X79 Extreme11 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157327

CPU:
ntel Core i7-3970X Extreme Edition Sandy Bridge-E 3.5GHz (4.0GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 150W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80619i73970X
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116877

Memory:
CORSAIR Dominator Platinum 64GB (8 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 Desktop Memory Model CMD64GX3M8A2133C9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233363

PSU:
SeaSonic Platinum-1000 1000W ATX12V / EPS12V 80 PLUS PLATINUM Certified Full Modular Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151105

GPU: ( multiple )
PowerColor AX7990 6GBD5-2DHJ Radeon HD 7990 6GB 384-bit x2 GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131483

SSD: (x8 in RAID0?)
OCZ Vector Series VTR1-25SAT3-512G 2.5" 512GB SATA III MLC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=20-227-917

HDD: (16 in RAID 0)
Western Digital WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ 1TB 10000 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236243

Case:

??????

I would like a 24 bay 4U case but I don't want some crappy metal box like a Norco 4224. I'd like something that is a little bit nicer but the supermicro stuff appears to only come with a PSU. Is that a bad thing ? Anyone have advice on a case?



Some questions:

- What is the best way to set up the Hard drives? I would like 16TB local storage in this machine, and everything would be backed up to my main server so I don't worry about any back up. I was thinking of 2 SATA RAID cards and running the Velociraptors in RAID0. Perhaps two sets of 8 for 8TB each total storage. So my SSD OS would be my C drive. 8TB would be my D drive. And the other 8TB would be my E drive. Make sense? What is a good Sata card?

- I am only going to use 8 Sata ports on the motherboard for the SSD's. Can I use two of Intel X79 SATA3 ports to cache the RAID0 array ? If so, what SSD would make a good cache drive ?

-Is it worth using a ram disk to cache my OS drive or storage drive ? Should I run the system on only 32GB of DDR2133 and use the remaining 32GB for a cache to speed things up.

- Can I fit 4 GPU with this motherboard ? Does it have enough PCI lanes to run x16 by 4 ? This might matter with the case I choose too since I will need clearance for the GPU cards.

- Is 1000watt Seasonic enough PSU ??? Should I get the 1250watt ?

- Am I better off with a PCI x16 SSD card for my OS ? Would that provide better performance ?

-I already own a few HD homerun prime cable card network tuners, what is the maximum number of channels I can record with this proposed build ???

I appreciate your advice and intelligent replies. Thank You.
-Peter
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post #2 of 74 Old 02-25-2013, 05:22 PM
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umm..... I think I just pooped my shorts.

First Reaction:



Second Reaction:



Third reaction:



My fourth reaction was basically a mixture of:



with a little bit of....





I am pretty sure you are my new hero.

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #3 of 74 Old 02-25-2013, 05:22 PM
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It's a little early for "April Fool" don't you think?

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post #4 of 74 Old 02-25-2013, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateHTPCman View Post

Some questions:

- What is the best way to set up the Hard drives? I would like 16TB local storage in this machine, and everything would be backed up to my main server so I don't worry about any back up. I was thinking of 2 SATA RAID cards and running the Velociraptors in RAID0. Perhaps two sets of 8 for 8TB each total storage. So my SSD OS would be my C drive. 8TB would be my D drive. And the other 8TB would be my E drive. Make sense? What is a good Sata card?

- I am only going to use 8 Sata ports on the motherboard for the SSD's. Can I use two of Intel X79 SATA3 ports to cache the RAID0 array ? If so, what SSD would make a good cache drive ?

-Is it worth using a ram disk to cache my OS drive or storage drive ? Should I run the system on only 32GB of DDR2133 and use the remaining 32GB for a cache to speed things up.

- Can I fit 4 GPU with this motherboard ? Does it have enough PCI lanes to run x16 by 4 ? This might matter with the case I choose too since I will need clearance for the GPU cards.

- Is 1000watt Seasonic enough PSU ??? Should I get the 1250watt ?

- Am I better off with a PCI x16 SSD card for my OS ? Would that provide better performance ?

-I already own a few HD homerun prime cable card network tuners, what is the maximum number of channels I can record with this proposed build ???

I appreciate your advice and intelligent replies. Thank You.
-Peter

I'd say get two SATA cards. Any x8 Raid card should do the trick. I think your stuck with 8 drives per raid array just because most cards have 8 ports. You could go with a real server enterprise grade that does more (SAS ports) I believe 4 or 6 SAS port cards do exist.

I believe you can cache a RAID 0 drive if it's not on the intel port. I am not 100% sure though.

4 GPU is seriously disturbing. That card looks like it could blow a fuse in my house eek.gif

I usually would laugh and say yes 1000 watts is enough but I am honestly not sure.

I have read mixed reviews about SSD cards on PCI. I think you could make due with 1GB and just (2) 512GB SSD's. Why would you need a 4TB SSD drive ? Live TV buffer?

-

"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #5 of 74 Old 02-25-2013, 06:42 PM
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So, are you planning to play games with this or just video music?
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post #6 of 74 Old 02-25-2013, 07:30 PM
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Not sure if serious, but spending that much money on a consumer PC is a spectacular waste. In just a couple of years it will go from the most powerful PC imaginable to just 'meh'. Two years after that it will look like a dinosaur.
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post #7 of 74 Old 02-25-2013, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

umm..... I think I just pooped my shorts.

I am pretty sure you are my new hero.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

Not sure if serious, but spending that much money on a consumer PC is a spectacular waste. In just a couple of years it will go from the most powerful PC imaginable to just 'meh'. Two years after that it will look like a dinosaur.

I found these two different takes on this thread to be particularly amusing given that the reaction was so different and opposed.
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post #8 of 74 Old 02-25-2013, 08:13 PM
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What the what!?

Don't listen to these fools. The performance of this thing will be more than enough for 5+ years, which is a long time in the PC and certainly HTPC world. Go ahead and build that sucker. We need pictures though. biggrin.gif

If this was a serious post... then...

Quote:
- What is the best way to set up the Hard drives? I would like 16TB local storage in this machine, and everything would be backed up to my main server so I don't worry about any back up. I was thinking of 2 SATA RAID cards and running the Velociraptors in RAID0. Perhaps two sets of 8 for 8TB each total storage. So my SSD OS would be my C drive. 8TB would be my D drive. And the other 8TB would be my E drive. Make sense? What is a good Sata card?

You don't want RAID 0. One drive goes down and poof! The entire data-set is lost. At a minimum you should be looking at RAID 5. RAID 6 offers a little better protection.

Quote:
- I am only going to use 8 Sata ports on the motherboard for the SSD's. Can I use two of Intel X79 SATA3 ports to cache the RAID0 array ? If so, what SSD would make a good cache drive ?

Yeah, no. You are never going to find an SSD that is fast enough to cache a RAID 0 array built with SSDs.

Quote:
-Is it worth using a ram disk to cache my OS drive or storage drive ? Should I run the system on only 32GB of DDR2133 and use the remaining 32GB for a cache to speed things up.

No. and No.

Quote:
- Can I fit 4 GPU with this motherboard ? Does it have enough PCI lanes to run x16 by 4 ? This might matter with the case I choose too since I will need clearance for the GPU cards.

Yes, you can run 4 GPUs that are PCIx16 3.0 compliant. This would be quite the bitcoin mining setup!

Quote:
- Is 1000watt Seasonic enough PSU ??? Should I get the 1250watt ?

1250 watt for sure.

Quote:
- Am I better off with a PCI x16 SSD card for my OS ? Would that provide better performance ?

Better than SSDs in RAID 0? No it would not provide better performance.

Quote:
-I already own a few HD homerun prime cable card network tuners, what is the maximum number of channels I can record with this proposed build ???

12 with the Tuner Salad application. If you need more than that, you would want to build this thing as a VMware server and run multiple Windows 7 virtual machines so you could record up to 12 each.
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post #9 of 74 Old 02-25-2013, 08:44 PM
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Quad SLI? Why when you can quad 4 of these boys.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167126
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post #10 of 74 Old 02-25-2013, 08:45 PM
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Ahhhhh...

You know what. I think Assassin is just having fun with us.

smile.gifeek.gifmad.gifrolleyes.gifcool.giftongue.gifwink.gifbiggrin.gif
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post #11 of 74 Old 02-26-2013, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macks View Post

So, are you planning to play games with this or just video music?

Lol.

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #12 of 74 Old 02-26-2013, 05:23 AM
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The one question that nobody has asked......

OP: What's your definition of an "HTPC"?
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post #13 of 74 Old 02-26-2013, 06:50 AM
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By yourself high end audio and TV instead.
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post #14 of 74 Old 02-26-2013, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

By yourself high end audio and TV instead.

Haha, I was thinking audio equipment myself. Audio is at least one home theater area where there is no price ceiling at all.
jeffkro likes this.
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post #15 of 74 Old 02-26-2013, 07:02 AM
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I'm guessing he's already got audio and video covered.

Judging by his HTPC budget I'm sure it's quality stuff.

-

"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #16 of 74 Old 02-26-2013, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

By yourself high end audio and TV instead.

Something tells me that if this is real, he already has a decent TV / Audio set up.
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post #17 of 74 Old 02-26-2013, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I'm guessing he's already got audio and video covered.

Judging by his HTPC budget I'm sure it's quality stuff.

Damn. You beat me to it.
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post #18 of 74 Old 02-26-2013, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halfordb View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I'm guessing he's already got audio and video covered.

Judging by his HTPC budget I'm sure it's quality stuff.

Damn. You beat me to it.


Great minds think .....

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post #19 of 74 Old 02-26-2013, 12:39 PM
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Just buy this and max out the configuration.

Here's a build I just did on their site that would be perfect for you: https://www.steigerdynamics.com/productcart/pc/configurePrd.asp?idproduct=51

I finished at around $6,500.









You will seriously not be able to build something like that on your own unless you're a very talented modder, most HTPC cases will not accept liquid cooling solutions w/o a lot of work. This is the ULTIMATE HTPC in my opinion!
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post #20 of 74 Old 02-26-2013, 01:06 PM
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Well...I guess I'm different. smile.gif

The "ultimate" HTPC in my mind is VESA mounted behind the TV, and not even visible. Performance withstanding of course, a Raspberry Pi aint gonna cut it.
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post #21 of 74 Old 02-26-2013, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
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Well...I guess I'm different. smile.gif

The "ultimate" HTPC in my mind is VESA mounted behind the TV, and not even visible. Performance withstanding of course, a Raspberry Pi aint gonna cut it.

To me the words "ultimate" HTPC have more to do with software.

If his location wasn't CA I wouldn't even consider the idea that this is serious. Even with that I doubt it.

For $25,000 it better bring me beer.
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post #22 of 74 Old 02-26-2013, 03:15 PM
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You might want to think about what it is you want your HTPC to do before considering what to buy.  Do you want it to record cableTV or satellite TV; and, serve as a DVR server to clients?  Do you want it to act as a media server?  Do you want to playback 2D/3D bluray movies, ISOs?  Internet movie streaming?

 

All the above can easily be handled with great performance (while supporting media extenders all over your home) for as low as $2000-$3000 certified and tested HTPC (minus external HDD storage).  Some people feel the need to backup every single movie they have ever watched; even though they realistically may never watch 95% of the movies they have backed up ever again.  Some people also feel the need for massive CPU power to process and render their 2D/3D BD movies (or 1080i HDTV) with MadVR; where, realistically they all they really need is a modern $110 display card with EVR support + Reclock for great 24P video/DTS-MA output over HDMI.

 

In case you need lots of HDD anyway, keep in mind of all the noise and heat these HDDs will generate.  You definitely wouldn't want it anywhere near the rooms you actually live in and needs to be in a temperature controlled environment to prevent reducing the life of the HDDs (especially when they're all packed closely together).

 

People sometimes waste tons of money and time replacing exotic parts trying to get their "HTPC" to run stable/reliable without any weird quirks.  Where, all they need to do is place an order on the Internet for a certified HTPCs (that have attractive HTPC cases) ...and, they've already been tested extensively and sold to several hundred people with the same combination of hardware.

 

Anyway, just some things to consider if you haven't already.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateHTPCman View Post

Hi All,

Long time lurker, first time poster and I am looking for advice on the ultimate HTPC. This is the final piece to my theater and it's time I upgraded my current HTPC.

My budget is $25,000 US.

I'd like it to match the rest of my system in terms of quality and capability. I need it to do everything a HTPC should do with extreme excellence. I think I would also like a 4U chassis to fit perfectly into my existing Rack. I have a Silverstone Grandia now, and while it's pretty it's not as functional. I struggle to find a good place for it. I think I'd like to incorporate this theater into my dual server rack or my theater racks. But I am clueless about cases; I need a suggestion for a good one.

Here is what I have my eyes on:


Motherboard:
ASRock X79 Extreme11 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157327

CPU:
ntel Core i7-3970X Extreme Edition Sandy Bridge-E 3.5GHz (4.0GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 150W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80619i73970X
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116877

Memory:
CORSAIR Dominator Platinum 64GB (8 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 Desktop Memory Model CMD64GX3M8A2133C9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233363

PSU:
SeaSonic Platinum-1000 1000W ATX12V / EPS12V 80 PLUS PLATINUM Certified Full Modular Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151105

GPU: ( multiple )
PowerColor AX7990 6GBD5-2DHJ Radeon HD 7990 6GB 384-bit x2 GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131483

SSD: (x8 in RAID0?)
OCZ Vector Series VTR1-25SAT3-512G 2.5" 512GB SATA III MLC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=20-227-917

HDD: (16 in RAID 0)
Western Digital WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ 1TB 10000 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236243

Case:

??????

I would like a 24 bay 4U case but I don't want some crappy metal box like a Norco 4224. I'd like something that is a little bit nicer but the supermicro stuff appears to only come with a PSU. Is that a bad thing ? Anyone have advice on a case?



Some questions:

- What is the best way to set up the Hard drives? I would like 16TB local storage in this machine, and everything would be backed up to my main server so I don't worry about any back up. I was thinking of 2 SATA RAID cards and running the Velociraptors in RAID0. Perhaps two sets of 8 for 8TB each total storage. So my SSD OS would be my C drive. 8TB would be my D drive. And the other 8TB would be my E drive. Make sense? What is a good Sata card?

- I am only going to use 8 Sata ports on the motherboard for the SSD's. Can I use two of Intel X79 SATA3 ports to cache the RAID0 array ? If so, what SSD would make a good cache drive ?

-Is it worth using a ram disk to cache my OS drive or storage drive ? Should I run the system on only 32GB of DDR2133 and use the remaining 32GB for a cache to speed things up.

- Can I fit 4 GPU with this motherboard ? Does it have enough PCI lanes to run x16 by 4 ? This might matter with the case I choose too since I will need clearance for the GPU cards.

- Is 1000watt Seasonic enough PSU ??? Should I get the 1250watt ?

- Am I better off with a PCI x16 SSD card for my OS ? Would that provide better performance ?

-I already own a few HD homerun prime cable card network tuners, what is the maximum number of channels I can record with this proposed build ???

I appreciate your advice and intelligent replies. Thank You.
-Peter

Can your HTPC Media Center / DVR Do this??

SageTV: Unrestricted full-quality 12 tuner HD Premium Cable recording, including "On Demand" in HD + OTA ATSC + DVB-S2 + Blu-ray/HD-DVD serving 5 clients.
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post #23 of 74 Old 02-26-2013, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emcdade View Post

Just buy this and max out the configuration.

Here's a build I just did on their site that would be perfect for you: https://www.steigerdynamics.com/productcart/pc/configurePrd.asp?idproduct=51

I finished at around $6,500.









You will seriously not be able to build something like that on your own unless you're a very talented modder, most HTPC cases will not accept liquid cooling solutions w/o a lot of work. This is the ULTIMATE HTPC in my opinion!


That is a pretty slick looking build...

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #24 of 74 Old 02-27-2013, 08:43 AM
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Assuming for a moment that this is a serious post:

If you really have a budget of $25 large, why are you even considering building this yourself?
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post #25 of 74 Old 02-27-2013, 08:59 AM
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Maybe I'm missing something; but, what HTPC software requires water hoses running into a PC? tongue.gif  I can just imagine something like that springing a leak while trying to watch a movie. :)

 

Their $1700 "low end" PC config should work just fine for (2D/3D bluray/digital TV playback) and media serving/video encoding.

 

I actually have a friend who wastes a ton of CPU power on his exotic "high-end" PC which he says he needs for MadVR; but, honestly, my 6 year old quad core PC with a $110 GT640 Nvidia card + Reclock (without MadVR) looks just as good for 2D/3D bluray and 1080p TV recordings.


Can your HTPC Media Center / DVR Do this??

SageTV: Unrestricted full-quality 12 tuner HD Premium Cable recording, including "On Demand" in HD + OTA ATSC + DVB-S2 + Blu-ray/HD-DVD serving 5 clients.
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post #26 of 74 Old 02-27-2013, 09:05 AM
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Guy has a picture of a famous $6M theater as his avatar. Unfortunately that one is in CT. Guessing this is a nice to dream thread.

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Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?
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post #27 of 74 Old 02-27-2013, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by MKANET View Post

Maybe I'm missing something; but, what HTPC software requires water hoses running into a PC? tongue.gif   I can just imagine something like that springing a leak while trying to watch a movie. smile.gif

Their $1700 "low end" PC config should work just fine for (2D/3D bluray/digital TV playback) and media serving/video encoding.

I actually have a friend who wastes a ton of CPU power on his exotic "high-end" PC which he says he needs for MadVR; but, honestly, my 6 year old quad core PC with a $110 GT640 Nvidia card + Reclock (without MadVR) looks just as good for 2D/3D bluray and 1080p TV recordings.

Also, Liquid Cooled doesn't equal Silent.

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post #28 of 74 Old 02-27-2013, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by MKANET View Post

Maybe I'm missing something; but, what HTPC software requires water hoses running into a PC? tongue.gif   I can just imagine something like that springing a leak while trying to watch a movie. smile.gif

Their $1700 "low end" PC config should work just fine for (2D/3D bluray/digital TV playback) and media serving/video encoding.

I actually have a friend who wastes a ton of CPU power on his exotic "high-end" PC which he says he needs for MadVR; but, honestly, my 6 year old quad core PC with a $110 GT640 Nvidia card + Reclock (without MadVR) looks just as good for 2D/3D bluray and 1080p TV recordings.

There is nothing wrong with watercooling and no it does not leak. A lot of people can't even tell the difference Reclock makes.

It probably sounds odd but watercooling has saved me money.
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post #29 of 74 Old 02-27-2013, 10:23 AM
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It probably sounds odd but watercooling has saved me money.

It kind of does, can you elaborate on that? Not doubting, just curious.

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Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?
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post #30 of 74 Old 02-27-2013, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by BllDo View Post

Guy has a picture of a famous $6M theater as his avatar. Unfortunately that one is in CT. Guessing this is a nice to dream thread.


Really ?? I thought that was a cartoon or PC generated image.

That theater in his Avatar is real ?

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=ultimate+home+theater





lol.....

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