Originally Posted by Ian_Currie
I wouldn't handbrake with the HTPC when I'm watching something; I would have it handbrake only while I'm sleeping or otherwise not using it. Look at it this way: I probably have a 1000+ titles to process with Handbrake. The more machines I can employ the faster it will get done. I'm currently using 2 at a time and would prefer 3 (hence the requirement for this new PC to have a fast processor). I have about 16TB of NAS space and it's almost full...
Make sense now?
I get it. I have used RDP to open additional handbrake processes on other machines. I have a 3570k i5 in my personal HTPC and remote into it and use it to encode a movie while I also encode a movie on my desktop often yields me nearly twice as fast results.
My desktop is a 4770k i7. I have dual monitors. I bring up the RDP session on my second monitor and that is basically the I5 machine. I encode with the powerful HTPC 3570k CPU, but I store on the server. My i5 and my i7 together are much faster than a single CPU would be. I have one machine do one, while the other machine does another.
I understand the concept. In your case- you might just control it with another machine like a desktop or laptop you already have simply for ease of use and access. But utilize the very powerful i7 CPU to do the heavy lifting. Makes sense to me.
Originally Posted by Ian_Currie
I am currently using (as a test to see if I wanted to pursue a HTPC) a small silent PC that was purchased to be a dedicated music server. It's got an Intel i7 inside with 8GB of RAM, SSD drive. I need to move this PC back to my music listening room and replace it.
While I read that I only need an i3 processor, I'd like an i7 because I'd also use the machine to Handbrake (compress video) MKV files. Compression takes about 4 hours per title on an i7 and I have hundreds of movies to go through.
I run Plex software currently and I have the server and the client on the same machine (and would prefer to keep it that way). All media is on a NAS so I don't need tons of storage. I may switch to different software at some point (e.g. Media Browser 3) but I'm guessing that won't change the specs.
I don't use the machine for DVR (or TV). At least not now - I have a Verizon Fios DVR. I have no idea what's involved to incorporate a TV Tuner/DVR into an HTPC and maybe I'll want to do it in the future - not sure.
So, here are my needs:
- I want an Intel i7 machine.
- I want the machine to be fairly quiet.
- I want the machine to have a bluray drive (read only is fine). Not sure what I'll use it for (I can rip discs from elsewhere), but seems like a good thing to have.
- I want space to incorporate a graphics card in case I need to someday, but otherwise I would use onboard graphics.
- I want SSD for the OS
- I will be playing back via HDMI to an HT processor that feeds a projector. I will play back media at both 60fps and 24fps (native frame rate of media).
- As this machine will also be the server, it will be called upon to do transcoding from time to time (if I watch from my iPad in bed, etc); I guess this is just another way of saying an i7 is better than a i5 or i3...
- I've heard the Haswell (sp?) is the way to go for proper 24fps.
- I don't need wireless
Hmm, have I forgotten anything?
Based on this info your build doesn't seem to hard.
Here is what I would recommend:
SAMSUNG / OCZ / PLEXTOR are three good options:
Any SSD should work- but the Samsung and OCZ lines seem to have the best controllers and most consistent read performance (good for general OS speed) In the higher PRO and VECTOR lines are among the fastest.
For Optical BR drive:
For a Case:
SILVERSTONE Grandia Series GD05B-USB3.0 Aluminum / 0.8mm SECC micro-ATX / Mini-DTX / Mini-ITX MB, 1x5.25", 2x3.5"+1x2.5"HDD or 1x3.5"+2x2.5"HDD, 3x120mm golf bladed fan, 11" expansion card capable HTPC Case with 2X USB3.0 ports (Black)
Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell 3.5GHz LGA 1150 84W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics BX80646I74770K
G.SKILL Trident X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200) Desktop Memory Model F3-2400C10D-8GTX
ASRock Z87M Extreme4 LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Rosewill CAPSTONE-450-M 450W Continuous @ 50°C, Intel Haswell Ready, 80 PLUS GOLD
, ATX12V v2.31 & EPS12V v2.92, SLI/CrossFire Ready, Modular
Active PFC Power Supply
SeaSonic G Series SSR-550RM 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD
Active PFC Power Supply New 4th Gen CPU Certified Haswell Ready
If you don't need/want modular you can get:
Rosewill CAPSTONE-450 450W Continuous @ 50°C, Intel Haswell Ready, 80 PLUS GOLD
, ATX12V v2.31 & EPS12V v2.92, SLI/CrossFire Ready, Active PFC Power Supply
$900 or so... That's a pretty darn nice HTPC IMO