HTPC for Music(1st), & Movies, budget $1000-$1200! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 209 Old 10-16-2013, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello smile.gif

Lately I've been talking to my AVS pals about digitizing my audio to FLAC, and my video's which are mostly Blu Ray to what ever format I can get the best visual out come, not sure what is the equivalence for movies is call “MKV something”? confused.gif

The convince, and storing most of my music and movies cases for a clutter free environment is enough to make the jump, and my clunky Sony 400 BD changer is reaching it's capacity.
I lack have the skills to create a HTPC, let alone the time so I'll be commissioning someone in birthing a beautiful devise that should hopefully meet all my needs.

I've used PC part picker but I really don't know what I'm doing, gone way over my budget choosing parts that are way costly, probably over kill, and possibly unnecessary for this build.
I would like my budget to be about $1000, $1200 cool.gif


I would want at least 12 TB, or more of storage (I can start with a couple) for my ever growing library hopefully with little compression as possible especially for music, as I have tons hi rez shinny disc of DVD-A, which appears to be easier to rip than SA-CD multi Ch, which is possible to rip but would need the right tools which need to be modded, and time. The thing is I would like to digitize those as well later down the road and they take space to do so.

I also find SSD very appealing for fast booting and keeping my OPS, and what ever software I would need for ripping and managing my library, pretty intuitive on screen interface would be great!

The case should be simple, there are a few I've seen that fancy me, the dual optical drives are cool one for Music, and the other for ripping flicks to keep wear and tear down.
Being that the HTPC with be near me or at least 8 to 9 feet away in my listening room behind glass doors, I would like it to be as quite as possible. I would like to use the HTPC with my Denon AVR, and use the Oppo 105's DAC's, the connection would be HDMI for music/movies 5.1/7.1,USB coax, optical, I like options.

I would love to control the device with either programming remote (Like a Harmony), or a tablet either an Ipad which my GF has, or an android that I can buy later. But a mouse, and key board would be use from time to time.

About the software, here's were I'm a bit confuse, I read about JRiver, XBMC but I'm not too sure if I need one or the other, me being a music guy first I would want what's better for music naturally. Windows is fine with me, as I would like to visit music sites, and down load what ever is out there to enhance the music experience.

Not too sure if I’ll be using the HTPC for TV watching, and recording as I already have a Tivo Premier, I am tire of my cable company rolleyes.gif so I’m all ears if you guys have an idea to watch non premium channels such as AMC, TNT, etc. But this aspect is not super important to me.

I know trouble shooting could be a nightmare if something goes wrong me being a novice and all, it's a real concern I have so hopefully this thread would help me if it comes to that.

If you experience HTPC can help me in putting together such a machine as I’m sure I’ve over looked a slew of important information, and things I’ve even fathom. I would appreciate all input would guys have.


I’m at work now; I’ll try to keep an eye out on this threat as often as I can.

Thanks in advance.


Daniel/Djoel
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post #2 of 209 Old 10-16-2013, 10:57 AM
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I'd vote Silverstone Grandia case + Haswell CPU + Asrock Mobo + Samsung SSD + Seagate 4TB drives (3of them) + Gskill Ram + Rosewill PSU (Or seasonic if cheap enough)

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post #3 of 209 Old 10-16-2013, 11:15 AM
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I'm fairly certain that the My Movies software plugin for Windows Media Center can support your Sony changer - your discs will appear in your movie library.

I know on the Vaio firewire connected changers that you could actually launch movies from there. I think on your unit that you can select it via RS232 and will have to change inputs manually.
Regarding archiving:

Flac is both a codec and a container. When you rip a CD to flac, you are converting the audio stream itself and the file extension. The benefit to flac is that there should be no difference in quality from the original source.

MKV is just a container. You can put different audio and video streams inside an MKV file. It is popular because you can take your blurays and dvds untouched and make an mkv file without converting anything. It is fairly quick and the a/v is copied 1:1

You can also make MKV files that convert/compress your bluray. This will alter the quality in some way. For a long time it was popular to convert bluray audio tracks to flac, since it was easier to decode and output. That isn't true anymore unless you have a hardware need for doing it.

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post #4 of 209 Old 10-16-2013, 12:17 PM
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Netflix has a lot of shows from the premium channels, but of course the season is released past the end of the season.  I'm pretty happy with just broadcast TV and netflix.

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post #5 of 209 Old 10-16-2013, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I'd vote Silverstone Grandia case + Haswell CPU + Asrock Mobo + Samsung SSD + Seagate 4TB drives (3of them) + Gskill Ram + Rosewill PSU (Or seasonic if cheap enough)

Sounds like a start, I'll look into these parts.

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Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

I'm fairly certain that the My Movies software plugin for Windows Media Center can support your Sony changer - your discs will appear in your movie library.

I know on the Vaio firewire connected changers that you could actually launch movies from there. I think on your unit that you can select it via RS232 and will have to change inputs manually.
Hm I don't think my model has RS232 connection, I'll look into your advice though sounds interesting.
Quote:
Regarding archiving:

Flac is both a codec and a container. When you rip a CD to flac, you are converting the audio stream itself and the file extension. The benefit to flac is that there should be no difference in quality from the original source.

MKV is just a container. You can put different audio and video streams inside an MKV file. It is popular because you can take your blurays and dvds untouched and make an mkv file without converting anything. It is fairly quick and the a/v is copied 1:1

You can also make MKV files that convert/compress your bluray. This will alter the quality in some way. For a long time it was popular to convert bluray audio tracks to flac, since it was easier to decode and output. That isn't true anymore unless you have a hardware need for doing it.

Thank you, I wasn't aware or knew exactly what's MKV was

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Originally Posted by Jeff Krogue View Post

Netflix has a lot of shows from the premium channels, but of course the season is released past the end of the season.  I'm pretty happy with just broadcast TV and netflix.


I have Netflixs, and I love it especially having a toddler around plenty of children stuff, but like you said those shows are usually broadcast after the season/s end, and some times way after that.


Thank you guys

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post #6 of 209 Old 10-16-2013, 03:12 PM
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I have quite an extensive music collection. I'm quite satisfied with using MCE as the interface for the music, as well as my DVD and recorded TV, etc... The point I'm getting to is, if you want a friendly user environment that will also do your music justice, then burn your music using the Windows Lossless Codec. You'll get your CD quality using Windows lossless, and the convenience of using MCE as the interface (you can also use Windows Media Player or others). I know we have quite a few Flac friends, and I'm sure it's a great codec, but CD quality playback is CD quality playback whether it's in Flac or Windows Lossless. MCE doesn't really play nice with Flac.

During playback using MCE, you can also install a great screensaver called Gforce by SoundSpectrum. Or, you can have your Picture library playing while playing music. Or, you can just turn your TV off while listening to music.

Just a suggestion.
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post #7 of 209 Old 10-16-2013, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Hendrix View Post

I have quite an extensive music collection. I'm quite satisfied with using MCE as the interface for the music, as well as my DVD and recorded TV, etc... The point I'm getting to is, if you want a friendly user environment that will also do your music justice, then burn your music using the Windows Lossless Codec. You'll get your CD quality using Windows lossless, and the convenience of using MCE as the interface (you can also use Windows Media Player or others). I know we have quite a few Flac friends, and I'm sure it's a great codec, but CD quality playback is CD quality playback whether it's in Flac or Windows Lossless. MCE doesn't really play nice with Flac.

During playback using MCE, you can also install a great screensaver called Gforce by SoundSpectrum. Or, you can have your Picture library playing while playing music. Or, you can just turn your TV off while listening to music.

Just a suggestion.


Thanks, sounds interesting the thing is I already have some of my Hi Rez music in Flac, but I'll definitely do the research and see if there's some sort of work around.

Again thanks for the suggestions


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post #8 of 209 Old 10-16-2013, 07:59 PM
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I would guess installing LAV Filters would give you support for FLAC in WMC. I am sure there's a codec pack for that.
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post #9 of 209 Old 10-17-2013, 06:19 AM
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Jriver is the simplest solution with high quality audio results

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post #10 of 209 Old 10-17-2013, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I'd vote Silverstone Grandia case + Haswell CPU + Asrock Mobo + Samsung SSD + Seagate 4TB drives (3of them) + Gskill Ram + Rosewill PSU (Or seasonic if cheap enough)

I am not sure that you can fit 3 Seagate drives in that case. I think you can fit the SSD + 2 normal hard drives.
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post #11 of 209 Old 10-17-2013, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I'd vote Silverstone Grandia case + Haswell CPU + Asrock Mobo + Samsung SSD + Seagate 4TB drives (3of them) + Gskill Ram + Rosewill PSU (Or seasonic if cheap enough)


I just read the last question Ricemanva added, and I wanted to ask about the HHD, can they be different amounts like lets say 3TB, 2TB, and such or do they all need to be one certain amounts.

Thanks

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post #12 of 209 Old 10-17-2013, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ricemanva View Post

I am not sure that you can fit 3 Seagate drives in that case. I think you can fit the SSD + 2 normal hard drives.


Are you saing I can add more HHD later? I'm looking at this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163196

Also optica drive that can burn Blu ray/DVD's what are the most reliable one out there?

Thanks

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post #13 of 209 Old 10-17-2013, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
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This is what I have in my New egg cart at the moment, anyone sees anything wrong or would add/ change some unit/s .

The total is so far
$1,043.82 shipped.

Qty

Product Description

Price




1

SAMSUNG 840 Series MZ-7TD250KW 2.5" 250GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)Item #: N82E16820147186Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
$209.99


1

SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum / Steel Grandia Series SST-GD08B ATX Media Center / HTPC CaseItem #: N82E16811163196Standard Return Policy
$155.99$139.99


2 for now as to keep cost down.

Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare DriveItem #: N82E16822148844Standard Return Policy
$269.98$239.98($119.99 ea)


1

ASRock Z87 Extreme4 LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel MotherboardItem #: N82E16813157369Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
$159.99$144.99


1

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9S-4GBXLItem #: N82E16820231720Memory Standard Return Policy
$46.99


1

Rosewill
CAPSTONE-450 450W Continuous @ 50°C, Intel Haswell Ready, 80 PLUS GOLD, ATX12V v2.31 & EPS12V v2.92, SLI/CrossFire ...Item #: N82E16817182066Standard Return Policy
$79.99$59.99


1

Intel Core i5-4670K Haswell 3.4GHz LGA 1150 84W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics BX80646I54670KItem #: N82E16819116899CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
$249.99
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post #14 of 209 Old 10-17-2013, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Djoel View Post

Are you saing I can add more HHD later? I'm looking at this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163196

Also optica drive that can burn Blu ray/DVD's what are the most reliable one out there?

Thanks

Dan

That is a different model than the one I was looking at. This model has room for the SSD (2 actually) and 8 regular HDDs. You will be fine with this model.

Unless you are doing a RAID configuration of the HDDs, you should be able to mix and match sizes.

I have never used a Blu-Ray burner so I cannot comment on that.
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post #15 of 209 Old 10-17-2013, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Jriver is the simplest solution with high quality audio results


I like Simple, simple is my middle name biggrin.gifeek.gif


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post #16 of 209 Old 10-17-2013, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricemanva View Post

That is a different model than the one I was looking at. This model has room for the SSD (2 actually) and 8 regular HDDs. You will be fine with this model.

Unless you are doing a RAID configuration of the HDDs, you should be able to mix and match sizes.

I have never used a Blu-Ray burner so I cannot comment on that.


Gravy, that's what I like to hear,

"RAID!, are there any drawbacks to a RAID configuration?

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post #17 of 209 Old 10-17-2013, 10:48 AM
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Yes, there can be drawbacks to RAID arrays. There are different types of RAID and I suggest you read a wikipedia page or something to come up to speed. I'm definitely not an expert, but here is RAID in a nutshell... you want to be using the exact same model drives in each array that you use. That isn't to say that if you have, say 2 matching 1 TB drives and 2 other matching 2 TB drives that you can't use them in RAID, you'd just have 2 different arrays. There are basically two reasons people use raid: you have (2) 1 TB drives and I want to stripe them together so the computer uses it as a single 2 TB drive. This makes the drives perform faster. So your C: drive or whatever would look and act like a 2 TB drive instead of 2 separate 1 TB drives. The downside is if either drive dies, your array dies and you lose ALL the data. The other popular reason for raid is to MIRROR (2) 1 TB drives. So your computer only shows you a single 1 TB drive, but it backs up everything from that drive to the other one. Performance can be *slightly* degraded, some people don't notice any difference. Of course the reason to do this is if one drive fails you still have all the data on the other drive and don't lose anything.

IMO SSD is overkill other than possibly for your boot drive. Especially if you stripe (RAID) a couple drives together, for music and movies they will be plenty fast and you get a lot more storage for your dollar.

I just ordered parts for a very similar system the other day. The i5 4670k was $10 cheaper for me on Amazon vs. Newegg. I also got the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO on there for $33.24.
I also bought the ASRock Z87 Extreme 4 for ~$145 on Newegg and since it comes with a 4 GB stick of ram, I looked at it as a great deal and basically getting the MOBO for $100.
Also got the 650w "Gold" Seasonic power supply for $70 after a $20 rebate on Newegg. I forget the brand but got a Blu-ray drive for $39 that gets good reviews. I'm just going to use the case I already have, and everyone's tastes are different, but this one did catch my eye http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352029 Good luck
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post #18 of 209 Old 10-17-2013, 11:10 AM
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Yes, there can be drawbacks to RAID arrays. There are different types of RAID and I suggest you read a wikipedia page or something to come up to speed. I'm definitely not an expert, but here is RAID in a nutshell... you want to be using the exact same model drives in each array that you use. That isn't to say that if you have, say 2 matching 1 TB drives and 2 other matching 2 TB drives that you can't use them in RAID, you'd just have 2 different arrays. There are basically two reasons people use raid: you have (2) 1 TB drives and I want to stripe them together so the computer uses it as a single 2 TB drive. This makes the drives perform faster. So your C: drive or whatever would look and act like a 2 TB drive instead of 2 separate 1 TB drives. The downside is if either drive dies, your array dies and you lose ALL the data. The other popular reason for raid is to MIRROR (2) 1 TB drives. So your computer only shows you a single 1 TB drive, but it backs up everything from that drive to the other one. Performance can be *slightly* degraded, some people don't notice any difference. Of course the reason to do this is if one drive fails you still have all the data on the other drive and don't lose anything.

IMO SSD is overkill other than possibly for your boot drive. Especially if you stripe (RAID) a couple drives together, for music and movies they will be plenty fast and you get a lot more storage for your dollar.

+1 on the RAID discussion. Personally I would only consider RAID for is for mirroring/redundancy, not for speed.

I feel that the SSD upgrade I did for my boot drive is the best investment I made. The faster resume, startup, shut down and app performance is very noticeable to me, but I agree, boot drive only. I recommend 120gb or larger, but that all depends on the number of apps you plan on installing. 80gb may be enough if it is solely a media playback machine.
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post #19 of 209 Old 10-17-2013, 11:18 AM
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I would guess installing LAV Filters would give you support for FLAC in WMC. I am sure there's a codec pack for that.

I tried the FLAC support you mentioned. I may not have given them a fair shake, but with the limited testing I did, the metadata didn't transfer over. It could definitely been user error, but I have found that by using "native" applications and keeping it "simple" has usually been the best way to go. I'm not sure if I may be missing something by not going the FLAC route, but Windows Lossless (and the easy editing of meta-data) has served me well.

Now, the original poster also wants to convert DVD-A and SACD's, which is a another ball of wax which I wish him luck. I also have quite a few SACD's and DVD-A's and have come to the conclusion that the time and effort to try converting these to a hard disc solution just wasn't worth it. I have my Oppo player for those. The best I've done on that front is to burn a few of my DVD-A's as "movies". I can then call them up in MCE and listen to the DD 5.1 or the DTS 5.1 (if available) when I'm too lazy to take the effort to find the disc and plop them into my Oppo.

If the OP does find a nifty (and easy) solution for burning the hi-rez portion of the DVD-A's and SACD's to the hard drive and have a good player to listen to them through, then I would really like to hear about those solutions.

As far as the OP's storage solutions, unless he is planning on burning massive amounts of BluRays and a huge DVD library, 12TB just seems a bit much. I have around a thousand CD's (I never counted) and another 250 DVD's, as well as quite a few recorded TV (in HD) shows, and have found 3 TB more than adequate.

Just my 2 cents.
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post #20 of 209 Old 10-17-2013, 11:57 AM
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+1 on the RAID discussion. Personally I would only consider RAID for is for mirroring/redundancy, not for speed.

I feel that the SSD upgrade I did for my boot drive is the best investment I made. The faster resume, startup, shut down and app performance is very noticeable to me, but I agree, boot drive only. I recommend 120gb or larger, but that all depends on the number of apps you plan on installing. 80gb may be enough if it is solely a media playback machine.

With SSD prices coming down all the time, it probably isn't worth as much of a discussion as it used to be. But a couple of years ago I debated the two and ended up going with 2 mechanical drives striped together and have been really impressed with their speed. (They are the specific Samsung model that is known to be faster than most so not sure how much that has to do with it vs. them just being striped together). I keep hearing great things about SSDs though, especially for boot drives. Maybe I'll pick one up on Black Friday or something smile.gif
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post #21 of 209 Old 10-17-2013, 12:05 PM
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Which Sammy's ? 1TB models ?

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post #22 of 209 Old 10-17-2013, 12:15 PM
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Me? Yes. Forget the specific ones but sounds like you already know what I'm talking about.

BTW, you have a ridiculous amount of informative posts on here and I appreciate a lot of the threads you've started smile.gif
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post #23 of 209 Old 10-17-2013, 12:49 PM
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Dan

Jriver has a cost though... it's not free (but worth it for audiophiles)

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post #24 of 209 Old 10-17-2013, 12:57 PM
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Me? Yes. Forget the specific ones but sounds like you already know what I'm talking about.

BTW, you have a ridiculous amount of informative posts on here and I appreciate a lot of the threads you've started smile.gif

Thanks.

You are probably talking about these:


They were a good drive back in the day (before current tech and before Samsung stopped making it's own good hard drives) I have 2 if you need some, selling mine finally. Not because they suck, just because they are only 1TB. You can raid 4 of them for superfast smile.gif

Not fast by today's standards (the seagates OP is looking at are much faster actually) but a good performer and value back in the day. Certainly a buzz about them years back.

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post #25 of 209 Old 10-17-2013, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey Guys thanks for all the fantastic info, will get back right after work frown.gif Exciting stuff can't wait to absorb it all.


Dan
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post #26 of 209 Old 10-17-2013, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Dradius View Post

Yes, there can be drawbacks to RAID arrays. There are different types of RAID and I suggest you read a wikipedia page or something to come up to speed. I'm definitely not an expert, but here is RAID in a nutshell... you want to be using the exact same model drives in each array that you use. That isn't to say that if you have, say 2 matching 1 TB drives and 2 other matching 2 TB drives that you can't use them in RAID, you'd just have 2 different arrays. There are basically two reasons people use raid: you have (2) 1 TB drives and I want to stripe them together so the computer uses it as a single 2 TB drive. This makes the drives perform faster. So your C: drive or whatever would look and act like a 2 TB drive instead of 2 separate 1 TB drives. The downside is if either drive dies, your array dies and you lose ALL the data. The other popular reason for raid is to MIRROR (2) 1 TB drives. So your computer only shows you a single 1 TB drive, but it backs up everything from that drive to the other one. Performance can be *slightly* degraded, some people don't notice any difference. Of course the reason to do this is if one drive fails you still have all the data on the other drive and don't lose anything.

I do not think hardware raid is worth the risk in reliability. RAID 0 is awesome for speed but terrible for reliability, and to do a mirror you end up needing twice the number of hard drives so value sucks.

Those 7200RPM seagates OP is looking at are very fast. 200MB/sec on the fast part of the platter and will average around 160MB/sec sustained. You might be surprised they are as fast (or faster) than a RAID 0 array of lesser drives eek.gif Adding SSD cache to a HDD will get you a better general speed boost if that is your thing, but no replacement for SSD on OS though.
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Originally Posted by Dradius View Post

IMO SSD is overkill other than possibly for your boot drive. Especially if you stripe (RAID) a couple drives together, for music and movies they will be plenty fast and you get a lot more storage for your dollar.

SSD is so worth it every single time. It's a big difference.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dradius View Post

I just ordered parts for a very similar system the other day. The i5 4670k was $10 cheaper for me on Amazon vs. Newegg. I also got the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO on there for $33.24.
I also bought the ASRock Z87 Extreme 4 for ~$145 on Newegg and since it comes with a 4 GB stick of ram, I looked at it as a great deal and basically getting the MOBO for $100.
Also got the 650w "Gold" Seasonic power supply for $70 after a $20 rebate on Newegg. I forget the brand but got a Blu-ray drive for $39 that gets good reviews. I'm just going to use the case I already have, and everyone's tastes are different, but this one did catch my eye http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352029 Good luck

Microcenter is the best place if you can do it:



Thats a good price for both Extreme4 + 4670k

I got my 4770k + Extreme 4 there. Also my Extreme Z77 + 3570k i5 in my HTPC too. Best deals if you have a Microcenter around.

http://www.microcenter.com/site/brands/intel-processor-bundles.aspx

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post #27 of 209 Old 10-17-2013, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Jriver has a cost though... it's not free (but worth it for audiophiles)

"Audiophiles" That's all you had to say! All kidding aside If it makes my life easier it's worth the price smile.gif


Dan
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post #28 of 209 Old 10-17-2013, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Djoel View Post

"Audiophiles" That's all you had to say! All kidding aside If it makes my life easier it's worth the price smile.gif


Dan

http://www.jriver.com/

Personally I like MB3 (eye candy) but Jriver is a good solution that can support Madvr (called red october) and they take extra care in the audio processing (like WASAPI exclusive mode) WASAPI, the best way to communicate with a DAC on Windows.
Also included is support for all lossless formats of audio (FLAC, APE, ALAC, WM), AIFF and WAV files (including tagging) + JRiver Media Center audio is bit perfect. This means that it can output your CDs, your HD audio (88.1 KHz, 176 KHz, and more), your DSD, and any other audio perfectly to your DAC. All audio handling inside the program is done with 64 bits of precision. Most high-end hardware uses 24-bit output, meaning the engine has an additional 240 dB of precision above the hardware's output. As a result, should you choose to use them, digital volume, room correction, and other audio functions are pristine.

JRiver's Red October system completely eliminates the frustration factor from video. The download, installation, and configuration of DirectShow filters is fully automatic. You won't need to set up anything, and the configuration is separate from the normal DirectShow method Microsoft and other players use, so any changes there won't break MC's support .Red October uses the madVR Renderer and will work on high performance PC's. (I.E a good system with a GPU)

Adding a GPU card (7790 for $120 is perfect choice) is what you want to do if you want to use the madvr rendering (or Jriver's version called RED OCTOBER)

Setting up MB or XBMC then configuring Madvr and external player- and figuring out HD audio support and installing codec packs, then plugins, etc... it can get confusing. There is something to be said for Jriver's ease of which it can provide some of the very high end things like sound and picture without all the fuss of messing around.

I actually like messing around; I am alpha testing MB3 Theater (pre beta version) and having fun. I clean installed my HTPC last night and set up MB3 classic and Theater on it. But I am a different breed. I realize not everyone wants to do it- or can pull it off. For this - Jriver excels.

Since you come from "audio" side of things I would say Jriver is a great option for you. I don't care for it because I am not that into audio anymore (my hearing sucks now) but if I was into audio I would be more into Jriver.

They had a free trial for a bit. I would take a cruise around their webpage and familiarize yourself with what it offers and decide if this is a solution you want to pay for. There is many here on AVS that have paid for Jriver and preach about it's benefits. It's the total opposite approach from XBMC freeware users on linux. They don't even want to pay for an OS license, never mind pay for quality software.

Everything you want and everything you say makes me think you are a Jriver customer.

Assassin has some good FREE guides you might be interested in:

http://assassinhtpcblog.com/jriveraudiophile/

-

"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #29 of 209 Old 10-17-2013, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

http://www.jriver.com/

Personally I like MB3 (eye candy) but Jriver is a good solution that can support Madvr (called red october) and they take extra care in the audio processing (like WASAPI exclusive mode) WASAPI, the best way to communicate with a DAC on Windows.
Also included is support for all lossless formats of audio (FLAC, APE, ALAC, WM), AIFF and WAV files (including tagging) + JRiver Media Center audio is bit perfect. This means that it can output your CDs, your HD audio (88.1 KHz, 176 KHz, and more), your DSD, and any other audio perfectly to your DAC. All audio handling inside the program is done with 64 bits of precision. Most high-end hardware uses 24-bit output, meaning the engine has an additional 240 dB of precision above the hardware's output. As a result, should you choose to use them, digital volume, room correction, and other audio functions are pristine.

JRiver's Red October system completely eliminates the frustration factor from video. The download, installation, and configuration of DirectShow filters is fully automatic. You won't need to set up anything, and the configuration is separate from the normal DirectShow method Microsoft and other players use, so any changes there won't break MC's support .Red October uses the madVR Renderer and will work on high performance PC's. (I.E a good system with a GPU)

Adding a GPU card (7790 for $120 is perfect choice) is what you want to do if you want to use the madvr rendering (or Jriver's version called RED OCTOBER)

Setting up MB or XBMC then configuring Madvr and external player- and figuring out HD audio support and installing codec packs, then plugins, etc... it can get confusing. There is something to be said for Jriver's ease of which it can provide some of the very high end things like sound and picture without all the fuss of messing around.

I actually like messing around; I am alpha testing MB3 Theater (pre beta version) and having fun. I clean installed my HTPC last night and set up MB3 classic and Theater on it. But I am a different breed. I realize not everyone wants to do it- or can pull it off. For this - Jriver excels.

Since you come from "audio" side of things I would say Jriver is a great option for you. I don't care for it because I am not that into audio anymore (my hearing sucks now) but if I was into audio I would be more into Jriver.

They had a free trial for a bit. I would take a cruise around their webpage and familiarize yourself with what it offers and decide if this is a solution you want to pay for. There is many here on AVS that have paid for Jriver and preach about it's benefits. It's the total opposite approach from XBMC freeware users on linux. They don't even want to pay for an OS license, never mind pay for quality software.

Everything you want and everything you say makes me think you are a Jriver customer.

Assassin has some good FREE guides you might be interested in:

http://assassinhtpcblog.com/jriveraudiophile/

WOW Thanks Mfusick that's fantastic info that's enormously helpful ( it sure sounds like JRiver is for me) I've been reading Jriver content a few weeks ago, over at the Assassins website also a great source of info.
Thanks. Gotta get my hands on a new laptop, as did not make it through last weekend.


Dan
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post #30 of 209 Old 10-17-2013, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dradius View Post

Yes, there can be drawbacks to RAID arrays. There are different types of RAID and I suggest you read a wikipedia page or something to come up to speed. I'm definitely not an expert, but here is RAID in a nutshell... you want to be using the exact same model drives in each array that you use. That isn't to say that if you have, say 2 matching 1 TB drives and 2 other matching 2 TB drives that you can't use them in RAID, you'd just have 2 different arrays. There are basically two reasons people use raid: you have (2) 1 TB drives and I want to stripe them together so the computer uses it as a single 2 TB drive. This makes the drives perform faster. So your C: drive or whatever would look and act like a 2 TB drive instead of 2 separate 1 TB drives. The downside is if either drive dies, your array dies and you lose ALL the data. The other popular reason for raid is to MIRROR (2) 1 TB drives. So your computer only shows you a single 1 TB drive, but it backs up everything from that drive to the other one. Performance can be *slightly* degraded, some people don't notice any difference. Of course the reason to do this is if one drive fails you still have all the data on the other drive and don't lose anything.

IMO SSD is overkill other than possibly for your boot drive. Especially if you stripe (RAID) a couple drives together, for music and movies they will be plenty fast and you get a lot more storage for your dollar.

I just ordered parts for a very similar system the other day. The i5 4670k was $10 cheaper for me on Amazon vs. Newegg. I also got the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO on there for $33.24.
I also bought the ASRock Z87 Extreme 4 for ~$145 on Newegg and since it comes with a 4 GB stick of ram, I looked at it as a great deal and basically getting the MOBO for $100.
Also got the 650w "Gold" Seasonic power supply for $70 after a $20 rebate on Newegg. I forget the brand but got a Blu-ray drive for $39 that gets good reviews. I'm just going to use the case I already have, and everyone's tastes are different, but this one did catch my eye http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352029 Good luck

Yup, my OS/program partition on my HTPC is pretty small.  I would say a 128GB is more than enough for HTPC.

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