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Onkyoman 03-12-2016 10:30 PM

Guide: Building a 4K HTPC for madVR
 
What is madVR? | madVR Set up

This guide outlines the hardware necessary to achieve high-performance playback from madVR at 3840 x 2160p.

The current landscape of UHD technology is shifting and true 4K PC support is still new. Therefore, this guide is incomplete and anyone looking to build a 4K HTPC in 2017 should proceed with caution until PC support of UHD Blu-ray and 4K television is better understood.

1 – CPU

It is unrealistic for any modern CPU to decode high bit-rate 10-bit 4K HEVC video using CPU-based (software) decoding. The computing power required to decode HEVC is 5-10 times higher than equivalent H.264/MPEG-4 AVC.

Considering the UHD standard calls for data rates of up to 82 Mbit/s for 50 GB discs, 108 Mbit/s for 66 GB discs and 128 Mbit/s for 100 GB discs, even low bit-rate 4K UHD content is close to double the bit rate of 1080p Blu-ray (max. of 54 Mbit/s). Those bit rates include both audio and video. But, coupled with slow HEVC decoding, the load posed by 4K UHD Blu-ray is formidable for any CPU or fixed-function hardware decoder. So we will assume the bulk of difficult 10-bit HEVC decoding will be handled by a fixed-function GPU hardware decoder capable of handling high bit-rate decoding.

Intel Kaby Lake (7th generation) Core i5 or i7 processors are a minimum requirement for compatibility with UHD Blu-ray drives. As well, 6 GB of system RAM and Windows 10 are also necessary.

Intel:

Recommended: Kaby Lake Core i5.
Performance: Kaby Lake Core i7

2 – Motherboard

The motherboard should be compatible with the chosen CPU.

Considerations:

  • RAM Types
    (e.g. DDR2, DDR3, DDR4)
  • RAM Frequencies
    (e.g. 1066 / 1333 / 1600 / 1866 / 2133 / 2200 / 2400 / 2600 / 2800 / 3000 / 3100 / 3200 / 3300 MHz)
  • Memory Slots
    (e.g. 2 x 240-pin DIMM)
  • Max. Memory
    (e.g. 16GB)
  • Expansion Slots
    (e.g. 1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 / 5 x SATA 6Gb/s / 1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 for TV tuner cards)
  • High-Speed SSD Slots (10Gb/s vs. 6Gb/s SATA III)
    (e.g. 1 x SATA Express / 1 x M.2)
  • CPU Overclocking
    (e.g. Intel H97 vs. Z97 / cheap AMD vs. 990FX)
  • USB 3.0
    (e.g. 4 x USB 3.0 Ports)
  • Onboard LAN
    (e.g. 10/100/1000Mbps)
  • Onboard Wireless LAN
    (e.g. Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac or 1 x Mini PCI Express)
  • Onboard Bluetooth
    (e.g. Bluetooth 4.0/3.0 or 1 x Mini PCI Express)
  • S/PDIF Out
    (e.g. 1 x Optical)
  • Case Form Factor
    (e.g. ATX (tower), mini ITX (small form factor), micro ATX (slim profile))

3 – Memory

Up to the discretion of the user. Larger amounts of RAM than recommended are suitable for PCs that double as gaming rigs.

Minimum: 6GB
Recommended: 8GB

4 – Internal Storage

A Solid State Drive (SSD) is recommended for HTPC use. This will offer the fastest boot times and responsive control of the operating system. A SSD will also improve the performance of media frontends such as Kodi and Emby by significantly reducing the time required to cache and load artwork.

Minimum: 80GB
Recommended: 120-240GB

5 – Graphics Card

The graphics card is the central component of a madVR 4K HTPC. 4K playback is not the primary concern of picking a suitable card. Rather, scaling any HD video to 2160p (4K) revolves around the use of costly image doubling – preferably, NGU. High definition scaling factors start at 2x (1080p -> 2160p) and can become as large as 3x (720p -> 2160p). An ideal 4K graphics card would allow for the use of image doubling plus artifact removal and post-processing for FHD content – often combining multiple shaders and upscaling under one profile. Cards with this power will have no problem playing 10-bit 4K UHD.

A secondary consideration is 10-bit HEVC decoding. Hardware decoding will become a core feature of 4K HTPCs with the release of UHD Blu-ray. As of 2016, all Nvidia Pascal and AMD Polaris cards offer a full function, 10-bit HEVC hardware decoder. This is the only type of video decoder capable of munching through high bit-rate HEVC without compromising GPU performance.

Video RAM of 6GB may be necessary for 4K UHD playback, while 2GB of RAM is suitable for 1080p playback.

Considerations:

  • HDMI 2.0a/b (4K with HDR)
  • HDCP 2.2
  • Fixed-function 10-bit HEVC decoder

Minimum

These are mid-level cards capable of upscaling 1080p content using Jinc/NGU image scaling with artifact removal and post-processing. This allows the user to take advantage of all madVR features, only compromising with high frame rate content (> 25 fps), interlaced 60i sources and MPEG4-MVC 3D.

Recommended

These are mid-high cards capable of upscaling 1080p content using NGU image doubling as well as artifact removal and post-processing. Fewer compromises are required at high frame rates and it is possible to use NGU high quality with some profiles. A reduction in settings may be necessary with interlaced 60i sources and MPEG4-MVC 3D.

Performance

These are high-end cards capable of the most aggressive settings with little to no compromise playing any content. NGU very high quality with artifact removal and post-processing is possible with all profiles (SD, 720p, 1080p). Possible exceptions include interlaced 60i sources and MPEG4-MVC 3D, which may require a reduction in some settings.

Nvidia:

Minimum: GTX 960
Recommended: GTX 1060
Performance: GTX 1080

AMD:

Minimum: RX 460
Recommended: RX 480
Performance: RX 490

6 – Optical Drive

Pioneer is the first to market with 4K UHD Blu-ray drive support. Those purchasing the BDR-S11J-BK or BDR-S11J-X must combine the drive with:

  • Windows 10;
  • 6 GB of system RAM;
  • Intel Kaby Lake Core i5 or i7;
  • Intel HD Graphics 630 or 640;
  • GPU with an HDMI 2.0a/b output.

Decryption software will also be necessary. Cyberlink PowerDVD is first to market with legal playback software of 4K UHD discs. The Pioneer drives arrive packaged with PowerDVD. Grey market options could include RedFox AnyDVD (HD), which has been a staple of 1080p PC Blu-ray. This type of decryption seems unlikely in the near future but is necessary for UHD Blu-ray support for free media players such as Kodi. Grey market decryption will also be necessary to create back-up copies of 4K discs.

The cost of any additional playback or decryption software should be factored in with the cost of the drive.

Drive Specifications: UHD BDXL (triple-layer support)
Playback Software: Cyberlink PowerDVD

7 – Power Supply

The power supply must be large enough to provide the necessary wattage for all components when under load. Other considerations include its size – it must be small enough to fit inside the chosen case. And it should be reasonably quiet – suitable for watching videos in silence.

Websites such as this are available to provide estimates of the power draw of any assembled PC. An example system is shown below:

http://i1357.photobucket.com/albums/...ps98oi24ar.png

8 – Case

The case is up to preference. It must be sized appropriately for the chosen motherboard and graphics card, and fit comfortably into its end-use component rack.

Form Factors:

  • ATX (tower)
  • HTPC (horizontal)
  • mini ITX (small form factor)
  • micro ATX (slim profile)

9 – CPU Cooler/Case Fans (Optional)

If you are not overclocking the CPU, an aftermarket CPU cooler is likely not needed. Most CPUs come with its own fans. If a cooler is added, it is best to choose one with a fan over a passive cooler to ensure additional airflow is provided throughout the case.

A cramped case may also require additional case fans to supplement those that come with the case.

10 – Operating System

Windows 10 is the only operating system supported by UHD Blu-ray drives.

Recommended OS:

  • Windows 10

11 – Accessories

Recommended Accessories:


Putting It All Together – Building Your System

Now that the components of a system have been outlined, it is time to build one for yourself!

PCPartPicker is a handy tool for experimenting with various hardware configurations. Thousands of components are found in its database from numerous reputable brands in the PC industry and online parts sites. By creating a user account, you can create multiple parts lists and even purchase individual components directly from the vendor.

When attempting any build with PCPartPicker, I would recommend starting with the case then the motherboard, ending with the power supply. The compatibility checker will ensure each part added to the list is compatible with the form factor, inputs and chipsets of the existing components.

Example 4K madVR/1080p Gaming Build

External NAS Storage

If using digital media, chances are you require data storage. Cheap USB external hard drives will do, but they do not offer the reliability and protection of Network Attached Storage (NAS).

All NAS offer some form of back-up redundancy (RAID), where data is spread across multiple drives, sometimes allowing for the replacement of failed drives without upsetting the performance of the rest.

There are two ways to go about creating a NAS server:


If you buy a ready-made NAS device, it will come pre-loaded with its own proprietary software. Other options include software RAID, which can turn any drive array into a NAS. All software should be configurable to various RAID levels.

RAID calculators are available to calculate the available capacity of each RAID level and tolerance to drive failure.

Example DIY Builds Using Popular RAID Software:

unRAID NAS Server

FlexRAID NAS Server / Windows Media Manager

Debate: unRAID vs. FlexRAID

ymarker 03-13-2016 04:47 PM

tldr; GPU nvidia 950/960 with any recent mid level CPU would suffice for 4k until the new gfx cards come out later this year.

Onkyoman 03-13-2016 09:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ymarker (Post 42365601)
tldr; GPU nvidia 950/960 with any recent mid level CPU would suffice for 4k until the new gfx cards come out later this year.

Thanks for your input...

Sure, I can agree a 950/960 is adequate for 4K madVR use. However, those who want to use NNEDI3 image doubling with post-processing debanding and image sharpening will be disappointed.

It has been proven by other users the GTX 960 is not powerful enough for NNEDI3 image doubling+. You would require a card such as a GTX 980 Ti. Even then, you could use more power. And there are still new madVR features on the horizon to further tax your GPU.

VBB 03-14-2016 10:44 AM

It has to be said, though, that NNEDI3 image doubling is not really necessary. With my GTX 960 I can do 1080 -> 4K super-xbr + SuperRes (4) chroma, super-xbr + SuperRes (4) luma/chroma doubling, with power to spare. NNEDI3 is just too much of a power hog to be worthwhile, in my opinion. Having said that, I'm still looking forward to the new video cards this year.

rckrzy1 03-14-2016 12:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VBB (Post 42381825)
It has to be said, though, that NNEDI3 image doubling is not really necessary. With my GTX 960 I can do 1080 -> 4K super-xbr + SuperRes (4) chroma, super-xbr + SuperRes (4) luma/chroma doubling, with power to spare. NNEDI3 is just too much of a power hog to be worthwhile, in my opinion. Having said that, I'm still looking forward to the new video cards this year.

I'm running 2 R9 280X in crossfire, I'm only running a 2K monitor but it does well. Maxed out on GTA5.

Onkyoman 03-14-2016 02:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VBB (Post 42381825)
It has to be said, though, that NNEDI3 image doubling is not really necessary. With my GTX 960 I can do 1080 -> 4K super-xbr + SuperRes (4) chroma, super-xbr + SuperRes (4) luma/chroma doubling, with power to spare. NNEDI3 is just too much of a power hog to be worthwhile, in my opinion. Having said that, I'm still looking forward to the new video cards this year.

super-xbr is adequate for clean sources. But it will introduce ringing (it rings more than any other algorithm in madVR, I believe). This is less of a problem when super-xbr is combined with SuperRes.

NNEDI3 doesn't really ring at all and can correct aliasing and ringing in the source. It depends on how much of a perfectionist you are.

10k 03-15-2016 08:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Onkyoman (Post 42390001)
super-xbr is adequate for clean sources. But it will introduce ringing (it rings more than any other algorithm in madVR, I believe). This is less of a problem when super-xbr is combined with SuperRes.

NNEDI3 doesn't really ring at all and can correct aliasing and ringing in the source. It depends on how much of a perfectionist you are.

I'm only rolling with a gtx950 in my setup, so I have to use superxbr and/or lanczos3, luma doubling, w/ debanding and dithering. This gives pretty good image quality but importantly, I have my power and fan profile set up so that the gtx950 is silent (around 300-400rpm on the fan), no matter the source content.

NNEID3 looks great but you need a leaf blower to really utilize it. I'm hoping that the Pascal cards will offer gtx970 level performance in near silence.

Gradius2 08-05-2016 04:31 PM

As for internal drives: WH14NS40 and WH16NS40 are both capable of reading 4k UHD blu-ray discs.

You will need TPM v2 too:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trusted_Platform_Module

crestron 08-06-2016 07:13 PM

hi,
I want to know
madVR Whether Support 'SLI' ?

Onkyoman 08-07-2016 04:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crestron (Post 45872073)
hi,
I want to know
madVR Whether Support 'SLI' ?

No, I don't believe so.

crestron 08-07-2016 05:28 PM

I test GTX1070 X 2 SLI madvr 0.90.23 , it worked , two GPU be used , GPU load , GPU memory, GPU clock in GPU-Z, OS is win10pro.

Onkyoman 08-08-2016 04:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crestron (Post 45890745)
I test GTX1070 X 2 SLI madvr 0.90.23 , it worked , two GPU be used , GPU load , GPU memory, GPU clock in GPU-Z, OS is win10pro.

Ok, good to know. I imagine you could max out your settings with two cards?

121dj 08-16-2016 07:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gradius2 (Post 45850137)
As for internal drives: WH14NS40 and WH16NS40 are both capable of reading 4k UHD blu-ray discs.

You will need TPM v2 too:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trusted_Platform_Module

I'd like to learn more about doing this however I haven't seen any simple info on putting tpm on a drive...

Sent from my E6883 using Tapatalk

sutton8 08-17-2016 04:37 PM

Can anyone confirm that the gtx 1060 will do passthrough of Atmos/DTSx? The answer should be yes but that is proving difficult to confirm.

OzHDHT 08-17-2016 11:31 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by sutton8 (Post 46130657)
Can anyone confirm that the gtx 1060 will do passthrough of Atmos/DTSx? The answer should be yes but that is proving difficult to confirm.

Just replaced a GTX 980 in HTPC with a 1070 yesterday. It has the same format pass-through capabilities with its HDMI as the 980 does, just as it should.

billqs 09-30-2016 01:05 PM

My computer in the home theater is using a GTX 960. I'm not currently using madVR as I was letting my JVC projector do the upscaling (I have a Samsung UHD Bluray for 4k playback.) Would it be better to use a lesser setting in madVR with the 960 or try to get hold of a GTX 1060 or Radeon RX480 to allow more NNEDI3 processing?

Onkyoman 10-03-2016 06:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by billqs (Post 47164153)
My computer in the home theater is using a GTX 960. I'm not currently using madVR as I was letting my JVC projector do the upscaling (I have a Samsung UHD Bluray for 4k playback.) Would it be better to use a lesser setting in madVR with the 960 or try to get hold of a GTX 1060 or Radeon RX480 to allow more NNEDI3 processing?

Use super-xbr with SuperRes when image doubling and you won't notice the difference. NNEDI3 is a waste of money.

OzHDHT 10-03-2016 06:07 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Onkyoman (Post 47231801)
Use super-xbr with SuperRes when image doubling and you won't notice the difference. NNEDI3 is a waste of money.

You might want to qualify what display you're using before making such broad assertions.

billqs 10-03-2016 06:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Onkyoman (Post 47231801)
Use super-xbr with SuperRes when image doubling and you won't notice the difference. NNEDI3 is a waste of money.

Would it be possible to hit super-xbr with SuperRes and image doubling all on a GTX960?

Onkyoman 10-04-2016 10:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by billqs (Post 47232961)
Would it be possible to hit super-xbr with SuperRes and image doubling all on a GTX960?

Yes, try the guide in my signature. The last section has a number of sample settings.

RapalloAV 10-04-2016 02:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Onkyoman (Post 47246265)
Yes, try the guide in my signature. The last section has a number of sample settings.


Onkyoman, not sure but I think you might be warner on the "other" forum.
Ive come to you as you really seam to know your stuff.
I may have asked you on the "other" forum but just want to re check here as Im not 100% happy with what Im doing.


I do use madvr with JRiver, and have the 1080 video card. My display is the JVD X9000 proj.


Ive always had a motion issue and why its not perfect is as follows....
As we have a film club I play a mix of content before the start of the feature, could be 24, 25, 30, 60, etc etc...
As the JVC has a massive slow sync, Ive been playing everything at 60Hz so I don't get the start of each new film showing a longggg black as the proj syncs to each refresh rate.
I have been using Smooth Motion with everything set at 60Hz but the blur is horrible on motion.


Is there a better way that you can think of doing what Im trying to do without getting the slow long refresh rate changes?

I think Smooth Motion makes everything worse for the added blur it introduces! I have tried turning it off and its better, but the judder then isn't nice, that's probably the 3.2 pull-down since Im on 60Hz, is that correct?

Would setting everything to 50Hz be better than 60Hz?

I know what Im doing isn't perfect and I would much prefer to play with the correct refresh rates, but the long sync of the JVCs are shocking! And its worse to get up to 15 secs missing from the start of shorts/trailers as the refresh rates change. I just wish displays could do instant refresh rate changes!

dwaleke 10-04-2016 03:55 PM

Try SVP.

RapalloAV 10-04-2016 04:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dwaleke (Post 47254833)
Try SVP.


Ive never ever heard of that and just did a search, very interesting.
How does this differ to Smooth Motion on madvr?

dwaleke 10-04-2016 04:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RapalloAV (Post 47254937)
Ive never ever heard of that and just did a search, very interesting.
How does this differ to Smooth Motion on madvr?

It's more advanced. I believe madvr does basic frame blending. Svp is real frame interpolation.

Onkyoman 10-05-2016 10:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RapalloAV (Post 47254937)
Ive never ever heard of that and just did a search, very interesting.
How does this differ to Smooth Motion on madvr?

SVP will turn film into video, just like the similar setting on most LED TVs (Clear Motion, etc.). Yuck.

If you can't playback content at its native refresh rate, you have two options: live with 3/2 pulldown or use Smooth Motion. Personally, I prefer 3/2 pulldown and don't think it is all that far off true 24p playback, which is also laggy and less than perfect.

Making film look perfect in motion will always be a challenge.

billqs 10-13-2016 07:45 AM

Well, I updated my card from a GTX960 to a GTX1070 so that I could use NNEDI3 for image doubling/etc. (I always use less for chroma.) I am having too long of render times so that I am dropping many frames. I followed the Guide with the standards for a "High" PC but am having no luck. I am still playing with settings.

From reading the Guide over on Kodi I would have thought the 1070 would be stout enough to carry heavier processing (God knows it cost a king's ransom.) Any suggestions? I am trying to run 4k 24fps. My computer is an ASUS Z170 with i5 6600 processor, 16 GB memory, Windows 7 64, the GTX 1070 and my display is my RS500 JVC Projector.

Thanks for any help.

dwaleke 10-13-2016 10:40 AM

Make sure power savings is not enabled in the nvidia control panel for your player application.

Onkyoman 10-13-2016 05:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by billqs (Post 47447761)
Well, I updated my card from a GTX960 to a GTX1070 so that I could use NNEDI3 for image doubling/etc. (I always use less for chroma.) I am having too long of render times so that I am dropping many frames. I followed the Guide with the standards for a "High" PC but am having no luck. I am still playing with settings.

From reading the Guide over on Kodi I would have thought the 1070 would be stout enough to carry heavier processing (God knows it cost a king's ransom.) Any suggestions? I am trying to run 4k 24fps. My computer is an ASUS Z170 with i5 6600 processor, 16 GB memory, Windows 7 64, the GTX 1070 and my display is my RS500 JVC Projector.

Thanks for any help.

Use super-xbr for chroma upscaling to free up resources for luma doubling. Avoid chroma doubling, as it is a waste of resources.

OzHDHT 10-13-2016 05:31 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Onkyoman (Post 47463257)
Use super-xbr for chroma upscaling to free up resources for luma doubling. Avoid chroma doubling, as it is a waste of resources.

You give this advice again, as the this thread's creator, however we still don't know what display you base your comments on. Both the poster and myself have JVC RS series projectors with 4K e-shift for example.. Can you clarify this for us as it makes a lot bigger difference if someone is giving advice based owning a 65" 4K panel vs say 11.5ft CIH setup with a 4K projector. If as Billqs poses, Onkyoman you are indeed Warner who wrote the Kodi guide then I'm a bit perplexed as to why you'd write off NNEDI3 here and not modify the guide to reflect your thoughts more accurately - so perhaps you aren't? Also, wondering if @madshi himself endorses the set up guide on the Kodi Forums? I've also not heard him state NNEDI3 as being a waste of time in any of his posts in the projector threads I'm involved in btw.
For me with the new JVC Z1/4500 on the way with it's full 4K panel, I'll definitely be doing some even more critical testing and tweaking with MadVR which I look forward to.

billqs 10-13-2016 05:53 PM

Thanks for your help. I went with your settings from the Kodi guide for high end. I did lower Chroma Upscaling to super-xbr but with NNEDI3 64 for both both Image Doubling and Image Quadrupling + SuperRes 3 I was getting around 55ms render times. I had to lower it down to NNEDI3 32 and I think I had to lower down the Quadruple to NNEDI. I followed the guide's advice about BiCubic 150 for the Image Downscale down from Jinc where I had it and I finally got the render time dependably around 30-34ms and quit dropping frames. I disabled Chroma doubling as it said to in the Kodi guide.

I ended up with a very detailed but very overcooked looking picture. Maybe the Superres on both doubling and quadrupling was too much? I'm sure I can continue to work with the settings to improve.


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