Guide to Building a HTPC, Workstation and Server - Page 644 - AVS Forum
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post #19291 of 19319 Old 09-18-2014, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post
- Motherboard: ASRock Z97 Extreme6 (that supports up to 10 SATA drives)
- Memory: F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ (2x2GB) or F3-1600C9D-8GAB (2x4GB)
- SSD: Crucial MX100 Series 128GB/256GB/512GB
- HBA: Supermicro AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 x 2 (supports 16 SATA drives in total)
Thanks Rene

I see Microcenter has an older version of this board that has 4 instead of 10 sata controllers @ 3gbs but not the one you suggested is there another board option and would I use the same memory?

Will the Supermicro AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 be compatible with larger 4-6 TB HDD

What size ssd would you suggest with window server 2011 and flexraid? Was the PSU enough for this server build? Is the i7 overkill or should I be okay?

Last question which HDD do you prefer in servers like this?
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post #19292 of 19319 Old 09-18-2014, 02:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Several others:

ASRock Z97 Extreme6, Z97 Extreme4, Z87 Extreme6, Z87 Extreme4
ASUS Z97-PRO, Z87-PRO, Z87-PLUS

Memory should work with any mb.

Yes, AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 supports any 4-6TB HDD.

MX100 256GB SSD is a good choice, it's only $110 at Micro Center, I guess.

750W PSU is enough for 20-25 HDDs.
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post #19293 of 19319 Old 09-18-2014, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post
Several others:

ASRock Z97 Extreme6, Z97 Extreme4, Z87 Extreme6, Z87 Extreme4
ASUS Z97-PRO, Z87-PRO, Z87-PLUS

Memory should work with any mb.

Yes, AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 supports any 4-6TB HDD.

MX100 256GB SSD is a good choice, it's only $110 at Micro Center, I guess.

750W PSU is enough for 20-25 HDDs.
Thanks Rene

I really appreciate your help
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post #19294 of 19319 Old 09-23-2014, 03:49 PM
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My move is finally at hand in a few days, I'll be ordering parts for my build today. I posted previously, but just double checking:

CPU Intel Pentium G3240 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor $63.99 @ NCIX
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-H97N-WIFI Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard $132.00 @ Vuugo
Memory A-Data XPG V1.0 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $104.98 @ Newegg Canada
Case Fractal Design Node 304 Mini ITX Tower Case $89.99 @ Memory Express
Power Supply SeaSonic S12II 430W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $69.98 @ Newegg Canada
Total $460.94

Build is to be a server+frontend to output XBMC to my TV. I will be plopping in my various HDs from my desktop, looking at a proper NAS come Xmas time.

renethx you mentioned a cheaper Celeron before, I am considering that. Also, what is a decent, cheap SSD I could get for this? It would dual boot linux+Win7 and run MySQL, XBMC, sabnzbd, few other services/daemons.

Thanks very much for any help !!
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post #19295 of 19319 Old 09-23-2014, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by boldaslove View Post
My move is finally at hand in a few days, I'll be ordering parts for my build today. I posted previously, but just double checking:

CPU Intel Pentium G3240 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor $63.99 @ NCIX
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-H97N-WIFI Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard $132.00 @ Vuugo
Memory A-Data XPG V1.0 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $104.98 @ Newegg Canada
Case Fractal Design Node 304 Mini ITX Tower Case $89.99 @ Memory Express
Power Supply SeaSonic S12II 430W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $69.98 @ Newegg Canada
Total $460.94

Build is to be a server+frontend to output XBMC to my TV. I will be plopping in my various HDs from my desktop, looking at a proper NAS come Xmas time.

renethx you mentioned a cheaper Celeron before, I am considering that. Also, what is a decent, cheap SSD I could get for this? It would dual boot linux+Win7 and run MySQL, XBMC, sabnzbd, few other services/daemons.

Thanks very much for any help !!
Yes, Celeron G1840 is also as good as Pentium G3240. The only differences are 2.8GHz vs. 3.1GHz and 2MB cache vs. 3MB cache (and the price of course), none of which is essentially important in video playback.

As for SSD, I recommend Crucial MX100 256GB, ~$110 or even 512GB if you want more storage space (fast and cheap).
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post #19296 of 19319 Old 10-09-2014, 09:36 AM
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Hello all. Thx Renethx (and other contributors). I was recently debating the merits of a dedicated server plus a htpc or a combo unit. really, I'm the only user, other than a few roku boxes that my wife will use to catch up on a few shows I download for her.


I currently have a drobo 5N which I purchased because it can be loaded with plex server (for the rokus). I normally want the best quality when I download or rip, so the roku/drobo combo chokes on a lot of the content. I would like to sell the drobo after I'm done to offset this build, so flexraid looks like an important part of the build.


the form factor is not important. I will likely use an old case I have around, or perhaps purchase a full size atx case for simplicity, cooler temps, and room for 6 or 7 hard drives plus a blu ray drive to rip my collection. I plan to place it in a room above the home theater equipment closet. I already have Ethernet run there, and can easily get an hdmi cable to feed the denon x4000 receiver/Mitsubishi HC5 projector. this room will have a small desk where I can use it as a regular pc...mostly for ripping, a little surfing...NO gaming. It might be fun to have an emulator rig to play the old NES stuff on a 140" screen, but I imagine that is easily done after the fact. I will be the only one using the pc, other than it serving plex to the rokus.


so basically I want a multifunction pc/htpc/server, located in a room above the theater where it will be used to watch movies. I also want a vpn of some sort for Netflix, hulu, etc (I'm in Canada...and the content is limited).


equipment recommendations?
CPU? I'm thinking a higher end i5 cpu is the way to go,


Motherboard? I would like a mother board that can handle (pass through hdmi) dts master audio and dolby true HD and have enough sata hook ups that I don't need to get an additional controller... is 6 the max? or 8?


I currently have an lg blu ray drive that may work...(it currently doesn't work, but the pc has issues and is getting replaced with an intel NUC...so the drive may or may not work...)


ram? I imagine 8gbs is lots, but I'm open to suggestions. if the moboard has 4 slots, I could get 2 4gb sticks now and be able to add more later if need be.


graphics card? I'm hoping the i5 integrated gpu has the chops to do what I want. I have read the haswells are the first units that can handle frame rates appropriately. I hope not to have to get into madVR etc, but if I do, the case I use should have room to add that in the future.


power supply? I'm open to recommendations. the same pc with the blu ray drive was a custom pc I had built about 5yrs ago...I think I got a good one, but I don't know if things have changed in that time. i'll post what it is when I pull it apart, and ask you all if it can (or should not) be used.


tv tuners? nope. I have a TiVo with lifetime subscription, and a mini networked to it (also with lifetime subscription). they just work, so, they will stay


ssd for OS? I ordered an intel 240gb 530 series ssdsc2bw240a4k5 last night...think I got a good deal.


keyboard(s)/mouse/mice? I have a TK820 920-005108 USB RF Wireless Slim Keyboard with Built-in Touch Pad waiting to be used. it is optimized for windows 8 aparantly... hopefully that won't cause issues if I use windows 7 pro, which I'm open to discuss. it is rf, so I'm hopeful it will work in the home theater. I do need some direction on this as I would also like to have another keyboard/mouse in the same room as the computer. is this possible?


OS/software? is Win 7 pro where its at? I might like the ability to remote in with my android smart phone to start a download every now and then (I'm a shiftworker, so it might be helpful in case I need to troubleshoot on night shifts? just s a thought). I'm open to recommendations on plex/xbmc/media center. I may try them all. I'm most farmiliar with plex.


remote control? sounds nice if its easy...I'm hoping the Logitech keyboard/trackpad combo will suffice (wish it was a backlit keyboard...)


hope that's enough to get the ball rolling! thx in advance for the help and recommendations.

Last edited by armstrr; 10-09-2014 at 09:42 AM.
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post #19297 of 19319 Old 10-09-2014, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by armstrr View Post
I might like the ability to remote in with my android smart phone to start a download every now and then (I'm a shiftworker, so it might be helpful in case I need to troubleshoot on night shifts? just s a thought).
In case you're not aware of it; Google has a Remote Desktop extension for Chrome that has a corresponding Android app that works well for Win 7 in this regard.
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post #19298 of 19319 Old 10-09-2014, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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@armstrr

For starters you may want to build an all-in-one system, that can be turned into a server if you want to build a dedicated HTPC later. Roku requires transcoding. For a single instance of transcoding, any dual core processor is enough. For multiple (simultaneous) instances of transcoding, Core i5 or even i7 is recommended.

For graphics, yes, integrated GPU is enough for 1080p. It is also enough for upscaling DVD and 720p unless you want the best upscaling algorithm (for which you will want to add a discrete graphics card as in 'Performance' systems).

Celeron / Pentium iGPU does not support Blu-ray 3D, you will need Core i3 or higher for this purpose.

For example,

CPU: Core i5-4590
Cooler: Noctua NH-L12
MB: ASRock Z97 Extreme4, that supports up to 8 SATA devices.
Mem: F3-1600C9D-8GAB
GPU: integrated in CPU
SSD: Crucial MX100 256MB
PSU: Seasonic S12G-550 (non-modular) or Seasoic SSR-550RM (modular) or Rosewill CAPSTONE-550
HBA: Syba SY-PEX40039 (2-port) or Supermicro AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 (8-port) if you want to attach more than 8 SATA drives.
Case: Fractal Design Define XL R2
OS: Windows 8.1 64-bit OEM (Professional if you want WMC), with StartIsBack Plus (and Stardock ShadowFX)
Disk mangement software: StableBit DrivePool (create two pools, one for normal desktop usage, the other for movies) and DisParity for the movie pool. This combination is more flexible than FlexRAID's RAID-F.
Server software: Media Browser Server or Plex Media Server
Media Center: Media Browser Theater or XBMC (maybe with an external player such as MPC-BE) that works with the above server
Remote: Splashtop (there are more choices)

Last edited by renethx; 10-09-2014 at 03:47 PM.
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post #19299 of 19319 Old 10-09-2014, 11:52 PM
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Hello everyone.


I am looking to build my first htpc. I currently use an i7 lenovo y460p ideapad laptop which seems to be dying.


I have an LG 4k 3d tv, connected to an Onkyo 929 amp with a 5.1 speaker setup (audio physic + psb). The amp is fed by the laptop, an LG 3D BR, a cable box, and PS4 - all on hdmi cables. I use the setup mostly for movies/youtube/ps4 60%, cable 20% and audio 20%.


Could anyone recommend an htpc setup which a) supports high quality 4k scaling (not sure of the tv is up to the task) and 3D blu ray, b) supports all hd audio formats c) will gel well with the rest of the system (with the laptop I frequently had to reset the drivers..sometimes the feed wasn't 1080 or audio would play on laptop speakers)


I also feel the Onkyo 929 with its bevy of overlapping functions with the rest of the equipment complicates matters - I frequently get a call from home about the tv picture flickering which gets resolved once the system is powered off (electrical socket) and turned back on.


I don't necessarily have a budget in mind, but want to put the speakers/amp and tv to good use.


Thanks for you help.
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post #19300 of 19319 Old 10-10-2014, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by zealottt View Post
Hello everyone.


I am looking to build my first htpc. I currently use an i7 lenovo y460p ideapad laptop which seems to be dying.


I have an LG 4k 3d tv, connected to an Onkyo 929 amp with a 5.1 speaker setup (audio physic + psb). The amp is fed by the laptop, an LG 3D BR, a cable box, and PS4 - all on hdmi cables. I use the setup mostly for movies/youtube/ps4 60%, cable 20% and audio 20%.


Could anyone recommend an htpc setup which a) supports high quality 4k scaling (not sure of the tv is up to the task) and 3D blu ray, b) supports all hd audio formats c) will gel well with the rest of the system (with the laptop I frequently had to reset the drivers..sometimes the feed wasn't 1080 or audio would play on laptop speakers)


I also feel the Onkyo 929 with its bevy of overlapping functions with the rest of the equipment complicates matters - I frequently get a call from home about the tv picture flickering which gets resolved once the system is powered off (electrical socket) and turned back on.


I don't necessarily have a budget in mind, but want to put the speakers/amp and tv to good use.


Thanks for you help.
The majority of what you want to do can be handled by most modest HTPC. If you want to upscale to 4K, chances are you are going to be using something like MadVR. In that case, the limits of what you can do on that front will be largely dictated by the limits of a discrete video card. 3D can be a bit trickier. If you are looking to play 3D from the PC, the easiest way is to use PowerDVD or Stereoscopic player. However, there are now ways to rip streams and tag them so that 3D televisions will identify the stream as 3D and display it as such.

As for getting along with the rest of the system, that should largely be a non-issue. Once the HTPC is hooked up, it should be have like any other attached piece of equipment. The one place you may run into issues is that HDMI handshakes can be an odd creature. It is not terribly uncommon for units to have to turn on and connect in a certain order for all functionality to be realized.
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post #19301 of 19319 Old 10-10-2014, 11:40 AM
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Hey all, could anyone offer me a quick recommendation for a MB/CPU combination to replace my existing configuration? I currently have an Intel E5400 from 2010 that I would like to upgrade to get a little better performance from web-based streaming content that doesn't offload to my GPU.

I just need 6 SATA ports and the ability to accommodate an Nvidia GTX650Ti. It's going into an Antec 300 (mini/micro/standard ATX; I have an Asus P5G43T-M Pro now (micro ATX) and see no reason to change form factors).
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post #19302 of 19319 Old 10-10-2014, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey all, could anyone offer me a quick recommendation for a MB/CPU combination to replace my existing configuration?
Pentium G3258
MSI H97M-G43
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post #19303 of 19319 Old 10-10-2014, 12:18 PM
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Pentium G3258
MSI H97M-G43
Thanks. I haven't been following Intel processors all that closely in the past few years; why the Pentium rather than a Core i series?
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post #19304 of 19319 Old 10-10-2014, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. I haven't been following Intel processors all that closely in the past few years; why the Pentium rather than a Core i series?
Performance-wise Pentium/Celeron is enough for almost all purposes in video playback, unless you are interested in multiple instances of transcoding and/or HEVC CPU decoding.
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post #19305 of 19319 Old 10-10-2014, 08:05 PM
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@armstrr

For starters you may want to build an all-in-one system, that can be turned into a server if you want to build a dedicated HTPC later. Roku requires transcoding. For a single instance of transcoding, any dual core processor is enough. For multiple (simultaneous) instances of transcoding, Core i5 or even i7 is recommended.

For graphics, yes, integrated GPU is enough for 1080p. It is also enough for upscaling DVD and 720p unless you want the best upscaling algorithm (for which you will want to add a discrete graphics card as in 'Performance' systems).

Celeron / Pentium iGPU does not support Blu-ray 3D, you will need Core i3 or higher for this purpose.

For example,

CPU: Core i5-4590
Cooler: Noctua NH-L12
MB: ASRock Z97 Extreme4, that supports up to 8 SATA devices.
Mem: F3-1600C9D-8GAB
GPU: integrated in CPU
SSD: Crucial MX100 256MB
PSU: Seasonic S12G-550 (non-modular) or Seasoic SSR-550RM (modular) or Rosewill CAPSTONE-550
HBA: Syba SY-PEX40039 (2-port) or Supermicro AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 (8-port) if you want to attach more than 8 SATA drives.
Case: Fractal Design Define XL R2
OS: Windows 8.1 64-bit OEM (Professional if you want WMC), with StartIsBack Plus (and Stardock ShadowFX)
Disk mangement software: StableBit DrivePool (create two pools, one for normal desktop usage, the other for movies) and DisParity for the movie pool. This combination is more flexible than FlexRAID's RAID-F.
Server software: Media Browser Server or Plex Media Server
Media Center: Media Browser Theater or XBMC (maybe with an external player such as MPC-BE) that works with the above server
Remote: Splashtop (there are more choices)
Thx. I have ordered most of the parts. Will the noctua really be necessary? I'm guessing it can be added later if temps are too high, correct? And what would that threshold be? Also, is there a guide to setting up disparity and the drive pool software that was mentioned?
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post #19306 of 19319 Old 10-10-2014, 10:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Thx. I have ordered most of the parts. Will the noctua really be necessary? I'm guessing it can be added later if temps are too high, correct? And what would that threshold be? Also, is there a guide to setting up disparity and the drive pool software that was mentioned?
Yup, buy a third-pary cooler only when you feel the stock cooler is too loud under load.

Setting up DrivePool is very easy. StableBit DrivePool User Manual > Quick Start is a good starting point. You can add existing drives with data easily. I also recommend using StableBit Scanner along with DrivePool ($35 in total), that watches S.M.A.R.T values and scans the entire surface of each drive of the system periodically.

Setting up vilett's disparity is also very easy and intuitive. Unfortunately I can't find a good instruction. A review on disparity and its own forum may be helpful. I recommedn Verson 0.40 beta.

I would like to write a short instruction somewhere.

Last edited by renethx; 10-10-2014 at 11:03 PM.
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post #19307 of 19319 Old 10-13-2014, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Aryn Ravenlocke View Post
The majority of what you want to do can be handled by most modest HTPC. If you want to upscale to 4K, chances are you are going to be using something like MadVR. In that case, the limits of what you can do on that front will be largely dictated by the limits of a discrete video card. 3D can be a bit trickier. If you are looking to play 3D from the PC, the easiest way is to use PowerDVD or Stereoscopic player. However, there are now ways to rip streams and tag them so that 3D televisions will identify the stream as 3D and display it as such.

As for getting along with the rest of the system, that should largely be a non-issue. Once the HTPC is hooked up, it should be have like any other attached piece of equipment. The one place you may run into issues is that HDMI handshakes can be an odd creature. It is not terribly uncommon for units to have to turn on and connect in a certain order for all functionality to be realized.

Thanks Aryn. Any recommendations on the card..motherboard..processor? Im waiting on the fractal 605 node here in Dubai. As soon as I get a lock on one, ill place the orders.


A harmony remote should sort the hdmi issue I guess.
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post #19308 of 19319 Old 10-21-2014, 03:24 PM
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Kaveri APU is just too weak (and too hot) for madVR.

A6-7400K: 387GFLOPS and 30GB/s memory
Bumping for the APU pricedrops. Didn't the Trinity A8K cover all but 1080p60 for everything but JincAR? It had 256 radeon cores, like the Kaveri A6 does. Does the drop in CPU core performance make up the loss?
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post #19309 of 19319 Old 10-25-2014, 06:59 AM
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I just ripped Godzilla using MakeMKV. The DTS HD Master worked perfectly but the picture during dark scenes is way to dark campare to when i play the disk. You can barely see the people in some scenes. My goal here is to research the quality before i build an HTPC. So for now i'm using my laptop which has an Intel i7-3720 with 16 GB of ram. This should be more powerful then the i3-4130T with 4 GB I would plan on building. Could the issue still be my laptop or is this the video quality I should expect?
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post #19310 of 19319 Old 10-25-2014, 07:25 AM
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I just ripped Godzilla using MakeMKV. The DTS HD Master worked perfectly but the picture during dark scenes is way to dark campare to when i play the disk. You can barely see the people in some scenes. My goal here is to research the quality before i build an HTPC. So for now i'm using my laptop which has an Intel i7-3720 with 16 GB of ram. This should be more powerful then the i3-4130T with 4 GB I would plan on building. Could the issue still be my laptop or is this the video quality I should expect?
It sounds like you don't have contrast / brightness / gamma set properly on the TV, or the TV is expecting "limited" (which is the standard) dynamic range ("16-234")input but your PC is outputting "full" (0-256). This is a common thing that needs to be adjusted when using a PC with a TV. PCs generally work with the full range, TV content is generally limited, and when there is a mismatch you see "black crush." Essentially, if the PC is outputting stuff using 1-15 for dark grays, your TV is interpreting all of that (anything 16 or lower) as absolute black.


Adjust settings and you should be good to go.


Marc

Sometimes, I see dead pixels...
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post #19311 of 19319 Old 10-25-2014, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Marc_G View Post
It sounds like you don't have contrast / brightness / gamma set properly on the TV, or the TV is expecting "limited" (which is the standard) dynamic range ("16-234")input but your PC is outputting "full" (0-256). This is a common thing that needs to be adjusted when using a PC with a TV. PCs generally work with the full range, TV content is generally limited, and when there is a mismatch you see "black crush." Essentially, if the PC is outputting stuff using 1-15 for dark grays, your TV is interpreting all of that (anything 16 or lower) as absolute black.


Adjust settings and you should be good to go.


Marc
I had my TV professionally calibrated and fear adjusting my TV setting. Maybe I just don't understanding the 1-15 adjustments. Are you saying i need to adjust my TV every time when using the PC. FYI - i have every connection going through my AV receiver so to avoid using multiple outputs from TV. Thanks for the help Marc

Edit - maybe i can tell the PC to preform limited dynamic range

Panasonic 65VT60
Paradigm Studio 60
Paradim Studio CC590
Paradigm SR-15
Integra DTR 40.2
HSU VTF-15H

Last edited by janick; 10-25-2014 at 07:40 AM.
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post #19312 of 19319 Old 10-25-2014, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janick View Post
I had my TV professionally calibrated and fear adjusting my TV setting. Maybe I just don't understanding the 1-15 adjustments. Are you saying i need to adjust my TV every time when using the PC. FYI - i have every connection going through my AV receiver so to avoid using multiple outputs from TV. Thanks for the help Marc

Edit - maybe i can tell the PC to preform limited dynamic range
OK, if your TV is good to go and calibrated, I wouldn't mess with it. I understand all your inputs go through the receiver, so presumably all of the sources need to be outputting the same way so that they can be interpreted uniformly by the TV. What I would do is go into the TV settings and verify that the input dynamic range is set to be (probably) RGB Limited. You're looking, not changing! Other choices it might be set to (less likely though) are RGB full and various YCBR type things.


Once you've done that, and I'd bet big money it's RGB Limited, you go into your PC settings and make sure it is set to output that range. And, your playing software may also need to be similarly adjusted. Once you do that, you should be ready for beautiful playback. Also consider getting a calibration disc (the AVSHD disc I believe can be downloaded for free) and check to make sure your contrast / brightness are good. Since your TV is calibrated, do any changes needed at the PC level.


Marc

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post #19313 of 19319 Old 10-25-2014, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruiner View Post
Bumping for the APU pricedrops. Didn't the Trinity A8K cover all but 1080p60 for everything but JincAR? It had 256 radeon cores, like the Kaveri A6 does. Does the drop in CPU core performance make up the loss?
These APUs (Trinity, Kaveri) support upscaling SD/HD 24p to FHD by Jinc3AR. Beyond that you should condider a discrete card.

Dropping in CPU core performance has no effect. Simply there are not enough shader uints in APUs.

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post #19314 of 19319 Old 10-26-2014, 04:24 PM
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Hi Renè and all...

So, the initial build is up and running... :-)
Here's the set-up... it is what you guys suggested:
CPU: Core i3-4130
CPU Cooler: Stock
MB: MSI H97M-G43
Mem: F3-1600C9D-8GAB
GPU: Embedded Intel HD 4400
SSD: Crucial 128GB MX100
PSU: SSR-450RM
Case: Silverstone Grandia GD04 Case

Installed OpenELEC/XBMC and fired up at first attempt...

I'm now enjoying all the eye candy XBMC+Aeon Nox can offer and I can tell it's GREAT!

Now, to complete this initial incarnation, I'd like to add an IR Remote receiver (Will be using an Harmony Remote with it...) and and internal ODD...

Please, may I have your opinions on available options for these two items?

For IR I'm mainly looking into:
- FLIRC
- MCE (RC6) Receiver (Trying to find an Inteset dealer in EU... but this particular brand seems to be sold in US only... I'll resort to a Remote + Receiver Set, if I cannot find the Receiver alone...)

Pros and Cons for both of them?

About Internal ODD...
I was about to buy a BR/DVD Burner, but reading better I came to the conclusin that a BR Burner is a waste of money on an HTPC and that a BR Player /DVD Burner combo is a better buy... Am I overlooking anything here? Is there anything I should take care of when chosing the ODD (Apart than chosing a "short" model, which is a better choice for the GD04)
Do some brands/models work better than others when ripping discs (Both BR and DVD) to mkv?

Last question...

My GD04 came with a "Lazy" case fan... One that often doesn't start... I just didn't want to send the whole case back, as I got a good deal on it... Good suggestions for a Replacement? One that is as quiet, if not better, than the stock ones?

Man! I wish I went the HTPC route sooner... I'm enjoying building this up A LOT!

Thank you all for the very knowledgeable advices dispensed on this Thread/Forum

Regards
Joe
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post #19315 of 19319 Old 10-28-2014, 10:07 AM
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Hey guys I'm putting together a HTPC build and I'm interested in feedback:

Purpose / Facts:
  • Smooth playback of 1080p movies/tv to my AVR (via HDMI). Also 5.1 music.
  • running XBMC on Win 7 Ultimate 64, with some basic background tasks, music playback via foobar
  • Serve data to my LAN from attached Drobo 5D, fast LAN important.
  • Is always on; energy use is a concern.
  • Lives on a rack shelf in a closet. Noise is not a concern.
  • I like low profile black component-style micro-ATX cases.
  • I don't care about TV tuner or transcoding or 4K or 3D, but I do want some longevity and upgradability.

Parts:
  • CPU - Intel Core i5-4440S 2.8GHz Quad-Core (Intel HD 4600 graphics)
  • CPU Cooler - Zalman CNPS2X CPU Cooler
  • Motherboard - Asus Z97M-PLUS Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
  • RAM - G.Skill Ares 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866
  • SSD - Corsair Force LX Series 128GB
  • Case - Silverstone GD05B-USB3.0 (Black) HTPC Case
  • PSU - Rosewill 500W 80+ Platinum Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply
  • Optical - Pioneer BDC-207DBK Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer
  • OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64

Currently $734 for the hardware

Last edited by Githopsis; 10-28-2014 at 10:28 AM.
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post #19316 of 19319 Old 10-28-2014, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post
These APUs (Trinity, Kaveri) support upscaling SD/HD 24p to FHD by Jinc3AR. Beyond that you should condider a discrete card.
Thanks. The A6 Kaveri (same # of GPU cores as the Trin/Rich A8) is down to about 58 bucks, bundled with a board at MC for $80 plus tax. Seems a low price for something that should handle up to Level 4.

Edit: and for 45W TDP

Last edited by Ruiner; 10-28-2014 at 03:44 PM.
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post #19317 of 19319 Old 10-28-2014, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Githopsis View Post
Hey guys I'm putting together a HTPC build and I'm interested in feedback:

Purpose / Facts:
  • Smooth playback of 1080p movies/tv to my AVR (via HDMI). Also 5.1 music.
  • running XBMC on Win 7 Ultimate 64, with some basic background tasks, music playback via foobar
  • Serve data to my LAN from attached Drobo 5D, fast LAN important.
  • Is always on; energy use is a concern.
  • Lives on a rack shelf in a closet. Noise is not a concern.
  • I like low profile black component-style micro-ATX cases.
  • I don't care about TV tuner or transcoding or 4K or 3D, but I do want some longevity and upgradability.

Parts:
  • CPU - Intel Core i5-4440S 2.8GHz Quad-Core (Intel HD 4600 graphics)
  • CPU Cooler - Zalman CNPS2X CPU Cooler
  • Motherboard - Asus Z97M-PLUS Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
  • RAM - G.Skill Ares 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866
  • SSD - Corsair Force LX Series 128GB
  • Case - Silverstone GD05B-USB3.0 (Black) HTPC Case
  • PSU - Rosewill 500W 80+ Platinum Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply
  • Optical - Pioneer BDC-207DBK Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer
  • OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64

Currently $734 for the hardware
From my personal HTPC research that is overkill, see:

http://mymediaexperience.com/htpc-builds/value-htpc/
and
http://www.techbuyersguru.com/HTPCbuild.php

my htpc w/o 2 TB, hardware only, would save $300 and accomplish the same:

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/janick/saved/LB7MnQ

Last edited by janick; 10-28-2014 at 08:42 PM.
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post #19318 of 19319 Old Yesterday, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janick View Post
From my personal HTPC research that is overkill, see:

http://mymediaexperience.com/htpc-builds/value-htpc/
and
http://www.techbuyersguru.com/HTPCbuild.php

my htpc w/o 2 TB, hardware only, would save $300 and accomplish the same:

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/janick/saved/LB7MnQ
Thanks janick. My only hesitation is the video performance between intel 4400 and 4600 graphics. Could this limit my playback options/performance/codec choices? Also, this HTPC will be a central data hub on my LAN, so I need good multitasking and speed between USB3 and ethernet. Is the H97M-D3H + i3 up to the task?

Last edited by Githopsis; Yesterday at 05:02 PM.
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post #19319 of 19319 Old Yesterday, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Githopsis View Post
Thanks janick. My only hesitation is the video performance between intel 4400 and 4600 graphics. Could this limit my playback options/performance/codec choices? Also, this HTPC will be a central data hub on my LAN, so I need good multitasking and speed between USB3 and ethernet. Is the H97M-D3H up to the task?
I'd like to defer to somebody with a little more knowledge on those specific tasks. I'd still be inclined to say yes but there are more qualified people on here that can answer better.

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