Guide to Building a HTPC, Workstation and Server - Page 651 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #19501 of 19514 Old 04-14-2016, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atomdude View Post
i am not looking for an external USB, actually i want an inter PCIe card. should any 7.1 do? or a specific one?
The internal soundcards typically don't sound as good as an external USB or FireWire audio interface, but there are some that are pretty good. Just do a google search for '7.1 pci sound card'. By going with an internal consumer sound card, you will also be using lower quality connections (3.5 mm jacks instead of balanced TSR or 1/4" connectors) between the card and your amps. If your amps use RCA connectors for analog input, that may not be as big a deal. This will probably add a little more noise and distortion to your sound system, but you may not notice it.

I am using a couple ASUS cards on my general purpose PCs and they do the job. I personally think they work better than Creative Lab's Sound Blaster cards.

The one I mentioned in my previous post (ASUS Essence STX II 7.1) is probably the best consumer pci sound card available. However, it's not sold at most online retailers and if it is, is a lot more expensive than any other internal consumer sound card.

After your search, read the reviews. Don't get discouraged though, there is no perfect product and you'll read a lot of negative comments. Here's a few less expensive ones to consider:

ASUS Xonar DX 7.1
ASUS Xonar D1 7.1

The 3 specs most people pay attention to for DACs (even though there is a lot more to consider) is the max bit depth, max sample rate and SNR (signal to noise ratio). You want a card that at least has a max bit depth of 24 bits, max sample rate of 96 KHz (many support 192 KHz) and SNR of greater than 112 dB.

I'd also recommend browsing other websites and look for discussions about internal sound cards. The interact forum on Jriver's site is a good place to start.

JRiver Interact Forum - Sound Cards, etc.
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post #19502 of 19514 Old 09-23-2016, 07:56 AM
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Not sure if this is the right place to ask but ca anyone recommend me the cheapest system for HTPC ? I want 4K60p hevc main10 playback so I guess rx460 + something something? Will $350 be enough ?
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post #19503 of 19514 Old 12-17-2016, 08:36 PM
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Haven't been on here for awhile. Is Renethx still doing the guides or system recommendations? I built an awesome system with your recommendations 7 or 8 years ago (writing this message on it now). It has held up well through the years, but it is getting a little flaky in it's old age.

I'd like to upgrade some of the components, but I'm totally out of touch with the PC component world. My system uses AMD, I don't see any positive info about current AMD processors. I'm guessing Intel won the war.
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post #19504 of 19514 Old 12-19-2016, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by notslow View Post
Haven't been on here for awhile. Is Renethx still doing the guides or system recommendations? I built an awesome system with your recommendations 7 or 8 years ago (writing this message on it now). It has held up well through the years, but it is getting a little flaky in it's old age.

I'd like to upgrade some of the components, but I'm totally out of touch with the PC component world. My system uses AMD, I don't see any positive info about current AMD processors. I'm guessing Intel won the war.
Hi, I just upgraded my HTPC with an AMD A8-6600k, only 4 gig of RAM, I don't have any problem running anything, even x265 compression. On the other hand the A4-5400 had some trouble with x265.
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post #19505 of 19514 Old 12-23-2016, 11:04 PM
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I decided to go Intel this time round due to their better performance to efficiency ratio for their CPUs and GPUs. They seem to use way less power compared to the AMD stuff that is currently out. This may change in the spring with AMDs new Zen stuff, but I don't think I want to wait that long to build. Plus the current Intel tech has been out long enough to be established.

Here's what I have so far.

Case: My old ZALMAN Black HD160Plus
Motherboard: ??????
CPU: I5-6600k
GPU: GTX 1050 or 1060 (not sure if 1050 will meet my needs)
Ram: 2x16 DDR4 (not sure what model to get yet)
SSD: Digital bpx 240gb
HDD: My old WD 3tb drives and a new 6 or 8tb
PSU: My old Enermax Modu82+ 625W

My biggest issue is the motherboard. There are so many and it seems impossible to sift through the features. I'm leaning towards Gigabyte since they have a reputation for better quality and less issues. I need a z170 chipset board so I can overclock the 6600k a bit. There are like 10 Gigabyte boards to choose from alone and if I consider other brands it really gets confusing. I don't need flashy colors or lights on the board, just reliability and enough ports for all my fans and hard drives. Not sure why some of these boards are in the 2-300 range. They must do something pretty amazing that I probably don't need.

Some of the Gigabyte boards really brag up the audio, but I'm not sure if that even matters if I am running audio through HDMI to by Onkyo. Does anyone know?
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post #19506 of 19514 Old 12-24-2016, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notslow View Post
I decided to go Intel this time round due to their better performance to efficiency ratio for their CPUs and GPUs. They seem to use way less power compared to the AMD stuff that is currently out. This may change in the spring with AMDs new Zen stuff, but I don't think I want to wait that long to build. Plus the current Intel tech has been out long enough to be established.

Here's what I have so far.

Case: My old ZALMAN Black HD160Plus
Motherboard: ??????
CPU: I5-6600k
GPU: GTX 1050 or 1060 (not sure if 1050 will meet my needs)
Ram: 2x16 DDR4 (not sure what model to get yet)
SSD: Digital bpx 240gb
HDD: My old WD 3tb drives and a new 6 or 8tb
PSU: My old Enermax Modu82+ 625W

My biggest issue is the motherboard. There are so many and it seems impossible to sift through the features. I'm leaning towards Gigabyte since they have a reputation for better quality and less issues. I need a z170 chipset board so I can overclock the 6600k a bit. There are like 10 Gigabyte boards to choose from alone and if I consider other brands it really gets confusing. I don't need flashy colors or lights on the board, just reliability and enough ports for all my fans and hard drives. Not sure why some of these boards are in the 2-300 range. They must do something pretty amazing that I probably don't need.

Some of the Gigabyte boards really brag up the audio, but I'm not sure if that even matters if I am running audio through HDMI to by Onkyo. Does anyone know?


A lot depends on what you will be using the computer for. If it's just "HTPC including media server" you don't need anything special and the overclocking won't be worth the effort.


Just yesterday, I pulled the trigger on replacing my aging media server which also doubles a the HTPC front end. I built it in 2009 around an AMD Athlon Kuma (2.7Ghz, dual core) and had upgraded to an ATI/AMD 5670 graphics card and an SSD at some point. It's still chugging along fine, but it's not up to much transcoding and I'm sick of listening to the fans while I watch TV. I had already committed to moving it to "backend server duty" with a silent box (Tronsmart Ara X5 Plus) in the TV room. Now, the old machine will be swapped out and given to the kids to play on, when the parts arrive next week for the new server.


Like you I bought an i5-6600k. I almost didn't buy the "k" as I have no need to mess with overclocking. This processor will do anything I ask for my own needs (recording TV, serving some Emby streams, etc.) while not even stretching it's default capabilities. But the K was available for $10 more, so I popped for it just in case.


For a mobo, I went with an Asus B150M-A / M.2 board. I got a microATX version as that's what will fit the case. Note, for server use, I wanted to make sure I got a board with 6 SATA ports... lots of them come with just 4 these days. Again, I don't plan on overclocking and I got a good deal on this board, and it was recommended by a fellow HTPC guy over on the Emby forum.


I got an M2 (2280 format) drive, RAM, and a Gemini M4 cooler.


My server will be just that... a media server... no games, no other use other than ripping the occasional bluray disc. I don't need anything fancy, but these components should last me the next 6-7 years for my purposes.


Good luck to you, and let us know what you buy!

Sometimes, I see dead pixels...
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post #19507 of 19514 Old 12-24-2016, 10:53 AM
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Sounds like we both build long term systems. I usually go a little overkill, but that seems to keep everything feeling high performance longer. I will be playing some games so I want a system fast enough to handle that without stressing it. It will also double as a media server and the htpc front end. I set up the Zalman case to be nearly silent with sound damping and scythe fans. I'll be keeping that theme with the upgrade. I'm going to use the dark rock tf cooler which if my measurements are right will fit right against the top cover vent and pull fresh air in. This cooler will easily handle mild over clocking. With the right ram and an m2 ssd card, this thing should boot and run programs pretty much instantly. Now that processors aren't following Moores law, the i5-6600k should still be decent performance in five years.

Good advice about watching for 6 SATA ports. I'm looking at the full size ATX boards and most of the gigabyte ATX boards seem to have 6 SATA.
Maybe I should post in the htpc gaming forum and see what motherboards they are using.

Really bummed that Renethx isn't around anymore. His guidance really helped last time. He was a major asset to avsforum. Hope he's doing well.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc_G View Post
A lot depends on what you will be using the computer for. If it's just "HTPC including media server" you don't need anything special and the overclocking won't be worth the effort.


Just yesterday, I pulled the trigger on replacing my aging media server which also doubles a the HTPC front end. I built it in 2009 around an AMD Athlon Kuma (2.7Ghz, dual core) and had upgraded to an ATI/AMD 5670 graphics card and an SSD at some point. It's still chugging along fine, but it's not up to much transcoding and I'm sick of listening to the fans while I watch TV. I had already committed to moving it to "backend server duty" with a silent box (Tronsmart Ara X5 Plus) in the TV room. Now, the old machine will be swapped out and given to the kids to play on, when the parts arrive next week for the new server.


Like you I bought an i5-6600k. I almost didn't buy the "k" as I have no need to mess with overclocking. This processor will do anything I ask for my own needs (recording TV, serving some Emby streams, etc.) while not even stretching it's default capabilities. But the K was available for $10 more, so I popped for it just in case.


For a mobo, I went with an Asus B150M-A / M.2 board. I got a microATX version as that's what will fit the case. Note, for server use, I wanted to make sure I got a board with 6 SATA ports... lots of them come with just 4 these days. Again, I don't plan on overclocking and I got a good deal on this board, and it was recommended by a fellow HTPC guy over on the Emby forum.


I got an M2 (2280 format) drive, RAM, and a Gemini M4 cooler.


My server will be just that... a media server... no games, no other use other than ripping the occasional bluray disc. I don't need anything fancy, but these components should last me the next 6-7 years for my purposes.


Good luck to you, and let us know what you buy!
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post #19508 of 19514 Old 12-26-2016, 07:06 AM
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Looking forward to build a low cost htpc (under $350) soon. It should be dedicated to download/organize/run mostly 1080p files. It should run Win10/Kodi and play thru HDMI to my Sammy F6400 tv.

Case: Silverstone ML06-E

Mobo: Asrock AM1H-ITX

CPU: Athlon 5350

Memories: HyperX FURY 4GB (2x)

HDs: 120GB Kingston SSD for system/apps and Seagate 1TB Laptop HDD SATA 6Gb/s 128MB Cache (ST1000LM035) for files

Power: Silverstone ST30SF

Cooling: ARCTIC Alpine M1 Passive and 02 Noctua NF-A8 ULN 80mm

Is it ok for you? Any tips/options?
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post #19509 of 19514 Old 02-15-2017, 10:13 AM
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Question Simple small HTPC w/4k

A few years ago I built my first (in a while) HTPC. I ended up going with a Zotac ID91, 512G SSD, and 8Gb ram. I use a DS1515 for storage and have left the SSD mostly empty beyond the OpenElec KODI standalone linux install.
I have plenty of 'computers' and just wanted something for the sole purpose/convenience of movie watching in my HT.

The ID91 has been more than enough for my HT needs up to this point. The only shortcoming being I would have liked to have had a more substantial/aesthetic case for my rack, but I haven't been able to justify having such a large case (and complicated build) since the Zotac's seem to fit my needs for the most part.

I recently got an Epson LS10000 which supports 4k enhancement and 3d. To take advantage of this I am considering upgrading to a 4k capable HTPC. My first thought is to go with a Zotac CI545-Nano. Silent and seems it will be a simple upgrade from my current build. (I should just have to pull the RAM/SSD from my old ID91 and drop them in the new nano and install the newest version of OE/Kodi)

Before I go this route I thought I would get reach out for some opinions. I have yet to try any 4k MKV but I prefer to typically watch MKV and have most of my media this way for convenience. I am hoping the swap to CI545 will be sufficient to allow 4k output if I so choose.


EDIT: looking closely at the CI545 I realize it only does 4k @ 24Hz over HDMI. So I'd have to go with something like the MAGNUS EN970 or MAGNUS EN1060 which is about 4 times the cost. I'd appreciate some recommendations.


Thanks for any recommendation or otherwise.

Last edited by snowboardheathen; 02-15-2017 at 11:38 AM.
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post #19510 of 19514 Old 02-16-2017, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowboardheathen View Post
EDIT: looking closely at the CI545 I realize it only does 4k @ 24Hz over HDMI.
You need something with an HDMI 2.0 output, to get proper 4K output.

One way to do it is to pick up an ex-corporate DELL SFF machine cheaply (they're just a simple black box, so they integrate well with an AV rack), and they come with two low-profile card slots.

Stick one of these in - https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16814137079 - and you're good to go.
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post #19511 of 19514 Old 02-16-2017, 10:58 PM
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Your Epson LS10000 projector has a native resolution of 1920 by 1080. Technically, you won't see any advantage of using 4K. There is no point going forward to 4K.

The Zotac CI545-Nano should be able to handle 4K at 60 hertz. The only way it can do this is to use DisplayPort to HDMI converter. Skylake doesn't have support for AACS 2.0 which is required for 4K Blu-Ray. Also, Skylake doesn't have support for VP9 that some internet video sites may use for 4K. Kaby Lake processor has support for VP9 and AACS 2.0. Rumors about AMD's latest processor may be coming out next week, but rumors shouldn't be taken as truth. The internet has information about AMD's latest processor. I'm not sure if AMD's latest processor has AACS 2.0 support.
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post #19512 of 19514 Old 02-19-2017, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecknurd View Post
The Zotac CI545-Nano should be able to handle 4K at 60 hertz. The only way it can do this is to use DisplayPort to HDMI converter...
Specifically an Active DisplayPort to HDMI 2.0 Adapter - like this -> https://www.startech.com/au/AV/Displ...-4k~DP2HD4K60S or this http://www.club-3d.com/index.php/pro...e-adapter.html

These weren't yet on the market the last time I looked, which is why I recommended the nVidia card above. But it looks like it is now possible to convert 4K 60Hz DisplayPort to 4K 60Hz HDMI 2.0
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post #19513 of 19514 Old 02-19-2017, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by tecknurd View Post
Your Epson LS10000 projector has a native resolution of 1920 by 1080. Technically, you won't see any advantage of using 4K. There is no point going forward to 4K.
I am not that familiar with 4k vs 4k enhancement but reading the post here: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2493034,00.asp It seems it would still be advantageous to play the 4k video with the ls10000?

I had finally settled on the 'nvidia shield' which seems like it would handle HULU/Netflix/Amazon Video and Kodi all in stride pretty inexpensively.

But I don't want to bother if there isn't a benefit of 4k.
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post #19514 of 19514 Old 03-07-2017, 10:42 PM
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Hey all, I'm not sure how many followers are left on this thread but I thought I'd reach out here. I recently read an article on the Xeon e5-2670 (sandy bridge version 1) and it seems to be a really good deal. Thinking about upgrading my server with this cpu and a used motherboard. Anybody in the know that can recommend a decent board?
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