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New Year, New Build - Need Advice

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
So, it's time for a new build. My current HTPC is 6 years old now and it is time for an upgrade.

I plan to use the HTPC for encoding and some gaming (not heavy but not light either) in addition to playback. I want a build that can handle madVR easily as I have a good amount of SD content. Finally, I'm a looking for at least 6 HDDs in addition to a SSD as the boot disk in the case. I am not interested in a media server - think NY apartment.

So here's the plan:

Mother Board: ASRock Z77 Pro4-M LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I73770K
SSD: OCZ Vector Series VTR1-25SAT3-128G 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC
PSU: CORSAIR HX Series HX750 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
BD Drive: LITE-ON Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Internal 12X Blu-ray Combo Model ihes112-04 - OEM
Case: SilverStone Lascala LC10B-E HTPC Case (USB 3.0 Version) - Black

Here are my questions:

1. Remembering I plan on using this for encoding and some gaming, is the i7-3770K overkill or will and i5-3570k suffice?

2. Is the HD4000 going to be sufficient for madVR? I am thinking I'll try it and, if not, get a dedicated GPU later.

3. With 6 HDDs, an SSD, BD drive, and possibly a future GPU or even some USB drives, is my 750W PSU enough?

4. I'm not totally in love with the case but cannot find anything better to house 6 HDDs, an SSD and BD drive. Any suggestion?

5. I'm very concerned about heat with all those HDDs. Do cases usually come with fans? I cannot find anywhere where it mentions whether it does or not. Will the stock CPU cooler be sufficient? If not can you recommend something?

6. Does the memory see good enough or is there something better I should be looking at?

7. Am I forgetting anything imporant or other comments?

Thanks in advance. I'm very excited to get this all ordered and going. smile.gif
post #2 of 26
I actually uses 3 different computers for what you want to do:

1. Very low power server, always on
2. 3 very low power HTPCs, one in a passive thermal case
3. High power gaming PC

Yes, my server has HDD cooling fans. These fans are thermally controlled. With a total of 10 HDD/SSD, it draws about 200W.

You can see the 8 slot cages with two fans

You can see the temperature and fans speed inside this case


The gaming PC is a i7-850 and a nVidia GTX560Ti. It draws about 300W.
post #3 of 26
madVR has several algorithms, from easy to difficult. So even a low-end graphics card can support madVR in a low-quality setting. Intel HD Graphics 4k supports Bicubic75 / Jinc3+AR for SD films, but it is too weak to support Bicubic75 / Lanczos3+AR for SD videos.

750W is enough, but the case is not so good (you have to remove one of the HDD cages to seat a longer graphics card; 2 x 80mm fan is weak). Check GD08 instead.

You'd better go with a ATX mb if you use an ATX case.
post #4 of 26
....
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

madVR has several algorithms, from easy to difficult. So even a low-end graphics card can support madVR in a low-quality setting. Intel HD Graphics 4k supports Bicubic75 / Jinc3+AR for SD films, but it is too weak to support Bicubic75 / Lanczos3+AR for SD videos.
750W is enough, but the case is not so good (you have to remove one of the HDD cages to seat a longer graphics card; 2 x 80mm fan is weak). Check GD08 instead.
You'd better go with a ATX mb if you use an ATX case.

For an ATX MB, what do you think of the:
ASRock Z77 Extreme6 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
or
ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS


I don't really like the GD08 because of the dual DVD drives. The LC10-E says it'll fit a graphics card up to 8.75 inches. It seems there are a number of those that fit the bill. I don't know if there's any drawback to shorter cards. Speaking of GPU's would an ATI 7750 cover the shortcomings of an HD4000 for madVR?

Would upgrading the fans on the LC10-E help? What about a GD03? At least it has faceplates to cover the ugly bits.
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

....
??? smile.gif
post #7 of 26
I was thinking of a Gigabyte G1.Sniper 3 board for my next build mSATA slot and 10 Sata ports. No graphics card It does support 4way Sli and 4 wau Crpssfire. Dual lan, HDMI, DVI, RGB and Display Port.

http://www.gigabyte.us/products/product-page.aspx?pid=4169#ov
post #8 of 26
Radeon HD 7770 is the minimum for SD video upscaling with Bicubic75 / Lancozos3+AR, and HD 7850 for SD video upscaling with Lancozos3+A / Lancozos3+AR.

"Video" means those shot by a video camera so that they are interlaced natively, unlike SD "film"; madVR has to process each frame at a shorter interval of 16.6ms = 1/ 59.94fps, unlike 41.7ms = 1/ 23.976fps of films.

The length of the reference card:

HD 7770 (TDP 80W): 8.375 in + 6-pin PCI Express power connector
HD 7850 (TDP 130W): 9.5 in + 6-pin PCI Express power connector

So you may loose one of the HDD cages (= 3 HDDs). Older SiverStone cases such as LC10, LC13, LC16, LC17, LC20, GD01, GD03 are not designed for these longer cards.
Edited by renethx - 1/2/13 at 7:44am
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the explanation. You've been extremely helpful. I don't really have any SD video at 59.94fps nor anything interlaced. I think the worst I have is 29.97fps SD from some TV show DVDs.

I understand about the cases. It would certainly defeat my purposes if I had to give up 3 HDDs.

If I go with a GD08, Is there any IR receivers that'll drive WMC/Media Browser and can be used to power on/off the system that'd fit in the extra 5.25 bay?
post #10 of 26
Basically every NTSC DVD is encoded at 29.97fps. DVD "film" will be 23.976fps after IVTC (sometimes called "film-mode deinterlacing"). DVD "video" will be 59.94fps after deinterlacing (sometimes called "video-mode deinterlacing")

Antec Multimedia Station Basic, Antec Multimedia Station Elite. But I recommend an ASRock mb + ASRock Smart Remote.
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
I've re-encoded most of my DVDs to .m4v 23.976fps or 29.97fps non-interlaced (so the double as iDevice files) and with madVR upscaling I'm pleased with the quality so perhaps the HD4000 will do. My 1080p and 720p stuff is all .mkv. I've got 23.976fps, 25fps, and 29.97fps files. I think I might have 1 59.94fps 720p file actually.

After convincing myself the GD08 would be it, I now find that it is out of stock everywhere and NewEgg says it is discontinued. Any other suggestions?

It seems the "Antec Multimedia Station Basic" is for 3.5" bays. The "Antec Multimedia Station Elite" looks nice. Why do you recommend the ASRock Smart Remote that has a USB dongle that needs to be front mounted it seems as opposed to the "Antec Multimedia Station Elite"?
post #12 of 26
Once deinterlaced, the video will be either 23.976fps (film) or 59.94fps (video). 29.97fps after video-mode deinterlacing means quality loss, generally.

Back Order E.T.A: 1/5/13

GD08 does not expose optical drives, the drives will be behind two flip down doors and Antec Multimedia Station Elite won't fit it.
post #13 of 26
You mention gaming and then mention HD4000 graphics. I think light gaming is better served by a 65W quad core trinity cpu or by intel + graphics card. Also you definitely don't need anything over a core i5 for HTPC. By the way the core i7 is overkill for almost everything these days, including gaming machines with $300 plus graphics cards.
Edited by jeffkro - 1/2/13 at 10:31pm
post #14 of 26
except for SVP level 5...
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
I think I'm going to stick with the i7 for 2 things, future proofing it and more importantly encoding. I think it'll be worth it for the next TV series I get on BD and have to encode a couple dozen episodes for my iPad.

renethx, thanks so much for finding the link for the GD08. I searched high and low and couldn't come up with one.

Now, hopefully my final questions.

1. Cooling. Given the GD08, will the stock cooler that comes with the CPU be enough or should I get another one. Likewise will the stock fans in the case be enough or should I add some additional ones?

2. Is a 750w PSU overkill given I'll end up with 6 HDDs, 1 SSD, 1 BD drive and possibly a graphics card?

Again, thanks for helping a "first time builder".
post #16 of 26
Ivy Bridge suffers from the TIM (Thermal interfacial material) problem. You should get a better cooler. Cooler Master Jeminii S524 (cheap) or Noctua NH-L12 (expensive) should be good.

750W is a bit overkill. Max system power consumption would be ~300W at simultaneous CPU and GPU (a high end card such as Radeon HD 7970) load (that rarely happens). I would look at Seasonic G-series 450W/550W (as low as $70) or X-series (both are 80 PLUS GOLD).
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMGNYC View Post

I think I'm going to stick with the i7 for 2 things, future proofing it and more importantly encoding. I think it'll be worth it for the next TV series I get on BD and have to encode a couple dozen episodes for my iPad.
renethx, thanks so much for finding the link for the GD08. I searched high and low and couldn't come up with one.
Now, hopefully my final questions.
1. Cooling. Given the GD08, will the stock cooler that comes with the CPU be enough or should I get another one. Likewise will the stock fans in the case be enough or should I add some additional ones?
2. Is a 750w PSU overkill given I'll end up with 6 HDDs, 1 SSD, 1 BD drive and possibly a graphics card?
Again, thanks for helping a "first time builder".

Future changes are all in the graphics, adding support for new things like 4K video, new audio formats, and whatever new cables come out.
post #18 of 26
Hello, On these subjects, the HDMI out that are on motherbords (no video card), do they carry the audio signal(5.1 and 7.1) to the receiver? Asus said yes but Gigabyte said no. Please help I don't know exactly what to get. Thanks.
post #19 of 26
HDMI signals, that come from GPU, support audio (mulitichannel LPCM, DD, DTS, DD+, TrueHD, DTS-HD, AAC [in ISDB-T countries with selected AVRs]).
post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Future changes are all in the graphics, adding support for new things like 4K video, new audio formats, and whatever new cables come out.

I was thinking more of future proofing encoding. I imagine encoding something from a 4K source might be intensive.
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks to renethx and everyone's advice. I've settled on the following parts. I try to post some pics here when I get the parts and start the work.

Mother Board: ASRock Z77 Pro4-M LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I73770K
(I've decided not to downgrade for the extra encoding power for current and future HD formats)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L12 37.8 CFM CPU Cooler
SSD: OCZ Vector Series VTR1-25SAT3-128G 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC
PSU: Corsair Professional Gold 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
(I've decided to keep the larger PSU in case I want a really high powered GPU or other add in cards in future. The extra expense seems minimal)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
BD Drive: LITE-ON Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Internal 12X Blu-ray Combo Model ihes112-04 - OEM
Case: Silverstone SST-GD08B (Black) HTPC Case

I'm going to try using only the HD4000 with my content before spending on a discreet card. I'll add one in later if I find the HD4000 lacking.
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Stein View Post

Hello, On these subjects, the HDMI out that are on motherbords (no video card), do they carry the audio signal(5.1 and 7.1) to the receiver? Asus said yes but Gigabyte said no. Please help I don't know exactly what to get. Thanks.

The answer is yes since the Clarkdale CPUs with the exception of the CPUs that don't have an integrated GPU or the Pentium G6950 (Clarkdale). ASUS, Gigabyte, etc. it doesn't matter.
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
So, I've completed the build and installed the software (mostly) so I thought I'd give a brief review.

The good:

-With an SSD and a powerful processor it boots really quickly and is generally really fast. Well worth it.
-The ASRock Smart Remote which can power on the system when it's completely turned off is brilliant. It's a big improvement.
-The case is good looking and well made (seems nicer in person than in pictures) and was easy to work with. I'm very happy with it especially since I wanted lots of drive bays.
-I'm happy in general with all the hardware.

The bad:

-Cable management is still a PITA even with this case. I've got 7 sata drives of one type or another in it and it a mess.

The Jury is still out:

-The HD4000 graphics with MPC-HC/LAV/madVR. The clock is far enough off I'm getting frame drops every 4-5 minutes compared to my old ATI5570 which was in the range of a 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
-Using software decoding I can use fairly high madVR settings (Softcubic 75/Lanzcos 3 taps with AR) even on 720p video (59fps) without frame drops. Using Quicksync instead of software decoding makes it unwatchable on the same file.
-I don't so much notice the frame drops every 5 minutes but I do notice that playback goes through a 5 second or so period a few times a movie where it's very micro-stuttery even though no frames a being dropped. It's hard to describe but it's just sort of unnatural, almost like every other frame is being repeated or dropped or something. It kicks back in to being smooth soon enough but I would like to see if I could track it down to a setting of some sort.

If anyone has any questions about my experience with any of this let me know.
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMGNYC View Post

So, it's time for a new build. My current HTPC is 6 years old now and it is time for an upgrade.

I plan to use the HTPC for encoding and some gaming (not heavy but not light either) in addition to playback. I want a build that can handle madVR easily as I have a good amount of SD content. Finally, I'm a looking for at least 6 HDDs in addition to a SSD as the boot disk in the case. I am not interested in a media server - think NY apartment.

So here's the plan:

Mother Board: ASRock Z77 Pro4-M LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I73770K
SSD: OCZ Vector Series VTR1-25SAT3-128G 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC
PSU: CORSAIR HX Series HX750 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
BD Drive: LITE-ON Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Internal 12X Blu-ray Combo Model ihes112-04 - OEM
Case: SilverStone Lascala LC10B-E HTPC Case (USB 3.0 Version) - Black

Here are my questions:

1. Remembering I plan on using this for encoding and some gaming, is the i7-3770K overkill or will and i5-3570k suffice?

2. Is the HD4000 going to be sufficient for madVR? I am thinking I'll try it and, if not, get a dedicated GPU later.

3. With 6 HDDs, an SSD, BD drive, and possibly a future GPU or even some USB drives, is my 750W PSU enough?

4. I'm not totally in love with the case but cannot find anything better to house 6 HDDs, an SSD and BD drive. Any suggestion?

5. I'm very concerned about heat with all those HDDs. Do cases usually come with fans? I cannot find anywhere where it mentions whether it does or not. Will the stock CPU cooler be sufficient? If not can you recommend something?

6. Does the memory see good enough or is there something better I should be looking at?

7. Am I forgetting anything imporant or other comments?

Thanks in advance. I'm very excited to get this all ordered and going. smile.gif

Nice parts!!! Probably overkill but I like that.

I have both a 2600k and a 3570k. I don't think you'll notice much difference between the two so I would suffice to say you can get away with the 3570k without issue. It will encode fine and it will game any game you want with the right video card. a 3770k won't improve your gaming over a 3570k at all- unless you get into 4 high end video cards- which you probably will not. The difference in encoding will be small- but it will be noticeable. You could always overclock the 3570k a bit and save some cash.

I have 3570k in my HTPC. It is a beast. It can hang with my i7 desktop.

You can do MadVR with 4000 graphics but a GPU card is going to give you much more. Same on gaming. You can game with HD4000 but you can game better with a GPU.

I'd save the cash from 3770k and add a GPU to the 3570k.

for a case I would look at the Grandia 08. It's really nice.

YOUR PSU IS WAY OVERPOWERED!!!! Get a 600 watt or less model.

Upgrade your RAM to 1866mhz. Same brand and model if you wish.....

256GB is a faster SSD- but that VECTOR is a beast. Nice choice. Your going to have an ultra powerful HTPC for sure....
post #25 of 26
Edit --- I thought this was a new post and realize my advice is too late.

lol...

You did good anyways.
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
No problem. smile.gif I went with the bigger PSU in case I wanted to add a high powered gaming GPU and some more hard disks (the case will take 12 counting all sizes).

In any cases, I've found something interesting with the HD4000.

The 23fps frame rate locks in around 23.972 so there's a frame drop every 4 minutes or so. However, I think (at least for my eyes) on certain scene 23.972 is either too slow or there's some bug because there's some micro-stutters and less than smooth looking video.

However, play back of the same file at 23fps (which locks in around 24.004) has a frame repeat every 50 seconds or so. The kicker is that it gets rid of the micro-stuttering and as hard as I look I can't see the frame repeats.

This was just testing 5 minutes worth of video though. I'm going to be heretical and watch a 23.976 BD movie at 24fps refresh rate and see what I notice.
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