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Time For A New HTPC - Page 3

post #61 of 91
My only recommendation to the OP would be to find another HTPC forum.
post #62 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

My only recommendation to the OP would be to find another HTPC forum.

Things have changed a bit since a few of us purchased our Sharp LC45GX6U 45 inch 1080P LCDs and first booted onto a 1080P desktop for the first time back in Oct 2004. I did however get some good advice on what will be my third HTPC.
post #63 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackDiesel14 View Post

Cybrsage, I feel like you came here looking to start an AMD vs Intel fight. Both make very good products however I don't think you are considering that in terms of the HTPC market they are at a plateau.

Not at all, both make great chips. It has come down to personal preference at this point - if you prefer Intel or if you prefer AMD. Both give a great experience and both have their share of issues. Just know that there are those who will say you are ridiculous for not agreeing with their personal view on the matter.
Edited by cybrsage - 7/30/13 at 5:40am
post #64 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Pentium G3420 if you don't need HDMI 1.4a 3D (available in September)
Core i3-4330 otherwise (available in September)
Core i5-4670(K) for future upgrade in video playback area (e.g. SVP, H.265 decode)

If you are going to spend $500 on CPU+RAM+MB, go with Core i5. (A dual-core processor may be sometimes lame, even in video playback.) E6750 was $183 at the time of release. Core i5 is the current equivalent.

DDR3-2400 4GB x 2 like this or this is a good choice (only Z87 mb supports memory speed over 1600). Or go with DDR3-1600 4GB x 2 if you want to save $10. You will see ~10% performance increase in several applications (video and non-video related) with 2400 over 1600.

ASUS Z87M-PLUS is a good choice. But I recommend ASRock Z87M Extreme4, that supports dual PCIe 3.0 x8 and Intel Gb LAN (ASUS supports 3.0 x16 + 2.0 x4, Realtek RTL8111G). The price is almost the same (even lower at Newegg).


Good advice here ^
post #65 of 91
Moderator

posts deleted

please stop the bickering, or you will be locked out of the thread...
post #66 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackDiesel14 View Post

Our HTPC's don't use much power so there isn't much to save there. And if a dollar a month will make a big difference to you then maybe upgrading your HTPC is the least of your problems.

Our SSD's make the HTPC super fast and for HTPC tasks there won't be much to improve
I'm not sure where the "our" comes from or if there was ever a "we" vs "our" match going on

The specific dollar a month jab was indeed pointed directly at my comment, and it's fairly shortsighted in my opinion to consider only one HTPC ever being used. I think HTPCs will change drastically within the next six months because ARM boxes are already on the cusp of being a completely ubiquitous intel/amd x86_64 replacement. Not only are they half (or even one quarter at times) the barest initial cost, but their Watt efficiency just destroys AMD/Intel so the savings keep adding up each month. I think this is a game changer. I think it would be great to finally tell someone who wants to buy something off the shelf, "For ~$60 you can buy this Exynos based G-Box, Pivos, etc and playback all blu ray / dvd / etc content with full HD audio - bitstreamed or decoded." Then they only have to worry about building a media server and setting up their perfect view of XBMC, Plex, etc
post #67 of 91
When they get the DRM thing worked out for tuners ARM/SoC will slowyly replace HTPC's I think, but in the mean time they don't do that and some of them still have issues with 24fps and/or interlaced content as their graphics aren't up to snuff.
post #68 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

I'm not sure where the "our" comes from or if there was ever a "we" vs "our" match going on

The specific dollar a month jab was indeed pointed directly at my comment, and it's fairly shortsighted in my opinion to consider only one HTPC ever being used. I think HTPCs will change drastically within the next six months because ARM boxes are already on the cusp of being a completely ubiquitous intel/amd x86_64 replacement. Not only are they half (or even one quarter at times) the barest initial cost, but their Watt efficiency just destroys AMD/Intel so the savings keep adding up each month. I think this is a game changer. I think it would be great to finally tell someone who wants to buy something off the shelf, "For ~$60 you can buy this Exynos based G-Box, Pivos, etc and playback all blu ray / dvd / etc content with full HD audio - bitstreamed or decoded." Then they only have to worry about building a media server and setting up their perfect view of XBMC, Plex, etc

Didn't mean it as a dig, just trying to put it in perspective and when I said 'our' it was never part of an imaginary fight.

Those ARM boxes are great for beginners and for use as satellite HTPC's. I'll be considering one for my bedroom HTPC but they aren't for everyone. I'm one of the few that have gotten everything working through XBMC, most people have tuners and mainly use WMC because it's cable card certified. A lot of people still use Media Browser as a WMC extension and that's not an option for them. If you want advanced graphics such as madVR and SVP that's not an option. Can they run JRiver?

They also don't fit any of the requirements of what the OP was looking for as he wanted a spot for his Ceton PCIe tuner and he wanted it to be able to handle 4k or be upgradable to handle it. In the realm of what the OP is looking at, Intel/AMD based, the technology won't drastically change in the next 6 months for HTPC use. They'll come out with a new processor but for HTPC use you won't notice a difference. He can feel confident that if he followed renethx's advice on components there won't be a big change over the course of the next year .
post #69 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by chavel View Post

Things have changed a bit since a few of us purchased our Sharp LC45GX6U 45 inch 1080P LCDs and first booted onto a 1080P desktop for the first time back in Oct 2004. I did however get some good advice on what will be my third HTPC.

I am glad then you were able to filter the thread and get what you need. Be sure to come back and post some pictures of your new build.
post #70 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by chavel View Post

Things have changed a bit since a few of us purchased our Sharp LC45GX6U 45 inch 1080P LCDs and first booted onto a 1080P desktop for the first time back in Oct 2004. I did however get some good advice on what will be my third HTPC.

I am glad then you were able to filter the thread and get what you need. Be sure to come back and post some pictures of your new build.

So, after all the dust has settled here, what have you decided to do? Inquiring minds want to know.
post #71 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

I am glad then you were able to filter the thread and get what you need. Be sure to come back and post some pictures of your new build.

I like pictures biggrin.gif

Bring on the HTPC PORN
post #72 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

When they get the DRM thing worked out for tuners ARM/SoC will slowyly replace HTPC's I think, but in the mean time they don't do that and some of them still have issues with 24fps and/or interlaced content as their graphics aren't up to snuff.

DRM is the bane of it all...even upgrading an existing system can wipe your DRM away and make you lose all the copy once shows. Stupid stuff...
post #73 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

So, after all the dust has settled here, what have you decided to do? Inquiring minds want to know.

I got a new case and power supply so far. A 500W modular Cosair and a mATX Cool Master case. I wanted to be able to keep the old system hooked up and running while I mess around with the new one. I don't know if I'll stick with the new Cool Master or go with the old Fusion case yet. Depends on what CPU cooler I end up with.

Everyone seems to like renethx's recommendations so I think I'll go with the ASUS Z87M-PLUS mainly because I've had good luck with Asus over the years. The Core i5-4670(K) and PC3 19200 is my choice for CPU and RAM even though I probably won't OC for now. I do like my PCs to be zippy which is why I've got a SSD slated for the new system. I'll see how the onboard HDMI works before I put in the GTS-450 video card. Which brings me to a question that I have. Do I have to worry about whether I have full 0-255 full or limited 16-235 dynamic color range over the onboard HDMI that was mentioned earlier in the thread? I'm running 0-235 now on my Nvidia GTS 450 but I don't know how my plasma negotiates the signal with the video card. I do use the plasma for displaying photographs and it would be nice if they were full range.

Thanks for all the comments.
post #74 of 91
From what I understand you will not have full range either your plasma does the conversion or your video card does the conversion. From my research it appears it is best to use limited and have the computer do the conversion 1 rather than the computer doing the conversion to full then your tv doing the conversion back to limited. Either way its important to have both ranges set properly (matching on computer and tv) otherwise you will have crushing blacks (wont have full range of black things just look dark with no detail). If you have a panasonic plasma then the setting is under HDMI (at least it is for my st30)
post #75 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by chavel View Post

I do like my PCs to be zippy which is why I've got a SSD slated for the new system.

I'll see how the onboard HDMI works before I put in the GTS-450 video card. Which brings me to a question that I have. Do I have to worry about whether I have full 0-255 full or limited 16-235 dynamic color range over the onboard HDMI that was mentioned earlier in the thread? I'm running 0-235 now on my Nvidia GTS 450 but I don't know how my plasma negotiates the signal with the video card. I do use the plasma for displaying photographs and it would be nice if they were full range.

Then you should go with Wn 8. This is perhaps the biggest factor of snappiness, second to SSD. You don't have to wait for 8.1, it's just a free service pack to 8. StartIsBack ($3) of Start8 ($5) is almost a must, however. Overall it (8 Pro $140, MC Pack $10, StartIsBack $3 = $153) is $53 pricier than Windows 7 (Home Premium 64-bit OEM, $100). So you may stay with Win 7 if $53 difference matters.

Intel iGPU supports only Limited Range RGB over HDMI. But this does not matter in most cases including displaying pictures (somebody mentioned a problem in playing PC games with comic graphic, this post, however). Just make sure your plasma is set to Limited Range RGB.

Basically GTS 450 adds nothing to Intel iGPU in PQ, it just consumes lots of powers.
Edited by renethx - 7/31/13 at 12:01am
post #76 of 91
Good point. But don't forget that no extenders work with Win 8 yet besides Xbox. BTW I just discovered all those free MC packs I got last year but never activated still activate today just fine, contrary to popular belief.
Edited by mdavej - 7/31/13 at 7:33am
post #77 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Then you should go with Wn 8. This is perhaps the biggest factor of snappiness, second to SSD. You don't have to wait for 8.1, it's just a free service pack to 8. StartIsBack ($3) of Start8 ($5) is almost a must, however. Overall it (8 Pro $140, MC Pack $10, StartIsBack $3 = $153) is $53 pricier than Windows 7 (Home Premium 64-bit OEM, $100). So you may stay with Win 7 if $53 difference matters.

Intel iGPU supports only Limited Range RGB over HDMI. But this does not matter in most cases including displaying pictures (somebody mentioned a problem in playing PC games with comic graphic, this post, however). Just make sure your plasma is set to Limited Range RGB.

Basically GTS 450 adds nothing to Intel iGPU in PQ, it just consumes lots of powers.

Ordered all of the components today:

Core i5-4670(K)
ASUS Z87M-PLUS
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200)
Wn 8 Pro

I thought that the Asus Z87M-PLUS was closer to what I was looking for than the ASRock Z87M Extreme4. The Asus might be little more energy efficient with it's "away" feature and I wasn't going to need all the PCIeX16 slots. Overall, I think I'll wind up with a system that is energy efficient and that has enough computing power to be able to handle anything you can throw at it for the next 5 or 6 years. I really hope it's super stable so I can leave it on to record for at least a week at a time without a reboot and that it sleeps like a baby. I'm glad to lose the energy hog video card too. I've read lot of sleep problems can be traced to the video card.

I really appreciate all your help and it's good to know that the AVS forums are alive and well.
post #78 of 91
The only time I reboot mine is when a Window's update requires it.
post #79 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

The only time I reboot mine is when a Window's update requires it.

+1 for always on
post #80 of 91
Agreed, always on. The HTPC uses about the same energy as a light bulb.
post #81 of 91
I wonder how much a Haswell, with the new processor states, uses when left on now. Most of the little Sandy/IvyBridge machines I build idle 20-30W. I wonder how it compares. After being frustrated by missed recordings and funky resolution changes on wake I've gone to leaving them on all the time though only have 2 HTPCs that are always in use (bedroom, living room).
post #82 of 91
Sometimes energy consumption just isn't important
post #83 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

The only time I reboot mine is when a Window's update requires it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

+1 for always on

Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

I wonder how much a Haswell, with the new processor states, uses when left on now. Most of the little Sandy/IvyBridge machines I build idle 20-30W. I wonder how it compares. After being frustrated by missed recordings and funky resolution changes on wake I've gone to leaving them on all the time though only have 2 HTPCs that are always in use (bedroom, living room).

+1 for always on. Back when a HTPC could draw 150 watts at idle it mattered, now with a good low power build it doesn't.

Target < 30w at idle and even in California at peak rates the electricity costs won't be significant.

@ .28/kwh every 25 watts on 24x7 will cost you about $5 month.
post #84 of 91
+1 for almost always on.

I have two tasks that hibernate/wake the machine at specified times.

I also do a scheduled restart weekly.

Create tasks is a great way to maintain your system with automation.
post #85 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

The only time I reboot mine is when a Window's update requires it.

???? Windows update?

It ain't broken, so I never fix it. That's the beauty of the single task machine.
post #86 of 91
Yeah. I keep windows up to date on my HTPC and all other computers I have.
post #87 of 91
Thread Starter 
Here is the new HTPC build

Asus Z87M-Plus Motherboard - MicroATX, LGA1150, Intel Z87
Intel Core i5-4670K Processor
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 2400
CORSAIR CX500M 500W
COOLER MASTER Seidon 120M Water Cooled
COOLER MASTER N200 mATX Case
Cougar PWM Fans fans front and back
Ceton Quad-tuner PCI-e Card
Samsung SSD program & 2 gig recording discs
Win8 Pro + Media Center + Startisback

The hardest part was the Seidon 120M Water CPU Cooler. I should have know when there is a $30 MIR making the final price $25 that they really want to get rid of them. The supplied screw were too short and the metal on the radiator strips easily so I ended up bolting it to the fan clear through the radiator fins and all. Got lucky no leaks and it's much stronger than the stock mounting. It idles 10 degrees cooler than the intel cpu cooler.

Everything works. It's quiet and seems much more energy efficient with all the Asus controls. How well it stays on all the time and records TV I'll find out.


Thanks for the good advice.
Edited by chavel - 8/10/13 at 6:39pm
post #88 of 91
Nice !
post #89 of 91
Every htpc I have built for me and friends has connected to a nas for content. This removes the need for a lot of costs. I have moved to using raspi with xbmc for the pc connected to the tv. for an entire system under $75 with a case, you can't go wrong. It handles most all videos fine. The only tv I have that doesn't have a raspi is my 3d tv and I use a 4 year old custom pc i built with very middle of the road components. I can watch full 1080p 3d off my main tv with dated hw. Why would you blow a ton of money getting so much more than you need?
post #90 of 91
I tried one. My buddy had a couple in his house, and also a couple jailbroken XBMC added Apple TV's from earlier generations. He has a simple NAS feeding them- does all heavy lifting from his laptop.

It was a cool affordable set up. But it's decidedly much slower and clunkier than my real quad core HTPC's I have set up running off SSD/8GB DDR3. I am not sure I could be happy with that after living with what I have. I would get frustrated.
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