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Help me build a HTPC for less than $800 - Just movies and music - Page 9

post #241 of 354
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickbuol View Post

Case really doesn't matter. Just needs to hold a HDD or two and lay on its side, so to speak, so that it can fit on a shelf.

He has no blu-ray drive on any computer (not even sure that they own a desktop, so it would be potentially pricey to get an external blu-ray or upgrade one of their laptops.


I will dig into the posts above and pass it along. Thanks.

Search newegg by one that include psu and buy one for $35 and mid tower atx then
post #242 of 354
Hey Nick, why not look at an already built unit, I've seen some interesting pc's along with replacing a few things like RAM, and adding more storage for your friend needs.
Places like Tiger Direct has some awesome deals, and of course the usual suspects Newegg, etc.


Good luck

Dan
post #243 of 354
Thread Starter 
Even with some of these low cost components, the $300 price point is just hard, mainly due to the hard drive space. I am going to see what kind of external drives he has. I *think* that they are all "laptop" sized 2.5" drives that I could see about popping into the computer to get him started. Of course, then I would have to work on multiple data folders on multiple drives (since the budget is so low)....

Maybe I will just put this to rest for now and let him figure out what he wants to do... Skimp and sacrifice something, or spend a little more and at least get good functionality.

I mean, I can find some "off-lease" Dell machines, but they have base level audio, no HDMI, so that puts even a moderate CPU machine out of the price point once you start putting in add-on cards.
Edited by nickbuol - 1/10/14 at 12:32pm
post #244 of 354
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickbuol View Post

Even with some of these low cost components, the $300 price point is just hard, mainly due to the hard drive space. I am going to see what kind of external drives he has. I *think* that they are all "laptop" sized 2.5" drives that I could see about popping into the computer to get him started. Of course, then I would have to work on multiple data folders on multiple drives (since the budget is so low)....

Maybe I will just put this to rest for now and let him figure out what he wants to do... Skimp and sacrifice something, or spend a little more and at least get good functionality.

I mean, I can find some "off-lease" Dell machines, but they have base level audio, no HDMI, so that puts even a moderate CPU machine out of the price point once you start putting in add-on cards.


How about looking through the classifies on here, and going with use ?

Just a thought.

Dan
post #245 of 354
Thread Starter 
I think that I am going to put about another 30 minutes into the search and after that he is on his own. I have my own stuff to finish, like getting my Harmony One set up to run my HTPC, and a few other non-related things, and then we are busy all weekend and then I leave for a work trip (heading to the north side of Atlanta and then to St Pete, Florida) on Monday morning, so yeah....
post #246 of 354
Love St Pete !!!

That whole Tampa area and west coast is wonderful. My dad has a house in Madeira beach. I love Clearwater and that entire gulf coast.
post #247 of 354
Thread Starter 
OK. I spoke too soon on the smooth video. We watched "21" last night and I would say that it wasn't "stuttering" per se, but I don't have a better word for it. This is after watching another movie perfectly smooth previously.

Here is what I was seeing when I hit CTRL-J to bring up "live" madVR stats about an hour into the movie:


Notice the dropped frames of 191, and repeated frames of 155. Sorry about the blurry picture.

We made it through the movie, and I moved on to other things last night. Then today, my 14 year old really wanted to watch the next (in release date order) "X-Men" movie, which was the blah X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Well, the problem was back. Again, these aren't totally unwatchable, but the little "blips" from the skips happen every approximately 4 seconds. When the credits started to roll, I hit CTRL-J again so see what the count was...



Dropped frames of 708 and repeated of 711. Every dropped frame is a noticeable "skip" in the movie and 708 is way too many.

I will make another post in a few minutes with all of my madVR settings. I must be missing something obvious, but I will leave you with this.

When I try to play a trailer for one of the movies that I have ripped (these trailers are downloaded to my media serve), this has started happening where it doesn't display in full screen mode. This JUST started happening when I added madVR. The whole display, not just the trailer itself, does this.

post #248 of 354
Update your MBT that full screen problem got fixed in new build there was posting about it in the developer forum
post #249 of 354
Thread Starter 
Here is a photo intensive post with my madVR settings. Again, sorry for the blurry pictures. This seemed easier to follow (and easier to post) than typing in all of the settings.

Starting at the top of the settings page:
JVC properties







Under the Processing header (really hard to read, but you can see what is and isn't checked)





Scaling Algorithms:





Rendering:








LAV Video Settings:



Anything blaring out as wrong here? Thanks.
post #250 of 354
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Update your MBT that full screen problem got fixed in new build there was posting about it in the developer forum

So strange that it wasn't an issue until the day that I started messing with madVR. I will update again. So hard to track down known issues when fighting my own settings issues. I figured it was a side effect of what I had done.

Thanks.
post #251 of 354
Thread Starter 
So in addition to my madVR settings above, I watched Elysium tonight. Each time I watched something, it was after a full power down reboot. I ran the MBT setup to make sure that I was at the latest, and the same trailer that was "squished" before, was full screen (YAY).

Anyway, back to watching Elysium:
During the whole movie only 65 frames were dropped (14 of those were right at the start, and I mean within the first 1 or 2 seconds), and 52 frames were repeated (about 10 of these were right at the starting 1-2 seconds as well). The movie seemed completely OK to watch and no noticeable stutters because they were MUCH more rare.

So I looked at the codec used for the following movies:

21
X-Men Wolverine
Elysium

All of them are blu-ray rips in .MKV format at 1920x1080 and using the V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC codec. So not sure why Elysium would play back better than the others outside of the MBT update.

Still not 100% confident in the setup obviously....
Edited by nickbuol - 1/12/14 at 6:02pm
post #252 of 354
I'll take a look when I get a chance I am having trouble seeing the pics from my phone, and I have been away from online all weekend in an NFL coma...
post #253 of 354
Thread Starter 
"NFL coma..."

LOL

I leave in the morning (early) for a business trip to the Atlanta area and then St Pete, FL so I probably won't be able to do anything more until Friday when I am home.
post #254 of 354
I'm on the road today myself but we can track this down and figure it out next weekend.

I'll probably be I'm NFL coma again Sunday and it seems like Saturdays my time is spent getting ready for the twins so I'll try to get you a good reply this week when I'm back on my PC. Have you asked in the doom forums or in a new thread in the mb3 forum ?

Doom is best for specific MADVR questions and an issue with mb3 is best discussed on mb3 forums. You might want to post in triplicate to get the most eyes on it. I'm only nooby with this myself and I only know what I've figured out so far using it. I know a little but certainly not developer level.
post #255 of 354
Where are you staying in St Pete ?
post #256 of 354
Thread Starter 
Just at a Hampton Inn in Clearwater. When my family goes with me, we stay on the beach (we have some "hidden secret" places that we like to stay at. Hopefully they stay secret and we can continue to afford to stay there because they are awesome. smile.gif
post #257 of 354
My dad's house is pretty close by there.. so luckily I don't need to hotel shop often biggrin.gif For our wedding we stayed at Shepards Beach resort, and we got married on Sand Key beach. Are your kids old enough to drink yet ? The pirate ship is a lot of fun if they are.

Shepards on Memorial day weekend = the craziest party I have ever seen to this day. Keep your kids away at all costs !

I've been to parties and I've traveled a lot but I've never seen that. I wish I knew about that when I was young, in shape, and single... tongue.gif With twins coming I think we are headed in another direction though... biggrin.gif If you are staying in St Pete then you are not too far from John's Pass. My wife is addicted to that place. She loves the shopping and atmosphere. We took the Jet Ski's for a ride through there and the Dolphins actually swam with us. Really amazing and awesome. My dog loves that sand bar and island out in the inner harbor... She can swin and hang out there all day. We used to go down a few times every year since my dad bought the vacation house, but I won't be back until the kids are old enough to travel with us now.
post #258 of 354
Thread Starter 
I am stopping at John's Pass tomorrow night for a bite to eat and to pick up a few things at the spice shop and a couple of other favorite spots. I am not a big "shopper" so for me, I will blow in and out of the places i need to get something, and then grab dinner while I am over on that side of the St Pete peninsula.

I haven't had a chance to post more about the madVR stuff elsewhere, but I really need to do that tonight if at all possible. Hopefully I can get some responses by the time I am home.
post #259 of 354
Mario's restaurant is a great place if you like Italian. It's small and affordable and the food is excellent. It's in Maderia beach (almost walking distance from Johns pass) in the plaza with 7 eleven and Daquiri Shack (deck was old name). It's not very special by location or the atmosphere but the food is possibly the best I have ever had. Had it three times, and all three times it was simply amazing. I'd be curious to see if someone else thinks the same as I do about the place. I did not expect much walking in, or looking around. The only reason I went there was because my Dad said the food was awesome, and he's eaten literally on every single restaurant on the strip from St Pete to Clearwater. It's decidedly an Italian place though so you must like Italian food.

I've eaten at scully's a couple times (at johns pass) and the atmosphere is amazing but the food and menu is not. I tried that pizza place in John's pass (forgot the name) it was ok. Friendly Fisherman is not too bad, but it's hit or miss. Tried the Bubba Gump Shrimp there too, it wasn't bad either. There is a place on the other side of johns pass on the water there where you can dock you boat or jet ski and eat, I forgot the name though. Gators ?? That's ok too. If you travel to clearwater you should try the SHE-CRAB SOUP at frenchy's - my wife goes crazy for it. She likes the one right on the beach there in Clearwater, but they have a couple others around. I hear and agree with you about the shopping. There is a place there that sells frozen drinks - I usually grab one and people watch while the wifey gets her shop on. Last time I did that pretty girl from Carolina started hitting on me and I got in trouble for basically doing nothing but sitting on a bench waiting eek.gif

On the MadVR I have not checked out your post above too much yet. It's on my to do list wink.gif I'll take a look when I get home tonight.

Edit: I just noticed your join date. Serious join date is serious. I see you have been at this a while now smile.gif You must be one of the oldest guys around here (by join date I mean biggrin.gif )
post #260 of 354
Quick question - forgive me for asking again.

Did you say you had set up MADVR on MPC-HC and it plays fine ? But on MB theater you get stuttering ? Or have we not tried MPC-HC at all yet ? I ask because I am trying to figure out if it's a MadVR setting or not. If it was it should happen on both players I would tend to think. If it was not a madvr issue but rather a MB theater issue then we can get a little help there from some folks in the know.
post #261 of 354
Thread Starter 
Two things while I prep to board the plane. I completely wiped MPC-HC off when I was having the bad stuttering. I removed and left off everything that wasn't installed by MBT itself and then just added madVR afterwards.

Second item. My join date is wrong. It should actually be a few more years older. Way back then the server crashed hard and they lost all userIDs or something like that and people had to create new accounts.

Sent from my ADR6425LVW using Tapatalk
post #262 of 354
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Last time I did that pretty girl from Carolina started hitting on me and I got in trouble for basically doing nothing but sitting on a bench waiting eek.gif
Happened to me more times than I can count, except I don't usually know where they are from wink.gif
post #263 of 354
Thread Starter 
Well, it wasn't because I didn't want to, but I never had a good opportunity to get all of the screenshots and copy/paste the info to other forums, so I am no further along now than when I left. Too much work, not enough free time.

About to head on a plane from Tampa to Minneapolis (3.5 hours, but I got upgraded to first class), and then a 1 hour layover where I will probably have to traverse the whole airport, and then my little flight of about 45 minutes to Cedar Rapids.... 7F is going to feel pretty cold when I get there. I won't be home until about 11:30pm tonight, so if not tonight, then tomorrow morning I will see about making those other posts about my madVR issues.
post #264 of 354
I would use JINC 3 + Anti ringing for image upscaling and chroma upscaling. I would use Catmull-ROM for image downscaling. Try that. See what happens.


Also I would play and check with your Smooth Motion setting:



Restart, reinstall or update everything and start there. See what happens and report back.
post #265 of 354
Hi Nickbuol, i am building very similar HTPC just sligtly different components. I almost hit "order" button for Z78X board + 2400MHz G.Skill RAM and i3 4130t processor.

Then i realized, and this is the question, when your HTPC boots, what RAM Speed it shows? Is it 1866 or 2133? Or even 2400MHz? The question why i am asking is that neither your i5 nor my i3 couldn't run with 2400MHZ ram speed. Either you overclock processor or allow (don't know now the name) function of your motherboard).

Or did i missed something?

http://ark.intel.com/products/75047/
Memory Types DDR3-1333/1600

Same is your MoBo:

http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z87M%20Extreme4/?cat=Specifications
- Supports DDR3 2800+(OC)/2400(OC)/2133(OC)/1866(OC)/1600/1333/1066 non-ECC, un-buffered memory

If you had to overclock your i5, then i think it is against the fact that it most often used that HTPC doesn't need that much power..

Martin
post #266 of 354
Martin,
Quote:
Same is your MoBo:

http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z87M%20Extreme4/?cat=Specifications
- Supports DDR3 2800+(OC)/2400(OC)/2133(OC)/1866(OC)/1600/1333/1066 non-ECC, un-buffered memory

The "(OC)" means Overclock.

So, DDR3-1600 is the fastest RAM that the Processor natively supports.
post #267 of 354
Quote:
Originally Posted by wiley165 View Post

Martin,
The "(OC)" means Overclock.

So, DDR3-1600 is the fastest RAM that the Processor natively supports.

This. He's smart! Listen to him biggrin.gif
post #268 of 354
Yep, and that's what i am talking about. OP has been suggested here and based on that suggestion he already bought high end mobo (which is not bad for possible future upgrades maybe in case new processors will be 1150) a and high end RAM but i would say that it is either not needed for HTPC even maybe for special encoding etc, and on the other hand he would need to OC to get full 2400MHZ. And HTPC should stay cool and silent, it is not gaming PC which requires OC...

Martin
post #269 of 354
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

This. He's smart! Listen to him biggrin.gif

Thanks mfusick!

Quote:
Originally Posted by embeathome View Post

Yep, and that's what i am talking about. OP has been suggested here and based on that suggestion he already bought high end mobo (which is not bad for possible future upgrades maybe in case new processors will be 1150) a and high end RAM but i would say that it is either not needed for HTPC even maybe for special encoding etc, and on the other hand he would need to OC to get full 2400MHZ. And HTPC should stay cool and silent, it is not gaming PC which requires OC...Martin

There's nothing wrong with overclocking an HTPC. There is still a benefit to doing so, and by all means, if you see a 1866, or 2133 module/set that you like, and it's cheaper than the 1600, then go for it.

I personally don't think there's a real benefit to overclocking in an HTPC, but if you want the absolute best performance from your gear, go ahead, just make sure your not doing it in an ITX case! wink.gif
post #270 of 354
To be clear overclocking can mean a lot of things so it gets confusing. Overclocking is traditionally meant to suggest raising the MHz speed of your CPU but it can mean lots of other stuff too.

By the standard idea you DO NOT need to overclock. You don't have to change your CPU speed or settings at all to use 2400hz ram. This shouldn't create anymore heat or cooling needs at all.

All you need to do to use 2400mhz ram is install it into a motherboard and CPU that support it. For many motherboards 2400mhz is considered a memory OC setting. Others it might be native. But you are not overclocking the ram technically if it's already native 2400mhz ram, you are just enabling the memory OC setting on your motherboard.

To use 2400mhz ram you need to install it into a motherboard and CPU that support it and enable XMP profile on your motherboard bios (or manually set it at 2400mhz)

The advantage to faster ram like 2400mhz with low latency is not just in CPU applications but it helps the integrated GPU too. There is a reason why high end video cards come with huge amounts of GDDR5 RAM and it's not because it's cheap. The the faster ram would help iGPU performance, especially if you overclock the iGPU (from say 1200mhz to 1600 or 1750mhz) which might not be needed to play a movie back but could be beneficial in gaming performance or reaching that next level up in MADVR.
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