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Calvin's Games & HT construction thread - Page 40

post #1171 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Still working on the new shelving unit. I'm waiting for some special order maple 4 x 8 sheets to come in this week and then I'm hoping to get these up rather quickly (I've already matched the stain to the railing and floors pretty well). More pics to follow.

Cheers
Calvin
post #1172 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Some news, good and bad...

The maple was delayed and won't be in till Monday now so that is going to likely push my installation for new shelving been installed to next weekend (Saturday / Sunday I'm hoping. I'll have to get my brother in law over to help me hang them as I'm building them and then "hanging" them for mounting so they'll be too hard for me to do alone at that point). Or at least that is my plan for now…

On to some better news. I finally broke down and ordered 2 of the Middle Atlantic Designer Inspired Ultra Quiet Fan Panel UQFP-4DRA Rack fan kits. I wanted these when I first built my HT and filled the rack but I balked at the price. I decided to get them now despite the price as I want to quiet the HT down in general and with the new PJ been near silent I can hear the fans in the rack now more than ever. Next step will be looking at new quieter amps for the subs as the Crown and Behringer are the next 2 on the noisiest list in the rack!

More to follow
Cheers
Calvin
post #1173 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Some updates.

Sadly still no news from the supplier on my maple!! Not sure what is going on there but I've got a call into them as I was hoping to get going on these shelves this weekend... I'm hoping I can get the wood tomorrow or Saturday and get that going.

On a brighter note the rack fans have shipped and I should see them by next Wednesday. I'm really looking forward to getting these and putting them in. I'm excited to see if they are worth the $ and are hopefully as quiet as I'm expecting. I should have visited scopeguy in Red Deer I guess before shelling out for 2 of these but I'm fairly confident they'll be as I expected so I went ahead on them anyway. Next week I'll know for sure!

I was on the phone a few moments ago with the great AVS sales guys talking about getting either the new S790 or the Oppo 93 and I should be ready to order one of those units soon once they get back to me. I've also decided to order 2 more pairs of the Sony 3D glasses so I have 4 sets ready for the HT and I've asked for the new DarbeeVision - Darblet DVP5000 as well. I guess they are out of stock at the moment but have some more on the way in. I'm hoping to get one of these to try out as well. For $250 if they improve picture quality at all I'd say they are a steal and I've been hearing good things about them. I hope to have all the new gear in and installed for the May visit from some of the local AVS / HT guys so we have some stuff to see and chat about. Hopefully the meet works out for May 26th but I'll be posting in the meets area for details and logistics.

More to come.

Cheers
Calvin
post #1174 of 1278
Thread Starter 
At last I've got some news after a week of waiting around... Lowe's finally has my maple in (note to self never order anything from Lowe's again unless I have all the time in the world to wait for it to arrive).

Anyway some new pics and updates (click on thumbs as usual to blow up photos)

I've picked up the Pioneer AVR to replace the Sherwood Newcastle R-R771 and have it all installed and working (including the unsightly IR repeater you can see stuck to the face)



Zoomed out view of the Rack as it is today. (soon to change again however).



The rack of course will be changing and getting I'm hoping much quieter thanks to this new arrival today!

.

I hope to get these fans in tonight sometime. (not sure when I going to find time to play Diablo III these days )

That and I hope to get working on the shelving tonight / tomorrow as I'm off to pick up the wood tonight.

Finally I ordered some goodies from our good friends AVS (Mike G to be exact in my case). I've ordered the Oppo 93 and a couple more Sony 3D glasses which I should have for the upcoming visit from some local AVS pals. In additional I did order and pay in advance for the Darbee Darblet and the Sony S790 but both are back ordered and will ship later in June (early I hope!) once they are in stock.

More to come soon!
post #1175 of 1278
Nice equipment rack
post #1176 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Thanks Bryceo,

Some more pics of the recent rack work.

The new MA fans - nice job with the packaging as expected



Going with Black as the silver is almost all gone from the rack these days.



Pulling stuff out!



Spaces to fill



Fans installed closer shot



Finished rack - distance shot.



Up next the shelving project and clean up for the visit next weekend.

Cheers
Calvin
post #1177 of 1278
Hey, love your setup! How's the VW1000ES working out? Hope you got a unit that's free of the banding issues.

Quick question-- do you know what kind of paint you used for your theater? How well does the paint reject light? I'm in the middle of trying to decide on paint myself and would love to hear how your experience has been. Thanks in advance!
post #1178 of 1278
Hey Calvin - Are you going to be changing out your screen or keeping the same one?
post #1179 of 1278
Also - what's up with your bass amps? I can't remember if you were running a Crown when I was there. They're usually pretty quiet. What are your thoughts for moving forward?
post #1180 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianMundt View Post

Hey, love your setup! How's the VW1000ES working out? Hope you got a unit that's free of the banding issues.

Quick question-- do you know what kind of paint you used for your theater? How well does the paint reject light? I'm in the middle of trying to decide on paint myself and would love to hear how your experience has been. Thanks in advance!

Brian,

Thanks. The 1000 is perfect near as I can tell. I'll have my guy Michael in soon to do the ISF and if there is anything at all not 100% he'll find it but I'm pretty sure there is nothing at this point to make me send the unit back it's about as near to perfection as I'll get in my room at the moment.

I'd have to look at the paint again but I did repaint already once since the build (it's back a few pages with some pics but I don't know if I listed the paint or not... I'll check the cans in storage).

Anyway the paint is very dark but short of black it's a dark grey / purple in a matte finish that does an excellent job of keeping the light reflections to a min and making the image on the screen look fantastic (IMO of course). The new paint by going darker really helped the image a lot from the original and well worth the $3k or so it was to have it done.

Cheers
Calvin
post #1181 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by javry View Post

Also - what's up with your bass amps? I can't remember if you were running a Crown when I was there. They're usually pretty quiet. What are your thoughts for moving forward?

Javry,

Hope things are going well you'll have to give me a shout next time your in town and swing by and check out the room again there have been many changes since your last visit!

I'm still very happy with the SMX screen I won't change it as long as I'm in this house. If I move to a larger house and thus a larger HT I'd look at getting something bigger with a masking system but that is all to far in the future for me at the moment. I'm good here for a few more years! Maybe another child or two and I'll be moving on to the bigger and better but for now the wife doesn't even want to entertain the idea (most likely due to our low mortgage amount and the price of upgrading to bigger and better in our area putting the next house in the 1.5 mil and up range).

I'm running a crown and a behringer for the 4 subs but I'm looking at moving into something quieter for both sets...I just don't know what yet... still looking around and reading lots but it's a huge market out there on amps and of course I don't need anything high end just to run 2 subs for each amp.

I'm looking at the Yamaha P-series but I'm certainly not close to making a decision at this point. I'd like to see and (not) hear some under load at some local stores before I make up my mind. I may need to upgrade the flying mole at some point as well when I push the new Pioneer the center channel clips (just the center so far). I'm not sure what to move into for the 7 speakers either but that will be a 2013 or 2014 upgrade I'm thinking still paying for the new QX and the 1000 this year plus all the goodies I've just ordered from AVS!

Cheers
Calvin
post #1182 of 1278
Quote:
Originally Posted by calv1n View Post

Javry,

Hope things are going well you'll have to give me a shout next time your in town and swing by and check out the room again there have been many changes since your last visit!

I'm still very happy with the SMX screen I won't change it as long as I'm in this house. If I move to a larger house and thus a larger HT I'd look at getting something bigger with a masking system but that is all to far in the future for me at the moment. I'm good here for a few more years! Maybe another child or two and I'll be moving on to the bigger and better but for now the wife doesn't even want to entertain the idea (most likely due to our low mortgage amount and the price of upgrading to bigger and better in our area putting the next house in the 1.5 mil and up range).

I'm running a crown and a behringer for the 4 subs but I'm looking at moving into something quieter for both sets...I just don't know what yet... still looking around and reading lots but it's a huge market out there on amps and of course I don't need anything high end just to run 2 subs for each amp.

I'm looking at the Yamaha P-series but I'm certainly not close to making a decision at this point. I'd like to see and (not) hear some under load at some local stores before I make up my mind. I may need to upgrade the flying mole at some point as well when I push the new Pioneer the center channel clips (just the center so far). I'm not sure what to move into for the 7 speakers either but that will be a 2013 or 2014 upgrade I'm thinking still paying for the new QX and the 1000 this year plus all the goodies I've just ordered from AVS!

Cheers
Calvin

Well - you definitley have your hands full for the moment. When things settle down, I'll be real curious to see what you come up with for subs. That part of your system, I remember real well.
post #1183 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Javry,

I should have some news on the amps in a couple months I think. I need to have the audio guru from National over to see what I need to do and his recommendations on the current set up ( I have a new hum that was introduced after hooking up the last Pioneer Elite and running the MCACC so I'm getting him in to trouble shoot on that as well as some other stuff).

On other news the Oppo and Sony glasses recently ordered from AVS is apparently on route according to UPS so I should have those items later today or early tomorrow.
Well in time for the HT meet on Saturday.

More to follow
Cheers
Calvin
post #1184 of 1278
Thread Starter 
The Oppo and glasses have arrived! Just threw up the Oppo and checked it out quickly. I'm really impressed with the unit very nice job with packaging and the unit itself. Looking forward to seeing this one and the Sony 790 side by side when it arrives on the 1000.

Cheers
Calvin
post #1185 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Had a late night surprise visitor!

First some pics of the Oppo.





Really impressed with the 93 amazing unit!

Anyway the surprise was Michael showed up early which is awesome! He was going to be out of town doing some THX courses when I tried to get him for mid June but was kind enough to swing by tonight and do a calibration for me this evening as he was in town visiting some family that lives fairly close by! Great news for me and now the 1000 is set up for tomorrow.

Some pics


















Michael has done a couple of the 1000's so far and he said mine is the best he's seen nearly a flawless unit (with a few minor issues which are with all LCOS systems such as the grey screen test that shows that the grey is not uniform / perfect across the entire image there is a slight tinge of grey / pink but only noticeable in the testing that is specifically designed to show it.

Overall my PJ is near perfect there is zero issues in anything, no banding, convergence, nothing really it's damn near flawless which is great news I won't have to take advantage of the Sony 90 day swap out as some others have had to.

The settings after calibration for those interested:













Of interest was the light output after calibration was 22 foot Lambert's with 170 hours on the bulb. The reference setting was very, very good but there was still some changes as you can see in the screens above.

Tomorrow is the meet and I'll have a few pics up likely on Sunday of my fellow AVS members that make the trip in tomorrow for a visit.

Till then.
Cheers
Calvin
post #1186 of 1278
Quote:
Originally Posted by calv1n View Post

Had a late night surprise visitor!

First some pics of the Oppo.





Really impressed with the 93 amazing unit!

Anyway the surprise was Michael showed up early which is awesome! He was going to be out of town doing some THX courses when I tried to get him for mid June but was kind enough to swing by tonight and do a calibration for me this evening as he was in town visiting some family that lives fairly close by! Great news for me and now the 1000 is set up for tomorrow.

Some pics


















Michael has done a couple of the 1000's so far and he said mine is the best he's seen nearly a flawless unit (with a few minor issues which are with all LCOS systems such as the grey screen test that shows that the grey is not uniform / perfect across the entire image there is a slight tinge of grey / pink but only noticeable in the testing that is specifically designed to show it.

Overall my PJ is near perfect there is zero issues in anything, no banding, convergence, nothing really it's damn near flawless which is great news I won't have to take advantage of the Sony 90 day swap out as some others have had to.

The settings after calibration for those interested:













Of interest was the light output after calibration was 22 foot Lambert's with 170 hours on the bulb. The reference setting was very, very good but there was still some changes as you can see in the screens above.

Tomorrow is the meet and I'll have a few pics up likely on Sunday of my fellow AVS members that make the trip in tomorrow for a visit.

Till then.
Cheers
Calvin

Hey, if you see some judder when watching some tv content, it's from having that fil mode at Auto 1. We diagnosed that on the 1000 page a while back. Crazy how low your contrast is set, I guess all of these are different!
post #1187 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mookie b View Post

Hey, if you see some judder when watching some tv content, it's from having that fil mode at Auto 1. We diagnosed that on the 1000 page a while back. Crazy how low your contrast is set, I guess all of these are different!


Mookie thanks for the post I'll keep an eye out for any judder so far I've not seen any. I haven't read through the entire thread on the 1000 how did everyone correct the issue (other then just turning off auto that is?)

The contrast is set low as my room is very dark I think that is the main reason more so then any real difference in the PJ (could be wrong though but my room is almost blacked out when he did the calibration)

Cheers
Calvin
post #1188 of 1278
Quote:
Originally Posted by calv1n View Post


Mookie thanks for the post I'll keep an eye out for any judder so far I've not seen any. I haven't read through the entire thread on the 1000 how did everyone correct the issue (other then just turning off auto that is?)

The contrast is set low as my room is very dark I think that is the main reason more so then any real difference in the PJ (could be wrong though but my room is almost blacked out when he did the calibration)

Cheers
Calvin

I saw judder in video games, anything with a ticker, and just random stuff. Read in the manual what it says it does...I remember it making sense when I saw that. Fix is off or auto 2. I just leave it in auto 2.

What did your calibrator do with the reality creation settings? I have no clue what's going on with those!

My room is pitch black too, and I needed contrast up to 88 to see the white clip pattern...I think I could see up to 250. What can you see up to on the avs disc or spears and munsil?
post #1189 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Mookie,

Thanks for the post appreciate the information. I'll switch it to auto 2 if I notice any judder so far there hasn't been any. Last night I hosted a meet with 5 local AVS members and we did quite a few "tests" with various content and players from movies to games to streaming and there was no judder (at least not yet or any that we picked up).

For the white clip pattern I think I could also see up to 250 but to be honest I was talking with Michael when that test was going on about laser PJ's and my memory might not be correct I know the laptop had a pop up about settings to see 245 clearly as the min I think. The AVS disc Michael had is the only thing I've used or seen used to date so I would have to try the spears or munsil to see how those numbers turned out (I don't have those disc's but I'm sure I can find them locally and I know Michael will be back once I get a 4k head unit to do a final calibration so I'll pay more attention at the spot the next time around).

Cheers
Calvin
post #1190 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Just a quick update. As I mentioned I hosted a small meet for some local AVS members last night.

Scopeguy
AltaHomeTheatre
Glimmerman911
zuluwalker
dmcleod

all stopped by for a BBQ, chatting and some viewing of the 1000ES. For a guy that normally has a ton of pictures I'm sad to report I was to busy trying to be the host extraordinar' to take any

While other then this one of the BBQ I took with my phone as I waiting for the steaks to get to medium rare.



I think the guys were impressed with the unit but I'll let them post their views if they wish. Anyway it was great to meet the new guys and to see Alta and Scope again as they were the only 2 I had actually meet before in person previous to last night.

Special thanks to Zulu who came a bit early and helped me discover that the buzzing is from my front sound stage and the flying mole cascade amp! So now I'm on the hunt for a new 7 channel amp for the room.

Anyone have some suggestions let me know my criteria is as follows.

Quiet (fan less is ideal but low db is ok I just don't want to hear it at all from 15' away just like the flying mole was (it's fan less thus silent which I love). I also need something that doesn't generate tons of heat much like the flying mole as I don't have the best heat dissipation system in the rack and I already have some very "hot" items in the rack like first gen PS3 and Xbox 360 that double as microwaves!

Must be able to do 150 watts per channel for all 7 channels ideally. (more is better).

I'd like to keep the costs around 5k or less if possible but would spend up to 10k for something if it was warranted.

So that is my next quest 7 channel amp.

My other quest which I've already discussed is getting a new amp that I can run my 4 subs off of as well. I want to pull the crown and behringer out and put in a single amp solution again that is very powerful but quiet! I'm all ear (or eyes in the case of the forum) so let me know what you guys think please?

Cheers
Calvin
post #1191 of 1278
Quote:
Originally Posted by calv1n View Post

I'm on the hunt for a new 7 channel amp for the room.

Anyone have some suggestions let me know my criteria is as follows.

Quiet (fan less is ideal but low db is ok I just don't want to hear it at all from 15' away just like the flying mole was (it's fan less thus silent which I love). I also need something that doesn't generate tons of heat much like the flying mole as I don't have the best heat dissipation system in the rack and I already have some very "hot" items in the rack like first gen PS3 and Xbox 360 that double as microwaves!

Must be able to do 150 watts per channel for all 7 channels ideally. (more is better).

I'd like to keep the costs around 5k or less if possible but would spend up to 10k for something if it was warranted.

So that is my next quest 7 channel amp.

Cheers
Calvin

I was searching for amps a while back (didn't end up getting anything), but one that I was considering was ATI amps
http://www.ati-amp.com

They seem to be no nonsense power amps. Not too fancy looking but apparantly very nice sounding / neutral. They have a 2000 series (200w x
2 to 7 channels) and a 3000 series (300W x 2 to 7 channels). I was looking at a 300w x 2 or 3 for my front channels, and the price was 2500 or so? (sorry, its been a while). Not sure if there are any dealers in Edmonton though. I was also considering Emotiva as well (XPA-2) which was a lot cheaper (but you would need an XPA-5 for 7 channels, and then it would be 2 amps, not 1 like you were looking for.

Good luck!

Darren A.
post #1192 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Thanks Darren appreciate the post! I'm keeping an open mind I'm hoping for 200 to 300 watts per channel and quiet!

So far my local guy is suggesting Marantz and NAD T975 the NAD is 7 channel but the Marantz they have would be 2 amp solution as they have a 5 and a 2 channel. I've also got another suggestion for the Sherbourn PA 7-350.

So short list right now is the Sherbourn, NAD and I'll take a look at the ATI as well.

cheers
Calvin
post #1193 of 1278
Calvin,

I thought I would post a quick thanks to Rachel and yourself for hosting the HT meet. As usual your hospitality was top notch and I had a wonderful time. It was a fantastic bbq, great conversation, and ending with the amazing demos.

Obviously the highlight was seeing the Sony 1000 in action. It does not disappoint. The picture was as advertised; bright, clear, and beautiful. I cannot wait until you get some 4K material to try. Get that PC built or you will force me to put a new video card in my htpc.

All the best and look forward to the next time we can get together.
Darryl
post #1194 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Thanks Darryl appreciate the post I enjoyed hosting I wish I didn't have to shut it down so early but I had an early shareholder meeting and I didn't want to be tired for that gotta stay on your toes for those I've found!

I hope everyone else enjoyed the evening and it sounds positive from the few posts in the HT meet thread so I'm glad for that. My wife and I spent some time cleaning up the toddler tornado Olivia has become and it was worth it

On the update front.

Working away on the shelving hope to have some pics up this weekend. Not much to show so far but lots of cut maple, some router work on the edges etc... Hopefully this weekend I'll get a wall or two in place / up.

I visited national today as I was home with an angry back and I left with a 7 channel lexicon to try out as an amp. If it works great it's certainly cheaper then the others I've been looking at and takes up less rack space as well!

I'll have pictures and thoughts up soon after I finishing fishing out the flying mole cascade. ( such a cable mess back there even after I tied everything up and out of the way. Once I decided to move the cascade I realized I have to cut about 5-6 of the zips I used to hold all the cables up and out the way lol. Oh well zip ties are cheap but I do envy the guys that have superior cable management and can swap gear quickly!

Cheers
Calvin
LL
post #1195 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Lexicon 7 channel amp update.

After finally getting the Flying mole cascade out of my rack which was an event. The rack mount for the FM was a real pain it has a double flange design that forces you to remove the rack mounts which isn't easy in a full rack before you can slide the main unit out! Won't be doing that again that is for sure. Next time I see a double flange type rack mount I'll be just setting that unit on a MA rack shelf instead!

Anyway back to the Lexicon GX-7. After getting it hooked up and running MCACC I put in Goon to watch last night.

PROS

The sound is good even at high volumes but I need to put in a more robust sound track and I'd like to try out a 7.1 movie as Goon was only 5.1. I'll be looking for a "block buster" type in 7.1 to try out tonight to get a better idea of how the amp is doing under a taxing load of explosions etc... this is where my cascade was clipping out on the LCR channels when I really pushed it.

Overall the fit an finish is good and it's a simple install and hook up unit.

The price: At several hundred less then 3k tax in this is less then I was planning on spending so if it works out for my system that is bonus

CONS

There was still a minor buzzing in the LCR sound stage- not as pronounced as it was with the Cascade but I could still hear it when I'm closer to the screen. At first row seating position it could not be heard so its not a huge issue but still of concern as I don't know what and why is causing this hum (I had assumed the Cascade was the issue as it was the culprit when Zulu and I did our testing last weekend however after removal and introduction of the new amp it's still there but to a lesser degree?!)

There is an audible "pop" that was heard when the movie loaded after the HDMI handshaking between AVR and PJ. This is not acceptable and I need to find out what is going on there as this was never in my system before the introduction of the Lexicon! More testing tonight after work.

More to follow. I hope to get my PC build up for the new unit I'm planning on building today as well so I can get some member input on the current plan.

Cheers
Calvin
post #1196 of 1278
Thread Starter 
I spent awhile going through cables and experimenting with turning things on and off last night trying to isolate the 'buzzing' or humming and after all was said and done I've found it. It is my feed back destroyers that are now the weak link in the system and the buzzing is coming from my subs both front and back. I turned off the BFD's and left the subs on with out them in the system and it's fine.

Testing of the lexicon GX-7. The unit is pretty impressive honestly I don't think I need anymore amp then the 125 for each channel this thing put out. I put in The Dark Knight and cranked it up to about 75-80% and the 7 channels were clear, precise and very, very loud! The subs on the other hand started clipping in the heavy bass sound track in this movie so I had to back the gain off on the 2 sub amps. I have to mess around a bit more and find the sweet spot for the subs but I think the sub amps are now the weak link in the system. I'm not sure if the new amp I'm planning on getting will fix this (if I pull the BFD's out or perhaps just need to rework them to new settings and hopefully the buzzing goes away).

The other thing I discovered last night is that the Monster power centers make a small buzzing noise as well when they are on and the equipment plugged in is powered up. Strange but I'm not sure it's a concern at my usual seating position or even if I can fix it with out swapping them out to something else. I'm planning on getting Henry from National AV over to go through my system and the sound and see if he can get it calibrated and tweaked to better optimize everything (right now I've just ran MCACC and left it pretty much alone).

The shelving is going pretty slow I'm re-forecasting to the 2nd week in June now I just can't seem to find the time to get solid hours in this week and hopefully this Saturday I can get to staining some of the panels and shelves if I can finish rounding all the boards with the router in the next 2 days / nights. Fun stuff.


The question I have now is do I stay with the Lexicon for $2700 ish or do I move down to something cheaper or move up to something more powerful....
I think I have 3 more days with the Lexicon to figure out if want to keep it or give it back so I'll do more testing. One thing with the Lexicon I have noticed is that it does run fairly hot and the other thing is I have no idea if it's clipping or under stress as it doesn't have any type of LED system to indicate this that I can tell (and the manual is pretty sparse for details). I'm not sure that I would listen to anything at the volumes I tested at last night for long anyways but it would be nice to know if the unit could handle it for 3-4 hours been driven that hard (maybe I'll leave it on and come back to see how the temperature and unit are doing after a 2. 1/2 hour blockbuster with a heavy sound track like batman and see how it handles it)
More to follow.
post #1197 of 1278
Thread Starter 
At long last Here is my baseline PC build - time to brainstorm and see what I should change what I should keep and what you guys think!


Case:
Antec Eleven Hundred Gamer Case
(I'm not sold on this one but consider it a place holder at this point I want something big and quiet! I may even go liquid cooled I haven't decided)

Processor:
Intel Core i7-3770K Processor, 3.50GHz w/ 8MB Cache

Motherboard:
Asus P8Z77 WS w/ Dual DDR3 1600, 7.1 Audio, Dual Gigabit Lan, 4-Way SLI /
CrossFireX

RAM:
GSKILL RipjawX Series 16GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Dual Channel Kit (2X8GB)

Operating system HD:
OCZ RevoDrive 3 PCI-E Solid State Drive, 240GB x 1

Hard Drives for storage (movies etc... media Server):
Hitachi 4TB Deskstar CoolSpin SATA III Internal Drive Kit w/ 32MB Cache x 7 or 8

Optical Drive
Asus BW-12B1ST 12x Blu-Ray Writer, SATA, Black, Retail x 1 (again not sold on this guy but it's a place holder)


Video Cards
Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB GDDR5 PCI-E w/ DVI, HDMI, Dual DP x 2
(using the 7970 due to 4k support which isn't currently on the 680 and 690's to my knowledge)

Power Supply
Cooler Master Silent Pro M 850W Modular Power Supply
(hopefully it's enough power I like that it's silent and its the largest silent PS i can find)

Processor Cooler

Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler x 1
(System builder suggested this guy but I'm not sure if I want a loud ? or any air fan in the system)

Operating System:
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64 (64-bit) SP1 DVD - OEM


So that is the build so far and with a 2 year replacement warranty I'm around 6k with out to much price shopping at this point.

Let me know what you guys think is good, bad, needs changing, something I should be looking at etc...

Thanks!

Cheers
Calvin
post #1198 of 1278
From the 4k Sony thread, I've got a few comments on your build here.

Keep in mind that I'm approaching this from the perspective that you intend to use just one GPU (crossfire may introduce problems with the 4k output, plus media playback isn't crossfire-enabled) and that you don't intend to do much gaming at 4k (gaming might be crossfire enabled but 4k gaming would bring even multiple 7970's to their knees)
I assume (and would recommend) that you are going to keep things at stock clocks (no upping voltages or clocks)

MY feedback is inline, in bold below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by calv1n View Post

At long last Here is my baseline PC build - time to brainstorm and see what I should change what I should keep and what you guys think!


Case:
Antec Eleven Hundred Gamer Case
(I'm not sold on this one but consider it a place holder at this point I want something big and quiet! I may even go liquid cooled I haven't decided)

An ivy bridge platform can be cool and quiet without some special case. If you are going to use this machine primarily for HTPC use, near your AV gear... get a rack case and store it in your AV rack... in this way you get clean storage and an area with well-engineered ventilation. There are many rack cases to choose from... find one you like which has good build-quality and reviews, plus standardized fan sizes (like 120mm so you can use upgraded fans)

Processor:
Intel Core™ i7-3770K Processor, 3.50GHz w/ 8MB Cache

overkill.... but nothing to be worried about, you'd be fine with an i5. Near idle (which is where the CPU will likely sit) the thermal envelope will be about the same. A nice L2 cache never hurt anybody

Motherboard:
Asus P8Z77 WS w/ Dual DDR3 1600, 7.1 Audio, Dual Gigabit Lan, 4-Way SLI /
CrossFireX

Why did you select this motherboard? If it was because of the 4x crossfire support... don't bother. The audio, likewise, is irrelevant. Do you need the legacy PCI? What draws me away from this motherboard is the realtek NIC... Go for a board with an Intel NIC if you intend to stream media or files.... If there's a budget issue you can reduce your spending on CPU/RAM/GPU to increase capability on the motherboard. I like the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H or the Asus Sabertooth for IB.... either will be a solid choice depending on your peripheral needs

RAM:
GSKILL RipjawX Series 16GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Dual Channel Kit (2X8GB)

16GB is overkill and, probably, a setback here. Those high density sticks suffer on timings. Go with something that's a low-voltage solution with much tighter timings. I'd suggest this kit:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820231461
If you think 8GB isn't enough, the same memory is available in 4 sticks.... but you're better off just getting the two for now.


Operating system HD:
OCZ RevoDrive 3 PCI-E Solid State Drive, 240GB x 1

I'd prefer a new sata-3 SSD from a more reliable brand like Intel or Crucial.... rock solid SSDs.... plus they don't occupy a slot. The sata-3 interface won't suffer at all compared to the PCI-e interface in the Revo.... OCZ is no longer focusing on the consumer space so I would shy away from their non-enterprise product line for now.

Hard Drives for storage (movies etc... media Server):
Hitachi 4TB Deskstar CoolSpin SATA III Internal Drive Kit w/ 32MB Cache x 7 or 8

ok, now I see where the budget goes!! When you're talking about this much storage you're in a new ballpark and I would strongly consider a separate appliance. How do you intend to maintain this array? ZFS? Raid6? No, no, no... If you plan to use the integrated RAID controller then think again. You're much better off taking this drives to a separate machine with ECC RAM and a dedicated setup for maintaining the file-system. A storage solution of this magnitude should not share the same device as your media-controller

Optical Drive
Asus BW-12B1ST 12x Blu-Ray Writer, SATA, Black, Retail x 1 (again not sold on this guy but it's a place holder)
Whatever choice here I"m sure if fine... I'd bet that most consumer BD-R drives come from the same factories and just get different stickers

Video Cards
Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB GDDR5 PCI-E w/ DVI, HDMI, Dual DP x 2
(using the 7970 due to 4k support which isn't currently on the 680 and 690's to my knowledge)
The 79xx series is the only one which can reliably send 4k over HDMI presently... there's no "horsepower" limitation on the nVidia cards but it just isn't implemented AFAIK. You could use a 7950 rather than a 7970.... It's newer architecture than the 7970 and will perform equally for 4k media serving... plus I would consider the ASUS unit because it integrates the largest/quietest cooler on the 79xx series right now (occupies three slots!)

Power Supply
Cooler Master Silent Pro M 850W Modular Power Supply
(hopefully it's enough power I like that it's silent and its the largest silent PS i can find)

plenty of power... Though if you wanted more headroom you could go with the Silent Pro 1000w unit.... I prefer the Seasonic units but both are quality components, not "silent" rated but very quiet anyhow.... There is at least one new Seasonic device which includes a fan override control so you can turn it down to very low (silent, like the Coolermaster) or even off (though you should smoketest this setting!)


Processor Cooler

Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler x 1
(System builder suggested this guy but I'm not sure if I want a loud ? or any air fan in the system)

Noctua is a quality brand. They have the record for airflow versus noise.... very quiet units. You can even get a large cooler from them in a triple-fan configuration and run all the fans using the included ultra-low-noise-adapters.... Noctua is the gold standard presently as far as I'm concerned. DO NOT go with a water cooler.... to that end, you could also consider replacing any of your case fans with a fitting Noctua fan for silent performance

Operating System:
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64 (64-bit) SP1 DVD - OEM


So that is the build so far and with a 2 year replacement warranty I'm around 6k with out to much price shopping at this point.

Let me know what you guys think is good, bad, needs changing, something I should be looking at etc...

Thanks!

Cheers
Calvin
post #1199 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Thanks MKaram I really appreciate you taking the time to give me such thorough input

I should have added a couple of notes to the post for sure. I plan on using the PC to do everything including occasional gaming (although not likely at 4k resolutions however 1080P should be no issue for any game ideally so that would be the minimum acceptable resolution for me thus the crossfire).

I plan on using the 4 TB HD's for blu-ray movie digital copies for the most part and want to work up a home made media server that will stream to the 3 HT's in different areas in the house ideally. It may make more sense to have these in a separate case and running independent of the main PC but I need to talk to someone on how best to do this as this is new territory for me (I'll spend some time reading on the forums here and hopefully get some insight!).

I won't have enough room in the AV rack for a PC mounted unit sadly so I have to get a regular server / tower case or cases if I go with a 2 system (or more) type of arrangement. I have lots of room in the AV Room but not in the rack sadly so I was going to build a shelf in the back of the room and then just wire it through as needed to connect the AV Rack equipment it needs to get to.

I really want the through put of the PCI SSD (it's double the standard SSD's) but I'll see if one of the suppliers you mentioned makes the same unit. I'm OK giving up a PCI slot for the benefits of the double speed it brings to the table even if there is nothing out there at this time that requires or sees a huge benefit from it I'm sure it can't be far away.

I'm actually going to suggest a new MOBO and a few other pieces that my builder has just suggested and hopefully you can let me know if these are better / make more sense now that you know I'm hoping to do more then just media server applications and 4k video with the new build.

thanks again
Cheers
Calvin
post #1200 of 1278
Quote:
Originally Posted by calv1n View Post

Thanks MKaram I really appreciate you taking the time to give me such thorough input

I should have added a couple of notes to the post for sure. I plan on using the PC to do everything including occasional gaming (although not likely at 4k resolutions however 1080P should be no issue for any game ideally so that would be the minimum acceptable resolution for me thus the crossfire).

I plan on using the 4 TB HD's for blu-ray movie digital copies for the most part and want to work up a home made media server that will stream to the 3 HT's in different areas in the house ideally. It may make more sense to have these in a separate case and running independent of the main PC but I need to talk to someone on how best to do this as this is new territory for me (I'll spend some time reading on the forums here and hopefully get some insight!).

I won't have enough room in the AV rack for a PC mounted unit sadly so I have to get a regular server / tower case or cases if I go with a 2 system (or more) type of arrangement. I have lots of room in the AV Room but not in the rack sadly so I was going to build a shelf in the back of the room and then just wire it through as needed to connect the AV Rack equipment it needs to get to.

I really want the through put of the PCI SSD (it's double the standard SSD's) but I'll see if one of the suppliers you mentioned makes the same unit. I'm OK giving up a PCI slot for the benefits of the double speed it brings to the table even if there is nothing out there at this time that requires or sees a huge benefit from it I'm sure it can't be far away.

I'm actually going to suggest a new MOBO and a few other pieces that my builder has just suggested and hopefully you can let me know if these are better / make more sense now that you know I'm hoping to do more then just media server applications and 4k video with the new build.

thanks again
Cheers
Calvin


A 7950 will easily handle nearly any game at 1080p.
If a future game is more demanding, you're still better off (imo) going with a single-card solution upgrade in the future (as capabilities will no doubt increase and prices will no doubt come down!)

If you intend this device to stream media to multiple sources then you absolutely need to consider a different motherboard (and, more pertinently, a separate system with a dedicated storage controller). The Realtek NIC in the board you have listed will choke to death on multiple streams.

As for the SSD (in the pci-express slot) you have more throughput but it won't be utilized for things like streaming files... The common metric is "random writes" but that is not a good benchmark for media and file-serving usage.
The PCI-express interface on these is dated, imho... needs a reboot to be really competitive again.
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