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post #1 of 34 Old 12-03-2015, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
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2016 4k HTPC build

Hey guys looking to get a little advice. I'm planning on building a new 4K capable ie 2.2 compliant HTPC with enough USB 3 ports to double as a NAS. I'm considering using skylake as the architecture so at least I will have a little upgradability as far as the socket is concerned. My startup budget however is $400. I'm thinking if I buy the case,MB,CPU,Ram, and power supply first and throw in a spare 128GB SSD I have laying around then I should be good to go to start and upgrade everything as I've find good deals. The question is though is it even possible for this price? I haven't kept up with cPUs lately so I'm not sure if I'm better off waiting since currently I will need to buy a gtx 960+ to be able to output 4k. If I can eliminate the need for a graphics card which will be a waste for what I plan on doing I can downsize the build to say a micro or even pico atx and really have a compact setup. There are many many options and I've seemed to of gotten myself lost. Any advice would be greatly appreciated

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post #2 of 34 Old 12-03-2015, 10:22 PM
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$400 is not going to cut it....

A decent motherboard alone is about $200, the CPU is $350, power supply $100, RAM (DD4) $200, etc..

I just bought a Skylake I7-6700K... It was over $1300...

If it's not a BIG screen, it's not a theater...
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post #3 of 34 Old 12-04-2015, 12:48 AM
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I'm a bit confused -- why do you need USB 3.0 ports for your HTPC to become a NAS?
Also, I agree with Jon, your budget is a bit low --
$400 would get you a NUC with certain things, but not with Skylake.
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post #4 of 34 Old 12-04-2015, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post
$400 is not going to cut it....

A decent motherboard alone is about $200, the CPU is $350, power supply $100, RAM (DD4) $200, etc..

I just bought a Skylake I7-6700K... It was over $1300...
Although that build a great HTPC that's not what I am going for. A mini ITX case and board using a skylake i3 or even i5 and modular power supply is well within my budget. I would have zero need buying an i7 for an flex server/ storage device. I do not plan on gaming with it and even the i3 is sufficient at decoding the media for 2-3 streaming devices. I'm going for low tdp device.

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post #5 of 34 Old 12-04-2015, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briguy65 View Post
I'm a bit confused -- why do you need USB 3.0 ports for your HTPC to become a NAS?
Also, I agree with Jon, your budget is a bit low --
$400 would get you a NUC with certain things, but not with Skylake.
The USB ports will be for future expandability/redundancy. Add external drives as needed. With 4 external ports I could easily have upwards to a 15TB HTPC complete with raid redundancy

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post #6 of 34 Old 12-04-2015, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Intel

Intel Boxed Core i3-6300 Dual Core Processor 3.8GHz LGA1151 BX80662I36300 -$150


Silverstone 0.8mm Steel Body Tek Acrylic Front Panel for Mini-ITX Media Center/HTPC Case Cases ML05B-$50

Gigabyte Motherboard Micro ATX DDR4 LGA 1151 GA-B150M-D3H-GSM - $88

SilverStone Technology 450W SFX Form Factor 80 PLUS BRONZE Power Supply with +12V single rail, Active PFC (ST45SF) -$65

2X Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB Single DDR4 2400 MT/s (PC4-19200) CL16 SR x8 Unbuffered DIMM 288-Pin Memory BLS4G4D240FSA -$52

All together that's everything I will need for $405 so it is possible.

Edit: note this is not a final list or possibly might not be 100% compatible as more research will need to be done but is used to show it is possible to build a skylake device under $400. In this case however I already have spare SSD and HDD drives so that cuts down on price a tad.

My reason on coming here however is to get advice on building for 4k streaming. The current only way possible is to use a low profile gtx 960 or better card I believe. I'm sure there are many out there much more qualified than I am at building as I have only built maybe 10 computers in my life and never on a small platform.

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post #7 of 34 Old 12-04-2015, 09:57 AM
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that mobo appears to be hdmi 1.4 only

i dont think i have seen an hdmi 2.0/hdcp2.2 board yet

maybe the z170 chipset, but i thought that was via display port only

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post #8 of 34 Old 12-04-2015, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdram View Post
that mobo appears to be hdmi 1.4 only

i dont think i have seen an hdmi 2.0/hdcp2.2 board yet

maybe the z170 chipset, but i thought that was via display port only
Yeah you are right. I searched around and unless I missed something there doesn't exist a 2.2 compliant MB. The plan is to spend the budget and get a functioning computer then save up for a gtx 960 mini for 4k output. That's the only way I know possible to do it. Seems the MB companies are slow to get it out unfortunately.

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post #9 of 34 Old 12-04-2015, 02:04 PM
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Kyle, if at all possible, I would keep the HTPC separate from the storage PC. That way you can mess around with driver and software updates all you want, do lots of reboots, etc., without affecting your storage at all. I also would not do a USB RAID. I would think it's possible, but it would be a software RAID through Windows, which is never recommended. For simplicity, a multi-bay NAS is probably your best option, but those are not cheap, and you would still have to buy the drives.


For the HTPC, if you're planning to run madVR, the most important component is the video card. I'm using a 1st generation Core i7 with an X58 motherboard, both from 2008, along with a GTX 960, and that rig still kicks ass.

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post #10 of 34 Old 12-04-2015, 02:06 PM
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This thread would be better in the Home Theater Computers section. Maybe a mod can move it.

Henry

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post #11 of 34 Old 12-04-2015, 02:30 PM
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Someone here on AVS had a build thread with this m/b http://www.kitguru.net/components/mo...phase-cpu-vrm/

Says HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 Compliant and it is mini-itx...so something like this maybe? (change the case to your liking) http://pcpartpicker.com/p/HmJJcf
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post #12 of 34 Old 12-04-2015, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuidingGod View Post
Someone here on AVS had a build thread with this m/b http://www.kitguru.net/components/mo...phase-cpu-vrm/

Says HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 Compliant and it is mini-itx...so something like this maybe? (change the case to your liking) http://pcpartpicker.com/p/HmJJcf
specs say

- Supports HDMI with max. resolution up to 4K x 2K (4096x2160) @ 24Hz / (3840x2160) @ 30Hz
- Supports DVI-D with max. resolution up to 1920x1200 @ 60Hz
- Supports DisplayPort 1.2 with max. resolution up to 4K x 2K (4096x2304) @ 60Hz

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post #13 of 34 Old 12-04-2015, 03:20 PM
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specs here btw

http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Fatal...Specifications

Due to chipset limitation, the Blu-ray playback of Intel® HD Graphics is only supported under Windows® 8 / 8 64-bit / 7 / 7 64-bit.

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post #14 of 34 Old 12-04-2015, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdram View Post
specs say

- Supports HDMI with max. resolution up to 4K x 2K (4096x2160) @ 24Hz / (3840x2160) @ 30Hz
- Supports DVI-D with max. resolution up to 1920x1200 @ 60Hz
- Supports DisplayPort 1.2 with max. resolution up to 4K x 2K (4096x2304) @ 60Hz
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdram View Post
specs here btw

http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Fatal...Specifications

Due to chipset limitation, the Blu-ray playback of Intel® HD Graphics is only supported under Windows® 8 / 8 64-bit / 7 / 7 64-bit.
This is the one I referred to in the Kitguru article - it's a mini-itx board > http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Fatal...Specifications

and the specs say it has 2 HDMI ports, the second port is HDMI 2.0 compliant - posting a pic of that below

Apart from this one, I think there are some other boards in the market with the Megachips lpscon or the Alpine Ridge controller that support HDMI 2.0
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post #15 of 34 Old 12-04-2015, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuidingGod View Post
This is the one I referred to in the Kitguru article - it's a mini-itx board > http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Fatal...Specifications

and the specs say it has 2 HDMI ports, the second port is HDMI 2.0 compliant - posting a pic of that below
ahh nice, i was looking a few weeks ago at what was out there
didnt know the mini itc was that much diff than the other
strange

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post #16 of 34 Old 12-04-2015, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mdram View Post
ahh nice, i was looking a few weeks ago at what was out there
didnt know the mini itc was that much diff than the other
strange
To be honest I've been holding off building a new HTPC because firstly there isn't much 4K content and secondly the standards were still being finalized - now that they have to some extent, I think its best to wait for a Skylake H170 board with an Alpine Ridge controller or something - the Z170's are still pretty expensive and overkill imo.
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post #17 of 34 Old 12-04-2015, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Guys thank you for the advice. As soon as I get a chance I will look up the boards and see what I can find about them. If they do in fact make a board that can handle 4k at 60hz then that changes everything. I will no longer need the gtx 960 down the road since it will not be used with gaming and save me a good bit of money. Also to comment on the external drives I think know you are right however I just can't afford both right now. My plan is to use internal storage which the case im looking at can hold two and have each drive mirrored on external drives. I'll admit it's not ideal but until I can afford a dedicated NAS server I don't know what other options I have. I want a very small Form Factor computer (well my wife does) and I just don't see any way around only having two drive bays

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post #18 of 34 Old 12-04-2015, 11:47 PM
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Looking at the board specs, i could not find any reference to HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 compliance... It just states it supports HDCP but does not specify which one.

Just because it outputs 4K does not mean it supports the new HDMI/HDCP specs...

If it's not a BIG screen, it's not a theater...
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post #19 of 34 Old 12-05-2015, 03:05 AM
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I'm too lazy to check out that motherboard, but I've never heard of anyone creating a raid using USB, not even sure if you have enough USB 3.0 outlets for your external hard drives that you'll have to software RAID. If they are 2.0, that seems incredibly slow but I guess you'd just be streaming, if you were copying large files then you'd be spending lots of time there waiting for things to copy over. I guess you'll make your budget, but I have a feeling you're not going to be ultimately happy about it when you have to upgrade it.
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post #20 of 34 Old 12-05-2015, 03:34 AM
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As others have said, avoid windows software RAID at all costs. If you buy decent quality HDDs and have traditional (non-RAID) backup then RAID is pretty unnecessary for a media server. If you want RAID for the speed increase then, why? Its not necessary for media streaming. If you're using RAID as a substitute for traditional redundancy backup then you're doing it wrong, but if you must use RAID for your backups then get a hardware RAID external enclosure with USB3 connection.
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post #21 of 34 Old 12-05-2015, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briguy65 View Post
I'm too lazy to check out that motherboard, but I've never heard of anyone creating a raid using USB, not even sure if you have enough USB 3.0 outlets for your external hard drives that you'll have to software RAID. If they are 2.0, that seems incredibly slow but I guess you'd just be streaming, if you were copying large files then you'd be spending lots of time there waiting for things to copy over. I guess you'll make your budget, but I have a feeling you're not going to be ultimately happy about it when you have to upgrade it.
I've been researching the best setup and you may be right. I may be overlooking something but the way I see it is this. I can have 2 HDD and 1 SSD for operating system built into the case. The two internal drives can be created in raid such that it has redundancy. From there most boards I'm looking at have a minimum of 2 USB 3.0 slots so my plan it to attach one of these http://m.newegg.com/Product/index?it...82E16816322004
To each port giving my external raid also. This would allow me to have well over 30 TB of storage if I wish and each drive having a backup. At least that's the way I understand it. I consider myself an intermediate level techie with this stuff since I have experience building computers but still lack a lot of knowledge that others have.
@Ormy you seem to know much more about this than me. If I want to backup my data in case of failure what is the best way to do so? I did plan on using raid for this although I know it's not perfect but I have thousands of songs and although I'll keep many on a thumb drive as a just in case I'm interested to find out the best way to do this.
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post #22 of 34 Old 12-05-2015, 08:48 AM
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Why restrict yourself to the home HTPC? Get a RAID such as QNAP or ASUSTOR and connect it to your router. Using DLNA you can access it from any DLNA device, such as a Smart TV, Blu-Ray player or streaming device. You do not need to keep the PC on, just the RAID unit is kept on. I use a WD My Cloud and have access to it from throughout the house to my three displays through Wi-Fi.

For the same $400, you could buy a 4TB cloud drive, or a 2TB mirrored Cloud drive.

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post #23 of 34 Old 12-05-2015, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Why restrict yourself to the home HTPC? Get a RAID such as QNAP or ASUSTOR and connect it to your router. Using DLNA you can access it from any DLNA device, such as a Smart TV, Blu-Ray player or streaming device. You do not need to keep the PC on, just the RAID unit is kept on. I use a WD My Cloud and have access to it from throughout the house to my three displays through Wi-Fi.

For the same $400, you could buy a 4TB cloud drive, or a 2TB mirrored Cloud drive.
The reason I have opted this route is so it can double as a plex server. I do realise I could do this with a dedicated NAS server or something similar but I like the idea of having a full operating system and Windows 10 connected to the tv. This way you are not limited by anything. I currently have a 2TB external drive connected to my router but I mainly use that for my work files etc and want to keep work and play separate haha.

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post #24 of 34 Old 12-10-2015, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superkyle View Post
my plan it to attach one of these http://m.newegg.com/Product/index?it...82E16816322004
To each port giving my external raid also.

@Ormy you seem to know much more about this than me. If I want to backup my data in case of failure what is the best way to do so? I did plan on using raid for this although I know it's not perfect but I have thousands of songs and although I'll keep many on a thumb drive as a just in case I'm interested to find out the best way to do this.
First of all make sure you understand exactly how each type of RAID works (RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 are the common ones). Read here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_RAID_levels

For example RAID 0 gives a speed boost which will be useless to you and makes your data less robust, loss of one drive causes loss of ALL data.

RAID 1 across 2 drives is pretty robust but you're buying 2TB of space for every 1TB stored (0.5 storage efficiency).

Its a trade-off between how much data you want to backup, how robust the backup needs to be (i.e. is it life or death if data gets lost or just a mild nuisance?), how quickly you need access to the backup and how frequently you need to update it, and how much you want to spend (i.e storage efficiency).

I'll give you two examples:

1.) I have about 25GB of pictures and word documents that I cannot lose, but if my primary copy is lost I don't need access to the backup straight away, and the backups never need updating, and I didn't want to spend much. So I bought 5x 32GB memory sticks, copied the data to each of them, and hid them around my house and workplace. Even if my house burns to the ground I will still be able to retrieve the data, but not quickly. The storage efficiency is very low but because the dataset is small it still isn't very expensive.

2.) A friend rips all his blurays to HDD for convenience, the data comes to 10-12TB. The dataset is updated regularly (he rips new blurays weekly) so the backups need to be easily accessible to update, but if it the data is lost its not the end of the world, he'll just have to rip all his blurays again. I recommended he buy an external HDD enclosure (similar to the one you linked to), put 4x HDDs in there and run them in RAID 5. This way he has instant access to the 'backup' for updating, the storage efficiency is 0.75 (for 3TB stored he buys 4TB of space), and the array can tolerate the failure of 1 drive, but if 2 drives fail together he is screwed.

If your backup is life-or-death important avoid RAID altogether and use another solution (there are plenty of expensive backup solutions to choose from). Because if the RAID controller dies (and it does happen on occasion) then all your data is lost forever.

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post #25 of 34 Old 12-10-2015, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post
Looking at the board specs, i could not find any reference to HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 compliance... It just states it supports HDCP but does not specify which one.

Just because it outputs 4K does not mean it supports the new HDMI/HDCP specs...
Exactly what I was going to say. "4k resolution" doesn't necessarily mean what it sounds like, without HDCP 2.2/HDMI 2.0 you have diddly. I'm at least 50% certain the minimum video card that does both is a GTX980. That card alone blows your budget. Unless you are looking for a gaming monitor or want to stream 4k YouTube and personal videos, your budget isn't realistic for your desired end state.
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post #26 of 34 Old 12-10-2015, 05:24 PM
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Exactly what I was going to say. "4k resolution" doesn't necessarily mean what it sounds like, without HDCP 2.2/HDMI 2.0 you have diddly. I'm at least 50% certain the minimum video card that does both is a GTX980. That card alone blows your budget. Unless you are looking for a gaming monitor or want to stream 4k YouTube and personal videos, your budget isn't realistic for your desired end state.
Actually, any gtx 900 series is HDPC 2.2 and most (if not all) have HDMI 2.0. As strange as it sounds, the 950 and 960 (GM206) will handle 10 bit decoding/encoding but the 970 and 980 (GM204) only handle 8 bit. Most newer 4k tvs are 10 bit as well.
The cheapest way to make your htpc 4k compliant is to simply swap out your video card, or turn off your iGPU and add a Nvidia GTX 900 series card. Currently, no AMD cards are available at this time that are 4k ready.

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post #27 of 34 Old 12-10-2015, 11:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Actually, any gtx 900 series is HDPC 2.2 and most (if not all) have HDMI 2.0. As strange as it sounds, the 950 and 960 (GM206) will handle 10 bit decoding/encoding but the 970 and 980 (GM204) only handle 8 bit. Most newer 4k tvs are 10 bit as well.
The cheapest way to make your htpc 4k compliant is to simply swap out your video card, or turn off your iGPU and add a Nvidia GTX 900 series card. Currently, no AMD cards are available at this time that are 4k ready.
Yes you are right and I realize that adding a 900 series card will work but there is at least the one motherboard which is 2.2 compliant and has hdmi 2.0 output. This way I can build the pc and save up for a much better card instead of buying the 960 now and upgrading in and year. The skylake chips are more than capable of delivering 4k to multiple sources simultaneously according to a few articles I read.
My issue is only having one option of atndrtivles mixed review motherboard does not make me very excited to go this route however.

Here is the board I am referring to. After research I am certain it is everything it need

http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Fatal...0Gaming-ITXac/

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post #28 of 34 Old 12-11-2015, 01:24 AM
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I couldn't find that motherboard for sale, but I can't imagine that it only costs 88 bucks, the same as the gigabyte mother board you mentioned up above. I would guess that you're going to go over your 400 buck limit.
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post #29 of 34 Old 12-11-2015, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I couldn't find that motherboard for sale, but I can't imagine that it only costs 88 bucks, the same as the gigabyte mother board you mentioned up above. I would guess that you're going to go over your 400 buck limit.
Newegg and Amazon both have it in Stock but if I didn't already have the harddrives laying around my house I would absolutely be over budget. Grabbing the i3 on sale and case with a rebate only puts me over by $20 which I can live with. I've changed the case to fit full sized graphics cards and over the next year I can slowly build it up with the i5 6600k and gtx 1080 as I get money. I don't plan on buying the 1080 card now but i like not being limited and still having a relativly small case the more research I do the more the build slowly comes together.

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post #30 of 34 Old 12-12-2015, 04:21 AM
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Here is the board I am referring to. After research I am certain it is everything it need

http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Fatal...0Gaming-ITXac/

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I haven't looked at this specific model, but some other models support HDCP 2.2 on the displayport but not on the HDMI 2.0 ports. Make sure this one isn't like that.
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