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I7 owners how is your I7 rig performing as a HTPC and what are your HD encoding times if any? Let me start out by saying that I had a hard time building my I7 rig because most of the parts that i ordered were either counterfeit (yes it was an I7 from Newegg) or DOA when they arrived. This weekend i finally put everything together with all new working parts and now its all up and running. Here my specs:


Intel I7 920 Overclocked to 3.8 (25 degrees stable and 70 degrees @ 100% full Load). 6GB Corsair Dominators 1600, Asus p6X58D, Arctic Freezer Pro rev 2, Lite-On Blu-ray Drive, WD 1.5 TB, WD black 640GB, Antec 900 Case, Corsair 750watt PS, HD5770 Graphics Card .


As for the software for HTPC I use Windows 7 ult. 64, AnyDVD, Ripbot264, EACto3, TSmuxer, XMBC, Media Manager,


I haven't had a chance to set this PC up as a HTPC because I've been doing a lot of HD encoding with it. I have about 120 Blu-rays that I need to convert to MKV. I've only installed XMBC and Media Manager for testing only with a few that i have finished and it performs really fast..Hopefully this week i can start plugging in everything in my HT and start testing this PC. I'm curious on how the ATi 5770 is going to perform through my Onkyo TX805 so if anyone has and input on this let me know.


As far as encoding, let me start out by saying that I encoded some Blu-rays to 1080P MKV using the same software as above but on a Core 2 Duo with 32bit OS. The encoding times took longer than 18 hours or more on a 2 pass with a bitrate of about 11500 and DTS Stream. (10GB File) On the I7 the encoding times took 4-5hours.
This is insane. Maybe just a little overkill for a HTPC but at least I don't need to wait 1 full day for a movie to be finished. There were no BSODs or System reboots during the process and CPU temp didn't go over 70. All cores were at 100% during the 2nd pass for about 3 hours. The memory was at about 2.5 out of 6 so it there was plenty of room to do other things.


Anyway i just wanted to share my specs with I7 owners and let you guys know how my experience with it has been so far. No Flaws yet. I'm going to try and hook this baby up to my 1080P projector and see what it can do next. Hopefully everything goes well.


G
 

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just make sure to seed, many will be happy just piggy backing off your specs.
 

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Although much more special purpose (wouldn't have the large general purpose horsepower for gaming or other activities) if a person really wants to build a dedicated HTPC that can accomplish fast Blu Ray re-encoding, I would offer that building a low powered PC with a dedicated compression acceleration card would likely be a better all around setup for low power/noise/heat/etc. with faster encoding (2x to 5x faster than real time.)


The cost could approach equal depending on the components compared between a low horsepower build and an overbuilt PC. Encoding flexibility would likely be reduced, but if short encoding times are all you care about, it might be an alternative option.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc....html#features


-Suntan
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan /forum/post/18314338


Although much more special purpose (wouldn't have the large general purpose horsepower for gaming or other activities) if a person really wants to build a dedicated HTPC that can accomplish fast Blu Ray re-encoding, I would offer that building a low powered PC with a dedicated compression acceleration card would likely be a better all around setup for low power/noise/heat/etc. with faster encoding (2x to 5x faster than real time.)


The cost could approach equal depending on the components compared between a low horsepower build and an overbuilt PC. Encoding flexibility would likely be reduced, but if short encoding times are all you care about, it might be an alternative option.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc....html#features


-Suntan

ooooh, I like this. 60fps!! 2-3 times faster than realtime!! But the only potential issue I see is that the card is $480 and the software is $650. You need both together, right?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sno Crash /forum/post/18314861


ooooh, I like this. 60fps!! 2-3 times faster than realtime!! But the only potential issue I see is that the card is $480 and the software is $650. You need both together, right?

Suntan suggests that card but the same hardware can be had for less than $200 ($300 with TMPGEnc) here:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815122016



There's a dedicated thread here:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...php?p=14979936


And my personal experience with it here:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1#post18082055


Quality is good but not as good a variable, high bitrate, 2 pass x264 encode. For me, I can live with the slight difference in quality when I can encode a 2 hour HD MPEG2 movie in less than hour @ 720P and maybe an hour and a half @ 1080P/i.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sno Crash /forum/post/18314861


You need both together, right?

I haven't looked into it too far, but my understanding is that the firecoder card comes with a basic program for transcoding (Firecoder Writer) which should be capable of simple disc compressions. If you want full non-linear editing capability, then you would get their full Edius software (or output the video as an uncompressed format from another NLE)


-Suntan
 

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Dumb question.....but I gotta throw it out there......with all that money spent, why do you bother re-encoding blurays? I understand ripping them and putting them in an MKV container, but when hard drives are as low as 7-8 cents/GB, it's just not worth it!


Trust me, I used to compress with the best of them, but I hit this point where backing up a movie (BluRay) costs $2.40 (0.08 * 30GB) and it take MUCH less time (longest part is ripping the movie.



Can someone explain why you want to spend all this time re-encoding? How knows, maybe you'll change my mind....
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefcake /forum/post/18315512


Dumb question.....but I gotta throw it out there......with all that money spent, why do you bother re-encoding blurays? I understand ripping them and putting them in an MKV container, but when hard drives are as low as 7-8 cents/GB, it's just not worth it!


Trust me, I used to compress with the best of them, but I hit this point where backing up a movie (BluRay) costs $2.40 (0.08 * 30GB) and it take MUCH less time (longest part is ripping the movie.



Can someone explain why you want to spend all this time re-encoding? How knows, maybe you'll change my mind....

not a dumb question - just probably not for this particular thread. i was tempted to ask same thing. this thread was about the i7 processor, and i continued to go off topic with the spurs engine / encoder card thing.


so, to keep it still sorta on topic - i think you are right - faster processors (and co-processors) make less sense with cheaper storage. we need to find the "encode vs full-rip" thread.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefcake /forum/post/18315512


Dumb question.....but I gotta throw it out there......with all that money spent, why do you bother re-encoding blurays? I understand ripping them and putting them in an MKV container, but when hard drives are as low as 7-8 cents/GB, it's just not worth it!


Trust me, I used to compress with the best of them, but I hit this point where backing up a movie (BluRay) costs $2.40 (0.08 * 30GB) and it take MUCH less time (longest part is ripping the movie.



Can someone explain why you want to spend all this time re-encoding? How knows, maybe you'll change my mind....

Smaller files are easier to backup...but theoretically you should have the original disc anyway....otherwise it's just stealing.


Smaller files are easier to stream to other devices without saturating a wireless connection.


Smaller files allow for more files to be kept on an array where multiple drives are required for redundancy.


Smaller files can be made portable with greater ease (AVCHD-DVD).


Just a few reasons I like to compress....your mileage may vary.
 

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I actually did a cost comparison (now where is that Excel file...), and iirc, based purely on hardware costs and power consumption, re-encoding is cheaper. It's really just a question of whether you're willing to spend all that time encoding and how much value you put in having an unaltered copy.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd /forum/post/18316103


I actually did a cost comparison (now where is that Excel file...), and iirc, based purely on hardware costs and power consumption, re-encoding is cheaper.

Sorry, but you can't just make a blanket yes/no judgement on it.


The merits of re-encoding or not are completely dependent on whether or not you will accept image quality degradation, and whether or not your TV/viewing area is good enough to even notice the degradation in the first place.


Someone sitting 13 feet away from a 32 TV is going to tell you that you can compress the ba-jesus out of a blu ray and still have it look the same as the original. Someone sitting much closer to a much bigger TV isn't going to share those opinions


-Suntan
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcorona76 /forum/post/18315810


Smaller files are easier to backup...but theoretically you should have the original disc anyway....otherwise it's just stealing.


Smaller files are easier to stream to other devices without saturating a wireless connection.


Smaller files allow for more files to be kept on an array where multiple drives are required for redundancy.


Smaller files can be made portable with greater ease (AVCHD-DVD).


Just a few reasons I like to compress....your mileage may vary.

You are obviously very knowledgeable in this, and I assume there is a bit of the "hobby" factor to what you are doing (meaning you enjoy the process). But do you ever reach the point with the complexity and the time where you say "the heck with it" and just "get bigger hard drives" so you can skip the re-encode part of it? I'm simplifying I know.


Ignoring the "cost" here, let's factor in your time. I think if a backup of a movie from disc can be cut down to 30 minutes (or less), including the re-encode, it's definitely worth your time. How much time is too much time to spend? Does it even matter?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan /forum/post/18316170


Sorry, but you can’t just make a blanket yes/no judgement on it.


The merits of re-encoding or not are completely dependent on whether or not you will accept image quality degradation, and whether or not your TV/viewing area is good enough to even notice the degradation in the first place.


Someone sitting 13 feet away from a 32” TV is going to tell you that you can compress the ba-jesus out of a blu ray and still have it look the same as the original. Someone sitting much closer to a much bigger TV isn’t going to share those opinions…

Yes, I agree with you. That's why the following comment was included with my original post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd /forum/post/18316103


It's really just a question of whether you're willing to spend all that time encoding and how much value you put in having an unaltered copy.

I used to convert DVD's to DivX/Xvid and now that I'm having to re-rip them, I've learnt my lesson. It's lossless for me now. Despite only have a 50" 720p Plasma, I'm keeping my Blu-ray copies 1:1. Just because I won't see a difference now doesn't mean it'll stay that way in the future.


However, for someone who's already decided that a bit of quality loss is acceptable and is re-encoding purely to save on costs, I just did the calculations (for fun). By the way, I think that was based on US$0.16/kWh.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd /forum/post/18316642


However, for someone who's already decided that a bit of quality loss is acceptable and is re-encoding purely to save on costs, I just did the calculations (for fun). By the way, I think that was based on US$0.16/kWh.

But what totally blows that out of the water is my $45/hr bill rate for the 15 minutes it takes to setup the additional compression step.


Also the fee for the hours of compression time when I can't play games or do anything else intensive on my PC.


Barring a specific need (wireless streaming, file portability), I wouldn't waste time compressing.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sno Crash /forum/post/18316512


You are obviously very knowledgeable in this, and I assume there is a bit of the "hobby" factor to what you are doing (meaning you enjoy the process). But do you ever reach the point with the complexity and the time where you say "the heck with it" and just "get bigger hard drives" so you can skip the re-encode part of it? I'm simplifying I know.


Ignoring the "cost" here, let's factor in your time. I think if a backup of a movie from disc can be cut down to 30 minutes (or less), including the re-encode, it's definitely worth your time. How much time is too much time to spend? Does it even matter?

I can't answer for others but to me it's worth the encoding time. How much time do I invest in it? Not much really. I batch encode things at night so I dont really have to input much, or even be there, at all. For TV captures I will manually mark commercials to be cut out during the encode but that takes maybe 5 minutes of my time for a typical 2-3 hour movie and even less for a TV show. My computer sleeps all the time and wakes up when it is time to:


- Record some television

- Do maintenance on itself (defrag, backup, etc.)

- Compress television shows, DVD's, etc.


Then it puts itself back to sleep. Next time I go to watch a movie or show, there it is, compressed and ready to go.


edit:


As for when it's time to go to bigger drives? When they're cheap enough and the amount of media I want to keep warrants it. I dont keep old TV shows & crappy movies around any longer than needed. Some people do just to collect them and that's where space is critical. Besides, I do have physical copies of all the movies on my HTPC (except the one captured from TV) so if it's one I dont think I'll watch all that often I just delete the files from the computer and know I'll just have to pop the disc in if I want to watch it again.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by theshadow1234 /forum/post/18314164


Let me start out by saying that I had a hard time building my I7 rig because most of the parts that i ordered were either counterfeit (yes it was an I7 from Newegg) or DOA when they arrived.

Sorry but I have to ask what you mean by a counterfeit cpu. As in a pentium with i7 stamped on it??


Please elaborate on this as I think a huge percentage of us here shop on newegg.
 
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