3 HTPC's. Need Advice.

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs & Equipment' started by FenFox, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. FenFox

    FenFox n00bie

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    Looking for a new HTPC. So far these 3 are in my price range. Will these be fast enough to power Kodi running 4x 4TB HD's?

    Preferably, I'd like to find a computer with at least 4x USB 3.0 Ports, but that seems to be difficult to find in this price range.

    Is there a big difference between the AMD A8-7410 and the AMD A8-7410?

    Suggestions appreciated. I just want to be able to run Kodi blazing fast (no lag, stutter, video playback issues) with a huge library of content and 4x USB 3.0 ports preferably.

    https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/produc...d-mouse-refurb-hp-elite-8300mt/10562398.aspx?

    https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/produc...-radeon-r5-windows-10-260-a129/10488607.aspx?

    https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/produc...hdd-8gb-ram-amd-apu-windows-10/10585799.aspx?
     
  2. FenFox

    FenFox n00bie

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    Ok, for some reason I cannot edit my initial post as it is being seen as spam. I wanted to make a correction about the processors to find out if there's that big of a difference between the 3 PC's processors.
     
  3. Guarana [BAWLS]

    Guarana [BAWLS] Bad in Bed

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  4. FenFox

    FenFox n00bie

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    I'm a bit leery of buying stuff online that isn't from a big chain because if something is wrong with the product, it may be difficult to deal with a refund/exchange, and ideally, I'd prefer to have something that looks brand new - no stratches/marks that isn't refurbished. Are those 4x USB 3.0 ports on the front or back? Edit: I just read some more. Doesn't seem to have an HDMI port?

    What's a "low profiles 1050TI?
     
  5. Grimham

    Grimham [H]ard|Gawd

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  6. yowen

    yowen Limp Gawd

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    Just wanted to thank you for this suggestion, I got a Dell 7010 with i5-3550, 2TB and 16GB memory for $200. It'll make for a great HTPC! And if I ever need 4K all I need to do is throw in a cheap 10 series Nvidia low profile.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Optipl...932143?hash=item3af35b06af:g:LUgAAOSwEUVZYWHq

    As an added bonus, I can swap my i5-2300 and 8GB from my gaming PC and run the 3550/16GB in that.
     
    Guarana [BAWLS] likes this.
  7. Guarana [BAWLS]

    Guarana [BAWLS] Bad in Bed

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    Just make sure it's a 1050TI, not a plain 1050. (Netflix and other apps require 3+GB on the 10 series cards to do 4K.)
     
  8. yowen

    yowen Limp Gawd

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    Wow! Really? That I hadn't considered. That's a frustrating bit of information, I would want the 1030 honestly, since it's low profile and can be passively cooled. Hopefully by the time I'm ready there will be something low profile, passively cooled, 4gb and capable of 4k.
     
  9. Lunar

    Lunar Limp Gawd

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    So, my first question would be what is the PC going to be used for? Is it just to run Kodi? Because, if that's the case then I wouldn't recommend an HTPC for this application at all. If games or watching 4K blu-rays is a requirement, then I wouldn't recommend a PC either, as 4K on the PC is still hit or miss because...DRM. Based on the currently available information in this thread, I'd recommend the following:

    4-Bay NAS instead of the 4 HDD's over USB. If you already have the external drives, yank them out of their enclosures and put them in the NAS. A proper NAS will give you not only a place to store your media for Kodi, but also just a place on your network for all of your data, along with a little server that can run many different services for you.

    NVIDIA Shield TV instead of an HTPC. The Shield is plenty fast for what you've described thus far, and Kodi is available officially via the Google Play store. It also comes with a remote and a controller, and supports gamestream from your PC. This means that along with being completely silent and using very little power, you can also play your games from your gaming rig on your TV. This works very well with little to no noticeable compression artifacting or latency. It takes up far less space, makes less noise, has an interface designed for a TV for all apps (not just Kodi), and is super fast. It also would remove the need to maintain more than one gaming PC, which can be cheaper over the long run.

    What I've just described is almost exactly my setup, except that I only have a 2 bay Synology NAS with 2x4TB HDDs. I went to this solution after having had an HTPC for years, but I got tired of having to constantly use my keyboard and mouse for everything but Kodi and live TV with Windows Media Center. Now I have a traditional remote as a usable option for all the apps (Netflix, Amazon, Kodi, etc) without ever having to grab my Logitech K400. However, since it runs Android, if I need my K&M, it works like a champ. Also, this method would be within the same price range as the PC's you've linked to in your original post.

    I know this is an alternative from using an HTPC, but frankly even with gaming as a concern, I can find almost no justification for having a full blown HTPC these days given how good set-top boxes have become, and the advent of PC game streaming via either NVIDIA Gamestream or Steam In Home Streaming.
     
  10. yowen

    yowen Limp Gawd

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    I've never really messed with Kodi. I've always had my PC in my entertainment center to run Netflix/Prime/Xfiniti on my plasma TV. I got tired of gaming on it so...

    I just bought the Optiplex to take its place now that I have a house that has an office, my gaming will now happen there. So the Optiplex setup will just be running the above mentioned streaming services. I may do some light gaming on it, but nothing demanding.

    The Shield is an interesting option though! I will look into it.
     
  11. Lunar

    Lunar Limp Gawd

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    I'll tell you, we've been using it as our primary HT device for just under 2 years now, and we love it. We use the usual streaming apps of course, and it is blazing fast at those. And being able to use a remote to navigate Netflix, Amazon, Disney Movies Anywhere, etc is awesome. For Live TV I have a Clearstream 2 Max antenna connected to an HDHomerun network attached TV Tuner, and a MSI Cubi mini-pc with a dual Celeron running headless on a shelf that acts as my TV server. It spends most of it's time asleep, but when it's time to record a show, it wakes up, records the show, and then goes back to sleep. The beauty comes with Kodi. Kodi has PVR plugins available, one of which is for NextPVR. I use NextPVR on the TV server to handle gathering of program data, recordings, timeshifting, etc. The Kodi NPVR plugin can hook into the service provided by NPVR so that I have a whole home DVR, and all I paid for was the initial hardware to set everything up, and 25 USD a year for program guide data.

    We did the HTPC thing for years, but I stopped using it for games, so having the big loud box under the TV just didn't make sense anymore. Now, with the current setup I have Kodi + NextPVR plugin on the Shield and on the FireTV in our bedroom, and with those we have live TV, our recordings, and access to all of our streaming services at both of the TVs in the house.