Is this HTPC Overkill?

zackwatt

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Mar 9, 2009
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My PC is struggling with 1080p and I am getting tired of codec issues with Xbox360 media extender. I'm really drawn to this unit, but if I select all options it gets close to $4000...

:eek:

http://www.endpcnoise.com/cgi-bin/e/fanless_htpc.html

I don't mind the idea of paying a bit more and getting a unit that is going to be relevant for many years to come.

Thoughts?
 

qbanb8582

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Sep 15, 2006
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Its overkill if all you want to do is play 1080p content. Depending on your system you could probably put a CPU and/or video card to improve video playback.

You could get a $600 or $700 that would play 1080p content for years to come. If you want fanless there are cheaper options. For one look at something without thunderbolt unless you plan on using it. Thunderbolt is adding a premium that would be a waste if you don't plan on using it.
 

Trepidati0n

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Why would you buy a case like that? That is where a dominant portion of that cost is. Do you have a reason? Simply put..FANLESS = RAPE if you want it reliable. In short, all you really need is an Intel NUC these days. Storage should be on a cheap NAS if when required (or even housed in your main rig)
 

xbiker321

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If you have that kind of money to burn, go for it. I'd highly recommend you just assemble one yourself. You can build a near quiet one for just a few hundred dollars.
 

next-Jin

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God no that is not worth it, just get a good HTPC case, and sound proof it with mat and rubber washers along with silent case fans.
 

zackwatt

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My current system is too old to upgrade the CPU...

Are there any reputable companies that offer custom built systems and good value?
 

qbanb8582

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My current system is too old to upgrade the CPU...

Are there any reputable companies that offer custom built systems and good value?

For HTPC I would look at puget systems serenity htpc. Its pretty much a gaming desktop in a HTPC case. That starts out like $1400.
 

zackwatt

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Well, what's the specs of your system now?

For just 1080P playback, any Dell with a Core i3 and a HDMI port would work just fine.

I have an old Pentium 4 3.73HT. It's the max my motherboard supports.

My PC really isn't the main issue. I can watch most 1080p rips, just without AAC 5.1. The main issue is, I am tired of the limited codec support through my Xbox Media Extender. A HTPC will put a stop to that...

For HTPC I would look at puget systems serenity htpc. Its pretty much a gaming desktop in a HTPC case. That starts out like $1400.

I've heard good things about them. Any others to keep in mind?
 

qbanb8582

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I have an old Pentium 4 3.73HT. It's the max my motherboard supports.

My PC really isn't the main issue. I can watch most 1080p rips, just without AAC 5.1. The main issue is, I am tired of the limited codec support through my Xbox Media Extender. A HTPC will put a stop to that...



I've heard good things about them. Any others to keep in mind?

As far as custom Puget is only one I know but that doesn't mean their others. Asrock makes mini PCs but those aren't custom like puget systems would be.
 

AQ_OC

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Its way too much overkill for a simple, reliable htpc, if you just want to watch movies. One zero too many. I'd get an intel NUC at this point if I were doing a new one. Store your content one a NAS off your network. Get xbmc on there and you're golden.
 

Dangman

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I have an old Pentium 4 3.73HT. It's the max my motherboard supports.

My PC really isn't the main issue. I can watch most 1080p rips, just without AAC 5.1. The main issue is, I am tired of the limited codec support through my Xbox Media Extender. A HTPC will put a stop to that...
Now I'm a tad confused: So that P4 is your main PC?

I've heard good things about them. Any others to keep in mind?

Puget would get my recommendation as well if you're looking for a high-end well built HTPC. However, as noted earlier, you don't need to spend that much on a HTPC.
 

Dangman

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Well if the mobo for the P4 accepts PCI-E cards and you still have a decent PSU in that system, you could always just upgrade the GPU to the HD 6450 or HD 6570. Use a video player that will automatically offload HD playback onto the GPU and now that P4 will be a cheap HTPC. Granted one that uses relatively quite a lot of power and generates a bit of heat.
 

Ryokurin

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Well if the mobo for the P4 accepts PCI-E cards and you still have a decent PSU in that system, you could always just upgrade the GPU to the HD 6450 or HD 6570. Use a video player that will automatically offload HD playback onto the GPU and now that P4 will be a cheap HTPC. Granted one that uses relatively quite a lot of power and generates a bit of heat.

I wouldn't recommend this if you eventually plan on playing Bluray. With certain discs the encryption can still peg the processor. This is something that a lot of people tend to forget to add when they suggest doing the above.

Anyhow, a high end processor and/or video card depends on what you plan to do. Plan on playing modern games, and doing post processing with ffdshow or madvr? You'll want a high end video card, or a good i5 or i7. If all you care is about playing video then a cheap i3 and onboard video is adequate, maybe even lower.
 

beyonddc

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I just ordered parts last night to build a PC for my parents. They are going to use it for play streaming video from Youtube and web surfing.

I think it is perfectly suitable as a HTPC as well.

See parts from below link including cost.
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/KKR0
 

oneforspeed

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I just ordered parts last night to build a PC for my parents. They are going to use it for play streaming video from Youtube and web surfing.

I think it is perfectly suitable as a HTPC as well.

See parts from below link including cost.
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/KKR0

Yep that ^^^^ would work.

If you want to spend $4000 on an HTPC that is God's way of saying you have too much money. I have $650 in a unit that is a cloud server, HTPC, net browser and movie ripper. If you are concerned about a good working HTPC over a budget I would look to someone like http://assassinhtpcblog.com/?page_id=55 for recommendation or just order from him. I've used his guides and he is pretty sound in his thinking. Spend the left over $2500 on the sound system, remote, furniture or popcorn. Building my own HTPC is one of the funnest computer builds I've done in years.
 

Sandspur

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Im using a used Asus P8H67-M EVO, Intel G530, 4GB DDR3 1333 Ripjaws, WD 2TB Green, for my HTPC and it plays 1080p with the on board graphics without a problem and its really quiet too, and all for under $375, but thats just me.
 

Climber

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For $500 you could build a kick ass HTPC. For $4000 you could build a decent Home Theater.
 

Tuppu

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My old C2D E6600 work at 30-50% load with those 8-10GB 1080p mkv's you can download from the torrent, but with a AVC coded BD the load is 80-90%. This is without any GPU encoding. So you really don't need much for a HTPC.
 
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mls1995

Guest
my htpc has an asus maximus gene V mobo and a 3570k processor among other things. it's all about what you want to run. I wanted the HD400 graphics.
 

T. Whatley

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Sep 8, 2011
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You can pick up a refurbished WDTV Live for $50 that'll play streamed 1080p just fine.

Unless you plan on running a full scale drone controller from your living room, spending more than a few hundred may be a bit too much.
 

MichaelJB

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or an apple TV for $99, that is if you want pure media consumption and nothing else.
 

CrimandEvil

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Christ, that's a waste of money.

You're main problem is that you're trying to use a 360 as a steaming device and then trying to extrapolate from that what you need in an HTPC to actually get the job done. The system you have now, the P4 sucks when it comes to this stuff. What's happening is that, to stream to the 360, your system is having to transcode whatever media it is into a type that is compatible with the 360 which is why you lose the 5.1 AAC audio, cause the 360 doesn't support it.

The transcoding is being done entirely on the CPU and that guy wouldn't hold a candle to a $120 i3 CPU. It's brutish, slow and dumb in comparison because ANYTHING newer then your current CPU has better optimizations build in to it and it's IGP for decoding HD video, things that the P4 doesn't have.

So yeah, spend $500 for an HTPC and get rid of the 360. It's limited in what video it can playback and makes for a terrible "HTPC replacement."
 

zackwatt

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Mar 9, 2009
Messages
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Christ, that's a waste of money.

You're main problem is that you're trying to use a 360 as a steaming device and then trying to extrapolate from that what you need in an HTPC to actually get the job done. The system you have now, the P4 sucks when it comes to this stuff. What's happening is that, to stream to the 360, your system is having to transcode whatever media it is into a type that is compatible with the 360 which is why you lose the 5.1 AAC audio, cause the 360 doesn't support it.

The transcoding is being done entirely on the CPU and that guy wouldn't hold a candle to a $120 i3 CPU. It's brutish, slow and dumb in comparison because ANYTHING newer then your current CPU has better optimizations build in to it and it's IGP for decoding HD video, things that the P4 doesn't have.

So yeah, spend $500 for an HTPC and get rid of the 360. It's limited in what video it can playback and makes for a terrible "HTPC replacement."

Yeah that is pretty much my thought. With all the different codecs and audio/video formats, there is nothing better then a PC...
 
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I have 3 HTPC's I bought from GOOD WILL for 20 bucks a pop. Put a small hard drive in them and a hdmi video card a 210 gt, 430 gt and a 640 gt. ALL have either a e6600 or q8200 in them. They play full bit rate blu-rays with no issues. Think I have total like 80-100 bucks in each one. All my stuff is stored on a server with 12tb storage. If you want to go cheap and new I would get the AMD A10-5800. I built a Mini ITX system around one with tv tunner and all and it worked really well. Should be more then enough for 1080p play back and some light gaming.
 
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