TV STB replacement PC spec?

Gimpymoo

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Oct 3, 2007
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As much as I love my Roku, I would prefer a PC with a keyboard and touchpad.

Form factor is not an issue, can hide a case away.

Will be used as a Plex client (not server), web browser and general access point for streaming content through ethernet.

Will not be used for recording/encoding, just streaming.

Low power, passive cooled CPU preferred but would be OK with a quiet'ish CPU fan.

Thanks.
 

sinisterDei

[H]ard|Gawd
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One of the Ryzen APUs sounds like it's up your alley, or a Core i3 or something. The integrated GPU on either would handle your needs, which is mostly hardware accelerated decode.

Your requirements are so low, I would seriously consider the used parts market to save a few bucks.

My HTPC gets used in a very similar manner as yours, except with a bonus role of game emulator, so I run an i3 7350k and a GTX 1050. It's pretty dead silent with a decent aftermarket cooler and quiet fans; loudest thing in the chassis is the power supply.
 

Gimpymoo

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Oct 3, 2007
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One of the Ryzen APUs sounds like it's up your alley, or a Core i3 or something. The integrated GPU on either would handle your needs, which is mostly hardware accelerated decode.

Your requirements are so low, I would seriously consider the used parts market to save a few bucks.

My HTPC gets used in a very similar manner as yours, except with a bonus role of game emulator, so I run an i3 7350k and a GTX 1050. It's pretty dead silent with a decent aftermarket cooler and quiet fans; loudest thing in the chassis is the power supply.
You have summised what I need perfectly and understand what I need it for :D

The ROKU is fine but I despise "apps".

Emulator would a great use.

I suppose you can go "low spec" as you like and any modern desktop CPU would be adequate above 2.5Ghz, 8GB RAM?

https://www.amd.com/en/products/apu/amd-athlon-3000g

Too low?
 

defaultluser

[H]F Junkie
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If you're aiming for the future, you should go at least quad core. Both Youtube and Netflix are converting over to AV1, and it's higher processing requirements than VP9. You're going to need a quad core to handle at least 1440p, and 4k is in your dreams.

You should have an add-on card slot in whatever case you choose, so you can upgrade for more GPU performance, ITX should be plenty. You can get an add-on video card with Av1 decode, but it's going to be a couple years before they appear.

AMD is aboiut to release the Zen 2 APUs on desktop (really impressive performance), but they aren't out yet.


I would recommend keeping the Roku around for streaming,as amost other services (besides Netflix) don't support HDR streams on Windows.
 
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Gimpymoo

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Oct 3, 2007
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If you're aiming for the future, you should go at least quad core. Both Youtube and Netflix are converting over to AV1, and it's higher processing requirements than VP9. You're going to need a quad core to handle at least 1440p, and 4k is in your dreams.

You should have an add-on card slot in whatever case you choose, so you can upgrade for more GPU performance, ITX should be plenty. You can get an add-on video card with Av1 decode, but it's going to be a couple years before they appear.

AMD is aboiut to release the Zen 2 APUs on desktop (really impressive performance), but they aren't out yet.


I would recommend keeping the Roku around for streaming,as amost other services (besides Netflix) don't support HDR streams on Windows.
That CPU has 4 CPU threads.

Are you saying I need 4 cores/8 threads?

I do not use Netlfix or Amazon. Youtube occasionally.

I use Fyte.TV and New Japan World services the most and maybe Crunchy Roll.

Plex above all else.

This is not being built for performance, it needs to do simple tasks with low power/noise.
 
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defaultluser

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That CPU has 4 CPU threads.
.

4 real processor cores is about 60% faster than have a dual core with 4 threads.

It's the reason the Core i5 2400 was $100 more than a Core i3 2100. Same number of threads, and almost the same clock speeds, but one had higher performance than the other.
.
The Ryzen 3000 should be enough performance for media serving, and if you get a B450, you can upgrade to Zen 2/3 APU in the future.
 

sinisterDei

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I second the recommendation for 4 real cores, as someone who has a 2-core CPU currently. Mine is enough for what I do now, but it chokes on the PS3 and Switch emulation pretty hard. Those emulators are getting more and more multithreaded each day and an equivalent speed 4-core chip would likely hold up much better. Plus, the financial incentive to go with 2-core chips has largely evaporated.

For emulation below the PS3 and Switch level though, 2 cores is enough. It's why I bought my 7350k - two of the fastest cores you could get (without overclocking) around the 7th generation timeframe.
 

Gimpymoo

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Oct 3, 2007
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I second the recommendation for 4 real cores, as someone who has a 2-core CPU currently. Mine is enough for what I do now, but it chokes on the PS3 and Switch emulation pretty hard. Those emulators are getting more and more multithreaded each day and an equivalent speed 4-core chip would likely hold up much better. Plus, the financial incentive to go with 2-core chips has largely evaporated.

For emulation below the PS3 and Switch level though, 2 cores is enough. It's why I bought my 7350k - two of the fastest cores you could get (without overclocking) around the 7th generation timeframe.
I can get a 3200G for £20 more so I think that seals the deal :D

Thanks guys.

Will keep this thread for the build info.

Am going to put it in a Jonsbo G3 case.
 

sinisterDei

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The Jonsbo G3 looks nice! Mine is in an older Silverstone Grandia, but that G3 looks fancy schmancy.
 

Gimpymoo

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Oct 3, 2007
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For a PLAYER/Streaming box only, which would be preferred..

AMD Ryzen 3 3200G
AMD Athlon 3000G

This is a client only build, I already have a strong server.

This is needed for Plex playback (sometimes 4k, direct play preferred) and Youtube, iPlayer etc.

£35 price difference so about 45%, not sure the performance gain for the usage is going to be 45% or am I missing something?

Thanks.
 

Gimpymoo

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Oct 3, 2007
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Thanks for the opinions guys.

I went with the 3200G in the end.

Was not an easy choice as I would have preferred to have a passive heatsink but with more strenuous decoding becoming the norm, made sense to go with the 3200G as it has more "omph".

The fact the 3000G is only 35w made it a difficult choice but I had to make a decision one way or the other.
 
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