Author Topic: The TBG Home Theater PC Build  (Read 19607 times)

mudsloth

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #105 on: July 25, 2016, 08:22:15 PM »
I have a question about the current build guide. The recommendation for the i3-6100 says that it's fully capable of 4K/60Hz/4:4:4 video using the DisplayPort -> HDMI adapter that's linked in the guide, but the motherboard that's recommended does not have a DisplayPort on it. Is this an oversight? How is it recommended to use that adapter with nowhere to plug it in? What's the point of a CPU that can handle that output if you need a separate video card to get the port that can provide that output?

Ari Altman

  • TBG Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1669
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #106 on: July 25, 2016, 09:40:33 PM »
I have a question about the current build guide. The recommendation for the i3-6100 says that it's fully capable of 4K/60Hz/4:4:4 video using the DisplayPort -> HDMI adapter that's linked in the guide, but the motherboard that's recommended does not have a DisplayPort on it. Is this an oversight? How is it recommended to use that adapter with nowhere to plug it in? What's the point of a CPU that can handle that output if you need a separate video card to get the port that can provide that output?

Thanks for that good, close reading, because you just found a mistake in the guide! Yes, indeed, you need a motherboard with a DisplayPort out to take advantage of the DisplayPort to HDMI 2.0 converter, and there's only one B150 mATX board on the market that has such an output, the Asus B150M-C. But it's not as good as an HTPC board due to lower-end audio, so it's not ideal for this build. The only other option is the AsRock H170M Pro4, which on paper is a great board, but gets bad user reviews, so it probably won't make it into this guide. Because I can't wholeheartedly recommend a board to go with the converter, I've just pulled the reference to it in the guide.

It is not true that you need a video card, however, to take advantage of 4K/60Hz/4:4:4. The problem is that motherboard manufacturers are not focusing on the HTPC market with their mATX boards, which is a shame. You are welcome to use either of the boards mentioned above with the converter, however, if you're looking for 4K/60Hz output without a video card.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2016, 07:27:14 AM by Ari Altman »

bF22

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #107 on: July 26, 2016, 09:42:31 AM »
Ari,

I just wanted to thank you for all of your advice. I have completed the build and it works very well. Despite the claims in the MSI Mortar motherboard manual, the 3-pin fans *do* control their speed dynamically.

Connecting the drives to the SATA data cord was a perfectly awful experience. I think that I twisted it twice to orient it properly for the three drives, even after attaching the SSD drive with double-faced tape at a crazy angle. If only the power supply had shipped with a single port and a couple of flat splitters. I would highly recommend that you add a splitter to your build guide.

Two more questions:

1) I note that you do not recommend arctic silver in the build guide. Do I infer correctly that you believe the contact between fan and chip to be sufficient as-is from the factory?

2) Is there a safe and reliable way to acquire free software for playing Blu-Ray discs? Or must one simply shell out another $75 for PowerDVD? If the latter, then I highly recommend that you add PowerDVD as a recommended item on the build guide. Not seeing it, I had assumed that Kodi/XMBC would be sufficient, which I have since discovered not to be the case.

Thanks again!

Thanks!

mudsloth

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #108 on: July 26, 2016, 10:11:40 AM »
Thanks for that good, close reading, because you just found a mistake in the guide! Yes, indeed, you need a motherboard with a DisplayPort out to take advantage of the DisplayPort to HDMI 2.0 converter, and there's only one B150 mATX board on the market that has such an output, the Asus B150M-C. But it's not as good as an HTPC board due to lower-end audio, so it's not ideal for this build. The only other option is the AsRock H170M Pro4, which on paper is a great board, but gets bad user reviews, so it probably won't make it into this guide. Because I can't wholeheartedly recommend a board to go with the converter, I've just pulled the reference to it in the guide.

It is not true that you need a video card, however, to take advantage of 4K/60Hz/4:4:4. The problem is that motherboard manufacturers are not focusing on the HTPC market with their mATX boards, which is a shame. You are welcome to use either of the boards mentioned above with the converter, however, if you're looking for 4K/60Hz output without a video card.
Thanks for the quick and informative response! It's a real shame there there are only a couple options for that right now. I'm a bit surprised that, with the powerful CPUs that exist, there doesn't seem to be any real focus on motherboards for HTPCs to output video via DisplayPort or HDMI 2.0.

Ari Altman

  • TBG Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1669
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #109 on: July 27, 2016, 08:36:04 AM »
Thanks for that good, close reading, because you just found a mistake in the guide! Yes, indeed, you need a motherboard with a DisplayPort out to take advantage of the DisplayPort to HDMI 2.0 converter, and there's only one B150 mATX board on the market that has such an output, the Asus B150M-C. But it's not as good as an HTPC board due to lower-end audio, so it's not ideal for this build. The only other option is the AsRock H170M Pro4, which on paper is a great board, but gets bad user reviews, so it probably won't make it into this guide. Because I can't wholeheartedly recommend a board to go with the converter, I've just pulled the reference to it in the guide.

It is not true that you need a video card, however, to take advantage of 4K/60Hz/4:4:4. The problem is that motherboard manufacturers are not focusing on the HTPC market with their mATX boards, which is a shame. You are welcome to use either of the boards mentioned above with the converter, however, if you're looking for 4K/60Hz output without a video card.
Thanks for the quick and informative response! It's a real shame there there are only a couple options for that right now. I'm a bit surprised that, with the powerful CPUs that exist, there doesn't seem to be any real focus on motherboards for HTPCs to output video via DisplayPort or HDMI 2.0.

If you're interested in using HDMI 2.0, there are definitely a few options. Intel really hasn't supported it, and is only now, with Kaby Lake processors arriving this fall, marketing the HDMI 2.0 aspects. but some high-end ATX boards have had HDMI 2.0 since last year, like the Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming 7. But that's not an HTPC-focused product.

Users interested in a compact HTPC with HDMI 2.0 have had two options. First, they could use add-in Nvidia video cards, which have supported HDMI 2.0 since Sept. 2014, but only on full-height cards like the GTX 950. Alternatively, they could use the Accell converter, released in January 2016, with a motherboard that has DisplayPort. One such product is the Asus Z170I Pro Gaming, a high-end ITX board. With this second option, you can build very small HTPCs that support HDMI 2.0 HDTVs.

gimlet72

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #110 on: July 28, 2016, 10:56:06 AM »
I am going to be building an HTPC soon. The space I have to put it is limited. If I did your build (the basic components) would it fit in the silverstone ML08 case?

Ari Altman

  • TBG Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1669
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #111 on: July 28, 2016, 01:37:09 PM »
I am going to be building an HTPC soon. The space I have to put it is limited. If I did your build (the basic components) would it fit in the silverstone ML08 case?

Welcome to The TBG Forum, gimlet72!

There are two HTPC-specific builds on TBG, the $650 mATX-based HTPC that uses the SilverStone ML04 case, and the $750 ITX high-end HTPC that uses the ML08 chassis. Unfortunately, these are not interchangeable.

The good news, however, is that you can bring the price of the high-end HTPC down very close to the standard HTPC by substituting the Core i3-6100 processor for the Core i5-6600. This change alone reduces the cost by $110, and nothing else needs to be changed for it to work. Now, if you still needed a mechanical hard drive, which only the $650 version has, you could cut your SSD cost in half by going with a 240GB model rather than the 480GB model listed in the guide, and use the money to buy a 2.5" 1TB hard drive.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 01:42:51 PM by Ari Altman »

tgiang1987

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #112 on: August 13, 2016, 02:00:14 PM »
With the $650 -htpc if I wanna play good 4k, which GPU I should buy? Do I need to upgrade anything? Thank you!

Ari Altman

  • TBG Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1669
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #113 on: August 13, 2016, 02:19:44 PM »
With the $650 -htpc if I wanna play good 4k, which GPU I should buy? Do I need to upgrade anything? Thank you!

By "play good 4K" do you mean movies or games? And is output going to a 4K monitor or a 4K HDTV? Whether you need a video card, and which type you need, will depend on exactly what kind of use you have in mind.

tgiang1987

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #114 on: August 13, 2016, 03:16:52 PM »
I dont playing game, so all I need is for movie. And the output is for Tv. Im looking around and see some GPU under 200. But I dont know which should is the best and compatible with your suggestion.

Ari Altman

  • TBG Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1669
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #115 on: August 13, 2016, 06:14:09 PM »
I dont playing game, so all I need is for movie. And the output is for Tv. Im looking around and see some GPU under 200. But I dont know which should is the best and compatible with your suggestion.

You can use the built in hdmi output on this build's motherboard to output 4K at 30Hz, which should be fine for video. To get 60Hz output, you'd need to choose the larger case in the guide and add the optional GTX 950 video card.