Author Topic: The TBG Home Theater PC Build  (Read 26763 times)

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #90 on: April 20, 2016, 08:43:32 PM »
Thanks for the write-up Ari. Happy building!

Thanks for the photos!

Here's the direct link for forum readers wanting to take a look!

David

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Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #91 on: June 30, 2016, 10:04:04 AM »
Hello!

Yesterday I've been searching for some reviews on Silverstone's Grandia cases (specifically GD09 and GD10) and I've stumbled upon this website and its forum. My attention has been caught by Chris' Extreme 4k Gaming HTPC (http://techbuyersguru.com/chris-extreme-4k-gaming-htpc)

I'm on the verge of upgrading my setup and I'm really strongly leaning towards getting a HTPC case. The whole component list is not that relevant in my situation, the most important parts are:

SSD: 1
HDD: 1 (optionally, additional 2 or even 3, total would be 4)
Audio Card: Creative SB Xtreme Music
CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 @ stock cooler
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B85-HD3 (http://www.gigabyte.pl/products/page/mb/ga-b85-hd3rev_20)
Power Supply: Corsair CMPSU-520HX (http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-CMPSU-520HX-Professional-Certified-compatible/product-reviews/B000I54FFS?tag=midl21-20) - I might end up changing it (might not be enough), giving it for the sake of current size
Video Card: ATM, I'm using i5's integrated HD4600 GPU. However, I'm aiming for a non-reference GTX 1070, but I'm still waiting for them to be properly available and priced (especially here, in Poland)

My current case is Thermaltake Shark - I like it, temperatures are fine, it looks cool to my taste. However, what bothers me is its size and weigth. I want something smaller and horizontal, that I can lay down on my table (heigth limits me). Since Chris' setup is nearly year old, I've got some questions:

1. How does GD09 compare to GD10? Are there any big differences? (I prefer GD09's front due to easier access to USB ports)
2. Should I get any of the two or perhaps some other new and interesting cases appeared?
3. I've also got interested in his choice of CPU cooler - was he able to close the case after all? Is it quieter than the stock one?
4. In my case, 1 SSD and 1 HDD is a minimum - would that be a problem with GD09/10? Chris' setup had only 1 SSD, which are pretty easy to install.

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #92 on: June 30, 2016, 10:40:24 AM »
Hello!

Yesterday I've been searching for some reviews on Silverstone's Grandia cases (specifically GD09 and GD10) and I've stumbled upon this website and its forum. My attention has been caught by Chris' Extreme 4k Gaming HTPC (http://techbuyersguru.com/chris-extreme-4k-gaming-htpc)

I'm on the verge of upgrading my setup and I'm really strongly leaning towards getting a HTPC case. The whole component list is not that relevant in my situation, the most important parts are:

SSD: 1
HDD: 1 (optionally, additional 2 or even 3, total would be 4)
Audio Card: Creative SB Xtreme Music
CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 @ stock cooler
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B85-HD3 (http://www.gigabyte.pl/products/page/mb/ga-b85-hd3rev_20)
Power Supply: Corsair CMPSU-520HX (http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-CMPSU-520HX-Professional-Certified-compatible/product-reviews/B000I54FFS?tag=midl21-20) - I might end up changing it (might not be enough), giving it for the sake of current size
Video Card: ATM, I'm using i5's integrated HD4600 GPU. However, I'm aiming for a non-reference GTX 1070, but I'm still waiting for them to be properly available and priced (especially here, in Poland)

My current case is Thermaltake Shark - I like it, temperatures are fine, it looks cool to my taste. However, what bothers me is its size and weigth. I want something smaller and horizontal, that I can lay down on my table (heigth limits me). Since Chris' setup is nearly year old, I've got some questions:

1. How does GD09 compare to GD10? Are there any big differences? (I prefer GD09's front due to easier access to USB ports)
2. Should I get any of the two or perhaps some other new and interesting cases appeared?
3. I've also got interested in his choice of CPU cooler - was he able to close the case after all? Is it quieter than the stock one?
4. In my case, 1 SSD and 1 HDD is a minimum - would that be a problem with GD09/10? Chris' setup had only 1 SSD, which are pretty easy to install.

Welcome to the TBG Forum, David!

As a matter of fact, after Chris shared his Extreme 4K Gaming HTPC with TBG, we went out and purchased a SilverStone GD09 case at retail, with the intention of reviewing it. It is in fact the smallest ATX case in existence, which makes it quite unique! Well, its cousin the GD10 is identical other than the front panel, which actually makes the GD10 a bit larger (by a few millimeters).

We got so busy with other reviews that the GD09 has fallen off the review list for now, but I can tell you that it will work great for your setup. Its only real limitation is on CPU cooler size, but with your stock Core i5-4430 cooler, you will be fine. Chris wasn't really able to fully close the case, and no, the liquid cooler he used isn't quieter than a stock cooler. But he was running an overclocked six-core i7 processor. Your i5-4430 could practically run without a fan! Please don't get a liquid cooler for it! If you want something quieter, go with the Noctua NH-L9x65, set up with the included low-noise adapter.

That and the somewhat unusual airflow design, which goes from right to left, rather than front to back. If you use a custom GTX 1070, which will push hot air towards the CPU, you'll want to buy two additional fans, and reposition the included fan so that all air goes in that direction. In other words, the single left fan (near the PSU) will be an intake, and the two fans near the CPU will be exhausts. The case comes with a single fan near the CPU as intake, which will be completely wrong for running an open-air GTX 1070. But luckily, the GTX 1070 (of which we have two in for review!) is amazingly efficient, and will produce little waste heat.

And no, you won't have any problem with 1 SSD and 1 HD - if you had more HDs, that could get a bit more difficult. In fact, the case has a maximum of two 3.5" drives, and even then, it would be crowded if you tried to do that. Three or more will NOT fit in this case. Sorry!

Hope that helps!

P.S. Just for you, I'm providing a previously unpublished TBG photo of the GD09 in action, equipped with the largest tower-style cooler that will fit, the SilverStone AR08. In the end, I don't really recommend this setup, as the fan has to be positioned in a pull arrangement, which I do not like. With this case, I suggest a downdraft cooler (and a lower-power CPU!).

« Last Edit: June 30, 2016, 10:57:27 AM by Ari Altman »

David

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Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #93 on: June 30, 2016, 12:26:34 PM »
Oh wow, thank you very much for such a quick and detailed answer! :)

Well, since the difference is in front, I'll most probably go with GD09. I like the one in GD10 slightly better, but 09's is more practical in my situation as I need easy access to USB ports.

You are totally right, the liquid cooling would be an overkill for this CPU. The only reason I was considering it was the noise, but since it's louder, I might consider the Noctua cooler, if not now then in a near future.

Thanks for the hints about fans placement - I'll definitely follow them after I get the case and new GPU. However, what do you mean that GPU will push the hot air into the CPU? Aren't the GPU's coolers directed towards PSU?

About the fan included with in the case - is it quiet and efficient or would you recommend changing it? And also, about the two additional fans, are the ones from Chris' setup (Arctic F12 PWM Rev. 2) still a viable option? They are pretty cheap, so I could replace the stock one as well, but I could also throw in some more cash and buy something better if it would make sense.

About the drives, I think I'll manage with SSD and HDD then. It's actually better that way - it'll force me to get rid of those old ones that have much smaller capacity :) Do I need to get any additional sleds for those or are they included?

Thanks again and sorry for so many new questions :)
« Last Edit: June 30, 2016, 12:28:26 PM by David »

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #94 on: June 30, 2016, 01:32:56 PM »
Oh wow, thank you very much for such a quick and detailed answer! :)

...

Thanks for the hints about fans placement - I'll definitely follow them after I get the case and new GPU. However, what do you mean that GPU will push the hot air into the CPU? Aren't the GPU's coolers directed towards PSU?

About the fan included with in the case - is it quiet and efficient or would you recommend changing it? And also, about the two additional fans, are the ones from Chris' setup (Arctic F12 PWM Rev. 2) still a viable option? They are pretty cheap, so I could replace the stock one as well, but I could also throw in some more cash and buy something better if it would make sense.

About the drives, I think I'll manage with SSD and HDD then. It's actually better that way - it'll force me to get rid of those old ones that have much smaller capacity :) Do I need to get any additional sleds for those or are they included?

Thanks again and sorry for so many new questions :)

The open-air video card will pull in air from the power supply area and push it up towards the top of the case, and towards the CPU. That's why you must reverse the case fan orientation from the standard SilverStone uses, which is wrong for this setup. It would be fine if you weren't using a separate video card.

For your setup, I would recommend three Arctic F12 Silent fans. The included SilverStone fan is good, but the Arctic is a bit better, and you'll then having matching models.

The hard drives are attached directly to the side of the chassis. No "sleds" are used for this case.

pimjoosten

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Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #95 on: July 07, 2016, 01:01:04 PM »
Hello Ari,

First of all thank you for this great site. There is much valuable information! I will make sure that when I am ordering parts from Amazon I will be doing it via your site, so you will get a kickback fee  ;)

I am very soon going to build a PC for my very first time (I used to have others do it for me based on the components I selected) and it is going to be an HTPC/File server. I am doing this step by step. I already have a case: the Silverstone GD06. Because I still have a Windows 7 Ultimate license and Microsofts free upgrade to Windows 10 only lasts less than a month, I decided I am going to buy a motherboard, CPU and memory first, build it on a piece of cardboard just to get Windows 7 and then Windows 10 activated. I have a PSU that I can use for this occasion. After havging taken care of the Windows 10 license I am going to select the other components and then build everything. I will be using Windows 7 first, but this way I have already claimed my Windows 10 license, so that I can upgrade whenever I want to without the need to buy a new Windows 10 license.

I know I have given myself quite a task building with the GD06. I have read lots of times it is a tough build, because it is so compact. I have already done quite a bit of research (long live the internet!), including TBG. In this stage where I am focusing on the motherboard and CPU I am wondering why in your HTPC build you have chosen the i3-6100 over a Pentium (e.g. the G4400). On other websites I have read that a Pentium would also be a good CPU for an HTPC. I am not going to game or edit at all. I am not a gamer and besides the HTPC I will also have a much more powerful desktop. I might want to do some transcoding on the HTPC in the future. I have read somewhere that the Pentium is able to do that, but I still need to look further into this.

The reason for choosing the Pentium is of course that it is cheaper. Also, one thing I am considering as a possible scenario is upgrading my CPU to a Kaby Lake processor in the future, as that will include 10-bit HEVC hardware decoding. I plan to use the onboard graphics of the CPU and will not be using a videocard. Upgrading is only a possible scenario, I am not yet certain about it. I also need to look into how much of the CPU of a Skylake Pentium or i3 is used when 10-bit HEVC is done by the processor itself, as Skylake does not support 10-bit HEVC hardware decoding. I would be buying a Kaby Lake processor at least 2 years from now, when they have become cheaper. I could then buy an i3 and for the mean time settle with a Pentium. I think it would be a waste of money to buy an i3 now an then another i3 2 years from now, if I could manage with a Pentium for now. Waiting with my build until Kaby Lake is available is not an option for me, I need this computer sooner than that. I do not think I will be doing any HEVC decoding very soon, but I do know it is becoming the standard.

My second question is why your advice includes a 480GB SSD and not just a smaller one that only contains the OS and programs. In my case I think a 128 GB SSD would suffice, one reason being that I still have one lying around that I can use. Like I said, I will not be gaming, it is just going to be an HTPC that also serves as a (not very intensively used) file server. As data disks I have 2 Hitachi 5K4000 3" 4TB hard disks that I am planning to use. The good thing about the GD06 is that I can always add 2 more 3" hard drives if (temporarily) needed.

I am curious about you answers.
Thanks a lot in advance!

Pim

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #96 on: July 07, 2016, 02:25:07 PM »
Hello Ari,

First of all thank you for this great site. There is much valuable information! I will make sure that when I am ordering parts from Amazon I will be doing it via your site, so you will get a kickback fee  ;)

I am very soon going to build a PC for my very first time (I used to have others do it for me based on the components I selected) and it is going to be an HTPC/File server. I am doing this step by step. I already have a case: the Silverstone GD06. Because I still have a Windows 7 Ultimate license and Microsofts free upgrade to Windows 10 only lasts less than a month, I decided I am going to buy a motherboard, CPU and memory first, build it on a piece of cardboard just to get Windows 7 and then Windows 10 activated. I have a PSU that I can use for this occasion. After havging taken care of the Windows 10 license I am going to select the other components and then build everything. I will be using Windows 7 first, but this way I have already claimed my Windows 10 license, so that I can upgrade whenever I want to without the need to buy a new Windows 10 license.

I know I have given myself quite a task building with the GD06. I have read lots of times it is a tough build, because it is so compact. I have already done quite a bit of research (long live the internet!), including TBG. In this stage where I am focusing on the motherboard and CPU I am wondering why in your HTPC build you have chosen the i3-6100 over a Pentium (e.g. the G4400). On other websites I have read that a Pentium would also be a good CPU for an HTPC. I am not going to game or edit at all. I am not a gamer and besides the HTPC I will also have a much more powerful desktop. I might want to do some transcoding on the HTPC in the future. I have read somewhere that the Pentium is able to do that, but I still need to look further into this.

The reason for choosing the Pentium is of course that it is cheaper. Also, one thing I am considering as a possible scenario is upgrading my CPU to a Kaby Lake processor in the future, as that will include 10-bit HEVC hardware decoding. I plan to use the onboard graphics of the CPU and will not be using a videocard. Upgrading is only a possible scenario, I am not yet certain about it. I also need to look into how much of the CPU of a Skylake Pentium or i3 is used when 10-bit HEVC is done by the processor itself, as Skylake does not support 10-bit HEVC hardware decoding. I would be buying a Kaby Lake processor at least 2 years from now, when they have become cheaper. I could then buy an i3 and for the mean time settle with a Pentium. I think it would be a waste of money to buy an i3 now an then another i3 2 years from now, if I could manage with a Pentium for now. Waiting with my build until Kaby Lake is available is not an option for me, I need this computer sooner than that. I do not think I will be doing any HEVC decoding very soon, but I do know it is becoming the standard.

My second question is why your advice includes a 480GB SSD and not just a smaller one that only contains the OS and programs. In my case I think a 128 GB SSD would suffice, one reason being that I still have one lying around that I can use. Like I said, I will not be gaming, it is just going to be an HTPC that also serves as a (not very intensively used) file server. As data disks I have 2 Hitachi 5K4000 3" 4TB hard disks that I am planning to use. The good thing about the GD06 is that I can always add 2 more 3" hard drives if (temporarily) needed.

I am curious about you answers.
Thanks a lot in advance!

Pim

Welcome to the TBG Forum, Pim!

First of all, congrats on choosing the SilverStone GD06. It's a stylish and well-designed case.

As for your questions, let me address the three main issues I see:

(1) Windows 10 upgrade: you say you are going to run Windows 7, but "claim" your Windows 10 upgrade by July 29th, when the free upgrade expires. This is likely not possible. You must upgrade and have Windows 10 on your system by July 29th. Just "claiming" it will not be enough, as far as I understand. You could download it and not install it, but I have no idea whether this will install after July 29th, and unless you find documented proof from Microsoft directly on this issue, you should assume that this is NOT possible. And truthfully, Windows 10 is better. Yes, Windows 7 does have a few advantages in terms of DVD playback, but that isn't a major concern for most users today.

(2) The CPU: The G4400 is a very cost-effective processor, but for significant multi-tasking, as well as transcoding, you really want a little extra capability. In my experience, two threads can get overwhelmed fairly quickly, and I do not view a Pentium as a good long-term solution. The Core i3-6100 is twice as much, and will likely be usable for twice as long. That being said, given your need for Kaby Lake's 10-bit HEVC hardware decoding and the fact that you have another more powerful desktop, the situation is completely different. If Kaby Lake arrives this Fall, it will be a miracle, given Intel's proven inability to deliver CPUs on time, but you can always hope. So grab a Pentium now, and potentially a Kaby Lake Pentium or Core i3 later this year. By the way, there's absolutely no reason to wait two years to buy Kaby Lake, for two important reasons: Intel does not reduce prices on prior-gen CPUs when new processors come out, and of course Kaby Lake will be obsolete in two years, replaced by a more powerful CPU at the same pricepoint. Get it this year or don't get it at all!

(3) SSDs: TBG's guiding principle when it comes to storage is to hit the sweet spot in terms of price, capacity, and speed. TBG can't tell you how much storage you need, only where the sweet spot is. Today, the sweet spot is 480GB. You are always welcome to choose something smaller or larger, and of course these drives will function just as well, although larger SSDs do tend to be faster than smaller SSDs of the same model. That being said, 128GB models are now terribly priced, and I do not recommend anyone buy a 128GB model brand-new. 240GB models are typically just $10 more.

By the way, thanks for supporting this site by ordering through TBG's links!

bF22

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Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #97 on: July 08, 2016, 01:01:43 PM »
Hello Ari,

Thank you for this website, this forum, and your assiduous, generous, and unceasingly-gentle attention to this thread. It is a joy to experience your enthusiasm!

1) In the first place, I have a very basic question: I intend to assemble the July HTPC build (minus the SSD), using SilverStone GD05, but I have not put together a computer since the late 90s when I took apart and reconfigured my Gateway 2000 486sx/33. I don't even know the difference between ITX and other motherboard types. Is there a site where I could get step-by-step instructions on which cable connects to which item, when to do it, and where to screw them all into the case? I am a quick learner but left Engineering for the Humanities and have been out of the game for some time.

2) I'm trying to do this on the cheap, so I'm skipping the SSD and will try to make it also without a WiFi card, using a USB WiFi dongle instead. If this fails, I'll try to rewire my walls a bit to get my DSL modem closer to the unit for a wired connection. If, in the end, I *did* require the WiFi card, would I have to disassemble the whole HTPC to install it, or would it simply be a matter of inserting a new card on top of everything else in the case?

All the best!
« Last Edit: July 08, 2016, 01:05:44 PM by bF22 »

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #98 on: July 08, 2016, 01:37:30 PM »
Hello Ari,

Thank you for this website, this forum, and your assiduous, generous, and unceasingly-gentle attention to this thread. It is a joy to experience your enthusiasm!

1) In the first place, I have a very basic question: I intend to assemble the July HTPC build (minus the SSD), using SilverStone GD05, but I have not put together a computer since the late 90s when I took apart and reconfigured my Gateway 2000 486sx/33. I don't even know the difference between ITX and other motherboard types. Is there a site where I could get step-by-step instructions on which cable connects to which item, when to do it, and where to screw them all into the case? I am a quick learner but left Engineering for the Humanities and have been out of the game for some time.

2) I'm trying to do this on the cheap, so I'm skipping the SSD and will try to make it also without a WiFi card, using a USB WiFi dongle instead. If this fails, I'll try to rewire my walls a bit to get my DSL modem closer to the unit for a wired connection. If, in the end, I *did* require the WiFi card, would I have to disassemble the whole HTPC to install it, or would it simply be a matter of inserting a new card on top of everything else in the case?

All the best!

Welcome to The TBG Forum, bF22!

I'm glad you appreciate my enthusiasm for helping PC builders. It was born of my desire to create a place where anyone could ask any tech-related question and not get berated for not already knowing the answer!

So, in that vein, here are the answers to your two excellent questions, along with an answer to another question you didn't exactly ask, about SSDs!

1) Building Help: In terms of a step-by-step guide, you might find TBG's Guide to Assembling a Basic PC helpful. Appropriately enough, it covers a lot, if not quite all, of the basics. Check it out and if you still have questions, post them here!

2) SSD: Are you suggesting using only a hard drive and no SSD? Well, I'm obligated to tell you that SSDs really do make a PC much more responsive, and quieter too. Do you have very large media storage requirements? If so, you could always get a small SSD for your OS and a larger one for your media. Quality SSDs, such as this PNY CS1311 model, can be had for as little as $40 nowadays, and are a very good investment. Of course, as I suggested to the forum-goer above, 240GB and 480GB models are a better deal in terms of capacity per dollar, but if you have a strict budget, there's nothing at all wrong with a 120GB model, and I think you will find the $40 to be well spent in the long run. Windows 10 makes it very easy to set up your Documents, Music, Pictures, and Video storage on a separate drive, for example the Western Digital Blue 2TB Hard Drive. All in, the storage system is just $110, and will provide great speed and flexibility.

3) WiFi: You can absolutely use a USB dongle for WiFi. In fact, most of TBG's test systems use USB WiFi adapters rather than add-in PCIe cards. It does mean you have to watch out for walking into the dongle accidentally (yes, I've done that, and the results weren't pretty!). But performance is excellent, and they are typically cheaper. Just avoid the ultra-small adapters, which look really cute but simply don't work well. If you're in the market for a new adapter, this Netgear AC1200 model is currently on sale at an exceptional price. I'm almost tempted to get one as a spare! I've been using the Netgear AC1200 Beamforming model for over a year, and have been extremely impressed with it. If you wanted, you could use an internal model, and it would only require opening the case and inserting the PCIe-based card. You don't actually have to disassemble anything to add it later on.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2016, 12:45:12 PM by Ari Altman »

pimjoosten

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Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #99 on: July 13, 2016, 12:07:59 PM »
Hello Ari,

Thanks for you super fast reply! I want to repeat what the previous forum contributor says:
Thank you for this website, this forum, and your assiduous, generous, and unceasingly-gentle attention to this thread. It is a joy to experience your enthusiasm!
I completely agree!

Last Saturday I had almost finished my response to your post when I had to interrupt writing to do something else. When I came back after 20 minutes I was logged off and had lost my entire post. I was counting on a browser extension to backup what I had written, but apparently it had stopped working so I lost all my work... It took me a couple of days to collect the courage again to try to write the same I had written Saturday... And yes, I now always log in with a longer log off time than 60 minutes  ;)

(1) Windows 10 upgrade: you say you are going to run Windows 7, but "claim" your Windows 10 upgrade by July 29th, when the free upgrade expires. This is likely not possible. You must upgrade and have Windows 10 on your system by July 29th. Just "claiming" it will not be enough, as far as I understand. You could download it and not install it, but I have no idea whether this will install after July 29th, and unless you find documented proof from Microsoft directly on this issue, you should assume that this is NOT possible. And truthfully, Windows 10 is better. Yes, Windows 7 does have a few advantages in terms of DVD playback, but that isn't a major concern for most users today.

Thanks for the warning but I do think it will be OK.  You can read this article by Ed Bott (http://www.zdnet.com/article/how-to-lock-in-your-free-windows-10-upgrade-and-keep-using-your-old-windows-version/) (which Microsoft for obvious reason will not confirm as they want to have as many people as soon as possible on Windows 10). Once you claim your Windows 10 license you get a digital entitlement. It does not matter whether you immediately use it or. Even though in perhaps many ways Windows 10 is better, I still have a couple of important issues that need to be solved before I jump over. The most important is the force feeding of cumulative updates, making no distinction between security and non-security updates and even having no choice with regard to drivers. Especially with drivers I hold the position that I need to be careful, but also that I want a driver directly from the manufacturer and not from Microsoft. I have had a couple of cases where an newer driver version had issues that were not present in the older version. Besides that I also read stories about Microsoft insisting on installing an older driver version via Windows Update than was available from the manufacturer. I think Microsoft really needs to deal with Windows 10 updates a bit different than they do now and hopefully they do before Windows 7 EOL in 2020.

(2) The CPU: The G4400 is a very cost-effective processor, but for significant multi-tasking, as well as transcoding, you really want a little extra capability. In my experience, two threads can get overwhelmed fairly quickly, and I do not view a Pentium as a good long-term solution. The Core i3-6100 is twice as much, and will likely be usable for twice as long. That being said, given your need for Kaby Lake's 10-bit HEVC hardware decoding and the fact that you have another more powerful desktop, the situation is completely different. If Kaby Lake arrives this Fall, it will be a miracle, given Intel's proven inability to deliver CPUs on time, but you can always hope. So grab a Pentium now, and potentially a Kaby Lake Pentium or Core i3 later this year. By the way, there's absolutely no reason to wait two years to buy Kaby Lake, for two important reasons: Intel does not reduce prices on prior-gen CPUs when new processors come out, and of course Kaby Lake will be obsolete in two years, replaced by a more powerful CPU at the same pricepoint. Get it this year or don't get it at all!

Thanks for this info. I did not know that Intel does not reduce prices on prior-gen CPU's. I did some more research and found that the rumours say that Kaby Lake CPU's will probably also support HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2. Now what I do not know, and I am hoping you do, is whether the HDMI port on the motherboard then will become HDMI 2.0 and DHCP 2.2 HDMI ports or not. I do not know whether the chipset also influences this or not. I do know (well, read about the rumours  ;) ) that new 200 series chipset motherboards likely will be available when Kaby Lake comes out, but (again rumours) it is said that the improvement of that chipset will be mainly an increased I/O performance to be able to suit the new XPoint memory architecture (Optane SSD's). If this route (first Skylake Pentium, then Kaby Lake i3) might work it would definitely be a better choice I think and at least worthwhile to take the chance.

Thanks again for your reply!

Pim

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #100 on: July 13, 2016, 01:12:54 PM »
Pim,

So sorry the forum timed out on you. I will look into whether I can change the default time limit on that.

Good to hear you found some evidence that Windows 10 can be claimed but not used. That being said, I'm not sure the ZDNet author knows for sure this will work. It's a bit of conjecture on his part. You see, once you roll back to Windows 7, as he suggests, there isn't going to be a way to upgrade again for free. He implies you can use a Windows 10 USB install tool, but he's wrong. I have the tool, and it requires a license key right from the start, which you will not have. Yes, the Windows rollback dialog box says "come back to Windows 10 anytime," but this isn't necessarily an offer for another free shot at Windows 10. I'm pretty shocked he didn't complete the process by downgrading and then doing exactly what he's telling readers is possible: upgrading again. The only thing he's definitely right about is that you can make an image of the Windows 10 install, downgrade, and then re-image your OS drive when you're ready to upgrade, but you'll lose all the new data you've accumulated on that drive since downgrading.

I'd proceed with caution if Windows 10 is important to you, but as it seems you prefer W7 at the moment, losing that upgrade may not be a big deal.

As for HDMI 2.0, that will be a long-overdue upgrade to the Intel platform, but yes, it will probably require a new motherboard (X200). Even if Kaby Lake supports HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2, the port itself is part of the chipset and will need to conform to the new spec. While the video processing takes place in the CPU, my educated guess, it's just a guess, is that the chipset does some of the signal processing. That's based on the fact that a few select Z170 boards already include HDMI 2.0, like this Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming 7.

bF22

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Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #101 on: July 23, 2016, 01:14:06 PM »
Dear Ari,

Newbie bF22 here again. I have purchased all the components (including the SSD) and have begun to assemble the SilverStone GD05 HTPC from your July listing. The components relevant to my question are these:

* Power Supply = Corsair CX450M (I'm using the Power cable for SATA drives that was included with this one. It has multiple power outputs strung along the length of the cable. The short story is that they are not oriented properly to enable me to power the SSD when the SSD is mounted on the mounting that is supplied with the GD05 case.

* SSD = 2.5" Toshiba OCZ TR150 (as recommended).

* HDD = Western Digital Blue 3GB (as recommended).

I have four questions:

1) How must I position the 2.5" SSD and the 3.5" HDD in the SilverStone GD05 case so that the power cable included with the Corsair will be able to connect to both drives (especially that 2.5" drive). Right now, the SSD is flush with the panel on which it is supposed to be mounted, but the orientation of the SATA/Power outlet on the SSD is such that the power cable that came with the Corsair cannot actually fit into the outlet without bending so far that the plastic would break. If the drive were flipped on its back, then it the orientation would be great, but of course there are no screw holes on the back of the SSD. Is there a particular separate cable that you would recommend I purchase? Could somebody show me a photo?

2) You recommended one StarTech 12" cable but here I am with (apparently) three items that need a SATA cable: The optical drive (LG bluray), the 2.5" SSD, and the 3.5" HDD. Must I purchase two more cables or am I missing something about how this is done?

3) The BT150M motherboard has attachment points for fan cables but they have four pins so that the speed of the fan can be controlled. There are two such attachment points. There are three fans in the GD05 case, and all of them have 3-pin cables, which means that if I were to choose two fans to connect to the motherboard, they would run at max speed. Should I instead wire them directly into the power supply with the cable that came with the GD05 case?

4) Last question: How aggressive can I be about bending these cables to get them out of the way. I am very wary lest I crimp or damage them. Moreover, the corner of the motherboard near the USB and SATA attachment is not supported (no hole in the GD05 case at that point) and I'm worried that if I put lots of torque on the cables I will torque the board.

Like I said, I'm a newbie, but I want to learn.

Thanks!

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #102 on: July 23, 2016, 02:37:43 PM »
bF22,

Glad you got your PC build started. I think I can help you with these questions:

(1) the SSD mount is a problem, but it's not unique to this build. The only photos of this build on TBG are in the Gallery, and unfortunately you can't see the SSD in them. I've had the very same problem you're describing (insufficient clearance for the SATA power cable connector) on numerous builds, including big ATX cases I've reviewed with dedicated SSD mounts, like the NZXT S340 and SilverStone PM01. This is an issue manufactuers are going to have to learn to address sooner or later: you can't simply surface-mount an SSD, as cool as that may seem on a spec sheet or marketing photos that include no cabling!

I suggest you either use the last SATA cable connector in the chain, or if that doesn't have the right orientation or reach, just use double-stick tape to mount the SSD elsewhere in the case.

(2) The other two SATA cables are in the box with your motherboard. Just look under the cardboard divider and you'll find them!

(3) You can use four-pin fan headers with 3-pin fans, and you'll still be able to control the fan speed. The GD05's generous number of fans does mean, however, that the B150M Mortar motherboard doesn't have quite enough fan headers for the case and CPU, and no motherboard in this price class would. You can wire one of the fans to the power supply, and it will run at full speed. I'd choose the single fan on the left, since it's on its own.

(4) Did you double-check whether additional mother standoffs came in the box with the case? Those could potentially help support the motherboard's far edge. For some reason, SilverStone doesn't pre-install all the standoffs that a standard mATX board requires. That would help you press down on the motherboard power cables. If there are no more standoffs, then just keep one finger under the board to help support it as you push the cables in. The hardest cable to bend out of the way is the usb 3.0 cable, which is pretty stiff, but the others can be easily maneuvered out of the way.

bF22

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Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #103 on: July 23, 2016, 06:01:43 PM »
Ari,

Thanks so much for your prompt and helpful reply.

1) I will simply flip the SSD over and use double-faced tape as you recommend. I am intrigued by the TGB Gallery build, as it appears that the SSD has been mounted with the mounting-screws. Again I wonder: Are there slimmer power cables that could be used? Of course, introducing yet another cable to the box means more of a headache for getting cables out of the way.

2) I found the other SATA cables. Thanks! As for the power chain, is that chain supposed to supply power also to the optical drive, far away on the other side of the case?

3) Thanks for the tips on the fans.

4) There is one additional stand-off, but there is no hole in the case into which I could screw it. If I used it under the motherboard, it would be slightly higher than the other standoffs and would torque the board, I fear. I'll support the board with my finger.

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #104 on: July 23, 2016, 11:05:20 PM »
Ari,

Thanks so much for your prompt and helpful reply.

1) I will simply flip the SSD over and use double-faced tape as you recommend. I am intrigued by the TGB Gallery build, as it appears that the SSD has been mounted with the mounting-screws. Again I wonder: Are there slimmer power cables that could be used? Of course, introducing yet another cable to the box means more of a headache for getting cables out of the way.

2) I found the other SATA cables. Thanks! As for the power chain, is that chain supposed to supply power also to the optical drive, far away on the other side of the case?

3) Thanks for the tips on the fans.

4) There is one additional stand-off, but there is no hole in the case into which I could screw it. If I used it under the motherboard, it would be slightly higher than the other standoffs and would torque the board, I fear. I'll support the board with my finger.

I think the easiest solution for the SATA power cable issues you're having (both orientation and length) is to buy a simple splitter, like this Startech model. It will give you a little additional length, and can also lay flat - none of those annoying 90-degree bends in the cables. You might pick up two if you think you'll need one for the SSD and one to reach to the optical drive and hard drive.

I realize it's a bit of a hassle to get everything set up, but once you have it all working, I think you'll agree that it was worth it!