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The Premium/Extreme Gaming PC Builds / Re: $3,500 build
« Last post by Ari Altman on November 20, 2017, 03:04:39 PM »
I was able to pick up a 1080ti!

Now for storage, I'm thinking of getting a 2tb Samsung 850 EVO SSD for startup and video games.
For the second drive, I might get a 10tb HGST Deskstar NAS HDD: https://www.amazon.com/HGST-Deskstar-7200rpm-128MB-Internal/dp/B073XDWMRT/ref=dp_ob_title_ce?dpID=51qLovI2CjL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=detail&th=1 for movies and videos.

I just wanted to get your opinion on the 10tb HGST Deskstar NAS. Is there an advantage getting NAS instead of a regular desktop HDD? The reason I want to get this specific one is because of it's 10tb capacity and reliability.

Nice job on the 1080 Ti, Eggscanjump!

Now, a word of warning: the 850 Evo 2TB is a bad value right now. It's selling for more than it cost last year, despite the fact that multiple competitors have entered the ring. On the value side is the Crucial MX300 2TB, and on the performance side is the Western Digital Blue 3D 2TB, which matches the 850 Evo in speed. Heck, for the price of the 850 Evo 2TB, you could get the MX300 plus a 850 Evo 500GB m.2 drive. That's the way to go if you really want to spend that much money.

In terms of hard drives, well, NAS drives are typically designed for constant use. They aren't speed demons, but will be good as storage drives.
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The Premium/Extreme Gaming PC Builds / Re: $3,500 build
« Last post by Eggscanjump on November 20, 2017, 02:43:54 PM »
I was able to pick up a 1080ti!

Now for storage, I'm thinking of getting a 2tb Samsung 850 EVO SSD for startup and video games.
For the second drive, I might get a 10tb HGST Deskstar NAS HDD: https://www.amazon.com/HGST-Deskstar-7200rpm-128MB-Internal/dp/B073XDWMRT/ref=dp_ob_title_ce?dpID=51qLovI2CjL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=detail&th=1 for movies and videos.

I just wanted to get your opinion on the 10tb HGST Deskstar NAS. Is there an advantage getting NAS instead of a regular desktop HDD? The reason I want to get this specific one is because of it's 10tb capacity and reliability.
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1.Phanteks Enthoo Evolv PH-ES215P_BK
2.Noctua NH-C14S
3.Logitech G403 Prodigy

I was looking to upgrade my GPU, and found this site & GAW... Thanks
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The HTPC Build / Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Last post by Ari Altman on November 20, 2017, 08:19:47 AM »
Forceflow- just a couple of follow-ups.

First, there isn't a universal remote sold for PCs anymore (in fact, there's basically no market for these products at all, and ones I've tested have all been discontinued), but one very good solution is to buy a FLIRC USB adapter. This basically allows you to use any remote to control your PC's playback (but not Windows navigation). This is the solution HTPC users choose nowadays; it the first-gen Flirc was in the HTPC guide for a while, and this is a good reminder to add the 2nd gen device to the current guide.

Second, the Accell Displayport adapter is great for 4K video - you mentioned using it for non-4K, but it's not limited to that. The issue it has is surround sound output, which is very unreliable. Use it as your connection to the TV, and use HDMI out to the receiver, and you should be fine.

I agree the brushed metal finish of the SilverStone FTZ01 is not the same as silver AV equipment, and unfortunately, this is the reason silver AV components just haven't been very popular. Very hard to match!
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The HTPC Build / Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Last post by Forceflow on November 20, 2017, 07:36:07 AM »
Welcome to the Forum, Forceflow!

OK, for each of your needs, I'll provide some feedback:

Needs:
1. BluRays - no problem, but Power DVD 12 may not work at this point, and if it was a free license included with a product, it likely doesn't have surround sound capability. Just letting you know that something like PowerDVD 17 might be required. The free trial versions are always artificially limited in some way or another.
It's a full blown version not a free trial. Guess I should try it at my current PC and see if it'll work or not.

3. Do full audio passthrough. Again, this is dependent on using HDMI. The Asus Xonar DGX is in the guide mostly for those interested in streaming audio. It's not a good option for video, because it can't do the lossless audio you'd find on Blu-Rays. You'll want the video processor to handle that for you so that it can go over HDMI.
EDIT: I can't find any information about your Yamaha RX-755V receiver, but if it doesn't process lossless audio like DTS-Master Audio or Dolby True HD, none of this matters too much. You can just optical digital out, which is a simpler solution and frees up your HDMI to go directly to the TV (which also makes 4K streaming possible).

The RX-775 (sorry, typo on my end, specs can be found here RX-775) is DTS-Master Audio and Dolby True HD capable. That's why I really want the full passthrough, so I am guessing no on the soundcard then.

Nice to have:
1. 4K Streaming - you are correct that this is a slight problem when you're running a non-4K-capable receiver. To get 4K streaming from an HTPC to a TV where you're also using a non-4K AV for audio, you need two HDMI outputs on the HTPC, which is somewhat rare, or an add-in video card with dual HDMI outputs, which you won't find on a low-profile card. There are a few motherboards that have dual HDMI, specifically some models by AsRock. Oddly, they are almost always ITX models, like the H270M-ITX/ac. As that means you lose nearly all your expansion slots, another option theoretically is using the DisplayPort output on a motherboard and converting it to 4K HDMI with an adapter like the Accell Displayport to HDMI 2.0 module, which I've tested and confirm works.
Okay, I am guessing I'll try the Display-Port first in that case. For streaming to the Projector and non-4K video it should be sufficient.

Questions:
1. Remotes - controlling a desktop via remote isn't going to be possible - you can't navigate windows that way. The latest version of PowerDVD does allow you to control your disc playback via smartphone, which is a good alternative to keyboard/mouse while watching movies.
Mhm... that is a bummer. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Kodi and the BluRay software are all set up to be compatible with a remote control. Would've though that there's an option out there to use it. I mean I know I'll need a keyboard and mouse for the more complicated things, but a all-in-one remote for the basic stuff would've been nice.

2. Silver-colored cases - SilverStone only makes a few of its HTPC cases in a silver color. You can go with the larger GD04 ATX case in silver, or the smaller Fortress FTZ01 ITX case in silver. These are quite expensive. Note that the FTZ01 combined with the ITX motherboard mentioned above might be a good option for you, but it does require a slot-loading Blu-Ray drive, which is basically impossible to buy at this point. So I'd say if you have the space for it, the silver GD04 is probably going to be your only option.

By the way, feel free to check out the Home Theater product reviews on the site to learn about a few of the items mentioned above.

As for building a PC, you really won't need anything but a screwdriver. Everything else, including thermal paste, is included with the components.

Mhm, the Silverstone looks nice, though the silver wouldn't quite match the AV. Any other reasons to fork out the extra cash to get it?

Thanks a lot for your help! Lot's of good pointers to keep in mind!
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The HTPC Build / Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Last post by Ari Altman on November 19, 2017, 02:07:17 PM »
Hi everybody,

I am considering to build my own HTPC (for lack of finding a pre-built option to buy) and found the Home Theater PC Build here to be a very good base. I do have some questions though and was hoping to get some additional input.

First up what I want to do with the HTPC:
Must haves:
1. Play BluRays (I have a free Windows 10 Home and Power DVD 12 license)
2. Stream Netflix, Amazon Prime and Kodi-Videos through my AV to my TV or Projector (AV has two HDMI outs, so it can switch the source)
3. Do full passthrough for all sound to my AV (Yamaha RX-755V)
I am not sure if it would be better to do this with an add-on soundcard that will let me use an optical cable. I have seen issues where the sound device being picked up by Windows is the TV even though the signal is being sent through the AV. Usually I get the passthrough to work anyways, but maybe the ASUS Xonar DGX would be the better option? Though according to the Amazon reviews there might be an issue with Windows 10 there. Since all I would need is the optical out this might not be a problem though. Any thoughts?

Nice to have:
1. Be able to stream Netflix and Amazon in 4K
This one is not so important since I already know the AV is not compatible with this. So only sensible way would be if the HTPC has two HDMIs, one of which I could then directly connect to my TV. It's more of an 'maybe useful in the future'. If I understand it right for this I would need to get the optional graphics card. Though that one is most likely an easy 'fix-it-later' option anyways.
2. Play Steam games via 'STEAM IN-HOME-STREAMING' I am guessing this is really a non-issue with Windows 10. Any good controllers you guys can think of?

Questions:
I'd like to have a remote control in addition to a mouse/keyboard setup. Sometimes a remote is just easier and faster to use. Any suggestions here what would a good fit and what I would need to install for the HTPC for it to work? Really nice would be one that I could actually use to control ALL my devices. (Sony Bravia TV, Yamaha AV, Panasonic Projector and the HTPC)
Any suggestions on a silver HTPC case? I like the Silverstone, but since my AV is silver I was wondering if anybody has a case in mind that would be a better fit without compromising functionality.
If I built it all by myself, what additional things will I need? Been a while since I last built a PC, one thing that comes to mind is heat paste for the CPU. But not sure if you still need that. Anything else I should get?

Well, any input would be appreciated :)

Welcome to the Forum, Forceflow!

OK, for each of your needs, I'll provide some feedback:

Needs:
1. BluRays - no problem, but Power DVD 12 may not work at this point, and if it was a free license included with a product, it likely doesn't have surround sound capability. Just letting you know that something like PowerDVD 17 might be required. The free trial versions are always artificially limited in some way or another.
2. Stream video through AV - no problem, as long as you use an HDMI output on the HTPC.
3. Do full audio passthrough. Again, this is dependent on using HDMI. The Asus Xonar DGX is in the guide mostly for those interested in streaming audio. It's not a good option for video, because it can't do the lossless audio you'd find on Blu-Rays. You'll want the video processor to handle that for you so that it can go over HDMI.
EDIT: I can't find any information about your Yamaha RX-755V receiver, but if it doesn't process lossless audio like DTS-Master Audio or Dolby True HD, none of this matters too much. You can just optical digital out, which is a simpler solution and frees up your HDMI to go directly to the TV (which also makes 4K streaming possible).

Nice to have:
1. 4K Streaming - you are correct that this is a slight problem when you're running a non-4K-capable receiver. To get 4K streaming from an HTPC to a TV where you're also using a non-4K AV for audio, you need two HDMI outputs on the HTPC, which is somewhat rare, or an add-in video card with dual HDMI outputs, which you won't find on a low-profile card. There are a few motherboards that have dual HDMI, specifically some models by AsRock. Oddly, they are almost always ITX models, like the H270M-ITX/ac. As that means you lose nearly all your expansion slots, another option theoretically is using the DisplayPort output on a motherboard and converting it to 4K HDMI with an adapter like the Accell Displayport to HDMI 2.0 module, which I've tested and confirm works.
2. Steam in-home streaming is not system dependent as long as Steam is installed on both the HTPC and whatever gaming system you have in your home to run the games. The best controller for gaming is the XBox One Wireless Controller for Windows.

Questions:
1. Remotes - controlling a desktop via remote isn't going to be possible - you can't navigate windows that way. The latest version of PowerDVD does allow you to control your disc playback via smartphone, which is a good alternative to keyboard/mouse while watching movies.
2. Silver-colored cases - SilverStone only makes a few of its HTPC cases in a silver color. You can go with the larger GD04 ATX case in silver, or the smaller Fortress FTZ01 ITX case in silver. These are quite expensive. Note that the FTZ01 combined with the ITX motherboard mentioned above might be a good option for you, but it does require a slot-loading Blu-Ray drive, which is basically impossible to buy at this point. So I'd say if you have the space for it, the silver GD04 is probably going to be your only option.

By the way, feel free to check out the Home Theater product reviews on the site to learn about a few of the items mentioned above.

As for building a PC, you really won't need anything but a screwdriver. Everything else, including thermal paste, is included with the components.
7
The HTPC Build / Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Last post by Forceflow on November 19, 2017, 12:15:59 PM »
Hi everybody,

I am considering to build my own HTPC (for lack of finding a pre-built option to buy) and found the Home Theater PC Build here to be a very good base. I do have some questions though and was hoping to get some additional input.

First up what I want to do with the HTPC:
Must haves:
1. Play BluRays (I have a free Windows 10 Home and Power DVD 12 license)
2. Stream Netflix, Amazon Prime and Kodi-Videos through my AV to my TV or Projector (AV has two HDMI outs, so it can switch the source)
3. Do full passthrough for all sound to my AV (Yamaha RX-755V)
I am not sure if it would be better to do this with an add-on soundcard that will let me use an optical cable. I have seen issues where the sound device being picked up by Windows is the TV even though the signal is being sent through the AV. Usually I get the passthrough to work anyways, but maybe the ASUS Xonar DGX would be the better option? Though according to the Amazon reviews there might be an issue with Windows 10 there. Since all I would need is the optical out this might not be a problem though. Any thoughts?

Nice to have:
1. Be able to stream Netflix and Amazon in 4K
This one is not so important since I already know the AV is not compatible with this. So only sensible way would be if the HTPC has two HDMIs, one of which I could then directly connect to my TV. It's more of an 'maybe useful in the future'. If I understand it right for this I would need to get the optional graphics card. Though that one is most likely an easy 'fix-it-later' option anyways.
2. Play Steam games via 'STEAM IN-HOME-STREAMING' I am guessing this is really a non-issue with Windows 10. Any good controllers you guys can think of?

Questions:
I'd like to have a remote control in addition to a mouse/keyboard setup. Sometimes a remote is just easier and faster to use. Any suggestions here what would a good fit and what I would need to install for the HTPC for it to work? Really nice would be one that I could actually use to control ALL my devices. (Sony Bravia TV, Yamaha AV, Panasonic Projector and the HTPC)
Any suggestions on a silver HTPC case? I like the Silverstone, but since my AV is silver I was wondering if anybody has a case in mind that would be a better fit without compromising functionality.
If I built it all by myself, what additional things will I need? Been a while since I last built a PC, one thing that comes to mind is heat paste for the CPU. But not sure if you still need that. Anything else I should get?

Well, any input would be appreciated :)
8
Good luck to all the new forum newcomers as well as veterans in this year's prize drawing!

One thing is for sure: the Logitech G403 is going to be awarded to someone, considering everyone has listed it as one of their picks, and it looks like the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX case is also very much in demand, not surprising given how stylish it is!
9
1. Wireless Gaming Mouse
2. 140mm-class CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-C14S
3. ITX Case: Phanteks Enthoo Evolv PH-ES215P_BK

Love this site... it has offered invaluable insight for multiple computers I have built.  Thanks for your hard work and attention to detail!
10
The HTPC Build / Re: TBG's $900 High-End NAS ITX PC Build
« Last post by Ari Altman on November 18, 2017, 05:51:33 PM »
I have been looking at this build, but would like to get it into a small case that would look better in living room.  The Silverstone ML03B used in your $650 home theatre build looks great.  I'd like to have the SSD for OS, plus 2x3.5" drives in it.  Do you think there would be any space problems getting this all to fit?


Case: Silverstone ML03B
Power Supply: Corsair CX450M
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1400 with Wraith Stealth Cooler
MB: Gigabyte GA-AB350N-Gaming WiFi
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 2GB
Memory: Crucial 1x8GB Ballistix Sport LT DDR4-2400
HD: 1 SSD M2 style, 2x3.5" 8 TB drives
Optical: LG 24x DVD Burner GH24NSC0B

Thanks for your help, this site has been a great resource as I've researched building this system.  I've looked at quite a few sites over the past couple of week, and ultimately found the information on TBG to be condensed and cover the specific areas and concerns that I had.

Hey there, mrintegrity1, and welcome to the TBG Forum!

Glad you found the guides here helpful. Just so you know, the SilverStone CS01 is a gorgeous case, much more aesthetically pleasing than the ML03, but of course it doesn't conform to an AV form factor. If that's your key concern, then yes, the ML03 will work better, but perhaps you could set the CS01 down next to a TV or behind it? Just an idea.

If you do decide to go with the ML03, of course this build will work, as the parts from the NAS build are actually smaller than required to fit in the ML03 chassis, which is a micro ATX spec, rather than the smaller ITX specification of the CS01. That being said, the ML03 is not as good as a pure NAS case, as it only has two hard drive mounts, rather than the four of the CS01 (although it does have the optical drive bay that you want to use according to your parts list). As long as two 3.5" drives plus an M.2 are all you need, you'll be fine, but there is no option to expand unless you add 2.5" drives and just sit them on the floor of the case.

I would also note that the ITX motherboard is a great pick if you need built-in WiFi, but you can actually go with a cheaper mATX motherboard if you don't need WiFi. An example would be the MSI B350 Mortar. It has the advantage of four RAM slots and four expansion slots, so that's double and quadruple, respectively, what an ITX board has. I will note, though, that it's a tight fit in the ML03 chassis. It will go all the way to the front, and it makes cable management much harder. So you have a few options depending on your preferences.

One last thing: running a single stick of RAM is never optimal, so go for a 2x4GB kit instead of the 1x8GB kit. You'll have significantly better CPU performance.

Don't forget to register to win in the TBG Holiday Prize Giveaway while you're here!
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