Author Topic: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide  (Read 19267 times)

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #90 on: July 16, 2018, 01:30:24 PM »
Gene,

If you still have your original Windows install media (likely a thumb drive), you can reinstall Windows from scratch and you'll return to an older version of Windows. Based on what you're saying, it sounds like the system generally worked to your satisfaction before the Windows 10 update was rolled out. Just make sure you shut off auto-updates.

The other issue you mention, needing to reboot the PC when you turn on your AV, is a pretty common issue relating to how the HDMI handshake (copy protection) works. I often have that with my own HTPC hooked up through a Pioneer AV. There's probably one handshake status for AV on, and another for off (likely pass-through). I'm not sure why it would take 3-4 reboots, but yes, one reboot is probably the norm.

geneatwell

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #91 on: August 08, 2018, 07:46:55 PM »
Ari,
I want to thank you once again for all of your help with Windows, the build recommendations and encouragement along the way. 
I've been running a dual boot Linux/Windows HTPC with the parts I ordered from your website and sent you the build photos about.  The 5.1 issue has gone away completely on the Linux side of the house and I'll stick with Linux from here on out.  I'll keep the Windows Operating System until I need the space for something else. 
I've been using everything described in my initial build and have not had to replace anything nor re-install Windows (dodged a big bullet there) and I'll now have complete control over the Linux side of things.

Gene

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #92 on: August 08, 2018, 09:51:01 PM »
Ari,
I want to thank you once again for all of your help with Windows, the build recommendations and encouragement along the way. 
I've been running a dual boot Linux/Windows HTPC with the parts I ordered from your website and sent you the build photos about.  The 5.1 issue has gone away completely on the Linux side of the house and I'll stick with Linux from here on out.  I'll keep the Windows Operating System until I need the space for something else. 
I've been using everything described in my initial build and have not had to replace anything nor re-install Windows (dodged a big bullet there) and I'll now have complete control over the Linux side of things.

Gene

Gene,

Thanks for reporting back on your success using Linux. Which version of Linux did you install? Were there any challenges along the way that others might want to know about? Amazing to hear that Linux has better audio support than Windows 10!

Peo

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #93 on: October 12, 2018, 10:54:37 PM »
Hi Ari and everyone,

I'm about to build one of these and have few questions to the forum:

1. Has anyone used Kodi Linux build?
2. Can't find that memory in my country, and as you mentioned Ari it's better if it's single channel - how can I determine that?
3. I would like to stick 10Tb on SSD M.2 only, any tips on achieving that?

Thank you,
Peo

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #94 on: October 13, 2018, 08:46:20 AM »
Hi Ari and everyone,

I'm about to build one of these and have few questions to the forum:

1. Has anyone used Kodi Linux build?
2. Can't find that memory in my country, and as you mentioned Ari it's better if it's single channel - how can I determine that?
3. I would like to stick 10Tb on SSD M.2 only, any tips on achieving that?

Thank you,
Peo

Welcome, Peo!

There are several forum users who have used Kodi/Linux for an HTPC build, but none have mentioned it recently. That being said, a forum member was quite active a few days ago talking about his Kodi/Windows build, so you might post in this thread to see if you can ask him some question about Kodi generally, if you'd like.

The memory you want is "single rank," not "single channel." It's a bit frustrating that there are so many similar terms we now have to keep track of, I know! The two manufacturers that have the broadest selection of clearly-labeled single-rank RAM are Kingston HyperX and Crucial Ballistix. You could also go with a Ryzen-specific G.Skill Flare X RAM kit, if they're available in your country.

In terms of 10TB of M.2 storage, you're slightly ahead of the industry there! The largest M.2 drives today are 2TB, with the leading contenders being the Samsung 970 Evo PCie and Samsung 860 Evo SATA drives. While you could use two SilverStone EMC22 SATA/PCIe adapters to add another three 2TB drives (the ECM22 supports one PCIe drive and one SATA drive with a jumper cable), I wouldn't recommend it, as it will limit the number of other expansion cards you can use. Just pick up one each of the 970 Evo and 860 Evo M.2 drives (the Gigabyte X470 Ultra Gaming has one PCIe/SATA slot and one PCIe-only slot), and then add two 860 Evo 4TB 2.5" drives. That will take you to 12TB.

Peo

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #95 on: November 14, 2018, 05:37:01 PM »
Hi Ari,

Thank you for your suggestions! I took them on board and created a hybrid of all the top settings...
Awaiting delivery now and not 100% sure if it all comes together.

One question:
I didn't purchase a Sound Card since it will be all connected to my Yamaha setup via HDMI Gold or Optic cable.
Do you think I should buy one? What do you think?

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #96 on: November 14, 2018, 09:28:27 PM »
Hi Ari,

Thank you for your suggestions! I took them on board and created a hybrid of all the top settings...
Awaiting delivery now and not 100% sure if it all comes together.

One question:
I didn't purchase a Sound Card since it will be all connected to my Yamaha setup via HDMI Gold or Optic cable.
Do you think I should buy one? What do you think?

You won't need a sound card. For HDMI or optical, you need to use the motherboard's built-in sound.

Peo

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #97 on: November 15, 2018, 01:50:02 AM »
Cheers thought so.

WIll post some pics when I get it and it works  :o

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #98 on: November 15, 2018, 07:46:28 AM »
Cheers thought so.

WIll post some pics when I get it and it works  :o

FYI, to post pics, you'll need to use a third-party image host, as the TBG Forum doesn't actually store photos.

audimus

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #99 on: June 18, 2019, 12:54:14 PM »
Hello,

Excellent build suggestions. Thank you for putting this together.

I do have a question about the video card in this case. Does the suggested 1660 Ti actually fit in this case in height? Was it based on published dimensions or has it actually been tried in this case? I am hoping it is the latter and can be confirmed before I purchase. I was waiting for the 1650 LP cards to come out because I din't think any of the 1660 or 1660 Tis would fit in this case.

The reason I am asking ...

In the GD05, there isn't much clearance between the top of the card bracket and the top cover. In addition there is a crossbar that sits right over the card using the PCIE x 16 slot in most motherboards (that requires the use of the first two or bracket slots).

The case description says height limitation of 124mm for the card. The published dimensions for these full height cards say 121 or so and in theory should fit BUT ...

Most of the 1660s or 1660 Ti cards I looked extend above the top of the bracket by 0.5 to 1cm - either the pc board itself or the cooler shield. In addition, most of these cards take a PCIe power connector at the top of the card requiring more clearance on top.

The less powerful cards whose tops are in line with the bracket top or low profile cards are fine.

Can anyone confirm that a card like the suggested one will fit in this case, especially with a power connector?

Will be much appreciated. Thanks

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #100 on: June 18, 2019, 02:08:04 PM »
Hello,

Excellent build suggestions. Thank you for putting this together.

I do have a question about the video card in this case. Does the suggested 1660 Ti actually fit in this case in height? Was it based on published dimensions or has it actually been tried in this case? I am hoping it is the latter and can be confirmed before I purchase. I was waiting for the 1650 LP cards to come out because I din't think any of the 1660 or 1660 Tis would fit in this case.

The reason I am asking ...

In the GD05, there isn't much clearance between the top of the card bracket and the top cover. In addition there is a crossbar that sits right over the card using the PCIE x 16 slot in most motherboards (that requires the use of the first two or bracket slots).

The case description says height limitation of 124mm for the card. The published dimensions for these full height cards say 121 or so and in theory should fit BUT ...

Most of the 1660s or 1660 Ti cards I looked extend above the top of the bracket by 0.5 to 1cm - either the pc board itself or the cooler shield. In addition, most of these cards take a PCIe power connector at the top of the card requiring more clearance on top.

The less powerful cards whose tops are in line with the bracket top or low profile cards are fine.

Can anyone confirm that a card like the suggested one will fit in this case, especially with a power connector?

Will be much appreciated. Thanks

Welcome to the TBG Forum, audimus!

That's a great question you ask. In fact, it's something that was taken into consideration when setting up the guide, but no, it hasn't been tested. The guide was just switched over from the GD09 case, which once worked, but no longer does unfortunately, due to changes in the industry standard placement of the CPU socket, which has shifted over to the right on many boards in the past year or so. Put simply, practically no CPU coolers fit in the GD09, including the reference AMD cooler, which is a HUGE problem, as you might imagine. The GD09 was tested by TBG with a variety of coolers, but this was several years ago, and time marches on. That is why it's actually really hard to just use old information you may find on forums or out-of-date articles.

As for the GD05, it does have space for a reference-sized video card, and the Gigabyte GTX 1660 Ti in the guide is the closest to reference size that was available when the guide was published. If you want an even better chance of this fitting, go with the Zotac GeForce GTX 1660 Ti. It's a bit shorter from top to bottom (and from end to end) than the Gigabyte.

I wouldn't bother waiting for a low-profile GTX 1660 Ti, as there are no plans for one to be made, and it would be virtually impossible anyway given the cooling requirements. There will be a low-profile GTX 1650 coming from Zotac, but that likely won't arrive until August at the earliest, and it's an entirely different class of card.

audimus

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #101 on: June 18, 2019, 09:27:02 PM »
I am only concerned about the video card height at the top (not the CPU cooling). I agree with you on the low profile cards. Obviously, the most definitive is for someone to try this out but these are expensive cards to try for size and stores may not accept opened video cards!

Let me explain the problem I see since I have this GD05 case (currently with a lowly GT 1030 low profile).

I opened up the case and took the following pictures. The first one shows the clearance from the top of the bracket (since this is fixed to the case, all cards clearances at the top need to be measured relative to this, what happens at the bottom is irrelevant and typically not a problem).



As you can see, there is about 15 mm clearance from the top of the bracket to the bottom of the crossbar (the crossbar cannot be avoided since that also anchors the optical drive bay if one is using it and it provides structural strength to the case). Also, there is about 20mm clearance to the top of the crossbar.

The top cover sits flush with the top of the crossbar, so the maximum clearance anywhere for the card at the top is max 20mm from the top of the bracket.

Interestingly, the top bar has a kink at the bracket end presumably to clear the card PCB itself as you can see in this photo from above



But the kink does not clear the pcb card at the end next to the bracket. Only about 15-20 mm away from the bracket.

Three things to note are:

1. (Since we are referring to a horizontal case, the height refers to the second largest dimension of these cards, not the length which is not a problem in this case for most cards and not the thickness in the 2 or 3 slots direction). Height of the cooling shield or pipes of the video card in front of the PCB rising above the backing plate is not obstructed by the crossbar but can at most be about 20mm from the top of its bracket to clear the top cover.

2. The PCB card itself (or a backing plate if the card has one) has to be less than 15mm above the top of the bracket to clear the crossbar at the end next to the bracket OR it needs to be cut away at an angle at the edge next to the bracket to a max of 20mm later on after the kink. Without a backing plate, there is also a risk of the crossbar touching the circuitry on the PCB if more than 15mm rise above bracket top.

3. In most of these cards, the 6/8 pin power connector is at the other end from the bracket but connected from the top (you can see this in the Amazon pictures of the cards). They typically sit flush with the top of the PCB/backing plate. But that means the power connector from the PSU needs some additional clearance at the top to plug in there. In other words, the height of the PCB above the top of the bracket + the height of the PSU power connector and cable kink (don't know if you can get 90 degree connectors) when plugged in has to be less than 20mm total. This is what I am not sure about.

Looking at either of the cards (Gigabyte or Zotac), the immediate problem is that the PCB/backing plates rise above the top of the bracket in both. And they start from the edge right next to the bracket. The Zotac PCB seems to be less than 15mm above the top of the bracket and may clear the crossbar at the kink.



The Gigabyte looks like it has a bigger rise above the bracket and does not look like it will clear the crossbar at the edge next to the bracket.



Eyeballing it, Zotac has about a 10mm PCB rise above the bracket and so as long as the PCIe connector and cable can be accommodated in another 10mm or less (???), it won't clear the top cover.

The Gigabyte will leave even less space at the top for the power connector to the card and so unlikely to fit.

This is why I am trying to get some confirmation before purchasing. Hoped you might have done so and able to vouch for it.

If it has not been actually tested, it might be worth putting a caveat about the above in the blog post itself just in case people go shopping with that list! If there is a card with very little rise above the top of the racket, then that would be the card to pick. Length of the card is not an issue for this case.

Hope that has been helpful.

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #102 on: June 18, 2019, 10:05:05 PM »
Excellent information, audimus!

The GD05 is not a new case, and I'm pretty familiar with the GPU fitment constraints. The issue this generation is that most of the latest GeForce cards are slightly taller than reference, which indeed pushes the limits of the case. I gave you the example of the GD09 because that case became completely unworkable in a modern build, and to give TBG's HTPC audience another alternative, I switched to the GD05, which is actually an older case, but doesn't have the same CPU cooler conflicts. The GPU issue is actually simple to work around - the easiest solution is to go for EVGA's GTX 1660 Ti XC Ultra. I can guarantee that this card will work, because it uses the same reference-sized PCB that the GD05 was originally designed to accommodate when it was released about five years ago. I'm a bit hesitant to list this card in the guide because it costs a bit more than all the others, and no one who's purchased the build over the past month has commented to me that the Gigabyte doesn't fit. But perhaps they didn't tell me. I am quite confident that the Zotac would also work, but I know the EVGA will work, so you can feel free to choose that one.

I wish I could test every build that's published on TBG, but as you can imagine, that would be impossible, because components are updated every month. So I base the build on having tested dozens of builds over the past six years, which gives me a pretty good sense of how they go together. The kink in the crossbrace is indeed designed to make room for the PCIe power cables, rather than the PCB itself.

audimus

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #103 on: June 18, 2019, 10:53:13 PM »
Thanks for the alternative. That does look like a better fit like the Zotac with much less rise above the backing plate.

Hopefully, people who try any of these out with the same case will send email or post here on their experience. The 1660 Ti is indeed a great card especially if one is using MadVR processing for their videos. These are still new and not inexpensive so I am not sure how many may have completed such a build.

The GD05 is a great case for HTPC with the aluminum face plate. Silverstone did a good job with minimalist styling in the front front so it has aged very well and still looks great kept with the latest HiFi equipment.

Will try to look for acoustics info on these cards. Gamers don't care about acoustics as us using it for HTPC!

Hopefully this will be a living thread as more people post their experiences of this or a similar build.

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« Reply #104 on: June 19, 2019, 09:18:51 AM »
Thanks for the alternative. That does look like a better fit like the Zotac with much less rise above the backing plate.

Hopefully, people who try any of these out with the same case will send email or post here on their experience. The 1660 Ti is indeed a great card especially if one is using MadVR processing for their videos. These are still new and not inexpensive so I am not sure how many may have completed such a build.

The GD05 is a great case for HTPC with the aluminum face plate. Silverstone did a good job with minimalist styling in the front front so it has aged very well and still looks great kept with the latest HiFi equipment.

Will try to look for acoustics info on these cards. Gamers don't care about acoustics as us using it for HTPC!

Hopefully this will be a living thread as more people post their experiences of this or a similar build.

That EVGA card will be very quiet - you won't hear it at all. One tip, however, is that while it has a Zero Fan mode, you may need to turn that feature off. In my testing, Zero Fan mode can lead cards to bump up against the temperature threshold that triggers the fans, which leads to a constant on/off cycle. This is actually quite a bit louder and more noticeable than having the fan at a constant low RPM, so if you discover that the card is behaving this way, download the EVGA PrecisionX software and set a constant-on fan curve.