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HTPC CPU Choices... + Software question...

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
So, I'm finally ready to pull the trigger for my HPTC Build. Here's what I've come up with so far, (yes i know it's slight overkill, but wbesides going used; the reality is, buying old gen stuff costs the same/more than just doing an mITX Haswell build... mad.gif
So that last piece of the puzzle is CPU choice.


This HTPC Will be used basically for Bluray movies, Internet Media Streaming, and Emualtors. No real PC gaming such as bf4, wow or anything of that sort...

In Win H Frame Case
Asus Z97I Plus (Swap-able Wi-Fi Card, and M.2 Socket for dedicated OS SSD Drive on board.
8+ GB Low Profile Memory (not picky here)
LG CT10N BluRay Drive




So my first problem is CPU choice. Going Haswell i had planned on utilizing their iGPU with the HD4600.... But the mobo does have a PCIe x16 slot i can utilize. so... Due to case limitations of 65w thermal cpu max my choices are:

~$60 Celeron G1850 <--- (i think that' the highest version... but i'm thinking will be tooooo slow for my taste.. or am i wrong? )

~$100 Pentium Dual Core 3450 <---( I will probably want to be at least here for some what future proofing... )

~$160 i3 Dual Core 4370 <--- Seems like the best middle ground for capability, speed, TDP and price...)

~$210 i5 Quad Core 4590s/4690 <---( at 65W TDP, it's at the recommended limit for the case, and honestly i don't think i need to go this far, not this high of a price, but then again. that's why i'm asking.)



So i'm leaning more towards the i3 atm... I could get a cheaper CPU and get a dedicated GPU, but i honestly don't think i'll need that until 4K becomes main stream, and supposedly the iGPU can handle 4k play back... i guess i could always get a dedicated GPU later in the future if it comes down to it.

Second, can vlc media player play blu rays? or do i 'need', or better said do you guys recommend me getting a specific blue ray/dvd program to watch my movies?
I am using Win8.1 64-bit (just in case that matters with program choice.


Thoughts?

Thanks for your help in advance.
post #2 of 17
Take a look at my HTPC build. It is pretty similar to what you got. I am using the Integrated graphics. You will be able to handle "Bluray movies, Internet Media Streaming, and Emulators"

Link to my build: http://www.overclock.net/t/1319808/silent-htpc-build/40#post_22617570

You are going to love the boot times from using the M.2. For the VLC question... I do not use VLC, so maybe someone who uses it will chime in or what they prefer to use as a player. In my 1min Google search this is what I found in the following forum ( https://forum.videolan.org/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=105955 ).

"VLC media player will be the best way to play Blu-Ray in Windows 8 64-bit or Windows 8 32 bit for free." That's all relative, but the main thing to take from this is yes it can play Blu-Ray movies.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yea, my google searches only pulled everyone recommending to just buy the same 3 blue ray softwares, which i don't mind, but i wanted to see if you guys had any other ideas first.
vlc needs some special codec, which iay d/l and try it out and see if i like it.

As for the m.2, i'm jealous my jtpc will have it and my rivebe doesn't ha e it. I have dual gpu and plenty of lanes left for such a perfect option! Haha. But, it's great for space saving in an htpc setup.
I'm thinkjng i'll probably go i3, though the i5 does entice me for the extra oomph just in case... still falls under the case's tdp.


I appreciate you taking the time to respond.
post #4 of 17
The i3 I have in my sig HTPC is more than capable of playing emulators, blu-rays, streaming, etc. It has far surpassed my expectations and I don't think you'd be disappointed by it. I personally don't use VLC player (nothing against it at all) but I use XBMC or Kodi as it's now called and I have AnyDVD HD running in the background to play/rip the blu rays I have in my collection, the download is free to try out from their website, it only costs after 30 days if you want all the features permanently. It's a nice setup for my 400 movies/tv shows I have on my HDD. thumb.gif
post #5 of 17
I've built five HTPCs all with i3 CPUs. Playback is fine at 1080p which is all I or any of the other three users care about. VLC can play BluRay but you need to configure it so it's not "painless." I've also been using the Gigabyte Hx7WiFi MoBos without any glitches. I stream all my Internet stuff (Netflix, Amazon Prime, sports events) wirelessly and have yet to see any performance issues at all (see the HTPC specs in the sig line). Hope this helps.
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-4790k  ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark 2 ASUS GTX 960 2GB STRIX 16GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
256 GB Samsung 850 PRO WD 2TB Caviar Black Noctua NH U12S Win8.1 
MonitorPowerCase
NEC MultiSynch P221W SeaSonic G 650 Fractal Design Define R5 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel i3-3225 Gigabyte H77N-WiFi 4GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical DDR3 1600 120 GB Samsung EVO 840 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
500GB WD Blue LG Blue Ray DVD Reader Noctua NH-L9i Win7 
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Photo Editing PC
(11 items)
 
HTPC
(11 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-4790k  ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark 2 ASUS GTX 960 2GB STRIX 16GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
256 GB Samsung 850 PRO WD 2TB Caviar Black Noctua NH U12S Win8.1 
MonitorPowerCase
NEC MultiSynch P221W SeaSonic G 650 Fractal Design Define R5 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel i3-3225 Gigabyte H77N-WiFi 4GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical DDR3 1600 120 GB Samsung EVO 840 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
500GB WD Blue LG Blue Ray DVD Reader Noctua NH-L9i Win7 
KeyboardPowerCase
Logitech K-400 Seasonic G360 Lian Li PC Q-27B 
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post #6 of 17
have you considered ripping your BR and streaming them to your HTPC by using your sig rig as the server?
use makeMKV/handbrake to get the rips where you want them size/feature wise, then use something like plex as the server and plex home theatre on your HTPC.
great, easy setup that doesn't make you have to manage codecs and hope your BR will play with no worries or hangups via VLC or some other proprietary software.

CPU wise. the i3 will give you the most headroom and all around performance, but the Pentium would be fine as well.
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
3820 @ 4.3giggles sabertooth x79 EVGA gtx 970 @ working on OC mushkin redline 16gb @ 1866 c9  
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
crucial m4 128gb WD blue 1tb hitachi deskstar 500gb WD Black 2tb 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Hitachi Desktar NAS 6tb LG Bluray royale with cheese seidon 240m win 10 x64 
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new life
(17 items)
 
Ripley
(6 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
3820 @ 4.3giggles sabertooth x79 EVGA gtx 970 @ working on OC mushkin redline 16gb @ 1866 c9  
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
crucial m4 128gb WD blue 1tb hitachi deskstar 500gb WD Black 2tb 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Hitachi Desktar NAS 6tb LG Bluray royale with cheese seidon 240m win 10 x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
acer G245HDL x2 logitech g710+ corsair 650w switch 810 white 
Mouse
rat 7 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
i5-4200u HD 4400 8gb @ 1600mhz Crucial MX300 275gb 
OSMonitor
Manjaro 15.6" 1080p 
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post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
I definitely Appreciate all of Your opinions and/or advice(s). Thanks!


t00sl0w:
My sig rig is my gaming right an I prefer at this point in time to keep it that way. After the HTPC I planned to build a Media Nas Server so that i could store/backup movies without having to constantly pop in discs.

AlanG:
Yea, I've noticed that using VLC is a pain to setup, at least initially... So i may look into just buying a program that's designed with updates for it... I'll see.

MythTFLfan29:
I'll look into the software you've suggested as well. Thanks!
post #8 of 17
Yup I agree as well on the NAS if you have that flexibility. I know exactly what you mean Clos and my wife does too. She likes the fact she can just sit and browse the list of movies being accessed from the NAS. I use XBMC (Kodi) as my main movie media player but there are a lot of other good options available for media players depending on your need. For the format I personally went with ISO files as the backups to keep things simple.

Off topic: I have a ton of DVD's from the 80's, 90's and more sitting on my floor at my desk waiting to be backed up. As well as a lot of VHS tapes I collected over the years I need to convert... hahah.I am slowly getting through the pile. Nonetheless I like having the VHS tapes and media discs collection on display on the wall. I still got my VHS players, a working 8mm tape projector and reels makes for a nice conversation piece when I have visitors. A nice little mix of old school and new.
Edited by RogueRage - 10/22/14 at 9:54am
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Haha, Tha'ts awesome RogueRage.
I agree for the display, I'm currently looking for a nice wooden shelf to start alphabetizing my Dvd's and Bluerays. But Ya'lls idea to back up, and especially your's into an ISO for space and simplicity is an excellent idea. I just need to figure out the capacity i'd need to build the NAS with. I originally planned to stripe 3x2tb then mirror to have ~5.x tb.. but i may up it to 3x3tb just to cover myself. the 3tb hard drive's prices are coming down, so by the time i'm ready, it shouldn't (hopefully) hurt as bad tongue.gif

Is it smarter to use a program to rip the Bluerays? or use the digital copies that come on the discs? the majority of the sets i buy come with digital copies...
post #10 of 17
I have used the digital copies without issue. At first I was compressing the ISO files to limit space usage using DVD FAB with BD Rebuilder. Now space is not an issue so I use the full ISOs and I can stream the full ISO's wirelessly without issue. Definitely use the digital copies if you can.

Yeah the 3TB are definitely coming down in price. If possible hold out to black friday and/or Cyber Mondays. I bought tweleve 3TB green drives for $79-$90 bucks a piece a couple years ago from Amazon. This was a lightening deal on Amazon and it got sold out pretty fast. That said Amazon was only limiting one drive sale per account at the time. Each HD was around $120-$140 range at regular price. My way around this limitation was to enlist family and friends to each buy a drive for me (luckily all had a prime account too). Out of 15 that tried I was able to get 12. Surprisingly, the next day Amazon had the same lightening deal again but I already had what I needed. Who knows maybe the 4TB will be on sale too ;p
Edited by RogueRage - 10/22/14 at 12:19pm
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