[HTPC] Shopping list feedback please

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Mastakilla
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[HTPC] Shopping list feedback please

Post by Mastakilla » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:38 pm

Hi all,

I'd like some feedback on my shopping list.

First of all, the goals of this system:
* The HTPC will be located in the living room, inside a closed cabinet with the plasma TV on top
* The HTPC will be connected with Gbit ethernet to my desktop (which is in the office)
* The desktop contains all media (so only a small SSD is required in the HTPC)
* In the future I might install a standalone videocard in the HTPC for playing games (mainly racing) with my xbox controller. Mouse and keyboard games will be played in the office on the desktop.
* I will not attach a mouse, keyboard or monitor to the HTPC. Only LAN and the plasma TV. I'll use remote desktop for maintenance and Yatse (= Kodi Android Remote) for controlling media playback (and in the future possibly the xbox controller for games)
* Because the HTPC is in closed cabinet, I did not go for a fully passive cooling solution. This also leaves open installing a standalone videocard in the future. I do appreciate the HTPC to be as silent as possible.
* Media encoding (~ Plex) I currently don't do yet, but if I'll do it, it will be on the desktop.
* Sound: to begin I'll connect my 5.1 speakers directly to the analogue connections of the HTPCs motherboard. At a later point I might buy a decent receiver and connect it via HDMI.
* Motherboard form factor: I'm currently leaning towards mATX. mITX only has one pci-e slot, which doesn't leave much after installing a standalone videocard. Not entirely sure yet if I'll need it though ;)

Shopping list:
* CPU
Intel Core i3-6100 (125 euro) --> This one currently has my preference. Decent speed per core and 2 cores + HT sound sufficient.
Intel Core i5-6400 (194 euro) --> Slower speed per core, but more cores. Might be usefull for gaming someday, but not sure if it is worth the extra cost.
Intel Core i5-6600 (234 euro) --> Little faster speed per core and more cores. Might be usefull for gaming someday, but not sure if it is worth the extra cost.
Intel Core i5-6600K (252 euro) --> Overkill I think. I will only overclock it IF I can keep it unhearable from my couch at the same time (so most likely not).

* CPU cooler:
Scythe Mugen 4 --> I know this one is ok. Not sure if there is anything better / comparable worth looking at yet...
...?

* Mobo
ASRock Z170M Extreme4 (133 euro) --> This one currently has my preference. Realtek ALC1150 sound with some "premium sound crap". USB3.1 (normal + type C).
Asus Z170M-PLUS (127 euro) --> Realtek ALC887 also with some "premium sound crap" (might not be a big difference with the Asrock, but still... not sure...). Only USB3.0 (normal + type C) (this is also 5Gbps instead of 10Gbps for USB3.1, so not that big of an issue).
H170 might be good enough too, but I did not find any mobo with decent connectivity (USB type C) and decent sound with a H170 chipset yet

* SSD
Crucial BX200 240GB (70 euro) --> looks sufficient for an ok price
My old Intel X25-M 160G2 --> I might be able to recover this one from my desktop
I also looked at the M2 type SSDs, but it seems like they are still asking a big premium for these (around 100 euro for the same capacity). And I doubt that I'll notice the performance difference in my usage.

* RAM
8GB Kingston HyperX Fury black HX424C15FBK2/8 --> 8GB should be enough

and finally the 2 most important for feedback...

* PSU (SPCR list is a bit out of date on PSUs, could not find much of their recommended PSUs anymore)
Corsair RM550x Gold (96 euro) --> found some decent reviews / comments on this one, but it is also very expensive
Seasonic M12II Evo 520W Bronze (70 euro) --> probably very decent PSU, but I've found some reports that it is not the most silent one
Sharkoon SilentStorm SFX Gold 500W (85 euro) --> not sure which manufacturer really produces this PSU and if it is any good. It is cheap for a Gold PSU, which also makes me a bit suspicious.
Cooler Master GM G550M Bronze (66 euro)
Cooler Master V Series V550 - 80+ Gold (94 euro)
Corsair CX500M Bronze (67 euro)

* Case
Silverstone Temjin TJ08B-E (98 euro) -->
I've spend most time thinking about the case and came to this one.
It fits in the cabinet. My idea was to make a big hole in the back of the cabinet so that all exhaust air (coming only from the back of this case) can go outside the cabinet through the back. I'm not sure yet if I'll need to buy an additional 120mm exhaust fan or if the 180mm intake fan (@ 500rmp) will automaticly force out the hot air through the back. The PSU draws the air from under the case and also has the exhaust on the back.
Last edited by Mastakilla on Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

CA_Steve
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Re: [HTPC] Shopping list feedback please

Post by CA_Steve » Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:15 pm

Hi,

When you say "closet" do you mean closed door cabinet in an entertainment center?
- cutting a rear vent in the cabinet is a good plan.
- how much of an air gap is there in the front?

Gaming: Racing games can use little or lots of resources, depending on the game, screen resolution, and quality settings. Could be you can get away with the iGP or you need a 250W $700 card. :)

Case: is fine. Yes, add a rear fan like the Scythe Glidestream PWM 120mm

CPU: I like the i3-6100. Really high base speed is what most games like. I think it'll work fine for racing games.

CPU cooler: Scythe Kotetsu, is lighter weight, costs a little less, and will have similar performance with the i3.

Mobo: Either of those is fine. The ALC1150 is a better codec. Asus also has the H170 Pro Gaming

SSD: Crucial is ok - they went backwards on performance with the BX200. I'd spend a few euros more for the Samsung 850 EVO.

RAM: ok.

PSU: Ought to size your future gfx card before you size the PSU...that said, 500W class is fine for most single gpu gaming builds. I wouldn't get a bronze efficiency PSU. Just more heat for the cabinet -> higher fan speeds -> more noise. How's the be quiet! Straight Power 10 prices?
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

boost
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Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:29 am
Location: de_DE

Re: [HTPC] Shopping list feedback please

Post by boost » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:13 am

You could buy a nVidia Shield TV and stream all the games from your PC. It also has more than enough power for media playback.
Lian Li V600, Asus P77Z-M Pro, i5-3570K 4.4GHz with Scythe Orochi, 140mm Slipstream 500RPM and Mugen2 115X Bolt through kit, Evga GTX 970 Superclocked, BeQuiet E9 580W CM

Mastakilla
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2005 12:16 pm
Location: .BE

Re: [HTPC] Shopping list feedback please

Post by Mastakilla » Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:08 am

@ CA_Steve

Thanks for the good answer!

I indeed mean a closed door cabinet (updated my start topic).
The depth of cabinet is larger on the left (62 cm) than on the right (27 cm).
I will place the HTPC on the right, so there should be an air gap of 18-23 cm.
At a later point in time, I might replace the cabinet with something similar with a single depth over the whole width.
So can you tell me what the minimum adviced airgap would be in the front?

GPU
Atm I for example play Dirt Rally, so only an IGP seems a bit weak.
I will not buy a 700 euro card though. Usually something around 300 euro (or 200 euro 2nd hand).
Also a dual GPU is out of the question.

REAR FAN
Thanks for the advice on the rear fan.
Scythe GlideStream 120 mm PWM 1300rpm, 120mm (9 euro)
At how much volt does it become silent enough?
I suppose this 120mm cannot cope with all air blown in by the 180mm fan, so the higher air pressure in the case will still force out some of the remaining air through other holes in the back of the case?

CPU FAN
Scythe Kotetsu (30 euro)
--> I also looked at this cpu cooler. I noticed that it even gets better results than the Mugen 4. But I think in general the Mugen 4 should be better (more heatpipes, larger) and that the Kotetsu tested by SPCR accidently had an exceptionally flat surface or something. The difference is 8 euro, so not that huge, but if the Kotetsu is indeed consistently as good as the Mugen 4, then it might indeed be worth considering.

MOBO
The Asus H170 Pro Gaming is an ATX mobo and wont fit in this case.

SSD
Samsung 850 EVO 250GB (85 euro)
Crucial BX200 240GB (69 euro)
--> is the samsung worth the price difference? Sequential speed doesn't really matter for this use case. Is there a substancial difference in random access speed?

PSU
be quiet! Straight Power 10 500W (92 euro)
Is this really a decent, high quality PSU? Perhaps this is no longer true, but when I hear the brand "Be Quiet!" I think of a budget, el cheapo brand. Not something I'd consider for a PSU ;)
Now I know that these brands don't actually build their own PSUs, so it might be that this PSU is actually build by a decent manufacturer with decent components.
It is indeed a little cheaper (4 euro) than the Corsair RM550x, but only a little...
Regarding the bronze vs gold: would a bronze PSU really make a difference during media playback (= low power usage)? During gaming I think it matters less, cause then I'll most likely have a GPU that produces more noise than the PSU anyway...

@ boost

Thanks for this suggestion.

Although I would normally never consider a standalone box like this (with their crappy small fans without dust filters), I must admit that this one is indeed pretty interesting!
Any idea how much noise it makes and if it is suitable to put in the cabinet (to reduce the noise a little more)?

I do like the idea of streaming games locally if it works well. And I actually don't really like the idea of buying 2 expensive GPUs (1 for the desktop and 1 for the HTPC).
There are still some issues with this I think... I currently have an AMD GPU, which is not (and will not be) supported. I also have 2 Windows Xbox controllers that I like very much. Also those don't seem supported (yet?). Also it seems Dolby ATMOS is not (yet?) supported. And this standalone box would also mean that I need to buy myself a new receiver a lot sooner then I planned, cause it does not have analogue 5.1 connections.

But still... I'm considering the option...

Mastakilla
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2005 12:16 pm
Location: .BE

Re: [HTPC] Shopping list feedback please

Post by Mastakilla » Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:20 am

Not sure if this will make anything clearer ;) but here are some scribbles of the cabinet and HTPC placement

Image
Image
Image

CA_Steve
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Re: [HTPC] Shopping list feedback please

Post by CA_Steve » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:59 pm

I'll admit I'm still confused on the dimensions of your cabinet space. But, I'm not going to let it stop me from giving advice. :)
- You'll want 4-5cm of space between the rear of the cabinet and the wall.
- If the rear wall of the cabinet isn't load bearing, cut out a space directly facing the rear PC fans. Make it a few centimeters larger than the area occupied by the fans. The closer you place the rear of the PC to the hole, the less hot air will recirculate in the closed space.
- If it's hard for air to come in through the air gap of the cabinet's front door, then more will be recirculated from the internal space. How much of an air gap do you have in front around the door frame? If it's significantly less area than the fan intake area it'll affect temps. Not so much for just an i3...but whan you add a 120W class card like the GTX960, it could.

GPU: GTX 960 will get you 53-60fps in Dirt Rally 1080p Ultra settings. You might get playable results with the Skylake IGP and 1080p Medium settings.

rear fan: Yes, the 180mm does most of the heavy lifting. You can play with the Glidestream's speed using your mobo's fan profile settings. Since this is in a PC in a cabinet across the room from you, I doubt any speed will be audible :) If it were 1m away, I'd say anything under 500-600rpm tends to be inaudible.

cooler: consider the tested CPU had a 125W TDP. Your i3 is 51W. Any decent aftermarket cooler will provide good temps and be inaudible. Also, with the Mugen 4, you have to make sure they ship you the revised cooler (with slightly shorter screws) to make sure it's compatible with Skylake's thinner CPU board. One less thing to worry about.

mobo: oops - thought it was an H170M. sorry.

SSD: yes

PSU: yes. They've never been a cheapo brand.
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

boost
Posts: 661
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:29 am
Location: de_DE

Re: [HTPC] Shopping list feedback please

Post by boost » Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:40 pm

Mastakilla wrote:I do like the idea of streaming games locally if it works well. And I actually don't really like the idea of buying 2 expensive GPUs (1 for the desktop and 1 for the HTPC).
There are still some issues with this I think... I currently have an AMD GPU, which is not (and will not be) supported. I also have 2 Windows Xbox controllers that I like very much. Also those don't seem supported (yet?). Also it seems Dolby ATMOS is not (yet?) supported. And this standalone box would also mean that I need to buy myself a new receiver a lot sooner then I planned, cause it does not have analogue 5.1 connections.
The Xbox 360 controller works, the Xbone controller doesn't.
Anandtech measured 20W when gaming, so fan noise shouldn't be an issue. Gaming only makes sense if you have a nvidia GPU.
DTS HD and True HD can be passed through. Atmos seems like a licensing issue. Does Dolby Atmos make a difference in a normal home theatre setup? (I really don't know, that's why I ask)
Do you need a new receiver or a decoder or a preamp for your setup to work with sound through HDMI?
Lian Li V600, Asus P77Z-M Pro, i5-3570K 4.4GHz with Scythe Orochi, 140mm Slipstream 500RPM and Mugen2 115X Bolt through kit, Evga GTX 970 Superclocked, BeQuiet E9 580W CM

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