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aleckermit
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Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:21 pm

Hi, I've been away from the PC hardware scene for a while (since 2012 or so). I want to build, or preferably buy prebuilt from Ebay or somewhere else online) a tower that can output 4K video at 60fps, for use with my 4k TV. I want to play bluray discs/video files and play some older 3D games (like 2005 to 2010 era) at 4K 60fps. The tower needs to be quiet (passively cooled GPU preferred, and maybe same for the CPU)

Specifically, what CPU and GPU would you recommend for a build like this? Is there a good build on Ebay/Newegg that meets these requirements, for a fair price?

Thanks!

EDIT: My budget is $500-$600.
Last edited by aleckermit on Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
Waco
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:33 pm

Just about anything recent can do this. I run my 4K TV at 60 Hz via a 2600K and a GTX 780. It's performant enough to play most older games at 4K/60 without too much drama or dialing back of settings. Your biggest hurdle is going to be finding DRAM and GPUs at reasonable prices.
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DPete27
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:40 pm

Desktop graphics cards are so expensive right now they're a "do not buy"

When are you looking to buy/build? Within the next month? 3 months?

Do you have any size limitations? Something compact? or a full size tower?

Not sure about your budget or storage needs. Have you considered a mini-PC like this?
Last edited by DPete27 on Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:42 pm

Hi, pretty much anything with an HDMI 2.0 port should work. You could hop into best buy and look for HDMI 2.0 in the specs on the labels, or you could get something with a graphics card that you know has HDMI 2.0 connectors - like the Geforce GT 1030 which all (to the best of my knowledge) have HDMI 2.0b support.

The CPU or GPU on any modern system should be capable of decoding H.264 and H.265 streams at 4K 60fps with fixed function hardware, so the problem is largely about making sure that the socket on the computer is at least HDMI 2.0, and that the socket on the TV is at least HDMI 2.0 (not all HDMI sockets on a TV are equal!) and then that the cable is good enough (read: short enough - you don't need to spend lots of money on cables) for 4K60.

Gaming at 4K is more demanding, but anything modern with 4GB of VRAM should be adequate. 4GB GTX 1050Ti is probably the cheapest card you can get away with, and I know for a fact that it'll run Skyrim (2011) at 4K Ultra settings at around 35-40fps. That's probably a newer and more demanding game than you were thinking about, but it's one I can remember off the top of my head and it'll give you an idea of where the limit is for something like a 1050Ti at 4K. You'd get 60fps by dropping down to 1440p or possibly lowering some in-game details.
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DPete27
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:48 pm

Might be better off letting the TV up-convert a 1080p gaming stream to 4k?

Quick parts list I had lined up for a friend with similar intent (until GPU prices went nuts). I think you could err on the lower end of these recommendations.
i3-8100 for $130 (this is 4C/4T like previous-gen i5) or i5-8400 for $200
AsRock Z370M-ITX/ac for $126 and you can combo that with either the i3-8100 or i5-8400 for an extra $10 off. or MSI Z370i Gaming Pro Carbon for $143
16GB DDR4-3000 for $170
512GB M.2 SSD for $155
Seasonic Focus+ for $65
Fractal Design Nano S for $60
I had intended for him to get a GTX1060 6GB for $275.....but.....
Theoretical price tag = $975
You could always run without the GPU (can still use the system for videos, but probably no games) until prices come down.
Last edited by DPete27 on Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:00 pm

For video playback it's Intel GPUs all the way. They're just better supported.

But while it does have a decent amount of power, it's going to struggle to push even 2010 at 8 million pixels.
 
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:21 pm

If you are going for integrated graphic chip from intel cpu, make sure to check their ark and make sure the chip itself support 60 4k. For example, my g3258 refused to output 4k, any 4k, so 60 4k was out of the question. I took a look at the intel ark for that chip, and found out why.
 
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:49 pm

You're going to need the latest 7th-gen or 8th-gen Intel chips to do anything 4K@60Hz, or do as I did and purchase an nvidia GT 1030. It outputs HDMI 2.0 and has hardware-accelerated video decoding for everything, including YouTube. The 1030 comes in passively cooled flavors and is weak enough that miners aren't really interested.
 
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:26 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
Hi, pretty much anything with an HDMI 2.0 port should work. You could hop into best buy and look for HDMI 2.0 in the specs on the labels, or you could get something with a graphics card that you know has HDMI 2.0 connectors - like the Geforce GT 1030 which all (to the best of my knowledge) have HDMI 2.0b support.

The CPU or GPU on any modern system should be capable of decoding H.264 and H.265 streams at 4K 60fps with fixed function hardware, so the problem is largely about making sure that the socket on the computer is at least HDMI 2.0, and that the socket on the TV is at least HDMI 2.0 (not all HDMI sockets on a TV are equal!) and then that the cable is good enough (read: short enough - you don't need to spend lots of money on cables) for 4K60.

Gaming at 4K is more demanding, but anything modern with 4GB of VRAM should be adequate. 4GB GTX 1050Ti is probably the cheapest card you can get away with, and I know for a fact that it'll run Skyrim (2011) at 4K Ultra settings at around 35-40fps. That's probably a newer and more demanding game than you were thinking about, but it's one I can remember off the top of my head and it'll give you an idea of where the limit is for something like a 1050Ti at 4K. You'd get 60fps by dropping down to 1440p or possibly lowering some in-game details.


I was buying HDMI cables and at Newegg and a person was complaining about getting
only 4K30fps with his cable. The manufacturer responded that the cable purchased was
a XXXX grade cable and to get 4K60 a YYYY grade
HDMI cable (P569-015-CERT) was required.

So something to watch out for.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 2F855T5544
is what I ended up buying. 4K/60 15 foot

It's like my old video card that is listed as doing up to 1440p...
BUT not out of the old HDMI outputs on the card.
ONLY out of the Displayport or I guess it is dual DVI.
Now I wondering If I can get a "dual DVI" to HDMI converter
and fix it that way.... back to Newegg.

I've found it very difficult to find the listing for a card
that lists the output for EACH type of output on the card.
Only the highest output.

My 4k monitor of course has only 1 displayport and I'm stuck with
low resolution on the HDMI inputs for my other two old video card setups.

Just ordered a Radeon 460 4Gig card for $100 and am
just crossing my fingers that it has 1440p HDMI output.
Could not even find a download for the card manual.
Last edited by jmc2 on Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Waco
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:44 pm

I'm using a crappy free HDMI cable that came with a monitor about a decade ago for 4K/60 on my desktop. 99.9% of the time, it's not the cable.
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:04 pm

If you want to play 4K Blu Rays, then you need a CPU with Intel SGX extensions- i.e. Skylake or newer.
 
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:14 pm

Re: cable,

it must be different with game consoles and blu ray players. My Xbox one s won't play in 4k until I used the cable that came with (I was using the ps3 cable before). And the new sony ubpx800 refused to run correctly unless I used a cable with 18gbps....
They must have put a chip in those, or disabled one.
 
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:35 pm

The Core i3-8100 is a good choice for this application.
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CScottG
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:52 pm

Hmm, low noise and 4k and full 60 FPS gaming.. Note that even a game put-out just a year and a half beyond that 2010 date: The Witcher 2 - will utterly kill any normal iGPU in a 4k context with decent settings.


I'd probably wait for that pricey NUC from Intel with Vega for on-board graphics (..even the cheaper version of it). :wink:

https://techreport.com/review/33042/int ... s-revealed
 
aleckermit
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:39 am

Thank you for all of the suggestions! I should have mentioned my budget: $500-$600. There's a guy on Ebay selling a tower with the following specs for $600:

B350 Motherboard
Ryzen 3 1200 CPU
8gb ram
GTX 1050ti 4gb GPU
60gb SSD and 500gb HDD storage

Perhaps I can build this myself for less, and with you guys's suggestions change some of these parts out for better ones.

Thanks!
 
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:29 am

You'll probably end up scrapping the 60GB SSD and the hdd from that Ebay machine since neither will hold enough data for your use, so you'll probably want to add ~$60 to that number for a ~2TB hard drive

Sample Budget Box:
Ryzen 3 1200 = $100
B350 mobo = $75 (I recommend 4 RAM slots so you can add more RAM later)
16GB RAM = $160 (or 8GB for $95)
450W PSU = $28
250GB SSD = $80 (anything less than that is too small IMO)
2TB hdd = $65 (2TB and up is best bang for $, looking for $30/TB or less)
Cooler Master Case = $36 (just a cheap case from a good manufacturer)
Windows 10 for $10 (not sure if you already have a copy, so I won't add to subtotal)

Subtotal = $545
Again, graphics card is going to be the budget killer. A GTX1050Ti ought to do fine, but they SHOULD cost around $115.....

Side thought, depending on timeline: Pentium G4600 for $80 and a B250 mobo for $57 gets you a working machine that you can at least watch movies on until GPU prices come down, and it adds $40 to your GPU budget. Sounds like a travesty to ditch the SSD, but going with the G4600 option, 8GB RAM, and dropping the SSD allows you $240 in your budget for a GPU...GTX1050Ti for $205 and a grand total of $570. The Ryzen 3 CPU option above brings you in at $605 with those same deductions. Consider that the equivalent ebay listing would end up costing you $600 + $65 for a larger hdd..
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:10 pm

aleckermit wrote:
Thank you for all of the suggestions! I should have mentioned my budget: $500-$600. There's a guy on Ebay selling a tower with the following specs for $600:

B350 Motherboard
Ryzen 3 1200 CPU
8gb ram
GTX 1050ti 4gb GPU
60gb SSD and 500gb HDD storage

Perhaps I can build this myself for less, and with you guys's suggestions change some of these parts out for better ones.

Thanks!


If you buy that, you won't be able to watch 4K Blu Rays on it. The DRM requires Intel SGX, which Ryzen doesn't have.
 
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:13 pm

Isn't it still better/easier to have a BluRay set-top box for playing BluRay discs?
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:18 pm

DPete27 wrote:
Isn't it still better/easier to have a BluRay set-top box for playing BluRay discs?


Potentially, but the OP did say that he wanted the PC to play Blu Ray.

Have you considered an XBox One S, OP? It has 4K Blu Ray support, Plex, plenty of streaming apps, and plays games.
 
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:19 pm

Blu Ray set up box....
You mean a 4k blu ray player like the sony ubpx800?
I thought set up boxes were like appletv or roku or oem android box.
It's way cost effective if you just buy a xbox one s.
If pc, just try makemkv (a totally legit software) to rip the blu rays. Not sure if it works on 4k ones.
 
aleckermit
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:32 pm

OK so let me jump in here to update where I am.

I bought this 1050Ti because it was dirt cheap (hope the seller follows through?): https://www.ebay.com/itm/EVGA-GeForce-G ... 2749.l2649 ------ I may throw a passive heatsink on it if one exists.

If that GPU falls through (WHICH IT DID) I'm going with the silent GT 1030. It supports HDMI 2.0, and is quite a bit better than my old Radeon HD 4850 which played most older games well...

or perhaps the MSI RX550 is a better choice?

I now need a recommendation for:
1. An Intel CPU for 4K blu-ray and video file playback, cheapest possible that won't bottleneck the GPU (might upgrade the GPU at some point in the coming years). - Core i3 8300?
2. A passively cooled motherboard that suits the CPU and GPU.
3. A smaller stylish black case that doesn't draw attention to itself and will look ok sitting horizontally. A large rear fan is a plus, to remove the heat quietly.

Once again, thank you guys for the help.
Last edited by aleckermit on Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
DPete27
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:17 pm

What was the price of the 1050Ti? You're saying the purchase did in fact fall through. If so, why? Did the seller realize that they listed below current market value (which nearly doubled in the past 2 weeks) and cancelled the order after close? I'd be talking to Ebay about that, pronto.

Most current-gen GPUs have semi-passive fans, so the fan probably won't even spin while watching movies. The fan will spin during games, but that's less critical. I can't speak for the lower end GPUs though. Might need to check the specific model you're looking at buying.

All motherboards (in your price range) are passively cooled.

Case: Something like the Node 202 might be what you're referring to? Make sure you're paying attention to component size limitations with those (ie SFX power supply)
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:37 pm

aleckermit wrote:

..I feel like I can get away with a dinkier CPU perhaps, while still playing older games in 4k?



Yes (..depending on the game).

RAM freq. might me more of an issue with a particular game and "draw distance".

Still, by FAR the limiting factor is the video card w/ most games.. It really depends on the game and its settings as to if you'll get anywhere near an average frame-rate approaching 60 with 4k. (..and this is assuming the game even supports 4k - which could be a BIG assumption.)
 
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:13 pm

That case requires a TFX power supply, not SFX. I own this one and highly recommend it if that's the route you want to take (looks like the 80+ Gold version is cheaper, so get that), and the fan doesn't start spinning until about 50% load.
Just know that you're limiting your choices for future GPU upgrades by choosing a case that only takes low-profile GPUs.

The Intel G4600 I listed above will do 4k@60Hz and has SGX and is $40 cheaper than the i3-7100. Same 2C/4T, and only 8% lower clockspeed. Also reconsider the MSI B250 mobo I suggested earlier since it has 4 RAM slots for the same price as the H110 board you linked.

How about this BluRay drive for $40

Just an FYI, GTX1050 2GB for $115 today. I don't recommend <4GB for modern games, but since you're about 6 years behind on games, you'll probably be a while before 2GB VRAM starts hurting. Here's a decent review.
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aleckermit
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:06 pm

After taking everyone's opinion into consideration, and also coming to the realization that gaming is not a priority at all for me right now (I'm about to start school), I've come to these parts:

RAM: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 0005-00704

Case: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6811129232

PSU: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6817151113

SSD: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6820250078

CPU & Mobo: https://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBun ... bo.3706555

Blu-ray drive: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 4A05D82652

Total: $551

I switched to the Core i3-8100 because it's a superior CPU to the Ryzen 3 and comes with a built-in GPU that supports 4k everything and has the added bonus of playing well with the Dolphin emulator, which I tinker with. It's also about $50 cheaper than a Ryzen 1200 + b350 mobo + $70 graphics card. I do video editing, so the added speed will be appreciated. I can add a low-profile dedicated GPU down the road, in a generation or two from now. The build should be near silent, another big plus for me. Someone suggested I switch to a cheaper blu-ray drive, but this one seems to have better reviews than any of the other budget drives when it comes to noise. I know that cheaper 8th gen intel motherboards are coming soonish, but I do need this computer now (replacing a broken laptop that I never took anywhere, always had hooked up to TV).

Any more suggestions?
 
JustAnEngineer
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:52 pm

Here's a cheaper source for an LG Blu-ray drive. I've had good service from LG drives.
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 9PV4R70529

I really suggest that you should get a case that accepts full-height expansion cards. If you ever do want to install a graphics card, the full-height options are cheaper, perform better and run more quietly than the half-height versions.
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aleckermit
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:39 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
I really suggest that you should get a case that accepts full-height expansion cards. If you ever do want to install a graphics card, the full-height options are cheaper, perform better and run more quietly than the half-height versions.


If you can find a one that sits horizontally in a home entertainment shelf, I would definitely consider it!
 
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:42 pm

aleckermit wrote:
JustAnEngineer wrote:
I really suggest that you should get a case that accepts full-height expansion cards. If you ever do want to install a graphics card, the full-height options are cheaper, perform better and run more quietly than the half-height versions.


If you can find a one that sits horizontally in a home entertainment shelf, I would definitely consider it!

Nearly a third of Newegg's "HTPC Cases" selection can do that. Check it out:
https://www.newegg.com/HTPC-Media-Cente ... 0?Tid=8308
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DPete27
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Re: Need Advice for Building a PC Tower for 4K Home Entertainment Use

Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:19 pm

Build looks good to me.

Couple last minute considerations:
Since you're dropping the dGPU, how about 16GB RAM for $170 (promo code EMCPERS55 ends 1/29)
I think the WD Blue SSD is a fine drive, but the Crucial MX500 is a few bucks cheaper and a touch faster (not that you're likely to notice)
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