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PC upgrade + media/TV computer


FullMetal

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Some help/tips for my possible upgrade and TV media computer build.

So what's the deal? I currently have my rig (specs posted below) which still preforms pretty well actually. But considering upgrading (with the new Nvidia cards coming out fairly well priced). And apart from that: moving into my own place (yay!) in which I have plans to also set up a fairly powerfull media center PC to the television (for random internet browsing/media player and for some of the controller friendly/couch friendly steam games.

I think to assemble something myself but I'm still figuring out what's best price/quality. As I said: main gaming PC upgrade shall (probably) only be the GPU. But I'm also thinking getting DDR4 ram because it's also getting more affordable (and putting more RAM in it)

The media center PC: will be built around the 980. Doesn't need any overpowered specs for the rest (the GPU probably will be overkill for a media center PC anyways). Just needs to be sure to run HD and 4K easily and overall smooth preformance for other programmes and for some STEAM games.


Also worth mentioning: no need for WiFi receiver in the 'TV computer'. I'm gonna make ethernet points available throughout the house.

Current rig:

CPU: Intel I7 4790k (8 cores 4,4ghz)
GPU: ASUS GTX 980 4GB
RAM: Corsair 16 GB (2X8) 1866mhz
PSU: Corsair 550w
Motherboard: ASUS maximus

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Have any specific model for the Corsair PSU? If its a CX then I would recommend upgrading it aswell. What other programs will you be using? The GTX 980 should be fine for the majority of Steam games.

 

DDR4 memory also hasn't been the biggest imporvent over DDR3, if you really want DDR4 then I would recommend waiting until AMD Zen and (possibly) Kaby Lake to release so you can make the best decision possible. But if you don't really care for DDR4 then a 4790K is more than enough.

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Gonna need to check on the PSU again. Also so it's better to put in more ram rather than replace it?

Also seems like you're pretty knowledgable on the point of PC's. Would you mind helping a bit with price/quality suggestions for my media center rig?

 

What do I want from the media center rig: a compact sized PC for the living room/connect to the TV. My 980GTX must be in it (=> plan on upgrading GPU no doubt on my gaming rig) and as for the rest a pretty stable/smooth working computer for high quality movies, average controller/couch friendly PC games).

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You don't need more RAM or DDR4. For an HTC 8GB is more than enough. You won't even get close to usable 4K performance out of a 980 though. A GTX1080 is give or take for that resolution.

 

A 980, mini-ITX mobo, 2x8GB DDR3, half tera SSD and a midrange LGA1150 i5 will cover all you need and more.

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Gonna need to check on the PSU again. Also so it's better to put in more ram rather than replace it?

 

Also seems like you're pretty knowledgable on the point of PC's. Would you mind helping a bit with price/quality suggestions for my media center rig?

 

What do I want from the media center rig: a compact sized PC for the living room/connect to the TV. My 980GTX must be in it (=> plan on upgrading GPU no doubt on my gaming rig) and as for the rest a pretty stable/smooth working computer for high quality movies, average controller/couch friendly PC games).

 

16 GB is more than enough for today's gaming needs. We haven't even been reaching to the point where 8 GB is the bare minimum, so you should be fine.

 

This build should be fine for your needs

 

 

 

 

Motherboard: *ASRock H97M Anniversary Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($66.33 @ OutletPC)
Case: *Thermaltake Core V21 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($58.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Other: GTX 980 (Purchased)
Total: $510.28
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
*Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-06-06 12:23 EDT-0400

 

i5 4460: Self explanatory in a sense. Solid quad core. Should be good for now and in the future.
ASRock H97M Anniversary: Slightly underrated brand. Has 6 Sata 6GB/s which should be fine for future expandability storage wise, and has 4 DIMM slots as well so if you want to go overkill on the ram the option is there. Micro ATX is usually my prefer due to the ability to add another graphics card for an SLI/Crossfire setup.
16 GB Mushkin RAM: It's RAM :p. 16 GB is a good future investment. If you really want to pinch some pennies then 8 GB is fine too.
A-Data 480 GB SSD: If you want more storage at a sightly cheaper cost then a 240 GB SSD alongside a 1 TB Caviar Blue should be fine, although I prefer an SSD for its speed, which allows for a ''zappy'' experience when couch gaming.
Thermaltake Core V21: Nice case for a HTPC, is a little bit big though. 3 2.5'' and 3 3.5'' bays makes full utilization for your storage. Has a nice side panel to boot.
Seasonic M12II 520W: 520W PSU from a reliable brand. Fully modular is a nice bonus as well.
Edited by Vik
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Ok thanks for the help that looks good! Also I hope that 'rig' is rather quiet as it is (reason why I probably will also go for an SSD for it).

Main storage will be done on a server which I will locate somewhere else in the house that will be connected to both my gaming rig and this media center rig.

Also that's somewhat the price I wanted to spend on the media center rig which is perfect for me!

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Ok thanks for the help that looks good! Also I hope that 'rig' is rather quiet as it is (reason why I probably will also go for an SSD for it).

Main storage will be done on a server which I will locate somewhere else in the house that will be connected to both my gaming rig and this media center rig.

Also that's somewhat the price I wanted to spend on the media center rig which is perfect for me!

If you're going for networked storage over Ethernet, be sure your boards have gigabit NIC. 10/100 is still very common and will be torture for HD content. You may need to make sure your router is gigabit capable as well.

 

This is really the only bit of input I can offer, my PC's sole duty is media machine. I have a Windows MCE IR receiver and remote and I have programed the buttons to launch either VLC, a program called MythTV which is DVR software, and Chrome to watch Netflix/Amazon/Hulu/YouTube. I also have an ATSC tuner card and record over the air programming (thus MythTV) but it also had plug-ins that manages my movie and music library, so the whole thing can be remote driven to choose between regular TV, movies music or streaming content.

 

Unfortunately I am still in the stone age video resolution wise. I am using S Video out on my GeForce 7950 GT lol Honestly though 1080p still looks great.

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Literally every consumer grade motherboard has a gigabit NIC. 10/100 alone is astoundingly rare in anything modern.

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OP, can I ask what you'll be using to stream your content? If you use anything, can I suggest using Universal Media Server?

 

I find it the most indispensable app that transcodes almost any format, both video and audio, and streams it easily to almost any device. In the past, I commonly had problems with movies I downloaded in all sorts of formats, such as MKV and MP4's with 5.1 or DTS audio. Most apps require the device you're streaming to to do the decoding, but UMS transcodes everything prior to streaming it to your device. It alleviates all that nonsense about game consoles and/or smart TV's not being able to handle certain formats.

 

The best part is that its free and supported by an open community.

 

http://www.universalmediaserver.com/

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I haven't thought that far ahead. My brother is somewhat more knowledgable on that front.

Also this is just the stage where I'm gathering information on what to get/how to approach this. The main idea as I said, when I'm moving into my new home, would be to have decent router (which I also should check on what would be best for 'high end internet/gaming/streaming'), ethernet connections pretty much all over the place where necessary (which means for consoles, media center, PC and a couple of extra 'just in case').

Then the rest of the setup would be media center on PC for, yeah, media. PC gaming rig seperate and then put a 'server' somewhere for mass media storage and such (which can be accessed by both the media center and gaming PC).

I also wanted to go for Windows for the OS and go to media player is Media Player Classic (as I have grown to hate VLC for it being unreliable and not being able to fully support HD quality).

So I haven't thought about how the rest would work really. So yeah, pretty much all your suggestions are welcome. I also notice you guys have enough first hand experience with such setups yourself so other insights are always welcome!

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OP, can I ask what you'll be using to stream your content? If you use anything, can I suggest using Universal Media Server?

 

I find it the most indispensable app that transcodes almost any format, both video and audio, and streams it easily to almost any device. In the past, I commonly had problems with movies I downloaded in all sorts of formats, such as MKV and MP4's with 5.1 or DTS audio. Most apps require the device you're streaming to to do the decoding, but UMS transcodes everything prior to streaming it to your device. It alleviates all that nonsense about game consoles and/or smart TV's not being able to handle certain formats.

 

The best part is that its free and supported by an open community.

 

http://www.universalmediaserver.com/

Thanks for that information btw, I'm in the process of building a HTPC come gaming system and I've been looking for a friendly means of playing any formats easily and readily using a remote rather than a desktop/keyboard/mouse setup. Ie. Something that's simple to complete from the couch without moving.

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