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Contemplating HTPC build...which mobo?

NoSweat88

Junior Member
Jul 19, 2018
2
0
6
Forum members,

I've gotten the "build your own HTPC" bug. My desires are pretty high and I'm pretty sure I know what I need....with an exception.

In the long run, I'm looking for an HTPC that can sit in my media stand and look nice (Silverstone case....prob Guardia 09) and play 4K HDR content...files, discs, and streaming....and (down the road) do Virtual Reality.

My TV is a new TCL S series 4k TV (awesome, BTW).

I know that I will eventually need an nVidia GTX 1070 or 1080 GPU for the VR to work best.

What I want to do now is the 4k HDR video files and streaming. Since I'm doing this in phases, I want the CPU/ mobo to handle the 4k HDR streaming/ playback until I can get the GPU. I know it will need to support HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0 from the start to the end. The nVidia will handle that when I get enough money.

I will be getting an Intel Core i5 Kaby Lake CPU...probably Core i5 7600K

Where I'm stuck is the mobo...I can't seem to find enough detailed specs to find both HDCP 2.2 and HDMI support. I found a Reddit post asking for mobo testers, but it is about a year and a half old and most of the boards are $$$.

I need suggestions...anyone?

Thanks in advance.

NoSweat88
 

XavierMace

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2013
4,307
444
126
ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming ITX/ac or Gigabyte Aorus Z270X Gaming 9. Both have been confirmed on the Bluray forums.
 

NoSweat88

Junior Member
Jul 19, 2018
2
0
6
XavierMace

Thanks for the reply...the Fatal!ty has way too many bad reviews for me to take a chance...tho most of the bad reviews are for features that I don't think will affect me. The Aorus Gaming 9 is $500 new, if I can find it new...most offers are used or refurbished.

If I have to spend $500 on a mobo, I'll just wait a little and get the nVidia 1080 GPU. and use a less expensive mobo with a Coffee Lake processor. My only hold up with the Coffee Lake is lack of h.265 support (as I understand it...I'm a total N00b with this whole 4k video thing, so I'm trying to learn as I go. I never got into the gaming "thing" so I've had no previous need to look at black hole of performance graphics.)

As it stands, I'm leaning toward the Coffee Lake/ Z370 mobo and start with a less expensive 1060 GPU. I think I can get all the 4K HDR support I'm looking for while getting my foot in the door with VR ( I think :) )
 

realibrad

Lifer
Oct 18, 2013
12,337
894
126
Forum members,

I've gotten the "build your own HTPC" bug. My desires are pretty high and I'm pretty sure I know what I need....with an exception.

In the long run, I'm looking for an HTPC that can sit in my media stand and look nice (Silverstone case....prob Guardia 09) and play 4K HDR content...files, discs, and streaming....and (down the road) do Virtual Reality.

My TV is a new TCL S series 4k TV (awesome, BTW).

I know that I will eventually need an nVidia GTX 1070 or 1080 GPU for the VR to work best.

What I want to do now is the 4k HDR video files and streaming. Since I'm doing this in phases, I want the CPU/ mobo to handle the 4k HDR streaming/ playback until I can get the GPU. I know it will need to support HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0 from the start to the end. The nVidia will handle that when I get enough money.

I will be getting an Intel Core i5 Kaby Lake CPU...probably Core i5 7600K

Where I'm stuck is the mobo...I can't seem to find enough detailed specs to find both HDCP 2.2 and HDMI support. I found a Reddit post asking for mobo testers, but it is about a year and a half old and most of the boards are $$$.

I need suggestions...anyone?

Thanks in advance.

NoSweat88
Is there any reason you want skylake over 8th gen? If you got an 8400 you could get this mobo which supports HDMI 4k 60hz.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BQCZNKB/ref=ox_sc_act_title_5?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

I think the only thing that the 7600K has over the 8400 is the ability to OC, but, the 8400 should be the better chip overall for HTPC. You can also get the 8500 for $214 or the 8600 for $239 vs the 7600k which is $228.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
9,460
1,562
96
Is there any reason you want skylake over 8th gen? If you got an 8400 you could get this mobo which supports HDMI 4k 60hz.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BQCZNKB/ref=ox_sc_act_title_5?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

I think the only thing that the 7600K has over the 8400 is the ability to OC, but, the 8400 should be the better chip overall for HTPC. You can also get the 8500 for $214 or the 8600 for $239 vs the 7600k which is $228.
I would go with the i7-8700 as that will give you the best performance and I wouldn't overclock a HTPC system anyway.
 

DesiPower

Lifer
Nov 22, 2008
15,368
740
126
Bit confused here, why would motherboard matter in video capability/quality? Doesn't CPU handle everything? I would look for any decent H or Z board with HDMI port, maybe $120 price range and get a i3-8350k they are quad core and basically equivalent to previous gen i5. I run my HTPC, which also functions as OTA DVR and runs 24x7 on ASRock Z370M-ITX/ac and i3-8350K, no GPU. Great performance and reliability.
 

realibrad

Lifer
Oct 18, 2013
12,337
894
126
Bit confused here, why would motherboard matter in video capability/quality? Doesn't CPU handle everything? I would look for any decent H or Z board with HDMI port, maybe $120 price range and get a i3-8350k they are quad core and basically equivalent to previous gen i5. I run my HTPC, which also functions as OTA DVR and runs 24x7 on ASRock Z370M-ITX/ac and i3-8350K, no GPU. Great performance and reliability.
The CPU and or GPU does the work, but, the ports are limited by bandwidth. You will need HDMI 2.0 or higher if you want to do 4k @60hz through HDMI. If you want to do display port, that is different.

I also found a cheaper motherboard that looks to be able to support HDMI 2.0 thus 4k @60Hz.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CQFSCPF/?coliid=IOARPFGOHWAET&colid=3E2AHKK658AD2&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

The details you would be looking for is HDMI 2.0/DP 1.2


for the ASRock motherboard you linked, it does not support 4k @60Hz through HDMI.

- Supports HDMI with max. resolution up to 4K x 2K (4096x2160) @ 30Hz
- Supports DisplayPort 1.2 with max. resolution up to 4K x 2K (4096x2304) @ 60Hz
Also, you don't need to overclock a CPU for an HTPC. All you are doing is using extra power. An i5 8600 will blow away that i3 and use very little power. Walmart is selling the i5 8600 for $209 right now as well.
 

DesiPower

Lifer
Nov 22, 2008
15,368
740
126
Yeah, when I bought the CPU the price difference was more and I got a discount. With overclocking (without increasing voltage) I do achieve almost same max clock speed and there are no application that I use which could benefit from 6 cores, so i3 made more sense to me at the time. Also H series mobos were not released yet. As far as power consumption goes it idles at about 2.5 - 3 watts, I don't think 8600 would do any better and even it it does, for all practical purposes, it wont patter.

I have watched Thor Ragnarok Blu-Ray on 60" Samsung 6500 series TV through GTX 1080 and IGPU, using PowerDVD and for the most part the difference was negligible.
 

realibrad

Lifer
Oct 18, 2013
12,337
894
126
Yeah, when I bought the CPU the price difference was more and I got a discount. With overclocking (without increasing voltage) I do achieve almost same max clock speed and there are no application that I use which could benefit from 6 cores, so i3 made more sense to me at the time. Also H series mobos were not released yet. As far as power consumption goes it idles at about 2.5 - 3 watts, I don't think 8600 would do any better and even it it does, for all practical purposes, it wont patter.

I have watched Thor Ragnarok Blu-Ray on 60" Samsung 6500 series TV through GTX 1080 and IGPU, using PowerDVD and for the most part the difference was negligible.
For playback an 8600 would be of no benefit. And, its impossible to buy things that were not out yet, so that seems reasonable. Because you were using the GPU's ports the motherboard HDMI port was not a factor. Had you tried to use the IGPU and the motherboard port you would have been limited to lower resolutions.

The benefit of an 8600 would be for doing other things beyond video playback.

Currently I have 2 NUC computers hooked up to my TVs. We use those computers for a crap ton of things that we never expected. My GF did a huge amount of homework in the living room relaxing on the couch. Having more cores is a nice thing to have. You probably don't need 6, but, depending on how long you want to keep that system it might be nice later on.
 

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