• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

Dell Inspiron 3650 Desktop or build a PC as a HTPC (running OpenELEC)

Dave3000

Senior member
Jan 10, 2011
981
14
81
I currently using my Roku 3 for streaming my blu-ray rips but it can't handle higher than 20 Mbps in some of my rips, as it will give me a message saying that it cannot play this file or something like that if I choose Original quality and also I want a streamer that does not have to make my PC transcode. I find my PC a bit annoying as the CPU fan speed goes up and down for movie watching when it's transcoding to my Roku 3 as my PC is near my TV and it's closer to me than my TV is. I'm tried NUC in the past but had issues with them. I also had issues with a Nvidia Shield. I think I'm going to have to resort to a mini-tower desktop PC for HTPC duties. I want to be able to add a graphics card in case I run into compatibility issues with the onboard graphics processor. I already have 16GB DDR3-1600 that I'm not using and a spare 6TB Hard drive but with that Dell PC is listed it comes with Windows 10 Home preinstalled, so I can use Window 10 Home if I run into issues with OpenELEC on that Dell. If I built my own HTPC, I would have to buy a Windows 10 Home if I wanted to install Windows on it since I don't have any spare copies of Windows. Is this PC good for a HTPC running OpenELEC?

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/dell-inspiron-3650-desktop-intel-core-i3-8gb-memory-1tb-hard-drive-silver/4826902.p?id=bb4826902&skuId=4826902
 

DTN107

Member
Sep 7, 2016
26
2
16
I'm also considering an HTPC as well to replace my Apple TV. I don't mean to hijack your thread but I have a Dell Optiplex 390 SFF with a 3rd gen i5-3470. I am curious if anyone knows if this is beefy enough? If it is, it might be a good option to consider one OP since you can pick these up around $160~..

Here is another one on ebay going for a similar cost:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Optiplex-390-SFF-Intel-Core-i5-3-1GHz-4GB-RAM-250GB-/371724667379?hash=item568c8449f3:g:ATsAAOSwGtRXx38J#viTabs_0
 

o306

Member
Mar 23, 2015
52
10
36
That is more than enough to run OpenELEC. More power than you need. Make sure the system meets your noise needs, as you don't need that much power, but too much noise is absolutely annoying.

What NUC did you have in the past and what issues did you have?

@DTN107

Your CPU is also way more power than you need. Like @Dave3000, you should be concerned about how loud the fans will be.

I would also be concerned about size, I like smaller systems, but that is a matter of usable space and personal taste.
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
1,264
38
91
I currently using my Roku 3 for streaming my blu-ray rips but it can't handle higher than 20 Mbps in some of my rips, as it will give me a message saying that it cannot play this file or something like that if I choose Original quality and also I want a streamer that does not have to make my PC transcode. .....I also had issues with a Nvidia Shield. ....
Let me guess- your issue w/ the shield was "it transcodes my HD audio"...
I also have the Shield, and when hooked in to my AVR in "passthrough", I get direct play/ direct stream For my other location (Direct connection to TV) it will transcode due to DTS-MA audio. I am connected via Ethernet. This is the normal/ intended behavior...

as far as running OpenElec, as long as the interface/ capabilities of that meet your needs, it doesn't take a monster PC to run.. Openelec wants "dual or quad core processor" and "1 or 2 GB of RAM"., anything more it is not really optimized for (aka- pretty much wasted).
note: see here for supported HW list: http://wiki.openelec.tv/index.php/Supported_Hardware
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,209
38
91
In it's original incarnation, my HTPC had a little Sandy Pentium G620... and it was perfectly fine for streaming. If you are actually transcoding on the fly, moar cores the better. As far as onboard graphics, anything from Ivy Bridge onward will be fine short of 3D or 4K, although a GPU might take some of the load off the CPU, for better temps.

Unless you are doing something besides streaming, an off-the-shelf PC will work for HTPC duties... the only thing you have to worry about is the amount of local storage you want, sometimes lower-end PCs might only have 2 or 4 SATA plugs... and if you want to add a GPU you will have to most likely replace the PSU.
 

Dave3000

Senior member
Jan 10, 2011
981
14
81
In it's original incarnation, my HTPC had a little Sandy Pentium G620... and it was perfectly fine for streaming. If you are actually transcoding on the fly, moar cores the better. As far as onboard graphics, anything from Ivy Bridge onward will be fine short of 3D or 4K, although a GPU might take some of the load off the CPU, for better temps.

Unless you are doing something besides streaming, an off-the-shelf PC will work for HTPC duties... the only thing you have to worry about is the amount of local storage you want, sometimes lower-end PCs might only have 2 or 4 SATA plugs... and if you want to add a GPU you will have to most likely replace the PSU.
About a month ago I bought a Skylake i3 NUC to use purely for local streaming my Blu-ray rips. No transcoding required. I don't run OpenElec on it because I was having a few issues with it with my NUC. I ended up buying a retail copy of Windows 10 Home and installed it on my NUC and installed Kodi 16.1 and Launcher4Kodi. 4K is not important to me at this time and I can't afford to buy 4k UHD Blu-rays at this time anyways, but maybe in the later part of next year 4k will be important to me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Charlie98

ASK THE COMMUNITY