• 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."

New HTPC for 1080p (4k?) + madVR - HDR to SDR tonemapping feasible?


Diamond Member
Jan 1, 2005
I've decided to build a new HTPC even though my current one is working fine; I want something that will handle x265 encodes, as well as HDR to SDR tonemapping with madVR at 1080p. I'll eventually upgrade my 1080p display (DLP) to a 4k HDR projector, so the new HTPC will also need to be able to upscale 1080p content (.mkv files, not BDs or streaming) to 4k, and support at least HDMI 2.0.

Basically, I want to be able to use as many bells and whistles of madVR as possible for playing local content with no discrete GPU. This may include 1080p to 4k upscaling, though I understand I may have to tone some things down a bit. I currently have an A6-6400k rig that works perfectly fine for upscaling <1080p to 1080p, but it can't play x265 files and certainly can't do any fancy HDR stuff.

I'm not averse to adding in a discrete GPU at some point since I may want to do some gaming, but nothing heavy as I don't game on my current HTPC (though I'll be tempted to when I get a projector) and I want something quiet. Would I benefit from an i5-9600k over the i3-9100, or should I save the money? Would a Ryzen be better than the i3?

The motherboard is iffy for me as it's more on the expensive side, but this is due to my requirements. I need an optical output at the moment since my current receiver doesn't support HDMI, but I'm going to upgrade to either the Denon AVR-X3500H or x3600H relatively soon. I have a DAC for my headphone amp which I prefer to use optical with, but it also has coax and USB inputs. There's also the HDMI 2.0 requirement.

Here's my current list. I don't have a real budget, but as close to $500 would be preferable.

Any help would be appreciated.