Thin mini-itx HTPCwith bluray build final review and questions

gaidin43

Member
Jan 30, 2012
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I am looking to replace my main HTPC / NAS / media server with a smaller nicer looking unit and build a media server to put in the closet with the switch in there using the left over parts from my current HTPC.

Case:
Silver-stone Tek Thin Mini-ITX Media Center for Intel DH61AG Mother Board with Slim ODD Bay Case http://amzn.com/B009FU2B5S

CPU:
Moved from current HTPC
Intel Core I3-2105 Dual-Core Processor 3.1 GHz 3 MB Cache LGA 1155
http://amzn.com/B0051YS85O

To replace the sandy bridge in current HTPC for media server/back up computer
Intel Celeron G1620 2.70GHz LGA-1155 Processor
http://amzn.com/B00B4BJY7E

Heat Sink and Fan:
Intel HTS1155LP Cooling Fan/Heatsink
http://amzn.com/B007YEWVYS

Motherboard:
GIGABYTE GA-B75TN LGA 1155 Intel B75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Thin mini-ITX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128588


Memory:
Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) Laptop Memory
http://amzn.com/B006EWUOL8

Bluray:
Panasonic UJ240 6x Blu-ray Burner BD-RE/8x DVD
http://amzn.com/B003AXW2YQ

PSU:
Anker® New AC Adapter/Charger + Power Supply Cord for Laptop 19V 4.74A 90W http://amzn.com/B004IT27PK

SSD Msata:
Crucial m4 128GB mSATA Internal Solid State Drive
http://amzn.com/B0085J17KA

Now my questions.
1. Will the motherboard and CPU work together since the motherboard is new ivy and CPU is old sandy and is not listed on CPU supported list from motherboard? I have read that all sandy and ivy motherboard/CPU combinations are compatible since they are still 1155 socket type.

2. Will the PSU be enough? Or to I need to bump it up to 120w or 150w?

3. Will the case and parts for together and remain cool enough for HTPC operations? Will I need a case fan similar to the heat sink CPU fan?

4. Will the bluray drive work or does this case need a slot loading one? Anyone have suggests for a better slim bluray drive?
 

AnitaPeterson

Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2001
5,607
20
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Out of curiosity, what hardware/software combo are you going to use for playing the blu-ray discs?
 

gaidin43

Member
Jan 30, 2012
73
0
66
I have a copy of cyberlink 12 I picked up for $10 on sale from newegg a few months back. I've managed to get rid if all the other crap it loads on installation. However it seems in perfectly with windows media center and has regular updates. So far it has played every disc I have thrown towards it.

I actually fought with bluray playback on PC for weeks and looked everywhere for a free permanent solution. VLC and other native programs that could play all DVDs have no bluray solution due to the codes Sony has as a paid service to use them. The only other option was to use MKV to rip them and then watch them as a file. For now my solution is a plug and play for the disc. If things Change down the line I might just stop renting blurays altogether and use DVDs for disc play back or go the ripping route 100% of the time.
 
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Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,284
401
126
1. Will the motherboard and CPU work together since the motherboard is new ivy and CPU is old sandy and is not listed on CPU supported list from motherboard? I have read that all sandy and ivy motherboard/CPU combinations are compatible since they are still 1155 socket type.
They should work fine. At least from what I recall, the only issues with Ivy + Sandy were when it came to using an Ivy Bridge CPU in a 6-series motherboard. Some of them needed BIOS upgrades, but I never heard of one that didn't work.


2. Will the PSU be enough? Or to I need to bump it up to 120w or 150w?
I don't have too much experience with that motherboard, but that CPU is rated at 65W. Is there any information on Gigabyte's site about a recommended PSU?

3. Will the case and parts for together and remain cool enough for HTPC operations? Will I need a case fan similar to the heat sink CPU fan?
I don't see why not. It is an interesting thing to use a blower setup, as I've never used one in a desktop build, but it should work. You'll probably have to mount it hanging off the back of the motherboard as it shouldn't block anything that way.

4. Will the bluray drive work or does this case need a slot loading one? Anyone have suggests for a better slim bluray drive?
One thing is that you don't list any of the conversion cables that Amazon lists in the Frequently Bought Together section. That drive is for a laptop, and the connectors that you'll need for a desktop system aren't the same.
 

gaidin43

Member
Jan 30, 2012
73
0
66
Very good point on the 65w CPU I currently have. For some reason I though the i3 was a 35 or 55w one and the psu would have no issues with thoses. Even still 90w psu with an ssd, a bluray, and that I need to figure out at parts checker what the draw would be.

Also the conversion cables for the slim drive I am aware of and for to put those in as well. Thanks for reminding me.

This build is about $500 which is pricy for an HTPC but the cost can be claimed by how thin it is and silent with an Msata.
 

piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
17,183
60
91
That is an awfully underpowered power supply. This website sells a power brick that is suppose to be compatible with the Intel Thin Mini-ITX Motherboard and they use a power supply rated at about 200 w. I think 90w is pushing it too low. It might work and it might not.

http://www.mini-box.com/19v-8-4A-160-Watt-AC-DC-Power-Adapter
I have never used this. I was just comparing the wattage. I dont endorse this website.

In this build/review they used a hard drive and a 150w power supply:

http://www.missingremote.com/review/lian-li-pc-q05-thin-mini-itx-chassis
 
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Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,206
38
91
If things Change down the line I might just stop renting blurays altogether and use DVDs for disc play back or go the ripping route 100% of the time.
That's what I decided to do. I have and use AnyDVD to break the disks, but BD is more of a pain in the rump, plus you get file sizes 3-4x bigger. On the setup we have, I can't really tell the difference between BD and DVD, so we are just sticking with DVD's. We do still have our stand-alone BD player (that streams Netflix, too) in case the HTPC goes down for some reason, or we get a disk I can't rip.
 

thestrangebrew1

Platinum Member
Dec 7, 2011
2,905
149
106
That's what I decided to do. I have and use AnyDVD to break the disks, but BD is more of a pain in the rump, plus you get file sizes 3-4x bigger. On the setup we have, I can't really tell the difference between BD and DVD, so we are just sticking with DVD's. We do still have our stand-alone BD player (that streams Netflix, too) in case the HTPC goes down for some reason, or we get a disk I can't rip.
Checkout MakeMKV. It used to be free, I think there's a 30 day trial. But it works so well I bit the bullet and went ahead and purchased a license. BluRays are not a problem anymore. After it encodes the BR to mkv, I just use handbrake to convert to mp4 to reduce file size. Works wonderfully.
 

AkumaX

Lifer
Apr 20, 2000
12,641
2
81
Checkout MakeMKV. It used to be free, I think there's a 30 day trial. But it works so well I bit the bullet and went ahead and purchased a license. BluRays are not a problem anymore. After it encodes the BR to mkv, I just use handbrake to convert to mp4 to reduce file size. Works wonderfully.
You can't go directly from BR -> .mp4?

I have a question though, what's an average encoding/file size do you get/are you looking for?

Example: 2hr BR = 30GB
-> .mkv = 8GB (?)
-> .mp4 = 4GB (?)
 

thestrangebrew1

Platinum Member
Dec 7, 2011
2,905
149
106
You can't go directly from BR -> .mp4?

I have a question though, what's an average encoding/file size do you get/are you looking for?

Example: 2hr BR = 30GB
-> .mkv = 8GB (?)
-> .mp4 = 4GB (?)
I'm not aware of software that'll let you rip BR straight to mp4. I've tried handbrake and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. When I rip with MKV, the file is usually in the neighborhood of 20+GB. After using handbrake to go to mp4, it's usually around 3-4GB.

EDIT: I also use Ripbot to convert to mp4. Sometimes Handbrake doesn't work.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,206
38
91
I use AnyDVD and Handbrake to rip straight to MP4, you have to enable large file size, of course. I have a few that ripped into the 1-3GB range, and I have two in particular that went to 20GB.
 

AkumaX

Lifer
Apr 20, 2000
12,641
2
81
I'm not aware of software that'll let you rip BR straight to mp4. I've tried handbrake and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. When I rip with MKV, the file is usually in the neighborhood of 20+GB. After using handbrake to go to mp4, it's usually around 3-4GB.

EDIT: I also use Ripbot to convert to mp4. Sometimes Handbrake doesn't work.
Gotcha. It sounds like MakeMKV is NOT encoding the video, so you're not doing a double-encode (typical loss of quality).

What MakeMKV does is take the underlying video and audio, and sticking them into a new "container" (the destination file type).

Technically if you look in the stream folder and find the .m2ts file, that single file will house everything (10 different audio/subtitle tracks, possible 1-2 different video tracks).

MakeMKV will just "extract" the main movie and 1 (or more audios) that you choose, then "multiplex" (or "mux") the raw video and raw audio into a single file (in the .mkv "container")

If you rip the blu-ray and use MPC-HC or VLC, you can just double click on the .m2ts file and play the video. With MPC-HC, you can see that the video is actually just a h.264 video file.

The conversion from .mkv to .mp4 is taking that h.264 video (at a ridiculously high bitrate like 120,000kbps, and converting it down to maybe 30,000kbps), and muxing it into a .mp4 container.

Hope I confused you even more!

--

edit: i found a guide that kind of shows what I'm talking about
http://www.hifivision.com/articles-guides/19158-best-guide-backup-your-bluray-mkv-mp4.html
 
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thestrangebrew1

Platinum Member
Dec 7, 2011
2,905
149
106
Yea great guide! Thanks for the link. There's some settings on there that I can use for handbrake. I never really took the time and always just used the defaults. Now I know what some of that stuff means lol
 

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