Planning possible SFF build

Discussion in 'PC Purchasing Help' started by mrcorbo, Oct 13, 2017.

  1. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    I had posted earlier about wanting to buy a NUC (and I still might end up doing that), but with the release of the Core i3 8100 @ ~$120, that got me thinking about the possibilities of a SFF system based around this processor and then having a single PCIe x16 slot for a future graphics card upgrade (to be able to upgrade video decode support mainly).

    The requirements are:

    • Needs to be very responsive.
    • Needs to be quiet.
    • Needs to be able to output 4K60 & HDR
    • Needs to fit on a shelf that isn't particularly deep, but is fairly wide, and height isn't really an issue.
    • Primarily used for streaming web-based and local media and will also be used as a destination for steam in-home streaming.
    Given the above and the fact that the only on-board storage will be an M.2 SSD, does anyone have any case recommendations?

    Any other advice for doing a quiet SFF build would also be appreciated.

    This is all still theoretical, though, since there don't yet exist any Coffee Lake supporting motherboards with HDMI 2.0 output. EVGA has one on the way, but it is full ATX and I'd prefer Micro or Mini ATX. I may have to wait for H370-based boards.
     
  2. Infinisearch

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  3. Malo

    Malo Yak Mechanicum
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    You don't really want to do brute force decoding. Helper blocks are there for a reason, to efficiently decode so you're not excessively generating power and heat. If the CPU power is there for gaming etc then great, but ideally keeping the CPU usage down even during 4k60 decoding is preferred.
     
  4. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    You'd be surprised how processor-intensive decoding 4K60 10-bit HEVC or VP9 can be and there are newer codecs on the horizon (most notably AV1 from the Alliance for Open Media).

    And even if the CPU preformance is there, as Malo mentioned, the dedicated media blocks in Intel IGPs/AMD APUs and in discrete GPUs are magnitudes more efficient.
     
  5. Infinisearch

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    Oh I'm all about hardware decoding/assist but I just meant in the worst case scenario you'd have the option.

    BTW the machine I linked appears to have low profile pcie. At least going by the picture of the back of the machine. I'd do a search to make sure though.
     
  6. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    Thanks. This one likely (I couldn't find anything that says for sure) doesn't have an HDMI 2.0 output, so it isn't going to satisfy all my requirements, but you did point me towards pre-built SFF's as options to be considered.
     
  7. Malo

    Malo Yak Mechanicum
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    You need at least 7th generation for a modern 4k60 HTPC. That box is a 6th gen CPU which doesn't have the capabilities, especially if you want to do netflix.
     
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  8. Infinisearch

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    Oh yeah I remember reading that, forgot all about it. Could always get a low profile video card with it.
     
  9. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    I'd recommend the Louqe Ghost S1, but it has been in perpetual "launching soon" mode since at least springtime this year. Not sure if it'll ever show up, TBH. It was the case I wanted to build my next PC around; super tiny. Couldn't, tho, because there were no modern ASUS ROG mITX boards available when I started looking at components (there's a Ryzen board on the horizon now tho, if it isn't released already), and of course the case itself is just vaporware right now.

    Still, it might be worth keeping an eye open for, it's a really sweet case (IMO anyway. :))
     
  10. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    OK, there actually is a mini ITX MB with HDMI 2.0 (and TB3!). It's also really expensive and has a bunch of extra features I don't need. I did a build around it on PC partpicker anyway. It's overbuilt in a couple of places for what I actually need (which was intentional), and I still need to tack on the cost of a Win 10 key, but that's actually not bad value IMO.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel - Core i3-8100 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($117.00 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: ASRock - Fatal1ty Z370 Gaming-ITX/ac Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard ($173.98 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill - Aegis 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($80.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Western Digital - Black PCIe 256GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($109.88 @ OutletPC)
    Case: Thermaltake - Core V1 Mini ITX Tower Case ($31.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: EVGA - SuperNOVA G3 550W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($64.99 @ Amazon)
    Total: $578.83

    Thoughts?
     
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  11. Malo

    Malo Yak Mechanicum
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    I'd wait until H series motherboards.
     
  12. Infinisearch

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    Will that power supply fit in a mini ITX case? I thought you needed one of those small power supplies.
     
  13. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    Yeah, an ATX power supply fits fine. The case is built like a cube and seperated internally into an upper and lower chamber. The mini ITX MB is mounted to the bottom of the top chamber of the case facing up and the power supply is mounted directly below it in the lower chamber.
     
  14. Infinisearch

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    Just saw this on Newegg, one day sale... day half over.
    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod...p=Homepage_FDD-_-P1_0XP-002G-00EN0-_-10152017

    $699.99
    Intel Core i7 7700 3.60 GHz
    Integrated Intel HD 630 Graphics
    8 GB RAM DDR4 SDRAM
    1 TB HDD 7200 RPM
    DVD-Writer
    Microsoft Windows 10 Professional 64-Bit English
    HP USB Business Slim Keyboard and HP USB Optical Mouse included

    It's kaby lake so it might be hdmi 2.0

    edit -
    HP EliteDesk 800 G3 SFF Desktop Computer 1FY88UT - Intel Core i7 (7th Gen) i7-7700 3.60 GHz - 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM - 1 TB HDD - Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit (English) - Small Form Factor
     
    #14 Infinisearch, Oct 15, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
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  15. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Ugh. Looks nice and terrible at the same time. :)
     
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  16. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    The configuration they're selling has 2 Displayport and 1 VGA connection. It's a good deal, but misses the mark for a few of my requirements. To give you an idea of what those are, this is intended to replace an upgraded HP Stream Mini, a system with a dual-core Haswell-era Atom CPU in it. That system is just slightly underpowered from a CPU standpoint for handling some of the web-based streaming I do (I get some video stuttering). It's powerful enough for everything else. To this, I also want to add hardware-accelerated HEVC/VP9 decoding and 4k60+HDR output. So, an i7 is really, really overkill. :smile: An SSD and the ability to add a graphics card would do much more to enhance the performance of the things I will be using it for now and in the future.

    I appreciate you looking out, though. Thanks!
     
  17. Malo

    Malo Yak Mechanicum
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    That's a tad overpowered for the task.
     
  18. Infinisearch

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    Where'd you see that? I looked and couldn't find the exact config. Sorry for getting your hopes up.
    I know it doesn't have an SSD but it does have PCIe slots.
    No problem I check newegg pretty often since I'm in the market for a videocard.
     
  19. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    Back panel photo.

    180W power supply, though. :lol:
     
  20. Silent_Buddha

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    I'm partial to the Silverstone SG13 series myself. It's a lot smaller than that one and has the potential to hold over 13 TB if you actually need that much storage space. :D I had exactly 13 TB in mine the last time I went to Japan for an extended stay.

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163274 (39.99 at Newegg).

    I used a Ultra low speed 120 mm Noctua front intake fan combined with a low profile Noctua CPU cooler. You can actually use a 140 mm front intake fan if you don't need to use the top drive bays for 2x 2.5" drives. That still leaves a 2.5" drive bay on the floor of the case as well as MB mounted SSD sticks.

    Went with a SFF 650 watt PSU (with modular flat cables) rather than a full sized ATX power supply.

    The fan noise was minimal due to the really low RPM fans on both of the Noctua fans. By far the noisiest component was the GTX 1070 that I had installed.

    However, if space isn't an issue. That Thermaltake case looks nice. If you want really small (fits into backpacks quite easily), really powerful, and reasonably quiet, it's very hard to beat the SG13. I take it in my carry on luggage on planes all the time.

    Regards,
    SB
     
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