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Need some input on fanless mediacenter pc

Marco2G
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Hi everyone

 

I am in the process of getting annoyed with my current mediacenter PC which is a Pentium G3460 in an Akasa Euler case.

 

My issue: Playback to the 4k tv is not completely smooth. Worst with native 4k but also with most any other material. I already use the iGPU for playback.

 

So. What I would like to know is if I absolutely, positively will have to invest 500ish bucks for a new fanless pc or if any of you have a perfect product in mind that may come in cheaper.

 

Building in Euler cases usually involves the scrounging up of rather exotic mainboards and CPU choices are limited. I see that Zotac has fanless mini pcs but so far I only saw Celeron processors and I have no idea if they would truly be better at this task. I cannot find comparisons.

 

I suspect that my CPU being 50+Watts may not help matters ina case that is meant for dissipating 35W. I have tried a voltage offset of -0.01 but so far, I don't think that did much.

 

So I'm open to suggestions. I know some people run mediacenters off of Raspberry Pis so I wonder how that can work when my dual core Pentium with iGPU seems to struggle.

 

EDIT:

After studying the ARK page for this CPU some more, I notice that the iGPU isn't validated for 4k resolution at all. I gotta say, for that it runs rather nicely ;). I have looked at the i3-4370T, which should be compatible with the Asus H81T motherboard. That iGPU does list 4k resolution.

So I might just get me a new CPU and be done with it... unless someone has concerns with that plan?

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So turns out it wasn't the CPU's fault.

 

After switching it, it still wasn't much better. So I got the bright idea to check whether my configurations were still in place and lo and behold, linux still loaded the correct driver, however Waterfox had forgotten its about:config settings during an upgrade which was, in the first place, why I suddenly had stutters.
 

I still have bad performance on 4k movies but my gut tells me that is on Jellyfin's server side.

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14 hours ago, Marco2G said:

I still have bad performance on 4k movies but my gut tells me that is on Jellyfin's server side.

I think you answered that in your original post:

On 9/25/2022 at 3:55 PM, Marco2G said:

After studying the ARK page for this CPU some more, I notice that the iGPU isn't validated for 4k resolution at all.

Kaby Lake is where the full 4K support was included, including for UHD Blu-Ray support and the necessary DRM, though that's obviously academic for a Linux build.

 

Some thoughts:

  • You're probably pushing the iGPU to the limit, especially one that is pre-Skylake. I have one of Intel's Compute Sticks with an m3 CPU that I'm using as a makeshift HTPC and 4K video playback isn't great - and no streaming service will provide a 4K stream.
  • That said - From my former job providing TV customer support, HDCP is irrelevant for local 4K video playback, as there's no HDCP handshake required on PC outputs to 4K TVs. But you can certainly get strange behaviour from that and performance issues probably won't be considered a fault of the TV.

It's more on the iGPU side that concerns me. Obviously if you're happy with it then great, but I wouldn't be confident that the iGPU has enough power to keep it from running smoothly in the long run without temps ramping up or having a very high utilisation. I haven't forgotten trying my cheap AMD netbook from 2011 with outputting Blu-Rays to my TV. It worked perfectly without any frame skipping but not with the fan ramping up to 100% and being crazy loud, to the point it just wasn't worth the tradeoff. Fanless is a great option but I wouldn't be surprised if the weak iGPU you have is running at a pretty high utilisation vs what a newer CPU could provide.

US Gaming Rig #1 (April 2021): Win 11Pro/10 Pro, Thermaltake Core V21, Intel Core i7 10700K with XMP2/MCE enabled, 4x8GB G.Skill Trident Z RGB DDR4 @3,600MHz, Asus Z490-G (Wi-Fi), SK Hynix P31 (1x 500GB & 1x 1TB) SSDs, 1x WD 4TB SATA SSD for games, 1x8TB HDD storage, Asus Dual RTX 3060 V2 OC, Seasonic Focus PX-750, LG 27GN800-B monitor. Logitech Z533 speakers, Xbox Stereo & Wireless headsets, Logitech G213 keyboard, G703 mouse with Powerplay

 

UK HTPC #2 (April 2022) Win 11 Pro, Silverstone ML08, (with SST-FPS01 front panel adapter), Intel Core i5 10400, 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 @3,600MHz, Asus B560-I, SK Hynix P31 (500GB) nvme boot SSD, 1x 5TB Seagate 2.5" HDD, Drobo S with 5x4TB HDDs, Hauppauge WinTV-quadHD TV Tuner, Silverstone SST-SX500-LG v2.1 SFX PSU, LG 42LW550T TV. Philips HTL5120 soundbar, Logitech K400.

 

US HTPC (planning): Win 11 Pro, Streacom DB4, CPU tbc (AM5 APU or 13th gen i5), RAM TBC (32GB), motherboard TBC, SK Hynix P41 Platinum 1TB, Hauppauge WinTV-quadHD TV Tuner, Streacom ZF240 PSU, LG 43UJ6300 TV, Logitech K400.

 

US NAS (planning): tbc

 

UK Gaming Rig #2 (May 2013, offline): Win 10 Pro/Win 8.1 Pro with MCE, Antec 1200 v3, Intel Core i5 4670K @4.2GHz, 4x4GB Corsair DDR3 @1,600MHz, Asus Z87-DELUXE/Dual, Samsung 840 Evo 1TB boot SSD, 1TB & 500GB sata m.2 SSDs (and 6 HDDs for 28TB total in a Storage Space), no dGPU, Seasonic SS-660XP2, Dell U2410 monitor. Dell AY511 soundbar, Sennheiser HD205, Saitek Eclipse II keyboard, Roccat Kone XTD mouse.

 

UK Gaming Rig #1 (Feb 2008, last rebuilt 2013, offline): Win 7 Ultimate (64bit)/Win Vista Ultimate (32bit)/Win XP Pro (32bit), Coolermaster Elite 335U, Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650 @3.6GHz, 4x2GB Corsair DDR3 @1,600MHz, Asus P5E3 Deluxe/WiFi-Ap@n, 2x 1TB & 2x 500GB 2.5" HDDs (1 for each OS & 1 for Win7 data), NVidia GTX 750, CoolerMaster Real Power M620 PSU, shared I/O with gaming rig #2 via KVM.

 

UK HTPC #1 (June 2010, rebuilt 2012/13, offline) Win 7 Home Premium, Antec Fusion Black, Intel Core i3 3220T, 4x2GB OCZ DDR3 @1,600MHz, Gigabyte H77M-D3H, OCZ Agility3 120GB boot SSD, 1x1TB 2.5" HDD, Blackgold 3620 TV Tuner, Seasonic SS-400FL2 Fanless PSU, Logitech MX Air, Origen RC197.

 

Laptop: 2015 HP Spectre x360, i7 6500U, 8GB Ram, 512GB m.2 Sata SSD.

Tablet: Surface Go 128GB/8GB.

Mini PC: Intel Compute Stick (m3)

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