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4k on the PC, my experience


Hello everyone. I finally finished the HTPC and I am very satisfied with it. I will tell you what my choice of equipment is and then my experiences as best I can. (my set up is in my sig) I hope this will help anyone wanting to build a 4k PC.


After lots of research I finally decided on the motherboard, initially. I went with a Supermicro Z170 OCE. However, after I built the system with this board it didn't support a few features I wanted, so I went with the Asus Z270 WS. This is a great mother board and is fully compliant out of the box. Note: Both boards support 4k for the PC with BIOS update. 


If you are curious about the requirements to watch 4k streaming services, here is what you need:


A 4k compliant mother board, which must also support HDMI 2.0 and up and or DP 1.2 and up, and a BIOS that supports Intel SGX (you must enable this in your BIOS), a 7th gen Intel CPU With onboard graphics, and the Intel Graphics drivers- (more on this later) and of course a 4k compliant monitor / TV that fully supports HDMI 2.0 and up. / DP 1.2 and up. That's it- that's all you need.


For Netflix users you must pay a little extra for the ability to view 4k. And Obviously, an internet connection with decent bandwidth.


You do not need special audio drivers, nor an HDMI compliant reciever/preamp or Blu-ray ultra player (unless you want to have additional audio and video features) nor do you even need a separate graphics card.


To my knowledge no present graphics cards allow for 4k streaming services. 


How to get around this? Use the included intel graphics built into your CPU and your existing Graphics card at the same time. To enable 4k, and if you meet the above criteria, go to your system BIOS select the video section and select multiple display's, remember make sure Intel SGX is turned on, this is also in the BIOS setting's- usually with in the CPU section, if it's not on, turn it on. After these two selections are enabled, save and reboot. Let the PC boot up and then shut the system down. Now Connect either the HDMI or the DP cable from your onboard graphics (not your GPU) to your monitor. Depending on your monitor you may have to manually select which mode your monitor is using, select which ever cable type you have connected from your PC to your monitor with in your monitor settings function. Now boot up your PC. At this point you must have the Intel Graphics drivers installed, be sure to use the latest version, as this really makes a big difference in video performance. If you have the Intel graphics drivers installed, navigate to the task bar and open the Intel graphics settings, make sure every thing is set to your preferences. For obvious reasons the display setting should be at 4k (3840x2160). I have a 10bit color monitor so I have that setting at 10 bit, as mentioned, set up to your liking. 


Wait, what about my GPU can't I use it too?  Sure.


Ah- easy, simply shut down the system, and connect either an HDMI or DP cable from your GPU to your monitor, in your monitors properties select either-  auto, HDMI or DP. Make sure to use the opposite type cable from which you selected for the Intel Graphics vs. your GPU. For example: if you use an HDMI cable for the on-board graphics, then use a DP cable for your GPU. This is the method I recommend, as DP has more bandwidth capability.


You can now use one monitor and both graphics types from with in Windows by simply selecting which display you wish to use from the Windows graphics tab. Note: some monitors may have to be manually selected from with in the monitors setting as well. (i.e DP or HDMI) Remember to view 4k streams you must use the Intel Graphics, NOT your GPU.


So, on the relatively cheap, you can have the best of both worlds.


You are now ready to view 4k streams. Congrats and enjoy.

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