Nvidia 4k HDR and NVMe question

  • Hi guys,

    I'm putting together a new HTPC using parts i have... after growing out of my 2 x NUC's running Openelc 8.2.5 and wanting to push 4k content. I have two questions for anyone that has done it already...

    I have a mini itx board, 16gb DDR4, 2 x 10GB ethernet and 4 core ~ 8 threads at 2.4ghz and a samsung pro 500gb SSD and a PCIe x16 gen3 slot for external GPU.

    I have 2 GPU's handy.. .A 750ti and a 1030 i'm looking to future proof as much as possible. And have a few x265 4k encoded videos i'd like to play back? What would be the best direction? i do watch a lot of Anime and 8/10bit encoding would be beneficial. I'd be interested in future proofing to 8k but understand standards are far from set on this. :)

    My second question is, i have quite a large collection (2000 movies ~ 15,000 tv episodes etc.) And am currently running from SATA SSD. My new board can take an m.2 NVMe drive like the Samsung Pro 970's my question really is, will i benefit from the upgrade? I've noticed scanning and cleaning the library can take some time.. All of my content lives on a NAS tied to single spinning disks (unraid) running at around 125-160MB/s would i benefit from the upgrade? I'm looking at speeding up the local database but am unsure whether the jump from 500MB/s to 2500MB/s will be utilized anyone done a swap out of their custom rig and noticed the difference?

    Any advice would be good, i've been holding off any purchases.

  • LE 10.0 will drop Xorg support in favour of DRM/GBM which allows us to support 10+ SoC/GPU types with a single/common driver framework. The notable exception is nVidia who chose to implement their own EGL streams 'standard' which nobody else uses. There is currently very low desire among the Kodi developers to implement another proprietary code path in Kodi just for nVidia, and the current VDPAU code path is no longer developed (no 4k, no 10-bit) so there is is a genuine possibility that we stop supporting nVidia GPUs in the future. LE 9.0 will include some additional stats reporting on GPU types to help us evaluate that decision.

    TL/DR .. it's probably best to avoid putting nVidia cards on your shopping list.

  • Spot on response. Thanks so much for that, answered so many of my questions...

    I'd have thought off the top of off my head that there must be a lot of Nvidia hardware out there being re-purposed for DIY HTPC's though due to their prominence in the GPU scene? Maybe only second to the dominance of Intel integrated GPU's in the HTPC space?

    Would AMD be a better choice going forward or is the future looking comparably bleak for them as well?

    I really want to remain on x86 as i tri-boot these boxes and a have a dependency on Windows for Hyperspin (Over Hyperpie)... i do prefer the ideology of simply updating GPU's over replacing complete android boxes...(although i understand they are a huge overkill purely for HTPC!)

    Is there any card in particular you could suggest with any life left in it going forward? (Low profile, single slot to add further complication) :)

  • In response to your second question. I have a Samsung 960 pro M.2 and it is fast. (This is my home desktop)

    If you have loads of cash, then it is definitely worth it – but for Kodi I think it will be a waste of money. Far better to spend it on something else. My guess would be that your scanning and cleaning is more than likely due to the NAS or N/W. You’ll need to do some tests to see where your bottleneck is – remember each time it does a scan, it has to query the internet to update the database. How often do you scan your videos? .. and why clean so often?

    An alternative (depending on you NAS) is to install emby-server and let emby update it’s database at a convenient time and access your files via the emby add-on in LE.

    The other radical alternative, is to forget the HTPC build, but utilise the parts for a new faster NAS, and just use a cheap Armlogic (or something with x265 support) box to serve as the client.

    As a “New” AML fan, previously Rpi I run a £35 Mecool and it’s perfect for what I want.

    When someone invents a crystal ball that predicts technology, it will be a lot easier to predict “future proof”.

    At the moment for a lot of people – me included (and it does cause some contention) is buy cheap replace often.

  • Thanks. Yeah, I tend to agree. The Nas serves purpose for now as I do see 125mb/s from it and Its 10gb ready when I take the plunge and update the switch. I am running automation tools that send requests to clean and update the database as necessary when content is added. But I also do a routine scan at boot that occasionally catches Content that has been added since the htpc clients have been powered off and didn't want to go to a centralised SQL setup for complexities sake and increased dependencies on the setup, however at the scale of my library it can take around 1m to complete these days and hammers the device whilst it runs. The problem for me with throw away android boxes is the dependency on my triboot build needing windows for emulation. Hence why the android boxes are a no go.. and I need a little horsepower for that. What makes the android boxes so popular in terms of librelec development? Onboard chips support a handful of codecs at the time of manafacture, devs write code once and know that it'll be supported amongst a handful of cheap boxes with minimal customization? Would you say AMD (on Linux) are any further ahead in terms of 4k HDR h265 at multiple Color depths? Its a real pain with the Linux drivers always trailing the windows drivers in terms of cutting edge support. sorry for the questions I just see a lot of conflicting info online on the subject.

  • Initial tests with AMD Ryzen have been done with mixed results, but AMD requires a fairly new (if not latest) Linux kernel, and LibreELEC is not upto that level (yet).

  • I don't have all the details, but I'd say Intel's current 8th gen Graphics is the best bet for now if you are looking for working codecs.

    AMD will probably catch up, but the amount of time necessary for that is unknown.

  • Thanks Klojum,

    Well as i need an external card, i suppose i'll be using the nvidia 1030 for now until AMD release something that fits the bill... Thanks guys.