Computers & Electronics

Any Core i3/i5/i7-7xxx series or later CPU is fine for all 4K streaming platforms on Windows right? *** i5-9500T ordered

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  • May 8th, 2021 2:54 pm
[OP]
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Any Core i3/i5/i7-7xxx series or later CPU is fine for all 4K streaming platforms on Windows right? *** i5-9500T ordered

I am thinking of buying a cheap micro or small form factor Windows 10 PC, mainly for work, but it'd be nice if it supported 4K streaming as well.

I got burned with my iMac purchase. When the i5/i7 7xxx Kaby Lake iMacs came out in 2017, I bought one thinking that Netflix 4K would eventually be supported, but it wasn't. The reason is their security seems to be based off Apple's T2 chip, not the Intel's chip. But in the end it was OK, as they didn't update the iMac again until 2019, which would have been too long for me to wait anyway.

However, on the Windows side, any Intel Core iX-7xxx (Kaby Lake) or later CPU should be fine right? The reason I'm not talking about current models is because I'm thinking of getting an off-lease refurb, and the 7xxx and 8xxx models are finally now coming off their 3-year business leases.

I don't need super fast performance, just dual video outputs including DisplayPort, as well as USB 3, WiFi, BT, and SSD. Current work machine is a 10-year old machine, now running Phenom II X6 1055T and SSD. Only has USB 2. (I tried adding USB 3 cards, but they gave me blue screens.)

EDIT:

Update: I've ordered a Core i5-9500T micro system with USB-C, USB 3, and dual DisplayPort.
Last edited by EugW on May 7th, 2021 1:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
17 replies
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I assume you plan on using the on board video?

Kaby Lake would be the minimum I would go. It supports 4k HEVC. Skylake only supports 1080p HEVC
[OP]
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Gee wrote: I assume you plan on using the on board video?

Kaby Lake would be the minimum I would go. It supports 4k HEVC. Skylake only supports 1080p HEVC
Thx. Yes on-board video. No high end graphics needs.

I know that Kaby Lake supports 4K HEVC, but I just want to make sure all the streaming platforms also support it for 4K. I think they all do but I just want to make sure. On my Core i5-7500 iMac, I can hardware decode 4K HEVC just fine, but only if it's non-DRM'd. The streaming platforms don't work on it for 4K, because on macOS they use T2 for the DRM.
[OP]
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Bah!

If my googling is right, the only major streaming platform at 4K on Windows is Netflix. Correct me if I'm wrong, but 4K streaming on Windows is not supported by Prime Video, Disney Plus, or Apple TV+.
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Were you thinking of something like this?
Nothing to see here...keep looking.
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DRM sucks

I gave up on anything resembling a media PC and just bought a Nvidia Shield instead
This is RedFlagDeals, not RedFlagCheapskates. Rich or poor, we all want our deals so we can buy even more stuff we may or may not need.
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EugW wrote: No, that has an i5-6500 in it. Too old for 4K HEVC.

But if you just mean the form factor, that would be one option (SFF), but I was actually thinking of something preferably more like this (Tiny/MFF) (but off lease):

https://www.lenovo.com/ca/en/desktops-a ... 1TC1MTM92Q

lenovo-desktops-thinkcentre-m920-tiny-4.jpg
Link i attached earlier has listings for 7th gen chips in the same size you are thinking of. What gen chips are you aiming for? Off lease for anywhere after 7th gen (8+) still have at least another year or two before they are decomissioned.
Nothing to see here...keep looking.
[OP]
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Zero1 wrote: Link i attached earlier has listings for 7th gen chips in the same size you are thinking of. What gen chips are you aiming for? Off lease for anywhere after 7th gen (8+) still have at least another year or two before they are decomissioned.
We'll, that was my original question. 7th gen is good enough for Netflix 4K, but is 7th gen good enough for everything else? However, after doing some more searching, I found out the question was entirely moot, since nobody except Netflix allows for 4K streaming on Windows anyway.

I have found that 6th gen is common for off-lease, but I don't want 6th gen because it does not support Netflix 4K. 7th gen is also sometimes available. Even 8th gen is available off-lease, but it's hard to find. I have found 8th gen available in the small form factor size, but I haven't found it available yet in the tiny micro form factor size.
Last edited by EugW on May 7th, 2021 9:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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warpdrive wrote: DRM sucks

I gave up on anything resembling a media PC and just bought a Nvidia Shield instead
Same, Nvidia shield and never looked back. Supports most streaming platforms for 4k.
[OP]
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warpdrive wrote: DRM sucks

I gave up on anything resembling a media PC and just bought a Nvidia Shield instead
Crichtonfan wrote: Same, Nvidia shield and never looked back. Supports most streaming platforms for 4k.
Well, this is not for a media PC. This is for a work PC that also does a bit of DRM'd streaming as well, maybe on a primary big screen in a secondary window, or else on a secondary screen. (I haven't decided yet what monitor setup I'll use.)

I like to watch video when I'm doing paperwork and stuff like that. Actually, 1080p is usually just fine, but my current setup already supports that anyway. I figure if I update the system, I may as well get something that can handle 4K.
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Depending on your budget you can find them if you look hard enough. Ebay does have them
Nothing to see here...keep looking.
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EugW wrote: Well, this is not for a media PC. This is for a work PC that also does a bit of DRM'd streaming as well, maybe on a primary big screen in a secondary window, or else on a secondary screen. (I haven't decided yet what monitor setup I'll use.)

I like to watch video when I'm doing paperwork and stuff like that. Actually, 1080p is usually just fine, but my current setup already supports that anyway. I figure if I update the system, I may as well get something that can handle 4K.
Yeah without a way around it with the DRM, you have to forego UHD or use a second source like a Shield.

So I guess stick with what you have? It's disappointing that I have a computer with this powerful GPU and can't watch 4K streaming.
This is RedFlagDeals, not RedFlagCheapskates. Rich or poor, we all want our deals so we can buy even more stuff we may or may not need.
[OP]
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Zero1 wrote: Depending on your budget you can find them if you look hard enough. Ebay does have them
Thanks, but I don't want to buy from eBay. I've been looking at Bauer Systems for example. They are a refurb wholesaler, and they provide a short warranty as well.

I can wait though, since as mentioned, my current system still works fine. It just doesn't support 4K or USB 3. It's fast enough for everything else I do on it though, which are business/office applications and VPN.

warpdrive wrote: Yeah without a way around it with the DRM, you have to forego UHD or use a second source like a Shield.

So I guess stick with what you have? It's disappointing that I have a computer with this powerful GPU and can't watch 4K streaming.
Well, even Netflix 4K would be an advantage. And there's also USB 3. I tried adding a USB 3 card to my existing SFF box, but it would cause BSODs. Same with a different card.
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Feb 17, 2019
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EugW wrote: Bah!

If my googling is right, the only major streaming platform at 4K on Windows is Netflix. Correct me if I'm wrong, but 4K streaming on Windows is not supported by Prime Video, Disney Plus, or Apple TV+.
That's correct as far as I know. It's annoying and surprising that this is still the case as I started looking this up about a year ago.
[OP]
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Thanks people. Some additional configurations showed up today and I just put in an order for a new tiny system:

Dell OptiPlex 7070 Micro
Core i5-9500T
Dual DisplayPort
8 GB RAM (I think they usually come with 1 memory slot empty, but I'm not sure. Supports up to 32 GB or 64 GB unofficially.)
256 GB PCIe NVMe SSD, with an empty slot for another SATA SSD.
1 x USB-C 3.1 Gen 2
2 x USB-A 3.1 Gen 2
3 x USB-A 3.1 Gen 1
Ethernet
Windows 10 Pro

I don't think it comes with WiFi/BT but it's going to be wired anyway, and I could just get dongles if necessary. (There is also an M.2 slot, but no antennae included.)

It was $570. Cheaper on eBay but this has a short warranty and a legit licence.

desktop-optiplex-7070-micro-mlk-pdp-mod6.jpg
Georgios21 wrote: That's correct as far as I know. It's annoying and surprising that this is still the case as I started looking this up about a year ago.
Yeah, I was shocked to learn this was still the case.
[OP]
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EugW wrote: Thanks people. Some additional configurations showed up today and I just put in an order for a new tiny system:

Dell OptiPlex 7070 Micro
Core i5-9500T
Dual DisplayPort
8 GB RAM (I think they usually come with 1 memory slot empty, but I'm not sure. Supports up to 32 GB or 64 GB unofficially.)
256 GB PCIe NVMe SSD, with an empty slot for another SATA SSD.
1 x USB-C 3.1 Gen 2
2 x USB-A 3.1 Gen 2
3 x USB-A 3.1 Gen 1
Ethernet
Windows 10 Pro
Arrggh...

I believe these units come with DisplayPort 1.2, despite being a 2019 model. (DisplayPort 1.4 came out in 2016.) Apparently, DisplayPort 1.2 does not support HDCP 2.2, which means that Netflix 4K won't work either via DisplayPort with this machine. :facepalm: DP 1.4 (or 1.3) is needed.

Screen Shot 2021-05-07 at 9.14.22 PM.png

The good news is the one I bought is supposed to have an HDMI port as well and according to the Dell website, those with HDMI have version 2.0b which supports HDCP 2.2, so if I do decide to get a 4K monitor, I'd have to specifically look for one with an HDMI 2.0 port. And I can't plug a second DP monitor in, because that deactivates the HDCP 2.2 support. Confused Face

And now that I've checked out some monitors, it seems a lot of the current 4K monitors don't support HDCP 2.2 over DisplayPort anyway. It seems even in 2021, the most common DisplayPort input on 4K monitors is DP 1.2.

If I, a geek, have made this mistake, I can't imagine what it must be like for non-geeks trying to navigate through all this crap.

EDIT:

Nope. The Dell specifications for this model are conflicting. Some say HDMI 2.0 and some say HDMI 1.4. Neutral Face
[OP]
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OK, I got the OptiPlex 7070 Micro. Not bad, considering I ordered it just yesterday.

I plugged it into my 4K TV and it works fine at 3840x2160 at 60 Hz. So, that's not HDMI 1.4, because AFAIK that only supports up to 3840x2160 at 30 Hz. So, it must be running at HDMI 2.0x speeds, and it even allows HDR support in the Windows settings for 4K. I believe it's 4:4:4 at 8-bit since text is perfect, but only 4:2:2 or whatever at 10-bit since text is not very good with HDR turned on. However, I can't get more than 1080p out of Netflix on the Windows Netflix app, or in Edge. Netflix plays fine through this machine on my 4K TV, but it's not 4K.

So I officially declare this an epic fail. :rolleyes:

Meh. Oh well. Maybe I'll just use it with my 30" Apple Cinema HD Display instead for now, which is only 2560x1600. I have a DisplayPort to mini-DisplayPort adapter, and a mini-DisplayPort to dual-DVI adapter, and it works fine with this combo. At least now I can do this. My old Windows machine didn't have DisplayPort or dual-DVI support, so I couldn't use that monitor with the old machine.

----

BTW, the unit did come with 1 x 8 GB RAM, so I still have an empty memory slot.

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