Thursday, February 04, 2016

MSI Cubi HTPC Set Up

I recently purchased the MSI Computer PC Barebone . Its a Broadwell i3 with an integrated Intel HD card that is capable of playing 4k video.

I had some trouble with a previous i5 model where it would not recognize the hard drive at all making it a brick. I had no such trouble with this one but wanted to outline the steps to get it all set up because the documentation around it is really sparse.

To get 4k video playing smoothly, you need two sticks of RAM. This machine is quite picky about the RAM you install, I went with Crucial 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1600 which has worked fine. Before you can do that though, you can only install Windows ( or your operating system of choice ) with one stick of RAM. The device wont even post if the second ram has been installed.

Once that is done you have to flash the bios from the files provided on MSI's site using a bootable USB drive (remember to turn off Windows 8/8.1 features in the bios else you wont be able to boot in to DOS). After that is done it will recognize the RAM in the second slot and windows will be able to access it.

Figuring out this bit was quite annoying and I spent a lot of debugging this than I thought. After that however the machine runs like a dream and plays video smoothly which is what I need from the HTPC.

Hopefully this helps out other people who have purchased this and cuts down set up time. If you have questions post in the comments below


Rob Pilon said...

Hello Kashif thank you for your setup blog... wish I had found it earlier as I had to fight through the same setup process that you did... gah. Anyway I have a question for you about the 4K resolution. I have 12gb RAM (using both dimm slots) running Windows 10 Home (64bit) with a 2.0 4k display adaptor to an HDMI (4k) cable. It is going to one of my two LG 4K Televisions. I have tried both TV's. Issue is that the only resolution I can see is 1080p. I have tried the windows display manager and the intel manager as well. I can only see 1080p as a max resolution. May I ask what you did different? is there something I am missing? MSI support has not been to helpful... told me to send it in to them which I did and all they did was a BIOS update. Thanks in advance for the advice.

Kashif Khan said...

Hi Rob, yeah this machine can be really tricky to set up. If the BIOS has been updated the only other thing that can come to mind is making sure all your drivers for the video card are up to date. You can get to those from Windows update. I have mine using a HDMI cable in to a 4k capable receiver going in to my 4k tv with no issue at all. Hopefully this helps