New HTPC and Media Server advice - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 08-22-2012, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi All, I have been a long time reader of this forum and I'm hoping for some advice on my proposed new HTPC and server. My existing HTPC is on it's last legs and I'm taking this as an opportunity for an upgrade and to to create a media server, before the wife gets too annoyed with the existing system continually crashing. On the existing HTPC I use XBMC and for live TV I use a link to WMC Live TV from XBMC, on Windows 7 32bit. I would like the server to be able to transcode as well as serve my media to a couple of PC's via the gigabit wired network I have, along with back ups of the main PC drives. After much reading I think I have settled on WMS 2011 with Flexraid for the server software. Below is the kit I am planning to purchase but I am open to other options for both systems if there is a better option as I have never built a media server before, I would like both systems to be as energy efficient as possible. Should it make any difference for options I am based in the UK.

HTPC

CPU Intel Core i3 2105 Sandy Bridge
Motherboard Asus P8Z77-V
Operating drive 120GB OCZ Agility 3 SSD, 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s, SandForce 2281
RAM 4 gig
Power Supply I have a Corsair 520W already from my existing machine, along with a TBS Satellite TV Card and AMD 6450 Graphics Card

Server
CPU Intel Core i3 2100
Motherboard ASRock Z77 Pro 4, Intel Z77
RAM 8GB (2x4GB) Corsair DDR3 Vengeance
2x 3TB Seagate ST3000DM001
Power supply not sure on?
I have 2x2TB and 1x1TB drives already and I have an old case lying about that I will use for the time being.
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post #2 of 24 Old 08-22-2012, 12:51 PM
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I'd use your existing psu in the server and get a much smaller one for the htpc.

And why use a discrete video card? The i3-2105 should be fine alone (and much lower power and heat than adding a video card) and if you're not happy for some reason with the output, you can always stick the video card in later.
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post #3 of 24 Old 08-22-2012, 03:15 PM
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I think your server build is way too beefy, you dont need that kind of power, especially for only 5 drives and one client. Ideally you would like a very low power cpu, even a Sempron 145 will work great, but my server uses a G620 (still more than needed) and a server mb with the p67 chipset; you probably could us an H61; the ethernet speed, support for the onboard video, and the number of SATA ports are the main things you need. 4 GB of ram should be plenty, too, but I am not aware of the needs of your software. Your power needs will be more than met with a 400 to 450 W power supply; id suggest an 80 plus. The power supply for the HTPC needs even less - you should be fine with 150 -200 W when you ditch the add-on video card (which you should unless you are doing other things (not video) that require it). You could run a picopsu, too, but these are expensive -ish and really only needed if you are anal about noise.

To answer your question, the two builds look fine; both will do the job.

I have a server using Unraid with three HTPC clients and several other computers. For the server and my HTPC clients, using WMC with a ceton tuner and XBMC to play server-based videos like you, I have all G620's and G630's, using onboard video and H61 or H67 mbs. They have more than enough power to do all of these jobs and idle near 25 W. Just my experience; I think you can do what you want with less horsepower. What you are suggesting will work fine.

If i were you I would buy cheaper parts and spend on a case that you love. Seriously, the HTPC case is important if you are going to look at it.

Good luck. You might check out my thread on my HTPC/DVR project:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1425591/my-htpc-dvr-to-replace-fios-box-dvd-players
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post #4 of 24 Old 08-22-2012, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply's I do not plan to use the graphics card if I can avoid it, which I believe I can as I do not game and only use it for Media up to 1080p. The server will serve 3 client pc's and one DLNA TV but if I can get away with cheaper parts I will certainly look into that, will the G620's be okay with Transcoding? . Regarding the HTPC case I have Silverstone LC17 which I have no plans to change as it has served me well this far.
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post #5 of 24 Old 08-22-2012, 04:24 PM
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Yes, the G620 will handle the trans coding just fine . I have one in my server serving my htpc and does a fine job .
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post #6 of 24 Old 08-22-2012, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay I will swap out the server processor for a G630, it's only £1 more than the G620, but I am struggling to find a P67 board, would this motherboard work okay with the G630 Asrock P67 EXTREME4 V3 1155?
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post #7 of 24 Old 08-22-2012, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lex2012 View Post

Okay I will swap out the server processor for a G630, it's only £1 more than the G620, but I am struggling to find a P67 board, would this motherboard work okay with the G630 Asrock P67 EXTREME4 V3 1155?

The P67 was discontinued in April. Why do you want a P67 rather than a H67, Z68, H77 or Z77?
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post #8 of 24 Old 08-22-2012, 05:25 PM
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Personally , I use a z68 for the versatility and price . Can use an Ivy Bridge with a bios update (supposedly) . So if you ever want to use the board for another purpose you are not so limited on your options .
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post #9 of 24 Old 08-22-2012, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I was looking at the advice above should i just stick with the original proposed server motherboard the ASRock Z77 Pro 4 with the G630? Or go with a ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3 Z68?
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post #10 of 24 Old 08-22-2012, 05:37 PM
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Are you talking "pro " or pro M ?

The pro is nice with the 10 sata ports but WOW , pricy for a server !!

Nothing wrong with using a z77 either . Preference really
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post #11 of 24 Old 08-22-2012, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
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A Pro 4 was the board I was referring to.
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post #12 of 24 Old 08-22-2012, 05:51 PM
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Very nice board . I would not be afraid of it . I have no experience with ASrock but have an Asus (parent company) board that is real nice in my server . There are plenty of folks that have first hand knowladge of the ASrock products .

I get "flamed " everytime I say this but have you taken a look at Assassin's htpc or better yet for you his server guides . Great stuff !!
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post #13 of 24 Old 08-22-2012, 07:39 PM
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I realize the p67 is discontinued - i bought earlier. The point is you should buy a board that offers what you need and not much more - why waste the money to purchase it and the extra power it consumes? I would get the cheapest quality board (intel, asus, asrock that sort of thing) that has the features yo uneed.

Do you need USB3? eSATA? extra pci or pcie slots? if not, why buy a board that has them? Keep it simple. The purpose is to be a server or to be a HTPC. You are not building a killer gaming rig or high power computing rig. Keep it simple is all.

If you can find a p67, on sale, maybe its a great deal. An H61 will be fine for the HTPCs, really. You just want gigabit ethernet and an HDMI port.

I have to say that I think people are just insane spending more than $120 or $130 on a board for a computer that will do nothing more than play movies. And that's for a miniITX. If you are going microATX, then all you need is $70 to $80. $90 absolute max.

Thats my philosophy. Others will differ, of course! That's why we have this awesome board.
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post #14 of 24 Old 08-23-2012, 06:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimifelipe View Post

I realize the p67 is discontinued - i bought earlier. The point is you should buy a board that offers what you need and not much more - why waste the money to purchase it and the extra power it consumes? I would get the cheapest quality board (intel, asus, asrock that sort of thing) that has the features yo uneed.
Do you need USB3? eSATA? extra pci or pcie slots? if not, why buy a board that has them? Keep it simple. The purpose is to be a server or to be a HTPC. You are not building a killer gaming rig or high power computing rig. Keep it simple is all.
If you can find a p67, on sale, maybe its a great deal. An H61 will be fine for the HTPCs, really. You just want gigabit ethernet and an HDMI port.
I have to say that I think people are just insane spending more than $120 or $130 on a board for a computer that will do nothing more than play movies. And that's for a miniITX. If you are going microATX, then all you need is $70 to $80. $90 absolute max.
Thats my philosophy. Others will differ, of course! That's why we have this awesome board.

Not sure where you're getting your prices, and no one is advocating wasting money, but you can get plenty of good H67 and H77 motherboards in your $70-90 range, and get USB 3.0, HDMI, and other features you ought to be getting on a motherboard today. I don't see where the P67 motherboards are any cheaper. Indeed Newegg has over 20 P67 boards available; only ONE (an ECS) is under your magic $90, but they'll sell you a terrific, rock solid, Intel DH67BL for $89.99 with free shipping.

By the way, I don't understand how you can advocate a P67 while saying "You just want gigabit ethernet and an HDMI port." P67 doesn't support use of the integrated graphics. I've never seen one wiith an HDMI port. Which of course also means that you also have the additional and unnecessary expense of buying a graphics card which you don't need with the other chipsets.

The P67 was Intel's initial 1155 chipset and it doesn't offer the features of every subsequent one, which of course is why it's been discontinued. I know of no good reason to choose one today unless maybe you happen to find a 75% off fire sale closeout price. But even then, understand that you'll still have to pay for a graphics card too,
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post #15 of 24 Old 08-24-2012, 07:51 AM
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You are right, the p67 was for my server, I got a great price for it, and I had an old 8 mb ati rage card that I use for video. I meant H67 and H61, with HDMI and GB ethernet for the HTPC.
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post #16 of 24 Old 08-29-2012, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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The parts arrived today, the HTPC is up and running and working fine, however I cannot get the server to even post. The hardrives spin up as do the cpu fans etc, however the machine will just not post and there does not appear to be any power to USB either. I have tired removing everything but the cpu and still the machine will not post. I have an odd feeling the fault may lie with the 8pin 12v power connector on my power supply Corsair HX520 is this possible? The power supply worked perfectly with my old machine which used a 4 pin 12v power connector instead of the 8 pin.
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post #17 of 24 Old 08-29-2012, 01:45 PM
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Does your PSU have an 8 pin connector? If so, it should work. If it only has a 4 pin connector, you need to connect it to the correct 4 of the motherboard's 8 pin connector. The motherboard manual should tell you into which end of the 8 pin connector to insert a 4 pin psu plug. Because what you describe does sound like the ATX12V isn't connected (or isn't working).
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post #18 of 24 Old 08-29-2012, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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The PSU has both a fixed 4 pin and a single 8 pin connector, and I am connecting via the 8 pin, but still without any joy. None of the modular connections offer another 8 pin option, so cannot test with another cable.
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post #19 of 24 Old 08-29-2012, 03:06 PM
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Separate 4 pin and 8 pin? Unusual. I usually see those dual4 connectors. I'd check your manual as to how to connect a 4 pin ATX12v connecter and try the 4 pin. You know that one works.
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post #20 of 24 Old 08-29-2012, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Just tried using the 4 pin power supply instead of the 8 and it still did not post. I have also just tried the power supply on the HTPC and it works perfectly using the 8 pin socket, so it cannot be the power supply after all. Could the motherboard just be faulty?
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post #21 of 24 Old 08-30-2012, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lex2012 View Post

Could the motherboard just be faulty?

I usually assume there's some other problem, and there usually is, but it certainly does happen. In fact, I had to exchange the motherboard on my last build, and as soon as I got the new one, it worked just fine. So if you've eliminated everything else, swapping motherboards might be worth a try.

Have you built it outside the case to make sure you aren't shorting something out in the back of the motherboard?
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post #22 of 24 Old 08-30-2012, 08:07 AM
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Not sure about your CPU mounting configuration, but I had a problem with and I3 where there was a bent pin on the CPU bed. This prevented the thing from posting, it would cycle on/off in my case. Anyhow, I removed the CPU and inspected with a magnifying glass, straightened a pin carefully and that fixed me up.

Faulty memory is occasionally a source of a problem, but it is pretty rare.
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post #23 of 24 Old 08-30-2012, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, I've tried both checking the cpu and then re-seating it and building the system outside of the case and no joy with either, it still has exactly the same symptoms, I have spoken with the company who I have purchased the board from, who are going to provide an RMA,
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post #24 of 24 Old 10-05-2012, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Finally got everything up and running, but I'm having some issues with Flexraid and Home server I'm hoping someone can shed some light on.

Everytime the server re-boots I loose all of my shares, the flexraid pooled drive shows in explorer after re-boot, but my shares have gone, I have set up the shares in the Flexraid dashboard, and then shared them by explorer and also tried via the home server dashboard but after a re-boot they are all gone and have to be set up again, apart from in the flexraid dashboard which are always present after a re-boot. I'm not sure if this is related or not, but once my shares are set up, on my client pc's regardless of the read/write level I set to a folder or whether it should be shared on that pc I can still access all of the shares with full access. After following some advice online I also seem to have created another issue, in that whenever the server wakes and I try to connect to a server folder I have to re-enter my account details each time, even if it is set to remember. Anybody have any ideas how to solve this?
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