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post #1 of 34 Old 02-18-2013, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all.... Thank you anticipatorily for any comments or suggestions. Here's my initial plan, including goals for the HTPC and NAS services.

As for building skill, I've successfully built one gaming computer from scratch but that was 6 years ago. I know the world has changed since then.

Combination HTPC and NAS

HTPC goals:
Store and display family photos
Store and display about 20 hours HD and 60 hours SD home movies
May or may not want to store and display some or all of commercial BluRay and DVD collection
Store and play music collections by individual family member (if possible)
Integrate our other video services (if possible): Netflix, Verizon FIOS TV (have multi-room DVR)
Wife can control the HTPC from the couch or the kitchen with her iPad
I can control the HTPC from the couch with my (soon to be purchased) Surface Pro 128
Kids can control the HTPC from the couch with their iPhones

NAS goals:
Store and access family photos, music, and videos (above)
Store and access family documents
Sync and backup >100 GB work files over LAN (or auto-sync over cloud if I can figure that out) ... work is about to move to MS 365 cloud-based system
Automatic file backups (RAID 5?)

Initial draft hardware list:

GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD4H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128583
$164.99

Intel Core i3-3225 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 55W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I33225
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116774
$144.99

Stock Intel i3 Cooler

SAMSUNG 840 Series MZ-7TD120BW 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147188
$109.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBXL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231427
$29.99

SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum / Steel Grandia Series SST-GD08B ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163196
$155.99

Western Digital WD Green WD20EZRX 2TB IntelliPower 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236404
$89.99 x 4 = $359.96

SeaSonic X series SS-400FL Active PFC F3 400W ATX12V Fanless 80 PLUS Platinum Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151097
$119.99

Software:

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116986
$99.99

JRiver MC18

JRemote via iPad, iPhones

(JRiver remote solution for Surface Pro pending)

MS SyncToy for sync / backup (unless a RAID solution is better and I can figure out how to set it up)

Thanks again!
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post #2 of 34 Old 02-18-2013, 03:10 PM
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Combination HTPC and NAS

I think it's always better when you split them up. But you can do it. It should work fine.






GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD4H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128583
$164.99


That board is expensive but I am not sure you need any of the reason why it costs more. I'd opt for an Asus with Intel Lan for the same price (high end) or an Asrock Z77 for $60 cheaper. I like both better. But that board should work.
Does it have HDMI ? That's really all you need. HDMI + Intel Lan + USB3.0 are the three important things. You can add intel NIC card later... if you need great network performance.


Do you realize why that board is $60 more ???

I am not sure you need 3 x16 slots for triple video cards. one x16 or two x16 slots would be enough on a cheaper board in case you wanted to upgrade or add a GPU. It's unlikely you'd have more than 1 GPU card if at all.
Save your $50 and look at an Asrock Z77 3 or 4 level for $89-$109.

Intel Core i3-3225 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 55W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I33225
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116774
$144.99


Very nice CPU but you can get i5 3570k for about the same price ($205 total with Asrock motherboard) with the Microcenter bundle deal if you have one near you. $169 for i5 plus you get $40 off a motherboard.


SAMSUNG 840 Series MZ-7TD120BW 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147188
$109.99


Very nice SSD. Best 3 SSD's are SAMSUNG840, Plextor M5 and Vertex4 IMO. Those are mainstream normal good choices
On high end the big brothers are SAMSUNG840PRO (pro has better nand inside and faster speeds) The Plextor M5 PRO, and the OCZ Vector.
You'll do well with that SSD.


G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBXL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231427
$29.99


Spend $12 and get 8GB. Get 1866mhz too.


SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum / Steel Grandia Series SST-GD08B ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163196
$155.99



Freakin' really nice case. Well done.



Western Digital WD Green WD20EZRX 2TB IntelliPower 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236404
$89.99 x 4 = $359.96



You can get RED for the same price right now. Longer warranty. No head parking issues if you ran Raid 5 (you mentioned earlier)
You can not run any hardware RAID with green drives they have TLER issues.



SeaSonic X series SS-400FL Active PFC F3 400W ATX12V Fanless 80 PLUS Platinum Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151097
$119.99



Expensive but very nice. A fan Rosewill platinum or 80% gold is near silent for half price though. As is a Seasonic Variant with a fan like Antec Neo. You might want the fan with that many HDD's inside a HTPC case.





JRiver MC18

JRemote via iPad, iPhones

(JRiver remote solution for Surface Pro pending)




Jriver is a good player but a poor front end. Do you plan to use mediabrowser?



MS SyncToy for sync / backup (unless a RAID solution is better and I can figure out how to set it up)

I'd look into Flexraid. It has drive pooling and parity backup. Combine $10 a month crashplan and you can back up all 8TB to the cloud and rebuild any single failed drive locally with flexraid software raid and it's parity based backup.

Software Raid > Hardware raid. Raid 5 is basically software raid. I'm confused if you want to run hardware or software raid. Raid 5 is not really much different than flexraid. Flexraid allows you to read the contents of your drives on any machine. You don't need a raid controller, and you can rebuild a failed drive from the parity backup. You can add or subtract both full or empty drives from your storage pool.

How much storage do you need? 8TB ?

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post #3 of 34 Old 02-19-2013, 05:42 AM
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How were you planing to run or set up your raid 5 ?

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post #4 of 34 Old 02-23-2013, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you very much Mfusick! Your post was extremely helpful, and much appreciated. Here's my draft final build list, which goes with Asus mobo, WD Red HDDs, i5-3570K Ivy Bridge, Samsung 840 SSD, Ripjaw 8GB (but 1600 rather than 1866 since I don't understand overclocking and am not sure I need that speed boost for HTPC), Seasonic 80 Plus Gold 450W with fan and modular cables (figuring 450W is enough, though not 100% sure), and will probably go wtih FlexRAID.

Any final feedback greatly appreciated... Thanks again!

ASUS P8Z77-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131819
$199.99

Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116504
$229.99

SAMSUNG 840 Series MZ-7TD120BW 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147188
$109.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231314
$52.99

SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum / Steel Grandia Series SST-GD08B ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163196
$155.99

Western Digital Red WD20EFRX 2TB IntelliPower 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236343
$104.99 x 2 = $209.98 [additional $20 off 124.99 price through Feb 23 but may add two more later]

SeaSonic SSR-450RM 450W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151124
$79.99

Software:

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116986
$99.99

JRiver MC18

JRemote via iPad, iPhones

(JRiver remote solution for Surface Pro pending)

Synchronicity for sync / backup (unless FlexRAID is a better solution … still researching)
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post #5 of 34 Old 02-23-2013, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post


Western Digital WD Green WD20EZRX 2TB IntelliPower 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236404
$89.99 x 4 = $359.96



No head parking issues if you ran Raid 5 (you mentioned earlier)

Please stop saying this as it is just incorrect.

This is not the first time I have corrected you on this issue.

http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=780
Quote:
NoTouch Ramp Load technology.
The recording head never touches the disk media ensuring significantly less wear to the recording head and media as well as better drive protection in transit.
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post #6 of 34 Old 02-23-2013, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Your link just sends me to the marketing page.

I am not sure what data your trying to show me.

The same exact data that you use to tout the Red drive's superiority, actually. Unless you can show me an actual study that proved that the Red drives definitely do not have head parking.

Which I am sure you cannot. You hardly ever post actual data or testing. You're rich on opinion though. Poor on fact. cool.gif
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post #7 of 34 Old 02-23-2013, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Please stop saying this as it is just incorrect.

This is not the first time I have corrected you on this issue.

http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=780

Your link just sends me to the marketing page.

I am not sure what data your trying to show me.

I did see this:
Quote:
*Desktop drives are not recommended for use in RAID environments, please consider using WD Red hard drives for home and small office 1-5 bay NAS systems and WD Enterprise hard drives for rackmount and >5 bay NAS systems.

Basically what I have always been saying. They make a fine basic storage drive that is good for low use and traditional systems. For a simple storage disk in a simple PC or HTPC they make sense.
But since the OP wanted or mentioned RAID5 and seemed open to the possibility I thought RED drive made more sense.

Looks like WD agrees with me.






Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

The same exact data that you use to tout the Red drive's superiority, actually. Unless you can show me an actual study that proved that the Red drives definitely do not have head parking.

Which I am sure you cannot. You hardly ever post actual data or testing. You're rich on opinion though. Poor on fact. cool.gif

http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5357/session/L3RpbWUvMTM2MTY2OTI5MC9zaWQvdHNBSEpDamw%3D






Do you think he should buy the Green drive for $109 over the RED drive he got for $105 for use in RAID5 ?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236404&nm_mc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r&cm_mmc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r-_-Hard+Drives-_-Western+Digital-_-22236404
vs.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236343&nm_mc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r&cm_mmc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r-_-Hard+Drives-_-Western+Digital-_-22236343

????

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post #8 of 34 Old 02-23-2013, 05:40 PM
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You really should learn how to read. Look again. I even quoted it for you.

And I never said anything about buying one over the other.

I am merely trying to correct your biased opinion that often is inaccurate.
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post #9 of 34 Old 02-23-2013, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bellerophon View Post

Thank you very much Mfusick! Your post was extremely helpful, and much appreciated. Here's my draft final build list, which goes with Asus mobo, WD Red HDDs, i5-3570K Ivy Bridge, Samsung 840 SSD, Ripjaw 8GB (but 1600 rather than 1866 since I don't understand overclocking and am not sure I need that speed boost for HTPC), Seasonic 80 Plus Gold 450W with fan and modular cables (figuring 450W is enough, though not 100% sure), and will probably go wtih FlexRAID.

You can get 1866mhz G.skill for $2 more. It does not require overlocking. You just stick it in the slot and it runs at that speed. The 2133mhz is on sale for $59 on Newegg with coupon code too.
But 1600mhz will work fine. Your motherboard will downclock to 1600mhz if that is what the DDR3 your using is. It would upclock to 1866mhz if you had that installed. The performance increase is small so I would not sweat it.
I run 1600mhz on all my systems (but actually just bought some 2133mhz for my HTPC)


Quote:
ASUS P8Z77-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131819
$199.99

Expensive but very nice. Hard to hate on it. But I'd probably gotten an Asrock for less $
(I have a Asus Deluxe for my desktop I paid $279 for)
Quote:
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116504
$229.99

Really nice. I have this for my HTPC. It's a beast. The 3570 (not k) is $199 with coupon code on newegg today. If your not overclocking it might be worth saving $30
Quote:
SAMSUNG 840 Series MZ-7TD120BW 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147188
$109.99

One of the best choices available for this price.
Well done.
Quote:
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231314
$52.99

It will work. But 1866 for $3 or 2133mhz for $6 is also available. You need coupon code for the TRIDENT X series for $59.

SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum / Steel Grandia Series SST-GD08B ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
Not much to hate on that^ Very nice.

Quote:
Western Digital Red WD20EFRX 2TB IntelliPower 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236343
$104.99 x 2 = $209.98 [additional $20 off 124.99 price through Feb 23 but may add two more later]

$105 is reasonable and those should work find. Newegg also has the 3TB seagate for $120 (7200.14)
7200rpm though.
Quote:
SeaSonic SSR-450RM 450W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151124
$79.99

Nice PSU.

I think you did great.

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post #10 of 34 Old 02-23-2013, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

You really should learn how to read. Look again. I even quoted it for you.

And I never said anything about buying one over the other.

I am merely trying to correct your biased opinion that often is inaccurate.

I don't think we are talking about the same thing.

Your even confusing me.

Head parking is different from no touch ramp loading technology.

Headparking was a core feature of GREEN drives for a long time under the moniker "intellipark" I believe WD has transitioned away from this feature for reliability concerns.
I believe RED does not have it, and they have discontinued it on some green product lines. It's also the reason for the reduction in warranty on green drives (conspiracy theory from another forum)
Green used to have 3 years warranty. Now RED has longer warranty and the warranty on green drives has been shortened.

That longer warranty alone would make RED a better choice at the same price point.

Nothing wrong with a green drive for a simple storage drive. But there might be a problem using it in a server, NAS or RAID set up (per WD)

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post #11 of 34 Old 02-23-2013, 05:56 PM
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Of course wd agrees with you. They need to protect their enterprise market ($$$) and want you to purchase their red drives (usually more money) which use many of the same exact parts internally.
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post #12 of 34 Old 02-23-2013, 06:16 PM
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I agree on the Red being better than the Green at the same price point based on the warranty alone.

But as you have discovered in your other thread you started at Anandtech there are others, like me, that think all of this gibberish has absolutely nothing to do with reliability especially for storage of media files.
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post #13 of 34 Old 02-24-2013, 05:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post


Really nice. I have this for my HTPC. It's a beast. The 3570 (not k) is $199 with coupon code on newegg today. If your not overclocking it might be worth saving $30

I seem to remember reading somewhere that Intel HD Graphics 4000 (on the 3570K) had significant advantages over HD Graphics 2500 (on the 3570), at least for a HTPC setup. Or maybe I'm misremembering...??

Thanks again for all the great advice!
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post #14 of 34 Old 02-24-2013, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Of course wd agrees with you. They need to protect their enterprise market ($$$) and want you to purchase their red drives (usually more money) which use many of the same exact parts internally.

I am not sure recommending a RED drive that sells within $10 most of the time qualifies as protecting the enterprise market. I don't see WD saying that for increased profits.
I think they actually mean it; They claim RED was designed and tested for such environments and Green is not tested or designed for that.

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post #15 of 34 Old 02-24-2013, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bellerophon View Post

I seem to remember reading somewhere that Intel HD Graphics 4000 (on the 3570K) had significant advantages over HD Graphics 2500 (on the 3570), at least for a HTPC setup. Or maybe I'm misremembering...??

Thanks again for all the great advice!


Well for the $30 you save you could always get a GPU card if you thought you needed more graphics power. Are you gaming ??

If not it won't matter.

1080p will look the same on HD2500 or HD4000.

HD4000 would have advantage on something like SVP.

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post #16 of 34 Old 02-24-2013, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I am not sure recommending a RED drive that sells within $10 most of the time qualifies as protecting the enterprise market. I don't see WD saying that for increased profits.
I think they actually mean it; They claim RED was designed and tested for such environments and Green is not tested or designed for that.

Red drives are no where close to within $10 of an enterprise drive.
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post #17 of 34 Old 02-24-2013, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Red drives are no where close to within $10 of an enterprise drive.

That was my point.

It was expressed wrong.

My point was RED drives sell within $10 of GREEN drives in price in most cases. So considering that RED costs about the same as GREEN I don't lend credit to your suggestion that the reason WD recommends RED and does not recommend GREEN is a matter of profit chasing, and in reality GREEN is just as good. I think you are wrong on that. I believe WD is being honest with the recommendation.

I believe WD recommends RED for NAS / 24/7 use, and applications using over 5 HDD drives because RED is actually originally designed and tested for such applications. RED has better vibration resistance ( specifically for the vibration that comes from multiple drives in a case or HDD cage /rack ) and has less aggressive head parking leading to increased endurance in those applications. The longer warranty alone probably means that even at $10 more it ends up costing WD about the same in the long run.

I do not believe your theory that GREEN is just as good, or a good choice in those applications- And that the only reason WD does not recommend them is because they want you to buy a more expensive drive. I think WD is pure of heart in the recommendation towards RED over GREEN in those situations.

My original point was RED was within $10 of GREEN (not enterprise drives) so recommending RED was not protecting the enterprise market and your point and suggestion I believed to be in error.

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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

That was my point.

It was expressed wrong.

My point was RED drives sell within $10 of GREEN drives in price in most cases. So considering that RED costs about the same as GREEN I don't lend credit to your suggestion that the reason WD recommends RED and does not recommend GREEN is a matter of profit chasing, and in reality GREEN is just as good. I think you are wrong on that. I believe WD is being honest with the recommendation.

I believe WD recommends RED for NAS / 24/7 use, and applications using over 5 HDD drives because RED is actually originally designed and tested for such applications. RED has better vibration resistance ( specifically for the vibration that comes from multiple drives in a case or HDD cage /rack ) and has less aggressive head parking leading to increased endurance in those applications. The longer warranty alone probably means that even at $10 more it ends up costing WD about the same in the long run.

I do not believe your theory that GREEN is just as good, or a good choice in those applications- And that the only reason WD does not recommend them is because they want you to buy a more expensive drive. I think WD is pure of heart in the recommendation towards RED over GREEN in those situations.

My original point was RED was within $10 of GREEN (not enterprise drives) so recommending RED was not protecting the enterprise market and your point and suggestion I believed to be in error.

That's not entirely true. You can't just pick an all-time lowest price of the Red drive and use that as a price comparison against the Greens.

Today, for example, the WD Reds are $170 at Newegg and $156 at Amazon. To the best of my knowledge you can't get a Red in an external enclosure.

The Green 3TB is $140 (or $130 in an enclosure) at Newegg and $135 or $130 at Amazon.

And the green drives (especially in the enclosures) can often be had for much less.

So I think to say that there is only a $10 difference at any given time is a little disengenuous.
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post #19 of 34 Old 02-24-2013, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
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That's not entirely true. You can't just pick an all-time lowest price of the Red drive and use that as a price comparison against the Greens.

Today, for example, the WD Reds are $170 at Newegg and $156 at Amazon. To the best of my knowledge you can't get a Red in an external enclosure.

The Green 3TB is $140 (or $130 in an enclosure) at Newegg and $135 or $130 at Amazon.

And the green drives (especially in the enclosures) can often be had for much less.

So I think to say that there is only a $10 difference at any given time is a little disengenuous.




I just bought one yesterday for $139.

It's not really hard.

But yes you are right at the time of purchase the purchaser should weight the options and make the best choice from what is available. But it's very common for RED to sell for same price as GREEN.

I've seen 2TB for $90 and 3TB $129 on many occasions.

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post #20 of 34 Old 02-25-2013, 05:33 AM
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@ OP

When are you building this bad boy ?

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@ OP

When are you building this bad boy ?

Parts ordering and building will start soon, but first I'm running some tests to learn more about how best to customize and construct the system for my house. Key activity is that I've set up a placeholder HTPC using an old Lenovo X200 and a HDD docking station. I've install JRiver trial on the laptop and bought JRemote for my wife's iPad (though I can't get it to link because her iPad is tied into an office domain rather than our home LAN... and tying in through the Internet hasn't worked yet).

I figure it might help to get at least a little experience with setting up sound output zones on JRiver and seeing how all that integrates with the rest of the family's main home theater setup, which includes a Panasonic BD player and multi-room Verizon FIOS DVR all ported through a (pretty old and sans HDMI equipped) A/V receiver. A big objective is to set it up so my wife can use her iPad in the kitchen to control her music (stored and reorganized by JRiver on the HTPC in an adjacent room) and have it piped into the in-wall speakers I installed in the kitchen for her.

Anyway, the whole idea is to use equipment around the house to test things out in case I discover something which I need to accommodate in the HTPC build. It could be, for example, that I really need to set up separate systems for my wife's music in the kitchen and the family's entertainment in the family room.

So... soon, but moving cautiously.

Thanks again for all the great advice!
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post #22 of 34 Old 02-28-2013, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
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@ OP

When are you building this bad boy ?

Starting to rethink strategy here, and would welcome any advice...

My current gaming and general use computer is one I built in 2007. Intel bad axe2 motherboard + Pentium E6600 dual core. I'm wondering if it would be sensible to salvage the intel bad axe 2 and E6600 and use them for the new HTPC build, and buy a new motherboard and a modern chip, like an i7, to upgrade the computer I use every day including gaming. I would use an add-on graphics card with HDMI output for the HTPC. I've searched a bunch and have seen a couple posts in other forums suggest an E6600 might be fast enough to run 1080p video but really haven't found much helpful or definitive info. Any advice? (Thanks!)
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post #23 of 34 Old 02-28-2013, 08:12 PM
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It would work either way. Your E6600 could do HTPC without issues with a good video card. Not powerful, just good. (6450 for $30 would work)

All depends on what you want. I'd say go new on the HTPC leave the desktop as is and that give you an excuse to upgrade that too soon eek.gif

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Build underway:

Silverstone Grandia 08B
ASRock Z77 Extreme4
i5 3750k + stock cooler
GSkill Ripjaw 2133 (2x4GB)
Samsung 840 SSD
WD 2TB Red (4 so 8TB total nominal storage)
LG Blu-Ray RW drive (salvaged from another computer)
Seasonic 450W modular Gold plus 80 PSU

Plan is to use FlexRAID if I can figure out how to set it up. Will tackle that once hardware install finished.

But for an immediate need in the build process, I have a question:

There are 4 SATA3 ports, and I'm wondering which of the two options is better:

(1) Use the four SATA3 ports for the four WD Red storage drives and connect the Samsung SSD with the system to a SATA2 port

or

(2) Connect the SSD with system to SATA3 (assuming it would be port 0) then connect three of the WD Reds to the other SATA3 ports and connect the fourth WD Red to a SATA2 port.

I'm curious whether the 4th WD Red will slow down the FlexRAID pool if it's just connected to SATA2, and whether it would be better to only install three of the WD Reds and keep all drives running on SATA3.

Any advice welcome! The WD drives and my Windows 7 HE disk arrive Monday, and I should have the rest of the build finished but for those final additions.

Thanks!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bellerophon View Post

Build underway:

Silverstone Grandia 08B
ASRock Z77 Extreme4
i5 3750k + stock cooler
GSkill Ripjaw 2133 (2x4GB)
Samsung 840 SSD
WD 2TB Red (4 so 8TB total nominal storage)
LG Blu-Ray RW drive (salvaged from another computer)
Seasonic 450W modular Gold plus 80 PSU

Plan is to use FlexRAID if I can figure out how to set it up. Will tackle that once hardware install finished.

But for an immediate need in the build process, I have a question:

There are 4 SATA3 ports, and I'm wondering which of the two options is better:

(1) Use the four SATA3 ports for the four WD Red storage drives and connect the Samsung SSD with the system to a SATA2 port

or

(2) Connect the SSD with system to SATA3 (assuming it would be port 0) then connect three of the WD Reds to the other SATA3 ports and connect the fourth WD Red to a SATA2 port.

I'm curious whether the 4th WD Red will slow down the FlexRAID pool if it's just connected to SATA2, and whether it would be better to only install three of the WD Reds and keep all drives running on SATA3.

Any advice welcome! The WD drives and my Windows 7 HE disk arrive Monday, and I should have the rest of the build finished but for those final additions.

Thanks!

Mechanical drives can't saturate SATAII. So either is just fine. Put the SSD on a SATAIII port.

Good luck on setting everything up.
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post #26 of 34 Old 03-09-2013, 06:27 PM
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Combination HTPC and NAS

I think it's always better when you split them up.
Do you mind if I ask why? I'm planning on doing a similar-ish build soon.

I've got a lot of answers to my questions already in this thread.
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Mechanical drives can't saturate SATAII. So either is just fine. Put the SSD on a SATAIII port.

Good luck on setting everything up.

Thanks very much Assassin. I'll proceed accordingly with SSD to SATAIII ... and HDDs and Blu-Ray drive to SATAII.

Completed the build yesterday except for the WD HDDs + Win7 (and cable management and other wrap-up still ahead), but it boots to BIOS and there are no Dr Debug error codes.

Two major contributors to success on this build so far have been Mfusick (for helpful advice here in this thread and on other threads where Mfusick gave relevant advice to others) and Assassin (for solid advice here, on AVS board in general, and in the excellent guides on his blog).

I'm really glad I signed up at Assassin's site. Huge help from his guides on both hardware and software. The JRiver Setup and JRiver Audiophile guides have been a great help in designing the overall media management strategy.

Thanks again!
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post #28 of 34 Old 03-10-2013, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
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Do you mind if I ask why? I'm planning on doing a similar-ish build soon.

I've got a lot of answers to my questions already in this thread.

Depending on what you need your NAS for... it is mostly better to have two separate machines... each one dedicated to its own task...

If the NAS will serve only one HTPC connected to the TV or AVR, it surely makes sense to have both on only one machine...

If the NAS will serve 3 smart TVs, two HTPCs, an iPhone, two iPads, family documents, tv recordings...etc... I think it is clear what the better choice should be...
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post #29 of 34 Old 03-10-2013, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Combination HTPC and NAS

I think it's always better when you split them up.
Do you mind if I ask why? I'm planning on doing a similar-ish build soon.

I've got a lot of answers to my questions already in this thread.

I just like it better. I find the server to be most reliable when it's a pure server running 24/7 and needs almost no attention. The HTPC on the other hand gets used, turned off, restarted ect... none of which effect the server or stop a stream.

I have some local content on my desktop occasionally and when I restart or crash from a video game my wife cries because her show stopped playing in the living room. lol.

Plus, it's better if you have a 3 way set up like me where you do all the media management on the desktop and put on the server and the HTPC is a remote control only unit that just reads from the libraries on the server. A true HTPC should not need a keyboard and mouse very often IMO. Doing all in one that will not be the case. It will feel like a PC hooked up to a TV.

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A new question has come up, and any advice would be greatly appreciated...

What is the best way to handle audio from movies stored on the above HTPC build? My options, as I understand them:

(1) keep my old AVR, which does not have HDMI inputs, but does have optical audio input to which I can connect the optical audio output from the motherboard

(2) keep my old AVR but, rather than use the optical audio input, use the lime-colored analog output from the HTPC motherboard and connect it to RCA inputs (like the TAPE or AUX inputs) on the old AVR

(3) get a new AVR which has HDMI inputs, like this one --> YAMAHA RX-V473BL 5.1-Channel Network AV Receiver

Currently, my plan is to use the HDMI output from the HTPC motherboard and connect directly to the plasma TV... and handle sound separately through the AVR (either old or new).

Thanks for any recommendations!
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