Parts questions for my first Media Server build - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 50 Old 02-18-2013, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm starting to put together a parts list for my first media server build. I've put together some parts for it below and wanted to get people's thoughts. The server will mainly (initially exclusively) used to serve video to a few different HTPCs throughout my house. I used assassinserver as the initial guide and then tried to determine where I wanted to make changes.

First for a few questions. It seems like I can go with either an ATX or microATX motherboard. Is there a reason to choose one over the other? I'm mainly interested in what will make it an easier and smoother build as this is my first PC build. Price isn't my first concern (though obviously I don't want to needlessly spend extra money) so I'm wondering if I should upgrade to 8GB of RAM for the extra $15. Also with respect to processor, assassinserver is recommending a Sandy Bridge processor over an Ivy Bridge processor (both Pentium). I'm not sure if there is a reason Sandy Bridge would be better (it didn't seem much cheaper) or if the blog was simply written before Ivy Bridge came out and hasn't been updated. Also, is there any reason I should upgrade to an i3? That's about it. It seems like I can pull all of this together with cables for about $1k. Please let me know what you think. Thanks.

Case - Ark-4u-500a
Motherboard - ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP
CPU - Ivy Bridge Pentium G2120, Ivy Bridge Pent G2020 or Sandy Bridge Pent. G860
RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
SSD (OS) - Intel 330 Series Maple Crest (60GB)
Internal HD - WD Caviar Green 3TB x3 for now
Power Supply - SeaSonic M12II 650 SS-650AM 650W ATX12V (modular)
Fans - Nexus BASIC D12SL-12 120mm Case cooler and Nexus SP802512L-03 80mm Case cooler
Other - Intel NIC Card
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post #2 of 50 Old 02-19-2013, 05:40 AM
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Not much to hate on that.

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post #3 of 50 Old 02-19-2013, 05:41 AM
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Well done.

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post #4 of 50 Old 02-19-2013, 07:06 AM
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You didn't indicate which server software you intend to use. UnRAID? FlexRAID? SnapRAID? Other?

Unless you plan to run FlexRAID and include a lot of other functionality via add-on cards, a micro-ATX board will more than suffice. You also don't need a powerful CPU since you're just using the server to move files across your network and very little processing of data (with the aforementioned caveat regarding added functionality). I'd pick the lowest power CPU (i.e., the one that uses the least wattage) for your motherboard to help keep the electric bill as low as possible. Otherwise some good hardware choices overall.
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post #5 of 50 Old 02-19-2013, 09:05 AM
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[PCPartPicker part list](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Esew) / [Price breakdown by merchant](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Esew/by_merchant/) / [Benchmarks](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Esew/benchmarks/)

Type|Item|Price
:----|:----|:----

**CPU** | [Intel Pentium G2120 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/intel-cpu-bx80637g2120) | $77.98 @ Outlet PC

**Motherboard** | [ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asrock-motherboard-h77pro4mvp) | $87.55 @ Newegg

**Memory** | [G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gskill-memory-f310666cl9s4gbrl) | $26.99 @ Newegg

**Storage** | [Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/western-digital-internal-hard-drive-wd30ezrx) | $139.98 @ SuperBiiz

**Storage** | [Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/western-digital-internal-hard-drive-wd30ezrx) | $139.98 @ SuperBiiz

**Storage** | [Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/western-digital-internal-hard-drive-wd30ezrx) | $139.98 @ SuperBiiz

**Storage** | [Intel 330 Series 60GB 2.5" Solid State Disk](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/intel-internal-hard-drive-ssdsc2ct060a3k5) | $74.99 @ Newegg

**Wired Network Adapter** | [Intel PWLA8391GT 10/100/1000 Mbps PCI Network Adapter](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/intel-wired-network-card-pwla8391gt) | $32.99 @ Newegg

**Case Fan** | [Nexus D12SL-12 36.9 CFM 120mm Fan](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/nexus-case-fan-d12sl12) | $13.98 @ Newegg

**Case Fan** | [Nexus SP802512L-03 20.2 CFM 80mm Fan](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/nexus-case-fan-sp802512l03) | $10.98 @ Newegg

**Power Supply** | [SeaSonic M12II 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seasonic-power-supply-ss650am) | $95.17 @ Newegg

**Other**| ARK 4U-500-CA Black 4U Rackmount Case 3 External 5.25" Drive Bays| $85.99

| | **Total**
| Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available. | $926.56

I do not think 1600 memory is supported with your setup

And your choice for a PSU is overkill

You can get by with a 430w or less or 500w Seasonic Rebrand

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $69.99

(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-23 14:38 EST-0500)
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post #6 of 50 Old 02-19-2013, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies.

I had been planning on using WHS-2011 for software as I'm not too concerned about having a parity drive at this time. One potential caveat is that it seems you need at least 160GB for WHS-2011 and I only was planning on getting a 64GB SSD. I do see there is a roundabout way of installing WHS on a smaller drive so I guess I'll look into that but if somebody has a better recommendation please let me know.

For the PSU while I'm only currently going to connect 3 storage drives I think my case can support up to 10 or 12 drives and I'm sure I'll add some in the future. If I had more hard drives connected would you then say I should go with the more powerful PSU or would you still think 430w would suffice?

Also, any thoughts if it would be worth the extra $15 (less than 2% of total cost) to go up to 8GB or is that overkill? I'll look into the 1333 vs. 1600 DDR RAM.

Thanks.
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post #7 of 50 Old 02-19-2013, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktrdsl23 View Post

Thanks for all the replies.

I had been planning on using WHS-2011 for software as I'm not too concerned about having a parity drive at this time. One potential caveat is that it seems you need at least 160GB for WHS-2011 and I only was planning on getting a 64GB SSD. I do see there is a roundabout way of installing WHS on a smaller drive so I guess I'll look into that but if somebody has a better recommendation please let me know.

For the PSU while I'm only currently going to connect 3 storage drives I think my case can support up to 10 or 12 drives and I'm sure I'll add some in the future. If I had more hard drives connected would you then say I should go with the more powerful PSU or would you still think 430w would suffice?

Also, any thoughts if it would be worth the extra $15 (less than 2% of total cost) to go up to 8GB or is that overkill? I'll look into the 1333 vs. 1600 DDR RAM.

Thanks.

Go 8GB for small cost increase.

Your PSU is enough. You do not need more PSU.

The workaround works fine. I had a thread about it. I've done it both ways on my server. Pretty easy to install on a 60GB SSD. If you need help just ask...

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post #8 of 50 Old 02-21-2013, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Go 8GB for small cost increase.

Your PSU is enough. You do not need more PSU.

The workaround works fine. I had a thread about it. I've done it both ways on my server. Pretty easy to install on a 60GB SSD. If you need help just ask...

When you say "your PSU is enough" for potentially up to 10 or 12 drives, are you referring to the original 650w PSU I put in my first post or are you agreeing with the post by puzzledshrug saying that 430w would be enough?

Thanks.
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post #9 of 50 Old 02-21-2013, 10:20 AM
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The 650W PSU will do the job if you want to add up to 10 or 12 drives and probably a few more. I'd definitely get the more powerful PSU to account for future expansion. You'll outgrow a 430W PSU pretty quick.
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post #10 of 50 Old 02-21-2013, 11:06 AM
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Hdd's max out at around 20watts during startup.



Even with 10, you are pulling 200w max. The 430W is honestly fine, even if you are pushing it a little at startup.
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post #11 of 50 Old 02-21-2013, 11:08 AM
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I don't have an SSD in my WHS. No reason to do so IMO. It boots up just fine as it is, and since it is running all the time it is rare I need to reboot it anyway. All my PCs have SSDs, so I do believe in them, but not in my server.
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post #12 of 50 Old 02-21-2013, 11:17 AM
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I have an SSD in my WHS2011 server, a Kingston V100 64GB. At the time, I think a 320GB 2.5" HDD (right after the big Thailand floods) was about the same price and about as small as I could find which seemed like waste.

It did make RDP'ing into the WHS2011 server much faster and the Dashboard comes up much faster too. Mostly though, it freed up a spot in my case for a 3.5" HDD.

So, YMMV whether or not a SSD is an advantage.

 

 

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post #13 of 50 Old 02-21-2013, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
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One more question. When deciding between ATX and microATX, will one lead to an easier install? Like I said, this is my first PC build and I can't determine if it will be easier or harder working with the larger motherboard. I think having the extra space will spread things out and make it easier but I might be completely wrong here.
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post #14 of 50 Old 02-21-2013, 08:21 PM
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post #15 of 50 Old 02-21-2013, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Cpu section will be updated this week at assassinserver.com

Just placed my order today at Amazon for the G2120. It was only $10 more than the G2020. Are you going to recommend something else wink.gif
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post #16 of 50 Old 02-22-2013, 04:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktrdsl23 View Post

One more question. When deciding between ATX and microATX, will one lead to an easier install? Like I said, this is my first PC build and I can't determine if it will be easier or harder working with the larger motherboard. I think having the extra space will spread things out and make it easier but I might be completely wrong here.

This really has more to do with the case you get. Small cases with big hands = trouble. There are some small cases that are still really easy though.
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post #17 of 50 Old 02-22-2013, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macks View Post

This really has more to do with the case you get. Small cases with big hands = trouble. There are some small cases that are still really easy though.

Ok, so what you are saying is that since my case is constant (ARK-4U-500) it won't matter whether I go with an ATX or microATX in terms of an easier build. I guess I might as well go with an ATX board then as the cost difference is minimal and it appears it would give more upgrade options in the future if I ever needed them.
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post #18 of 50 Old 02-22-2013, 08:29 AM
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It might be slightly more difficult but the extra ports are worth the minor inconvenience.
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post #19 of 50 Old 02-22-2013, 02:31 PM
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I always prefer the larger myself. It's usually better unless you really need the small size to fit a small case.

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post #20 of 50 Old 02-25-2013, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Been going through and ordering my different parts. Does anybody know if the Intel G2120 comes with thermal paste pre-applied or if I should purchase one of those tubes of paste? I'm hoping to work on it this weekend and want to make sure I don't miss anything.

Thanks.
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post #21 of 50 Old 02-25-2013, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktrdsl23 View Post

Been going through and ordering my different parts. Does anybody know if the Intel G2120 comes with thermal paste pre-applied or if I should purchase one of those tubes of paste? I'm hoping to work on it this weekend and want to make sure I don't miss anything.

Thanks.
If you bought the retail box CPU it will come with a heatsink and fan that already has the thermal compound applied. OTOH, it never hurts to keep some quality thermal compound on hand in case you need to swap out the heat sink or CPU at some point. Arctic Silver is very popular and does a great job. I bought a huge tube of the stuff a couple of years ago and still have plenty left.
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post #22 of 50 Old 02-26-2013, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
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So my parts are starting to arrive and I'm trying to foresee things I'll bump into with the build. Of course I decide to get a case for my first build that doesn't have a manual nor can one be found online.

PSU - My case seems to need the PSU aligned so that the fan (intake fan?) of the PSU faces into the computer. Most videos I've seen show the intake fan pointed out at the case into a grate, sometimes with a dust filter. My case doesn't have any of these grates and I don't even think I can screw in the PSU facing the case, so is it ok if the fan of the PSU faces into the computer internals?

Hard Drives - Most vides I've seen show hard drives being installed into cages that then slide into brackets on the case. My case seems to just have a cage where you screw the hard drives into. Am I correct that the hard drives should just be screwed directly into the cage?

Top bar - It seems there is a smaller hard drive cage across the top bar which I'm wondering if I should use for my 2.5" SSD drive. Would you guys recommend doing that or should I just screw the SSD into one of the normal hard drive slots on the front?

I've attached a few pictures to try and show what I'm asking. Thanks again for all of the help. I'm very excited to give this all a try this weekend.


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post #23 of 50 Old 02-26-2013, 12:47 PM
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The PSU is mounted correctly.

That is the right way to mount the HDD's.

That top bar hdd cage looks like it would restrict air flow to you CPU, I might be wrong though. Hard to tell from the picture.
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post #24 of 50 Old 02-27-2013, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
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So was going through my manual for the motherboard and it says "Supports 3rd and 2nd Generation Intel® CoreTM i7 / i5 / i3 in LGA1155 Package"

Does this mean that my motherboard doesn't support my CPU (Ivy Bridge Pentium G2120 LGA1155) or did the manual simply leave that out?


--Edit--

Nevermind, just found it here:

http://www.asrock.com/mb/cpu.us.asp?Model=H77%20Pro4/MVP

Seems to be supported.
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post #25 of 50 Old 02-27-2013, 08:45 AM
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post #26 of 50 Old 02-27-2013, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Anybody know what these pieces are for? I'm guessing it is either to connect a 2.5"drive to the 3.5" cage or to connect something to the 5.25"cage. This is where a manual would be helpful.

naqugegu.jpg

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post #27 of 50 Old 02-27-2013, 10:29 AM
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Exactly. The large metal cage is a 3.5" drive cage (drives mount vertically). The smaller metal brackets are 2.5" to 3.5" converters.

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post #28 of 50 Old 02-27-2013, 10:40 AM
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Looks like funny looking drive cages and a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter

Edit: NVRMND he beat me to it:D

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post #29 of 50 Old 02-27-2013, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiley165 View Post

Exactly. The large metal cage is a 3.5" drive cage (drives mount vertically). The smaller metal brackets are 2.5" to 3.5" converters.

Thanks. I think this case has a place for a 2.5" drive in the front where I would probably put my 2.5" SSD. I'm not at home to measure but can anybody tell if they think the bottom of the 5.25" cage (bottom right of this pic) is a slot for a 3.5" or 2.5" drive? I really appreciate all the help. You guys are awesome!

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post #30 of 50 Old 02-27-2013, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Questions keep coming...

So I just realized that I have 4 hard drives to attach (1x SSD and 3x Storage) and I'm sure in the future I'll add more. My motherboard has three 6Gb/s and three 3Gb/s ports.

Should I buy an expansion card now or will I not see a big difference if one of my media drives is connected to the 3Gb/s port and wait until I have more than 6 drives to buy an expansion card?

---Edit----

Really need to keep reading my stuff. It appears that my motherboard has four 6Gb/s and four 3Gb/s ports. Two of them are covered up by a Newegg comment about using them for boot drives. With four ports I don't need anything now although I guess I still wonder if I'm better in the future to spend money on an expansion card or utilize the 3Gb/s ports. Any thoughts? Thanks.
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