NAS as HTPC? (XBMC on QNAP TS-x69s) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 73 Old 02-22-2013, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi folks. First post here on the HTC forum, hoping you all can give me a little guidance. Over the past couple years I've been upgrading from your pedestrian TV+cable DVR+DVD player type setup into a modest home theater with an AV receiver, 5.1 speakers, and a DLNA blu ray player. The blu ray player I've used only sparingly for network playback because I've only had a few movie files, most of them low quality AVIs, which I have stored in a little 1TB MyBookLIve (which I bought to hold my music for my Sonos). Now I've made a couple of new acquisitions though that are go blow up my library of video files and fast: an external blu ray drive that I'm using to rip all my movies on disk, and a Tivo that I'm using to transfer my shows over and save them after I edit out the commercials. So far I've been using a USB HD (also new) to save my rips and .tivo files prior to editing and then backing up to the NAS only the converted H264 MKVs (the only reason I haven't run out of space already).

So anyway the next thing on the shopping list is obviously a new NAS and I've been doing some research over the past couple weeks on that. But at the same time I'm also realizing the limitations of my blu ray player as a DLNA client and have been starting to think about upgrading that too. It's not as pressing a priority because it actually plays the files just fine (outside of a few skipped frames from time to time on the files recorded from Tivo, which I haven't tested yet but I assume happened in their transfer or conversion to H264 and is not any reflection on the player), and it supports DTS too. Little things though do bother me. I can't chapter forward or back on MKVs even though I know the chapter marks are there. Limited subtitle support. And most important to me, a UI that only allows you to navigate through your folders to find what you want (no search even by title much less by any metadata tags). As the library grows, I'm already imagining my wife click click clicking slowly through the folders and I already know how that's going to turn out. She's going to exit back to the apps screen to find a movie to stream off Netfix instead.

Now enter into my NAS shopping the QNAP TS-469L. A 4 bay NAS with a 2.13 GHz dual core Intel Atom and HDMI port that runs "quiet as a mouse" according to smallnetbuilder (and at the same price point as the equivalent Synology DS412+)? Hmm. Why couldn't I put that right next to the receiver and above my TV? The HD Station that includes XBMC is a new offering for this line of QNAPs and perusing their forums it appears there are still a couple kinks to work out (specifically a GPU driver update they're waiting for from Intel to avoid stuttering, etc. on MKV playback). But that's to be expected when anything new rolls out, right? (BTW, apparently Thecus and ASUSTOR have models out now trying to play in this NAS-as-HTPC space also but I take it that none of them have been out for longer than a few months yet). Anyway, what do you folks think of this idea for my particular situation? The wife and I only watch on our one TV and have no need to transcode to any mobile devices (why anyone would want to watch a movie on a tablet much less a freaking phone is beyond me, but to each his own I guess). We don't need HD audio. We can program our Logitech Harmony to control it. Seems kinda perfect to me, killing 2 birds with one stone.

The alternative would be a cheaper NAS now + a new media player later. But for a NAS I'd still want something with an x86 processor at minimum, the cheapest of which w/the same 4 bay capacity (a Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 4) is only ~$150 less than the QNAP. And if I spend the difference on a media player then what does that gain me except the clutter of another box? Plus other than a XIOS or similar XBMC device would anything else give me the same quality UI and searchability? I already have Netflx and Amazon both the blu ray player and Tivo, and VUDU on the player too, so I don't need anything else to give me streaming apps. So I'm not seeing why it would be better to go that route. Unless there's some reason that asking a NAS to perform this function is an inherently bad idea even if it has the CPU/GPU capabilities to do it, or anything else that I'm missing? Would appreciate feedback from those of you who have HTPCs (would you have considered something like this if it was available when you first got started?) Also any feedback on XBMC vs. dedicated media players (though I'm sure there are plenty of threads I can search on that already). Thanks!
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post #2 of 73 Old 02-22-2013, 11:17 AM
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Sounds like you need to look at unraid or flexraid and a cheap htpc.
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post #3 of 73 Old 02-22-2013, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by macks View Post

Sounds like you need to look at unraid or flexraid and a cheap htpc.

If I was more confident in my technical know how I would. But for the amount of time it would take me to learn what I need to know to build the thing vs. just be a smart consumer about products that are already out there to do the same things for me, I just don't think it would be worth it. But that's why I posted my questions on this forum. I was all set thinking I was just going to get a beefier RAID5 NAS and then maybe a better media player down the road but now I'm kind of enamored with the notion of having something more like an HTPC but that I don't have to build and still at a reasonable price tag.

That is, unless someone wants to convince me that it's not a good idea. These particular NASes are new enough that I haven't been able to read a whole lot of informed opinion on them yet, so that's why I'm asking. For me personally though the alternative would definitely be lower end NAS + media player and not a real build your own HTPC. Thanks.
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post #4 of 73 Old 02-22-2013, 01:32 PM
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You are looking at spending nearly a grand to get 12TB of storage. Most of the media players have pretty bad support for playing back local content. I'm sure someone else will chime in with better advice for you. Just thought I'd see if I can steer you down the HTPC/file server route.
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post #5 of 73 Old 02-22-2013, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I appreciate it. As I've said that is more the functionality I want. But on the cost side, keep in mind that building my own HTPC wouldn't necessarily be any cheaper for me in the long run. I mean, you can tell me what the components would cost but putting any value on my own time and thinking of the learning curve I'd have as a person who's never toyed with hardware beyond installing a SSD and upgrading the memory on my laptop... I don't know, I'm just not seeing how that would be a better proposition. For me anyway.

Where I would start to consider it would be if there was functionality or performance I needed beyond what I could buy reasonably off the shelf. (For example if I wanted something w/the CPU and graphics to playback HD audio or to serve mutliple TVs or transcode to multiple devices at the same time, etc). Then I could see diving in and making a real project out of it. Otherwise, for my needs 12 TB storage + XMBC (from what I've seen of it so far) together for a grand, sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Anyway, thanks for the input.
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post #6 of 73 Old 02-23-2013, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
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You know what, maybe I am open to building my own. At least considering it. I had a double feature last night watching one of my MKVs along with one of my blu rays on disk and the difference was more noticeable than I'd experienced previously. I've only been at all this ripping, etc. for a couple weeks now so I don't know if I can explain it that well but the quality of the BD just pops out by comparison. I suspect it's the HD audio and just that little extra picture sharpness from not shrinking it down with Handbrake.

So just out of curiosity, let's say I wanted to build something like this QNAP only with the processor and GPU necessary to support HD audio and maybe even more storage to hold the full blu ray rips in folders and not just H264. What would I be talking about in terms of components, cost, etc.? Obviously I'd have a ton of reading to do but if someone could give me any sense of that and maybe point me to some good starter info that would be great. Thanks.
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post #7 of 73 Old 02-23-2013, 09:34 AM
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There is no point in buying blu-rays if you are going to shrink them with handbrake, in my opinion. Rip it straight from the blu-ray with makemkv or dvdfab. I get rid of the menus, extras, foreign audio and subtitles.

I would suggest using two different boxes. One file server, one HTPC. This way as you want to add things later you can without making things too hard on yourself, others will say 1 box is better.

This can end up costing you a good bit less than the QNAP box or a good bit more depending on what exactly you decide to buy. HTPC software has gotten better with time and isn't really that hard to setup anymore, plus there are a LOT of guides.

If you decide to go down this route you will learn a lot along the way. It might be worthwhile to look at some of the other things you can do that would be impossible with the QNAP.

Cable? This limits you to WMC, which I hate...

Blu-ray?

HD audio?

ATSC/OTA/Antenna?

For build simplicity I would suggest Openelec for the htpc and Unraid for the file server. Software wise both of these can be setup extremely quickly and easily. Unraid is free up to 3 hdd's and Openelec is just free.
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post #8 of 73 Old 02-23-2013, 12:02 PM
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I'm actually in the process of doing what your thinking about right now myself. In my old/current setup I have an Aspire Revo 3700 running XBMC, and a Thecus N4100Pro as my NAS. The Thecus is getting a bit long in the tooth, and I'm afraid it may die soon as it is almost 5 years old. Looking at the Thecus forum's it seems people with my model are starting to drop like flies, and their data is being lost in the process. It isn't very simple to retrieve your data from a failed proprietary NAS (not impossible, just not easy).

With that in mind I decided to build my own NAS, and I looked on Newegg for a bit with a mobo that has a bunch of SATA ports, and I wanted to keep it small since my Thecus is pretty tiny. Plus I wanted something that wasn't going to suck up a lot of power, which is the other advantage to going with a proprietary system usually. As I was looking I started thinking about using it as an HTPC as well since the Revo has its own set of problems.

AMD makes the E35 fusion which most mobo manufacturers adopted a year or so ago. It's basically a 1.6 Ghz dual core processor with a radeon HD 6310 in one. Multiple users have reported success using it with XBMC and 1080P. I just needed to find one with enough Sata ports to make this work as a NAS, and there were a few with 4 ports. There were some with 5 or 6 but they are pretty much discontinued or hard to find from a reputable source at a decent price.

In the end here's my Order from Newegg:

1 x ($139.99) CHENBRO SR30169T2-250 0.8mm SGCC, Hi-PS Pedestal Compact Server Chassis for SOHO & SMB Office 250W $139.99
1 x ($99.99) ASRock E350M1/USB3 AMD E-350 APU (1.6GHz, Dual-Core) AMD A50M Hudson M1 Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo $99.99
1 x ($59.99) OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-60G 2.5" 60GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $59.99
1 x ($48.99) G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Desktop Memory Model F3-8500CL7D-8GBRL $48.99
1 x ($4.99) BYTECC Model SATA-136EO 36" Serial ATA to e-SATA Cable $4.99

People claim the Asrock Mobo idles at about 30w so I'll be good on the power front, and it's powerful enough to run XBMC with the amount of ports that's just barely doable for me. I bought a 60 Gig SSD drive for Windows and XBMC to run from. I bough an Esata to Sata cable to connect the SSD drive up to the Esata since I only have 4 Sata ports and I plan on connecting up drives to it internally. So there is a cable that runs from the outside esata connector back inside where the PCI slot would go. Since I don't need anything in that slot its not a big deal. I might rig something up for more airflow control, but I'm not to worried about it right now.

The Chenbro case has 4 bays for 3.5" drives and 2 side bays for SSD drives so it's perfect for my needs. It's pretty much a case designed with a NAS in mind. The Fractal Design 304 is another good option I almost went with, but its not as SSD friendly as the Chenbro is.

I already have 4 2TB drives in my Thecus that I'm going to put in here as soon as I'm done backing the drives up. I've already installed Windows 8 X64 on the SSD. I chose that because I wasn't sure if I wanted to go with FlexRaid or Storage Spaces (and I'm still not sure yet). I have already installed XBMC version 12 and tested it out, and after getting all of the correct ATI drivers it runs like a charm. Once I finish backing up my Thecus which is dogshit slow I'll transfer the drives over to the new machine tomorrow.

I also plan on trying to use Crashplan or something like that to backup whatever NAS software I choose. I know that it would take FOREVER to restore TB of data, but I would rather have an offsite backup plan for more piece of mind than anything else.

As far as having the technical know how to do this, this was probably the fastest and easiest pc build I've ever done because the mobo has the CPU's, fan's and GPU already attached. I just needed to add the ram, connect it to the case, and screw it in. The only slightly complicated part was installing windows without a DVD drive. There are plenty of tools that can turn a windows disk into a usb key for install though. Ultimately if you are afraid to do it yourself, you can find one tech savy friend you can probably have this put together fairly quickly. With all of the youtube tutorials out there on how to put together a PC it this should be a fairly simple task to do yourself though.

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post #9 of 73 Old 02-25-2013, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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macks and chap - thanks to you both for your helpful suggestions. I'm intruiged now and think I will research these options before I pull the trigger on the QNAP or anything like it. I was thinking it would probably be better to wait until later this year before buying anything anyway so that'll give me time to do my homework on this. Let me just be clear what my objective is though just in case there's any other feedback you can offer to get me started off in the right direction: it wouldn't be to build a cheaper media center than the QNAP but a better one. If I can do it for cheaper too then great, but what I really think I want now is something with enough processor + graphics power to pass through HD Audio now that it's available in XBMC Frodo, and to have that in the quietest, most energy efficient build possible so I can place it my entertainment console. Or, if the goal of a quiet 4+ bay RAID5 NAS+HTPC isn't feasible or would be too cost prohibitive that's where I might start leaning more to 2 boxes instead since I can always hide the NAS in a closet if necessary. (Macks I know you recommend separate builds but since the only thing I even need the storage of the NAS for is to hold HD video to play on my TV, it just still makes more sense to me that they should be in the same box if I can do it).

So... what are the minimum build requirements to support that and in what order do I go about putting the pieces together? I've read that an Intel i3-2100T w/integrated HD2000 graphics would be a good choice for a quiet, low power build and will support HD Audio with XBMC but is there a cheaper alternative (or better one at the same price point)? Have to research that. And what about the case? Poking around a little on Amazon and Newegg it doesn't look like there are a whole lot of options that would suit the real NAS+HTMC media center build I'd prefer. So do you work from there to figure out what power supply and mobo would be compatible?

I know these are terribly rookie questions for a forum like this so I"m not necessarily looking for answers since I'm sure I can find them myself. I guess I"m just being honest that I've got a lot of reading ahead of me on this. Once I've done that though and priced it all out, then I can at least make a more informed decision whether to go ahead and build it or buy off the shelf instead. So thanks again for your input and I'll come back to report my progress once I've had time to take a deeper dive.
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post #10 of 73 Old 02-26-2013, 01:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Alright let me try an initial stab at this. I've I've just spent the night reading Assassin's HTPC Hardware Guide and poking around Amazon and Newegg and here's the build I've got going in my head so far:

Fractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX case (supports 6 hard drives) $129.13
Intel i3-3220T (2.8 GHz, dual core) $127.99
ASUS P8H77-I Mini-ITX mobo $106.98
Crucial M4 64GB SSD $76.67
G. Skill 4GB (2x2) DDR3 1600 RAM $31.98
OCZ Silencer MKIII Series 400W Modular PSU $69.99

How am I doing so far? Haven't decided on the software yet (other than XBMC). I was intruiged by the idea of OpenELEC for the purely HTPC build if I did that separately but I'll have to read up if it's still a good choice as a combined NAS too. And of course I need to look into unRAID, flexRAID etc to see what my options are for setting up a RAID5 array. Not to mention that I"m sure I probably messed up something on this list (some component that's incompatible with everything else, etc.) But assuming I"m on the right track at all this should give me some give me a box with both more storage capacity and a lot more processing power than than the QNAP for a little over $100 less (not to mention the performance boost of the SSD).

Definitely need to read up more on power supply and cooling though. The PSU I picked I basically just lifted from a poster on another thread here who said he used it w/his Fractal Design Node 304 build and other posters there who recommended a modular unit for it. I really don't know anything about PSUs at this point to know if it's a solid choice for my goal of achieving the most quiet and energy efficient build I can. If that's something that might require more of an investment then I'm open to that. Just need to understand more about it.

Anyway, it's a start I hope. Any feedback is much appreciated.
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post #11 of 73 Old 02-26-2013, 04:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElJimador View Post

Alright let me try an initial stab at this. I've I've just spent the night reading Assassin's HTPC Hardware Guide and poking around Amazon and Newegg and here's the build I've got going in my head so far:

Fractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX case (supports 6 hard drives) $129.13
Intel i3-3220T (2.8 GHz, dual core) $127.99
ASUS P8H77-I Mini-ITX mobo $106.98
Crucial M4 64GB SSD $76.67
G. Skill 4GB (2x2) DDR3 1600 RAM $31.98
OCZ Silencer MKIII Series 400W Modular PSU $69.99

How am I doing so far? Haven't decided on the software yet (other than XBMC). I was intruiged by the idea of OpenELEC for the purely HTPC build if I did that separately but I'll have to read up if it's still a good choice as a combined NAS too. And of course I need to look into unRAID, flexRAID etc to see what my options are for setting up a RAID5 array. Not to mention that I"m sure I probably messed up something on this list (some component that's incompatible with everything else, etc.) But assuming I"m on the right track at all this should give me some give me a box with both more storage capacity and a lot more processing power than than the QNAP for a little over $100 less (not to mention the performance boost of the SSD).

Definitely need to read up more on power supply and cooling though. The PSU I picked I basically just lifted from a poster on another thread here who said he used it w/his Fractal Design Node 304 build and other posters there who recommended a modular unit for it. I really don't know anything about PSUs at this point to know if it's a solid choice for my goal of achieving the most quiet and energy efficient build I can. If that's something that might require more of an investment then I'm open to that. Just need to understand more about it.

Anyway, it's a start I hope. Any feedback is much appreciated.

I understand the intrigue of Mini-ITX but it can seriously limit you later on and has a price premium. The i3 is honestly overkill for a htpc. The 64GB SSD should be fine but you can normally get a 128GB for around 80-90. If you decide on 4GB of ram I would get it in a single stick so you can upgrade easier later(more energy efficient and room for upgrading). I would look more in the 300W range of PSU's.

You can spend a couple hundred and have a perfectly functional HTPC.
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post #12 of 73 Old 02-26-2013, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macks View Post

I understand the intrigue of Mini-ITX but it can seriously limit you later on and has a price premium. The i3 is honestly overkill for a htpc. The 64GB SSD should be fine but you can normally get a 128GB for around 80-90. If you decide on 4GB of ram I would get it in a single stick so you can upgrade easier later(more energy efficient and room for upgrading). I would look more in the 300W range of PSU's.

You can spend a couple hundred and have a perfectly functional HTPC.

Good pointers, thanks Macks. After reading Assassin's guide I knew that an i3 would be overkill and when I first started writing out my build it was with a Sandy Bridge Celeron or Pentium instead ($45-65). I only bumped it up to the Ivy Bridge i3 after seeing what the rest of the build looked like it was going to cost and thinking why not invest the extra $60-80 for a really premium build? I don't want to just throw money away but remember if i do this my goal will be to aim a bit higher than just "perfectly functional".

As for Mini-ITX, the problem is that I'm severely limited in terms of cases that have enough HD slots to be the NAS I want and that can fit in my entertainment consule also. I don't have more than 16-18" of depth available and almost everything else I saw that could support 4+ HDs are all bigger than that. So probably next on my list would be the Fractal Design Node 605 with 4 HDD slots instead of 6. That's not going to be enough over time if I'm going to store full blu ray rips but I'm still on the fence about that and if I wind up sticking with H264 MKV as my default then it should be plenty. So let me try pulling together a build around that with the Celeron instead and taking your other tips into account as well. (The 605 can support microATX, or even a full ATX mobo I'm willing to forego taking advantage of the slim optical drive slot, which I probably would be.)

As for the PSU, Newegg's calculator put the estimated power required at ~320W and I just assumed that the PSU should provide a little more power than you need. If that's not the case then what is the rule of thumb and are their better calculators out there? Thanks again.
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post #13 of 73 Old 02-26-2013, 03:54 PM
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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811204032 16.4" 6 HDD

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811204039 11" 4 HDD ... LOL

Case suggestions aren't a strong suit for me, I hide all of my components and use a ATX tower. I use to use an Antec Fusion which is great.

For the PSU I forgot about the HDD's for a second. 400W is a good idea.
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post #14 of 73 Old 02-27-2013, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, take 2:

Fractal Design Node 605 case (13.7"d and supports 4 hard drives) $159.89
Intel Celeron G530 (2.4 GHz, dual core) $44.00
ASRock PRO4-M Micro ATX mobo $89.99
Corsair 4GB (1x4GB) DDR3 1600 RAM $19.00
Antec EarthWatts EA-380D 380W PLUS Bronze PSU $45.00

The case is quite a bit pricier than the nMediaPC 2000B and 4 SATA slots vs. 6 isn't ideal either, however I think the 2000B is still a little too big. Plus I have to say I prefer the look of the 605 and playing a little more for the extra WAF appeal doesn't seem like a bad investment either. What I'm still trying to figure out though is if if there's some way I can squeeze in an SSD. With only 4 HD slots I really want them all for the RAID5 array and I suppose I could live with not having the SSD but it would be nice if I could still fit it in somewhere. Also I probably will take advantage of the slim optical drive so I'll have to find a slim SATA blu ray drive to add to the shopping list (I review I saw said a slot loaded would be easier to mount than tray but so far I haven't found one for less than $130 which seems a bit steep when tray options can be had for half that).
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post #15 of 73 Old 02-27-2013, 08:41 AM
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Is your plan to use the onboard RAID?
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post #16 of 73 Old 02-27-2013, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macks View Post

Is your plan to use the onboard RAID?

Hadn't really thought about it to be honest. I keep saying RAID 5 based on my early NAS shopping and now that the goal has changed to an HTPC media center build I guess I was just figuring on some kind of software implementation for the RAID but hadn't really considered it yet beyond that. What would you recommend? Really all I want is as much storage as I can get for my video files while still being able to recover from the failure of any 1 drive at a time. So whatever would be the most stable / easiest to set up and maintain option to achieve that would be my preference even if it costs a bit more up front (a RAID controller maybe?). Once I buy the drives and set it up I really don't want to have to think about it anymore unless/until a drive fails and then I don't want it to be brain surgery to buy a new drive and recover from it. (I'm thinking of an array of all 3TB WD Reds or Greens so I wouldn't need any kind of FlexRAID type setup either).

BTW I also saw on another thread here that I don't need a hard drive slot for the SSD and should be able to just mount it to the case interior with adhesive velcro. A review of the Fractal Design 605 case says there's room for it on the inside of the front panel above the card reader so that's good news and I'll definitely be revising my earlier post to include that now.
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post #17 of 73 Old 02-27-2013, 06:15 PM
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The onboard raid controllers are crap as far as I'm concerned. Flexraid would be a very good option in your case.

The node 605's 4 hdd limit is pretty bad in all honesty. Please measure your media center and see if you can fit a 17" chassis leaving an inch for wires or room for the wires to hangover. This would open you up to some really nice cases that can hold a lot more HDD's.

If the above isn't an option then your Node 304 build is the better option. Just get a 128gb ssd instead, the price difference is minimal. Also, do the other improvements.

This type of build isn't my cup of tea so maybe someone else will comment with good ideas.

Mixing and matching HDD's is a good idea with software RAID so you avoid bad batches of HDD's. With hardware RAID you generally want all the same make/model/firmware.
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post #18 of 73 Old 02-27-2013, 07:03 PM
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Mixing and matching HDD's is a good idea with software RAID so you avoid bad batches of HDD's. With hardware RAID you generally want all the same make/model/firmware.

Link? Proof? Data?

I think just the opposite. I think you are increasing your chance of getting a bad drive.
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post #19 of 73 Old 02-27-2013, 07:55 PM
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Link? Proof? Data?

I think just the opposite. I think you are increasing your chance of getting a bad drive.

Increased chance of a single bad drive, maybe. Decreased chance of multiple bad drives, definitely.smile.gif

No need for a link. There are occasional mass drive failures in batches. I don't really care if you believe me on this one, Assassin.
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Increased chance of a single bad drive, maybe. Decreased chance of multiple bad drives, definitely.smile.gif

No need for a link. There are occasional mass drive failures in batches. I don't really care if you believe me on this one, Assassin.

There are also mass drive successes in batches (better firmware, improvements in production, etc) as well.

Statements like this need some sort of data if you want them to have any legitimacy. Otherwise its just a theory.
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post #21 of 73 Old 02-28-2013, 04:03 AM
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There are also mass drive successes in batches (better firmware, improvements in production, etc) as well.

Statements like this need some sort of data if you want them to have any legitimacy. Otherwise its just a theory.

I think you are looking at this in the wrong light, Assassin...

Are there mass drive failing in batches?

If your answer to the above is yes then what I have said holds weight.

There is a theory that even among good drives in the same batch that when one fails, the others have an increased chance of failing during a rebuild. This theory is based around the idea that the drives will receive fairly equal load if they are in the exact same environment(same parts, same build quality). I don't know if this was ever proven or where I would gain access to any results on this.

If you think this is all nonsense and holds no weight, then please ignore me. I will look for some kind of link to backup what I have said but I don't know if I will find anything.

Edit: Please remember that a single bad drive is completely recoverable with most RAID levels and with most software RAID solutions.
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post #22 of 73 Old 02-28-2013, 04:06 AM
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I would consider getting the case from microcenter instead. They are about $30 cheaper for the fractal cases.

Also depending on what you plan on doing with the pc, you may want to look into an e35 fusion board instead and save yourself another $100. If u are set on using linux its probably not the best thing though.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk 2

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post #23 of 73 Old 02-28-2013, 04:12 AM
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I think you are looking at this in the wrong light, Assassin...

Are there mass drive failing in batches?

If your answer to the above is yes then what I have said holds weight.

There is a theory that even among good drives in the same batch that when one fails, the others have an increased chance of failing during a rebuild. This theory is based around the idea that the drives will receive fairly equal load if they are in the exact same environment(same parts, same build quality). I don't know if this was ever proven or where I would gain access to any results on this.

If you think this is all nonsense and holds no weight, then please ignore me. I will look for some kind of link to backup what I have said but I don't know if I will find anything.

Edit: Please remember that a single bad drive is completely recoverable with most RAID levels and with most software RAID solutions.

For business servers where you are purchasing hundreds or even thousands of hard drives I think your argument makes some sense. Not sure that it applies at all or is relevant at all to home theater computers. Actually, I think my theory makes much more sense as in my experience you are much more likely to receive a drive that doesn't fail as opposed to one that fails.

I will await your data.
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http://www.windowsitpro.com/article/hardware/the-shocking-truth-about-hard-disk-drive-failure-rates-95965

Second to last paragraph at least comes to the conclusion that what I'm saying might be true. This is a very hard thing to prove Assassin, too many factors.

My main concern is not having multiple drives fail at the same time. One drive failure doesn't bug me.
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http://www.windowsitpro.com/article/hardware/the-shocking-truth-about-hard-disk-drive-failure-rates-95965

Second to last paragraph at least comes to the conclusion that what I'm saying might be true. This is a very hard thing to prove Assassin, too many factors.

My main concern is not having multiple drives fail at the same time. One drive failure doesn't bug me.

How many hard drives do you think the average htpc user is buying at a time? Or do you think they are more likely to be added as needed?

I know you can't prove it because this is one of those things that gets perpetuated as truth ad nauseam despite there being literally no applicable data to support it.

And like I say its just not really applicable to htpc users regardless.
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post #26 of 73 Old 02-28-2013, 06:01 AM
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How many hard drives do you think the average htpc user is buying at a time? Or do you think they are more likely to be added as needed?

I know you can't prove it because this is one of those things that gets perpetuated as truth ad nauseam despite there being literally no applicable data to support it.

And like I say its just not really applicable to htpc users regardless.

Please read the link I posted. It isn't "proven" but there is data to support it.

The link mentions that hard drives do sometimes fail in batches. With Enterprise grade HDD's it is much less common. WD Red does not equal enterprise.

If you are adding hard drives over time one at a time then I would say it doesn't matter as much b/c you will get drives made with slightly different hardware/firmware.

If you buy more than one drive at a time then I would suggest buying from different manufacturers if the cost difference is not drastic. The OP in this case is buying multiple drives at once so I suggested buying different make/model. If the cost difference is more than 10 bucks then you are probably better off saving your money.
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post #27 of 73 Old 02-28-2013, 06:39 AM
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Please read the link I posted. It isn't "proven" but there is data to support it.

The link mentions that hard drives do sometimes fail in batches. With Enterprise grade HDD's it is much less common. WD Red does not equal enterprise.

If you are adding hard drives over time one at a time then I would say it doesn't matter as much b/c you will get drives made with slightly different hardware/firmware.

If you buy more than one drive at a time then I would suggest buying from different manufacturers if the cost difference is not drastic. The OP in this case is buying multiple drives at once so I suggested buying different make/model. If the cost difference is more than 10 bucks then you are probably better off saving your money.

That articles seems to refute your argument more than support it. At the very least it points to the cause not really being known.
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post #28 of 73 Old 02-28-2013, 07:33 AM
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That articles seems to refute your argument more than support it. At the very least it points to the cause not really being known.

It says that drives have a higher chance of failing at the same time with an unknown reason. My conclusion is one of the possible reasons. It in no way refutes what I have said, it just says there are other possibilities also. The fix for this in the Enterprise space is off-site backup so there will not be further research saying what factor causes what they found. Off-site backup is the proper fix no matter what the cause is for the Enterprise space.

If you agree that all manufacturers have similar failure rates, then your assessment that buying all the same is better is false.

I don't think we are going to come to an agreement on this Assassin.

Another point to bring up is that locking sata cables are awesome.
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post #29 of 73 Old 02-28-2013, 07:59 AM
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It says that drives have a higher chance of failing at the same time with an unknown reason. My conclusion is one of the possible reasons. It in no way refutes what I have said, it just says there are other possibilities also. The fix for this in the Enterprise space is off-site backup so there will not be further research saying what factor causes what they found. Off-site backup is the proper fix no matter what the cause is for the Enterprise space.

If you agree that all manufacturers have similar failure rates, then your assessment that buying all the same is better is false.

I don't think we are going to come to an agreement on this Assassin.

Another point to bring up is that locking sata cables are awesome.

We can agree to disagree. The internet is full of people that spread info as definite truth with no actual data. I think this is just another example. The OP and others can make their own opinion and decision.
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post #30 of 73 Old 02-28-2013, 08:09 AM
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We can agree to disagree. The internet is full of people that spread info as definite truth with no actual data. I think this is just another example. The OP and others can make their own opinion and decision.

My original statement was 100% true.

Mixing and matching HDD's is a good idea with software RAID so you avoid bad batches of HDD's.

The only way you can say this isn't true is if you don't believe there are bad batches of HDD's. If you believe this then you are a fool. If you think I'm being paranoid, then you might have a point but what I said is true.
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