Time to upgrade the HTPC and create a server - am I missing anything? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-05-2013, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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My current HTPC sitting on a desk in my basement is pushing 5 years now, along with an HP Mediasmart server that is at least as old. They've served me well but I'm ready to upgrade to something that hopefully will last another 5 years and combine some of the functions. I plan to reuse what I can to keep costs down. While I've been reading the forums for all sorts of ideas for some time now, please feel free to share any comments, ideas, etc. I know there is no 1 right way to do things and I'm always open to suggestions.

My current equipment:
  • HP Mediasmart server: 2 1.5 TB drives, a 1TB drive and the 500GB system drive. A lot of photos are stored on here, along with home videos, a bunch of movies and music. It's on 24/7 and serves up everything.
  • HTPC with an AMD Athlon X2 processor, 2GB RAM, a Biostar Micro ATX board in an Apevia Micro ATX case, running windows 8 on a relatively new 120GB ssd. There is 2TB drive in the case and another 1TB external where all of the recorded TV shows go.
    HTPC runs SageTV primarily (outputs to 2 extenders), as well as Plex. I have an HVR2250 tuner card, an HD Homerun Prime and an HD PVR for recording shows. More often than not most of the movies and TV shows are watched through Sage on the extenders. The limited memory and processing power occasionally causes issues/needs for reboots.
  • 27" iMac that has most of the newer photos and home movies (backed up with crashplan)

With the HTPC and Mediasmart server aging I've looked at many options, from a NAS (like Synology) to WHS, etc. Since both of these boxes are sitting on a network and not playing directly to any TV it seems logical to try and combine them (they're both running 24/7). I'm already running Windows 8 on the ssd and figure I can take that, along with the hard drives, the bluray burner, dvd player and tuners and add that to a new box that can handle more hard drives and stay cool (so ATX, not micro). When I'm done it will still play Sage TV and plex, and I'll also experiment with WMC since so many of my cable channels are flagged now. I'll migrate all of the pictures and home videos from the HP to here and then use the network share to take many of the photos and videos off of the mac (so everything is in 1 location but the mac can access it all). In the end I can have the backup of the mac and my laptop on the new server as well. I was looking at using flexraid to protect that data locally (or traid if it's ready by the time I'm ready) and something like crashplan to back it up offsite as well.


The new build concept:
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-05-2013, 06:49 PM
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You could use your old HTPC as a media server running software raid like Flexraid or Snapraid. All you would need is a decent power supply if you don't have one and a case to hold all your drives.

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post #3 of 5 Old 07-24-2013, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Mrkazador, this is essentially what I'm going to do, upgrading the motherboard, cpu and ram, putting that in a new case with new power supply and using all my existing hard drives, bluray, tv tuners, etc.

Got sidetracked by kid's sports which are finally nearing the end of season... Hoping to maybe work on this over the next week or so once I get all the parts and have some quick questions if anyone can chime in.

Based on reading all the great threads on here, from Assassin to mfusick and everyone else, I'm feeling pretty good going with Ivy Bridge LGA1155 as the base. I can always upgrade the CPU down the road if needed to an i3. I just need to figure out the RAM and power supply. I have a microcenter nearby so I'll pick up what I can there and likely fill in the rest from newegg.

Case: Antec Three Hundred Two - $58 (plenty big for drive expansion, cooling, and cheaper than the Fractal)
Processor: Intel G1610 - $35
MOBO: ASRock H77 Pro4-M - $90 (doesn't look like microcenter carries it so will have to get through newegg)

Powersupply: how much do I really need? Is the 380W Antec Earthwatts enough or perhaps the corsair builder series 500W 80plus bronze? Could use some guidance on this one. I know Assassin likes the seasonics and antecs.
RAM: I originally thought 2x4GB but maybe 2x2GB is enough to handle my needs (we're talking about $35 difference). If I go G.Skill I'll get it at newegg, corsair at microcenter. Happy to take any opinions on this.

All in looks like I'll be in the $250-$300 range to upgrade, before layering flexraid after I'm all done.

Thanks!
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-24-2013, 04:23 PM
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looks good to me so far biggrin.gif

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-10-2013, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
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So I've got things up and running but still have a ways to go to finalize this project. Ended up buying the following:

Case: Antec Three Hundred Two
Processor: Intel G1610
MOBO: ASRock Z77 Pro4
Memory - 2x4GB Corsair
Powersupply: Corsair CX500M
3TB WD Green drive to be used as the parity drive

Came in right at 300 before the new HDD but this should last me a while (old system had 7+ years). I reused the the 128GB SSD with windows 8 media center and the samsung BD. Had to reinstall windows 8, plex, sagetv, etc. The speed difference is dramatic. From loading windows to plex and sage it's a huge change. Next step is setting up flexraid. Once that's complete I'll work on migrating the data and drives from the hpmediasmart server to this new server which will end up holding all of our movies, home movies, photos and recorded tv shows (as well as running sage and plex). Will have to keep an eye out for HDD deals as I could use 1 new large drive. Thanks to all of those that have posted their setups and experience. Certainly helped me to get this far.
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