He needs it simple, so no on server, doubtful on internal Sata-thinking external usb 3.0, if it in fact it works good in practice... Just wanted some verification from someone that is using a solution that works and odesn't freeze, crash, go to slow or bring the HTPC to its knees. What do you think will this work well when playing MKV rips of DVDs and BLu-rays?
An external drive is the way to go for a simple solution. It should just show up as another drive to store rips on. As far as speed is concerned, they are all fast enough to stream movies without issue. I currently use a 2 & 3 TB Western Digital MyBook Live to supplement my other storage.
Media Browser Configurator (if your friend is using MB2) or the 'Configure Media Browser' link (if your friend is using MB3) will not have any problems finding and using folders on the Seagate External drive.
+1 for the External Seagate Backup drives. I've been using this one for about a year, directly connected to my HTPC via USB3, for over a year now. Very fast and quiet. I typically see about 40-60 MB/s transfer speeds from my server, thru the router, to HTPC and out to the drive.
Here's CrystalDisk ran locally on the HTPC showing ~100 MB/s, which is not too shabby I guess:
The drive sleeps when the HTPC sleeps and is powered down. Plus, the drive is classy and does not look out of place with the rest of my A/V stuff.
APU:AMD Richland A10-6700
RAM:8GB AMD 1866
Board:ASUS A88XM Plus
Storage:OCZ 256 GB Vector
Optical:Panasonic Slim BDR
PS:Silverstone Strider 550 Gold SFF
Input:Logitech K400 mini KB/trackpad+Harmony 720
Output:Sammy 55" S6 LED LCD+Yamaha soundbar