New Build: NUC vs/or Desktop?
I find myself a t a bit of a crossroads and know too little about how the various ratings of PCs and so forth work to make an informed choice. Here’s what I am facing.
I’m working on a whole home streaming system. Originally, I had planned on attaching a NUC running Media Browser + XBMC on a Windows 8.1 platform to my disk farm acting as the server. However, my layout “needs” have changed since this project began a few months ago. I have gained some flexibility with locating my server.
As a result, I’m not certain that a NUC is the best way to go anymore (if it ever was). I could still go with the i5 NUC, but given that I want the server to support a minimum of three (3) simultaneous 1080p streams, I was considering abandoning the NUC for an i7 desktop PC. Given the price of a NUC, I’m fairly certain I could find an i7 desktop PC for a comparable cost.
Here’s what I’m not sure about though. Am I doing myself any favors moving up to an i7 machine? Or is that just plain overkill with no appreciable upside?
Since the server will be running 24/7/365, my biggest concerns are as follows:
Power consumption – This is by far my biggest concern. I have read some NUCs, especially when spun down, are insanely power efficient. But if NUCs can do it, I would assume desktops could as well.
Temperature – I don’t want to fry my components, nor do I want to heat the room (especially living in the Arizona desert
Fan noise – regardless of where the PC goes, it will almost certainly still be in an area where people either gather or sleep. I’d rather not have the jet engine fan noise issue going, especially if I wind up putting the PC in the rear of the TV room.
This is pretty much the sort of i7 I would be looking at off the shelf. I could then make minor alterations as needed to address the above issues. As listed, the PC is very close in price to the i5 NUC
Case: Mid Tower
Processor: Intel i7-4770 3.40GHz Quad Core
Installed Memory: 32GB
Max Memory: 32GB DDR3-1333/PC3-10600
Graphics: Intel® HD Graphics 4600
Hard Drive: 2TB SATA
Optical Drive: Super-Multi-DVDRW Burner
Ethernet Type: Gigabit 10/100/1000
USB Ports (2.0): 4
USB Ports (3.0): 2
I'm open to any and all suggestions on how best to make the server do what I need it to while staying energy "efficient" and relatively quiet.