Originally Posted by ElJimador
I don't regret my original build decisions even though I've since upgraded from a celeron NUC running openelec as HTPC and Asus C60M1-I based mITX unRAID server to a Xeon E3-1230 / GTX 750 Ti / Win 8 pro all-in-one. 1) the unRAID server is still perfectly functional and wonderfully cost effective for dumb storage (it's really too bad ASUS discontinued that board btw). 2) the NUC will soon find a new home w / my dad who will use PleXBMC on it to be able to watch all my movies. So for what they cost, I still feel like I'm getting great value for them even though I've upgraded. I'd only be kicking myself if I wound up with a big investment doing nothing but sitting in my garage gathering dust.
Welcome to my world.
I think I've upgraded like 3 HTPC myself, another 3 for my parents.. My server got upgraded a bunch of times too.
The same story about my HTPC also happened on my server.
Originally I thought heck I'd do an all in one. It made sense. One machine, cheaper. So I built a big desktop in a Coolermaster Cosmos II case which I figured I'd just run an HDMI input to my AVR and I'd be good. I was still a gamer mostly so I was thinking big, i7 + SSD + 16GB DDR3.. case was a monster and held 14 hard drive bays + 2 more hot swap bays. Plenty of space for storage.
Well that plan crashed and burned because I soon realized if I was on the desktop surfing or playing a game my wife (girlfriend back then) could't watch something on the living room tv. That was annoying. So I build a cheap HTPC (that celeron) for use as a dedicated HTPC so it would not effect my desktop/server, I set up the new HTPC to just feed from my desktop all in one I built.
Well... nope. That still sucks dirty balls. Every time I restart or crash or fool around on the PC wifey's video stops playing. Can you say annoying ???? She can. I heard it a lot. Plus my gaming machine with overclocked i7, big GPU card and 1000 watt PSU wasn't as stable as I like overclocked 30% and gaming. Such is just how those kind of systems are.
Back then windows 7 seemed like it was less stable too. It's gotten better in the last few years I think. Or drivers and stuff have just matured.
So I decided to build a dedicated flexraid server. Nothing crazy. $300. Celeron. I wanted to use that H61 motherboard I had in the HTPC when I upgraded that HTPC to Z68. So I used the old celeron and H61 motherboard from the HTPC for the new flexraid server. I set up flexraid in an old desktop tower I had and ran Window Home server. It was nice. I liked it. WHS was stable, flexraid was great ! I moved about 12TB of storage (mostly WD green drives) over to the flexraid server and I set it up with full drives which was really nice. No data loss and everything worked great. I also gained parity back up and recovery and the new WHS server was very stable. Having a dedicated HTPC and a dedicated media server was SOOOO much better. No more restart or crash problems. No problem surfing or gaming on desktop while wifey watches movie on the HTPC either.
But, that celeron was too weak. It was always near 100%. The server was rather sluggish. I knew that G530 CPU I was using was not going to cut it very long. I eventually upgraded my HTPC to the i5, so then I took the Pentium and the Z68 board from the HTPC again and use it in the server. That was a little better. Then I bought a 3.0ghz G860 CPU for it because it was really cheap again, and basically it was the i3 2100 I was considering but without the HD2000 graphics, 3D or quicksync. Since it was a headless media server I figured I did not need any of that and grabbed the G860 for only $64. If you are keeping track that's $40 for the Celeron, $50 for the first pentium, then $64 for the second.
Turns out with PLEX and MB server and transcoding coming up in the world of HTPC and with my media collection growing and my wanting to share my collection with my parents and brother/sister my new Pentium CPU was not enough. It barely could transcode, and it could not do dual streams. Soo.. YES YOU GUESSED IT! Time to upgrade the CPU in my server a 4th time.
This time I went all the way and bought a 4770k i7 basically over a year ago when it first launched haswell and Z87; I got the microcenter deal on the Asrock Z87 Extreme combo. That free up my 2600K i7 from my desktop for use in my media server so today I have a i7 in my media server it works wonderfully.
in fact I just looked:
Looks like my wife is watching pure trash TV and my dad is watching (at his house on ROKU) COPPER because he likes american history and I told him it was good. Sometimes my brother is watching at his house, and if I was not on AVS I'd either be on the projector watching a movie or laying in bed with headphones watching something on the ipad.
4 Streams and 3 transcodes is no sweat now!
Funny I spent as much on the three previous CPU as I did on the i7 when I think about it. If I had really known I would have just grabbed an i5 in the first place. I got a little lucky because I was able to repurpose and trickle down so many parts. As I went from all in one to dedicated HTPC then to dedicated HTPC and dedicated media server and a desktop I was able to resuse machines and parts.
I actually ended up using the pentium for my brothers HTPC and also my parents HTPC. I had nothing else to do with them. Then my dad got a new 1080p 3D projector and wanted 3D so I just bought an i3 Haswell for him, I'm upgrading his pentium to a new CPU and machine tomorrow