Guide to Building a HTPC, Workstation and Server - Page 639 - AVS Forum
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post #19141 of 19293 Old 07-16-2014, 01:16 PM
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As an alternative resource to supplement this excellent thread, check out the mediabrowser3 community. MB3 is a good server platform. Folks there can offer practical experiences.
Mfusick and Aryn Ravenlocke like this.

Sometimes, I see dead pixels...
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post #19142 of 19293 Old 07-16-2014, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Marc_G View Post
As an alternative resource to supplement this excellent thread, check out the mediabrowser3 community. MB3 is a good server platform. Folks there can offer practical experiences.
+1. You can get all your info here you need but MB server and it's clients would be a good solution for you.

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post #19143 of 19293 Old 07-17-2014, 04:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gossamer8 View Post
Hello AVSForum!

First time poster to this forum. I hope I found the right thread.

I am currently building a new Home Media Server to replace my gaming rig which is currently doing both duties. This new server will house my Movie/TV Collection (8TB) and Family Photos mostly.

My needs are to stream to 3 TVs in my house and 2-3 tablets. I currently have new Roku boxes at each TV. Wireless will not be needed on this server, my house is networked with Cat5e.

I have some ideas to what I want but would like input from you pros here. I need to at least stream 3 high quality streams at once to each TV (Just in-case they are all being used at once). I currently use a i7 3820, to just one TV, but I notice that when streaming, say a 50gb LoTR movie, it uses like 50-70% of my processor. I believe because it is trans-coding it and trans-coding is highly CPU intensive?.. (Correct me if I'm wrong please). So, I need to know what Hardware to use for this new Server. Maybe some CPU ideas? Or motherboard? Maybe I should Raid0 my drives for faster read?

Any thoughts would be great, thank you for your help guys.
What server software are you using? Right now Plex Media Server is recommended for the use with Roku. If you select "Direct Play" mode in the Plex channel in Roku, then you can avoid transcoding, at least for AVC=H.264 video codec. If the video codec is MPEG-2 or VC-1, transcoding is unavoidable, but even in such a case Core i7-3820 should be fast enough to transcode three video streams simultaneously. Plex Media Server transcodes the single video stream under full load (or ~50% load when HyperThreading is on), saves the transcoded file(s) in a temporary folder and stays near idle when transcoding finishes, the time required to transcode the entire movie being only a fraction of the movie duration. Transcoding three video streams simultaneously requires a longer time, but it should be still fast enough to send all transcoded streams to Roku without dropped frames.

Another option is Media Browser Server, but it looks like transcoding always occurs whatever the video codec is.

You'd better try yourself to see if Core i7-3820 is fast enough. If you want to upgrade the processor, Core i7-4790K LGA1150 is a good choice, ~1.5 times faster than Core i7-3820.

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Last edited by renethx; 07-17-2014 at 09:28 AM.
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post #19144 of 19293 Old 07-17-2014, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post
What server software are you using? Right now Plex Media Server is recommended for the use with Roku. If you select "Direct Play" mode in the Plex channel in Roku, then you can avoid transcoding, at least for AVC=H.264 video codec. If the video codec is MPEG-2 or VC-1, transcoding is unavoidable, but even in such a case Core i7-3820 should be fast enough to transcode three video streams simultaneously. Plex Media Server transcodes the single video stream under full load (or ~50% load when HyperThreading is on), save the transcoded file(s) in a temporary folder and stay near idle when transcoding finishes, the time required to transcode the entire movie being only a fraction of the movie duration. Transcoding three video streams simultaneously requires a longer time, but it should be still fast enough to send all transcoded streams to Roku without dropped frames.

Another option is Media Browser Server, but it looks like transcoding always occurs whatever the video codec is.

You'd better try yourself to see if Core i7-3820 is fast enough. If you want to upgrade the processor, Core i7-4790K LGA1150 is a good choice, ~1.5 times faster than Core i7-3820.
I am using Plex media Server. I have it on "Direct Play" but yes, id say about half of my movies are not in the correct format and transcoding is a must.

Oh so your saying that I must have looked at my CPU usage when it was transcoding the movie vs just streaming it? Ahh I see now, thank you. I am still planning on building a media server anyways since my collection is getting to big for my gaming rig and I would like to separate the duties. I will probably go with a 4790k just to make sure I have headroom for future stuff.

Can you recommend any motherboard? I think I want to go with something with at least 6, Sata III (6GB) connections for my HDDs. Also, stick with something very reliable like a server/workstation grade MoBo from ASUS or something similar.

Thank you very much for your help thus far.
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post #19145 of 19293 Old 07-17-2014, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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A couple of good mb for Core i7-4790K, released within a month, are

ASRock Z97 Extreme6
ASUS Z97-PRO
ASUS Z97-WS

The last one is for a workstation, but good for a server as well.

CPU cooler: Noctua NH-L12
Memory: F3-1600C9D-8GAB 4GB x 2
PSU: Seasonic S12G-550/650/750 or Platinum-660/760.
Case: Depends on the number of HDDs you would like to have. Norco RPC-4224 has 24 hot-swap bays.
HBA: Supermicro AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 x 1 or 2.

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Last edited by renethx; 07-17-2014 at 09:27 AM.
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post #19146 of 19293 Old 07-17-2014, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post
A couple of good mb for Core i7-4790K, released within a month, are

ASRock Z97 Extreme6
ASUS Z97-PRO
ASUS Z97-WS

The last one is for a workstation, but good for a server as well.

CPU cooler: Noctua NH-L12
Memory: F3-1600C9D-8GAB 4GB x 2
PSU: Seasonic S12G-550/650/750 or Platinum-660/760.
Case: Depends on the number of HDDs you would like to have. Norco RPC-4224 has 24 hot-swap bays.
HBA: Supermicro AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 x 1 or 2.
Thank you Renethx,

Yes, I have been looking at the ASUS WS boards. I currently have 4, 4TB WD black drives and that will be enough for a while I think for my needs. I was looking at cases like the Node 804, unfortunately, the ASUS WS boards wont fit. I also looked at the Gryphon Z97 one. That seems reliable and could fit a Node 804 or a smaller tower with about 6-8 HDD bays. I don't have a rack in my house yet to hold such a large case as the Norco RPC-4224.

I have a few Noctua fans and coolers and would definitely go with them again, the added cost is nothing when thinking of peace of mind, quality and just performance. I have never owned a Seasonic myself but have heard and read that they are great products and will probably go with a gold or platinum for the power savings when in idle. This machine will probably be running 24/7.

I do have to ask though, what are those Supermicro AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 add-in cards for? Are they faster than the on board Sata ports?
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post #19147 of 19293 Old 07-17-2014, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
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As for microATX, ASUS Gryphon Z97 comes into my mind first. Gryphon Z97 has only 6 SATA ports, while Node 804 can hold 10 x 3.5" HDD and 2 x 2.5" HDD/SSD. So you would want to add a host bus adapter, like AOC-SAS2LP-MV8. There is no speed difference, both are SATA 6Gbps.

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post #19148 of 19293 Old 07-18-2014, 04:06 PM
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Awesome, great information.

Thank you for your help.
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post #19149 of 19293 Old 07-18-2014, 04:06 PM
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Awesome, great information.

Thank you for your help.
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post #19150 of 19293 Old 07-29-2014, 02:39 PM
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Avoiding any holy war and just talking pure technical details, what are the differentiating factors between amd and nvidia cards for a htpc thinking about playback with powerdvd and madvr?

Like any differentiating factors with regards to:
- 24hz output
- sleep/wake up hdmi stability
- limited vs full black range or rgb vs ycbcr output
- hd audio bitstreaming stability
- edid issues
- and so on

I'd looking at a higher end card most likely. 290x vs 780 ti or possibly just holding out until the next gen comes soon. That'd be an 880 for nvidia. Not sure for amd.

Thanks!
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post #19151 of 19293 Old 07-29-2014, 10:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaremyP View Post
Avoiding any holy war and just talking pure technical details, what are the differentiating factors between amd and nvidia cards for a htpc thinking about playback with powerdvd and madvr?

Like any differentiating factors with regards to:
- 24hz output
- sleep/wake up hdmi stability
- limited vs full black range or rgb vs ycbcr output
- hd audio bitstreaming stability
- edid issues
- and so on

I'd looking at a higher end card most likely. 290x vs 780 ti or possibly just holding out until the next gen comes soon. That'd be an 880 for nvidia. Not sure for amd.
- 23Hz output (not 24Hz output): In most systems AMD is near perfect. NVIDIA always requires a custom refresh rate.
- limited vs full black range or rgb vs ycbcr output: AMD supports all of them fine. NVIDIA requires a tweak to get full range RGB.
- NNEDI3 performance in madVR: AMD is roughly 1.5 times better than NVIDIA.
- HDMI audio problem: NVIDIA does not support 88.2kHz/176.4kHz (this matters only for high resolution audio).

For the rest I don't see any problem with either one. Others may have different experience, of course.

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post #19152 of 19293 Old 07-30-2014, 06:26 PM
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Sounds like AMD is more turnkey. What about 3D playback for Bluray? I'd be using powerdvd and/or stereoscopic player. Any logistical difference?

Thanks for the info.
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post #19153 of 19293 Old 07-30-2014, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JaremyP View Post
Sounds like AMD is more turnkey. What about 3D playback for Bluray? I'd be using powerdvd and/or stereoscopic player. Any logistical difference?

Thanks for the info.
AMD supports 3D right out of the box. As usual NVIDIA requires a stupid "3D Test", then will work. But you will have to switch back and forth between 2D 23Hz and 3D 23Hz manually if you create a custom 2D 23Hz.

As for Stereoscopic Player, AMD just doesn't work right: AMD HD3D broken. NVIDIA works with the $40 3DTV Play software suite.

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post #19154 of 19293 Old 08-03-2014, 03:03 AM
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I think it's time to rebuild my HTPC. The networking port on the motherboard went out, which tells me it's starting to bite the dust. I have a case (Silverstone GD04 or 5) a new Blue ray player, a 2250 tuner card and a 2 TB hard drive for data. I only use it for OTA broadcast TV and playing back MKV container h264 video, maybe the occasional DVD. Would this be able to do what I need?


BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85S3 FM2 AMD A85X (Hudson D4) SATA 6Gb/s USB3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard


SilverStone SDP08 2 x 2.5" to 3.5" BayConverterModel #:SDP08


AMD A6-6400K Richland Dual-Core 3.9GHz Socket FM2 65WDesktop Processor - Black Edition AMD


Radeon HD AD640KOKHLBOXModel #:AD640KOKHLBOX


G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAMDDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-4GBXMModel#:F3-14900CL9D-4GBXM


Plextor M5S Series PX-128M5S 2.5" 128GB SATA IIIInternal Solid State Drive (SSD)Model #:PX-128M5S


ARCTIC Alpine 64 GT Rev. 2 CPU Cooler - AMD, SupportsMultiple Sockets, 80mm PWM Fan at 22dBAModel #:ACALP64-GT
Not so sure I need the heatsink, maybe the AMD one will do fine. And yes, I want to stay with AMD if I can.
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post #19155 of 19293 Old 08-03-2014, 04:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Richardw322 View Post
I think it's time to rebuild my HTPC. The networking port on the motherboard went out, which tells me it's starting to bite the dust. I have a case (Silverstone GD04 or 5) a new Blue ray player, a 2250 tuner card and a 2 TB hard drive for data. I only use it for OTA broadcast TV and playing back MKV container h264 video, maybe the occasional DVD. Would this be able to do what I need?
Yes. SDP08 converts 3.5" to 2 x 2.5". You'd better add a third-party cooler, A6-6400K could consume as much as 90W even at video playback. Another good cooler is Cooler Master Geminii M4.

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post #19156 of 19293 Old 08-03-2014, 04:41 AM
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Are you sure? I searched for 65 watt parts, and it says 65 watts in the description!! Rats!
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post #19157 of 19293 Old 08-03-2014, 05:05 AM - Thread Starter
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The highest power consumption I saw was 92W when I played back 1080i60 contents with madVR. I usually disable "Turbo Boost" for the maximum performance. "Turbo Boost" actually lowers clocks so that TDP 65W is retained.

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post #19158 of 19293 Old 08-03-2014, 05:13 AM
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So the "Boost" isn't LOL. Don't think I'll need that though. Not using madVR. Other than that, how does it look?
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post #19159 of 19293 Old 08-03-2014, 05:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Perhaps the only reason to use A6-6400K is BR 3D support. Otherwise Celeron G1840 with an Intel 8 or 9 series chipset mb is a better choice.

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post #19160 of 19293 Old 08-03-2014, 06:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post
Perhaps the only reason to use A6-6400K is BR 3D support. Otherwise Celeron G1840 with an Intel 8 or 9 series chipset mb is a better choice.
Probably be a better choice as I don't have a 3-d TV, but I like to support AMD. I remember when the Athlon came out and shock up Intel. Then X64, and Intel claimed nobody needed it, and the same with dual core. That is till Intel had a dual core 64 bit chip. I bet we would still be on Pentium 3's without the original Athlon! LOL
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post #19161 of 19293 Old 08-05-2014, 02:05 PM
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@renethx . A quick question.
From your many years experience on HTPC, can you please tell me if an Intel i3/ i5 CPU with iGPU is good enought to provide great picture quality on 65' TV or I have to buy a discrete amd/ nvidia card to improve PQ?
FYI, I've never messed up with madVR or something like that to upscalling/downscalling. All my movies are played either full HD 1080p .mkv files that I ripped from bluray disc or physical bluray disc/ bluray 3D iso by TMT/ PowerDVD.
In other words, to play bluray movies the picture quality is the same doesn't matter if integrated GPU or a discrete card is used? If not, why?

Thank you for your prompt reply.
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post #19162 of 19293 Old 08-05-2014, 02:05 PM
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sorry, double posts
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post #19163 of 19293 Old 08-05-2014, 03:37 PM
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Does anyone have any experience with the PicoPSU? I'm really curious about it. This is a tempting build, if it actually works:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/z79jBm
CPU: Intel Core i3-4150 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor ($99.99 @ Micro Center)
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver Ceramique 2 Tri-Linear 2.7g Thermal Paste ($4.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H97M-ITX/AC Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($82.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Sandisk Solid State Drive 64GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Other: M350 Enclosure w/ PicoPSU-150-xt and 150W adapter kit ($102.00)
Other: Hausbell Mini H7 2.4GHz Keyboard ($13.99)
Total: $408.93

The purpose of this would be a bedroom media/gaming/web browsing machine.
Can anyone tell me about it's viability? Keep in mind, I haven't built a system since 2007, and this would be my second PC build.
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post #19164 of 19293 Old 08-05-2014, 03:43 PM
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I've been using a pico-psu with a 160w adapter for a couple of years without issue (configuration is a bit obsolete: asrock g31m-gs r2.0, dual core e3400, ATI 6450, SSD). You shouldn't have any issue with the proposed configuration
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post #19165 of 19293 Old 08-05-2014, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elpee View Post
@renethx . A quick question.
From your many years experience on HTPC, can you please tell me if an Intel i3/ i5 CPU with iGPU is good enought to provide great picture quality on 65' TV or I have to buy a discrete amd/ nvidia card to improve PQ?
FYI, I've never messed up with madVR or something like that to upscalling/downscalling. All my movies are played either full HD 1080p .mkv files that I ripped from bluray disc or physical bluray disc/ bluray 3D iso by TMT/ PowerDVD.
In other words, to play bluray movies the picture quality is the same doesn't matter if integrated GPU or a discrete card is used? If not, why?

Thank you for your prompt reply.
Yes, Intel HD Graphics is enough.

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post #19166 of 19293 Old 08-05-2014, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banichi View Post
Does anyone have any experience with the PicoPSU? I'm really curious about it. This is a tempting build, if it actually works:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/z79jBm
CPU: Intel Core i3-4150 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor ($99.99 @ Micro Center)
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver Ceramique 2 Tri-Linear 2.7g Thermal Paste ($4.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H97M-ITX/AC Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($82.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Sandisk Solid State Drive 64GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Other: M350 Enclosure w/ PicoPSU-150-xt and 150W adapter kit ($102.00)
Other: Hausbell Mini H7 2.4GHz Keyboard ($13.99)
Total: $408.93

The purpose of this would be a bedroom media/gaming/web browsing machine.
Can anyone tell me about it's viability? Keep in mind, I haven't built a system since 2007, and this would be my second PC build.
It looks good except that a low-profile CPU cooler (<30mm) is necessary. Core i3 "T" version comes with such a cooler. I would rather go with IN WIN BQS656 BQS656.DD120BL Mini-ITX, $85, where the stock cooler of a normal Core i3 (46mm tall) just fits (the case is designed that way). You don't have to buy thermal compound for the stock cooler.

BTW you can buy DDR3-1600 2 x 2GB for $48 and Crucial MX100 128GB SSD for $76.

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Last edited by renethx; 08-05-2014 at 08:22 PM.
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post #19167 of 19293 Old 08-06-2014, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banichi View Post
Does anyone have any experience with the PicoPSU? I'm really curious about it. This is a tempting build, if it actually works:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/z79jBm
CPU: Intel Core i3-4150 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor ($99.99 @ Micro Center)
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver Ceramique 2 Tri-Linear 2.7g Thermal Paste ($4.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H97M-ITX/AC Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($82.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Sandisk Solid State Drive 64GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Other: M350 Enclosure w/ PicoPSU-150-xt and 150W adapter kit ($102.00)
Other: Hausbell Mini H7 2.4GHz Keyboard ($13.99)
Total: $408.93

The purpose of this would be a bedroom media/gaming/web browsing machine.
Can anyone tell me about it's viability? Keep in mind, I haven't built a system since 2007, and this would be my second PC build.
Below is a link to my bedroom system using a picoPSU. I don't play games on it, though. So far, it's been working great.

My HTPC

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post #19168 of 19293 Old 08-06-2014, 04:26 PM
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I'm putting together plans for a new media server. Here are my goals:

* Serve WMC recorded television to 2-3 PCs
* Serve .mkv rips (DVD, HD-DVD, and Blu-Ray) to 2-3 PCs, 1 Roku, and perhaps up to 2 concurrent tablets
* Serve mp3 and flac
* Data backup for 3 Windows PCs
* I have a copy of WHS2011, so would like to put it to use. Am also *NIX fluent.
* Plan to use software RAID; looking at FlexRAID (assuming I go with the Windows Server OS)
* Critical data will be backed up to a Synology 2-bay NAS that already sits on my network, and I have an offsite plan as well
* Run MediaBrowser Server, and maybe Plex Server (for the Roku)
* I might play with VMs down the road, but not initially

I know that transcoding will be required for the tablets and Roku, and was thinking about the following parts:

Intel Core i-5 4590S
ASRock Z97 Extreme 4
RAM: open to suggestions
PSU: open to suggestions...figure I will be running 5 hard drives to start.

The ASRock mobo has an Intel NIC, and I can get a good bundle price at MicroCenter. I have a Samsung 840 Pro SSD on hand for the OS drive, and an old ATX tower that I would re-purpose for the server case until I settle on a rackable case (and accumulate more storage drives).

I chose the 4590S for the lower TDP, hoping to keep the server cooler. The benchmarks are really close to the 4590, and the cost difference is only $10 more for the potentially lower long-term power bill.

Feedback is appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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post #19169 of 19293 Old 08-07-2014, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Choosing "S" or "T" over a normal version is a moot point for two reasons:

- The power consumption of T/S is identical with that of a normal version at idle, the same ~25W (excluding data HDDs).
- Three instances of transcoding requires lots of CPU processing power. You'd better choose a higher-clocked CPU.

Lower power consumption of T/S is solely due to lower max clock (hence lower voltage) under load, that's pointless when you need lots of CPU power.

RAM: DDR3-1600 4GB x 2 is a good choice, e.g. G.SKILL F3-1600C9D-8GAB.

PSU: 500W-700W 80 PLUS Gold, e.g. Seasonic S12G-550, Rosewill CAPSTONE-550.

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post #19170 of 19293 Old 08-07-2014, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post
Choosing "S" or "T" over a normal version is a moot point for two reasons:

- The power consumption of T/S is identical with that of a normal version at idle, the same ~25W (excluding data HDDs).
- Three instances of transcoding requires lots of CPU processing power. You'd better choose a higher-clocked CPU.

Lower power consumption of T/S is solely due to lower max clock (hence lower voltage) under load, that's pointless when you need lots of CPU power.
Thank you for that information about the idle power consumption. Everything that I had read to date was either ambiguous about this point, or alluded that the idle power consumption was lower with an S revision.

Would the 4690K idle at around the same wattage?

There was a chart that I saw posted on the MediaBrowser forums that references transcoding tests on an array of CPUs:
http://mediabrowser.tv/community/ind...s/#entry117930

That's what I was basing my choice of the i-5 4590 upon. If the idle power consumption of the 4690K will be the same, I'd spend the extra money to have peak processing power in reserve.

Thanks again for the help, I really appreciate it!
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