Guide to Building a HTPC, Workstation and Server - Page 641 - AVS Forum
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post #19201 of 19210 Old 08-25-2014, 06:33 AM
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Renethx: I really only play HD content. I have several hundred DVD's ripped to my Flexraid server but to be honest, if it's not in HD, then i won't watch it. The rest of the family watches some on occasion but they don't care about the quality anywhere near the way I do (:
I don't really need to follow a budget but I figure I already have good quality case, PS, SSD & Blu-Ray drive. All I need is MB, CPU and RAM.

Thanks for your help!
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post #19202 of 19210 Old 08-25-2014, 06:33 AM
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Renethx: I really only play HD content. I have several hundred DVD's ripped to my Flexraid server but to be honest, if it's not in HD, then i won't watch it. The rest of the family watches some on occasion but they don't care about the quality anywhere near the way I do (:
I don't really need to follow a budget but I figure I already have good quality case, PS, SSD & Blu-Ray drive. All I need is MB, CPU and RAM.

Thanks for your help!
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post #19203 of 19210 Old 08-25-2014, 09:04 AM
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Server HW Upgrade

Hello All,

I'm also looking to update the hardware on my WHS2011 machine and am looking for some feedback on what I've selected. It's a bundle available locally.

Items I'll be replacing:
CPU: E4500 2.2G Dual Core
MB: Gigabyte 945GCM-S2C
RAM: 4GB (Corsair I think)

Keeping
OS HD: Samsung 840 EVO 256GB
PSU: CM RS-600-AMBA-D3 (not gonna replace)
Controller: Supermicro SASLP-MV8
NIC: Intel GB CT
All other hardware (case, drives, etc)

Usage:
Primarily media storage and streaming.
FlexRAID Snapshot
JRiver, Subsonic, SAMBA shares.

The bundle I'm looking at (~$350 w/T)
ASUS Z97-AR LGA 1150 Intel ATX Motherboard
Intel Core i3-4150 3.4GHz LGA 1150 Boxed
Crucial Ballistix Sport VLP 16GB DDR3-1600

I realize the memory may be overkill, but somehow I just feel better with 16GB. Going w/ 8GB the cost would be roughly $275 w/T. I was also looking into the i5 4690 which is an additional $100 but again, this would probably be overkill.

Any thoughts? Is the 16GB really overkill which wouldn't warrant the extra $75? My main motivation here is 1.) Low power usage & 2.) Future proof in that order. While I use my desktop for all other PC duties, I want to make sure if needed I can load up the server for additional duties (rips, transcoding, etc). I also intend to eventually upgrade the WHS to either W8(9) or maybe even learn how to manage a Server2012 machine. But right now the WHS setup is worry-free.

Thanks in advance.
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post #19204 of 19210 Old Yesterday, 01:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Walsh View Post
Renethx: I really only play HD content. I have several hundred DVD's ripped to my Flexraid server but to be honest, if it's not in HD, then i won't watch it. The rest of the family watches some on occasion but they don't care about the quality anywhere near the way I do (:
I don't really need to follow a budget but I figure I already have good quality case, PS, SSD & Blu-Ray drive. All I need is MB, CPU and RAM.

Thanks for your help!
For example,

CPU: Celeron G1840, $45, if you don't need 3D, Core i3-4130, $115, otherwise.
CPU cooler: Stock cooler is usually enough. You can replace it with a third-party cooler, but the choice depends on your case.
MB: MSI H97M-G43, $90. If you want to spend more, GIGABYTE GA-Z97MX-Gaming 5, $135, or ASUS GRYPHON Z97, $165. But these mb add nothing to PQ in video playback.
Memory: G.SKILL F3-1600C9D-8GAB Ares DDR3-1600 CL9 2 x 4GB Kit, $76.
GPU: Integrated in CPU is enough for 1080i/p contents playback.

This is basically a 'standard' system, that's good enough for 1080i/p playback. You can add a discrete graphics card for better upscaling DVD/720p (that's not your current object) or for OpenCL applications such as SVP (Smooth Video Project) or 4K HEVC decoding. These belong to 'performance' / 'high performance' / 'ultra high peformance' systems in my upcoming guide. I will send it to you asap once I finish it.

Last edited by renethx; Yesterday at 02:03 AM.
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post #19205 of 19210 Old Yesterday, 01:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr b View Post
Hello All,

I'm also looking to update the hardware on my WHS2011 machine and am looking for some feedback on what I've selected. It's a bundle available locally.

Items I'll be replacing:
CPU: E4500 2.2G Dual Core
MB: Gigabyte 945GCM-S2C
RAM: 4GB (Corsair I think)

Keeping
OS HD: Samsung 840 EVO 256GB
PSU: CM RS-600-AMBA-D3 (not gonna replace)
Controller: Supermicro SASLP-MV8
NIC: Intel GB CT
All other hardware (case, drives, etc)

Usage:
Primarily media storage and streaming.
FlexRAID Snapshot
JRiver, Subsonic, SAMBA shares.

The bundle I'm looking at (~$350 w/T)
ASUS Z97-AR LGA 1150 Intel ATX Motherboard
Intel Core i3-4150 3.4GHz LGA 1150 Boxed
Crucial Ballistix Sport VLP 16GB DDR3-1600

I realize the memory may be overkill, but somehow I just feel better with 16GB. Going w/ 8GB the cost would be roughly $275 w/T. I was also looking into the i5 4690 which is an additional $100 but again, this would probably be overkill.

Any thoughts? Is the 16GB really overkill which wouldn't warrant the extra $75? My main motivation here is 1.) Low power usage & 2.) Future proof in that order. While I use my desktop for all other PC duties, I want to make sure if needed I can load up the server for additional duties (rips, transcoding, etc). I also intend to eventually upgrade the WHS to either W8(9) or maybe even learn how to manage a Server2012 machine. But right now the WHS setup is worry-free.

Thanks in advance.
My suggestions:

Core i3 is not a good choice. It's just a dual-core processor with HyperThreading (additional fake two cores). You'd better get a real quad-core processor (Core i5-4590, 4690K etc.), in particular if you are considering transcoding (Core i5 supports multiple instances of transcoding, while Core i3 often struggle).

2 x 4GB memory is enough, e.g. G.SKILL F3-1600C9D-8GAB. Larger memory is good for graphics/video editing applications such as Photoshop, but this is not your purpose, I guess. You'd better spend money on the processor instead. As for low-voltage memory, it lowers power consumption by only a few watts. The server itself consumes 30-40W at idle. So this is not particularly a good idea.

Motherboard: There are plenty of choices. ASUS is one choice. Check also ASRock Z97 Extreme6, that has ten SATA ports, good for a larger case.

Last edited by renethx; Yesterday at 02:02 AM.
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post #19206 of 19210 Old Yesterday, 03:38 PM
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Hi guys, I'm moving to small condo and looking to build a simple HTPC+storage SFF PC to output XBMC to my TV via HDMI. What do you think of this build:


  • GIGABYTE GA-H97N-WIFI (link)
  • Intel Pentium G3240 (link)
  • ADATA XPG (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 RAM (link)
  • Fractal Design Node 304 (link)
  • SeaSonic S12II 430B 430W PSU (link)
My plan is to take the storage drives I have currently in my desktop (2TB+1.5TB+1TB+2x500GB) and put them into that. I have considered NAS and the need for new drives for RAID, etc. all of that and due to budget moving into a new place and all, I really want to keep it cheap and this is temporary, I would be able to afford a separate NAS if I need and new drives by around Xmas time. I calculate the above build at roughly $450 vs. something like a Synology+drives at ~$670. Thanks for any help.
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post #19207 of 19210 Old Yesterday, 10:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boldaslove View Post
Hi guys, I'm moving to small condo and looking to build a simple HTPC+storage SFF PC to output XBMC to my TV via HDMI. What do you think of this build:


  • GIGABYTE GA-H97N-WIFI (link)
  • Intel Pentium G3240 (link)
  • ADATA XPG (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 RAM (link)
  • Fractal Design Node 304 (link)
  • SeaSonic S12II 430B 430W PSU (link)
My plan is to take the storage drives I have currently in my desktop (2TB+1.5TB+1TB+2x500GB) and put them into that. I have considered NAS and the need for new drives for RAID, etc. all of that and due to budget moving into a new place and all, I really want to keep it cheap and this is temporary, I would be able to afford a separate NAS if I need and new drives by around Xmas time. I calculate the above build at roughly $450 vs. something like a Synology+drives at ~$670. Thanks for any help.
Just good. You can go with a cheaper Celeron G1840, ~$47. There is no big difference, just 3.1GHz vs. 2.8GHz.
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post #19208 of 19210 Old Today, 07:53 AM
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I'm building a similar system to Bold's for a friend.

They'll use it more for web browsing, some video/music playback, and if gaming is required in the future I could just drop in a GPU.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/CPCYRB

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post #19209 of 19210 Old Today, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenshiro 26 View Post
I'm building a similar system to Bold's for a friend.

They'll use it more for web browsing, some video/music playback, and if gaming is required in the future I could just drop in a GPU.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/CPCYRB
A couple of notes:

- As you selected a non-K Core i5, GA-H97N-WIFI is enough (-$20). The features found only in Z97 are

-- Dynamic Storage Accelerator (maybe faster sequential/random read, slower 4K QD32)
-- Overclocking Core i5/i7 K (irrelevant to a non-K processor)
-- PCIe x16 3.0 split to x8+x8/x8+x4+x4 (irrelevant to mini-ITX form factor)

- Generally a single stick of memory is not a good idea (single channel mode). You'd better buy 2 x 4GB.
- Crucial MX100 128GB SSD is a lot cheaper with a lot better longevity (MLC vs. TLC) and more or less the same performance.
- You'd better stay away from a 160mm deep PSU with modular cables if you are thinking of a gaming graphics card, stick to 140mm depth. Or a SFX PSU is a better choice.

So:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-4590 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H97N-WIFI Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($94.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($77.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial MX100 128GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($73.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Fractal Design Node 304 Mini ITX Tower Case ($79.99 @ Micro Center)
Power Supply: Silverstone Strider Gold 450W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular SFX Power Supply ($89.88 @ NCIX US)
Total: $636.81

Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-27 11:59 EDT-0400

The total cost is a little bit lower and overall performance is better.

Last edited by renethx; Today at 09:16 AM.
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post #19210 of 19210 Old Today, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post
Just good. You can go with a cheaper Celeron G1840, ~$47. There is no big difference, just 3.1GHz vs. 2.8GHz.
Thanks! When you say "Just good" that doesn't seem like a ringing endorsement

What about an Intel NUC like this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B7I8HZ4 I read this review and so it can perform exactly what I need. What I am wondering is if I get the NUC @ ~$150, then grab a Synology for ~$370 and put my current drives in it so I have my HTPC and NAS at just a little over the price of the SFF PC build I posted above. What do you think?
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