Guide to Building a HTPC, Workstation and Server - Page 644 - AVS Forum
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Old 09-18-2014, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post
- Motherboard: ASRock Z97 Extreme6 (that supports up to 10 SATA drives)
- Memory: F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ (2x2GB) or F3-1600C9D-8GAB (2x4GB)
- SSD: Crucial MX100 Series 128GB/256GB/512GB
- HBA: Supermicro AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 x 2 (supports 16 SATA drives in total)
Thanks Rene

I see Microcenter has an older version of this board that has 4 instead of 10 sata controllers @ 3gbs but not the one you suggested is there another board option and would I use the same memory?

Will the Supermicro AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 be compatible with larger 4-6 TB HDD

What size ssd would you suggest with window server 2011 and flexraid? Was the PSU enough for this server build? Is the i7 overkill or should I be okay?

Last question which HDD do you prefer in servers like this?
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Old 09-18-2014, 02:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Several others:

ASRock Z97 Extreme6, Z97 Extreme4, Z87 Extreme6, Z87 Extreme4
ASUS Z97-PRO, Z87-PRO, Z87-PLUS

Memory should work with any mb.

Yes, AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 supports any 4-6TB HDD.

MX100 256GB SSD is a good choice, it's only $110 at Micro Center, I guess.

750W PSU is enough for 20-25 HDDs.
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Old 09-18-2014, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post
Several others:

ASRock Z97 Extreme6, Z97 Extreme4, Z87 Extreme6, Z87 Extreme4
ASUS Z97-PRO, Z87-PRO, Z87-PLUS

Memory should work with any mb.

Yes, AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 supports any 4-6TB HDD.

MX100 256GB SSD is a good choice, it's only $110 at Micro Center, I guess.

750W PSU is enough for 20-25 HDDs.
Thanks Rene

I really appreciate your help
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:49 PM
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My move is finally at hand in a few days, I'll be ordering parts for my build today. I posted previously, but just double checking:

CPU Intel Pentium G3240 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor $63.99 @ NCIX
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-H97N-WIFI Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard $132.00 @ Vuugo
Memory A-Data XPG V1.0 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $104.98 @ Newegg Canada
Case Fractal Design Node 304 Mini ITX Tower Case $89.99 @ Memory Express
Power Supply SeaSonic S12II 430W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $69.98 @ Newegg Canada
Total $460.94

Build is to be a server+frontend to output XBMC to my TV. I will be plopping in my various HDs from my desktop, looking at a proper NAS come Xmas time.

renethx you mentioned a cheaper Celeron before, I am considering that. Also, what is a decent, cheap SSD I could get for this? It would dual boot linux+Win7 and run MySQL, XBMC, sabnzbd, few other services/daemons.

Thanks very much for any help !!
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Old 09-23-2014, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by boldaslove View Post
My move is finally at hand in a few days, I'll be ordering parts for my build today. I posted previously, but just double checking:

CPU Intel Pentium G3240 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor $63.99 @ NCIX
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-H97N-WIFI Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard $132.00 @ Vuugo
Memory A-Data XPG V1.0 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $104.98 @ Newegg Canada
Case Fractal Design Node 304 Mini ITX Tower Case $89.99 @ Memory Express
Power Supply SeaSonic S12II 430W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $69.98 @ Newegg Canada
Total $460.94

Build is to be a server+frontend to output XBMC to my TV. I will be plopping in my various HDs from my desktop, looking at a proper NAS come Xmas time.

renethx you mentioned a cheaper Celeron before, I am considering that. Also, what is a decent, cheap SSD I could get for this? It would dual boot linux+Win7 and run MySQL, XBMC, sabnzbd, few other services/daemons.

Thanks very much for any help !!
Yes, Celeron G1840 is also as good as Pentium G3240. The only differences are 2.8GHz vs. 3.1GHz and 2MB cache vs. 3MB cache (and the price of course), none of which is essentially important in video playback.

As for SSD, I recommend Crucial MX100 256GB, ~$110 or even 512GB if you want more storage space (fast and cheap).
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Old 10-09-2014, 09:36 AM
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Hello all. Thx Renethx (and other contributors). I was recently debating the merits of a dedicated server plus a htpc or a combo unit. really, I'm the only user, other than a few roku boxes that my wife will use to catch up on a few shows I download for her.


I currently have a drobo 5N which I purchased because it can be loaded with plex server (for the rokus). I normally want the best quality when I download or rip, so the roku/drobo combo chokes on a lot of the content. I would like to sell the drobo after I'm done to offset this build, so flexraid looks like an important part of the build.


the form factor is not important. I will likely use an old case I have around, or perhaps purchase a full size atx case for simplicity, cooler temps, and room for 6 or 7 hard drives plus a blu ray drive to rip my collection. I plan to place it in a room above the home theater equipment closet. I already have Ethernet run there, and can easily get an hdmi cable to feed the denon x4000 receiver/Mitsubishi HC5 projector. this room will have a small desk where I can use it as a regular pc...mostly for ripping, a little surfing...NO gaming. It might be fun to have an emulator rig to play the old NES stuff on a 140" screen, but I imagine that is easily done after the fact. I will be the only one using the pc, other than it serving plex to the rokus.


so basically I want a multifunction pc/htpc/server, located in a room above the theater where it will be used to watch movies. I also want a vpn of some sort for Netflix, hulu, etc (I'm in Canada...and the content is limited).


equipment recommendations?
CPU? I'm thinking a higher end i5 cpu is the way to go,


Motherboard? I would like a mother board that can handle (pass through hdmi) dts master audio and dolby true HD and have enough sata hook ups that I don't need to get an additional controller... is 6 the max? or 8?


I currently have an lg blu ray drive that may work...(it currently doesn't work, but the pc has issues and is getting replaced with an intel NUC...so the drive may or may not work...)


ram? I imagine 8gbs is lots, but I'm open to suggestions. if the moboard has 4 slots, I could get 2 4gb sticks now and be able to add more later if need be.


graphics card? I'm hoping the i5 integrated gpu has the chops to do what I want. I have read the haswells are the first units that can handle frame rates appropriately. I hope not to have to get into madVR etc, but if I do, the case I use should have room to add that in the future.


power supply? I'm open to recommendations. the same pc with the blu ray drive was a custom pc I had built about 5yrs ago...I think I got a good one, but I don't know if things have changed in that time. i'll post what it is when I pull it apart, and ask you all if it can (or should not) be used.


tv tuners? nope. I have a TiVo with lifetime subscription, and a mini networked to it (also with lifetime subscription). they just work, so, they will stay


ssd for OS? I ordered an intel 240gb 530 series ssdsc2bw240a4k5 last night...think I got a good deal.


keyboard(s)/mouse/mice? I have a TK820 920-005108 USB RF Wireless Slim Keyboard with Built-in Touch Pad waiting to be used. it is optimized for windows 8 aparantly... hopefully that won't cause issues if I use windows 7 pro, which I'm open to discuss. it is rf, so I'm hopeful it will work in the home theater. I do need some direction on this as I would also like to have another keyboard/mouse in the same room as the computer. is this possible?


OS/software? is Win 7 pro where its at? I might like the ability to remote in with my android smart phone to start a download every now and then (I'm a shiftworker, so it might be helpful in case I need to troubleshoot on night shifts? just s a thought). I'm open to recommendations on plex/xbmc/media center. I may try them all. I'm most farmiliar with plex.


remote control? sounds nice if its easy...I'm hoping the Logitech keyboard/trackpad combo will suffice (wish it was a backlit keyboard...)


hope that's enough to get the ball rolling! thx in advance for the help and recommendations.

Last edited by armstrr; 10-09-2014 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 10-09-2014, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by armstrr View Post
I might like the ability to remote in with my android smart phone to start a download every now and then (I'm a shiftworker, so it might be helpful in case I need to troubleshoot on night shifts? just s a thought).
In case you're not aware of it; Google has a Remote Desktop extension for Chrome that has a corresponding Android app that works well for Win 7 in this regard.
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Old 10-09-2014, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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@armstrr

For starters you may want to build an all-in-one system, that can be turned into a server if you want to build a dedicated HTPC later. Roku requires transcoding. For a single instance of transcoding, any dual core processor is enough. For multiple (simultaneous) instances of transcoding, Core i5 or even i7 is recommended.

For graphics, yes, integrated GPU is enough for 1080p. It is also enough for upscaling DVD and 720p unless you want the best upscaling algorithm (for which you will want to add a discrete graphics card as in 'Performance' systems).

Celeron / Pentium iGPU does not support Blu-ray 3D, you will need Core i3 or higher for this purpose.

For example,

CPU: Core i5-4590
Cooler: Noctua NH-L12
MB: ASRock Z97 Extreme4, that supports up to 8 SATA devices.
Mem: F3-1600C9D-8GAB
GPU: integrated in CPU
SSD: Crucial MX100 256MB
PSU: Seasonic S12G-550 (non-modular) or Seasoic SSR-550RM (modular) or Rosewill CAPSTONE-550
HBA: Syba SY-PEX40039 (2-port) or Supermicro AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 (8-port) if you want to attach more than 8 SATA drives.
Case: Fractal Design Define XL R2
OS: Windows 8.1 64-bit OEM (Professional if you want WMC), with StartIsBack Plus (and Stardock ShadowFX)
Disk mangement software: StableBit DrivePool (create two pools, one for normal desktop usage, the other for movies) and DisParity for the movie pool. This combination is more flexible than FlexRAID's RAID-F.
Server software: Media Browser Server or Plex Media Server
Media Center: Media Browser Theater or XBMC (maybe with an external player such as MPC-BE) that works with the above server
Remote: Splashtop (there are more choices)

Last edited by renethx; 10-09-2014 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 10-09-2014, 11:52 PM
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Hello everyone.


I am looking to build my first htpc. I currently use an i7 lenovo y460p ideapad laptop which seems to be dying.


I have an LG 4k 3d tv, connected to an Onkyo 929 amp with a 5.1 speaker setup (audio physic + psb). The amp is fed by the laptop, an LG 3D BR, a cable box, and PS4 - all on hdmi cables. I use the setup mostly for movies/youtube/ps4 60%, cable 20% and audio 20%.


Could anyone recommend an htpc setup which a) supports high quality 4k scaling (not sure of the tv is up to the task) and 3D blu ray, b) supports all hd audio formats c) will gel well with the rest of the system (with the laptop I frequently had to reset the drivers..sometimes the feed wasn't 1080 or audio would play on laptop speakers)


I also feel the Onkyo 929 with its bevy of overlapping functions with the rest of the equipment complicates matters - I frequently get a call from home about the tv picture flickering which gets resolved once the system is powered off (electrical socket) and turned back on.


I don't necessarily have a budget in mind, but want to put the speakers/amp and tv to good use.


Thanks for you help.
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Old 10-10-2014, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by zealottt View Post
Hello everyone.


I am looking to build my first htpc. I currently use an i7 lenovo y460p ideapad laptop which seems to be dying.


I have an LG 4k 3d tv, connected to an Onkyo 929 amp with a 5.1 speaker setup (audio physic + psb). The amp is fed by the laptop, an LG 3D BR, a cable box, and PS4 - all on hdmi cables. I use the setup mostly for movies/youtube/ps4 60%, cable 20% and audio 20%.


Could anyone recommend an htpc setup which a) supports high quality 4k scaling (not sure of the tv is up to the task) and 3D blu ray, b) supports all hd audio formats c) will gel well with the rest of the system (with the laptop I frequently had to reset the drivers..sometimes the feed wasn't 1080 or audio would play on laptop speakers)


I also feel the Onkyo 929 with its bevy of overlapping functions with the rest of the equipment complicates matters - I frequently get a call from home about the tv picture flickering which gets resolved once the system is powered off (electrical socket) and turned back on.


I don't necessarily have a budget in mind, but want to put the speakers/amp and tv to good use.


Thanks for you help.
The majority of what you want to do can be handled by most modest HTPC. If you want to upscale to 4K, chances are you are going to be using something like MadVR. In that case, the limits of what you can do on that front will be largely dictated by the limits of a discrete video card. 3D can be a bit trickier. If you are looking to play 3D from the PC, the easiest way is to use PowerDVD or Stereoscopic player. However, there are now ways to rip streams and tag them so that 3D televisions will identify the stream as 3D and display it as such.

As for getting along with the rest of the system, that should largely be a non-issue. Once the HTPC is hooked up, it should be have like any other attached piece of equipment. The one place you may run into issues is that HDMI handshakes can be an odd creature. It is not terribly uncommon for units to have to turn on and connect in a certain order for all functionality to be realized.
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Old 10-10-2014, 11:40 AM
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Hey all, could anyone offer me a quick recommendation for a MB/CPU combination to replace my existing configuration? I currently have an Intel E5400 from 2010 that I would like to upgrade to get a little better performance from web-based streaming content that doesn't offload to my GPU.

I just need 6 SATA ports and the ability to accommodate an Nvidia GTX650Ti. It's going into an Antec 300 (mini/micro/standard ATX; I have an Asus P5G43T-M Pro now (micro ATX) and see no reason to change form factors).
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Old 10-10-2014, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey all, could anyone offer me a quick recommendation for a MB/CPU combination to replace my existing configuration?
Pentium G3258
MSI H97M-G43
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Old 10-10-2014, 12:18 PM
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Pentium G3258
MSI H97M-G43
Thanks. I haven't been following Intel processors all that closely in the past few years; why the Pentium rather than a Core i series?
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Old 10-10-2014, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. I haven't been following Intel processors all that closely in the past few years; why the Pentium rather than a Core i series?
Performance-wise Pentium/Celeron is enough for almost all purposes in video playback, unless you are interested in multiple instances of transcoding and/or HEVC CPU decoding.
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Old 10-10-2014, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post
@armstrr

For starters you may want to build an all-in-one system, that can be turned into a server if you want to build a dedicated HTPC later. Roku requires transcoding. For a single instance of transcoding, any dual core processor is enough. For multiple (simultaneous) instances of transcoding, Core i5 or even i7 is recommended.

For graphics, yes, integrated GPU is enough for 1080p. It is also enough for upscaling DVD and 720p unless you want the best upscaling algorithm (for which you will want to add a discrete graphics card as in 'Performance' systems).

Celeron / Pentium iGPU does not support Blu-ray 3D, you will need Core i3 or higher for this purpose.

For example,

CPU: Core i5-4590
Cooler: Noctua NH-L12
MB: ASRock Z97 Extreme4, that supports up to 8 SATA devices.
Mem: F3-1600C9D-8GAB
GPU: integrated in CPU
SSD: Crucial MX100 256MB
PSU: Seasonic S12G-550 (non-modular) or Seasoic SSR-550RM (modular) or Rosewill CAPSTONE-550
HBA: Syba SY-PEX40039 (2-port) or Supermicro AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 (8-port) if you want to attach more than 8 SATA drives.
Case: Fractal Design Define XL R2
OS: Windows 8.1 64-bit OEM (Professional if you want WMC), with StartIsBack Plus (and Stardock ShadowFX)
Disk mangement software: StableBit DrivePool (create two pools, one for normal desktop usage, the other for movies) and DisParity for the movie pool. This combination is more flexible than FlexRAID's RAID-F.
Server software: Media Browser Server or Plex Media Server
Media Center: Media Browser Theater or XBMC (maybe with an external player such as MPC-BE) that works with the above server
Remote: Splashtop (there are more choices)
Thx. I have ordered most of the parts. Will the noctua really be necessary? I'm guessing it can be added later if temps are too high, correct? And what would that threshold be? Also, is there a guide to setting up disparity and the drive pool software that was mentioned?
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Old 10-10-2014, 10:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by armstrr View Post
Thx. I have ordered most of the parts. Will the noctua really be necessary? I'm guessing it can be added later if temps are too high, correct? And what would that threshold be? Also, is there a guide to setting up disparity and the drive pool software that was mentioned?
Yup, buy a third-pary cooler only when you feel the stock cooler is too loud under load.

Setting up DrivePool is very easy. StableBit DrivePool User Manual > Quick Start is a good starting point. You can add existing drives with data easily. I also recommend using StableBit Scanner along with DrivePool ($35 in total), that watches S.M.A.R.T values and scans the entire surface of each drive of the system periodically.

Setting up vilett's disparity is also very easy and intuitive. Unfortunately I can't find a good instruction. A review on disparity and its own forum may be helpful. I recommedn Verson 0.40 beta.

I would like to write a short instruction somewhere.

Last edited by renethx; 10-10-2014 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 10-13-2014, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Aryn Ravenlocke View Post
The majority of what you want to do can be handled by most modest HTPC. If you want to upscale to 4K, chances are you are going to be using something like MadVR. In that case, the limits of what you can do on that front will be largely dictated by the limits of a discrete video card. 3D can be a bit trickier. If you are looking to play 3D from the PC, the easiest way is to use PowerDVD or Stereoscopic player. However, there are now ways to rip streams and tag them so that 3D televisions will identify the stream as 3D and display it as such.

As for getting along with the rest of the system, that should largely be a non-issue. Once the HTPC is hooked up, it should be have like any other attached piece of equipment. The one place you may run into issues is that HDMI handshakes can be an odd creature. It is not terribly uncommon for units to have to turn on and connect in a certain order for all functionality to be realized.

Thanks Aryn. Any recommendations on the card..motherboard..processor? Im waiting on the fractal 605 node here in Dubai. As soon as I get a lock on one, ill place the orders.


A harmony remote should sort the hdmi issue I guess.
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