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New Home Theater Project - Getting Started - Page 2

post #31 of 88
BTW- I did not read all this thread and jumped into this late. Let me know if you have any other specific questions. Sorry I missed this earlier. Looks like your doing good so far and getting great advice.
post #32 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Superflower is a high end european PSU MFG of quality PSU, and they have an exclusive agreement with Newegg to MFG a few product lines including the Capstone and the Lightning Series. Under this exclusivity superflower does not distribute it's own brand in the USA.

Every bit as good as Seasonic, and in a few ways it is superior - often at a lower cost to you wink.gif

Well, technically I think they are Taiwanese (Superflower is a literal translation of their Taiwanese name with headquarters in Taiwan). But I agree that they are a very good PSU on par with the likes of Seasonic for sure.

Edit: Yep definitely Taiwanese. http://www.super-flower.com.tw/about.php?lang=en
post #33 of 88
This looks like quite the good deal:

SeaSonic SSR-650RM 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply New 4th Gen CPU Certified Haswell Ready
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151118
$104.99 - 15% with coupon code EMCYTZT3868 = $89.24 - $20.00 rebate = $69.24 w/ free shipping

20A on +5V
54A on +12V (single rail)
post #34 of 88
I have a server in a Norco 4224 case, and I have the 3 x 120mm fanwall with three Noctua NF-F12 120mm fans. Note the 'F' in 'F12'. Those are expensive fans, but the nice thing about them is that they have high static pressure and are still relatively quiet with the low noise adapter. For a case like the 4224 (or 4220), it is important for the fan to have decent airflow at high static pressure, since there is a lot of air resistance sucking the air past the small openings around the HDDs.

For the CPU cooler in a Norco case, just choose a decent "tower" style cooler. Since the fanwall fans are already directing the airflow quite well (especially the NF-F12 fans since they have stators to keep the airflow focused), you can probably get by with little or no fan on the CPU cooler. I have a Xigmatek Loki SD963 CPU cooler on my server. I did put one fan on the CPU cooler, but it barely runs (it is a Noctua NF-P12 that I had lying around, and I use the "ultra-low-noise" adapter so that it spins very slow).

With my Norco 4224 server, I only have a total of four fans (not counting the PSU fan) -- the three NF-F12's on the fanwall, and then a NF-P12 on the CPU cooler in "pull" configuration. The NF-F12's are close enough to the CPU cooler that they do a decent job of pushing air into the cooler, and the NF-P12 on the back of the CPU cooler is near the back of the case, so it does a decent job of directing the exhaust airflow, and I have no need for exhaust fans on the case.

If you do run a configuration like this, make sure to plug up any remaining holes in the fanwall after you route all the cables. You can use tape and/or jam closed-cell foam in the holes. Also cover with tape any poorly placed holes in the side metal of the Norco chassis. You want the air to flow from the front, past the HDDs, through the fanwall fans, and then out the back, with no other side holes or backflow holes to disrupt the desired air path.

Noctua NF-F12 120mm fans
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00632FL8A/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Xigmatek Loki SD963
http://www.amazon.com/Xigmatek-Computer-Heatsink-LOKI-SD963/dp/B0078IWR3K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1374612494&sr=8-1&keywords=loki+sd963
Edited by jim2100 - 7/23/13 at 2:23pm
post #35 of 88
@OP,

Not sure if you realize but the difference with the 4224 Norco is you do not get a slimline optical bay, for a bluray or dvd rom drive, and a different style front (because of extra row of drives)

The choice usually becomes if you want an optical drive or not. If you do- go 4220, if you do not- go 4224 (assuming you need the extra bays)

With modern drives being 4TB+ (5TB and 6TB due Q4 this year) I just don't need more than 20 bays personally. You might be different.
Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper11 View Post

SSD: Crucial m4 128GB

You might want to check out a better and cheaper SSD like a Samsung 840/ 840PRO or OCZ Vector / Vertex4/450. That SSD is from 2010 and rather long in the tooth these days. There are both better performing while simultaneously cheaper choices.

Full disclosure: I've never like those SSD's (my opinion) .

In terms of differences, The PRO samsung uses a better NAND than the normal. The normal goes about $89 and is a generally very good SSD and performer for that price. The PRO version is the high end and probably one of the very best SSD's available. Both have the same proprietary samsung controller- which is why both models are generally better than most models. The OCZ Vertex4 uses the same controller as the Crucial, but it's better optimized so it performs better. The Vertex450 is a newer version with some tweaks. The Vector is the top of the line and uses a proprietary controller more on par with Samsung PRO. The Vector and Sammy 840PRO are the two best SSD's available, and their little brothers are the two best values IMO. ($99 128GB class)

I actually build a server like your looking at using the 840 Samsung, The seasonic PSU, The Silent X fan upgrades, and a 3570 i5. Results were very good.









Here is a slim line optical drive ( it works on the 4220 but not the 4224 )






I used the Sammy on one build, and a Vertex OCZ on another (Vertex 3 back then, not as good as the Vertex4)



I also used that Seasonic PSU



And the IBM Card biggrin.gif





A quick note:

You can't use the same cables for your SATA ports as your Norco Backplane. They are different. You need two SAS8087 cables (One for each row of drives on Norco which is 4 HDD's) per IBM card. SAS8087 on both ends. Then you need 1 SATA port to SAS8087 cable like this:




There is a big difference between a forward breakout cable, and a reverse breakout cable. One will work, and one will not.
post #36 of 88
I replaced the stock NORCO 80mm Fan Blade with a new 120mm fan blades I bought on Amazon dot com. It has reduced the noise significantly... almost to a whisper quiet. The cooling temps seem to be unaffected. A huge win!!!

The stock fan blade uses 4 80mm fans that run very high. They are powered directly off the PSU with IDE power by default and have no fan speed control. They run full bore 100% and make tons of noise. They also move tons of air.

I opted to go with silent X fans because they are cheap and quiet, and I could run them off the motherboard headers or off the PSU.

Here is the comparison:




This the fans I bought:




They run lower voltage than the stock OEM ones making them quieter, and also have header pins for running of your motherboard versus just plugging into the PSU IDE power. Of coarse using the fan control to slow them down also greatly reduces the noise. XIGMATEK eXTREME SILENT Series have FCB (Fluid Circulative Bearings) which seems to quiet them down (MFG claims) and they are highly affordable. Much cheaper than the NEXUS. My results are good. I sit next to my server in the open room and I can't hear it.

It's funny because the stock OEM ones are nearly identical to the ones I bought. I assume they are made at the same factory, which just different bearings and motor/designs. The outer plastic shell and case is identical to each other, but specs are different.






The SILENTX series is the same OEM as the stock Norco fans, but just a premium model that uses better motor and bearings to keep quieter, use less power, and spin at lower RPM.
post #37 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

The OCZ Vertex4 uses the same controller as the Crucial, but it's better optimized so it performs better
I don't believe so. Both are made by Marvell, but I thought the M4 was 88SS9174 and V4 was 88SS9184
post #38 of 88
Thread Starter 
Great info guys, its all very helpful.


Regarding the heatsink/fan choice, I had actually been looking at the Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO, so its good to hear others have used it. The price difference between it and the Xigmatek is like $5, so I'll pick between those two for the server.

For the htpc, I'm having trouble finding much that fits within the 117mm limit. There is the Noctua NH-L12, but its a bit pricey. I might have to just try the bundled cooler and see if I can live with it.



I appreciate the pics Mfusick, I was reading through your server thread and trying to digest all of the info. I'm definitely getting that 120mm fan wall.


Regarding the power supply, I definitely don't mind getting a Rosewill considering the reviews for it. I was looking at the pricing and it seems like the modular Rosewill models are actually about the same price as that Coolermaster 700W I mentioned, but I will definitely watch out for a sale. I kind of want the modular option, and the cheaper Rosewill models aren't modular at all.

Regarding the ssd, I was worried about going with the Samsung 840 since its using the TLC memory and the Crucial M4 seemed like a very mature part by now even if it didn't have bleeding edge performance. If your going to compare the Samsung 840 and the Crucial M4, they seem fairly similar with the main differences being TLC vs MLC and a cheaper price for the 840. Early reviews I had read for the 840 seemed to not be too excited about it. Maybe that's different now.

The reason I'm considering the Norco 4224 case is that I wont be installing a dvd drive, so I don't need the slot. At most I'll use an external drive when needed.
post #39 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper11 View Post

For the htpc, I'm having trouble finding much that fits within the 117mm limit. There is the Noctua NH-L12, but its a bit pricey. I might have to just try the bundled cooler and see if I can live with it.
ZALMAN CNPS 7500 ?
post #40 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony_Gomez View Post

ZALMAN CNPS 7500 ?

That might work. I use to use Zalman coolers like that.


I had a question about server cases. Does anyone know if there are server type cases with a depth of 18 or 19"? It would give me some flexibility in placing the server if there was.
post #41 of 88
I don't have the dimensions for the Norco, but if your MoBo is not full ATX, would there be room to modify the case on the other side for a second PSU? Just a thought!
post #42 of 88
I don't believe there is any issues with Samsung these days. It's best selling SSD on the planet. $79 today at Tiger Direct.

I read lots more problems with Crucial than Samsung in general - but that's hardly scientific.

It will take you over ten years to wear out the NAND in the Samsung with 24/7 use.

If your still concerned get a Vector or 840PRO for $129. It's worth $20 more easily over a crucial. You get the superior NAND and modern controller , also 5 year warranty biggrin.gif

I could feel a difference with my SSD on my 4770k, which was surprising. It's not extreme but on my work station I can tell between a Vector and a Vertex3. (I dual boot). Vertex3 was probably a bit quicker than a Crucial as a boot drive two years ago so I assume on a 4770k you might experience about the same difference.

Just my .02 cents (biased)

Also,I have used the EVO 212 on my office desktop and workstation with great success.

Great cooler *if* you can fit it. No substitute for surface area when it comes to cooling. A bargain under $30.

For HTPC if your not overclocking just use stock cooler and if you find objection with it then just go high end. No sense in buying now something you might not need.


I can go 4.8ghz on my 4770k with EVO 212 and the air conditioning on.

I can't quite get it to run pass mark, but I can at 4.6ghz. It's *mostly* stable biggrin.gif
post #43 of 88
Samsung makes the best ssd currently imo. I saw a 120gb on sale today for $79.
post #44 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Samsung makes the best ssd currently imo. I saw a 120gb on sale today for $79.

Speaking of SSDs, I noticed the Plextor in your Brix build. That's my new favorite mSATA SSD.

For desktop SSDs, I am pretty much exclusively using Samsung these days given the availability, pricing and success rate I've personally had with it in customer builds.
post #45 of 88
I'm a fan of Plextor too. Just not always available cheap as Samsung or OCZ.
post #46 of 88
Thread Starter 
Alright, well going with a Samsung ssd seems to be the way to go.

I was concerned about the TLC lifespan in the Samsung 840 drives, but with the reality being that your looking at 10 years of useable life, it sounds fine to me. That will also save me some money, which I'm definitely happy about.
post #47 of 88
You could always get the PRO version
post #48 of 88
Thread Starter 
Yeah, but considering it commands a $35-$50 premium over the standard 840, there would need to be a compelling reason to spend that extra money on either the server or htpc.

Yes, its higher performance, but will that even matter for pcs being used for media access or media playback? I will be rarely rebooting these systems and I'll only be installing a handful of programs on them.
post #49 of 88
I think you answered your own question smile.gif

I have a normal SSD in my HTPC wink.gif
post #50 of 88
Thread Starter 
Can anyone recommend a good eSATA card? I'm seeing a lot of average models, mostly using pci-e x1. I'd like two ports, but I need to make sure they support FIS Based Switching with Port Multiplier cause I plan to hook up external drive bays to the esata. I know the SI 3132 / 3124 chipsets support that.

I haven't found any motherboards with an eSATA port that support that stuff.
post #51 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper11 View Post

Can anyone recommend a good eSATA card? I'm seeing a lot of average models, mostly using pci-e x1. I'd like two ports, but I need to make sure they support FIS Based Switching with Port Multiplier cause I plan to hook up external drive bays to the esata. I know the SI 3132 / 3124 chipsets support that.

I haven't found any motherboards with an eSATA port that support that stuff.

You can get a high-end eSATA pcie x8/x4 card with four ports, but you will pay through the nose for it. Look at addonics.com or go through what's available on NewEgg.
post #52 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper11 View Post

Alright, well going with a Samsung ssd seems to be the way to go.

I was concerned about the TLC lifespan in the Samsung 840 drives, but with the reality being that your looking at 10 years of useable life, it sounds fine to me. That will also save me some money, which I'm definitely happy about.

If you're worried about the lifespan then you should check out this article, it's pretty interesting.
post #53 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper11 View Post

Can anyone recommend a good eSATA card? I'm seeing a lot of average models, mostly using pci-e x1. I'd like two ports, but I need to make sure they support FIS Based Switching with Port Multiplier cause I plan to hook up external drive bays to the esata. I know the SI 3132 / 3124 chipsets support that.

I haven't found any motherboards with an eSATA port that support that stuff.

Your building ITX then connecting to it ???
post #54 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Your building ITX then connecting to it ???


Well not exactly.

I asked earlier about a shorter rack mount case due to some space restrictions I'm running into. Before I try to come up with a space to put a Norco 4224 sized case, I'm exploring other options such as smaller rack mount cases, some large cube style cases (Lian Li has a very interesting cube case that can accommodate 20 3.5" and 5 more via the 4 5.25" bays: http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-d8000/), or a smallish ATX/mATX case that would then have support for a storage enclosure via eSATA (Something like a 5 or 8-bay case). I want to avoid using raid on such an enclosure and instead use flexraid on the server pc to manage the drives via eSATA.

So I wanted to find a reliable eSATA card that could support such enclosures.
post #55 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper11 View Post

Yeah, but considering it commands a $35-$50 premium over the standard 840, there would need to be a compelling reason to spend that extra money on either the server or htpc.

Yes, its higher performance, but will that even matter for pcs being used for media access or media playback? I will be rarely rebooting these systems and I'll only be installing a handful of programs on them.

No, there is no reason to spend the extra for media access or media playback. Any and every ssd will be very very good (performance wise) and differences will likely be imperceptible.
post #56 of 88
A lot gets made about SSD longevity but I have yet to have an SSD wear out on me, even the 128GB Crucial M4 SSD that's been in my bedroom HTPC for well over a year. This HTPC is used for WMC live TV and recordings before they are swept to the server. And yet, it's chugging along with no perceived slowdowns or issues of any kind. I've got a couple of year old MicroCenter and Kingston V100 64GB SSDs that have been going in desktops as the only storage and in my home server as the OS SSD also without issue. I have had zero customers come back to me telling me they wore out their SSD. My experience just doesn't show that SSDs get worn out within any meaningful amount with normal usage.
post #57 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

A lot gets made about SSD longevity but I have yet to have an SSD wear out on me, even the 128GB Crucial M4 SSD that's been in my bedroom HTPC for well over a year. This HTPC is used for WMC live TV and recordings before they are swept to the server. And yet, it's chugging along with no perceived slowdowns or issues of any kind. I've got a couple of year old MicroCenter and Kingston V100 64GB SSDs that have been going in desktops as the only storage and in my home server as the OS SSD also without issue. I have had zero customers come back to me telling me they wore out their SSD. My experience just doesn't show that SSDs get worn out within any meaningful amount with normal usage.

Honestly this thread was the first I've read about someone being worried about SSD's longevity. My HTPC and Server are both running 24/7 no problems, I even replaced my HDD in my laptop with a SSD and it's been great. I do find it interesting that 16 GB of RAM does decrease the number of writes to a SSD, I didn't think the amount of RAM had anything to do with everyday computing. As long as it wasn't going to 100% there was no reason to get more.
post #58 of 88
I have a first generation vertex 2 that I bought for a Intel LGA775 build on a core2 Duo.

This SSD is PRE-SATA3.

Remember DDR2 800 ?

This puppy is from that era. Before there was socket 1155, and before there was DDR3, there was the first Vertex 2's.

I was an early adopter. Paid $315 for it.

Used for OS drive for years, then OS drive in my moms PC. Moms PC just got upgraded and only yesterday I installed it into an office PC as a boot drive.

I'll take a picture later when I'm in the office.

It's gotta be the oldest SSD on AVS biggrin.gif

It's certainly not "worn out". I think the 5 year warranty just expired.
post #59 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper11 View Post

Well not exactly.

I asked earlier about a shorter rack mount case due to some space restrictions I'm running into. Before I try to come up with a space to put a Norco 4224 sized case, I'm exploring other options such as smaller rack mount cases, some large cube style cases (Lian Li has a very interesting cube case that can accommodate 20 3.5" and 5 more via the 4 5.25" bays: http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-d8000/), or a smallish ATX/mATX case that would then have support for a storage enclosure via eSATA (Something like a 5 or 8-bay case). I want to avoid using raid on such an enclosure and instead use flexraid on the server pc to manage the drives via eSATA.

So I wanted to find a reliable eSATA card that could support such enclosures.

I do not understand the motivation to spend extra on ITX to get less, then spend more to get additional features easily found on non ITX boards- only to have ugly wire mess and ugly bulky messy boxes wired to the back of it. If you could tolerate those- you might be served better with an ATX or Micro ATX case and build and having room inside a nice looking case for that stuff.

If you don't want that- you should just pass GO, collect your $200, and skip right to building a server. Anything else is a waste of time and money.

I'm expecting stardog to chime in and tell me I am an idiot, but I generally view ITX with disdain, contempt, dislike, and a total lack of understanding. You pay more, you get less. Most of the time I see people using it and then they have 15 devices hanging off the back to do stuff the limitations of the case and ITX choice don't allow for. It's uglier, messier and generally more horrible in most respects.

Your either paying a premium for ITX because you want a small cute little box at the expense of value, performance or functionality. Often it will be visible and what it looks like matters, and where it fits matters. As soon as you start adding ugly stuff wired to it then your defeating the purpose of ITX IMO.

I think it is generally easier to locate a HTPC or PC in an area where you don't see it- than it is to try to build a full featured ITX small cute little thing that's as cheap and as functional. My HTPC is a 3570k in a rather good sized Antec300 case. I don't see it. I don't hear it. There is plenty of room for all sorts of stuff, even though I don't have a DVD drive, Bluray, or HDD inside. It's in my AV closet.

You can easily located a PC under the floor on a shelf and just run up a HDMI from below, perhaps a USB extension cable for IR or a remote dongle or wireless keyboard mouse. What's the need for all this ? I am not understanding what your trying to do. If you can hide the M-sata boxes and wires you can probably hide the entire HTPC and build something more robust for cheaper. If you can't hide anything, you really should just jump to a server.

I know my personality is rather extreme in one direction or another- I tend to go high, or I tend to go low. And, I know I am short sighted sometimes- so if I a missing something please let me know. Otherwise I would say skip all that crap and just make a single full function server, run a single CAT6 cable to your cute little ITX box build and live happily ever after. The End.

Having once chased the weird stuff your chasing and finally upgrading and doing it right has shown me the previous error in my ways. SAVE YOUR TIME AND MONEY and reconsider what your trying to do- and how to do it best. If you simply can not ever make the jump to a 4u Norco 24 bay server chassis- let's just get this figured out now. Then we can get you a tower style server build going like a Fractal Design or something. Assassin built Flocko a really nice build in a tower style you might be interested in. (Where is Flocko ? ) I am sure someone could dig up a picture for you and link to the build thread if you think you can't go with NORCO style server case. I was thinking you could based on your original posting- but if something has changed lets switch gears. Msata hanging off ITX is rubbish.

Edit: Here is a link:


http://www.avsforum.com/t/1409654/assassin-server-project/0_100


Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

A few weeks ago I offered to build a server for an AVS member free of charge for some testing that I am doing.

The parts arrived today.






Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Had a few more minutes of free time today...










I will be sure to post the finished product once I am done with cable management and tell you my thoughts from a hardware build perspective.


Any example of a server build in a desktop style tower case.


You can build a server in any chassis you want- locate it anyplace you want. Don't mess around with half-assed Msata connected crap
post #60 of 88
I don't need to chime in and tell you that you are an idiot. You do pretty well for yourself with these rants. biggrin.gif

But, really, to each their own.
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