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Guide to Building a HTPC, Workstation and Server - Page 462

post #13831 of 19097
Can someone post a link to a forum where software options are discussed for HTPCs and network storage? I am almost done building the HTPC and 15 HDD tower, but dont know what i should go with on the software side for the best ease of use and redundancy. I know about flexraid and am looking into that, but not sure if i should put windows 7 on my HTPC and ubuntu on my tower or windows 7 on both and install flexraid on the tower, etc. Any help i smuch appreciated!! I know this is a hardware forum, but i havent found a decent software discussion anywhere.
post #13832 of 19097
Why not Win 7 on the HTPC and WHS on the server? You can then even use the Media Center option to automatically move files to the server when done recording.
post #13833 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by innocentfreak View Post

Why not Win 7 on the HTPC and WHS on the server? You can then even use the Media Center option to automatically move files to the server when done recording.

I am a fan of this setup as well. Then use WMC + MediaBrowser for playback, and if you don't want to mess around with codecs just have MPC HC launch as your player
post #13834 of 19097
I thought about doing windows 7 on the HTPC and using windows server on the storage tower combined with flexraid, but i have never used windows home server or flexraid and that was one of the more expensive options. I wanted to make sure that was the best way forward before i spent the money. Any other input on the matter?
post #13835 of 19097
Well WHS has a 90 day trial to play with. I have never messed with Flexraid so I can't comment on that.

I have my WHS serve all my files including my recordings and have all my recordings in folders that are set for duplication.
post #13836 of 19097
That is my main focus in looking into flexraid as i am not wanting to do duplication/mirroring because i am already at 10TB of media files and dont want to use up another 10TB for duplication. I am looking into RAID 5 configurations. New to this so it can get very confusing. I understand the concept after reading up on it, but it seems like it is very extensive to setup properly so that it actually rebuilds data if you lose a drive and replace it.

I guess i will go ahead and go with windows 7 on the htpc and WHS on the tower and find a redundancy method after i get the operating systems installed and running.
post #13837 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbone1026 View Post

I am a fan of this setup as well. Then use WMC + MediaBrowser for playback, and if you don't want to mess around with codecs just have MPC HC launch as your player

Quote:
Originally Posted by innocentfreak View Post

Why not Win 7 on the HTPC and WHS on the server? You can then even use the Media Center option to automatically move files to the server when done recording.

+1 here, I agree with dbone that WHS with mediacenter and media browser works great. Just upgraded my server to allow easier expansion!
post #13838 of 19097
Finally took the plunge and purchased all my stuff for my HTPC aside from a CableCard TV Tuner:

Piece Name From Cost Rebate
PSU Corsair 650TX 650W Newegg 80.99 20
BluRay ASUS BD Combo Newegg 89.99
Case Zalman HD503 ExcaliberPC 241.24
MB ASUS P7P55D Newegg 119.99
CPU Intel Core i5 750 Newegg 194.99
CPU Fan Zalman CNPS9500 Newegg 47.98
HD HITATCHI 2TB 7200RPM x 4 Newegg 479.96 80
Vid Sapphire Radeon HD 5770 Newegg 159.99
Mem G.SKILL Ripjaws 4GB(2x2GB) Newegg 109.99

Comes out to $1525.12 - $100 Rebate. Alot of that cost is because I added a BluRay player and 4 HDs all the other equipment are what were recommended. I may need to beef up the case cooling with that many drives though.


I want to eventually add a CableCard tuner which are currently running about $399 so in the end I believe this whole thing will cost me around $2,000 which is a little more than I want to spend but it prevents a ton of costs in the future(buying another TiVo, etc...)


It anyone is interested there is an incredible deal on HITATCHI 2TB 7200RPM drives on newegg right now. $99 after $20 rebate.
post #13839 of 19097
Are those some good drives? I'll check into it since I am in the market for a 2tb drive. Thanks for the tip and good luck on your build.
post #13840 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackal55 View Post

Are those some good drives? I'll check into it since I am in the market for a 2tb drive. Thanks for the tip and good luck on your build.

I've had 1 that I've tested over the last month with no issues. Just bought another one due to this mornings sale. I'll plan to use the 2 of them for rotating off site backup (in eSATA enclosures).

Not sure I'd trust them in my main array yet; reading the reviews they're subject to random problems. However, that seem to be the case for almost all 2TB drives these days. Personally, having lost four 1TB WD's (out of 6) over the last 2 years it's hard to make _any_ recommendations. I'll give these a try and if the Samsungs come down to the same price range I'll give them a try. In my case I don't really need to start using 2TBs in the main storage server yet so I've got some time to play before I start stocking up in bulk...
post #13841 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by scientest View Post

I've had 1 that I've tested over the last month with no issues. Just bought another one due to this mornings sale. I'll plan to use the 2 of them for rotating off site backup (in eSATA enclosures).

Not sure I'd trust them in my main array yet; reading the reviews they're subject to random problems. However, that seem to be the case for almost all 2TB drives these days. Personally, having lost four 1TB WD's (out of 6) over the last 2 years it's hard to make _any_ recommendations. I'll give these a try and if the Samsungs come down to the same price range I'll give them a try. In my case I don't really need to start using 2TBs in the main storage server yet so I've got some time to play before I start stocking up in bulk...

I went with 4 2TB drives because I wanted a total of 6TB in my HTPC...My reasoning for this is:

1TB = 20 BluRay movies (50gb each)

I want to be able to have up to 100 BluRay movies available to watch(5 TB) plus my DVD collection. All legal of course but being able to just search for the movie you want to watch and start watching it in 1080p is a huge plus in my book.

Obviously these numbers are slightly exagerated as once you strip out the junk the size the bluray takes up shrinks drastically...but still that is how I justify it :-P
post #13842 of 19097
HI,
Newbie asking.

I was looking for my first HTPC system. I use to build my own computers, but I'm completely lost with the goods and bads for a system like this.

I almost buy an Asrock ION 330, but after some forums read I realize I could build my own HTPC with more or less the same costs, but a better solution.
What I want:
Watch HD movies, photos, listen music, eventually some internet access, A small and quiet system capable of handling High quality movies above of all.
Mini-ITX format, Win 7 (I have the license), XBMC, Logitech Harmony One compatible, it will be connected to a Panasonic plasma and an AV Receiver, will be cable connected to a wireless router.
Don't need great storage, don't need rip capabilities, no gaming. I have an external disk and a desktop with all the power and features need for that.
So please tell me what would be the best components for this. Around $350.

Thanks in advance
post #13843 of 19097
Do you want bitstreaming capabilities? Can your AVR handle it or do you want to future proof your HTPC build?
post #13844 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlmaclennan View Post

Do you want bitstreaming capabilities? Can your AVR handle it or do you want to future proof your HTPC build?

Yes i want bitstreaming. My AVR can't handle it.
So some future proof would be nice!
post #13845 of 19097
Here's what I would go with for that price:

- APEX MI-008 Black Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case 250W Power Supply - $40
- ZOTAC GF9300-G-E LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 9300 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard - $125
- POWERCOLOR AX5450 512MK3-SH Radeon HD 5450 (Cedar) 512MB DDR3 Video Card - $50, $40 w/rebate
- Intel Celeron E3300 Wolfdale 2.5GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - $50
- G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - $59
- Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -$56

Total - $380, $370 w/rebate

The ATI 5xxx series cards can bitstream at perfect 24p playback. I have an Intel Core i3 build, which has the CPU and GPU packaged together on the CPU, and it also allows bitstreaming. Though it does not properly do 24p playback and creates a stutter. My TV is not capable of 24p, I run a 60hz (60 frames per second), and I don't notice the stutter so I have no problem with my build. If you want to go that route it may be a few dollars cheaper.

- APEX MI-008 Black Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case 250W Power Supply - $40
- ECS H55H-I LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Mini ITX Intel Motherboard - $80, $73 w/rebate
- Intel Core i3-530 Clarkdale 2.93GHz LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Desktop Processor - $115
- OCZ Platinum 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - $60
- Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -$56

Total - $351, $344 w/rebate

Of course you will have to get a MCE remote and use the receiver with your Logitech remote. Any one will do.
post #13846 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmanhdtv View Post

+1 here, I agree with dbone that WHS with mediacenter and media browser works great. Just upgraded my server to allow easier expansion!

I am using W7x64 on 4 PCs and have a NORCO 20 bay server operating with WHS with MyMovies instead of MediaBrowser. I am pretty happy with WHS, but there are some issues: No supported method (there is a workaround) of imaging/backing up the C: WHS OS, no supported method of time control for the disk balancing service (although again there is a unsupported workaround) and finally WHS really lacks in quality feedback when you have a disk or hardware error (event viewer is too basic and does not provide enough info). I spent a week identifying a disk that had bad blocks on the server causing all kinds of havoc - finally just started pulling disks until it stopped getting CRC disk errors.
post #13847 of 19097
So I got the ATI 5670 up and running now on my HTPC (thanks for the hardware tips).

What's considered for this card with Windows 7 x64 the best combination of codec and renderer for h.264 video (most of it being in an mkv container)?

I use Zoom Player 7 for my video player. I set it up to use the MPC-HC codec (unfortunately since ZP is 32-bit I have to use the 32-bit codec) and while it does say it's using DXVA my CPU is still working at like 90% (I can play h.274 720p video just fine with ffdshow and no GPU assistance, so I assume it's not an issue with the lack of power from my CPU).
post #13848 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by fallenturtle View Post

So I got the ATI 5670 up and running now on my HTPC (thanks for the hardware tips).

What's considered for this card with Windows 7 x64 the best combination of codec and renderer for h.264 video (most of it being in an mkv container)?

I use Zoom Player 7 for my video player. I set it up to use the MPC-HC codec (unfortunately since ZP is 32-bit I have to use the 32-bit codec) and while it does say it's using DXVA my CPU is still working at like 90% (I can play h.274 720p video just fine with ffdshow and no GPU assistance, so I assume it's not an issue with the lack of power from my CPU).

Try using MPC HC instead of Zoom Player as your player. No codecs needed except FFDSHow if you want bitstreaming. See my writeups here:

http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010...7-htpc-part-i/

http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010...media-browser/
post #13849 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbone1026 View Post

Try using MPC HC instead of Zoom Player as your player. No codecs needed except FFDSHow if you want bitstreaming. See my writeups here:

http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010...7-htpc-part-i/

http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010...media-browser/

I'd rather stick with Zoom player because I don't like MPC-HC's fullscreen interface/controller. So far ZP is the only highly-configurable non-media center style app that has a nice looking on screen interface (it's still not that great... I wish I could have something similar to Windows Media Player 12 or one of the Media Center apps, apparently alpha channels are hard).
post #13850 of 19097
Good Afternoon Group,

I would like to know if I can run my Dell 3007WFP at 2560x1600 (max) resolution while having a 1920 X 1080 on my Sharp LCD. I would like to use it in clone or mirror mode. My video card is XFX ATI 5770.


Thanks for your time and patience with this matter.

Best Regards,

Onyxbfly
post #13851 of 19097
ok, i went ahead and ordered windows 7 and WHS. Should arrive here in the mail in the next couple of weeks. Guess i will just boot Ubuntu from a thumb drive until then to test my hard drives and make sure everything else is working ok.

Anyone else have any input on a program or method for redundancy less than mirroring other than Flexraid for use with WHS? Just not sure i have the tech savy to get flexraid up and running as i didnt see a step by step setup guide for dummies (which i am when it comes to software that isnt just hit the next button and you are good to go).
post #13852 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by onyxbfly View Post

Good Afternoon Group,

I would like to know if I can run my Dell 3007WFP at 2560x1600 (max) resolution while having a 1920 X 1080 on my Sharp LCD. I would like to use it in clone or mirror mode. My video card is XFX ATI 5770.


Thanks for your time and patience with this matter.

Best Regards,

Onyxbfly

Clone must be same resolution in my experience. Use extended mode.
post #13853 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlmaclennan View Post

Here's what I would go with for that price:

- APEX MI-008 Black Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case 250W Power Supply - $40
- ZOTAC GF9300-G-E LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 9300 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard - $125
- POWERCOLOR AX5450 512MK3-SH Radeon HD 5450 (Cedar) 512MB DDR3 Video Card - $50, $40 w/rebate
- Intel Celeron E3300 Wolfdale 2.5GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - $50
- G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - $59
- Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -$56

Total - $380, $370 w/rebate

The ATI 5xxx series cards can bitstream at perfect 24p playback. I have an Intel Core i3 build, which has the CPU and GPU packaged together on the CPU, and it also allows bitstreaming. Though it does not properly do 24p playback and creates a stutter. My TV is not capable of 24p, I run a 60hz (60 frames per second), and I don't notice the stutter so I have no problem with my build. If you want to go that route it may be a few dollars cheaper.

- APEX MI-008 Black Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case 250W Power Supply - $40
- ECS H55H-I LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Mini ITX Intel Motherboard - $80, $73 w/rebate
- Intel Core i3-530 Clarkdale 2.93GHz LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Desktop Processor - $115
- OCZ Platinum 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - $60
- Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -$56

Total - $351, $344 w/rebate

Of course you will have to get a MCE remote and use the receiver with your Logitech remote. Any one will do.

tim,

Can you help me out? I'm also new to this. I'd like lots of storage (2+ TB), enough power to rip Blurays (so a BD-ROM player is a must), and enough oomph to display 1080p in perfection.
post #13854 of 19097
I sure don't mind helping out but I don't want to step on anyone's toes! After all this is renethx's thread.

I would suggest checking out his latest update, May 2010. Any one of his suggested builds will do smooth 1080p. If you want that much storage will you want more? You may want to look at a mATX or ATX build to store a few large hard drives and later on build your own dedicated media server.

Check out his suggestions first and if nothing really fits your needs I will help you out more.
post #13855 of 19097
So this is my first DIY assembly and I didn't get very far without having a question I need to ask.

I'm installing the MB in the case (both mini-ATX) and most of the standoffs match up. however, there is one grounded hole on the MB for which there is no standoff. I know it's ok if you don't have a standoff for an ungrounded hole on the MB but what about a grounded one? I've done a search but haven't turned up a definitive answer

Thanks in advance.

-N
post #13856 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by uolsona View Post

there is one grounded hole on the MB for which there is no standoff.

So long as there are other grounded mounting holes (screw head makes contact with exposed solder), there is no problem. Just check to see it there are any unused standoffs that can be moved to this spot. Also, make sure that there aren't any unused standoffs that will come in contact with the back of the MB.
post #13857 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by b_rubenstein View Post

So long as there are other grounded mounting holes (screw head makes contact with exposed solder), there is no problem. Just check to see it there are any unused standoffs that can be moved to this spot. Also, make sure that there aren't any unused standoffs that will come in contact with the back of the MB.

Thanks.

There are 6 other grounded holes on the MB that do match up to standoffs. I just needed to make sure that it was ok to leave one empty. The case has other extra standoffs but there is no way to attach one to the case where the MB hole happens to be.

Thanks again. I will definitely double check and make sure that I don't have any other standoffs sitting under the board.

-N
post #13858 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by uolsona View Post

Thanks.

There are 6 other grounded holes on the MB that do match up to standoffs. I just needed to make sure that it was ok to leave one empty. The case has other extra standoffs but there is no way to attach one to the case where the MB hole happens to be.

Thanks again. I will definitely double check and make sure that I don't have any other standoffs sitting under the board.

-N

Sometimes cases will come with plastic inserts you can put into the motherboard hole that will have a flat end that touches the case so it prevents the motherboard from being 'bent' by pushing on that part of it. Might want to check to see if you received any of those and put one in - you would push it up through the bottom of the MB and it just serves as a piece to keep the motherboard from flexing.
post #13859 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99TA View Post

Sometimes cases will come with plastic inserts you can put into the motherboard hole that will have a flat end that touches the case so it prevents the motherboard from being 'bent' by pushing on that part of it. Might want to check to see if you received any of those and put one in - you would push it up through the bottom of the MB and it just serves as a piece to keep the motherboard from flexing.

The Gigabyte board that I bought didn't come with any standoffs. I looked. The board has plenty of support as it is. I was just concered about the grounding issue, thinking that every hole on the MB that provided for grounding needed to be grouded.

Thanks

-N
post #13860 of 19097
Quote:
Originally Posted by uolsona View Post

The Gigabyte board that I bought didn't come with any standoffs. I looked. The board has plenty of support as it is. I was just concered about the grounding issue, thinking that every hole on the MB that provided for grounding needed to be grouded.

Thanks

-N

It would come with the case, not the board.
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