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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ll preface this by saying I am a complete noob at this; I’ve never built a computer, but have always been intrigued by it.


I’m looking to build an HTPC that I can store movies on (approximately 250 blu-rays over time) I already purchased two 3TB WD Red drives and I think 14TB - 16TB as a total should be sufficient to store all the movies. I’ll also do some internet surfing/streaming video.


Below is my build


$160.77 Operating System - Windows 7 Pro ($85 in rebates in the mail)**Final (bundled with crap for rebates)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7782885&sku=M17-7306%20TD


$149.79 Case – Ultimately decided on Silverstone Tek GD08B **Final

I’m was torn on cases with the LC10 and GD08 being my highest preference. Also considered GD01, GD03, GD07, LC13, LC17, LC20

They all have 5+ 3.5” slots for hard drives. I think I’ll need at least 4 for my storage and an extra 1 or 2 can’t be bad


Brack Friday Bunduru (purchased on 12/16/13)

$300.13 Processor & Motherboard ($10 rebate in the mail for the ASRock)


Processor - Intel Core i5-4670 Haswell 3.4GHz
http://www.microcenter.com/product/413251/Core_i5_4670K_34GHz_Socket_LGA_1150_Boxed_Processor **Final

Motherboard - ASRock Z87 Extreme4 LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard http://www.microcenter.com/product/414559/Z87_Extreme4_Socket_LGA_1150_Z87_ATX_Intel_Motherboard **Final


$93.14 SSD - Samsung Electronics 840 EVO-Series 120GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Single Unit Version Internal Solid State Drive MZ-7TE120BW http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E3W15P0/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER **Final


$74.89 RAM - G.SKILL Trident X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200) Desktop Memory Model F3-2400C10D-8GTX http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231587&nm_mc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r&cm_mmc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r-_-Memory+(Desktop+Memory)-_-G.SKILL-_-20231587 **Final


$279.98 Storage – WD Red 3 TB NAS Hard Drive (purchased 2 drives) ($60 rebate in the mail for WD)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3580092&CatId=139

I think I’ll get by with 6TB for a little while and when 5TB drives come out and down in price, pick up another two drives for a total of 16TB **Final


$74.89 Power Supply - Seasonic SSR-450RM ATX 12V/EPS 12V 450-Watt 80 Plus Gold certified PFC Power Supply
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00918MQ8G/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 **Final


$53.49 BR Drive - LG Black 14X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 12X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA BDXL Blu-ray Burner, Bare Drive, 3D Play Back (WH14NS40) - OEM - OEM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136250 **updated


$40.65 CPU Cooler - Cooler Master GeminII S524 **Final (purchased only because Newegg screwed up an order and gave me $20) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=35-103-100


Total Expense $1,227.73

less $145 in rebates if I actually get them

less $90 in American Express promos

less $20 Newegg customer service
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M  /t/1505441/critique-my-htpc-build-plan/0_50#post_24071040


MakeMKV any good?
Yes. Flippin' brilliant.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M  /t/1505441/critique-my-htpc-build-plan#post_24071040


$150 Case – I’m really torn on cases; they all look about the same to me? I’m on the fence between a bunch of Silverstone cases

GD01, GD03, GD07, GD08, LC10, LC13, LC17, LC20

They all have 5+ 3.5” slots for hard drives. I think I’ll need at least 4 for my storage and an extra 1 or 2 can’t be bad

I've built 2 HTPCs with different Silverstone cases (the GD05 and the ML03). Given the number of drives you want, neither of the ones I used would be good choices, but I did want to say I've been very happy with the build quality and style of the Silverstone cases.

Quote:
How do I hook up the HTPC to the receiver?

It looks like that motherboard has HDMI out and analog audio out. So onboard your best choice is going to be to go from the HDMI on the motherboard to the HDMI on your reciever. Then HDMI out from the reciever to your TV. If you're reciever doesn't have HDMI, you might want to look for a motherboard that has a digital optical output. Most receivers have inputs for that. Here's the motherboard I used for my build:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007OCJWTM/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by pkscout  /t/1505441/critique-my-htpc-build-plan#post_24071225


I've built 2 HTPCs with different Silverstone cases (the GD05 and the ML03). Given the number of drives you want, neither of the ones I used would be good choices, but I did want to say I've been very happy with the build quality and style of the Silverstone cases. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007OCJWTM/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by pkscout  /t/1505441/critique-my-htpc-build-plan#post_24071225


It looks like that motherboard has HDMI out and analog audio out. So onboard your best choice is going to be to go from the HDMI on the motherboard to the HDMI on your reciever. Then HDMI out from the reciever to your TV. If you're reciever doesn't have HDMI, you might want to look for a motherboard that has a digital optical output. Most receivers have inputs for that. Here's the motherboard I used for my build:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007OCJWTM/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
My receiver has HDMI so it sounds like I'm on the right track!
 

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Only thing missing is Input Devices, keyboard/mouse/remote.


You could start with a Logitech K400 ($20-$25) and Rosewill remote ($12-$15), then upgrade as you see fit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by wiley165  /t/1505441/critique-my-htpc-build-plan#post_24072073


Only thing missing is Input Devices, keyboard/mouse/remote.


You could start with a Logitech K400 ($20-$25) and Rosewill remote ($12-$15), then upgrade as you see fit.

Ahhh yes thank you for reminding me. I am running IRule in my theater, therefore I'll need a way to control the HTPC with IRule. What IR device would you recommend?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Is my selection of component solid? Too weak? Too strong?
 

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I don't like the power supply. In your budget get a Corsair CX430 or Seasonic SSR-360GP


I also don't like the MSI motherboard.Go with an Asrock
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M  /t/1505441/critique-my-htpc-build-plan/0_100#post_24073113


Is my selection of component solid? Too weak? Too strong?


I like it!


4670k is ideal. Couple nip picking things:


First the GD08 is better if you want to install all those hard drives. I generally like my hard drives in a dedicated server and not inside the HTPC because that helps with cooling and noise and chassis choice (smaller) , but if you want hard drives that's a good case. I just built a similar machine last week. I will go dig up some pictures in my server thread and show you what I specifically mean. I have also built in the other cases, the smaller Micro ATX MILO3 might be an option - but you will be limited in hard drive space. I have some pictures of that build too in my thread. I built one like that for my brother last year for Xmas.


Second,


I tend to favor Asrock (and then Asus) motherboards so I can't recommend the MSI as much, but that doesn't mean it's not good. It just means I can't recommend it. I like the Asrock Z87 boards a lot. (have one) I just fine them stable, very few issues, and high in value. You can get features like Intel LAN, second HDMI input pass through, and some other cool features that I actually make use of. The fan speed controller is pretty good (important for keeping quiet). Make sure you look at a board that has enough fan headers for the fans in your HTPC. You will want to run the case fans off the MOBO fan headers and set the mode on "SILENT" or knock the speed down so it's really quiet. Silverstone cases are usually pretty quiet. (decent fans). Good motherboard have built in fan speed controllers that are adjustable, variable and based on off sets. Meaning it will spin slow at a normal temp then speed up for a higher temp. You can control these settings and temps. I like to bump up the temp about 2-4 degrees from stock- to allow for some headroom while keeping the fans slower and quieter. Then I like to have it run 100% up near the "hot" zone - this can keep you HTPC safe and cool - but also mostly quiet on basic tasks (like simple playback)


Third,

Stuff I like: Samsung SSD is a solid choice. Hard to hate on that. The RAM I might suggest going with 1866 or even better 2400mhz. If you plan to use the iGPU you see more benefit from faster ram than you do in performance in the CPU. There is a reason why high end GPU cards come with huge amounts of GDDR5 RAM - and it's not because it's cheap. Ram speed can effect iGPU performance, and you can easily overclock the iGPU to allow for the next higher level of MadVR - without needing a GPU card - but you won't want crummy 1600mhz ram. The cost difference should be very small so step up ??? IDK ??


The PSU is fine. I tend to like the Rosewill units made by Superflower too. I have an Antec Neo 400 watt in my HTPC (3570k) and those are MFG by Seasonic. I think you are good on PSU. 350-450 watts at MAX is what you need, get a good brand.


That LG BR sounds like a JET ENGINE at takeoff while ripping. Not sure if you care about that. Asus is quieter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M  /t/1505441/critique-my-htpc-build-plan/0_100#post_24071040


How do I hook up the HTPC to the receiver? Basically, I’m looking at about $1,000 maybe less if I do a little shopping. I know I’ll need ancillary items like cables and stuff.

Yes. HDMI. Bitstream audio to your AVR over HDMI with the picture. All you need. You might also need some sata cables, a fan splitter (depending on mobo fan headers) and possibly a sata power splitter for easy hook up and power of hard drives.





Here is a build I just did. ^


Asrock Extreme4

4670k i5 CPU

Capstone 450 watt PSU

TRIDENT X G.Skill DDR3

Samsung SSD.

Two LG drives (you will need to build up the GD08 case for them with sticky tabs to get the slots to open)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_Steb  /t/1505441/critique-my-htpc-build-plan/0_100#post_24073652


I don't like the power supply. In your budget get a Corsair CX430 or Seasonic SSR-360GP


I also don't like the MSI motherboard.Go with an Asrock

I had the same thoughts but I was trying not to nit pick too hard because when I really thought about it- both he picked would work. But we do share similar thoughts and brand preference.

The Capstone 450 watt is one sale again on Newegg (superflower OEM) so that might be the next level up in quality. ($39)
 

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The GD08 is a nice case. It would hold the Hard drives you want. They go like slot loaded in the front:





You can see above I put the SSD on the far right, and the single HDD (so far) in the middle. There is room for 8 hard drives there.


The drive bay also pulls out (remove screws) so it's easy to build with and install them. Then drop the whole things back into the case.


Here is some pictures with it pulled out (removed)






You will notice the handles that fold up and down on the top- that is to easily remove the HDD cage.





This is what the case looks like when I removed it:





Here I dropped it back down into the case: (no wire mgmt )





One note:



Really minor but the way the LG drives fit into the GD08 it's very tight if you have high profile RAM:




It can work but it's pretty close. I ended up using slots A (instead of B) because it was that close.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Andy and Mfusick, thank you very much for your input. I'm very much open to changing parts, even if it means additional money.


Question regarding motherboards, do hard drives piggyback off each other and use 1 SATA port? Most of the motherboards I came across have 6 ports. Optical and SSD take up 2 ports, I can't possibly imagine 6 drives and a 7th parity drive working?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M  /t/1505441/critique-my-htpc-build-plan#post_24074847


Andy and Mfusick, thank you very much for your input. I'm very much open to changing parts, even if it means additional money.


Question regarding motherboards, do hard drives piggyback off each other and use 1 SATA port? Most of the motherboards I came across have 6 ports. Optical and SSD take up 2 ports, I can't possibly imagine 6 drives and a 7th parity drive working?
 

Good question, no, each drive uses a single SATA port unto itself.

 

You're correct, most ATX and mATX boards come with 6 SATA ports.

 

Here's a Newegg search, which results in all of the ATX boards with 8 SATA ports (ironically, they're all MSI boards):  

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100006519%2050001312%2040000280%20600009016%20600054097&IsNodeId=1&Manufactory=1312&name=8%20x%20SATA%206Gb%2fs

 

All of these boards will have an ASMedia SATA controller, supporting two SATA ports, and the native Intel SATA controller which supports 6 SATA ports.

 

Hardware RAID? You'll want to run the SSD and optical on the ASMedia controller and the HDDs on the Intel controller, configuring the Intel controller in the RAID level of your choice.

 

I think all four of the boards in that search have mSATA ports in which you can install a mSATA SSD, however you'll lose one of the SATA ports on the Intel controller.

 

Lot's of options!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Geez that really throws a wrench in things. What do you guys with 20+ TBs do?


What do you guys think of the below changes


ASRock Z87 Extreme4 LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157369 instead of the MSI? +$60


G.SKILL Trident X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200) Desktop Memory Model F3-2400C10D-8GTX http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231587&Tpk=F3-2400C10D-8GTX +$35


SeaSonic S12G-450 450W ATX12V / EPS12V 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Active PFC Power Supply, Intel Haswell Ready http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151139 +$20
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M  /t/1505441/critique-my-htpc-build-plan/0_100#post_24074847


Andy and Mfusick, thank you very much for your input. I'm very much open to changing parts, even if it means additional money.


Question regarding motherboards, do hard drives piggyback off each other and use 1 SATA port? Most of the motherboards I came across have 6 ports. Optical and SSD take up 2 ports, I can't possibly imagine 6 drives and a 7th parity drive working?

No. You need a port for each hard drive. Some motherboards like the Asrock Extreme 4 I used in the pictures have 8 sata ports (extreme 3 has 6 sata ports) I think the Asrock Extreme 11 has 22 sata ports



Choose a motherboard with the right number of ports you need. If not- you can add more ports with a pci express sata card. A 2 port card costs about $20. A full speed 8 port x8 card like the DELL or IBM would cost you between $60-90. I have two of these in my Flexraid server- I bought them from Andy Steb. But that is a 20 bay hot swap case, so I needed a total of 20 data ports (22 actually with optical and SSD)


Buy a motherboard with enough ports is the easy way. How many do you think you need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M  /t/1505441/critique-my-htpc-build-plan/0_100#post_24075265


Geez that really throws a wrench in things. What do you guys with 20+ TBs do?


What do you guys think of the below changes


ASRock Z87 Extreme4 LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157369 instead of the MSI? +$60


G.SKILL Trident X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200) Desktop Memory Model F3-2400C10D-8GTX http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231587&Tpk=F3-2400C10D-8GTX +$35


SeaSonic S12G-450 450W ATX12V / EPS12V 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Active PFC Power Supply, Intel Haswell Ready http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151139 +$20

Oh I like this ! ^


Better!

Also, consider:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182066


With coupon code it's $44 Superflower OEM. Good PSU too if you are on budget. But- Seasonic is excellent so if the money isn't a big deal then keep it.


Speaking more about what we do with 20TB is we have a dedicated media server with SATA PORT CARDS. (like the two I bought from Andy to add 16 ports)


I have an Extreme 3 motherboard in my server (only 6 ports) because I only needed 16+4=20 so the other 2 are for optical and SSD. I did not need the Extreme 4.


I did want the "extreme" version instead of the PRO or lower series because I wanted (needed) two x8 slots for the x8 sata cards. Cheap motherboards often only allow one.




Question :


Have you read the two Nick's recent threads?


NickBuol's Build:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1492107/help-me-build-a-htpc-for-less-than-800-just-movies-and-music/0_100


NicksHitachi Build:

hardware choice:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1495062/basic-500-htpc-what-would-you-recommend-for-hardware/0_100


Set up

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1500287/hardware-bought-now-help-me-assemble-this-htpc-raid-dvr-server/0_100



Give those threads a read as they are similar to yours and likely you will have much the same questions. They are about 2 steps ahead of you.
 

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Why don't you want to split the system into HTPC+NAS? Usually that's the best practice I know of and pays a lot:

- NAS does not require to be nice and silent. As it can be build around Atom processor and other very cheap details because it doesn't require to be powerful

- It can operate at the closet or any other distant place in your are 24/7 ant yet power consumption is VERY low

- It can serve as a home server

- HTPC can be build into any decent case you like since it will hold no HDD - thus it may be quiet enough

- There's a lot of free software nowdays for NAS - and much more STABLE and powerful than any of the windows siblings

- You can listen to music and watch videos from ANY home computer - you can build a lot of HTPC for every TV at your place
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergei Klimenko  /t/1505441/critique-my-htpc-build-plan/0_100#post_24075361


Why don't you want to split the system into HTPC+NAS? Usually that's the best practice I know of and pays a lot:

- NAS does not require to be nice and silent. As it can be build around Atom processor and other very cheap details because it doesn't require to be powerful

- It can operate at the closet or any other distant place in your are 24/7 ant yet power consumption is VERY low

- It can serve as a home server

- HTPC can be build into any decent case you like since it will hold no HDD - thus it may be quiet enough

- There's a lot of free software nowdays for NAS - and much more STABLE and powerful than any of the windows siblings

- You can listen to music and watch videos from ANY home computer - you can build a lot of HTPC for every TV at your place

I do agree. I hinted at this earlier.


Having a dedicated media server or NAS allows you to run your HTPC as SSD drive only. This means it's quieter, and runs cooler. Also because it runs cooler, you can run fans slower (or not at all) and this makes it even more quiet. Plus, you can build smaller, and you can pick many case choices. You don't need to worry about if a case will hold 8 hard drives.


But there is still an extra cost.


Adding hard drives to an existing machine is basically free if you are going to build the machine anyways. The performance of local hard drives are superior to NAS too. I think it's best to start out with an all in one machine somtimes, then when you max out storage you can add a server. That is how I did it.


It's expensive to do both. And I do not like weak CPU like Atom for servers. That gives you a handicap you do not want. Most modern front ends like PLEX and MB3 are requiring a "server" program to run on your server (or your HTPC) and most weak server and NAS units won't run it well and won't transcode either. Something you can do easily with the all in one machine he is building with i5.


I do agree with you. but only if you are going to go all the way and build a dedicated media server with powerful parts. (at least powerful and capable to run stuff like MB server and Plex home media server) The world is evolving past simple XBMC. And NAS boxes are not cheap. For the additional cost you might as well build a full performance media server IMO.


@ Larry - Ignore this unless you want to spend another $800.
You are looking good.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick  /t/1505441/critique-my-htpc-build-plan#post_24075398



But there is still an extra cost.


It's expensive to do both. And I do not like weak CPU like Atom for servers. That gives you a handicap you do not want. Most modern front ends like PLEX and MB3 are requiring a "server" program to run on your server (or your HTPC) and most weak server and NAS units won't run it well and won't transcode either. Something you can do easily with the all in one machine he is building with i5.

 
 

Well most of the consumer NAS are based on an Atom processor in fact and  operate greate since their main function is only to stream content :)

As for the transcoding - you are absolutely right but...

Well PS3 wanted me to transcode some videos and I just refused to deal with that

Instead bought a decent DUNE network player and forgot of those problems

In fact practically any network player does'n need transcoding

My Atom-based NAS streamed blue-ray ISO over the 100mbit network without any issues

 

But I must say I'm unaware of what PLEX and MB3 are

 

As for the cost Atom motherboard with the processor  plus 2 GB memory will cost about a hundred USD. You can get a case for free or very cheap and get free OS - that's it 
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick  /t/1505441/critique-my-htpc-build-plan#post_24075398



And NAS boxes are not cheap
 

They are :) HTPC cases are expensive but for the NAS (I hardly saw mine once in a month) you can use ANY box even an old one for free

 

An I never heard of a front-end solution (HTPC) with THAT amount of drives :) it just screams for a dedicated server in all aspects :)
 

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