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-   -   3 Builds - WHS Media Server and 2 Mini ITX HTPC's - Thoughts needed (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/new-builds/15574-3-builds-whs-media-server-2-mini-itx-htpcs-thoughts-needed.html)

Shftup March 8, 2009 05:55 PM

3 Builds - WHS Media Server and 2 Mini ITX HTPC's - Thoughts needed
 
Good day all - getting ready to piece together several builds. Plan is to purchase Mid April and have all 3 completed by end of April.

Build #1 - (WHS - Media Sever Build)

1. What YOUR PC will be used for. That means what types of tasks you'll be performing.
WHS - Media Server to distribute movies in MKV format to 2 mini ITX HTPCs in the house and have redundancy for pictures, music, and important files from each PC in the house (4).
2. What YOUR budget is. A price range is acceptable as long as it's not more than a 20% spread
$700-900 CAD with a couple of 1TB HDD
3. What country YOU will be buying YOUR parts from.
Canada
4. IF YOU have a brand preference. That means, are you an Intel-Fanboy, AMD-Fanboy, ATI-Fanboy, nVidia-Fanboy, Seagate-Fanboy, WD-Fanboy, etc, etc, etc, you get the picture.
WD, Intel CPU
5. If YOU intend on using any of YOUR current parts, and if so, what those parts are.
none - so all new
6. IF YOU have searched and/or read similar threads.
Yes, here, avsforum.com
7. IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds.
nope - no OC.

Here is what I am thinking so far:
HDD - WD10EADS 1TB HDD x 2 (for now, but I plan to purchase more every 2 months to keep up with my movies)
MoBo - Would like a gigabyte ultra durable with 8 SATA's and must have IGP something like GA-EP45-UD3P (the biggest would be a mATX Mobo, any potential mini ITX options? or other suggestions?)
CPU - E5300 or similar
CPU cooler - ???
Memory - 4GB - 8GB ??
Case - Cooler Master Centurion 590 RC-590-KKN1-GP or Antec Twelve Hundred (I really would like a case that is very quiet, has excellent air filters to minimize dust over time, and PSU placement at the bottom of the case)
PSU - ??? Something highly efficient (24 x 7 setup) and that can handle at least 8-10 HDD in time - Seasonic or ??



Build #2 - (Mini ITX HTPC's, I need two of them)

1. What YOUR PC will be used for. That means what types of tasks you'll be performing.
Mini ITX HTPCs - 2 of them, one to a projector via A/V receiver, the other to a plasma, both using HDMI. Also, web surfing, email, wordprocessing.
2. What YOUR budget is. A price range is acceptable as long as it's not more than a 20% spread
$400-700 CAD
3. What country YOU will be buying YOUR parts from.
Canada
4. IF YOU have a brand preference. That means, are you an Intel-Fanboy, AMD-Fanboy, ATI-Fanboy, nVidia-Fanboy, Seagate-Fanboy, WD-Fanboy, etc, etc, etc, you get the picture.
WD, Intel CPU
5. If YOU intend on using any of YOUR current parts, and if so, what those parts are.
none - so all new
6. IF YOU have searched and/or read similar threads.
Yes, here, avsforum.com
7. IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds.
nope - no OC.

Here is what I am thinking so far:
HDD - WD2500AAKS or WD3200AAKS
MB - Mini ITX board with Nvidia 9300/9400 GPU (Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX)
CPU - E7200 or similar
CPU cooler - ???
Memory - 4GB - ??
Case - Must SFF, as small as possible, I just was this - thermaltake - Luxa2 - LM100 mini - LUXA2 - Uniquely You
PSU - ??? I hope something external, or something that comes with the case
Adesso 2.4 GHz RF Wireless Mini Keyboard with Optical Trackball

last item - a solid router with 8Gb ports

Thats its for now. I will update as things progress, thanks to those who contribute in my thread. Much appreciated.

Shftup March 15, 2009 09:06 PM

Any thoughts from anyone out there....TTT

Mr. Gruntsworthy March 15, 2009 09:34 PM

For cases, the Antec Minuet seems to be a cheap, stylish choice for HTPC builds, and (I think, don't quote me on this) is compatible with MiniITX setups. As well, do the HTPC's really need those big of hard drives? I mean, if my main rig can run on a 160GB main drive (storage is on a secondary drive), I'm reasonably sure your HTPCs--which will be pulling files over the network)--will do fine.

As far as the server goes, If I were you I'd go full ATX, as bigger boards usually feature more SATA ports. In fact, the board I'm using has six SATAII ports on it (the ASUS P5Q-SE) and one IDE. I figure the server won't really need SATA-fast speeds for the OS/App drive; so you can get away with using the IDE port for one OS/App drive, and one Optical drive; while you conserve the six SATAII ports for your 1TB HDDs.

Alternatively, you could have two hard drives on the IDE--one for the OS, and a second for Apps. have a USB optical drive for installing software.

As well, since your server isn't going to be hi-tec, I don't think you really need a gamer case for the server. I think Antec has some other solutions you could try out, but the trouble would be finding one that has eight 3.5" expansion bays. After a bit of momentary research, it seems you could go with the "CoolerMaster ATCS840 Full Tower no PS Bk." It has six 3.5" bays (internal) and one external; and I'm sure you could find a 5.25 to 3.5 converter to turn one or two of the six 5.25 bays into extra HDD bays as well. The case I mentioned is full tower, and it looks quite beastly.

Though you didn't list one, I would suggest using a dedicated graphics card rather than onboard RAM; if even an X700 or something equally as cheap, as to free up the bit of RAM the board would need to share with the onboard graphics controller.

Is there even any LGA775 boards that have IGP slots still? lol! I remember those on my old AMD 300MHz junkheap!

And the processor... kind of overkill. Since all the machine will be doing is fileserving, the processor is actually quite low on the priority list (at least for household uses). You could even probably get away with using an E1400 Celeron, lol. (My server that I'm building won't even be a 775 board, it'll be P4)

Anyone else feel free to correct me on anything I might've made a mistake on, but I'm fairly certain with my suggestions. :)

CMetaphor March 15, 2009 09:38 PM

To best honest, I'd say go with a Quad core for the media server. From experience, streaming hi-def mkvs or similar over the network and can tax a dual core... So maybe something like a Q6600 or newer would be good. Other than that, I see no problems with your server PC.

As for the ITX boxes... I know you stated that you prefer Intel, but I'd highly suggest you look at a AMD solution for cheap ITX boxes based off this motherboard: = $135ea.
NCIX.com - Buy Zotac GF8200-C-E MINI-ITX AM2 GeForce 8200 DDR2 1PCI-E1 4SATA2 RAID GBLAN DVI VGA Motherboard - GF8200-C-E In Canada.
It has an 8200 integrated, HDMI integrated and even Wifi integrated if need be. The best part is, it's Cheap! Like :shok: cheap. I blinked twice when I saw the price of this. So with that motherboard in mind, try out these components:

Processor: 4850e (2.5Ghz Dual core - 45w TDP) = $75ea.
NCIX.com - Buy AMD Athlon 64 X2 4850E Dual Core Processor Socket AM2 2.5GHZ 2X512KB 65NM 45W Retail Box - ADH4850DOBOX In Canada.

RAM: Any? I'd Recommend one with a decent HSF though, since ITX boxes will doubtfully have lots of ventilation. My suggestion = $55ea after MIR
NCIX.com - Buy Patriot Extreme Performance 4GB 2X2GB PC2-6400 DDR2-800 CL4-4-4-12 EPP Dual Channel Memory Kit - PDC24G6400LLK In Canada.

Case & PSU: Not much to say here, theyre cheap, look nice and have a decent 250w PSU integrated - should be more than enough. = $70ea.
NCIX.com - Buy Apex MI-008 MINI-ITX Case Glossy Black 1X5.25 1X3.5 1X3.5INT Sfx 250W Front Audio USB - MI-008 In Canada.

Optical drive / DVD burner = Make sure theyre SATA, and get some 90 degree connectors to install them, you'll thank me later for that part, lol.

Finally, CPU cooler, You Might be able to get the stock AMD HSF in there, but some reviews I've read said theres only 50mm or so of clearance for it. Sooooo...

Either try a passive copper cooler like this one = $30ea.
NCIX.com - Buy Dynatron A46G 1U Server CPU Heatsink for AMD Socket AM2 - A46G In Canada.

OR

Try a low-profile cooler like this (but it'll be noisier) = $29ea.
NCIX.com - Buy Silverstone Nitrogon NT07-AM2 AM2 Low Profile Heatsink Fan 1500-2500RPM 14.22-26.97DBA - NT07-AM2 In Canada.

TOTAL per ITX System: About $365 not including HDD or DVD burner (you might not even want to put one in them).

Hope all the info helps! Sorry for not getting to you sooner! :thumb:

CMetaphor March 15, 2009 09:40 PM

@Mr. Gruntsworthy: For media streaming i dont think that processor is overkill at all. Especially if it's high def. content he's steaming or going to stream. Hence I suggested to go a step up to the Q6600. No?

Mr. Gruntsworthy March 15, 2009 09:57 PM

I don't really stream hi def media... I used to stream videos from my E4600 rig to my Xbox 360 (some as high as 720p only though; no 1080p MKVs, as my 360 can only handle certian containers), and there wasn't any noticeable effect on my E4600's performance, except for moderate HDD activity in the storage drive.

so, are you sure?

CMetaphor March 16, 2009 05:27 AM

"Better safe than sorry" would be my motto here. Especialy if he wants to stream to both ITX systems at once plus use the system as a server for his other systems. Just my 0.02$.

Mr. Gruntsworthy March 16, 2009 02:40 PM

I guess it wouldn't hurt, as long as the $$ factor isn't max priority. Still, I feel a quad-core is highly unnecessary, and expensive.

Shftup March 20, 2009 05:57 PM

Thanks for the replies. I got swamped at work and finally got a chance to update my thread.

From avsforums.com, wegotservered.com, whsforums.com and smallnetbuilder.com

doesnt seem that i need a quad in the server. The streams are limited by single disk throughput, so let says 70mb/s - doubt if i will have this on throughput - peaks yes, throughput?? Additionally, if i get close to disk cache then I limited by the onboard nic. I guess only way to really find out is run two stream of heavy bandwidth and find out if it has enuff muscle.

For the server case, I am now rethinking what I should buy - I should get something that can grow, but also be quiet and cool. i looked at the antec case suggested and still want some other choices.

The AMD Mini ITX suggestion is great - and is about 75.00 cheaper than the intel setup - so i will read up here for that one here: GeForce 8200 - 8 Channel LPCM Output Fully Supported!! - AVS Forum



Thanks guys.
S

Mr. Gruntsworthy March 20, 2009 08:29 PM

Personal servers don't make a lot of heat so you really don't need a high-end case. something simple like a "CoolerMaster CAC-T05 Centurion5 390W PS" would do you fine.



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