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squadz October 11, 2013 09:39 AM

Convert desktop to media server
 
Here's what I want to do.

I have a fairly powerful desktop computer currently, and I'd like to convert it into a media server (I hope I have the terminology correct).

Essentially, I'd like a single machine that holds all of my media (movies and songs), that all devices in my house can access (XBOX, PS4, Tablets, Laptops, Other computers) to play the media. I'd also like to be able to download the media (using my torrent program) on the media server. It doesn't need to do anything else, and I'm assuming I can remote in from another device for torrents.

Here's the components I currently have:

XFX Radeon HD 7870 Double Dissipation GHz Edition 2GB PCI-E w/ Dual DVI, HDMI, Dual DP
Kingston - HyperX PC3-12800 Dual Channel DDR3 Kit (12GB) C9 w/ Intel XMP
Intel - Core™ i5 Processor 760 2.8GHz w/ 8MB Cache
Gigabyte - GA-P55A-UD4P w/ Dual DDR3 2200, 7.1 Audio, Dual Gigabit Lan, USB 3.0, 1394, PCI-E CrossFireX / SLI
Corsair M4 128GB SSD
Seagate - 1TB Barracuda 7200.12 SATA II w/ 32MB Cache
Samsung - SH-S243D 24x DVD-Writer, SATA, Black
Corsair - CX600 600W Power Supply
Antec - Three Hundred Versatile Mid Tower Gamer Case
Zalman - CNPS9700 LED Ultra Quiet CPU Cooler
BenQ G2420HDB 24in Widescreen LCD, Black

What should I keep/part out with, and replace, to create what I want? Currently, this machine does what I want, but it's overkill so I'd like to save money where I can and reduce where I can.

Any help is appreciated.

Dzzope October 11, 2013 10:00 AM

Basically all you need is a VERY basic server as the network will be your bottle-neck anyway... you don't need a GPU or very much memory though, especially if running windows, I wouldn't go below 4 GB.

You could sell the lot and buy something much, much cheaper or the like but you should be good to go as is, you need nothing extra.

sswilson October 11, 2013 10:05 AM

I'd question the need for an SSD in something that's intended to be a media server....

squadz October 11, 2013 10:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dzzope (Post 734434)
Basically all you need is a VERY basic server as the network will be your bottle-neck anyway... you don't need a GPU or very much memory though, especially if running windows, I wouldn't go below 4 GB.

You could sell the lot and buy something much, much cheaper or the like but you should be good to go as is, you need nothing extra.

Thanks. It's pretty overkill, which is the reason for the part out. Might as well get the cash from items I wont be using.

Would a NAS server my purpose more? I'm fairly confused about what it does specifically.

Dzzope October 11, 2013 11:12 AM

IMO pretty much anything will run this unless your expecting there to be 2 3 or more people playing stuff from it at the same time..

I would go with something like an AMD APU or an i3, 4 GB ram.. maybe a pair or 3 HDD's in raid and thats pretty much it (obviously a case psu and motherboard) but you really don't need a whole lot.. especially as it's just sharing files rather than streaming video etc itself.

Hell an old core duo or the like should be plenty..

squadz October 11, 2013 11:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dzzope (Post 734449)
IMO pretty much anything will run this unless your expecting there to be 2 3 or more people playing stuff from it at the same time..

I would go with something like an AMD APU or an i3, 4 GB ram.. maybe a pair or 3 HDD's in raid and thats pretty much it (obviously a case psu and motherboard) but you really don't need a whole lot.. especially as it's just sharing files rather than streaming video etc itself.

Hell an old core duo or the like should be plenty..

Well, I expect 3-4 people to be connecting and running from the device at the same time.

Would there need to be transcoding to play everything on the multiple devices around my house?

Would this work? (Amazon.com: Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage (DS213j): Computers & Accessories)

wedge22 October 11, 2013 01:24 PM

I am currently in the process of converting my HTPC into a Media Server, I will be installing FreeNAS software and testing that, if it suits my needs I will continue to use it.
Hardware:
CPU AMD A4 5300 APU
MOTHERBOARD MSi FM2-A55M-E33 only 4 SATA ports, may upgrade to Gigabyte F2A85XM-D3Hwhich has 8x SATA 6Gbp/s
RAM AMD MEMORY Entertainment Edition 4GB PC3-12800 CL9 DDR3 SDRAM (1 x 4GB)
SSD Kingston 64GB (already own)
HHD 3x WD 2TB drives
CASE Zalman Z9 Plus
PSU Corsair CX430

moocow October 11, 2013 03:06 PM

If you're transcoding, keep the rig but sell the GPU and SSD. I'm not sure if you need all 12GB of RAM but Handbrake seem to be more of a CPU intensive program.

MARSTG October 11, 2013 06:09 PM

My media server uses an Athlon II X3 with a Radeon 5770 and is also the PC my wife is using in the same time, gaming on facebook and easy stuff. We have no wireless streaming but the PCs are connected on a gigabit switch to help transfer the media files.

Dzzope October 11, 2013 08:40 PM

Depends if you want to stream to devices or if you want them to connect and just play from the server.

Multiple connections shouldn't be a problem as long as there isn't much processing involved.
As moo said, if transcoding keep the rig, sell the extras..


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