Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

New build - Media/Storage center - please check specs

Last response: in Systems
Share
November 7, 2007 11:54:35 AM

I'm planning on building a system to sit in the living room and serve as:
1. DVR with TV card
2. Media server (iTunes, etc)
3. NAS (network attached storage)

After a bit of research, thinking about:
1. Motherboard - MSI K9AGM2-FIH. MicroATX. Gigabit ethernet. 4xSATA. RAID. 7.1 audio.
Questions: Does this gigabit ethernet support Jumbo frames? Does the integrated video allow S-video out? HDMI out? Would it be suitable for Divx/Xvid playback? Any MB that support eSATA (or is this a case function that links to the SATA ports on the board?
2. CPU - AMD - not sure about Sempron vs Athlon 64. Suggestions on which and speed?
3. Case - Antec NSK1300 vs Sonata 3. Need room for 3-4 HDDs and 1 DVD-R. Also need HDMI/S-video out port, audio connections, FW port.
Will bring my own RAM (2x1gb), TV card (Hauppauge PVR-150) and DVD-R from current desktop.

OS:
Windows home server vs Ubuntu + MythTV + FreeNAS
Anyone use either for this type of function?
I will need this to 'play nice' with a Macbook.

Thanks in advance!
E
November 7, 2007 12:12:08 PM

Mobo: you going to hook it up to an HDMI HDTV? What's the resolution?

CPU: you playing games on this pc? What games? Are you going to overclock it?

Case: This supports 4 external & 4 internal drives. No HDMI/S-VIDEO. Audio, 2 x usb & 1 x FW in front panel.

http://shop1.outpost.com/product/4895610

PSU: The same psu in Sonata 3. It's a quality psu. Can even power an 8800gt pc.

http://shop1.outpost.com/product/5086635
November 7, 2007 12:46:14 PM

akhilles said:
Mobo: you going to hook it up to an HDMI HDTV? What's the resolution?

CPU: you playing games on this pc? What games? Are you going to overclock it?

Case: This supports 4 external & 4 internal drives. No HDMI/S-VIDEO. Audio, 2 x usb & 1 x FW in front panel.

http://shop1.outpost.com/product/4895610

PSU: The same psu in Sonata 3. It's a quality psu. Can even power an 8800gt pc.

http://shop1.outpost.com/product/5086635


Thanks for the quick reply.
Mobo: No HDTV yet. Currently have a crappy old TV and was hoping to run S-video to my Onkyo tuner and then video out from there. Hoping to buy an LCD TV in a few months and wanted to ensure compatibility.

CPU: No gameplay. No overclocking. Just TV recording and divx/xvid playback.

Any thoughts on the OS? Just found the Ubuntu home server which likely will do all I need with the addition of MythTV.

Thanks again,
E
Related resources
November 9, 2007 1:03:01 AM

MOBO: It looks like it has HDMI & D-SUB ports. You'll need a converter to convert the VGA to S-Video signal.

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Brisbane AM2.

OS: I use only XP PRO. If Ubuntu is free, it doesn't hurt to try.
November 9, 2007 2:16:44 AM

You can get by fine with a Sempron for such a system.

On the Linux side, you might see if this fits your needs. http://linuxmce.com/
November 9, 2007 9:16:47 AM

Thank you both.
Was starting to get worried about the AMD chip after seeing some benchmarks on divx encoding on Anandtech. The Intel e4x00 blew it away. Then again, I can wait a few extra minutes for the encoding.

Thanks for the suggestion of the vga to s-video out. Found some cables that'll do the trick.

I just bought the case - Antec NSK2400 with 380W Earthwatts PSU. Went on sale for $60AR and jumped on it. Can upgrade the PSU later if needed but the case gets great reviews.

LinuxMCE also looks great for a novice such as myself. I'm now realizing that this system will crush my current PC and will continue to use this as a part time Windows machine and rest-of-the-time Linux MCE/PVR/NAS until I convert over to Macs. That means photo processing with Lightroom and Photoshop CS3 and web surfing.

Any suggestions for a CPU cooler? Saw one by Asus over at ZipZoomFly that looked decent. Any alternatives to Zalman that are quiet?
Thanks again,
E
November 9, 2007 10:16:18 AM

It would be hard to beat the Zalman for silence. Just make sure whichever one you pick will fit in the case.

The 380 Earthwatts will be fine in such a low power system. I have the NSK4400 with the same PSU running my low power Linux box.
!