Home NAS Media Server

Hey folks, I really hope you can help me.

I'm trying to find the "best" configuration for a homebuilt NAS / Media Server.
I plan to install 2 x 1TB hard drive (RAID1) or 3 x 1TB hard drive (RAID5). Anyway, I also think that I'm gonna install a TV card with a CI CA module later on in order to watch (pay) TV and maybe listen to music (5.1 output) using that box as well.

My current plan consists of the following components:
Online shop from Switzerland: http://digitec.ch/

- Asus M3N78-EM, NVIDIA GeForce 8300
(MicroATX, onboard GPU)
--> http://digitec.ch/ProdukteDetails2.aspx?Reiter=Details&Artikel=159390

- AMD Athlon 64 X2 4850e BOX Dual Core
(45W-> low power & heat)
--> http://digitec.ch/ProdukteDetails2.aspx?Reiter=Details&Artikel=148534

- Enermax PRO-82+ 385W
(super silent)
--> http://digitec.ch/ProdukteDetails2.aspx?Reiter=Details&Artikel=148962

- Scythe SCNJ-2000 Ninja 2
(I heard it's possible to cool the AMD Athlon 64 X2 passive with this cooler)
--> http://digitec.ch/ProdukteDetails2.aspx?Reiter=Details&Artikel=152449

The system is supposed to be (sorted by importance):
- super silent / noiseless (I got silent hard drives, passive CPU, super silent PSU)
- small (HTPC / Cube Case)
- relatively low power consumption (45W CPU...)

The budget isn't really important, of course not too high ;)
Around 500 Swiss francs / 450$ dollars would be all right I guess (for the listed components).

So, there are basiclly two points that are bothering me:
- Will the CPU cooler fit on the MicroATX mainboard? --> Maybe another super silent / passive cooler?
- Is there a HTPC / Cube case that offers enough space for the CPU cooler (it's passive thus rather big)

I would really appreciate an answer because I just can't find an apporopriate case and I don't know about the dimensions.
Maybe someone already has experience with this kind of systems?

I'm looking forward to hearing from you guys, keep rocking .-.

backslash .-.
12 answers Last reply
More about home media server
  1. Anyone?

    Or is there another CPU cooler which would allow me to cool my AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core passive?
  2. For some reason "I'm not allowed to edit this post" (which is my own :S). Anyway, here:

    What do you guys think about the ATX Midi tower case "Xigmatek Midgard" ?
    (german) review: http://www.orthy.de/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5722&Itemid=85&limit=1&limitstart=1

    I could install the PSU nicely at the bottom and thus have plenty of space for my desired CPU cooler. Also, the case has got some nice reviews concerning vibration and quality and it's not even a hundred bucks.
  3. ^XIGMATEK HSFs are good but their PSUs are lacking quality. Stay with the Enermax. What you have put together looks good. Unless you plan to OC there is no need for an aftermarket HSF, unless of course you want a very quiet system. Take a look at the low noise HSFs here: http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm

    Also, for quiet fans take a look in to Scythe and Yate Loon (THE best fans imo).
  4. avoid the nvidia products if you want proper stability/reliability - go with the ATi chipsets

    depending on your tasks you may not even need the dual core - i got a file server using a Celeron 420 simply because it was cheap and the lowest power consuming chip at the time etc (but thats not doing anything more then a file server so).

    RAID5 - its going to suck unless you get a decent raid card to do it, RAID1 is easier but requires more hdd's then RAID5 to get more space (4x1tb -> 2tb RAID0+1 etc vs 3x1b -> 2tb RAID5).

    I would avoid the pasively cooled motherboard/cpu (the chipset/reg's sometimes need the airflow of the HSF) and get a large fan (12cm) or mod a large fan to spin at or below 900rpm (vmod etc) - no noise and some air flow around the motherboard etc
  5. Hey guys!

    Thank you so much for your answers!

    @Shadow703793: I don't plan to buy an Xigmatek PSU, it's just the case I'm talking about. I'll definitely stick with the Enermax, it seems really cool and almost unauditable.
    I'll have a look at the low noise HSFs and the Yate Loon fans, thanks for the tip ;) As you can see I already have a Scythe CPU cooler in mind.

    @apache_lives: I plan to install a Linux disto on the box (FreeNAS, MythTV or just a bare Debian, not sure yet) so Nvidia seems like a good choice since the drivers are way better there which is required to output FullHD or stream stuff with a high performance...
    I think I know how RAID works, I'll probably start off with a RAID1 (2x1TB) and maybe upgrade to a decent Promise RAID controller in order to use RAID5 with 3x1TB hard drives, well see about that.
    Also, I was planning to install a passive CPU cooler and have two 120mm Noiseblocker Multiframe S1 (<8dB) for case airflow, do you think that's enough for the CPU to be cooled fanless? Most of the time the box will only be used for storage purposes and not to watch movies, just from time to time.

    Do you guys happen to know a small, passive CPU cooler so I could use a HTPC cube case and still have a really silent box? That would be awesome!

    Thank you so much for your advice and I hope we can work out a good build :D

    Kind regards \
  6. Is the Scythe SCZP-1000 Zipang enough to keep the AMD CPU cool in a tiny cube case? There's no heating graphics card so...
  7. Without the fan of course. Or if required another silent 140mm fan.
  8. That Scythe should be OK for a 45W CPU.
  9. Even if used without any fan at all?
    I'll have a slight airflow in the case of couse.

    That would be great news since I could then use a smaller cube case rather than an average ATX tower.

    Could anyone recommend a decent cube case?
    I was thinking about the Thermaltake LANbox Lite.

    Thanks for your answer.
  10. ^Probably will need a low rpm fan.
  11. I wouldn't use RAID at all. Most new hard drives have extremely low failure rates. 95% of the time when a drive fails it's because of electrical spike (lighting etc) or over heating. These problems will affect all drives in your system and you will loose your data anyway. Also unless you have a kickass RAID card you will take a performance hit for using RAID.

    Your best bet is to back up your data to a USB drive and keep it on a shelf. External USB drives are the same price as internal drives now. Remember RAID is not a backup!
  12. ^Wrong. You will NOT take a hit for doing RAID0/01/1. In fact RAID 01/0 can improve disk performance. The onboard RAID is good for most people. Also the impact of (onboard) RAID on the CPU is negligible. It doesn't even use 1% of the CPU to do it. And yes, you are correct on the fact that RAID is not a back up.
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