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Not an HTPC but a Media Server

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May 5, 2010 1:45:49 AM

I will try and fill out the form below to the best of my capability, but I am overwhelmed by the amount of CPU and MoBo choices. I think I understand the concept, yet I have no experience, this will be my first build.

I am currently running a Dell Dimension xxxx Windows XP Home, Intel P4, 2.4Gz w/1Gb of ram PC as a media server. I have multiple internal and USB HD's serving up Movies, Music, and online Satellite radio to 3 Media Players and a SONY Bravia TV throughout the house.

I want to upgrade to a better "server" since other extended family members (and myself when i'm traveling) also access this content externally using such programs as TVersity and Orb. I'm willing to consider Linux as an OS.

I don't know whether my solution will fall into the Budget, Bargain, or HTPC categories.........i look forward to some guidance.

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APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP BUDGET RANGE: $600max After Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Media Server, Newsgroup downloads, Video Conversion (i.e. AVI to DVD), surfing, remote access.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:
newegg.com, tigerdirect
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD, Gigabyte/ASUS

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: ?? Maybe ??

MONITOR RESOLUTION: N/A in this application.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I hope I've described everything accurately

Thanks in advance

More about : htpc media server

May 5, 2010 1:58:10 AM


You did not specify gaming as a requirement. Are you going to game on this unit? How much space do you need on the server?
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May 5, 2010 2:08:01 AM


And ... I just threw that link as a base-line ... for cost/performance comparisons and as "expert bait".

I have no doubt that a versed expert can give you a much more capable build ... for the mony.

I can think of three techs who can do this one "right". Hope that at least one of them will chime in.

= g'luck! =

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May 5, 2010 2:08:23 AM

antisyzygy said:
You did not specify gaming as a requirement. Are you going to game on this unit? How much space do you need on the server?


I have no intentions of gaming, it will be used as a media server, serving up large files, movies and music on a local network and remotely.
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Best solution

May 5, 2010 2:08:37 AM

I am making alot of inferences here. I assume you wont need anything but integrated graphics. The motherboard I picked has exactly that and it also has HDMI output so you could use it to output video to a HDTV. The Athlon II X4 630 is a cheap lower power (for a AMD quad core) solution that still enables multi-tasking and multi-threaded apps. It wont be as good at transcoding as a Phenom II or Intel i5 but will be way better than a Atom processor.

Also, I believe the PC you are currently using as a server is a desktop? This being so I assumed you did not care if the size of the PC case was larger. A larger PC case will allow you to throw in more drives as well. I also picked a energy efficient PSU.


ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
$24.99

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
$89.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
$109.99


COMBO :

Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply
Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

$114.98


COMBO :

MSI 890GXM-G65 AM3 AMD 890GX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Athlon II X4 630 Propus 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor Model ADX630WFGIBOX

$213.99

Subtotal: $553.94
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May 5, 2010 2:15:28 AM

Personally? ... Thot you'd never ask!

Obviously the applications software (and OS) is FAR FAR more important than the system specs ...

... I would line up my ENTIRE software environment LONG before persuing a hardware build ... but ... that's just me.

... If you can be exactly specific about ALL the SW ... I can be specific about the HW.

= Alvin =
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May 5, 2010 2:17:04 AM


or ... two 1TB drives ... cheaper and more flexible and more fault tolerant.
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May 5, 2010 2:23:36 AM

antisyzygy said:
I am making alot of inferences here. I assume you wont need anything but integrated graphics. The motherboard I picked has exactly that and it also has HDMI output so you could use it to output video to a HDTV. The Athlon II X4 630 is a cheap lower power (for a AMD quad core) solution that still enables multi-tasking and multi-threaded apps. It wont be as good at transcoding as a Phenom II or Intel i5 but will be way better than a Atom processor.

Also, I believe the PC you are currently using as a server is a desktop? This being so I assumed you did not care if the size of the PC case was larger. A larger PC case will allow you to throw in more drives as well. I also picked a energy efficient PSU.

Your inferences were dead-on, I appreciate you putting me in the ballpark with that suggested configuration. I was leaning towards an AMD PII or if Intel an i5. I like the 890 suggestion, doesn't that have the latest AMD chipset?
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May 5, 2010 2:28:51 AM

saycoda said:
Your inferences were dead-on, I appreciate you putting me in the ballpark with that suggested configuration. I was leaning towards an AMD PII or an if Intel and i5. I like the 890 suggestion, doesn't that have the latest AMD chipset?


Yes. The 890 is the latest. Honestly, you dont really need that for a file server but it came in a combo and it will last quite a bit longer. The integrated GPU is also something like a 4200 which is newer than the 3300's that came before for the integrated GPU's.

I think that the 890 GX is probably the best solution for a HTPC if you are not gaming.

That case may be a bit too flashy for a media server but I cant find a cheaper pairing for a combo. You could select a case of your choice and stick with the 650w eathwatts but you lose the 20 dollar discount.
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May 5, 2010 2:33:19 AM


If the server is to reside in the viewing room, then 650W will likely be WAY too loud.

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May 5, 2010 2:34:07 AM

Integrated graphics = 890GX

Discreet graphics = 890FX

Go with Gigabyte or Asus (if full ATX ok)

ALL THESE are hex-ready with future ports.

= Al =
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May 5, 2010 2:34:49 AM

Alvin Smith said:
If the server is to reside in the viewing room, then 650W will likely be WAY too loud.



As will the stock CPU cooler for the processor.
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May 5, 2010 2:43:27 AM

Alvin Smith said:
If the server is to reside in the viewing room, then 650W will likely be WAY too loud.

The server will NOT reside in the viewing room.
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May 5, 2010 2:46:42 AM

saycoda said:
The server will NOT reside in the viewing room.



This combo might work and its cheaper than what I suggested earlier.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

I am not sure if 380 watts is enough to power multiple hard drives and all the other parts of the configuration I did previously. I would need some extra input on that.

The 650 watt with the Antec 300 case is about the same price as other combo deals for case and lower watt earthwatts psu's.
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May 5, 2010 3:31:43 AM

Have no idea of the final price ... but I am going to do a righteous build. .. Lessee.

GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 AMD 890GX HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX $139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor - BEST VALUE GAMING CHIP @ $74.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Kingston ValueRAM 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit $104.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TWO SAMSUNG SPINPOINT F3 1TB 7200RPM (Best on Earth) 2x$90 = $180
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
Voted Best Power Supply Manufacturer by Custom PC 2009 -$70

ASUS Black 4X BD-ROM 8X DVD-ROM 32X CD-ROM SATA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Pros: Okay guys, I'm hardly a tech type of guy. I bought this and installed it into my computer. I lot of people on here have said that it doesn't run blue ray. That's because you need software to do it. Windvd pro 2010 is 59.99 and Powerdvd ultra is 100.00. I bought the Win blue ray software and was watching a blue ray movie within 5 minutes after install.
BUT YES!! YOU NEED TO BUY SOFTWARE in order to play blue rays.
It works perfectly!!!
Cons: No cons IMO.........knew what I needed to get. So, there were so surprises.

ASUS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner
2x Winner of Customer Choice Award $25
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Discreet medium gaming option ... and htpc (multi-mon) qualified ... GPU $110
SAPPHIRE 100289L Radeon HD 5670 (Redwood) 1GB 128-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TOTAL WITH DISCREET GRAPHICS OPTION = ~OH, WELL ? ~ (Subtract $110 for IGP only)

With the 5670 ... This system will do ANYTHING (including consumer video edit/transcode) ... Except! ... Not good for extreme (hi-rez) gaming and pro graphics.

busted my BUTT ... hope this helps.

= Alvin =
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May 5, 2010 10:11:51 AM

You guys have been extremely helpful, I'll digest your inputs and let you know what i ended up with when I pull the trigger.

Thanx!
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May 5, 2010 11:57:16 AM

Hello,

My Media/Backup/Archive Server is an Athlon64 X2 4200+ 2.2GHz , Corsair 2GB VS1GB400C3, ASUS A8V-XE, Gigabyte ATI Radeon HD 4350 512MB, Seagate ST3120026A 120GB 7200rpm, MAXTOR STM3320620A 320GB 7200rpm, MAXTOR STM3500630AS 500GB 7200rpm, Seagate ST3500630AS 500GB 7200rpm, Seagate ST330063 1A USB 300GB 7200rpm, Seagate FreeAgent 1TB USB, Sony Optiarc AD-7190A DVD/CD/RW, PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750Watt all in a Antec SX-1030 SOHO Server Chassis with 2-80mm & 1-120mm Intake's & 2-80mm & 1-120mm Exhaust fans.
NEVER a Problem... Even Adding MORE USB or Internal HD's.. I'm Covered :D 
GO 750Watt Antec, Corsair, OCZ (they Own PC Power & Cooling now)...
MY DATA is WORTH IT... Is Yours???
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May 5, 2010 12:17:14 PM

jimiznhb said:
Hello,

My Media/Backup/Archive Server is an Athlon64 X2 4200+ 2.2GHz , Corsair 2GB VS1GB400C3, ASUS A8V-XE, Gigabyte ATI Radeon HD 4350 512MB, Seagate ST3120026A 120GB 7200rpm, MAXTOR STM3320620A 320GB 7200rpm, MAXTOR STM3500630AS 500GB 7200rpm, Seagate ST3500630AS 500GB 7200rpm, Seagate ST330063 1A USB 300GB 7200rpm, Seagate FreeAgent 1TB USB, Sony Optiarc AD-7190A DVD/CD/RW, PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750Watt all in a Antec SX-1030 SOHO Server Chassis with 2-80mm & 1-120mm Intake's & 2-80mm & 1-120mm Exhaust fans.
NEVER a Problem... Even Adding MORE USB or Internal HD's.. I'm Covered :D 
GO 750Watt Antec, Corsair, OCZ (they Own PC Power & Cooling now)...
MY DATA is WORTH IT... Is Yours???

What OS, do you run programs like Tversity and Orb as media servers? Is the video transcoding flawless? how about remote access? I ask these questions because I've only run my server on the machine described in the original post and I am so eager to get a "real" machine.
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May 5, 2010 5:29:26 PM

saycoda said:
Look what I found, has a lot of the recommended components yet based on a PII

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...

Whatda think?



Thats a pretty good deal since it comes close to the other one if you throw in the 1 TB samsung. It will be better at transcoding with that L3 cache the Phenoms have but its 125 watts vs 95 watts on CPU. Electricity will be a bit more over time but if thats not a factor I would say go for it.
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May 5, 2010 5:37:41 PM

BTW an approximate calculation I did shows about 2-3 dollars more per month for the 125 watts vs 95 watts without taking into consideration the rest of the PC's power usage. It doesnt look like big savings.
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May 6, 2010 12:03:59 PM

Best answer selected by saycoda.
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May 6, 2010 12:04:33 PM

My Rig

CPU
1 x ($159.99) CPU AMD|PH II X4 955BE 3.2G AM3 $159.99

MoBo
1 x ($139.99) MB GIGABYTE|GA-890GPA-UD3H RT $139.99

Memory
1 x ($109.99) MEM 2Gx2|GSKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL $109.99

Case & PSU (combo)
1 x ($74.99) PSU ANTEC|EA650 RT $74.99
1 x ($59.99) CASE ANTEC|THREE HUNDRED ILLUSION R $59.99
1 x ($-20.00) DISCOUNT FOR COMBO #387141 $-20.00

DVD
1 x ($24.99) DVD BRN ASUS | DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS% - OEM $24.99

HD
1 x ($74.99) HD 1T|SAMSUNG HD103SJ 32M 7K % - OEM $74.99


Total = $624.93 + $20.63SH = $645.56 a little over budget

Thanks for all the help.

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