I had previously inquired about a HTPC setup with the Moneual Moncase 312, but I think it's more sensible right now to just build the file server first, as I'll only be moving into my eventual home in a year or so. So, here goes :
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP. Leaving for holidays now, but will be looking to purchase as SOON as I get back (4 Jan 11).
BUDGET RANGE: No more than 1000$ if possible, but this is somewhat flexible if need be.
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: First, acting as a 24/7 file server. Second, ripping Blu-Rays and DVDs to MKVs. Finally, playing back all those MKVs (including, of couse, 1080p ones) on our 1080p TV, which I'll be using as a monitor for the time being, using IGP. So, thinking right now of something like the 785G chipset, because HD4200 is fine for 1080p playback and I don't really care about HD Audio pass-through - or lack thereof -, cuz as long as I can get standard Digital/DTS, I'm happy (heck - this will mostly be played through a 2.1 system for the year it will be used as a HTPC in addition to its primary file server duty). Fourth - I haven't dabbled in this yet, but I would like to eventually use this computer as a TV/PVR backend. My ultimate vision for this PC is for it to serve as my all-encompassing back end - storing all my media (which will be streamed everywhere using XMBC nettops and/or media players), and functioning as a PVR backend using whichever program.
REUSING PARTS: Not really. I do have an old full-size case, but I think it only has 3 3.5 bays, and 3 5.25. I think I could do better.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Nil, really....
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) / SHOP FOR PARTS: Newegg.ca or NCIX.com. Memoryexpress.com are also quite good. Anything that ships to Canada with good prices, I guess.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
PARTS PREFERENCES: I'm usually more of an AMD fanboy, and I think they would be better suited for this build due to their lower price (for the low capability I need). However, again, if an Intel rig can be drummed up for a decent price, I sure don't mind. I was thinking something like a 785G chipset, a Regor CPU and 2/4 G of RAM. I was also thinking 4-5 2 TB drives, and another one (320G?) for the system with required applications. One more thing : will be requiring wireless, so either a mobo with built-in or an adapter will be required (want internal if adapter).
Case: No size restriction, and no cosmetic preference - form over function. The thing will be hidden for most of its life (except its first year). I'm looking for something that holds a LOT of drives, but looking for something in the range of 60-80$.
OVERCLOCKING: Very likely not.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Nope.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 (HDTV).
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: No big preferences for anything else. So, looking for recommendations for a build for a home file server. Certainly up for using combo deals and such. Would prefer using Windows 7 (have thought of Linux, but I'm not familiar with it and honestly, I'm not too keen on spending the time required to learn it right now - maybe later...?). Also looking for a good long-range wireless mouse and keyboard combo (the last one I bought was BARELY good for 6'). Will also need a Blu-Ray drive (have had good luck with the low-priced Lite-On models before).
Looking forward to your recomendations! Happy Holidays everyone!
^ 2GB would suffice for now,
If I had the option to upgrade without having to replace the existing RAM, I would have suggested it, but the mobo is limited to 2 RAM slots, so better to get a single 2GB stick now so you can add 2GB more later on if you want to or go 4GB http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
OK, just about to order here. Pretty much what we have up there (the Regor instead of the X3, for power consumption), except with a Gigabyte case with 6 internal bays (thanks for the suggestion, but couldn't stand the look of the CoolerMaster one...=)))
A couple of last questions :
I will need sata data and power cables for all my drives, right?
Also, how do I tell the system which drive is which? I'm tempted to get a smaller drive for system/apps, and keep all give 2Tb ones for the media. How would I tell my board the small drive is C? (Sorry, never built a system with more than one initial drive...=))))
Do I need thermal paste?
Final big one : doesn't that board only have 4 SATA ports? I'm planning on running up to 6 drives, plus the optical one...isn't that not enough?
Damn, had to pull the plug on the whole thing because of the SATA deal. I need 7 SATA ports (5 drives, 1 system drive, 1 optical drive). So, that pretty much seems to limit me to AMD boards without integrated graphics, or Intel boards.
I was thinking the Gigabyte GA-H55-USB3 along with a i3-530. I think that would work. Problem is, I keep reading that it's much better if my PSU has the ATX 4X2 power connector, and I don't know how to ensure that is true. Advice?