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HTPC / Server / Gaming (OS: Windows Server 2008 R2)

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January 9, 2011 9:39:23 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-3 months

Budget Range: $500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Running Windows Server 2008 R2, File/backup server, HTPC, bittorrent, occasional gaming PC

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS, monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any (Newegg charges tax in my state)

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Any

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe (switchable integrated/discrete graphics)

Monitor Resolution: HDTV: 1920x1080

Additional Comments:

God, I haven't built a system in 10+ years. I'll like to use this build as a home server, and to learn Windows Server 2008 R2 (in my efforts to boost my career skills). This will be my primary file server and I will put the network on Active Directory and a domain. But since the budget is tight, this will also be a HTPC, so it should be quiet and low-power. This will be connected directly to a 1080p TV, but all administration will be done using RDP. Lastly, if possible, I would like some decent HDTV-based gaming.

Would it be possible to run the integrated graphics for most of the time (incl. HTPC purposes), and then reboot and use the discrete graphics WITHOUT replugging any HDMI cables? Maybe through splitters? Or maybe forget about discrete and just get a next-gen integrated like Fusion?

I know that Windows Server 2008 R2 is not the best option to run games & HTPC, but apparently some are using it this way: http://www.win2008r2workstation.com

Note: I have a PS3 already to take care of the HTPC functions, but it would be nice to surf the net on the TV (using Chrome) and use free Hulu, etc.

Thanks for your help!
January 10, 2011 1:04:34 PM

Would it be possible to run the integrated graphics for most of the time (incl. HTPC purposes), and then reboot and use the discrete graphics WITHOUT replugging any HDMI cables? Maybe through splitters? Or maybe forget about discrete and just get a next-gen integrated like Fusion?

ATI has something called hybrid crossfire which utilizes both GPU depend on demand for example is you were not gaming it would use the onboard graphics but when you load up something graphics intensive the discrete GPU would kick in.

For a decent but low power system i went with this...



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January 12, 2011 12:39:55 AM

Thanks for your help. This is very good as a starting point to see what's out there.
!