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Building media server.

Last response: in Systems
June 29, 2011 2:59:11 AM

I have decided to build a media server for my network. I build high end systems usually and need some advice on server components that is not overkill. I might have it hooked up to a tv but not sure. Basically I want lots of storage so we can acess our movies, music and shared files over the network to open space on my desktop and hr notebook. If I hook it up to a tv I might use a tv tuner card and use it for a dvr but still not sure. I cant decide on the case either. Thinking of a corsair 650d or some coolermaster. Doubt we will ever play games but I guess a mid level gpu would work or maybe a sandy bridge built in.

More about : building media server

June 29, 2011 11:45:42 AM

So from the looks of it, it seems that you kind of want a Media server / HTPC.

Something like Antec 300 or Anter 300 illusion would work fine for you on the case front. The illusion has 4 adjustable fans that will keep the HDD's cool and it should still be whisper quiet. It has 6 internal hard drive locations, so that should be easily enough for storage. 6x2TB in raid 5 = 10TB And you will probably do fine with less.

A dual core CPU should be enough juice to run your CPU stuff such as i3 2100. However looking at reviews the integrated HD2000 does have some issue with 1080p playback with lots of stuff on the screen so I would recommend a GPU. Something in the $100 range max should be able to handle things great.

Probably a motherboard which supports your desired RAID solution would be fine. If you want to go overboard a raid card with support for 4 or 8 HDD's would of course be great, but it's pretty hard to justify the $300-500 price tag.

Pretty much the standard 4-8 gigs of ram.

5400 or 5900 RPM Green drives are generally the way to go for these servers as with raid they are fast enough and they make less noise and run cooler.
They are also dirt cheap. (~$65 for 2TB)

For a tuner card, Ceton InfiniTV 4 Quad-tuner Card $299.99
Is a bit costly but it has 4 tuners so it is worth a look, it should be great.

If you want to play blu-ray's get a blu-ray reader, otherwise stick with a DVD writer.

PSU: They are quite expensive, but I would look at PSU's from seasonic. 2 fanless models FL-400 and FL-460 should work just fine for you and have enough juice for your things. If you want to get one with fan the X560 would easilly have enough power for your needs and most likely it would not run the fan at your power usage anyway.
All 80+ Gold rated.

June 29, 2011 12:42:13 PM

Processor: AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz 95W Triple-Core - $75
The Athlon X2 245 (or higher) would be a dual core substitute. X4 640 (or higher) for quad-core.

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-880GMA-USB3 AM3+ HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 mATX - $105
AM3+ board will give you a nice CPU upgrade down the road. Also has two open memory slots.

Graphics Card: Onboard HD 4250
HDMI output will do 1080 resolution and audio bitstreaming (audio and video over HDMI).

RAM: PNY XLR8 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 CL8 - $25 after rebate

Hard Drive: Samsung F4 2TB - $80
Fast and reliable. Add as many as you want to configure in RAID...

Case: APEX TX-381-C Black Steel Micro ATX Tower Computer Case - $35

Front Case Fan: KINGWIN 120mm 40CFM @ 19dBA - $7

DVD Burner + Power Supply: OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W + LITE-ON 24X DVD Burner - $43
I typically don't recommend OCZ power supplies as they are OK at best, but for your needs it will be just fine at essentially $23 (minus $20 for the DVD burner) . Coupon Code: PCZSpecial and mail in rebate get the price down to $43.

$370 with a single 2TB drive.

If you decide you want a grapics card, the HD 6670 is a great choice for HTPC and light gaming purposes.
XFX HD 6670 $85 after rebate =>
Related resources
June 29, 2011 2:53:11 PM

If I was building a sort of high end media server this is what I would do (the SSD is probably over kill you can drop and add another 2TB drive). I was thinking to keep power down as it will be on all the time hence the green drives. using the 35W i3-2100T is also something to think about:

LIAN LI PC-A04B Black Aluminum MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811112316
PSU (very quiet)
SILVERSTONE Strider Plus ST50F-P 500W ATX 12V v2.3 & EPS 12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Item #: N82E16817256065
Seagate Barracuda Green ST2000DL003 2TB 5900 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822148681
-$10.00 Instant
$319.96 ($79.99 each)
Boot SSD (yeah, its overkill)
Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Item #: N82E16820148441
-$35.00 Instant
ASUS Black Blu-ray Drive SATA Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS
Item #: N82E16827135247
Tuner card
Ceton InfiniTV 4 Quad-tuner Card for Watching Digital Cable TV on the PC, PCI-Express x1 Interface
Item #: N82E16815706001
-$100.00 Instant
GPU for HD Video
XFX HD-667X-ZAF3 Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
Item #: N82E16814150545
$15.00 Mail-in Rebate
Mushkin Enhanced Essentials 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Ch Kit Desktop Memory Model
Item #: N82E16820146748
ASUS P8H67-M LE (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813131712
Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I32100
Item #: N82E16819115078

there is a combo deal for the MB/CPU it saves you $15
June 29, 2011 5:54:11 PM

am looking to make a server to just making it out of my old pc the only thing is the hard drives am all so putting in 2 1Gbps net cards and will bridge them with a switch as there are six pc's and the server is all so my gate way to the net as for cooling am going for oil this will do many good things like no sound at all no dust and it will be heavy only drawback is if something needs to be changed