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Help turn this hardware into htpc/homeserver

I want to turn unused computer into a home server/htpc and i'm not sure what hardware to put where.

I've got one htpc used daily for movies on xbmc + netflix/hulu

i3 2120
2 x 4gb ram
mini h67 mobo (ga-h67n-usb3-b3)
mini case (mi-008)

and desktop gathering dust

phenom ii x4 955be
2x2gb gskill ripjaws
msi 870a-g54 atx mobo
antec 300 case
zotac 9800gt
ocz 500w power supply

the phenom eats too much power to be an always on server, so should i sell it and throw in a sempron, or sell all but case and ram and start over with a low power sandy bridge celeron, move the i3 over? this will be my first go at a server/htpc (it's also got to play movies hulu/netflix on a nearby tv so i don't know what the minimum processing gpu power needs to be)?

ps it will be used to serve files and media to no more than 3 devices at a time and as a backup for the other computers, and i haven't decided on os such as whs or unraid or freenas, suggestions for first time user welcome
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about help turn hardware htpc homeserver
  1. You could get a new low cost integrated video mobo for the AMD and move everything but the vid card over. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128529

    Also follow the advice in this article. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/undervolt-cpu-phenom,2348-4.html

    edit:

    A lower cost solution would be to get a very low powered vid card for the existing setup and do the CPU undervolt, although the low end vid card would still burn slightly more juice. Something like this is about as minimal as it gets. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127591
  2. Using that hardware for just to run xbmc or a basic home server would be a massive overkill.

    They managed to get the raspberry pi (model B) running xbmc (link), its a 700mhz with 256mb of ram.
  3. Best answer
    the intel HD 2000 in the i3 would be enough for playing videos on hulu and netflix.
    its also more than enough to do the tasks you require.

    as for the AMD system, you can undervolt and underclock it if you need to, should be able to lower the power consumption to an acceptable level. the gpu you should be able to buy a cheap 6450 or 5450 to use.
  4. Thanks for the responses. I had not thought to under clock it, and get a 6450. That would be the easiest. Wonder how much juice it would take under clocked, low as an athlon x4? I'm trying to be very power conscious, wife wouldn't be happy if it jacks up the electric bill being on 24/7. My second choice would be to sell the CPU, mobo, gpu, corsair h50 and get a low powered setup with integrated graphics. If I went that route what's the lowest powered CPU that could handle my needs (media server, printer sharing, backup, htpc for mostly 720p or sd)? Moving the i3 over would be ok but I'd need a new mobo with more Sata ports then something to replace the CPU on itx board
  5. Best answer selected by codybo.
  6. esrever said:
    the intel HD 2000 in the i3 would be enough for playing videos on hulu and netflix.
    its also more than enough to do the tasks you require.

    as for the AMD system, you can undervolt and underclock it if you need to, should be able to lower the power consumption to an acceptable level. the gpu you should be able to buy a cheap 6450 or 5450 to use.


    i'll try undervolting and use a kill a watt, if the idles still excessive i'll part it out and get a g620, thanks for the help
  7. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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