Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Build Impossible: HTPC / Storage ($700 Budget)

Last response: in Systems
Share
January 12, 2012 5:31:34 PM

Let me start off by saying the last time I built my own PC was a gaming rig back in 2006 with an EPoX mobo and a 450W Antec PS. Times appeared to have changed since the last time I built anything on my own, thus the cry for help.

This is what our home network currently looks like:

1 Dell Inspiron 1520 Notebook w/ ~ 12 GB free space
1 120 GB WD External USB HD as a backup
1 Defunct Homebuilt Gaming rig with a failed mobo, seized WD 60 GB HD, and what appears to be a working NVidia GeForce 6 PCI-e video card

My highest priority is to solve our storage solution. Our notebook is currently backed up to CrashPlan so I do have some peace of mind if things go horribly wrong. However, I'd like to have a local solution. If possible, I'd like to fold in a home theatre component to the storage solution. My brother in law currently runs a Windows 7 server for storage/home theatre so I'd like to mimic something along those lines.


Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP

Budget Range: Would like to stay within $700

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Storage, Home Theatre, Family Use (Video/Picture Editing, Internet, etc.), Gaming (doesn't have to be on the highest settings given the budget)

Parts Not Required: 19 inch Monitor, Antec PS may be too weak/not green enough for what's out there today

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Best price works for me

Country: US

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: I've always been an AMD/NVidia fan, but we're talking 6 years ago. If it works (and has a decent warranty), I'm in.

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1600x1200

Additional Comments: If I can fit the home theatre component to this build, we'll need to keep noise down a bit. If not, the storage unit will sit in my office on the opposite side of the house. I'd like to go with perhaps a RAID 1 or RAID 5 software solution ala FreeNAS but any tips with RAIDing would also be helpful.


Since it's been such a long time, any help I can get would be most appreciated. I've spent most of my vacation catching up on what's gone on with dual/quad cores and all other advances since my last homebuild.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 12, 2012 11:31:09 PM

Doesn't sound impossible at all.

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100T $135
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics: HIS H685FN1GD Radeon HD 6850 $145
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo: ASRock H61M-VS $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB partitioned to 2 drives (one for storage for files and one for applications) $130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: Team Elite 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $36
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink+Fan: STOCK $0

BD ROM: SAMSUNG Black 12X BD-ROM $58
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $669

Notice: Some of these items are optional, such as the gfx card and 8GB of RAM. You can easily not buy the graphics card and have the system work perfectly fine (the onboard is more than enough for videos). You also don't need 8GB of RAM, 4GB is more than enough.

Explanation: I chose the i3 2100T because it has a TDP of 35W, you can easily switch to the i3 2100 which has a higher TDP of 65W, but the 2100T will produce less heat because of the lower wattage going into the CPU. The 6850 is for occasional gaming/photo editing/graphics intense stuff, this is optional. The ASRock motherboard is great, it is decently priced for the features. The OCZ PSU has great reviews and is more than enough for the system you're building. The Fractal case looks plain, but i've heard fractal is a great case company. The 1TB drive is for all your movies and such, I recommend partitioning the drive to 250GB and 750GB, with the 750GB drive storing the videos. 8GB of RAM is overkill, even in a gaming system, so you can lower to 4GB if you wish. Blu-ray drive to watch blu-ray movies.
m
0
l
January 13, 2012 1:57:09 AM

Thanks for the jumping off point!

This may be my inner gamer, but with the microATX mobo, would I have a problem swapping out the 6850 vid for a 6870? Looks like I can pick one up on Newegg for a few extra bucks. I would suspect swapping the 6850 for the 6870 might require a bit beefier power supply?




I'm tempted to swing for a 550/600W OCZ power supply as in the future I'd like to add an additional HD for a RAID array.

Pretty neat how ASRock is a spin off of ASUS. The mobo's running PCI 2.0 but the vid card recommended is PCI 2.1. Will that cause any sort of compatibility issue?

The case looks pretty slick but I'm not sure if I'm digging the tight space and having the ability to hold 1 HD with the long video card. I know that HD prices are higher than normal right now due to the flooding in Thailand. Think it would be wise to drop down to a 500 GB drive for now, pour the price difference into a bit roomier of a case, and then purchase a couple of 1 TB drives once prices start coming back down toward the end of 2012?

Do folks still use Arctic Silver for their heatsinks? Just a random thought! Thanks!
m
0
l
Related resources
January 13, 2012 7:43:56 AM

You won't have any problems switching out the 6850 for a 6870, the cards are quite similar in terms of physical dimensions and at any rate, you're only going to have problems if you can't fit the card in your chassis as the motherboard is very rarely going to prohibit you from switching one card for another. The PSU quoted above should have no problems running a 6850 / 6870 either.

Another case option worth considering is the Antec Three Hundred, it's a fantastic budget chassis with plenty of room and lots of fan slots to ensure you've got good airflow. I have a 6850 in mine and can comfortably fit 4 HDDs in it. It's better in the long run to wait for HDD prices to drop again, but that depends on whether or not you can managed with 500 GB until that happens (may not be till next year)

and yes people are definitely still using Arctic Silver, personally I won't use anything else :p 

teamhurtado said:
Thanks for the jumping off point!

This may be my inner gamer, but with the microATX mobo, would I have a problem swapping out the 6850 vid for a 6870? Looks like I can pick one up on Newegg for a few extra bucks. I would suspect swapping the 6850 for the 6870 might require a bit beefier power supply?




I'm tempted to swing for a 550/600W OCZ power supply as in the future I'd like to add an additional HD for a RAID array.

Pretty neat how ASRock is a spin off of ASUS. The mobo's running PCI 2.0 but the vid card recommended is PCI 2.1. Will that cause any sort of compatibility issue?

The case looks pretty slick but I'm not sure if I'm digging the tight space and having the ability to hold 1 HD with the long video card. I know that HD prices are higher than normal right now due to the flooding in Thailand. Think it would be wise to drop down to a 500 GB drive for now, pour the price difference into a bit roomier of a case, and then purchase a couple of 1 TB drives once prices start coming back down toward the end of 2012?

Do folks still use Arctic Silver for their heatsinks? Just a random thought! Thanks!
m
0
l
January 13, 2012 10:18:54 AM

I know why Dragon threw in there a microATX case but it looks like the Antec 300 has enough room for expansion in the future. I'll need to figure out how to fold it into our entertainment center since it is a little larger but it shouldn't be too bad.

I was looking at some other mobos overnight and came up with this one. Thoughts with this one over the one previously suggested?

ASRock H67M (B3) LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


At this point since we have our most important files uploaded on the cloud, I can make do with a 500 GB drive and then set up a raid later on in the future. Unfortunately, that seems to be the direction everyone's headed.

I'm debating on getting a video card now or holding off for a while and see if we really need it if the i3 can hold up to whatever we can throw at it as a family. If I forego the video card, should I pick up a quad core i5 instead?

I remember as a DIYer, we were our own tech support and whatnot. Do any of you end up purchasing some of the warranties provided by Newegg/Squaretrade for these DIYs or is it pretty much a take a risk type scenario?
m
0
l
January 13, 2012 10:58:18 AM

The integrated graphics you'll have with your CPU / Mobo will be able to handle video playback, but it's gaming capability will be quite limited. Ultimately it depends on your requirements.

The ASRock H67M is a step up from the initial motherboard purchased, but if you are willing to spend $79.99, perhaps you should consider the BIOSTAR TH67B which is the same price and provides you with far more expansion slots and will serve you better in the long run.

I've never purchased an additional warranty on any part I've bought and whilst it's possible you'll receive a 'Dead on Arrival' part, the chances are slim and it's never happened to me or anyone else I know.

teamhurtado said:
I know why Dragon threw in there a microATX case but it looks like the Antec 300 has enough room for expansion in the future. I'll need to figure out how to fold it into our entertainment center since it is a little larger but it shouldn't be too bad.

I was looking at some other mobos overnight and came up with this one. Thoughts with this one over the one previously suggested?

ASRock H67M (B3) LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


At this point since we have our most important files uploaded on the cloud, I can make do with a 500 GB drive and then set up a raid later on in the future. Unfortunately, that seems to be the direction everyone's headed.

I'm debating on getting a video card now or holding off for a while and see if we really need it if the i3 can hold up to whatever we can throw at it as a family.

I remember as a DIYer, we were our own tech support and whatnot. Do any of you end up purchasing some of the warranties provided by Newegg/Squaretrade for these DIYs or is it pretty much a take a risk type scenario?
m
0
l
January 13, 2012 6:26:01 PM

While I'd love to get back into the gaming world, it's difficult with a 2 year old and a wife that wasn't too fond of my last adventure in video games (aka WoW). My goal with the machine would be first as storage, but then to edit photos/videos as well as recording and playback of videos from our personal collection and a DVR type deal. If I can accomplish that without the standalone card, I'm all for it.

I think I'm settling in on this build for the HTPC / Storage system:

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120T $135
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics: HIS H687FN1GD Radeon HD 6870 $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo: BIOSTAR TH67B LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s Micro ATX Intel Motherboard $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (Regular Three Hundred OOS) $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB partitioned to 2 drives (one for storage for files and one for applications) $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink+Fan: STOCK $0

Arctic Silver $12

BD ROM: SAMSUNG Black 12X BD-ROM $58
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $706 before rebates ($666 after rebates + $15 Newegg Gift Card)

If I drop the video card altogether, I'm looking at $566 total ($546 after rebates + $15 Newegg Card). I'm tempted to drop the card if I can get away with it for now. Although if I drop the card, is it worth going from an i3 to an i5?

If I plan on DVR shows and whatnot from our TV, would I need the standalone video card or some additional peripheral? I would think I'd need to pick up a capture card and that card would do it's own processing, but that might be something down the road once I increase the storage space on the system.
m
0
l
January 13, 2012 9:14:16 PM

i just built my desktop i live in bc canada i used shopbot as a price checker pc canada and ncix and newegg are good 2 but the come up with the shopbot just copy and paste the item in the search bar in the computer section and hit enter

ASUS M5A99X Evo
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black
XFX Radeon HD 6850 Fansink 775MHZ 1GB
Western Digital Caviar Black 500 gb
Corsair TX750
G.SKILL Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 8GB 2X4GB
Zalman Z9 Plus

i no it is amd but i think it is not to bad a setup

it came to $ 720 with a new windows 7 os

for 31 dollars with tax i added a coolermaster 212 evo from ncix
m
0
l
January 14, 2012 1:20:34 AM

For video recording / playback, an i5 probably isn't worth the upgrade and the i3 selected has some pretty solid gaming performance as well. I feel that 8 GB of RAM is somewhat unnecessary for your build and think that you'll be fine with 'just' 4 GB. Having boatloads of RAM is only useful if you're doing serious multitasking or video rendering and you can always add more if the need arises at a later date. As an aside, my computer has 4 GB of DDR2 RAM (slower than yours) and I've never found myself lacking.

Similarly, drop the graphics card from the order and buy one when / if you have the need for it. A capture card (and accompanying HDD space) is all that you'll need to record TV shows and the like :) 

teamhurtado said:
While I'd love to get back into the gaming world, it's difficult with a 2 year old and a wife that wasn't too fond of my last adventure in video games (aka WoW). My goal with the machine would be first as storage, but then to edit photos/videos as well as recording and playback of videos from our personal collection and a DVR type deal. If I can accomplish that without the standalone card, I'm all for it.

I think I'm settling in on this build for the HTPC / Storage system:

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120T $135
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics: HIS H687FN1GD Radeon HD 6870 $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo: BIOSTAR TH67B LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s Micro ATX Intel Motherboard $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (Regular Three Hundred OOS) $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB partitioned to 2 drives (one for storage for files and one for applications) $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink+Fan: STOCK $0

Arctic Silver $12

BD ROM: SAMSUNG Black 12X BD-ROM $58
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $706 before rebates ($666 after rebates + $15 Newegg Gift Card)

If I drop the video card altogether, I'm looking at $566 total ($546 after rebates + $15 Newegg Card). I'm tempted to drop the card if I can get away with it for now. Although if I drop the card, is it worth going from an i3 to an i5?

If I plan on DVR shows and whatnot from our TV, would I need the standalone video card or some additional peripheral? I would think I'd need to pick up a capture card and that card would do it's own processing, but that might be something down the road once I increase the storage space on the system.
m
0
l
a b B Homebuilt system
January 14, 2012 1:34:46 AM

Why spend $12 on artic silver when the stock fan includes pre applied thermal paste? The stock fan's thermal paste works perfectly well
m
0
l
January 14, 2012 1:54:22 AM

NavyDrive said:
For video recording / playback, an i5 probably isn't worth the upgrade and the i3 selected has some pretty solid gaming performance as well. I feel that 8 GB of RAM is somewhat unnecessary for your build and think that you'll be fine with 'just' 4 GB. Having boatloads of RAM is only useful if you're doing serious multitasking or video rendering and you can always add more if the need arises at a later date. As an aside, my computer has 4 GB of DDR2 RAM (slower than yours) and I've never found myself lacking.

Similarly, drop the graphics card from the order and buy one when / if you have the need for it. A capture card (and accompanying HDD space) is all that you'll need to record TV shows and the like :) 



I think for now both you and Dragon are correct. I'll drop the video card and pick it up at a later date. I may keep the 8 GB RAM just because for no other reason other than to have it just in case. 8 GB for $40 is so minimal.

Dragon, I've always been "taught" to forego stock paste and go with Arctic Silver. My biggest issue is that I'm still not realizing this isn't a gaming rig, just a family one. Since I don't intend on overclocking, stock paste should be good to go!
m
0
l
January 14, 2012 6:12:19 PM

I'll most likely pull the trigger with the following components:

Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower
Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s
OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W Modular High Performance Power Supply
Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
BIOSTAR TH67+ LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX
Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core
SAMSUNG Black Blu-ray Combo SATA Model SH-B123L/RSBP LightScribe Support

I'm still debating the case I'd like but the Rosewill case looks slick internally and so I'm starting to lean toward it.

If WD wasn't so expensive right now, I'd go with them but I guess Seagate will have to do for now. Looks like a recent batch of HDs were DOA though so this is the component I'm most worried about.

Power supply / 8 GB RAM / Blu Ray player kept from the original recommendation.

The BIOSTAR discussed earlier didn't have USB 3.0 support that I could see. I've bumped up the mobo for that.

The biggest jump was the i3 to i5. While the i3 would serve me well, I'm thinking in terms of the future the i5 should last a bit longer. Ideally, this HTPC/Storage system should last us 4-5 years at a minimum.



Any thoughts or suggestions or anything I should highly reconsider? At this time, I'll drop the video card unless I absolutely need it. I'm assuming the i5 with the H67 mobo should provide sufficient on board video support until otherwise needed.

Any good wireless keyboard/mouse combos out there that we could attach to this build?

This build puts me under $600 before rebates. Not too terrible I think. Similar ones on Dell/HP run about the same, if not a bit more.

m
0
l
a b B Homebuilt system
January 14, 2012 7:26:48 PM

I would not buy the motherboard, BIOSTAR does NOT have as good as a reputation as ASUS, Gigabyte, or ASRock
m
0
l
January 15, 2012 12:18:59 AM

r0aringdrag0n said:
I would not buy the motherboard, BIOSTAR does NOT have as good as a reputation as ASUS, Gigabyte, or ASRock



I may be getting a little out of control, but I'm really liking this mobo. Since we're going with a mid ATX case, this should fit. Thoughts?

ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
m
0
l
January 15, 2012 3:45:44 PM

Alright guys, today's the day. Here's my final setup for this HTPC/Storage rig that appears to be pretty expandable in the future.

Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower
Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s
OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W Modular High Performance Power Supply
Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX
Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core
SAMSUNG Black Blu-ray Combo SATA Model SH-B123L/RSBP LightScribe Support

There's absolutely no reason this machine shouldn't last more than 5 years with these components besides component failure. I'm still going back and forth on the case but the Rosewill seems to have the shortest vertical height of the cases I've seen. Once HD prices come down, I'll add on 2 x 1 TB drives in a RAID array. Final thoughts? Thanks again for everyone's help!
m
0
l
!