System Usage from Most to Least Important:
- Today: HTPC
- watch movies (BR, HD-DVD, DVD), TV
- watch/record multiple TV shows simultaneously
- rip-n-play music
- play slideshows
- play simple games
- Use RD to do admin, some work while system is in use
- 3 Year's time: Recommission MoBo, CPU, RAM, cooler as a central file / processing server with transcoding duties. Case and tuners stay behind.
Currently have, and plan to use:
- Seasonic SS-II 600W PSU
- Silverstone LC16M case, maxed out with case fans
- Hauppauge 2250 tuner card
- ATi HDTV Wonder tuner card (ugh)
- 2 x 1.5 TB HDDs (for local TV recordings and other large-n-slow data)
- CNPS9500 cooler
- TV (monitor)
- kbd / mouse (RF via USB, not BT; BIOS-friendly)
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com
- Intel Z77 chipset, i7 series CPU (I want the hyperthreading for handling multiple processes more smoothly, and the additional processing power for future transcoding and serving needs; otherwise, I would have shifted to an AMD APU)
- 8 GB RAM sticks (I don't want to have to replace 4 GB sticks down the road)
Overclocking: No, but possibly underclocking short-term, if it makes sense to do that. I want the IB-series GPU, so a 3770K might make sense if I underclock it now to make it run super-cool (system runs inside a cabinet!), and then O/C it when it transitions into a server.
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 (1080p60 and 1080p24)
- I still use an IDE device, and I don't want to use up another internal slot (IDWTUUAIS)
- I still use front-panel 1394a, and IDWTUUAIS
- For server use, I may want a lot of internal and external SATA ports, and also dual-NIC support (and IDWTUUAIS)
- For server use, I want PS/2 kbd/mouse connections for KVM switch support (I know, I'll need a VGA adapter. I already have one)
- For server use, I may want to use one or two PCIe-x8 RAID cards.
- For both HTPC and server use, I may be using that COM port after all, and would prefer not to use a USB dongle.
- I need something in the house that can still read a floppy.
I also considered the ASRock Z77 Extreme6, but I have no use for a mini-PCIe slot and prefer the slot arrangement on the Pro, because it sacrifices a PCI slot to GPUs first. I also looked at a variety of other Mobos, but none had the 1394 header, SATA port count, IDE port, and COM port that made this choice compelling. It's a mix of old and new, and that makes it somewhat unique.
Recorded TV is fragging my current 4-disk RAID 0 landing pad to death. Also, certain O/S tasks are taking far longer than I want them to; I want the system to be responsive for the WAF. I want to put O/S, swap (if it's even needed), temp, programs, and temporary / transient TV recordings on an SSD that isn't RAIDed, so that O/S install and restore are easier. Permanent TV recordings go elsewhere, so this just needs to be big enough to hold the above for a week or two until an automated recorded TV migration task moves recorded shows to a different volume. 240 GB is not big enough, so I'm looking at 480 or more.
Looking for comments on:
1) CPU: Is 3770K underclockable, so that I can use it now in one role, and later in another?
2) MB: Anyone have good / bad experiences with the named board? Anyone have an alternative suggestion?
3) RAM: Anyone have good / bad experiences with the named memory sticks? Anyone have an alternative suggestion?
4) If you were building this, what would you do differently?