Upgrade to Desktop + New wireless or wired server for all home media

Hi guys -

Home Media upgrade

I've got 2 homebuilt desktops at home, mine and my wife's. We've got 2 bedrooms and a living room. I would like to stream Hifi (FLAC or equivalent) to all rooms as well as HD video to a potential new TV.

I am uncertain about whether to go with using my rig as a home server, building a home server on the cheap (linux?) or using NAS (sounds expensive and limited to me)?

Current Media Layout
I use XBMC at the moment as a front end. I've got a good but cheap vintage (ala 1995) Hifi amp driving a pair of B&W 685's and might be looking at getting more amps/avreceivers and speakers in the future. Currently I have a 24 inch 1080p screen that we watch stuff on, wife's got her own 23inch 1080p and we have an outdated projection tv. Next updgrade is probably a LED TV around 40 inch size. What I want to do though is optimize my media to be able to access it on all systems relatively lag free. We have a Wifi box with 4x ethernet connections as well (which might be smoother than WIFI)

My rig:
CPU: AMD Phenom II B50 X4 at 3.7Ghz with a Tuniq 120 Extreme
GFX: AMD Sapphire 6870 1 GB
RAM: G. Skill 2x 4GB DDR3 1333MHz
Case: CM Stacker 831 (plenty of room)
PSU: Antec Earthwatts 750 Mod PSU
System Drive: Agility SSD 60 GB
Game Drive: Samsung F3 1 TB HDD
Media Drive: Samsung F2 1.5 TB HDD

Spare parts
Case: CM Stacker 831 (thats right, another one I got for free, missing a side door)
GFX: 2 x AMD 4850 512MB
Several external HDDs that could be taken apart and used as internals
+ any parts from my rig if I chose to upgrade them

Upgrade Ideas:

1. Build cheap Linux system for a home server from spare parts (instead of NAS?)

2. Wireless media streaming to TV and HiFi using rasberryPi? What are the best ways to do this? I have a good home Hifi AMP but its old so its wired into my PC at moment - want to stream FLAC to it in the living room?
Wired link of systems? (messy)

3. Buy an actual Tv (lol)

4. Upgrade media storage for high capacity/uninterrupted HD streaming to TC, HiFi, Phones etc. Important that this system is somewhat modular and up-gradable in the future.


Thanks you guys for any help it is much appreciated. Feel free to kick around any ideas and even some blue sky thinking - its fun to dream even if it isn't realistic
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More about upgrade desktop wireless wired server home media
  1. Thinking of maybe building an ITX machine for the home server with:

    Case: Coolermaster Elite 120 Advanced Mini ITX Case £32

    PSU: Corsair 430W V2 CX Series £37

    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H77N-WIFI Socket 1155 DVI Dual HDMI 7.1 Channel Audio Mini-ITX Motherboard

    CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Socket 1155 £51
    Intel Core i3 3220 3.30GHz Socket 1155 £95 - Is it worth almost twice the price??

    Storage: 2x or 3x Toshiba 3TB Internal Hard Drive £84

    Additional parts from spares mentioned above - RAM (4GB), GPU (ATI 4850), OS Drive (SSD 128GB)

    What do you guys think about such a build? Will it be good for wireless streaming of media through an apartment? Is it worth 2x the money for a core i3? Is there money to save anywhere?

    Also, planning to hook it up to an AV receiver for sound through the optical connection, how convenient is it to do this and play media using Linux?

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