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New HTPC/Server Build - Comments & Advice Appreciated


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Hello Everyone,

 

I'm really glad I found this site. Extremely helpful information. I'm building an HTPC/Server for our home. It will be used to store photos, movies(home and ripped), recorded TV, music, documents, etc., etc., etc. It will be used as an HTPC in our living room as well as serve a laptop(MC Extender), Xbox 360(MC Extender), tablet(w/Playon), 2 smartphones(w/PlayOn) and possibly a second laptop(MC Extender) down the road. Laptops will be expected to run very thin with most info being kept on this HTPC/Server.

 

The following is my proposed build. I would appreciate any help that can be provided in narrowing down my shopping list. Feel free to approve, disapprove, replace, delete, add, etc. No need to beat around any bushes with me either. I want to get this right and not go overboard OR regret my decisions 6 months down the line.

 

Case: Silverstone GD06

MB: Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500

Mem: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB DDR3 2133

OS Drive: Patriot Pyro SE 120GB SATA III OR OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SATA III [[[DECISION HELP NEEDED]]]

Bluray Drive: LG 12X Super Blue with 3D Playback & M-DISC Support SATA

Raid Controller: HighPoint RocketRAID 640

Raid Drives: 3-4x WD Caviar Green 3TB 6.0Gb/s 5400RPM OR 3-4x Seagate Barracuda 3TB 6.0Gb/s 7200RPM [[[DECISION HELP NEEDED]]]

Power Supply: Seasonic SS-460FL Fanless 460W OR Seasonic SS-560KM 560W OR Corsair Enthusiast TX650M 650W [[[DECISION HELP NEEDED]]]

External HDD: 2TB USB 3.0 (Already Own)

OS: Windows 7 x64 (I really wish WHS had MC integrated. Maybe next version)

 

So without putting together a fancy diagram, my plan is to put the spin drives into a RAID 5 config. I will ghost my OS to the RAID Array. I will backup my critical items(photos, critical docs, etc.) to the external drive. I will also be backing up my entire RAID to CrashPlan 3 with the exception of movies.

 

I would appreciate any input ya'all can provide on this build. I obviously am not sure about a few things such as:

  • First time using an SSD
  • 5400RPM vs 7200RPM drives for this purpose
  • Fanless vs Fanned for this purpose as well as Seasonic vs Corsair.

Thanks for taking a look!

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  • Kaen

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My two cents:

 

I would RAID the OS with a pair of 2.5" 160 gig drives. Unless you make some config changes in the setup files, you need a 160 gig drive.

 

Data RAID drives. I don't think you will see that much of a performance hit by using 5400 RPM drives but if you can afford them, go with the fasted.

 

Fanless PSU? Not in my server, I'm an OCZ and Coolermaster fan. (no pun intended)

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My two cents:

 

I would RAID the OS with a pair of 2.5" 160 gig drives. Unless you make some config changes in the setup files, you need a 160 gig drive.

 

Data RAID drives. I don't think you will see that much of a performance hit by using 5400 RPM drives but if you can afford them, go with the fasted.

 

Fanless

 

I have no problem going with the 7200rpm drives price wise if they'll make a difference.

 

On the OS drive, is there a reason I'll need 160GB? I know WHS takes 160GB, but Windows 7 x64 is supposed to only take 20GB. What am I missing?

 

Thanks.

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That's a requirement of the install, unless you want to do it this way. There is no way I would go with an OS partition less than 60 gigs. Just remember that without 3rd party tools, that OS partition cannot be expanded through the native tools.

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I'm sorry, I'm even more confused now. That article is for WHS. I'm going to be installing Windows 7 x64 and microsoft's own site states that W7x64 only requires 20GB. I also would be putting this on a 120GB drive leaving ~100GB of room for programs and such.

 

Is there a misunderstanding that I was going to be installing WHS?

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I'm sorry, I'm even more confused now. That article is for WHS. I'm going to be installing Windows 7 x64 and microsoft's own site states that W7x64 only requires 20GB. I also would be putting this on a 120GB drive leaving ~100GB of room for programs and such.

 

Is there a misunderstanding that I was going to be installing WHS?

 

The MS website does say Win7 needs 16GB to install the 32 bit version and 20GB for the 64 bit version.

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The MS website does say Win7 needs 16GB to install the 32 bit version and 20GB for the 64 bit version.

 

I assume by that statement they are severely understating the truth? OK, upgrading to 160GB it is.

 

I hope you guys understand, I'm not necessarily questioning what you're telling me, I just like to learn the why's and what fors along the way as well. I'm big into teaching men to fish as they say.

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No other comments or advice? I updated some items in the build. I switched Motherboards because there are some features on the GD06 case I want to take advantage of. The board is considerably more expensive, but the USB 3.0 and eSATA is worth it to me.

 

Thanks to jmwills for the Cooler Master recommendation. I read conflicting reviews about the size of PSU that the GD06 would accept while still being able to use the hdd rack. The Cooler Master is only 150mm deep so I won't have to worry about it at all now. Another benefit to this PSU.

 

As for SDD, I cannot find a 160GB SATA III drive. All I could find are SATA II's.

 

Case: Silverstone GD06

MB: ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500

Mem: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

OS Drive: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SATA III

Bluray Drive: LG 12X Super Blue with 3D Playback & M-DISC Support SATA

Raid Controller: HighPoint RocketRAID 640

Raid Drives: 3-4x (RAID 5) WD Caviar Green 3TB 6.0Gb/s 5400RPM OR 3-4x (RAID 5) Seagate Barracuda 3TB 6.0Gb/s 7200RPM [[[DECISION HELP NEEDED]]]

Power Supply: Cooler Master Silent Pro M700

External HDD: 2TB USB 3.0 (Already Own)

OS: Windows 7 x64 (I really wish WHS had MC integrated. Maybe next version)

Edited by Kaen
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Are you clear on the 160 gig requirement? The WHS install wants to see 160 available but will partition and only use, I think 60 gigs. From a Systems Admin point of view, I will tell you to double what MS tells you what is needed as a requirement.

 

You will need to modify the install file in order to use that 120 gig drive.

 

Would like to see some photos of that box during the build process also.

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Are you clear on the 160 gig requirement? The WHS install wants to see 160 available but will partition and only use, I think 60 gigs. From a Systems Admin point of view, I will tell you to double what MS tells you what is needed as a requirement.

 

You will need to modify the install file in order to use that 120 gig drive.

 

Would like to see some photos of that box during the build process also.

 

jmwills, I am clear that WHS needs 160GB, but as I stated in my other posts, I'm not installing WHS. I want to, but I need MC on this box therefore I'm going with Windows 7 x64.

 

What will happen down the road, probably another year, is I will be able to afford two separate boxes and will at that point buy more equipment and between this unit and my next unit, build the WHS. At that point, I will buy another case, MB, Mem, CPU, more HDD's and bigger SSD(for WHS) and will move the RAID out of this box and into the new case. This case will then only have the 120GB SSD in it to use as an HTPC that is being served by the future WHS. Make sense?

 

Also, as excited as I am about this build, photos are a given. :D

Edited by Kaen
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