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Advice building a PVR / Home Server / Video player / etc.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I’m hoping this is the right place to post this.

I’ve decided to resurrect my old Q6600 and turn it into a PVR / Home server / Game Emulator, as well as encode and edit some video.

This will be my second ever build smile.gif
I built my first PC less than a week after Ivy Bridge came out after a few weeks of trying to learn all I could about PC’s ( basically didn’t know the difference between RAM and ROM) and have been more than impressed with the results.

I’m hoping to get some advice on what exactly I should get / change.

CPU : Q6600 @ 3GHZ

Motherboard : IPIBL-LB (Benicia) Made by Asus.

ALL the info you’d ever need to know :

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=c01324212

THIS I’m VERY iffy about. I’d really life to find a nice 775 socket motherboard for very little money…

My issues are the following : This is basically a no-name board and the only expansion slots are :
1 PCI x16 slot for graphics card, 2 PCI x1 slots, 1 PCI slot. I’m fairly sure this isn’t enough to fit all the cards I with to run as you’ll see as we continue.

Ram : Will depend on what board I end up with. Any recommendations?

Case : Xigmatek ASGARD 381 CCC-AD38BV-U03 Black / Orange Steel / Plastic / Metal Mesh ATX Mid Tower Computer Case.
I’m a HUGE fan of this case, Nice looking, tons of room for whatever the future holds. Water cooling compatible, Room for… 8 I believe fans, USB 3.0, Audio In/Out Front Ports, room for 8-9 Hard drives, Tool-free, the list goes on. Best of all... under $50

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811815019

PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX600

I use a Corsair AX 750 on my main rig and like it, 600W seem like more than enough. As always, I’m open for suggestions.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139028

Misc : When my old Router died I got one HELL of a deal on an ASUS RT-N56U Router.

Now this bad boy has Up to 300+300Mbps Wireless Data Rate and 1 x 10/100/1000M WAN; 4 x 10/100/1000M LAN. I’m wondering if a guy should get a proper networking card in order to take proper advantage of the router. Any suggestions?
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833320062

Video Card: Since I’m planning to record, as well as stream video (wireless as well as wired when I travel and hook it directly to a TV) / play games via an emulator (NES / SNES, etc.) I’m thinking I should get a mid-powered card. I’m unsure what I should get in this department.

Sound Card : Again I’m unsure if I should get a cheap one?

TV tuner: This is also a hard one, I want something that can record TV from a dish ( perhaps even from multiple locations as I have 4 dishes in my home that can each watch their own programs. I’m also interested in converting some of my OLD VHS / home videos into files for safety. I’m thinking something from Hauppauge but again I’m not sure.

Raid Card: At the moment I have THREE 2TB Western Digital Greens which are 2+ years old and I’m happy with them BUT it’s time to add more room ( I plan on running 8-9 Hard drives with 2-4 TB each eventually). I’ve heard good things with the 2-4 TB Seagate or the 2-3 TB Western Digital Reds. Right now they are just sitting as 3 separate cards... but for data safety I’d like to move to Raid 5 or 6, but would like some feedback on that, as well as which Raid Card to buy.

Blu-ray / CD / HD-DVD player as well.

I’m hoping for some strong feedback and suggestions guys. Reading these forums helped me be able to build my first PC as well as gain a lot of knowledge. I hope I didn’t miss anything 

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 8
I started my HTPC with a 775 Dual Core 8400 with a AMD 4850 and found it really lacking in performance and sucking up power. I would suggest selling off what you can and upgrading. I went with a Gigabyte Z77 and a 3225 cpu with a 450 watt power supply and knocked $15 off my electric bill and have better performance.
Edited by bigmac11 - 3/25/13 at 8:37pm
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Samsung 830 SSD 2x Samsung F1 Samsung TFC 480, 360, BI 140. EK 250 res. 355 with XSP... Win 7 + Vista 
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Samsung 830 SSD 2x Samsung F1 Samsung TFC 480, 360, BI 140. EK 250 res. 355 with XSP... Win 7 + Vista 
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Catleap Corsair K90 EVGA 1300 G2 Corsair 800d 
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post #3 of 8
With recording off of Dish, I don't think that's possible. Maybe someone knowledgeable about Dish can help. I use a Intel Centrino http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833106136 for networking.
Main system
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 2600k Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP7  3 x Sapphire 7950 16 GB GSkill 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 830 SSD 2x Samsung F1 Samsung TFC 480, 360, BI 140. EK 250 res. 355 with XSP... Win 7 + Vista 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Catleap Corsair K90 EVGA 1300 G2 Corsair 800d 
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Coolermaster Spawn Ratpad Soundblaster XFi HD Logitech Z5500 
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(16 items)
 
  
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i7 2600k Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP7  3 x Sapphire 7950 16 GB GSkill 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 830 SSD 2x Samsung F1 Samsung TFC 480, 360, BI 140. EK 250 res. 355 with XSP... Win 7 + Vista 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Catleap Corsair K90 EVGA 1300 G2 Corsair 800d 
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Coolermaster Spawn Ratpad Soundblaster XFi HD Logitech Z5500 
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
What exactly did you find lacking performance wise?
I thought about buying a new, lower priced CPU / board but wasn't sure I really wanted to spend much money.

The original PC was an OEM product that came with a TV tuner card and was able to record from the dish. The TV tuner had an... antenna connector / analog input and output port. What I did was run the cable that normally goes from the dish itself into the back of the receiver and changed it so the cable first went from the dish, into the house, to the back of the PC through to antenna connectors INPUT, then ran a short cable out from the OUTPUT into the dish then used the analog I believe it's called (either Red / White for sound and Yellow for video... OR S-Video port out for Video and Red / White for sound) to the INPUT on the back of the TV. It was either that or went to the dishes INPUT first then used the OUTPUT on the reliever to the INPUT on the TV tuner then to the TV. This was back in 2008/2009 so I don't recall the exact order.

As I said it worked well but I do want a new Tuner since the newer ones are able to record at 1080 resolution.
post #5 of 8
I would sell the Q6600 and go with a Z77/I3 3225 or I5 3570. The processor platform is old, memory is expensive and uses more power. I would get at least a 600W power supply, are you going to get a video card to help in the video encoding, if you decide to get a 750W power supply. As for sound card you should be fine with built in as sound should be passed through the HDMI cable, if you keep your old Proc and cpu you will need a new video card with HDMI out. As for TV tuner card if you can get OTA HD get a dual tuner with Analog/digital or Hybrid Tuners. For recording TV shows I would use WMC since it is very easy to setup with a cable/satellite box using the ir reciever and IR blaster. I would go with a software raid solution like flex raid or drive bender,etc... They allow you to start with a few drives and allow you to easily add more as you need them or replace smaller ones with bigger ones and add different size drives to the array. I would get a smaller say 120GB for the OS though. If you buy a OEM Bluray drive, it will not come with any software so you will need software to play Bluray disks. As for other software I recommend WMC for recording with a external box. I then take the recorded shows convert them to Mkvs and use plex to play them and my movies. Plex is based on XBMC but has some cost but I think it well worth it. The media server software and the PC media software is free. but the android and IOS apps are $5 but allows you to stream over the internet to pretty much any device. There is also a paid version of the software where you can pay monthly, yearly or buy as lifetime subscription for $75 with allows you to put an offline copy of movies and such on your device. here is a good site for building your HTPC.
BENDER
(13 items)
 
  
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I7 920 D0 EVGA SLI 758 A1 Sapphire 4890 Vapor 6GB Gskill DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2 WD 250GB Raid 0 Plextor DVD-RW Windows 7 Professional HP 2207 
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I7 920 D0 EVGA SLI 758 A1 Sapphire 4890 Vapor 6GB Gskill DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2 WD 250GB Raid 0 Plextor DVD-RW Windows 7 Professional HP 2207 
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Logitech G15 Corsair HX750 HAF-X Logitech G500 
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post #6 of 8
I'm writing this on my phone so will be short and sweet... And probably full of typos!

If you aim to use dvb (I.e. digital tv) tuners then you don't need a graphics card to encode anything, your computer can literally write the transport stream from the tuner card straight to a hard disk.

I agree with the last posters comments about potentially selling the Q6600 as you'll pay a premium for any new ddr2 memory or a compatible motherboard. That said though, if you keep your eyes peeled on eBay I'm sure something will come up. Something like an asus P5K would be perfect for you, all the PCI and PCI-E slots you've asked for... Full size atx though so you'd need a suitably large case (most htpc cases are micro ATX).

I'd disagree with you both on the PSU requirements though. 650w is way too much for a htpc... This is something you want to have on all the time to record your shows. A computer psu only reaches its rated efficiency at the rated power consumption so a mismatched psu can be pretty inefficient. As an example for you, look at my media server machine spec in my sig. That has a Q6600 like yours with the P5K motherboard, 5 or 6 hdds, 4x1GB of RAM if I recall and a 9800 GT graphics card all running off a 450w psu... And that was overkill.

If you get a modern lightweight graphics card like a nvidia gt610, they come in passively cooled varieties, can output sound over hdmi and offload the video play back.

For satellite tuner cards, the ones I've used have only had a single input so if you want to use your existing stb as well you'll need at least a dual LNB on your dish with one feed for each device. This is because the LNB forms part of the tuning circuit and can only tune to one frequency at a time unlike terrestrial where you can daisy chain multiple devices.

If you've got the cash spare then a SSD is nice but for a media pc it doesn't really offer much improvement as most the running program's are loaded into memory on startup and it doesn't really do much after that. Ring buffers etc don't require the performance of a SSD. Wouldn't do any harm though!
 
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(16 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel Core i7 3820 P9X79 PRO Reference EVGA GTX 780 TI Reference EVGA GTX 780 TI 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveOptical Drive
Reference EVGA GTX 780 TI Samsung  Corsair Force 3 Samsung BD-ROM drive 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
XSPC Raystorm Full Copper block Phobia 150mm silver nickel reservior EK-FC780 GTX Ti - Nickel Original CSQ EK-FC780 GTX Ti - Nickel Original CSQ 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EK-FC780 GTX Ti - Nickel Original CSQ Alphacool 140.3 UT60 Nexxxos Radiator Alphacool 140.3 UT60 Nexxxos Radiator 12x Noctua NF-A14 PWM fans on rads 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
EK D5 Vario X-top EK D5 Vario X-top Win 7 Pro x64 Dell U2713H 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Razer Lycosa ECGA SUperNova G2 1300W Caselabs TH10 Razer Lachesis 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
Razer eXactMat NI Komplete Audio NAD C320 Stereo Amplifier 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 920 d0 Asus rampage ii gene Asus GTX 480 Corsair xms3 ddr3 2000 c9 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
OCZ Vertex 3 Samsung 2.5" notebook drive Samsung DVD-R drive Noctua 120 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Noctua 120 Noctua 140 Noctua 140 Win7 x64 pro 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Mythbuntu 12.04.1 Panasonic 46" Plasma HDTV Apple Aluminium Keyboard  corsair hx650 
CaseMouseAudioAudio
Fractal R1 Apple Mighty Mouse Sony STR-DH800 Amp via HDMI in 5.0 speaker conf... Mordaunt Short 905 Centre, 902 front and 904 re... 
Other
Xbox wireless controller dongle 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
core 2 quad q6600 Asus P5K-E XFX 9800 GT Geil DDR2 4x1GB @ 1066 MHz  
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Seagate Baraccuda Samsung HDD Seagate Baraccuda WD Caviar Black 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate Baraccuda Samsung DVD-RW Thermalright CPU cooler Mythbuntu 12.04.1 
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Corsair 450W PSU Antec 300 WinTV Nova HD-S2 WinTV Nova-T PCI 
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Mega Media PC
(21 items)
 
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(16 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel Core i7 3820 P9X79 PRO Reference EVGA GTX 780 TI Reference EVGA GTX 780 TI 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveOptical Drive
Reference EVGA GTX 780 TI Samsung  Corsair Force 3 Samsung BD-ROM drive 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
XSPC Raystorm Full Copper block Phobia 150mm silver nickel reservior EK-FC780 GTX Ti - Nickel Original CSQ EK-FC780 GTX Ti - Nickel Original CSQ 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EK-FC780 GTX Ti - Nickel Original CSQ Alphacool 140.3 UT60 Nexxxos Radiator Alphacool 140.3 UT60 Nexxxos Radiator 12x Noctua NF-A14 PWM fans on rads 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
EK D5 Vario X-top EK D5 Vario X-top Win 7 Pro x64 Dell U2713H 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Razer Lycosa ECGA SUperNova G2 1300W Caselabs TH10 Razer Lachesis 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
Razer eXactMat NI Komplete Audio NAD C320 Stereo Amplifier 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 920 d0 Asus rampage ii gene Asus GTX 480 Corsair xms3 ddr3 2000 c9 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
OCZ Vertex 3 Samsung 2.5" notebook drive Samsung DVD-R drive Noctua 120 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Noctua 120 Noctua 140 Noctua 140 Win7 x64 pro 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Mythbuntu 12.04.1 Panasonic 46" Plasma HDTV Apple Aluminium Keyboard  corsair hx650 
CaseMouseAudioAudio
Fractal R1 Apple Mighty Mouse Sony STR-DH800 Amp via HDMI in 5.0 speaker conf... Mordaunt Short 905 Centre, 902 front and 904 re... 
Other
Xbox wireless controller dongle 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
core 2 quad q6600 Asus P5K-E XFX 9800 GT Geil DDR2 4x1GB @ 1066 MHz  
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Seagate Baraccuda Samsung HDD Seagate Baraccuda WD Caviar Black 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate Baraccuda Samsung DVD-RW Thermalright CPU cooler Mythbuntu 12.04.1 
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Corsair 450W PSU Antec 300 WinTV Nova HD-S2 WinTV Nova-T PCI 
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post #7 of 8
He wants to have 8-9 storage drives, a midrange video card, overclock the cpu to 3Ghz I would definitely think minimum 500-550 watts. Unless he can set the drives to stagger start that a lot of start up current. One problem I can think of using the old board is the availability of slots to add a storage adapter. If he gets a video card then he would have to buy several smaller Sata adapter cards. I would really look at getting a newer board and processor which has several 16x slots and get a SAS2 adapter card.
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I7 920 D0 EVGA SLI 758 A1 Sapphire 4890 Vapor 6GB Gskill DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2 WD 250GB Raid 0 Plextor DVD-RW Windows 7 Professional HP 2207 
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BENDER
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I7 920 D0 EVGA SLI 758 A1 Sapphire 4890 Vapor 6GB Gskill DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2 WD 250GB Raid 0 Plextor DVD-RW Windows 7 Professional HP 2207 
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Logitech G15 Corsair HX750 HAF-X Logitech G500 
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
My real only concern was the board. I've found these being sold for around $20

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138123

2 PCI Express 2.0 x16
2 PCI Express x1
2 PCI Slots

I'm thinking that would most likely cover it.

I'm hoping to not end up having to spend $400 on this.

I'd really like to hear more peoples advice on this subject.
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