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Expert opinion on fine-tuning homebuilt NAS/MediaCenter setup (green/performance/budget)

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi there.

I'm want to build a multi-purpose NAS/MediaCenter.

It is going to be used to:
- Store pictures (thousends of them, RAW, JPEG, TIFF and other formats)
- Store music & stream to various clients
- Store HD (1080p) movies & preprocess (local, so on this system) & stream to (at least) 2 clients
- Process/convert/extract/encode/decode) movies in/from/to various formats (mostly x264, DTS, AC3, MPEG4, MKV) in batch jobs

Maybe some useful info:
- The OS will be Ubuntu Server
- I'll be using Plex Media Center for the video pre-processing and streaming.
- Pictures will be processed by 1 client. The connection and access time preferably needs to be near-local performance (yeah i know... quite the requirement).

I am on a tight budget. Important criteria for me are:
- Performance (not top-notch, but still fast enough to be up to the tasks listed above. these tasks should be run simultaniously, but there are tools to do some CPU & HDD load balancing for the several tasks i guess)
- Noise (has to be as quiet as possible for the money, since it will be on at night too)
- Durable (well...it's a NAS & media center, so it will be on 24/7 and the extracting/converting/pre-processing of video will give some heavy load for long periods of time). I now do this on my i7 laptop and i have to take serious measures to prevent over-heating.
- Stay current for the next 5 years
- Low power consumption

I have already done quite some homework to find some great value-for money components. This is what i came up with so far, which i think is a quite well performing, quiet setup for the money:

- Motherboard : ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP / Asus P8B75-V
- CPU : Intel i5 3570
- RAM : Vengeance LP Blue CML16GX3M4A1600C9 9-9-9-24 16GB (2x8GB)
- SSD : OCZ Vector 128GB (for the OS and procesing video files. Will be transferred to HDD array when finished)
- HDD : 3x Western Digital Red 3TB / Toshiba DT01ACA300 3TB (= relabeled Hitachi 7K3000!) (put in a RAIDZ array)
- Case : Fractal Design Define R4 Titanium Grey
- PSU : Corsair VX450W

This whole setup will cost me about 1050 euro (NL). This is quite a lot of money for me.

What i need help for are 3 things:

- I'd like to cut costs as much as possible, while keeping as much performance, reliability and durability as posible. What components should i change, also in regards to my next question?

-I'd like this system to be as green as possible, while keeping as much performance, reliability and durability as posible. What components should i change, also in regards to my previous question?

- What PSU should i consider for this setup?

Aditional question: am i not missing any components?

PLEASE only reply if you KNOW what you are talking about and have experience in the options and advice you are giving. Just saying "I have MB 'X' and never had any problems with it", or "CPU 'X' is crap", or similar is not going to help me or others in any way.

Thank you very much, i really appreciate the help. This site has already helped me a lot with the tons of info it has!
Edited by reilos - 6/4/13 at 5:14am
post #2 of 17
honestly this is something that would prefer total core count over anything, I'd reccemend going with something Ala AMD esque here because of that reason, more cores>small percent in single threaded. as for PSU's, Anything in the 450 watt quality range would do it, Make sure to go for a platinum rated one due to the fact that i don't see you turning this off at all ever.
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post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Would the Corsair VX450W be a good choice? I got some excellent reviews! Should be powerful, efficient and silent.
Edited by reilos - 5/31/13 at 4:46am
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Changed mobo to ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP and CPU to Intel i5 3570, since i'm not going to OC.
post #5 of 17
I think the WD reds would be overkill, I think you could use a cheaper drive such as the Toshiba DT01ACA300.

The Toshiba drives are basically relabeled Hitachi 7K3000. They spin faster 7200 vs 5400 and utilize 1TB platters. The Toshiba's are raid friendly, so they shouldn't drop out of the raid, they use CCFA which is their version of TLER. But they have a shorter warranty, 3 years apposed to 5 years, that's for the USA, I couldn't find warranty information for Toshiba on the UK website but could for WD.
post #6 of 17
ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP frown.gif
reliability ... I always check newegg to see if a motherboard has bad review. As you can see a lot of DOA in the last few month and memory problems, so it would better to choose another one

for almost the same price i see this ASUS P8B75-V
My asus board 1366 still is alive to this day after 4-5 years, so +1 for asus, i have never had a asrock so i don't really have any opinion on them.

for the psu ya it a good choice, for my own server i use the CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 it's on 24/24 and didn't have any problem.


Just for you info, you wanted a silent server, i have the r4 case, it's in my bedroom and the only thing i hear is a little cheap 40mm fan on my perc 5 raid card, the rest is silent!! biggrin.gif when I have my room fan on, i don't hear anything

plex ftw redface.gif just started using it this week, your cpu is going to be good enough for anything, i streamed just to test a 40gb bluray rip with a e3-1230v ( which is like bit slower i7, stronger i5) and cpu usage was very low while transcoding ( for a old bluray player)
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post #7 of 17
I doubt you'll need all 16gig of RAM, but its cheap so I guess go for it.


You do realize that, with your current configuration, a single HD failure could cause your NAS to go down,right? SSDs are more reliable than spinning disks, but are still not as hardy as most other computer components.

With the amount of RAM you have, and a RAIDZ giving you a speed boost, I'd consider dropping the SSD. Since its a server, program startup times are irrelevant, and I'm not sure it'd help all that much in image and video processing, which are typically CPU bound.
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post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mv740 View Post

ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP frown.gif
reliability ... I always check newegg to see if a motherboard has bad review. As you can see a lot of DOA in the last few month and memory problems, so it would better to choose another one

You shouldn't put a lot of stock on the reviews on Newegg. More than half of them are written by people who don't know what they are doing.
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CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
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RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
128GB (16 x 8GB) 1333MHz ECC Registered DDR3 4 x Micron M500 480GB SSD 4 x Hitachi 450GB 10K SAS 8 x Toshiba 5TB 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingOS
Intel 750 400GB NVME SSD 2 x Dynatron R22 6 x SuperMicro 5K RPM Fans VMWare vSphere 6 
MonitorPowerCaseOther
IPMI SuperMicro 650W PSU SuperMicro CSE-833T-650B Black 3U Rackmount Ser... Intel X520-T2 Dual Port 10GbE Server Adapter 
Other
HP P420 1GB Smart Array Controller 
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Intel Xeon E5-2670 Intel Xeon E5-2670 Intel S2600CP2J Onboard Graphics 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
128GB (16 x 8GB) 1333MHz ECC Registered DDR3 4 x Micron M500 480GB SSD 4 x Hitachi 450GB 10K SAS Intel 750 400GB NVME SSD 
CoolingOSMonitorPower
2 x Intel AUPSRCBTP VMWare vSphere 6 IPMI Intel 750W PSU 
CaseOtherOther
Intel P4216XXMHGR 4U Server Chassis Intel X520-T2 Dual Port 10GbE Server Adapter HP P420 1GB Smart Array Controller 
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Intel Xeon E5-2670 Intel Xeon E5-2670 SuperMicro X9DR3-F Onboard Graphics 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
128GB (16 x 8GB) 1333MHz ECC Registered DDR3 4 x Micron M500 480GB SSD 4 x Hitachi 450GB 10K SAS Intel 750 400GB NVME SSD 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
2 x Dynatron R22 3 x SuperMicro 5K RPM Fans VMWare vSphere 6 IPMI 
PowerCaseOtherOther
SuperMicro 563W PSU SuperMicro CSE-825TQ-563LPB 2U Rackmount Server... Intel X520-T2 Dual Port 10GbE Server Adapter HP P420 1GB Smart Array Controller 
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post #9 of 17
Well it would still help you just to know if it had a lot of doa, then you check using the item sku on google if it true or not. it better to have a noob saying it doesnt work than a pro saying it work using a beta bios or setting ram using good setting lol
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My baby
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home server
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsHard Drive
i7 3770k DZ77GAL-70K evga gtx 970 Crucial m4 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
W.Green seagates adata  ex360 xspc 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
RayStorm CPU WaterBlock 970  Win 8 Asus vh222h-p 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Alienware Tx750 corsair 800d Naga 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
e3-1230v2 Gigabyte B75M-D3H Patriot Intel Extreme Masters PVI316G160C9K Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200RPM 
OSPowerCase
windows server 2012 datacenter Corsair CX Series CX500 Fractal Design Define R4 
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post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mv740 View Post

ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP frown.gif
reliability ... I always check newegg to see if a motherboard has bad review. As you can see a lot of DOA in the last few month and memory problems, so it would better to choose another one

for almost the same price i see this ASUS P8B75-V
My asus board 1366 still is alive to this day after 4-5 years, so +1 for asus, i have never had a asrock so i don't really have any opinion on them.

for the psu ya it a good choice, for my own server i use the CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 it's on 24/24 and didn't have any problem.

Just for you info, you wanted a silent server, i have the r4 case, it's in my bedroom and the only thing i hear is a little cheap 40mm fan on my perc 5 raid card, the rest is silent!! biggrin.gif when I have my room fan on, i don't hear anything

plex ftw redface.gif just started using it this week, your cpu is going to be good enough for anything, i streamed just to test a 40gb bluray rip with a e3-1230v ( which is like bit slower i7, stronger i5) and cpu usage was very low while transcoding ( for a old bluray player)

Thanks for your reply!

I had a look at the Asus board, and it only has 1 SATA-III connection, opposed to 4 on the ASRock board. But then again, i would only connect the SATA-III to the SSD and the HDD's to the SATA-II connectors. The HDD's won't reach those speeds anyway.

Good to hear i was right on the silent case and PSU. Especially the PSU took me quite some research...
Edited by reilos - 6/5/13 at 3:57am
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