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Quiet HTPC / VM Server (and possibly gaming)...

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I need to replace my old mac mini and looking for expanding my use. I also currently have VM's running on my main PC. However I am limited to 32 gigs of ram and so constantly need to be switching machines on and off as I work on different type of systems (do a lot of testing on different OS's and setups). Anyways, I've decided I should just get a box with 64 gigs which will allow to do what I need.

So thinking of merging my VM and HTPC need into one box, since my PC stays on mainly because the VM's and my HTPC stays since it hosts all my media. My biggest hurdle so far is finding a setup that is quiet enough to run in my living room. Machine will start out without gaming, but eventually I do want to stick a 1060 or something similar that is low power and silent (1050 if they ever make one maybe).

This is the setup I have so far:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($324.99 @ Best Buy)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z170MX-Gaming 5 Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($149.98 @ Directron)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 64GB (4 x 16GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($289.05 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 950 PRO 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($321.99 @ Best Buy)
Storage: Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($117.72 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($117.72 @ Newegg)
Case: Silverstone GD08B (Black) HTPC Case ($172.27 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair RMx 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($97.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $1591.70
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-08-31 02:28 EDT-0400

FYI, case has been the hardest thing to pick for me. I ended up with one of the largest ones, since I want something quiet and figure all that extra space helps keep parts cool. I am open for suggestions. Case I really liked only did ITX boards and I can find a MB that does 64 gigs and has the feature I like (other than a server board)

Main missing component is a CPU cooler. I usually like the Noctua. My main PC uses one and it is quiet as can be. Just not sure if such a huge cooler fits, so are the tower coolers better / quieter than the smaller ones? Which one would you recommend.

Fans? Do I need to replace the ones that come with the case? If so, do I get Noctua fans? How many and which would work best for the case / mobo?

Anything else I am missing?

I appreciate any help you can provide. I'm not tied to anything here other than the processor and needing 64 gigs.

Thank you,


DRP
post #2 of 4
I reckon you should consider a server for hosting your media and hosting your VM's (and maybe a gpu pass thru to one VM so you can game on the server if needed).
And then a separate device for an HTPC. I mentioned to someone else about using the ODROID-C2 as a media player, can handle 4K 60Hz playback, and x265(HVEC) video decoding with ease. Only costs US$40 for the unit, $4.50 for a case, $5.50 for a power supply (5V 2A) and $8 for a 16GB microSD card for the OS drive. Optional remote like the probox2 remote+ for $25 or you can just use the Kore app on android mobile to control the system.
Easy to set up with Kodi. this guide gives a rough idea: https://baseclock.wordpress.com/2016/08/21/a-cheap-diy-media-player-option/
For less than US$80 you can get a decent media player setup with remote, that allows playback from other devices or NAS or server, attached usb hdd/ssd playback, pushing media from other devices with uPnP, streaming from popular services using apps and more.

And i reckon consider a motherboard with 8 DIMM slots so you can go to 128GB, you'll use it if it's there tongue.gif
Edited by spinFX - 8/31/16 at 12:14am
Ol'Faithful
(11 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon x5660 P6X58D-E XFX AMD Radeon R9 280X Corsair Vengeance 24 GB Triple Chanel 6x4GB 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Lite-On DVD-RW Noctua DH-14 CPU Cooler Windows 7 Pro x64 Samsung 24" LED 1080p 5ms DVI (S23A300B) 
PowerMouseAudio
Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Gold Corsair M95 Onboard :S 
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Ol'Faithful
(11 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon x5660 P6X58D-E XFX AMD Radeon R9 280X Corsair Vengeance 24 GB Triple Chanel 6x4GB 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Lite-On DVD-RW Noctua DH-14 CPU Cooler Windows 7 Pro x64 Samsung 24" LED 1080p 5ms DVI (S23A300B) 
PowerMouseAudio
Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Gold Corsair M95 Onboard :S 
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Reply
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thank you.

I consider going the server route and 128 gigs of ram would be great (a bit more than I need, but I'm sure I can find good use for it). However, being that most servers with that capacity will basically double as a jet engine as well, its not really an option. I do need to keep things relatively quiet.

I did try to do a server build, but it ended up costing more than double of what the parts listed above are, which is a bit more than I'm willing to spend. I'm trying to minimize the machines I need to leave on, while trying to maximize their use. Dedicated boxes to do each task would be best, but my house is warm enough as is, don't need a few more heaters running smile.gif

The htpc will be feeding a couple of fireTV's running Kodi, so I have some experience with media players. Considered getting a Shield TV to take care of my gaming bug and do media sharing, but after borrowing one, I wasn't too happy with it (mostly since it does a lousy job of multitasking).

Thanks again for your feedback.
post #4 of 4
Sounds like you've got it pretty sorted. I was suggesting an 8 DIMM motherboard, but not necessarily get the 128GB straight away, just get the 64 but have the room. I totally agree with you though, don't want it to blow out into some crazy expensive thing just 'coz!

It seems like it's going to be a tight squeeze getting all that into the HTPC case, should be an interesting cooling experiment, seeing as I guess this thing will actually be doing a fair bit of work running multiple VM's constantly.
Ol'Faithful
(11 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon x5660 P6X58D-E XFX AMD Radeon R9 280X Corsair Vengeance 24 GB Triple Chanel 6x4GB 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Lite-On DVD-RW Noctua DH-14 CPU Cooler Windows 7 Pro x64 Samsung 24" LED 1080p 5ms DVI (S23A300B) 
PowerMouseAudio
Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Gold Corsair M95 Onboard :S 
  hide details  
Reply
Ol'Faithful
(11 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon x5660 P6X58D-E XFX AMD Radeon R9 280X Corsair Vengeance 24 GB Triple Chanel 6x4GB 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Lite-On DVD-RW Noctua DH-14 CPU Cooler Windows 7 Pro x64 Samsung 24" LED 1080p 5ms DVI (S23A300B) 
PowerMouseAudio
Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Gold Corsair M95 Onboard :S 
  hide details  
Reply
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