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Reliable "Green" File Server/Media PC

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I think this is my first post that wasn't a reply! Been lurking around for a while and just started being an active member and contributing. Happy to be aboard.

Let me start this off by saying I have 'the itis.'

The 'itis explained: Having a difficult time buying lower-end, non overclocked/overkill-for-the-situation-at-hand components.

My goal is to put together a 24/7 file server/"living room PC."

I want some recommendations for parts (even a full-build would be helpful, even though I have quite a few pieces already in mind!)

- Must be "green", seeing as how it's going to be running 24/7
- Near-silent, being that it's going to be in the living room.
- Have room for 4+ drives
- Be able to handle your standard HTPC uses, hulu/web browsing/etc.

I have a Google TV in the living room, but I've grown tired of waiting for updates for it to become what I imagined it would, so I'm going this route instead. I don't need/want a TV Tuner or necessarily an HTPC front-end as much as I want a file server for music/ripped DVDs/Blu-Rays, etc.

My problem as I said before has been picking lower-end components that will 'do the job,' so I come to the community for help. Appreciate any suggestions, or different routes to go down if you think I should consider a new idea.

EDIT: I should also add I would like to hook it up to my AVR. I would assume pushing sound over HDMI would be adequate? or should I look into a decent sound card for analogue hookups? A bit of a novice to the audiophile world.
Edited by aesthetics1 - 4/4/11 at 11:31pm
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Vertex 3 MaxIOPS Western Digital Caviar Black Lite-On DVD/CD R/W Corsair H100 
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AMD E-350 APU (Fusion) ASUS E35M1-I DELUXE Fusion APU G Skill Ripjaw 2x4gb 1066 c9 
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WDC Black 1TB x 6 Samsung Blu-Ray Combo Drive Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Samsung 46" HDTV 
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Seasonic 400w Fanless LIAN LI PC-Q08B 
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Gaming PC
(18 items)
 
Media Center PC
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3930K @ 4.7ghz Asus Rampage IV Extreme MSI GTX 780 Lightning Corsair DOMINATOR 1866 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Vertex 3 MaxIOPS Western Digital Caviar Black Lite-On DVD/CD R/W Corsair H100 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit HP ZR24w x3 Filco Majestouch 2 Tenkeyless (MX Red) Corsair AX850 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
CoolerMaster HAF-X Steelseries Sensei Razer Destructor Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 
AudioOther
Astro A40 (wired) + Mixamp AP-15 x 6 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD E-350 APU (Fusion) ASUS E35M1-I DELUXE Fusion APU G Skill Ripjaw 2x4gb 1066 c9 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WDC Black 1TB x 6 Samsung Blu-Ray Combo Drive Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Samsung 46" HDTV 
PowerCase
Seasonic 400w Fanless LIAN LI PC-Q08B 
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post #2 of 23
Thread Starter 
Case: LIAN LI PC-Q08B ~$130
Power Supply: Seasonic Fanless 400w ~$140
Motherboard/CPU: ASUS E35M1-I DELUXE AMD Zacate E-350 ~$175
Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB CL7 1066 DDR3 ~$80
Hard Drive(s): 2+ 2TB Samsung Spinpoint F4 5400RPM ~$80

~$600 for the build. How does this sound?
Edited by aesthetics1 - 4/6/11 at 12:39pm
Gaming PC
(18 items)
 
Media Center PC
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3930K @ 4.7ghz Asus Rampage IV Extreme MSI GTX 780 Lightning Corsair DOMINATOR 1866 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Vertex 3 MaxIOPS Western Digital Caviar Black Lite-On DVD/CD R/W Corsair H100 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit HP ZR24w x3 Filco Majestouch 2 Tenkeyless (MX Red) Corsair AX850 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
CoolerMaster HAF-X Steelseries Sensei Razer Destructor Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 
AudioOther
Astro A40 (wired) + Mixamp AP-15 x 6 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD E-350 APU (Fusion) ASUS E35M1-I DELUXE Fusion APU G Skill Ripjaw 2x4gb 1066 c9 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WDC Black 1TB x 6 Samsung Blu-Ray Combo Drive Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Samsung 46" HDTV 
PowerCase
Seasonic 400w Fanless LIAN LI PC-Q08B 
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Gaming PC
(18 items)
 
Media Center PC
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3930K @ 4.7ghz Asus Rampage IV Extreme MSI GTX 780 Lightning Corsair DOMINATOR 1866 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Vertex 3 MaxIOPS Western Digital Caviar Black Lite-On DVD/CD R/W Corsair H100 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit HP ZR24w x3 Filco Majestouch 2 Tenkeyless (MX Red) Corsair AX850 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
CoolerMaster HAF-X Steelseries Sensei Razer Destructor Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 
AudioOther
Astro A40 (wired) + Mixamp AP-15 x 6 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD E-350 APU (Fusion) ASUS E35M1-I DELUXE Fusion APU G Skill Ripjaw 2x4gb 1066 c9 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WDC Black 1TB x 6 Samsung Blu-Ray Combo Drive Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Samsung 46" HDTV 
PowerCase
Seasonic 400w Fanless LIAN LI PC-Q08B 
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post #3 of 23
for starters, almost any igpu (integrated graphics) will handle 1080p playback just fine with the right decoders, and after that the cpu won't make a lot of difference for a file server.

If I were doing a build like this, I'd pick up an am3 board with >=4GB of ram (why go less anymore?) and put whatever is the cheapest am3 cpu available (I believe it's still the sempron 140). put an aftermarket cooler on it (scythe big shuriken is nice) and put a better 120mm fan on it rather than the noisy 12mm thick one it comes with.

after that, just make sure the case you get is screwed together really well and won't rattle and use only 5400rpm drives, since they're effectively silent.

idk what to tell you about software, but I tend to be partial to linux for just about everything but gaming, so you might want to look at a persistent install of xbmc (available as a standalone os) and see how well that works with the amd gpu.

(ps, make sure there are reviews proving the chipset of the board you're looking at can play 1080p)
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post #4 of 23
Assuming theres not a low set price limit.
Case: LIAN LI PC-Q08B
Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts 380w
CPU/Motherboard/Video Card: GIGABYTE GA-E350N
Memory: G.SKILL ECO Series 2x2G
Hard Drive(s): (4) 2TB Samsung F4's
    
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250GB Crucial MX200 Corsair H100i V2 Windows 10 64-bit Crossover 2795 QHD 
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post #5 of 23


There!

On a more serious note, the Samsungs are known for being quite noisy. I recently bought a WD20EARS (2tb) and I really can't hear it (although I'm kind of used to 10K SCSI drives...).
    
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post #6 of 23
Case: Fractal R2 Array Mini-ITX
Beautiful little case. Perfect for NAS or HTPC. Can hold 6 drives.
Con: No optical drive

HDDs: WD20EADS have been shown to have a very low failure rate, though they are more expensive now since the EARS came out.
Hitachi 5K3000, WD20EARS, or Samsung F4 HD204UI's. (Samsung's have to have a firmware flash to prevent data corruption)

Motherboard: Any mini-ITX will do. If you want HD bitstreaming to your AVR, you will have to go with any 5xxx series AMD card or higher, or nvidia 4xx series or higher (Excluding high end cards). This is the best way to do your audio. Send a completely encoded stream of audio for your receiver to decode.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonzâ„¢ View Post
Case: Fractal R2 Array Mini-ITX
Beautiful little case. Perfect for NAS or HTPC. Can hold 6 drives.
Con: No optical drive

HDDs: WD20EADS have been shown to have a very low failure rate, though they are more expensive now since the EARS came out.
Hitachi 5K3000, WD20EARS, or Samsung F4 HD204UI's. (Samsung's have to have a firmware flash to prevent data corruption)

Motherboard: Any mini-ITX will do. If you want HD bitstreaming to your AVR, you will have to go with any 5xxx series AMD card or higher, or nvidia 4xx series or higher (Excluding high end cards). This is the best way to do your audio. Send a completely encoded stream of audio for your receiver to decode.
Can you explain this last part a bit more? Or does anyone else care to elaborate?

Any more specific processor/mobo recommendations? Anyone care to chime in with first-hand experience setting up something similar?

I like the two cases suggested so far. The GREEN one isn't quite my taste however

Thanks for all the help so far!
Gaming PC
(18 items)
 
Media Center PC
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3930K @ 4.7ghz Asus Rampage IV Extreme MSI GTX 780 Lightning Corsair DOMINATOR 1866 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Vertex 3 MaxIOPS Western Digital Caviar Black Lite-On DVD/CD R/W Corsair H100 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit HP ZR24w x3 Filco Majestouch 2 Tenkeyless (MX Red) Corsair AX850 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
CoolerMaster HAF-X Steelseries Sensei Razer Destructor Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 
AudioOther
Astro A40 (wired) + Mixamp AP-15 x 6 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD E-350 APU (Fusion) ASUS E35M1-I DELUXE Fusion APU G Skill Ripjaw 2x4gb 1066 c9 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WDC Black 1TB x 6 Samsung Blu-Ray Combo Drive Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Samsung 46" HDTV 
PowerCase
Seasonic 400w Fanless LIAN LI PC-Q08B 
  hide details  
Reply
Gaming PC
(18 items)
 
Media Center PC
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3930K @ 4.7ghz Asus Rampage IV Extreme MSI GTX 780 Lightning Corsair DOMINATOR 1866 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Vertex 3 MaxIOPS Western Digital Caviar Black Lite-On DVD/CD R/W Corsair H100 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit HP ZR24w x3 Filco Majestouch 2 Tenkeyless (MX Red) Corsair AX850 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
CoolerMaster HAF-X Steelseries Sensei Razer Destructor Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 
AudioOther
Astro A40 (wired) + Mixamp AP-15 x 6 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD E-350 APU (Fusion) ASUS E35M1-I DELUXE Fusion APU G Skill Ripjaw 2x4gb 1066 c9 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WDC Black 1TB x 6 Samsung Blu-Ray Combo Drive Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Samsung 46" HDTV 
PowerCase
Seasonic 400w Fanless LIAN LI PC-Q08B 
  hide details  
Reply
post #8 of 23
the amd fusion platform fits this perfectly

pick any of these

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...e=AMD%20Zacate
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Ultra mega
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post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by aesthetics1 View Post
Can you explain this last part a bit more? Or does anyone else care to elaborate?

Any more specific processor/mobo recommendations? Anyone care to chime in with first-hand experience setting up something similar?

I like the two cases suggested so far. The GREEN one isn't quite my taste however

Thanks for all the help so far!
Bitstreaming basically means your Sound card (over SPDIF/Optical) or your video card (Over HDMI) sends the audio completely untouched to your receiver. The software on the PC doesn't decode it at all. It arrives at the receiver still encoded. The receiver then decodes it, as it's meant to.

Standard DTS or Dolby Digital can be bitstreamed over SPDIF/Coax because it's already compressed, but HD audio (DTS-MA/Dolby TrueHD) cannot. HD audio is very high bandwidth and must be bitstreamed over HDMI; however, not all graphics cards can do this.

Any AMD card 5xxx series or higher can bitstream, and most Nvidia 4xx or higher series cards can. High end Nvidia cards 470,480,570,580,590 cannot bitstream.

Apparently the new AMD Fusion platform (Zacate 350) can bitstream just fine as well. That would probably be the cheapest and easiest solution for you.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by citruspers View Post


There!

On a more serious note, the Samsungs are known for being quite noisy. I recently bought a WD20EARS (2tb) and I really can't hear it (although I'm kind of used to 10K SCSI drives...).
Noise is subjective but I would not say that the Samsung F4s are noisy at all. I currently run 6 of them in a home file server and the box is hard to hear sitting about 2m away from it. That is with nothing else making noise in the room.
Edited by evermooingcow - 4/5/11 at 5:13pm
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