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Old 10-26-2012, 09:54 PM   #1
ghostyroasty
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Default New build, media server, transcoding, low power.

Hi all, this is my first post here, but I've been redirected here many a time through Google searches for answers.
I'm planning on building a computer that will replace my current setup for the main pc... but will also act as a media server that can transcode more than one hd file via plex media server. The only part purchased thus far is the bluray drive for ripping my frequently viewed flicks. I know that i would prefer Intel builds, I may go with Windows 8 pro for the build, but i may also end up going with Linux. The build will run 24/7 so I'd like it to be as low powered as i can get it. Any suggestions would be nice!
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:40 AM   #2
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Transcoding = you need more performance
Low power = less performance

What you need to do is to find a balance between the two. I would suggest an Ivy Bridge dual core CPU, using integrated graphics and a Pico PSU.
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Old 10-27-2012, 09:46 AM   #3
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I was looking at the i7 s series as a low power solution, but the price is steep. Going to need a lot of storage, as i'm going to store most of my media on the computer. I was thinking about a ssd for my os which is still to be determined.
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:18 PM   #4
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I just installed Plex Media Server last week on my main server and currently have it streaming video to my Roku devices via the Plex Channel. I'm still experimenting with different formats but I think this approach has lots of potential especially given how cheap Roku devices are. I have not had luck streaming to Xbox and PS3 from Plex, even though it is supported. I just need to spend a little more time testing.

Current server is running a Q6600 with 8 GB of RAM, but I have a new server on the drawing board for early next year that will be an i7-class CPU (probably a Xeon variant) and 64 GB of RAM to start. If you're planning on transcoding a lot, I wouldn't go less than an i7.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostyroasty View Post
I was looking at the i7 s series as a low power solution, but the price is steep. Going to need a lot of storage, as i'm going to store most of my media on the computer. I was thinking about a ssd for my os which is still to be determined.
Take a look here

Quadcore i7 with HT and only uses 45W max. What's not to like?. Generally the T series is the way to go if you need something very power efficient, that runs 24/7. They have a lower vcore then "standard" i7's.

Pair it with this, ITX-board with 6 SATA ports...

Include a efficient PSU, and I think that's about as low-power as you can get...
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Old 10-28-2012, 03:17 PM   #6
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Thanks for the insight... i read looking at the assassins goliath server, and i loved the case and the amount of hard drives i can pop in to it. I may go with that case, with an i7, and maybe a larger atx mobo to support more hds. I won't fill it up anyone soon, but I'll probably buy 2 hds at a time for raid configurations. Either that, or make full use of my crashplan.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:36 PM   #7
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I have used a G530 and i3 2100 in my server. Both work great for how I recommend a server for HTPC use. I upgraded to the i3 only because I was able to get it for $82 shipped in retail box.

This was with the G530.

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=137546

http://youtu.be/Q44HdDLRbRk
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:01 AM   #8
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What are your thoughts on processors transcoding multiple videos at once? I was told an i7 earlier, but wow are they expensive!! Would your build with the i3 handle transcoding multiple hd videos and have the power to be the main pc for productivity?
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:50 AM   #9
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Saw this on sale today. Any impressions or comparisons to the case Fractal Designs define xl? http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B005X3...1477795&sr=8-1
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:54 PM   #10
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The P280 isn't a bad case. It all depends on how loud you want it to be. The top mount fans make it a lot louder than something like a Fractal Designs R4 (which has the option of using top mount fans if you need them, but otherwise has the holes plugged with a sound absorption foam).

From a performance standpoint, I am running an overclocked i7-2770k in an R3 (almost identical to the R4, only difference is a removable hard drive tray in the R4 and different/larger cable pass-through holes on the motherboard tray). I find it to be a very well made case with excellent acoustical properties, especially at the price point. I did replace the stock fans with Corsair's Quite SP120s (front), and a Noctua NH-P12 (rear). I am not sure you really need to replace them as well. The stock fans were not bad at all, just that with this being in a bedroom, quiet was key and a few db matter at that point.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:37 PM   #11
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Thanks, I will actually have this in my basement office area. Noise isn't much of a concern, but the fractal design case has gotten universal praise, so I may go with it. Currently stuck on processor decision. I may wait until black Friday to buy that.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostyroasty View Post
Thanks for the insight... i read looking at the assassins goliath server, and i loved the case and the amount of hard drives i can pop in to it. I may go with that case, with an i7, and maybe a larger atx mobo to support more hds. I won't fill it up anyone soon, but I'll probably buy 2 hds at a time for raid configurations. Either that, or make full use of my crashplan.
Indeed ... I really have enjoyed using the Goliath server and you are correct , the Fractal case used is just amazing . So many features that you will own it for a while before you really discover all of them . You will not go wrong with this case if this is what you decide .
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flocko View Post
Indeed ... I really have enjoyed using the Goliath server and you are correct , the Fractal case used is just amazing . So many features that you will own it for a while before you really discover all of them . You will not go wrong with this case if this is what you decide .
Flocko owns the Goliath, btw. So he would know!
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:23 AM   #14
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Flocko owns the Goliath, btw. So he would know!
Indeed I do own it and a fact that I am very proud of

However , just to clear to the forum .

I would not own Goliath if Assassin had not built it !!

It really is the best piece of computing hardware that i have ever owned . I still look at it every day with envy and pride .

Any of you fine forum folks that have seen Goliath and would like to emulate it or a similar build REALLY need to contact Assassin privately .

You will be in for a real treat !!
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:50 PM   #15
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I was checking out the Assassin's htpc guide and then thought about going with an AMD Trinity cpu instead of a core i5 or i7 to save some bucks. I'm only going to be transcoding 2 or at most 3 files at a time if that helps matters. On the gaming end, I'll be playing games like the Unreal Tournament games and Onlive along with some Steam games that I've picked up in the past that are not gpu intense. Any advice on this would be welcomed. I do know for sure that my build will have Windows 8 Pro and and SSD to store it on, with a 3 TB drive to transfer my current rips over from a Synology 207+ NAS. After the files are transferred, I'll be putting the Synology to work as a backup. I'm also planning on backing up EVERYTHING to Crashplan... It'll take months needless to say. I already have my photos stored on their servers, all 213 gigs or so
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:12 AM   #16
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Quick update:
I've purchased the Fractal Design Define XL and a Seasonic 750W modular psu.
I'm planning on getting more of the hardware ordered on BF or Cyber Monday. looking at getting a Core i7, SSD (might purchase it from Newegg today Samsung 840 series., 3 TB HD to get me started, Memory, and the mobo.

I'm stuck on which Mobo to get and how much memory. like I said before, I'll be using this to transcode video, and to store my collection as well as an occasional game or two.
Any suggestions on a decent motherboard and memory would be great! Any power saving features are more than welcomed as well as this will be a 24/7 running machine.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:04 PM   #17
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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ate-_-22148844

3tb to get you started for 89$
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:30 PM   #18
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Thanks for the heads up. Also going for their 32g of ram deal. Need a mobo though that I can use in my case though to at least fill in most of the expansion slots lol and a lot of sata connectors.
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:29 PM   #19
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Well i missed the 32 gigs of ram... but i did get a , core i7 3770k. Now i just need a motherboard that doesn't drink electricity and some ram. I may even throw in a gpu. Any suggestions for a motherboard and ram combo for my build?

Last edited by ghostyroasty; 12-01-2012 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:53 AM   #20
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That's a monster CPU.

Any AsRock z78 is a good choice. Intel and Asus are great too.

Budget ?
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:36 PM   #21
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I was thinking of no more than 250 for the motherboard. Even though i was looking at the sabretooth by Asus but still unsure. Ram is one thing i may stay low on. Either 8 or 16 gigs and upgrade to 32 later.
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:47 PM   #22
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Well, I'm still stuck on a mobo and how much ram to put in. I was also contemplating a gpu down the road. I am thinking about adding a Radeon 7750 to my older core2duo system that is now in my living room for some light gaming (Burnout, NFS Most Wanted, and UT mostly)
So that also means I need to lower my budget without sacrificing too much. Any ideas are welcome. I want to get this finished being built, so I can then buy the HDs when I catch a sale and start ripping my collection.
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