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Old 02-24-2013, 04:14 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 6
Default Review Rackmount HTPC build

I'm building a HTPC that will serve a variety of purposes:

Record and stream up to 4 TVs with WMC and XBOX 360 extenders
Playback - While the machine will be in a closet it will connect to my TV via HDMI
Home Automation -- I might run some simple home automation software

Here are the parts I'm looking at:

Case & Power supply:
Athena Power RM-3UD370S40 Black 1.2mm Thickness Steel 3U Rackmount Server Case 400W ( $161@ Newegg)
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($57.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($105.95 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.99 @ Amazon)
Total: ~$740

Components I already have:
HD Homerun Prime -- 3 tuners
DVD optical drive -- I already have Blu-ray player, may want to swap out for Blu-ray drive.
Windows 8 with Media Center

Does anyone have any feedback or am I missing something? In particular does anyone have experience with rack-mounted cases. From my research it seems like the 2U cases are a bit narrow to work with and the 4U cases are bigger than I need/want.
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:45 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Southern Idaho
Posts: 5,463

Are you actually rack mounting it? If not, you'll probably want to paint the case, or find one that is all black. I've been thinking about doing the same thing, but with a 4U case.

My personal preference lately is to buy cases w/o power supply, ones that come included generally seem kinda cheap. That said, I know squat about Athena, and I don't think they list the model # of the power supply in that provided link.

The rest seems pretty standard fare, pretty stout CPU for an HTPC that won't see ant gaming, though. Guess that makes it good father into the future.

EDIT: I see you are putting it in a closet, never mind about the paint, lol.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:58 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 6

Thanks for your feedback! I am actually going to mount it to a rack so I think it should look fine.

As for the PSU, I also prefer to buy the power supply separate from the case. However it seems like many of the 2U (and some 3U) rack-mounted cases don't fit standard ATX power supplies so this seemed like a nice convenience.

Curiously, is there a 3u or 4u case anyone recommends? One issue is that it can't be too deep (<20 inches) to fit well with the rest of items in the rack.

Last edited by mikmort; 02-24-2013 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:16 PM   #4
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Location: Southern Idaho
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That 3U mounts a standard ATX PSU, if I'm not mistaken.

The case I am looking at buying is the Chenbro RM42300-F. Nice heavy construction, but it's 4U and doesn't come with a PSU.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:06 PM   #5
Fallen Kell
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Personally I would go with a http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811219029 and then pickup the powersupply (given that you want less than 20 inches, this one is only 15.25"). I havn't used this particular case, but I have used some of their other cases. They arn't the best build quality wise, but they work and are cheap. You do have to buy rail kit separately either RL-20, or RL-26 depending on your rack's depth (so that is another $35). Not sure if the rack you posted came with the rail kit.
We were all warned of MS problems many years ago; remember how the Magic 8 Ball always said: "Outlook not so good"?
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