From single-seat to client/server (1 Viewer)

vazeel

Portal Member
January 17, 2011
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Belgium Belgium
Hello all,

I built my first HTPC in 2011. As a starter I give an overview of the hardware:
  • i3 550 processor
  • Gigabyte GA-P55-USB3 motherboard (ATX)
  • EN9500GT graphics card
  • Samsung spinpoint F2 ecogreen (1.5TB)
  • 2x2GB DDR3 - 1333 MHz ram
This htpc has served me well over the years, but since I moved the case is just too big for the livingroom.

My plan is to use this setup to build a server (mediaportal 2 or not, depends on what you say) and put it somewhere out of sight. I then want a small client for the living room.

Some considerations:
As I live in belgium TV playback is not necessary (or even possible with my provider).
The client should be silent enough to use in the living room
The client should be small, maybe even m-ITX if this has a good performance.
I've read the wiki and where I would go for Intel in the past, would it be better for my budget to go to AMD at the present?

Looking forward to your comments. If you have any more questions I'd be happy to answer them.
 

Lehmden

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  • December 17, 2010
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    Hi.
    use this setup to build a server
    If you do so, remove the GFX card as a server don't need a lot of GPU power. This will save energy. But if you don't use TV I don't understand the purpose of this server in general. Should it be working as NAS then? For a NAS it has a way to strong CPU and eats too much energy. And the available space is not too big... You can add a 2 TB 2,5" HDD into or an external 3TB USB3.0 drive at the tiny HTPC with the effect that you have more storage space and lot less energy consumption. The MP2 server don't need to be running on an extra PC. Did non make sense to keep two PC running only to watch a video.

    The client should be silent enough to use in the living room
    You can get it completely noiseless if you want. This only is a matter of your budget.

    The client should be small, maybe even m-ITX if this has a good performance.
    You can even get an Core i7 as a m-ITX solution. Size has nothing to do with power nowadays.

    I think the easiest for you would be an Intel NUC (i3 or i5 based) as it is the smallest size you can get. Probably with an external USB 3.0 drive if you need more data storage. So you can sell your i3 or use it as working PC in the office or something like that...
     

    vazeel

    Portal Member
    January 17, 2011
    6
    0
    Belgium Belgium
    If you do so, remove the GFX card as a server don't need a lot of GPU power. This will save energy. But if you don't use TV I don't understand the purpose of this server in general. Should it be working as NAS then? For a NAS it has a way to strong CPU and eats too much energy. And the available space is not too big... You can add a 2 TB 2,5" HDD into or an external 3TB USB3.0 drive at the tiny HTPC with the effect that you have more storage space and lot less energy consumption. The MP2 server don't need to be running on an extra PC. Did non make sense to keep two PC running only to watch a video.
    One of the main purposes of the server is indeed a NAS, but I also need to reach the server from work with remote desktop, let it act as a download server, run a web server. Maybe in the future I can buid a less power consuming setup as you recommend.

    I think the easiest for you would be an Intel NUC (i3 or i5 based) as it is the smallest size you can get. Probably with an external USB 3.0 drive if you need more data storage. So you can sell your i3 or use it as working PC in the office or something like that...
    I will surely check out these NUC's. Any things I should look for in particular?
    Thanks already!
     

    Lehmden

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    Hi.
    Any things I should look for in particular?
    Depends on your budget. If you don't have much money to spend you best take the Celeron 847 based NUC. It's the best of the cheapest ones. If you can spend an extra 100€ you should go for a Core i from fourth generation rather than one from third generation. This is not due to missing CPU power or features on the elderly but the younger ones have way much better inbuild GPU... And this is important for HTPC purposes. If you don't need to look at every Cent than you best take the D34010 (Haswell i3 with HD4400 GPU)...
     

    vazeel

    Portal Member
    January 17, 2011
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    Belgium Belgium
    I looked a bit at your suggestion and I noticed I should get a solution with S/PDIF because my home cinema receiver does not support audio over HDMI (wasn't really important at that time).
    What do you think of this Gigabyte box?
     

    Lehmden

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  • December 17, 2010
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    Hi.
    Have no experiences with Gigabyte Brix but as this is the same CPU/GPU I don't expect any problems with. To have a VESA mount option is a nice gift too.
    You can add a mSATA SSD for Windows and a 2,5" HDD for storage to this mini. A nice combination and probably an replacement for your Server too (if you have enough space with a 2 TB HDD).

    let it act as a download server, run a web server
    This is a bit of a yawn for the i3. Both can be done easily by a Raspberry Pi without reaching it's limits...
     

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