Description

I needed a relatively cheap PC that I could connect to a TV as a home theater pc, but also run a Plex Media/FTP server for fun/work without drawing too much power. I wanted it to handle mid end gaming like CS:GO and emulate stuff without a problem and it does that. With the wireless dongle I can hook up the 4 xbox 360 controllers I already owned and play supersmash with four people which is awesome.

I haven't tried playing any games more tasking that the metro Redux or CsGo but it runs them both great and runs cool while doing it. The case doesn't have much to offer for cable management and I ran out of zip ties but for what I paid it gets the job done. Fans are a little loud but not noticeable over the audio system it's hooked up to. I could probably slow the fans down if I installed some fan control software or something but It's quiet enough.

The network/bluetooth card is fantastic glad I spent the extra money on it. If I did it again I'd consider getting a larger case/mobo so I can fit more hard drives inside, but I think there's a better external/cloud option to avoid cramming over 20TB of storage into a case. Plan on getting an SSD so I can move the operating system over to that and free up that HDD for more storage.

Comments

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

I'm interested in doing something similar except in a mini itx case. How is plex with this build? Have you tried it with multiple devices? Here is my future build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3hp6ZL

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Plex works great, used it on the machine, android app, android app -> chrome cast, and Samsung smart tv app. Haven't tried using it on multiple devices at once no idea if plex supports it but I think the machine would handle it fine. Only issues I have are with chromecast and the android plex app, sometimes it will lose connection mid way through and just go black but I'm assuming that's more of an android/chromecast issue than a plex issue. Happens with Netflix and youtube too.

I really liked that case from your build but just couldn't fit enough HDDs in it. I'm no expert but I think that build would do you just fine. You probably don't even need that much ram (not that it'll hurt). I only have 8gb and the graphics card so I can hopefully play a few newer games on decent settings.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Are you a plex member? If you are is it worth it? I'm not yet I still have a free account which won't work with my xbox or windows 8 app until I'll become a member or they allow it for free customers. However I did a mini test on a computer I already have running plex home theater which for the most part ran very smoothly but it is a very basic computer and I don't think the cpu can handle it that is why I'm planning on building one that can take it and will just stay plugged into my tv. Now I have another question I have a ton of emulators for old school games mainly arcade you don't think I'll need a gpu for that? Or could I just use my integrated graphics?

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

I just have the free membership. As I understand it the paid membership lets you sync offline and adds some more music options. There's some other things but the offline sync for my phone is the only reason I'd pay for it. Most of the time I'm on wifi or could have my laptop on so for me it's not worth it but if you travel a lot or aren't broke it might be.

I'm not sure why the xbox and windows 8 app don't work or how they differ from what I use. I use the plex site through opera or chrome and the downloaded media server application. I'd consider getting a firestick or chromecast if the xbox doesn't work. It's cheap and doesn't require a monthly/yearly fee like xbox gold does.

You'd definitely be better off with a graphics card even just 1gb of vram. But before I had an extra HDMI cable my roommate plugged the tv into the motherboard instead of the graphics card and I didn't really notice a difference in performance on an n64 emulator. That was when I was new to the machine so I might not have noticed any performance drops. I googled around and most people seem to recommend getting one if you want to use Dolphin emulator.

That 2gb Radeon is just under $100 and Dolphin emulaotr does have a gpu in their system requirements so I'd build the machine with one so you don't have to add one in later.

On the other side if you're just playing old arcade games not on dolphin emulator you probably wouldn't need a graphics card. Google around about the emulator program you intend on using since they all run different. Some are more efficient and light, others can do 1080p upscaling and other more system intensive stuff.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

About the xbox app I was able to download and set it up with plex media server but after that a pop up comes up and says you have to be a member now for the windows 8 app I can actually go in and watch whatever but I can't transcode or do anything special like that. But like you said I think I'll just get a firestick or chromecast.

Okay I will look more into the gpus and system requirements for the emulators.

Thanks for all the feedback I appreciate the advice. (Just one step closer to making my dream a reality)

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

No problem man, I'm pretty new at this stuff but I had a lot of help to get to where I am now.

Sounds like it works the same way. I don't want/need to use my phone/xbox as a server or need to control them with my phone or any other devices like I do with Spotify so free plex is perfect for me.

This is what I get when I open up the plex app on my phone. If I press sign in (I'm already signed in) it just takes me back to the same screen.

So if you're not paying for plex just hit skip and you can either play it on your phone or stream it to chromecast. There's on screen controls while casting but like any chromecast app there not the most responsive/dont stay synced.

Honestly an Amazon Firestick might be a better option since it doesn't need to be connected to a phone and has a remote.

Edit: So just to add/clarify what I just realized. I can't watch more than 1 minute of streaming content from my phone unless I'm casting to chromecast. Which I didn't know until just now because I always use my phone to cast with never to watch from. So I might actually pay the 1 time $5 charge to unlock the app to watch longer videos but like I said I don't actually watch from my phone.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

SSD is the clear upgrade here, so I'm wondering why you even bought the WD. Love the form factor and the stool mouse pad.

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

Just to save some money and have more space. I value storage space over storage speed. But I definitely intend on taking advantage of that SSD spot when I have a little more cash.