Description

Hi,

this is my first build, i own an HP Z800 with two physical Xeon processors which has a giant power supply unit that would make me a bit guilty of the power consumption if i ever needed to run plex on my playstation, the solution is a bit or two huge for a Home Media Entertainment, but hey, you never knew what is coming :)

The motherboard: i was looking for a motherboard with the following feature: 1- Socket 1150. 2- Optical Digital output. 3- integrated WIFI. 4- integrated HDMI. i found the Asus X87-Pro to have the required specs and more! i like the build quality of this mobo! it was a piece of cake upgrading the firmware of the board from the stock to the latest. Great work Asus.

the Processor: as said, it is a bit too much of a processor for a HTPC, however, it is somehow a future proof CPU, plus, it would be simple to upgrade if i needed. the processor doing its job flawlessly, no concerns about it :)

The CPU Cooler: i am not going to over clock the machine, however, it needs to run 24/7 till i figure out a mechanism for Sleep/Wake-On-Lan for the sake of power saving. the size of this baby is HUGE, it is very quiet too, wasn't that easy to install (i am a first timer!) also you have to be careful with the alignment of this huge cooler. the fans moves up and down on the cooler to make sure it doesn't touch the memory slot, how neat is that? i started the machine and the CPU temperature was 26C and after 24 hours of streaming, still 26C! expensive cooler but difintially worth it, also, it integrates very well with the HAF XB case.

The Case: it is a state of the art case from cooler master, very clever in hiding your cables, i am a first time but hey, the cables are very clean and doesn't interfere with my hands or the air flow, the case can host two 5.25"s and two 3.5"s and four SSDs, the case comes with two fans in front which are crazy load comparing to the Noctua, i am planning to buy three 120cm and two 80cm in the near future and they have to be silent as if they were dead. i would rate my experience with that case as very good as - luckily - i had the windowed version not the meshed version, so less dust.

the power supply: Yes, just a low-mid wattage power supply, easy installation and easy case hookup, beware, use the screws that comes with it, not with the case.

The Storage: one SeaGate Barracuda and one samsung CD-ROM, no SSD? yes, still too expensive for my taste and little value for the money, so i by passed the SSD and installed one HDD, no need for me for the raid setup right now, as everything i have on the HTPC is redundant on the Z800.

The Memory: not so much on the memory except it is a low profile memory that goes perfectly with the Noctua.

that is pretty much it, now

My network topology: i have an HP Z800 and HP EliteBook Workstation 8570w on my home office desk, and they are connected via WI-FI to a tp-link 3g router that provides internet to the whole gang (even the playstation and the HTPC in the living room), from the TP-link router there is an Ethernet to a bilkin router (acting as an access point) in the living room to overcome the signal issues, the playstation and the HTPC is connected to the hot spot via Ethernet and provides a mobile internet access and HTPC access in the living room area.

the software: Linux Mint 15, the most popular distro ever, Mint, it is an ubuntu based OS which in turn based upon Debian, the later is know known for its stability, that is why i recommend Mint over Ubuntu, Ubuntu left its stability behind since Unity. the OS is very stable, and in minutes i was able to start the ssh server for remote console logins and VNC for GUI logins, no big deal, i can control my HTPC via ssh and vnc clients on my mobile or on my PC, i partitioned my hard drive during the OS installation, everything went fine installed FTP server so i can upload my media in a place where Plex can see and index, could have used Winscp over ssh, but FTP is more generic and supports simultaneous uploads. , installed Plex with ease, had a permission issue with the NTFS partations, but that was easy to fix.

i have a future plans to replace the 50" LG Plasma TV, to another LG with DLNA build in, so i can get raid of playstation being a man in the middle.

I am now enjoying movies and music on my TV, PC, laptop, mobile and tablet :), let me know what you think.

Comments

  • 73 months ago
  • 6 points

+1 for an awesome build! Here are my thoughts:

could have saved a bit with the cpu cooler. A h212 with a noctua fan is a cheaper alternative.

Any specific reason for the 8gb of RAM?

And if you're going to be running it 24/7, a gold/platinum power supply will save you a lot of money.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks Zeus,

as i told xBlood_Monkey i live in Egypt, so there is limited options, i had to go with the noctua, i didn't find mid-level cooler :(

is 8GB is little or too big to your taste? i am planing to host 4TB of media files in the near future, and i have heard about Plex that for each T of storage there is have to be a G in memory, so 8 GB is fair, right?

this is the lowest wattage i could find :)

thanks a million for stopping by.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Ah thats unfortunate, Australia doesn't have the biggest range compared to the US either. I actually didn't realise you were running a media server, from what I've read they are indeed resource hungry. I think 8GB is fine.

  • 73 months ago
  • 3 points

I love linux mint but my personal favorite is Kubuntu

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

yes, nice choice, however, i would prefer Gnome over KDE, thanks for your comment :)

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Very, very nice. The HAF XB is a bit big for an HTPC, but hey, if it works, it works. :)

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks XBlood_Monkey,

I live in Egypt so i am limited on options here :) however, it fits nicely in the cabinet.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

How is the wifi? I hear it is a bit flaky on the ASUS integrated boards.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

totally agree, i have put it to the test and it failed, however, couldn't reproduce the issue after upgrading to the latest firmware.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

+1 for nice pics and good components!

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

How is Plex vs XBMC? I have a older system that I use for a media center that uses a old 5400 rpm Maxtor HDD that makes a ton of noise! I also have a old Antec PSU that has way too much coil whine. I personally don't want to spend any more money on that system to just play movies. So I have been looking into a ROKU 3 and they support Plex. Just wondering how it compares and if its pretty good? I just hate installing extra applications on my main server to share files.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

haven't tested XBMC personally, yet, will give it a try on a VM first.

i agree with you that these types of systems has to be as quiet as possible, and the system i have built is not just for movies, it is more like a full featured Linux box connected to a 50" screen at your disposal, Plex is just one of its task :), and i am not into streaming players, if i were you i would be interested in NAS devices if you don't want to build your own streamer.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

thanks, i will give it a try :)