Description

So, I've put this together to replace my RPi as a media client but also went for a good bit of storage with plenty of expandability. I've not added the 2TB green drive yet, it's still in my WD Mybook but once i look like i might need the storage I'll be cracking it open to add it in.

I'm going to be using it as a SAB/sickbeard/couchpotato server, with xbmc. I plan on adding a tv tuner eventually but might have to load windows on to ensure compatibility.

I chose Ubuntu as the OS, but I'm kinda regretting that now, really steep learning curve (for a total novice like me) and just finding it difficult to get everything tuned up and running the way I wanted.

In terms of the build itself, there were no major snags, but as you can see from one of the photo's above the clip on the I/O shield partially covered the HDMI jack, which I only noticed AFTER i had put everything in place and tied it up (rookie error), so that took a bit of rework.

I found cable management a real challenge with this case, the PSU sits right on top of the motherboard and the SATA connections, USB 3.0, USB 2.0 and case LED wires all connect on the side of the Mobo which is beside the case fan, so I had to route most of the wires before I put the PSU in. This made it really challenging to figure out the best way to route the cables. I probably could have done much better and would appreciate any tips anyone has, feel free to leave a comment.

I'm putting this in from work so don't have access to the temps, but when i checked them, they were somewhere around 35C when idle, haven't run any more tests, but if you think I'll need to (because of poor cable management) then let me know.

Comments

  • 78 months ago
  • 3 points

As a Ubuntu user myself, there is a steep learning curve, but once you start using the system more and start getting used to it, you'll love it!

Good build overall! You might want to try OCing your RAM to 1600 MHz, but apart from that, I have nothing else to nitpick at :P Glad to see that you didn't go overboard on the CPU either.

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

I had originally planned to use the i3-3225 (on account of the better graphics) but I had to buy all of my stuff from Amazon.co.uk (long story) and the seller wouldn't ship it to Ireland.

OCing the RAM seems to be a pretty simple step, I had to play around in the UEFI/BIOS for a while before I could get this thing to boot and I looked at a lot of the options. Would upping it to 1600MHz show a noticeable difference in performance?

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

OCing the RAM gives a small boost in performance that the integrated graphics would probably benefit from.

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

I upped the frequency to 1600MHz, can't see any immediate improvement but anything to improve the graphics has got to be done. Thanks!

  • 78 months ago
  • 2 points

Here's the XBMC set up for anyone interested...

http://youtu.be/znm8XRxd5sk

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

500 watt is a bit much don't you think for a htpc?

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

You're probably right, what do you think I should have gone for?

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

Also, Ubuntu isn't that bad; it is a learning curve, yes, but once you get it...

  • 78 months ago
  • 2 points

Ill stick with it for now anyway. :)

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

Arch is better, but it's a heck of a learning curve to get it working :3

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

500w psu is ok of your looking to upgrade in the future

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

I plan on adding at least 1 more HD and a TV tuner.

  • 78 months ago
  • 2 points

hd's use less than 10 watts much of the time. You would have been fine with 200 watts. Not a big deal though. If you build a gaming pc or something, you could always swap parts out.

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the advice. :)