This build had to happen. Over the last few years our media collection had grown significantly and I was sick of using external enclosures and jamming drives into a very old desktop. The desktop had a failing CPU and the cooler would more than often fail causing the unit to overheat and shut the system down.
I built a new HTPC a couple of months ago and once I finished that I set this build as my next goal. I wanted to build something that could serve as a basic desktop but also a mass storage device and media server. Once Kaveri comes out I will likely relegate this build to a dedicated NAS and build something fun as a desktop but for now it doubles as storage and desktop duty.
I didn't really have a budget but I didn't want to spend a lot on this. I was looking to recycle some old parts such as the case and PSU that I had laying around. All of the HDDs were purchased over the last few years and I have a few more but nowhere left in this system to put them...for now.
I did the best I could with the cable management. The case surprisingly offers a decent system to work with so I did what I could and am pretty satisfied. I'm going to be switching up the fan configurations so I didn't bother tucking the wires away right now. They're some just some basic Scythe Kaze-Jyuni 120mm slim fans. I picked up a couple of sleeved SATA power splitters so that I don't have a ton of clutter and also picked up a dozen or so rounded SATA cables to help keep things clean and easy to assemble. I had to route the PSU ATX 12v cable the way you see it because it was too short to run any other way. As long as I can keep the air flow paths clear then I'm happy. Depending on how temps get I might install 2 140mm fans on the front side of the hard drives. There's some space and some mounts between the cage and the front of the case.
Now, on to the parts:
CPU: I don't game on PC so I opted for the APU build. It helps me get decent performance for my dollar and no need for a video card. I probably didn't need the unlocked version but I got it sale on Black Friday.
MOBO: There aren't a ton of FM2 motherboards that offer 8 SATA III ports out of the box. This was one of them and was cheaper than the mATX version so I grabbed it. I was considering an FA85 board but a lot of people were complaining about the BIOS not to mention a few other things. The new FA88 boards come in cheap enough that an extra $5 wasn't going to bother me.
CPU Cooler: Best bang for the buck I could find. Liquid cooling would be a bit excessive for this build and for $25 there was no better option out there. It's big, but it fits and it works.
Memory: APUs benefit greatly from faster RAM. Newegg had it on sale Black Friday so I grabbed it.
SSD: I've had this for a while. I only use it as an OS/Program drive.
Storage: A plethora of drives I've accumulated over the last few years. I figure 12TB should suffice for now.
Case: I think I paid $30 for it when I picked it up earlier this year. Was using it for something else but stripped it down for this build. For $30 you can't go wrong. It offers decent cable management for the price and is pretty solid all around with a few spots for fans.
PSU: I resurrected this from the desktop this build replaced.
Optical Drive: "Why does he need one?" It's an IHAS burner that I flashed with firmware to burn my Xbox backups.
For what I spent and using some old parts I'm very satisfied with this build. It serves every purpose I need it to and it didn't cost me much at all. It has a decent processor and some decent RAM so even if it were to stay as a "deskserver" permanently I'm confident it could hold it's own (within reason).