Description

Built as an upgrade of my previous HTPC (Dell Latitude E6410)/NAS storage device. Needed to transcode video on the fly, through Plex and generally function as decent HTPC.

I've recently kind of completed the build, but still having some driver issues surrounding wifi, ethernet and audio. I'll update if I find solutions.

As far as an upgrade goes, it's definitely and a little more too...

Part Reviews

Motherboard

Motherboard's SATA connections could've done with facing upwards, rather than outwards, had to buy angled SATA cables as the space between motherboard and PSU was really tight!!

Comments

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Going by the pictures, it looks like you have Corsair RAM, not Kingston RAM, and you have the Intel Core i3-6100 CPU, not the Intel Core i3-6300T CPU. Your part list does not match the images. I think you RAM should be https://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-memory-cmk8gx4m2a2400c16 and your CPU should be https://pcpartpicker.com/part/intel-cpu-bx80662i36100 . If you're upgrading, I'd suggest some Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste. It's better than what CM ships with the 212 EVO, albeit with a longer curing time. If you're getting a new CPU, wait for the Skylake LGA1151 successors to affect current chips' prices or bring about better performance, and get an i5-xxxx(K) for a meaningful step up (Overclocking will be limited by thermals.). Lastly, get a hardware RAID controller to throw in the PCIe X16 slot. With a build this expensive, I'd also consider getting 16GB of faster RAM (After all it functions as both a server and a HTPC.) after DDR4 prices drop even further. For gaming, obviously a GPU after Pascal/Polaris drops. If you do get hotter components, some Noctuas or a AIO CLC would be a good idea. For this build's functions I would think heat and noise are of some consequence.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

You're quite right, I changed a couple of bits last minute. Not sure I can edit it now though after trying...

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

You've just posted it. Delete and repost? I've edited my earlier comment with some more suggestions for upgrading.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

It was an upgrade on a laptop as my previous HTPC...

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

The should be an option for editing parts/description.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

One issue I have with your suggestions is the MX5, it takes a ridiculously long time to properly cure, from some accounts, about a year

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Arctic Silver 5 does take a while to completely cure, but you can use it comfortably half-cured, and it will continue to cure completely while in full use. The trade-off is that its performance is phenomenal, and degradation is minimal. Also, I think you're confusing Arctic MX-4 with Arctic Silver 5. There is no Arctic MX-5. The only reasons that I would consider using any other paste is that it's electrically conductive and harder to spread (If you don't dab-and-squash.) than some alternatives, but be careful, take 30 seconds more time to apply it, and get better performance is a no-brainer to me.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you. I've taken up this argument numerous times recently cause there's a weird anti-AS5 sentiment floating around. Especially for an HTPC, the 200 hour cure time for AS5 is fairly trivial in the big picture.

And more importantly, it benchmarks on par with MX4 right out of the tube. So you don't even suffer any while you wait.

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

I don't care what kind of computer you're using, HTPC or otherwise. Arctic Silver 5 performs like other pastes when first applied. 200 hours later (1 week. Big deal.) it outperforms pretty much everything else. It's not like you have to wait for it to cure. Electrically conductive... you should only use a little anyways. If there's spillage, you're doing it wrong. It's harder to spread... really? You're assembling a computer and spending several hundred dollars in the process, but you're upset that it's too thick or thin to spread easily? I completely agree with you. The downsides aren't downsides (Arctic Silver 5 is cheap.). The performance is just an upside that is lost in other pastes.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I woulda used FreeNAS. And you don't need hardware controllers with ZFS. The old adage hardware raid controllers are better is a fallacy now.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Picture 16 and the part list suggests that this machine is running Windows, and ZFS doesn't support Windows. With Windows and whatever file system(s) are in use, I'm pretty sure that a hardware RAID controller would perform slightly better. The OP stated that besides being a NAS server, it also had to function as a HTPC, and I don't think FreeNAS would have been ideal for HTPC functions. Personally I would have gone with Debian and Btrfs. For a dedicated NAS server, yes FreeNAS is probably the way to go, but I like Debian and am not as familiar with -bsd systems. I'd probably try both and then decide, but then again I would probably never build a dedicated NAS server.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

I had looked into FreeNAS briefly before I made the purchases and done the build, but without the ability to switch easily between NAS and Plex Server as well as occasional low level gaming, the FreeNAS build wasn't going to work for me.

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Found the correct links and edited the part list as pointed out by KOneJ...

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

So much storage man. For lower power consumption, could've gone with greens though. Is dual core enough for HTPC?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

It is for now, but only time will tell... I shouldn't even of had the budget for this build and done it on a whim. Can also be tweaked going forward, cash permitted.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

I thought the REDS would overall give me better performance and longevity over the GREENS low power benefits. Considering I was previously comfortably serving 5-6 users on an i5 540M, Geekbench test scores seem to think this cpu out performs that one.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Solid HTPC! I just did one in the Node 202 myself :) How do you like that Node 304? +1

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

It's still early days and I haven't even hooked it to the TV yet. The Node 304 itself is really nice, pretty tight to work in, but it's been quite so far, but I fear I haven't stressed it enough yet!!

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Try the 202 if you thought that was tight!

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice htpc, very solid!

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build! Love the Node series from FD. Good photos too.

12TB of storage holy crap. lol.

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

It's in a RAID5 so only 9TB :)

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  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

I wanted it to be as quiet as possible, so my thinking was the aftermarket cooler would do a better job of keeping the cpu cooler, with less of a load.

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