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Setting up a HTPC network/attached computers

cdawall

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#1
Ok so here is the deal I have never really setup a full network with server. I am trying to figure out what will work best. I have copies of server 03 and server 08 no idea which to go with both are 64bit.


The Server to be
This combo $257
AMD A4 3400
Biostar A55
G.Skill 4GB
Seagate 500GB
Rosewill case+400w
G.Skill 4GB DDR3 $20

(Total: $278)

--OR--

Phenom X4 9600 possibly 9150e
XFX 5450 1GB low profile silent
Asrock 770 $53
4x2GB Wintec AMPX DDR800 $88
Hitatchi 500GB $69
EPower 500w $19
GB case $20
2x ATi tuners 1080P USB

(Total: $251)

--OR--

Athlon X2 260 $65
MSI 760G $69.99
2x4GB Wintec ONE DDR3 $39
Hitatchi 500GB $69
EPower 500w $19
GB case $20

(Total: $263)

The 500GB in any of those builds will be pulled and installed into the downstairs PC. I have 2x1TB Samsungs and a 1.5TB Seagate going into the HTPC (in ESATA enclosures). Along with a 40GB WD black OS drive. I plan to add a raid card and add more HDD as time goes on and these fill currently the 1.5TB is full and one 1TB is about half. It will be wired into the router which is a Belkin N+ MIMO with USB. Got it back when it was $100 a couple years ago. I want to be able to stream 1080P lag free to anything in the house. I also want to be able to remote desktop the PC downstairs and over the net for when I am deployed. The server will have movies, music and store "copies" of video games/programs I have "ascertained."


Whats going to be on the network. Along with a Wii and PS3. I currently use the PS3 to stream from a netbook.

Upstairs HTPC/Gamer

Xeon X3440@4.2ghz
GB H55N-USB3
2x2GB G.Skill Trident 2000CL9@2200CL9
2x32GB ST SSD in raid 0
undecided storage drive
PNY GTX470@800c/900m/1600s
Silverstone 450w SFX
Insignia 42" 720P LCD
1x Avermedia 1080P tuner USB
Wireless connect N

Downstairs HTPC/Gamer<-in work

Probably a Thuban
Asus CH3
2x2GB DDR3
HDD TBD
2x3870X2 512mb
Tt 850TR2 (the old better OEM one)
Rocketfish Lian Li
Wireless connect N

His netbook (LT3103u)

Athlon X2 L310@1.5ghz
2GB @600 4-4-4-10-14
Seagate 320GB 7200RPM
X1270 128mb
11.6" 1366x768
Wireless connect G

Her netbook (LT3103u)

Athlon TF-20@1.8ghz
2GB @533 4-4-4-12
Toshiba 250GB 5400RPM
X1270 128mb
11.6" 1366x768
Wireless connect G




Anyone have any other suggestions?
 
Last edited:
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#2
is that all you want to serve? if it's just files via smb/ftp & upnp streaming, there is no need for a server os. you really only need that if you want to serve ips, be an active directory server, etc. I do what you have described for myself, and just have another copy of regular windows (7) , no server edition. if you simply already have the oses and want to use one, i don't know what to recommend. i have only used 03 out of those two, but i have heard some good things about 08. just remember the software that makes an os a "server" os is not any software you have described a need or even use for. i do believe it will go unused.

now i may be totally off here, but i don't like the idea of an apu in my server. it sits in a closet with no monitor, so the advantages of an apu are pretty moot. i'd rather go with a board with a built in port, like your bottom choice @ $263
 

cdawall

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#3
The idea with the APU was simplicity. Performance doesn't matter as long as it serves its task IMO. I have no idea which will offer better performance. In the end the server will probably be a permanent downloader along with its I/O duties. I would also rather like if it wasn't super high power since everything else I own needs its own grid...
 
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#4
The idea with the APU was simplicity. Performance doesn't matter as long as it serves its task IMO. I have no idea which will offer better performance. In the end the server will probably be a permanent downloader along with its I/O duties. I would also rather like if it wasn't super high power since everything else I own needs its own grid...
that's why i don't like the apu. it's simple sure but a mobo with integrated video isn't exactly complicated. the apu instead of being dedicated to cpu processing power, is dedicated to processing video too. even if you have no monitor hooked up, some of it's potential (compared to a standard cpu) will be dedicated to the unused video.

idk how they really compare, but the A2-X2 has more cache, and faster cores. the only downside is the fabrication tech, but that's not a deal killer imo, at all.

even if performance doesn't matter, i don't see a need to the apu route. note i am disappointed in my i3 540's video capabilities. i needed an external card for anything worthwhile. especially if your server won't really need an external card or even the apu, why buy it when the alternative is cheaper? then again... it was cool to mess around with :)
 

JrRacinFan

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#5
I also want to be able to remote desktop the PC downstairs and over the net for when I am deployed.
Use Tversity or Orb Live for remote sharing. Can also setup an FTP server for some of the files you can't stream.

SMB/Workgroup sharing all-around for local, in conjunction with SMB sharing, map the shares as network drives for all of the other PC's then you can set them as read/write if you wish to download/upload any files remotely to the server.

As far as hardware goes, get a board with as many SATA ports as you can find & supports quad cores. That Phen1 x4 would do justice at this as they are fast for server applications along with being relatively inexpensive.
 

cdawall

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#6
Forgot to add server will have dedicated tv tuners and DVR duties. At least 2 tuners both ATi theatre based.

that's why i don't like the apu. it's simple sure but a mobo with integrated video isn't exactly complicated. the apu instead of being dedicated to cpu processing power, is dedicated to processing video too. even if you have no monitor hooked up, some of it's potential (compared to a standard cpu) will be dedicated to the unused video.

idk how they really compare, but the A2-X2 has more cache, and faster cores. the only downside is the fabrication tech, but that's not a deal killer imo, at all.

even if performance doesn't matter, i don't see a need to the apu route. note i am disappointed in my i3 540's video capabilities. i needed an external card for anything worthwhile. especially if your server won't really need an external card or even the apu, why buy it when the alternative is cheaper? then again... it was cool to mess around with :)
I had an I3 560ES chip and I understand what you are saying graphics wise they sucked. As far as I know the APU would be no different than running anything else the video is still separate from the processing cores it just shares a package. The mobo in that combo is a better deal as it offers 1 PCI-E 16x and two 1x's.

Use Tversity or Orb Live for remote sharing. Can also setup an FTP server for some of the files you can't stream.

SMB/Workgroup sharing all-around for local, in conjunction with SMB sharing, map the shares as network drives for all of the other PC's then you can set them as read/write if you wish to download/upload any files remotely to the server.

As far as hardware goes, get a board with as many SATA ports as you can find & supports quad cores. That Phen1 x4 would do justice at this as they are fast for server applications along with being relatively inexpensive.
All of them have 6 ports in my price range. I was kind of leaning towards the Phenom X4 I just have to dig it up. I think I have an X4 9150e floating around as well which would be a better choice since its lower watt and no TLB. I also thought windows server had a built in remote desktop via IP?
 

JrRacinFan

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#7
I think I have an X4 9150e floating around as well which would be a better choice since its lower watt and no TLB.
Sounds good.

I also thought windows server had a built in remote desktop via IP?
It does but to utilize it you have to run a user with password on the server and is/has been always quite buggy/unstable in my own use. Use UltraVNC instead, password protection is optional with it.


EDIT:

Oh another option would be to run FreeNAS, no need to use a Remote client as its admin interface is web based. But IIRC, it doesn't support streaming any video unless you set them up as web page streaming I THINK.
 

cdawall

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#8
Freenas looks interesting linux type install correct?
 

JrRacinFan

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#9
Freenas looks interesting linux type install correct?
You are correct, but check my edit. I am unsure if you are able to stream with it.
 

cdawall

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#10
Might stick to windows in that case for simplicity.
 

JrRacinFan

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#11
Might stick to windows in that case for simplicity.
Yeah Im pretty sure its mainly suited for web admins and local file streaming. There was something else I wanted to add but got distracted, once I think of it I will post again .....

EDIT:

http://www.homemultimedianetwork.co...n-FreeNAS-for-streaming-Media-to-the-XBox.php

If you wish to go the FreeNAS route, it may be little bit more stable for remote usage and doesn't require much ram, a plethora would be 512MB.
 
Last edited:

cdawall

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#12
I will give it a look may keep all windows so the wife can't use it easily...
 

JrRacinFan

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#13
I will give it a look may keep all windows so the wife can't use it easily...
Yeah, I do rather agree, keep it Windows for ease of use. Cool thing is that everything you need software wise you already have or is free.

EDIT:

Remember what I was going to say, hardwire your 2 desktops eventually.
 
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#14
It does but to utilize it you have to run a user with password on the server and is/has been always quite buggy/unstable in my own use.
not exactly. you can change the "Limit local account use of blank passwords to console logon only." setting in your local security policy, and then a password is not necessary. that's how my server is set up. it allows file sharing AND RDC without a password.
as for bugginess, i haven't really experienced it. i use it more than once a week to control one of three computers at a given time, even with 2 rdc's open, or even with an rdc open on the system i am rdc'd to, it has worked really well actually.

more info: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=303846
Use UltraVNC instead, password protection is optional with it.
nothing against ultravnc, that is what i used before i got rdc to work properly. with this being the case though, i just see no need for 3rd party software.
note: all of my machines run windows 7, so that may be why i haven't had issues.
 

freaksavior

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#15
Look into this

http://www.flexraid.com/

For my setup I used win server 2k8 r2

Its just a file sharing box, nothing fancy. As the others said you don't need a server os for it, it's kind of pointless for streaming stuff like how I'm doing it.

All you really need to do is have a box that is capable of sharing media. A basic APU like the dual core AMD is more than capable of handling it.