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New Media PC Build


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#1 +Livin in a box

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 16:28

Hello fellow Neowinians! I'm about to pull the trigger and build a media PC for me to store all of my TV shows, films, music, etc. I plan to use SickBeard and CouchPotato on it, along with Plex to stream the media to my other devices, most notably a Chromecast.

 

I'm currently using a Raspberry Pi to do all this, but I want a bit more grunt. More firepower. Trouble with the Pi is it can't transcode, and it doesn't download at full speed. Other than that, it's a great bit of kit.

 

Anyway, on to my new build...I just want some opinions before I click buy on any of it. I've kept it under £200 (I already have RAM and an old case to use), so I'm hoping that the Pentium dual-core will be enough to get me through. Here are the parts:

 

Intel Pentium G3420 3.2GHz Dual-Core Processor

MSI H81M-P33 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard

Western Digital WD Green 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive

Corsair CX 430W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply

Lite-On iHDS118-04 DVD/CD Drive

2 x Akasa AK-FN072 79.1 CFM 120mm Fan

 

http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/6WyhFT

 

Thoughts? Improvements? As long as this can play my MKV's to my Chromecast with no stuttering, then all systems are a go!

 

EDIT: Also I have a spare Samsung 830 SSD which I will use as the boot drive for Windows Server 2012 R2 (yay DreamSpark!).




#2 +Brando212

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 16:33

everything looks good but I HIGHLY advise you against getting green drives

 

they're not meant for anything more than storage. from personal experience setting up a friend's custom built computer the green drive will make the entire OS drag even on top end hardware
 

 

ranting aside I'd recommend getting at least a blue drive if you go with WD

 

edit: just saw your edit. I'd still recommend staying away from green drives especially if you're going to have videos on them. to reiterate what i said before they're really only meant for basic document & picture storage devices because they're so slow anything else doesn't work the greatest



#3 OP +Livin in a box

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 16:36

everything looks good but I HIGHLY advise you against getting green drives

 

they're not meant for anything more than storage. from personal experience setting up a friend's custom built computer the green drive will make the entire OS drag even on top end hardware
 

 

ranting aside I'd recommend getting at least a blue drive if you go with WD

As I said in my edit, I'll be using an SSD as the boot drive - I have one in my desktop PC now and I know how slow it is! But surely just for downloading files to it's fine?



#4 +Brando212

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 16:40

As I said in my edit, I'll be using an SSD as the boot drive - I have one in my desktop PC now and I know how slow it is! But surely just for downloading files to it's fine?

yeah i just saw your edit and made an edit of my own. if you're just using it to download basic documents or pictures on it you should be fine. anything more such as videos or music i'd recommend a better drive



#5 OP +Livin in a box

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 16:47

yeah i just saw your edit and made an edit of my own. if you're just using it to download basic documents or pictures on it you should be fine. anything more such as videos or music i'd recommend a better drive

I can actually get the Seagate Barracuda 2TB for £2 less than the Western Digital 2TB green drive...I am just very wary of using them because I've had a couple go wrong on me; Western Digital drives, no such issues.

 

Tough life decisions!



#6 Ambroos

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 16:51

I can actually get the Seagate Barracuda 2TB for £2 less than the Western Digital 2TB green drive...I am just very wary of using them because I've had a couple go wrong on me; Western Digital drives, no such issues.

 

Tough life decisions!

 

Don't go Seagate.

 

By the way, I'd really suggest you actually use a PC for playback on TV (as primary option). Transcoding is always a slow mess that will use a lot of power and always comes with quality loss. 



#7 +Brando212

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 16:55

I've had good luck with a few seagate models but I agree with ambroos. everything i've seen and read about the Barracuda drives, they seem to have an uncomfortably high failure rate if you look at all the reviews out there compared to anything else



#8 fusi0n

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 16:56

So, is this a media server and not a media pc (HTPC)? I would recommend making the a server, rather with your RaspberryPi, or build something.. and build an actual HTPC.. So you don't have to worry about Transcoding.. I use XMBCuntu and it works great..  1080P/24P insanely smooth



#9 OP +Livin in a box

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 17:25

By the way, I'd really suggest you actually use a PC for playback on TV (as primary option). Transcoding is always a slow mess that will use a lot of power and always comes with quality loss. 

 

So, is this a media server and not a media pc (HTPC)? I would recommend making the a server, rather with your RaspberryPi, or build something.. and build an actual HTPC.. So you don't have to worry about Transcoding.. I use XMBCuntu and it works great..  1080P/24P insanely smooth

One day the PC may become a HTPC if I get a nice case and find some room, but at the moment it's just going to be a media server. Regardless of whether or not it's going to be plugged into one TV or not, it's still going to be used for streaming and transcoding to other devices, including my own TV in my room and other mobile devices. Probably not simultaneously.



#10 +Brando212

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 17:29

if you're going to be doing streaming/transcoding then i'd also recommend getting at least an i3 over a pentium as i'm pretty sure the pentium isn't mutli-threaded and that does help for transcoding (along with the better integrated graphics)



#11 fusi0n

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 17:33

if you're going to be doing streaming/transcoding then i'd also recommend getting at least an i3 over a pentium as i'm pretty sure the pentium isn't mutli-threaded and that does help for transcoding (along with the better integrated graphics)

Get at least an i3.. he's right



#12 OP +Livin in a box

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 20:05

This is just pushing the price up and up...I'm at £213 if I include an i3-4150. Will it really make much difference? :/



#13 +Brando212

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 20:16

This is just pushing the price up and up...I'm at £213 if I include an i3-4150. Will it really make much difference? hmm.gif

you'd be surprised by how much the multi-threading actually makes a difference. especially for things like transcoding



#14 farmeunit

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 20:23

Hitachi drives typically have better failure rates from what I've seen.

 

I don't use green drives anymore due to slowness when transcoding or moving files from drive to drive around the house. 



#15 Mindovermaster

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 20:27

Hitachi drives typically have better failure rates from what I've seen.

 

I don't use green drives anymore due to slowness when transcoding or moving files from drive to drive around the house. 

 

IMO, that's because Hitachi has been out longer. Just get Blue for a few dollars more.