PC, Network, Options & Questions [Help Wanted]

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PC, Network, Options & Questions [Help Wanted]

Post#1 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:32 pm

Hi All. I am hoping that (collectively) you can help me. I am stuck regarding where to go with my current PC / Network set up.

Here is the current situation

Desktop PC
  • Case: corsair Obsidian 550D
  • Chip: Intel i5-2500 3.3Mhz
  • Graphic: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti
  • 1GB
  • Mobo: ASUS P8Z77-V LK
  • Ram: 16Gb Corsair Vengence
  • Win 7 home Premium
  • Onboard Network (how do I tell if this is Gb ready?) ... PC order says 'Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100)'
  • Ceton InfiniTV 6 (TV card)
  • Single Monitor
I have a DIY build computer stand that is just right to hold the 550D. The top of the computer case is flush with the top of my desk.

Other items in the home computer set-up ...
  • Ethernet & wireless Network(s)
  • Cable modem, router, switch, patch panel soon to be up and running
  • 2 x TVs supported by Ceton extenders over Ethernet (working well so far)

My typical PC uses are:
  • Civ4 (yes, a 10yr old game)
  • Editing pictures (gimp)
  • recording TV
  • starting to look at processing the recorded TV to remove ads (depends if I can get WMC to 'see' the new files)
  • coding (VB6, python, html, css, etc)
In short, nothing too strenuous with the possible exception of the recorded TV processing.

Desktop PC requirements
  • quiet(!)
  • cool looking and cool temp
  • not an eye sore (ie no flashing lights, colorful fans, etc)

NAS requirements (assuming I go this route)
  • fast access storage
  • move backup routine to NAS support
  • could move recorded TV processing to NAS system responsibility (so it may need some CPU grunt behind it)
  • this PC will be in the basement so there are no noise or light restrictions (within reason)

The NAS will be used to store and provide access to ...
  • music (played to other PCs / Macs and Sonos sound system)
  • pictures
  • 3.5" WD HDD that holds backups of my desktop PC O/S and user data
  • backup of Mac (if I can convince the wife to do that)
  • Recorded TV
  • DVD Movie collection (currently on DVDs but I am thinking of ripping them to something easier to organize)
ruff_hi
 
Posts: 74
Joined: 2 November 2014
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Post#2 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:32 pm

I have a number of options as I see it (hopefully, you can provide more :)) ...

Option 1
Small profile NAS providing network storage similar to this (blog by Brian Moses regarding possible NAS build - I am expecting an update to 2015 during Jan 2015).

Option 2
Bigger PC in basement providing NAS storage as well as taking some storage tasks off my desktop PC
I currently like the modular options of the Thermaltake Core v41.
The downside here is that this is very similar to the Corsair Obsidian Series 550D that I already have ... so why don't I repurpose that to be the NAS and build a new desktop PC?

Question: Is there any benefit of having two (2) lan slots in your mobo? I have (or will have by the end of this year) the ethernet network to support a PC having duel network access.

Other 1
If I move all of my storage requirements to the NAS, then I can get away with only a SSD in my desktop PC in my study. Maybe a single HDD to accept the recorded TV from the TV card as you can't record to a network device.

Other 2
If I do repurpose my 550D, what do I get as a replacement? Another desktop - any suggestions? What about a laptop?
ruff_hi
 
Posts: 74
Joined: 2 November 2014
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Post#3 » Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:56 pm

Just to close this out ... and to also talk a little more to myself ... I've reached a settling point re 'where next'.

I was planning on running two Ceton Echo's off my main PC ... but the Corsair H60 died over Christmas (putting my PC out of commission until a replacement CPU cooler arrived) and highlighted the dangers of putting all of my TV eggs in one basket. As a result, I have returned one of the echos and I am looking to build a purpose HTPC machine that will sit upstairs with the main TV.

I am also looking to build a NAS for the basement running FreeNAS and housing recorded TV, movies, DVDs, music, backup, etc. My new Ethernet home network will take the transport load :).
ruff_hi
 
Posts: 74
Joined: 2 November 2014
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Post#4 » Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:46 pm

It seems like you've got most of this figured out already (talking to yourself as you say), but I'll comment on a few things.

- Civ 4 is awesome

- There are so many good options for standalone NAS systems that I don't know if personally I would bother with building one, but that's just personal preference. To me, that's the kind of thing I would rather plug in and have ready to go. Power requirements are much lower, easier to deal with, web interface to manage it on all of them now. Get a 2-4 bay NAS enclosure and throw a few 2-3TB drives in there and I'd be set.

I use this and it works great, no fuss. http://www.microcenter.com/product/4364 ... _2-Bay_NAS

Of course as you say FreeNAS is a benefit, and has a lot of possibilities. The only thing I've considered it for is that MediaBrowser is compatible with it, and it would be nice to house that server somewhere other than my living room TV.

Not sure if you use MediaBrowser but take a look if not http://mediabrowser.tv/download/

- I had a Thermaltake V4 and really like it. I don't like a lot of bells and whistles on my cases (even the window is unnecessary IMO), and it's an easy case to work with. I would recommend it.
LuckyDay
 
Posts: 586
Joined: 11 July 2011

Post#5 » Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:13 pm

LuckyDay wrote:Civ 4 is awesome

Yes it is. Even 10yrs after its release date. Still going strong.

LuckyDay wrote:There are so many good options for standalone NAS systems that I don't know if personally I would bother with building one, but that's just personal preference. To me, that's the kind of thing I would rather plug in and have ready to go. Power requirements are much lower, easier to deal with, web interface to manage it on all of them now. Get a 2-4 bay NAS enclosure and throw a few 2-3TB drives in there and I'd be set.

My brother went that route. I know what he will say when I say I built my own. For me, it feels like it will give me options other than just a NAS. Also - I have the PC building bug at present.

LuckyDay wrote:Not sure if you use MediaBrowser but take a look

Will do - thanks.

LuckyDay wrote:I had a Thermaltake V4 and really like it. I don't like a lot of bells and whistles on my cases (even the window is unnecessary IMO), and it's an easy case to work with. I would recommend it.

I settled on the Fractal Design Define R5 which seems just as modular, splits the 8 HDDs into 5 and 3 and (if I buy some spare parts) I could end up with HDDs of either 3, 5, 6, 8 or more by mixing and matching the 3- and 5-bay cages.
ruff_hi
 
Posts: 74
Joined: 2 November 2014
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