Author Topic: The TBG Home Theater PC Build  (Read 24888 times)

dvett

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #75 on: April 06, 2016, 09:58:07 AM »
Hi all. First time on the form and looking for some advice. I am going to build my first HTPC/Plex server. I plan to follow this guide for the most part - http://techbuyersguru.com/home-theater-pc-build - with a few modifications.

I was hoping you could assist with my questions, thanks!

1. I plan to get the i5-6500 processor vs. the i3-6100 mentioned in the guide. Does this change the selection of the MSI B150M MORTAR motherboard? Any other implications of going with the other processor as it relates to the rest of the build?

2. I have a Synology NAS that I store all of my media on. I plan to have the HTPC connect directly to the router. However, my current ASUS router has all 4 ports in use as they connect to a switch that provides connections for 4 hard wired ethernet connections in my house. Would it be beneficial to get a motherboard that has 2 ethernet ports so I can connect my NAS directly to the HTPC? Or should I just simply get a switch and expand the number of ports on the router? Any speed/bandwidth considerations with either approach?

3. The other option would be to discontinue use of the NAS and just put the two drives in the NAS in the HTPC. Although I read it is beneficial to have the media store on a NAS vs. the HTPC internally. Thoughts either way on this?

Thanks!

Ari Altman

  • TBG Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1932
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #76 on: April 06, 2016, 12:08:47 PM »
Hi all. First time on the form and looking for some advice. I am going to build my first HTPC/Plex server. I plan to follow this guide for the most part - http://techbuyersguru.com/home-theater-pc-build - with a few modifications.

I was hoping you could assist with my questions, thanks!

1. I plan to get the i5-6500 processor vs. the i3-6100 mentioned in the guide. Does this change the selection of the MSI B150M MORTAR motherboard? Any other implications of going with the other processor as it relates to the rest of the build?

2. I have a Synology NAS that I store all of my media on. I plan to have the HTPC connect directly to the router. However, my current ASUS router has all 4 ports in use as they connect to a switch that provides connections for 4 hard wired ethernet connections in my house. Would it be beneficial to get a motherboard that has 2 ethernet ports so I can connect my NAS directly to the HTPC? Or should I just simply get a switch and expand the number of ports on the router? Any speed/bandwidth considerations with either approach?

3. The other option would be to discontinue use of the NAS and just put the two drives in the NAS in the HTPC. Although I read it is beneficial to have the media store on a NAS vs. the HTPC internally. Thoughts either way on this?

Thanks!

The Intel Core i5-6500 is the perfect CPU for a high-end HTPC due to its impressive processing power and low energy use. And you can easily use it with the B150M Mortar, as well as the recommended power supply for this build.

Given that you've already invested what was likely a substantial amount of money in your Synology NAS, you should really keep it in use. Getting an HTPC to duplicate all its functions will not be straightforward. That means your best bet, if you're not willing to use WiFi for any of your devices (such as the HTPC) will be to use a TP-Link 8-port Gigabit switch. It's very affordable and easy to set up.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 12:11:00 PM by Ari Altman »

dvett

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #77 on: April 06, 2016, 12:59:42 PM »
Thanks Ari! I have one of these laying around, will that work? http://www.amazon.com/TRENDnet-Unmanaged-Gigabit-GREENnet-TEG-S80g/dp/B001QUA6RA?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

Here is what I ended up ordering:

-MSI Computer Motherboard Micro ATX DDR4 LGA 1151 B150M MORTAR
-Intel Boxed Core I5-6500 FC-LGA14C 3.20 Ghz 6 M Processor Cache 4 LGA 1151 BX80662I56500
-Crucial MX200 250GB SATA 2.5 Inch Internal Solid State Drive - CT250MX200SSD1
-Noctua NF-A8 FLX Premium 80mm Fan
-Silverstone Tek Aluminum Front Door/Steel Body Micro ATX Media Center/HTPC Case ML04B - Black
-Crucial 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR4-2133 MT/s (PC4-17000) CL15 SR x8 Unbuffered DIMM Desktop Memory CT2K4G4DFS8213/CT2C4G4DFS8213
-Corsair CX Series, CX430M, 430 Watt (430W), Semi Modular Power Supply, 80+ Bronze Certified
-Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus with Built-In Touchpad for Internet-Connected TVs

Am I missing anything? I didn't purchase the optional CPU cooler. Will the stock i5 cooler be sufficient? This will primarily be used as a media server (no gaming, etc). Also, I only purchased 1 fan for the case. Will this be enough? Outside of the system SSD, the NAS will hold the main storage.

Thanks again! I am excited to get this built. Been using a Popcorn Hour A-300 attached to a single TV so this will be a huge upgrade so I can have a Plex server.




Ari Altman

  • TBG Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1932
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #78 on: April 06, 2016, 01:26:28 PM »
Thanks Ari! I have one of these laying around, will that work? http://www.amazon.com/TRENDnet-Unmanaged-Gigabit-GREENnet-TEG-S80g/dp/B001QUA6RA?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

Here is what I ended up ordering:

-MSI Computer Motherboard Micro ATX DDR4 LGA 1151 B150M MORTAR
-Intel Boxed Core I5-6500 FC-LGA14C 3.20 Ghz 6 M Processor Cache 4 LGA 1151 BX80662I56500
-Crucial MX200 250GB SATA 2.5 Inch Internal Solid State Drive - CT250MX200SSD1
-Noctua NF-A8 FLX Premium 80mm Fan
-Silverstone Tek Aluminum Front Door/Steel Body Micro ATX Media Center/HTPC Case ML04B - Black
-Crucial 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR4-2133 MT/s (PC4-17000) CL15 SR x8 Unbuffered DIMM Desktop Memory CT2K4G4DFS8213/CT2C4G4DFS8213
-Corsair CX Series, CX430M, 430 Watt (430W), Semi Modular Power Supply, 80+ Bronze Certified
-Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus with Built-In Touchpad for Internet-Connected TVs

Am I missing anything? I didn't purchase the optional CPU cooler. Will the stock i5 cooler be sufficient? This will primarily be used as a media server (no gaming, etc). Also, I only purchased 1 fan for the case. Will this be enough? Outside of the system SSD, the NAS will hold the main storage.

Thanks again! I am excited to get this built. Been using a Popcorn Hour A-300 attached to a single TV so this will be a huge upgrade so I can have a Plex server.

You should be all set with that. The TRENDnet Gigabit Switch should work just fine, but if you already have it, why not test it out?!?  :)

And yes, you'll be fine with the stock cooler that comes with the Intel Core i5-6500, as well as the single Noctua case fan. You'd only need more if you were running a video card in your system.

dvett

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #79 on: April 06, 2016, 05:56:44 PM »
Thanks Ari. One more networking question if you don't mind.

Right now in a basement closet I have a cable modem which is connected to an Asus RT-AC68U router which is connected to a 4 port switch that run to the 4 ethernet ports in various parts of my home. Since each room only has a single ethernet jack, I have 8 port switches installed in each. Since the wireless router is in the basement, I decided to re-purpose an old router (Cisco E1000) to act as a Wireless Access Point upstairs and provide a signal to the upper level.

On the main floor in my living room, I plan to have the HTPC and NAS plugged into the switch. I assume this will work fine or will I have a bottleneck with both devices sharing a single line back to the router? Eventually I might have the HTPC and NAS go directly into the Router, but for now I need them on the main floor.

Then upstairs, am I hurting my Gigabit network by having the a 10/100 Wireless Access Point attached to the switch in that room? Nothing connects to that router, it's simply a WAP. I read somewhere that if you add something that is non-Gigabit to your Gigabit network, it will decrease your speed to the fastest device on the network (10/100). I want to ensure I have a full gigabit network. Do I need to upgrade my WAP to a Gigabit router?

Thanks again!

Ari Altman

  • TBG Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1932
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #80 on: April 06, 2016, 11:08:25 PM »
I'm really not sure if having a 10/100 device on your network will slow the entire network down to that speed, but my hunch is that it does not. You can always test this yourself simply by transferring a few large files across your intranet. Any modern hard drive would exceed the capacity of a 10/100 network in that scenario, and you'd therefore see file transfers that are slower that what the hard drive can do on a single system (about 100-150MB/s).

dvett

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #81 on: April 12, 2016, 09:57:28 AM »
Thanks for all the help! I built my PC last night and it's working great.

I had a couple of questions on controlling it. I have a Harmony Home/Smart Control. I would like to program one of the activity buttons to automatically launch Plex Home Theater. As far as I know, the MSI B15M Mortar motherboard I have does not have IR or Bluetooth. Is that correct?

If so, do I buy a bluetooth or IR adapter? Is one better? I have seen this floating around - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BB0ETW8/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_1?pf_rd_p=1944687762&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B00J5NRWFO&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1AR5SQ0WVNE5052AFC37.

But my thoughts are that if Bluetooth works as well as IR, I should go that route since Bluetooth would offer additional capabilities.

Then would I just go through the Harmony set up to set up the activty? What am I missing here? I am trying to make this easy for my family to start Plex. The other option is to just leverage the Plex client on our Apple TV to play from the server instead of using PHT. Thoughts on that?

Thanks!

Ari Altman

  • TBG Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1932
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #82 on: April 12, 2016, 10:16:15 AM »
Thanks for all the help! I built my PC last night and it's working great.

I had a couple of questions on controlling it. I have a Harmony Home/Smart Control. I would like to program one of the activity buttons to automatically launch Plex Home Theater. As far as I know, the MSI B15M Mortar motherboard I have does not have IR or Bluetooth. Is that correct?

If so, do I buy a bluetooth or IR adapter? Is one better? I have seen this floating around - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BB0ETW8/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_1?pf_rd_p=1944687762&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B00J5NRWFO&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1AR5SQ0WVNE5052AFC37.

But my thoughts are that if Bluetooth works as well as IR, I should go that route since Bluetooth would offer additional capabilities.

Then would I just go through the Harmony set up to set up the activty? What am I missing here? I am trying to make this easy for my family to start Plex. The other option is to just leverage the Plex client on our Apple TV to play from the server instead of using PHT. Thoughts on that?

Thanks!

The FLIRC is a very popular IR receiver for HTPC users, and in fact it's mentioned as an option in TBG's HTPC Buyer's Guide! You are correct that your motherboard does not have built-in IR or Bluetooth... in fact none that I know of have IR, and only a few have Bluetooth, and they're typically much more expensive.

I really don't know of a way to issue Windows commands via Bluetooth. Perhaps it's possible, but I haven't seen it done. Unless you find others who've done it with Bluetooth, I'd go with the FLIRC. You might need to set up a hotkey combination in Windows to get PLEX to launch, as FLIRC just turns IR blasts into keyboard taps for Windows to interpret. I haven't used this combination of products (Harmony + FLIRC + Plex), but I know others have.

By the way, if you feel so inclined, I'd be happy to feature your HTPC in The Gallery - you'd just need to send in a few photos to theguru@techbuyersguru.com.

dvett

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #83 on: April 12, 2016, 10:22:57 AM »
Thanks Ari!

I purchased the Logitech K400 Plus keyboard which includes a reciever, but likely just or the keyboard/mouse combo. Just wanted to add that in case that makes a difference. I am just trying to make it simple for my family to use, so for the short-term I will just have them use the Apple TV plex app while I do more research on a solution involving the remote. My family will never use anything outside of PHT, but I will access Windows regularly on the HTPC.

I'd be happy to send you a few pics of the build! Just need to work on my cable routing first!  :P

Do you have any photos you could share of the ML03/04 case showing how others have routed their cables?

Ari Altman

  • TBG Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1932
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #84 on: April 12, 2016, 12:54:50 PM »
Thanks Ari!

I purchased the Logitech K400 Plus keyboard which includes a reciever, but likely just or the keyboard/mouse combo. Just wanted to add that in case that makes a difference. I am just trying to make it simple for my family to use, so for the short-term I will just have them use the Apple TV plex app while I do more research on a solution involving the remote. My family will never use anything outside of PHT, but I will access Windows regularly on the HTPC.

I'd be happy to send you a few pics of the build! Just need to work on my cable routing first!  :P

Do you have any photos you could share of the ML03/04 case showing how others have routed their cables?

I don't have any photos, but if you have specific questions, I might be able to help. The hardest part may be the USB 3.0 cable, which is hard to bend into place.

dvett

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #85 on: April 13, 2016, 12:26:25 PM »
Did you build using this case? Perhaps a photo of yours?

Ari Altman

  • TBG Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1932
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #86 on: April 13, 2016, 03:12:27 PM »
Did you build using this case? Perhaps a photo of yours?

I have built HTPCs with the SilverStone GD09 ATX Case, SilverStone SG08 ITX Case, SilverStone CS01 ITX Case, and SilverStone RVZ02 ITX Case. I also have reader-submitted photos of the SilverStone GD05 mATX Case. Unfortunately, I don't have photos of the ML03/04 mATX Case.

dvett

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #87 on: April 17, 2016, 06:50:41 PM »
I'm back! Will send photos soon of the build to feature in the gallery.

I had a question regarding storage. I need to upgrade. I currently have 2x2TB WD Red Hard Drives in a Synology NAS. I would like upgrade to 2x4TB drives in the NAS. I would love to get larger drives, but want to keep cost under $300 for both drives.

My plan is to move 1 (or both) of the WD Red drives to the HTPC. Which hard drives (2x4TB or larger) should I buy to put in the Synology? I see you recommend the Blue drives (even over the Red drives for NAS). I like the price of the 4TB Blue drives, but wasn't sure if it mattered to have 5400 vs 7200 RPM drives for the NAS? The Red Drives I have now are 5400, but I was never streaming video from them before. Going forward, the 4TB drives will serve us movies. Would you still recommend the Blue's for my NAS?

Thanks!

Ari Altman

  • TBG Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1932
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #88 on: April 17, 2016, 07:30:41 PM »
I'm back! Will send photos soon of the build to feature in the gallery.

I had a question regarding storage. I need to upgrade. I currently have 2x2TB WD Red Hard Drives in a Synology NAS. I would like upgrade to 2x4TB drives in the NAS. I would love to get larger drives, but want to keep cost under $300 for both drives.

My plan is to move 1 (or both) of the WD Red drives to the HTPC. Which hard drives (2x4TB or larger) should I buy to put in the Synology? I see you recommend the Blue drives (even over the Red drives for NAS). I like the price of the 4TB Blue drives, but wasn't sure if it mattered to have 5400 vs 7200 RPM drives for the NAS? The Red Drives I have now are 5400, but I was never streaming video from them before. Going forward, the 4TB drives will serve us movies. Would you still recommend the Blue's for my NAS?

Thanks!

Good question!

I do like the WD Blue drives for their reliability and low noise, and the 4TB 5400RPM model is right in your price range. Note that this is actually a re-branded WD Green 5400RPM drive, which was originally designed for media use in PCs, not 24/7 NAS use. It would probably do just fine in a NAS that isn't constantly hammered with reads. Of course, WD markets its Red line for NAS use, and they are also 5400RPM, but they do have a 3-year vs. 2-year warranty for the Blues, and also have NAS-specific firmware. If you're a serious NAS user, I'd probably stick with Red. The Red 4TB is $150, just making your cut-off for 8GB at $300. But why not keep one of your 2TB Red drives in your NAS, add the 6TB for $240, which is a better value than the 4TB, and use the other 2TB drive in your HTPC? No drawback unless you're running a RAID1 in your NAS.

You definitely don't want to use 7200RPM drives in your NAS - the heat production is way too high given the close proximity and limited cooling of the drives. The faster rotational speed definitely isn't needed for video streaming.

dvett

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: The TBG Home Theater PC Build
« Reply #89 on: April 20, 2016, 02:59:00 PM »
Thanks for the write-up Ari. Happy building!