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Media Server/HTPC Take Two: Project Asgard

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  • Media Server/HTPC Take Two: Project Asgard

    Long story short - moving house; parents want to keep old server as it has all our old DVDs etc on it; bought old one from me; went out to purchase new shiny parts to build new one!

    The spec and cost of each component is as follows:

    Coolermaster Elite 120 Mini-ITX case - 32 Aria
    Coolermaster 500W PSU - 31 Aria
    AsRock Z77E-ITX motherboard - 65 bit-tech marketplace
    Intel Pentium G860 (Sandy Bridge) - 49 Aria
    8GB Mushkin Enhanced Silverline - 17.50 Trade Post
    Corsair C300 64GB SSD - 25 Trade Post
    Seagate Barracuda 2TB - 70 Aria
    DVD drive for now - possibly BluRay in the future - spare
    Enermax Aurora Micro Wireless Keyboard (Black) - 32 from a big river

    So in total that's 321!

    I could have built it much cheaper if I'd wanted to, but I wanted a compact case that would fit under the TV, the SSD just sort of came up and was a good price with the RAM, the motherboard - I could probably have made done with a H61 or the like, but this has an RRP of about 120, so at 65 with over 2 and a half years warranty left I couldn't say no really!

    Just a few quick snaps while putting it together.

    Motherboard ready to go

    HDD, SSD and optical drive in with a couple views of the case's size mostly empty

    CPU in

    Didn't realise how dusty the room was until I took these!!

    Snuggled in

    And the nightmare wiring commences

    But manages to tidy up reasonably well!


    It was a faff getting the Intel HD drivers to play ball. Whenever I installed them it would cut out all HDMI video (no use as I'm going to be connecting to my main TV via HDMI to get audio as well!). I could go into safe mode and still boot etc but I was tied to remoting in from my laptop last night while I configured it all.

    Finally got around to tidying the room up tonight so I plugged in both DVI and HDMI to my main screens, DVI showed up fine, so then extended to two displays via HDMI, then had to switch so the HDMI screen was my 'main' display before it finally let me just run off HDMI alone! What a messy way around that was, don't know what someone would do if they didn't have a DVI cable or adapter..

    Have just finished transferring all of my other server's files so I'm sat at around 800GB space now.

    The G860 streams blu ray quality (7GB file) just fine through VLC with only about 15% CPU usage.

    I was surprised as well with the ATTO results. The SSD sat at around 380MB/s read and the Seagate 2TB managed a whopping 170MB/s! That's a lot more than I expected from a mechanical drive, so either ATTO is lying or it's a decent drive!

    All in all I'm very happy with it so far. The only other addition I may make is if I decide to run it wireless. It currently has a 300Mbps N card with 2 antenna however I've been thinking of sticking an Intel 450Mbps card in with 3 antenna to see what the performance of that is like as I've got the NETGEAR N900 router to make full use of.

  • #2
    Oh - it's called Asgard because that's the first name for a PC that came into my head when I was running Win7 setup. Asgard being the home of Aesir and all I felt it appropriate as it is the 'home' of all my media


    • #3
      Looks great! I think when the ps3 goes I'll be doing one of these good job

      Project Antec 900


      • #4
        Media Server/HTPC Take Two: Project Asgard

        Excellent spec Seb for the money spent!
        Currently upgrading my pc

        Fogive my spelling/grammar mistakes I use my iPad to browse the forums


        • #5
          Very nice build Seb, nice to see my old parts being put to good use!
          Main Rig: A8 7670k @4.5GHz // Gigabyte F2A88-XM D3H // 8GB Corsair Vengeance Pro 2400MHz // Sapphire Nitro R9 380 // Samsung 850 250GB // Samsung F3 500GB // EVGA SuperNOVA 550 G2 // Dell U2312HM // Zowie EC2
          Dell Inspiron 15 Special Edition:
          i7 3612QM // 6GB RAM // 7730M // Samsung 840 250GB // Backlit K/B // 1080p Panel // Soundblaster Evo Wireless


          • #6
            Very nice and tidy system, my only question is how come you didnt consider an AMD Fusion setup for one? Possibly cheaper and just as up to the job as the Intel

            I can honestly say I have had no complaints with mine!


            • #7
              Put it simply - I like Intel more

              Plus the motherboard just happened to come up at a good price and sort of locked me into the socket!


              • #8
                I just wondered

                I hate it when things get given to you at prices you can't say no too


                • #9
                  Looks cracking. Out of curiosity, are you only using it as a streaming server or do you plan to put XBMC or something similar on it? Dave.


                  • #10
                    It's running Plex and distributing it to the other devices on the network