It is currently Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:49 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: HTPC/NAS Build with a bit of a twist
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:35 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:04 am
Posts: 9
Hi all, I want to build an HTPC box that'll sit behind the TV (so must be quiet) but that will also store all my families files etc.. It's all going to be stored encrypted (here's the twist) with AES, meaning that AES-NI is essential.

Now, AES-NI is only available in Bulldozer or the 2nd Gen. Intel i5/7 range. However of course I want to stay in keeping with the small and quiet. Another twist, as a NAS box I want to be able to use up to five 3.5" disk drives in it.

This has narrowed the case down a bit, because the smallest I can find with that many internal 3.5" bays are the Fractal Arc Mini and Fractal Define Mini. Please let me know if there are others, although these seemed best.

The motherboard is likely to be a Asus P8H67-M PRO R3 or similar, whilst the processor I think represents best value and has AES-NI and Intel HD 3000 graphics (for 1080p decoding, though I hear the HD 2000 will do too) seems to be the i5-2500K (although it's rather hot at 95 TDP, I wonder if underclocking it would make it run much cooler)?

This box will also run Windows Serve 2008 R2 in a virtual machine, as the native platform will be Debian.

Most people here I see building HTPC's simply use onboard CPU/GPU combos in a nice small mATX case. However with my NAS requirement a larger case and hotter CPU is necessary.

Can anyone give some advice on how to keep this setup cool, or just generally throw some thoughts at me as to where I'm going with this?

Thanks a lot.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: HTPC/NAS Build with a bit of a twist
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:29 am
Posts: 567
Location: de_DE
deed02392 wrote:
...store all my families files etc.. It's all going to be stored encrypted (here's the twist) with AES, meaning that AES-NI is essential.

Yeah right, family files. I hope you're aware that your passwords are no longer protected under the fifth amandment.

ITX cases:
There's the Lian Li Q25 case that is great for a NAS box: 5 hot swap 3.5" drives. You need an ITX board like the ASUS P8H67-I for the case. That's as small as it gets with 5 3.5" drives.
The Fractal Design Array holds 6 drives, but the drive cage is prone to rattle.
The Lian Li Q08 is bigger, holds 6 3.5" drives and an optical drive, but has a small problem with the drive cage, too, but there's an easy fix.
These cases require a narrow heatsink like the Scythe Big Shuriken.
mATX solutions:
The Fractal Design Define mini is the smallest mATX with dampening and room for 6 hard drives.
The Arc Mini is very similar in size, but a very open design. With that many drives I would advise against it.
The Xigmatek Gigas is a pretty tall cube, but it has lots of room for big coolers.
All these cases have room for big coolers. The Thermalright HR-02 Macho and the Scythe Mugen 3 perform great have the best price performance ratio.
ATX desktops:
The Silverstone LC 16, LC17 and LC20 can hold 6 hard drives. The Silverstone Crown CW02 and CW03 have room, too, but they are very expensive.
If money is not an Issue ther's the Origenae S21T with a 12" touchscreen.
These need a slightly narrower CPU cooler like the Xigmatek Loki SD963, Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 or similar tower cooler with a 92mm fan. The CW02 and S21T are taller so the HR-02 Macho or Mugen 3 will fit.

_________________
Lian Li V600, Asus P77Z-M Pro, i5-3570K 4.4GHz with Scythe Orochi, 140mm Slipstream 500RPM and Mugen2 115X Bolt through kit,
Evga GTX 670 FTW+ 4GB with Thermalright Spitfire and Thermalright TY-150 500-800RPM, Seasonic 460W Platinum Fanless


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: HTPC/NAS Build with a bit of a twist
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1721
Location: Switzerland
You don't need the AES extension for encryption.
It makes encryption faster and more efficient. As far as I can see, it's mostly useful for larger servers and, in a few uncommon cases, workstations and laptops. It's not important unless you encrypt/decrypt *a lot*. Your family's files and movies won't amount to much compared to the processing power of modern CPUs. Doing it in software also gives you more flexibility.

Your requirements are imprecise but you could probably do what you want (video decoding + file server for a single family) with a low-power CPU. If you want more power, the cheapest dual-core Sandy Bridge or Llano (depending on what video decoding hardware you prefer) will be fine.

You have no use for such a powerful CPU as the 2500K. It's better value if you overclock and you have a use for the processing power (though it will be beaten by the new models in a few months). But since you have no use for that, the best value *for you* is the cheapest CPU that fits your requirements.
So far as I know, the HD3000 is only useful over the HD2000 for 3D.

The only reason your case needs to be largish is that you want room for 5 3.5'' drives. But there are mITX cases that take more drives if memory serves. Check out SPCR's home server guide for more information.

My recommendation is to spend your time and your budget on safety features such as backups, not on pointlessly powerful gear that's only going to make your build more complicated and/or louder.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: HTPC/NAS Build with a bit of a twist
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:49 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:29 am
Posts: 567
Location: de_DE
A 99$ WD TV is enough for decoding and a Qnap turbo station or Synology Diskstation to take care of storage. That's a solution to the problem, my above post is pure DYI.
HTPC isn't always the answer.

_________________
Lian Li V600, Asus P77Z-M Pro, i5-3570K 4.4GHz with Scythe Orochi, 140mm Slipstream 500RPM and Mugen2 115X Bolt through kit,
Evga GTX 670 FTW+ 4GB with Thermalright Spitfire and Thermalright TY-150 500-800RPM, Seasonic 460W Platinum Fanless


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: HTPC/NAS Build with a bit of a twist
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:19 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:04 am
Posts: 9
Thanks for all your replies. My parents run a photography business and a requirement of the DPA we have to adhere to is that customers digital photos are 'protected by appropriate authorisation techniques'. Since they are dealing with gigabytes daily moving off their laptops to the NAS will need to be as fast as possible once they have been shopped.

Anyway those lian li cases look really nice, unfortunately it doesn't look like they're stocked anywhere I know in my country. I don't know if you know much of cheaper ones that are on the same level? Otherwise it just means I'm paying like 120 euro for something like the Q08 (maybe that's reasonable though, they do look very nice :)).

@HFat the reason I believe I need a powerful CPU is also because of the Windows Server install in a virtual machine. Though you might argue that's more a memory requirement, I'm not sure how processor intensive running perhaps Windows update or something in the background might cause frames to drop if someone's watching a 1080p movie and/or files are being transferred to it simeltaneously. Do you imagine something like the i5-2500K easily running too hot in an mITX case then?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: HTPC/NAS Build with a bit of a twist
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:27 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1721
Location: Switzerland
There's no argument. You don't understand your CPU requirements.
I just launched an AES benchmark on a T2500 CPU and got over 100 MB/s. That's a 6 year-old mobile CPU. An i3-2100 should be something like 4 times as fast. You have no interfaces to transfer files from a laptop which are anywhere as fast. The slowest Sandy Bridge dual-core would therefore be more than sufficient.
A VM won't stress your CPU. Making sure background processes don't interrupt what you're doing is a matter of prioritization in software, something Linux does well. What will most likely cause slowdowns won't be the CPU but the drive(s). You're better off using a separate drive or array for each of the things you want to run in parrallel if that's a concern.
Maybe you can rationalize avoiding low-power CPUs, single-core Sandy Bridges and the slowest Llanos. But there's no way to rationalize a 2500K with the requirements you stated.

What are you running on your VM anyway? You say "something". It's hard to tell what that would require. I hae no idea why you even want to run Windows. You're not planning to use the VM to decode videos, are you?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: HTPC/NAS Build with a bit of a twist
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:04 am
Posts: 9
Maybe you're right, I am probably exaggerating my requirements a bit more than necessary. I just don't want to find that some arbitrary bottleneck later is down to the CPU, I hate slow machines and I want this NAS to perform close enough to how a local disk would, at least maxing out gigabit whilst being able to do everything else flawlessly.

In my OP, Windows Server 2008 R2 will be running in a VM acting as a domain controller and running active directory with roaming profiles for everyone so their 'My Documents' stays on the NAS within a RAID5 LVM i.e. backed up.

Just one argument to using the slowest dual-core, I think the best value route is to get a CPU with integrated graphics to do the 1080p decoding, so that means I must at least get an i5. Then since at my local retailer the only difference in price between the cheapest i5 (2300) and the 2500k was about 15%, and it also meant I'd have AES-NI as well. I thought that would make it the best value one to choose. But I think you're right with regards to the VM not using many cycles, especially as you say with Linux's ability to manage process priorities.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: HTPC/NAS Build with a bit of a twist
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1721
Location: Switzerland
deed02392 wrote:
at least maxing out gigabit

Software or storage is likely to be a bottleneck. Are you planning on maxing out gigE with Samba?

deed02392 wrote:
running active directory with roaming profiles for everyone so their 'My Documents' stays on the NAS

Can't you do this with Samba? I've never done it but I assume this is a common requirement.

deed02392 wrote:
I think the best value route is to get a CPU with integrated graphics to do the 1080p decoding, so that means I must at least get an i5.

Any modern GPU can do this. Maybe I'm missing something... what exclusive video decoding feature are i5s supposed to have? I've never heard of it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: HTPC/NAS Build with a bit of a twist
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:06 pm
Posts: 3395
Location: US
deed02392 wrote:
running in a VM
I believe you need to be very careful about the chip you buy. My recollection is that not all of them are equipped to run virtual environments. That being said, maybe you should look at the 2105. It has the 3000 IGA.

Maybe someone has already addressed this, but have you considered waiting for the Ivy Bridge. The TDP of the new 4 core Ivy Bridges is 77 watts compared to 95 watts for the old 2500K... and they are faster on top of that. They even work on most of the boards that run the 2500K. The new 4000 IGA is supposed to be extremely powerful. Materially more powerful than a Radion 5450.

With that and an SSD, it is hard to believe you will run into any hardware bottlenecks.

_________________
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" Albert Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: HTPC/NAS Build with a bit of a twist
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:06 pm
Posts: 3395
Location: US
HFat wrote:
what exclusive video decoding feature are i5s supposed to have? I've never heard of it.
Intel has some special hard coded circuits to do that. It is part of the new IGA. If you are running software that takes advantage of of this... it runs like something in the order of 5 or 10 x faster.

_________________
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" Albert Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: HTPC/NAS Build with a bit of a twist
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:57 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:20 am
Posts: 473
Location: Ottawa
All the SB chips, at least the destktop ones support VT-x, even the Celerons. I'm pretty sure the mobile ones do to, but I haven't checked them all.

As for video decoding, there is no difference between an i3 and an i5 or the 2000/3000 graphics. They can all decode 1080P h.264 video just fine. My HTPC is an i3-2120 with HD 2000 and does full video offload just fine.

The Pentium/Celeron support for video offloading is a bit ambiguous. I think they just don't support some of the "quality" features of Intel's "Clear Video" but I've never tried one.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: HTPC/NAS Build with a bit of a twist
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:05 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:20 am
Posts: 473
Location: Ottawa
deed02392: How many users are you going to have that you think you need a domain? If you just want to redirect my documents you can do that manually just fine for a few users. You don't need a Windows server, Linux running samba or a Windows 7 desktop would be just fine.

If you want to max out Gigabit then you should run your file server on the bare metal. If you are serving from Linux then make sure you have an up to date samba version that has SMB2 support.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: HTPC/NAS Build with a bit of a twist
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:06 pm
Posts: 3395
Location: US
washu wrote:
As for video decoding, there is no difference between an i3 and an i5 or the 2000/3000 graphics. They can all decode 1080P h.264 video just fine. My HTPC is an i3-2120 with HD 2000 and does full video offload just fine.
my understanding is that the 4000 IGA is substantially faster at this than the 2000 or 3000. Am I in error?

_________________
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" Albert Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: HTPC/NAS Build with a bit of a twist
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:00 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:20 am
Posts: 473
Location: Ottawa
ces wrote:
my understanding is that the 4000 IGA is substantially faster at this than the 2000 or 3000. Am I in error?


I'm not sure what you mean by faster in terms of video playback. It's not like games where more FPS is better, either the graphic card can handle the video decode or it can't. It wouldn't be useful to playback a 30 fps video at 100 fps.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: HTPC/NAS Build with a bit of a twist
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:37 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:29 am
Posts: 567
Location: de_DE
You want a domain controller that's also a NAS and also a HTPC?
Your requirements don't make any sense. I think your in way over your head.

VT-x CPU list.
VT-d is Xeon only.VT-d needs bios support through the mainboard. You need a server board with C20X chipset. SOME Q67 boards have some level of support, but they're not meant to be used in servers.
You should check the boards at servethehome for more information.

Why do you insist on a single machine for several workloads so diverse?
Get a cheap pre-configured server like the HP ProLiant ML110 or PowerEdge T110 II as a domain controller. You can get professional support for these.
Get a powerful NAS for storage: Thecus N7700PRO has a Core 2 Duo Notebook CPU and great performance, you can get a 10GB ethernet controller as an option. But to buy the NAS from the same vendor as the server is probably the better idea (hint: support).
Get a set-top box for decoding, WD TV, Apple TV,...

Putting all those workloads on a single machine is asking for trouble. I wouldn't want to troubleshoot a solution where all those tasks are put on one machine. You need a professional solution and you're asking advice here, that should tell you something. There's companies out there configuring and selling servers to SMBs, maybe it's time you talk to them.

_________________
Lian Li V600, Asus P77Z-M Pro, i5-3570K 4.4GHz with Scythe Orochi, 140mm Slipstream 500RPM and Mugen2 115X Bolt through kit,
Evga GTX 670 FTW+ 4GB with Thermalright Spitfire and Thermalright TY-150 500-800RPM, Seasonic 460W Platinum Fanless


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: HTPC/NAS Build with a bit of a twist
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:56 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:04 am
Posts: 9
HFat wrote:
deed02392 wrote:
at least maxing out gigabit

Software or storage is likely to be a bottleneck. Are you planning on maxing out gigE with Samba?

Yes.

deed02392 wrote:
running active directory with roaming profiles for everyone so their 'My Documents' stays on the NAS

Can't you do this with Samba? I've never done it but I assume this is a common requirement.

I spent a few days trying to get this to work, but it didn't want to talk to Windows 7 domain clients, and it implicitly requires a reduction in network security. Since I operate an open wifi that anyone can connect to I decided to buy Server 2008. So I will be using that.

deed02392 wrote:
I think the best value route is to get a CPU with integrated graphics to do the 1080p decoding, so that means I must at least get an i5.

Any modern GPU can do this. Maybe I'm missing something... what exclusive video decoding feature are i5s supposed to have? I've never heard of it.


You're missing that I've chosen at least an i5 because this series has AES-NI. The more I've looked into it because you all prompted me to reevaulate my decision, the more I've realised the price difference between the range is so small it'd be silly not to get the better one. Although I am probably going to settle on the i5-2400(S?) now, rather than the 2500K.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
ces wrote:
deed02392 wrote:
running in a VM
I believe you need to be very careful about the chip you buy. My recollection is that not all of them are equipped to run virtual environments. That being said, maybe you should look at the 2105. It has the 3000 IGA.


If this had AES-NI, I'd have got that. Since I can get a second hand 2400 for the same price as an i3-2105 I may as well get the 2400.

Quote:
Maybe someone has already addressed this, but have you considered waiting for the Ivy Bridge. The TDP of the new 4 core Ivy Bridges is 77 watts compared to 95 watts for the old 2500K... and they are faster on top of that. They even work on most of the boards that run the 2500K. The new 4000 IGA is supposed to be extremely powerful. Materially more powerful than a Radion 5450.

With that and an SSD, it is hard to believe you will run into any hardware bottlenecks.


Yeah, the system will boot from a 30 GB SSD. I have thought about waiting for Ivy Bridge and it is a possibility, although it would probably make the build more expensive because it'll be new and there will be a high demand for it.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
washu wrote:
deed02392: How many users are you going to have that you think you need a domain? If you just want to redirect my documents you can do that manually just fine for a few users. You don't need a Windows server, Linux running samba or a Windows 7 desktop would be just fine.


There's my parents, myself, two siblings and a lodger. But the big reason I want to go for it is so everyone can login to everyone elses machine without having to bother creating multiple accounts between them all. If we can borrow each others computers when we need to and still get up our 'My Documents' that'll be grand. There's also the fact I've already bought Server 2008 and want to implement it. :)

Quote:
If you want to max out Gigabit then you should run your file server on the bare metal. If you are serving from Linux then make sure you have an up to date samba version that has SMB2 support.


I will be serving from Linux and the Windows Server will refer to the Linux samba shares. Server 2008 won't be hosting any users data but simply acting as the domain controller, DNS server and DHCP server.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
boost wrote:
You want a domain controller that's also a NAS and also a HTPC?
Your requirements don't make any sense. I think your in way over your head.

VT-x CPU list.
VT-d is Xeon only.VT-d needs bios support through the mainboard. You need a server board with C20X chipset. SOME Q67 boards have some level of support, but they're not meant to be used in servers.
You should check the boards at servethehome for more information.


Quote:
Why do you insist on a single machine for several workloads so diverse?
Get a cheap pre-configured server like the HP ProLiant ML110 or PowerEdge T110 II as a domain controller. You can get professional support for these.


I don't need/want professional support, given how small the network is any issues I'd like to figure out myself and learn about how Windows domains work.

Quote:
Get a powerful NAS for storage: Thecus N7700PRO has a Core 2 Duo Notebook CPU and great performance, you can get a 10GB ethernet controller as an option. But to buy the NAS from the same vendor as the server is probably the better idea (hint: support).
Get a set-top box for decoding, WD TV, Apple TV,...

Putting all those workloads on a single machine is asking for trouble. I wouldn't want to troubleshoot a solution where all those tasks are put on one machine. You need a professional solution and you're asking advice here, that should tell you something. There's companies out there configuring and selling servers to SMBs, maybe it's time you talk to them.


I don't see why I need a professional solution. The reason I'm going for an all-in-one solution is cost. I'm not exactly loaded and there is limited room behind the TV where all this needs to go (don't want to run ethernet cables everywhere). I know you are going to think I'm being unhelpful by not taking all your advice but I do appreciate everything you've told me. So far it seems like you've helped the most with that but there seems to be some issue where people have assumed I haven't already done enough research into what I should choose regarding the CPU. Budget is a big constraint, as well as some minimum requirements (e.g. AES-NI).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: HTPC/NAS Build with a bit of a twist
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:28 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:51 pm
Posts: 1
looks familiar.
I used my htpc as a domain controller within a VM environment.
The cpu is not beefy its an older amd 45 watt cpu.
On the domain controller i run the free software true crypt.
As i also ran SAMs on it (music broadcaster) i got problems with the audio streaming sync clock cycles.
I changed to microsoft virtual machine And from there it run perfectly for a couple of years.
With true crypt you can encrypt folders drives etc etc.
when you run active directory you can share folders to groups or users.
When you connect to it you can have a .bat file with net use to map the drives.
Ifyou need somemore power go for a A6 or A8. And get a case which can hold >2 Harddisks.

laters


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: HTPC/NAS Build with a bit of a twist
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:26 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:04 am
Posts: 9
howy wrote:
looks familiar.
I used my htpc as a domain controller within a VM environment.
The cpu is not beefy its an older amd 45 watt cpu.
On the domain controller i run the free software true crypt.
As i also ran SAMs on it (music broadcaster) i got problems with the audio streaming sync clock cycles.
I changed to microsoft virtual machine And from there it run perfectly for a couple of years.
With true crypt you can encrypt folders drives etc etc.
when you run active directory you can share folders to groups or users.
When you connect to it you can have a .bat file with net use to map the drives.
Ifyou need somemore power go for a A6 or A8. And get a case which can hold >2 Harddisks.

laters


Thanks howy, I didn't think what I was suggesting for usage was that extreme, considering I've already done it all as a prototype on my laptop and it took a few days (even then only because I was working out that Samba couldn't be the PDC etc).


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group