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Think I fried my mobo during a case transfer... suggestions for replacements?


Harblar

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So... I was transferring my stuff to a new case tonight and when I plugged it in everything seemed to work (I get a little green light on the board and the cpu/case fan spin right up. can even hear the drives spool up a bit) yet no connection via the web utility. I plugged a monitor in and no signal there either. I tried several different trouble shooting steps (resetting the bios, unplugging all non essential devices, tried an old video card) and nothing. Baring any other relevant suggestions, I'm calling it... She was a fine machine and served me well over the years, bla, bla ,bla....  Time to start dating the hot young gal from down the block. lol  ;D

 

So, on that note... I just recently did a massive upgrade on my desktop machine (fairly highend i7-6700k based build) and my wallet is somewhat tight atm.  With budget in mind, and keeping my options open for future proofing and/or upgrading down the line, here is what I'm currently looking at:

 

Intel i3 6320 ($169)

ASRock Z170 Pro4S ($80)

G.Skill Ripjaws V (2x8GB) DDR4 2400 ($68)

 

My thoughts here are that I'm keeping it fairly low budget at around $300-350 and yet leaving myself plenty of room to upgrade down the line (eventually moving to an i7 and 32GB of Ram).

On the downside, the board only has 6 onboard Sata 6.0Gbps (it's got 2 Sata express ports, as well, but I don't think I'll ever need or be able to use those). I've got a PCI express SataIII card, so still doable, but it'd be nice to have it built in.

 

My current unRAID system has 9 HDD's in total and I really don't ever plan on going much over that (As my older drives near retirement age I see them getting replaced with 8TB or even 10TB by the time they start to die.) To get a mobo that supports skylake and has 10 SataIII ports I'd be looking at another $90 (after rebate) and a whole bunch of feature's I don't need.

 

When all is said and done, the above build is about the cheapest one I could do based on new tech. In fact it's even pretty reasonably priced compared to the older 1150 sockets and very close in performance to some of the better comparably priced i5's.

 

In the end, my main uses for the unRAID box are to store/stream media, and run Emby/Plex servers(dockers). Probably never really going to be much more than 1-2 transcodes in progress at any given point. Most of my media playback is direct play via Emby Theater on a dedicated HTPC. I really don't know jack about VM or what I would even use one for in my particular case.  I'm thinking about eventually getting back into some CG modelling and artwork, so maybe I could set up a VM as a rendering box? Eitherway, that's down the road and not a pressing need at the moment (but something to consider. Does the above hardware support that?)

 

Granted that anything is going to be better than my current rig (even if it wasn't dead, we're talking an old Celeron with 6GB of ram...). Any other choices that might save me a few $ and still give me plenty of headroom for an eventual meaningful upgrade?

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Skylake is a great platform.  It works pretty well in UnRAID, too.

 

I've tested UnRAID on a Maximus VIII Hero with an i3-6100T and an i5-6600K.  They both work well.  The Maximus has 8 SATA ports, though 2 of them are off an AsMedia controller.  I have that passed through to a Win10 VM, to which I have a hotswap bay attached for backups.  Works pretty well.

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Given that you have 9 hard drives and no intention of ever growing beyond that, I'd bite the bullet and get a motherboard with 10 native SATA connections, so you'll never need to add another controller card.

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157627

 

In addition, just in case you DO decide to grow your drive count (one never knows ... with dual parity coming;  BTRFS cache pools; etc. you could easily grow beyond 10), this motherboard has plenty of PCIe x16 slots to allow both another controller and a video card or two for pass-through to a VM, should you decide to go that route in the future [e.g. a VM could easily replace your dedicated HTPC].

 

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Given that you have 9 hard drives and no intention of ever growing beyond that, I'd bite the bullet and get a motherboard with 10 native SATA connections, so you'll never need to add another controller card.

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157627

 

In addition, just in case you DO decide to grow your drive count (one never knows ... with dual parity coming;  BTRFS cache pools; etc. you could easily grow beyond 10), this motherboard has plenty of PCIe x16 slots to allow both another controller and a video card or two for pass-through to a VM, should you decide to go that route in the future [e.g. a VM could easily replace your dedicated HTPC].

 

That was actually the other Mobo I was looking at. Good points about dual parity... I'll definitely give it more consideration.

 

I actually hadn't even thought about doing the HTPC as a virtual machine, but I'm still not entirely clear on how that would work. Wouldn't I still need some kind of client box at the actual location of my TV/Recevier/ETC to provide an HDMI connection for bitstreaming audio and USB for using a keyboard/mouse when needed? If that's the case, what would you suggest as the client?  Rasberry Pi 2?

 

If that's how it works, it would work really well and allow me to setup several virtual machine to provide Lossless streaming to 2-3 separate theater setups.

 

Also forgot to mention... I've got a couple of spare GTX 560 ti's laying around. is there any possible benefit I could gain by adding them to my unRAID box, outside of using them for a VM?

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I actually hadn't even thought about doing the HTPC as a virtual machine, but I'm still not entirely clear on how that would work. Wouldn't I still need some kind of client box at the actual location of my TV/Recevier/ETC to provide an HDMI connection for bitstreaming audio and USB for using a keyboard/mouse when needed?

 

You don't need a client box, but you DO need the ability to get an HDMI connection from the UnRAID server to the display equipment [receiver, TV, etc.].    If your UnRAID system isn't within a reasonable range for that, then a VM isn't such a good idea.    However, high-quality HDMI cables can easily run 100', so that may not be as much of an issue as you're thinking.

 

 

If that's how it works, it would work really well and allow me to setup several virtual machine to provide Lossless streaming to 2-3 separate theater setups.

 

Indeed, you could add a few extra VMs for exactly that.    That's another advantage of the better motherboard -- it has plenty of extra PCIe x16 slots that you could put video cards in for passing through to the VMs [You need a video card for each VM]

 

 

... I've got a couple of spare GTX 560 ti's laying around. is there any possible benefit I could gain by adding them to my unRAID box, outside of using them for a VM?

 

There's no benefit from these cards if you don't need them for VMs.

 

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That's what I was wondering. I was curious how it would pass-through HDCP and Keyboard/mouse/remote commands. I could run hdmi cables where needed, but it would probably be cheaper/easier to just use the HTPC I have for a dedicated theater and setup a few Kodi/RBPi2's for the other TV's.

 

I thought I'd read somewhere that Plex could use gpu for transcoding?  Maybe not and, either way, not mission critical.  I've been doing some more reading and I think if I decide to go with a VM it will be for setting up a Linux OS as a part of a render farm for blender (will probably end up tying the HTPC into that as well when I do it)... at which point those 4 PCI-E x16's will certainly come in handy!  ;)

 

So, I ended up going with:

 

Intel i3-6320 CPU

ASRock Z170 Extreme 7+ MOBO

G.Skill 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 2400 RAM

 

Next on the upgrade list will probably be another couple sticks of RAM and then (6-7 months down the road) will be a hearty Power Supply that can handle 10 HDD's and 2-3 GPU's. I put a Corsair AX860i in my Desktop build and (so far) love it!  I'll probably look at the ax1200i or ax1500i to give me plenty of headroom for some higher end gpus when I need them.

 

I'll just keep an eye on the skylake development and newegg deals and then probably grab an i7 when the deal is right.  ;D

 

Thanks for the help!  This will be the first dedicated hardware (other than hdd's) I've bought for my unRAID box. Before now I always just recycled old systems. Should be fun to start taking full advantage of all this good stuff built into Version 6!  :D

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That's an excellent system -- an i3-6320 is no slouch by any means [PassMark = 6080].  It should easily be able to handle up to 3 transcoded streams.

 

I don't use Plex, so I'm not sure whether or not it supports hardware GPU transcoding support -- if so, that would indeed be a reason to pop in one (or more) of your spare graphics cards.  Hopefully a Plex expert will see this and chime in.

 

 

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So my parts all came in yesterday and WOW!  What an improvement!  Ran into a few quirks during the transfer (make sure your spare DVI cable for your spare monitor is worth a damn before booting up to save yourself several curse filled hours and worry over having a DOA mobo... lol). Also ran into a quirk with the ASRock Z170 Extreme 7+ board's UEFI BIOS and unRAID 6. Apparently version 6 does not care for ASRock's latest BIOS version. unRAID would freeze just after loading bzroot every time on the most current BIOS... Luckily the Extreme 7+ board has a dual chipped UEFI BIOS. A flip of a switch and I'm back up and running on the factory installed BIOS version!

 

I put everything in a Corsair 760t case. Un- Freakin- Believable!  I had a rackmount case before loaded up with some hurricane class turbo fans moving air into and through the case. It was loud as all hell, so I kept it in a utility room as far from my TV room as possible. Due to being a somewhat cheap rackmount, the drives were fairly tightly packed and the best I'd ever see on temps was low to mid 30's... Which is totally respectable, though, at the cost of living with an in-home jet enigne.  My 760t has the drives all vertically stacked with a .5-.75" between each drive and two 140mm corsair quiet fans pulling air across them. My current average with all drives spinning and fans at full speed is 29.2 and I can't even hear it!  \m/

 

It also made for an impressive looking setup. I've got a custom made tower cart that the unRAID server/760t sits in with a shelf above it that holds my Desktop unit (housed in a Corsair 780t.)  I'll post some pics later, but let me tell you... It looks freaking sweet!!! 

 

So glad I splurged on the better board! (partly because i got it for $160 after rebate and this week it's priced at $220! lol)

 

 

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The 760t looks like a neat case -- and very nice complement to a 780t.

 

Glad you figured out your issue was a simple DVI cable before you sent back the "DOA" motherboard  :)

 

I think the cord I was trying to use was a DVI vs an actual DVI-D cord. Normally it works, but the motherboard must not have liked it. Just glad I decided to try my main monitor (which is easy to do, now that both PC's are stacked one on top of the other!)

 

My whole theme with my my main desktop (780t) was a First Order Stormtrooper... for obvious reasons:

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I loved the 780t and noticed that the 760t (having 3 external 5.5" bays) was actually setup better for drive storage.  I figure, with extra drive cages and an 3-4 Icydock up top, I could get as many as 16 HDD's and 4 SSD's in there (not to mention the 3 M.2 ports on the mobo). The 2 cases look great next to each other, so I fabbed up a shelf for the cart, moved the 780t up a floor, and then bungee'd it down so it wouldn't get bumped off.  I've dubbed the result the Tower of Power!  hahaha

 

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Quite the Battle rig considering the desk was a cheap repurposed work bench and the cart was a rolling wire bar file cabinet. \m/

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