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Build Check with Parts List

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So I've wanted to build a media server for quite some time. My needs are below and questions are at the very bottom, thanks in advance.

 

My original needs were as follows:

  • Be able to hold my tv shows and movies
  • Apps: Plex, Sonarr, Radarr, NBZGet
  • Can extend to the possibility of utilizing with Plex with only one or two people on at the same time (myself and maybe a family member). 
  • can hold backups of my computers (Windows 10 desktop PC and Macbook) 
  • Can be upgradable for the future in terms of either drives, parts, case, etc
     

Here is my proposed build 

 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($189.69 @ SuperBiiz) 
Motherboard: MSI Z170A KRAIT GAMING 3X ATX LGA1151 Motherboard  ($134.89 @ OutletPC) 
Memory: Kingston HyperX Fury Black 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory  ($119.99 @ Newegg) 
Storage: Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($105.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Storage: Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($105.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Storage: Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($105.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Storage: Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($105.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Storage: Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($105.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Storage: Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($105.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Case: Nanoxia Deep Silence 5 ATX Full Tower Case  ($174.00) 
Case Fan: Corsair Air Series SP120 High Performance Edition (2-Pack) 62.7 CFM  120mm Fans  ($27.88 @ OutletPC) 
Total: $1282.39
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-03-13 01:00 EDT-0400

 

So a few questions

1. How's this setup look? What about the processor? Should I upgrade to an i7 or an Intel E5? 

2. In terms of cases, either the one I wanna use (the Deep Silence case) or a Lian Li if I really wanna splurge.

3. Am I better off buying 3tb hard drives and gradually upgrading?

4. What do I use for UnRaid if I want to store backups on it? I'll already be backing up my PC to the cloud (Amazon Cloud Drive encrypted)

5. Should I think about also building a 2nd system for backup or should I hold off on this?  

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Overall your system looks good.  The CPU is fine for unRAID and a few Dockers, including Plex with one or two streams.  You'll need a quality power supply from someone like Seasonic or Corsair.  You'll want an SSD to function as a cache drive and home for those Dockers.  That means you'll either need a SATA Controller or motherboard with more SATA ports, though.  

 

Personally, I prefer to manage a small number of larger hard drives so I'd get 6TB or larger drives (that means you wouldn't need a SATA controller, either).  That's a little more expensive initially so you'd have to assess budget impact.

 

There are lots of PC Backup solutions, and they all work a little differently.  I'm trying SyncBackFree right now and like it.  I'll probably upgrade to the paid SyncBackSE if I keep using it.  I've been though several solutions and like SyncBack best for my needs so far.

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39 minutes ago, tdallen said:

Overall your system looks good.  The CPU is fine for unRAID and a few Dockers, including Plex with one or two streams.  You'll need a quality power supply from someone like Seasonic or Corsair.  You'll want an SSD to function as a cache drive and home for those Dockers.  That means you'll either need a SATA Controller or motherboard with more SATA ports, though.  

 

Personally, I prefer to manage a small number of larger hard drives so I'd get 6TB or larger drives (that means you wouldn't need a SATA controller, either).  That's a little more expensive initially so you'd have to assess budget impact.

 

There are lots of PC Backup solutions, and they all work a little differently.  I'm trying SyncBackFree right now and like it.  I'll probably upgrade to the paid SyncBackSE if I keep using it.  I've been though several solutions and like SyncBack best for my needs so far.

 

 

Thanks for the response @tdallen . Yeah, I wasn't sure if I'd need a more powerful processor like a Xeon E5 or something. Anyhow glad it'll be enough. Thanks for encouraging me to change power supplies. I've heard great things from Corsair and I'm sure Seasonic are good too. I'll have to take a look. As for using an SSD for a cache drive and home for the dockers, what size? I could buy a 250GB, 128GB, or 500GB. Not sure how sizing for that works. 

 

I understand about managing a small number of large hard drives. I think my reasoning for 3TB drives were because of the price per gig. That said it might be worth the extra cost to me. Should I pick up a motherboard with more SATA ports or an SATA controller or should I hold off on that? 

 

As for PC Backup, SyncBackFree and SE seem great! Can I set my UnRaid server as an additional destination aside from Amazon Cloud Drive?

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I've never heard of anyone regretting a more powerful processor ( >:D ) but a Core i5 should be fine.  Stepping up to an i7 would give you future headroom if you want.  I mentioned the PSU because I didn't seen one in the original parts list.  I'd start with a 250GB SSD - that should be plenty for several Dockers and their data.  I think 128GB could be small, I've got 90GB of various stuff on my cache drive right now.  500GB might work out better if you also plan to use it in the traditional way, caching writes to the array.  I just use my cache drive for Dockers.

 

The case you've selected would allow you to add a number of additional drives.  If you plan to do that, you'll need more SATA ports than any consumer level board will provide (though there are some server boards that can provide up to 14).  If you plan to have 8-11 3.5" drives and a couple of SSDs then go for the SATA controller now (IBM M1015 or Dell H310 via eBay are the most commonly used).  

 

SyncBackFree works great with \\tower as a destination, but I don't have any experience backing up to Amazon.

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Just out of curiosity is their a noise limit on your system you want to hit? That's an expensive case if you don't need the noise damping.  You didn't list that as a requirement so I figured I'd ask to see if you might be able to sacrifice on a cheaper but noisier case.

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1 hour ago, tdallen said:

I've never heard of anyone regretting a more powerful processor ( >:D ) but a Core i5 should be fine.  Stepping up to an i7 would give you future headroom if you want.  I mentioned the PSU because I didn't seen one in the original parts list.  I'd start with a 250GB SSD - that should be plenty for several Dockers and their data.  I think 128GB could be small, I've got 90GB of various stuff on my cache drive right now.  500GB might work out better if you also plan to use it in the traditional way, caching writes to the array.  I just use my cache drive for Dockers.

 

The case you've selected would allow you to add a number of additional drives.  If you plan to do that, you'll need more SATA ports than any consumer level board will provide (though there are some server boards that can provide up to 14).  If you plan to have 8-11 3.5" drives and a couple of SSDs then go for the SATA controller now (IBM M1015 or Dell H310 via eBay are the most commonly used).  

 

SyncBackFree works great with \\tower as a destination, but I don't have any experience backing up to Amazon.

 

 

Thanks @tdallen . I figured a i5 could be good. Given it's my first UnRaid server I think the i7 would be a bit much. Maybe get an i7 later on and put the i5 into a backup server for my primary UnRaid server. I guess I forgot about the PSU in the parts list, I'll figure that out. I'll probably get a 250GB or 500GB SSD. I'd be down to get the SATA controller now. Didn't know you could set //tower as a destination, thanks!  

 

13 minutes ago, Alex.vision said:

Just out of curiosity is their a noise limit on your system you want to hit? That's an expensive case if you don't need the noise damping.  You didn't list that as a requirement so I figured I'd ask to see if you might be able to sacrifice on a cheaper but noisier case.

 

 

Thanks for the thought @Alex.vision honestly noise would be a priority as I'm in an apartment. It will probably go into the corner of the living room. Don't have a spare room to put it in if noisy for the time being. I'd appreciate something with low noise.

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Any thoughts on something cheaper to start off with to gradually get more and more? I'd want to start with something and let it grow and expand. Hoping that my build will last me 3-4 years at least though implying I'd upgrade the drives of course.

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There are a couple of ways to save some money at the outset.  Do you have any spare parts available to start with?

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There are a couple of ways to save some money at the outset.  Do you have any spare parts available to start with?


Unfortunately I don't have spare parts to start with. I'd be willing to go the used route if that helps.

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Too bad.  Used is an option (and can be a good one) but you may or may not wind up reusing many of the parts later depending on what you get.

 

Here are some generic options to stay aligned with your current build list. Get a motherboard with the features you want.  Start with 8GB of RAM.  Maybe a Pentium G4600 to start.  You've picked a very expensive case, are you willing to compromise?  Do you have a starting budget you'd be more comfortable with?

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4TB drives are the sweet spot for price/capacity at the moment.  However, you could get 3x8TB Seagate Archive drives and have 1TB more storage with only 3 disks.  Those drives work really well in unRAID, even for parity they work great.  I don't see much merit in filling a case with 3TB drives.

 

The Z170 is a bit of overkill too, as you won't be overclocking.  There's plenty of decent H170 or even B150 boards that are cheaper and more than adequate for what you're doing.

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Too bad.  Used is an option (and can be a good one) but you may or may not wind up reusing many of the parts later depending on what you get.
 
Here are some generic options to stay aligned with your current build list. Get a motherboard with the features you want.  Start with 8GB of RAM.  Maybe a Pentium G4600 to start.  You've picked a very expensive case, are you willing to compromise?  Do you have a starting budget you'd be more comfortable with?


Sure so the reason why I picked the case was because it would be quiet.

That said here is an edited parts list

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant






































































TypeItemPrice
CPUIntel - Core i5-4460 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor
$172.49 @ OutletPC
CPU CoolerNoctua - NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler
$69.95 @ Amazon
MotherboardGigabyte - GA-H97M-D3H Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
$84.00 @ SuperBiiz
MemoryG.Skill - Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory
$106.99 @ Newegg
StorageSamsung - 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
$174.89 @ OutletPC
StorageWestern Digital - Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive
$105.88 @ OutletPC
StorageWestern Digital - Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive
$105.88 @ OutletPC
CaseFractal Design - Define R4 w/Window (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case
$109.99 @ SuperBiiz
Case FanCorsair - Air Series SP120 High Performance Edition (2-Pack) 62.7 CFM 120mm Fans
$27.88 @ OutletPC
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total$957.95
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-06-05 10:47 EDT-0400

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Some comments:

 

You dropped back to Haswell, which is fine, but realize you are getting into an older generation.

That Core i5 SKU appears to have a stock cooler, which might be fine for your needs.

If you went with a Pentium G4620 you'd get 80% of the performance of the 4460 for $100 less, and you'd be on socket 1151 for future upgrades (you'd need a different motherboard, obviously).

You could drop back to 8GB for unRAID and some Dockers for now (VMs would push you to 16).

That SSD makes no sense.  You should be paying less than half that for 120GB, or like $100 for a 250GB SSD (recommended).

I was going to suggest the Define R4 or 5 as a lower cost but very nice (and quiet) alternative.

 

Is that getting closer to a doable budget?

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4TB drives are the sweet spot for price/capacity at the moment.  However, you could get 3x8TB Seagate Archive drives and have 1TB more storage with only 3 disks.  Those drives work really well in unRAID, even for parity they work great.  I don't see much merit in filling a case with 3TB drives.
 
The Z170 is a bit of overkill too, as you won't be overclocking.  There's plenty of decent H170 or even B150 boards that are cheaper and more than adequate for what you're doing.


Didn't even think about using Seagate Archive drives as I was pretty set on WD Red's. I like that idea more but I was paying attention the the price per gb.

I'll take a look at some other boards for my needs.

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Some comments:
 
You dropped back to Haswell, which is fine, but realize you are getting into an older generation.
That Core i5 SKU appears to have a stock cooler, which might be fine for your needs.
If you went with a Pentium G4620 you'd get 80% of the performance of the 4460 for $100 less, and you'd be on socket 1151 for future upgrades (you'd need a different motherboard, obviously).
You could drop back to 8GB for unRAID and some Dockers for now (VMs would push you to 16).
That SSD makes no sense.  You should be paying less than half that for 120GB, or like $100 for a 250GB SSD (recommended).
I was going to suggest the Define R4 or 5 as a lower cost but very nice (and quiet) alternative.
 
Is that getting closer to a doable budget?


Thanks for the reply. If I'm only using Plex for myself and at most one other person would it matter if I used a Haswell CPU and then upgrade at another time? The 4460 sounds like a good plan. I don't need VM's so 8gb is fine for me as of now.

Was that SSD a pro SSD? Your right it's more expensive then intended. I'll look at the R4 or 5 for a case.

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The Core i5-4460 will be fine for unRAID, some Dockers, and any Plex transcoding you need for one user.  It should also be fine transcoding for another user unless you have very demanding material (it could struggle with 2 full BD rips).  If you don't need transcoding it would be fine for several users.

 

The SSD you have listed above isn't a Pro, it's standard Evo 840 and should cost like $75 if you can find it.  It's long since been replaced by the 850, though.  Even a 250GB 850 Pro would only cost $140 - PC Part Picker is giving you bad advice in this case.

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Do note the BIOS issue "Some Intel Z170 chipset motherboards may need a BIOS update prior to using Kaby Lake-S CPUs. Upgrading the BIOS may require a different CPU that is supported by older BIOS revisions."  While newer motherboards are coming with the updated BIOS, you should be clear on the return policy if it comes with an old BIOS.

 

What did you decide about a PSU?

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Do note the BIOS issue "Some Intel Z170 chipset motherboards may need a BIOS update prior to using Kaby Lake-S CPUs. Upgrading the BIOS may require a different CPU that is supported by older BIOS revisions."  While newer motherboards are coming with the updated BIOS, you should be clear on the return policy if it comes with an old BIOS.
 
What did you decide about a PSU?


Just added a PSU, same link and it should be in the part list.

Can you ELI5 or link to an explanation about BIOS? Not sure what that is.

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It's exactly what PCPartPicker mentions, which I copied above.  Specifically there are some 1151 boards that are capable of supporting Kaby Lake chips but require a BIOS upgrade.  Which is usually fine, but in this case if you are hit by this issue you'll need to have a slightly older generation Skylake CPU installed on the board in order to do the BIOS update... Uggh.  I don't know whether the board you picked is affected by this issue, or whether it is likely to have the newest BIOS - but PCPartPicker has flagged it.  If you get the board in and find that it is impacted by this issue and doesn't have the newest BIOS, you'll either have to return it or find a Skylake chip to use to flash it.

 

If it were me I might buy the motherboard and CPU from the same place, and indicate on the order that you need to have a BIOS on the motherboard that supports the CPU... 

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All Skylake boards (H110/B150/H170/Z170,etc) require a bios update to support Kabylake CPUs, most boards on the market now should came with the updated bios, but there's always a chance of getting one from old stock without it, in that case for most of them you'll need a Skylake CPU to do the update.

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I believe that some motherboards allow the bios update via ipmi. My understanding is that ipmi runs independent of the CPU and system RAM. This means you might be able to update the BIOS with no cpu.

 

Might want to research this option further, even ask tech support if this will work, before installing a skylake CPU just to update BIOS.

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