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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ubuntu Media Server - Part 1

My Goal:
1) Create a home media server that can stream video across the LAN to an iPhone, PS3, TiVO, and several computers
2) Use the same computer to display high definition video and output full surround sound
3) Possibly use for a gaming platform (not a must - but could be nice)

My Setup:
Motherboard - Intel DP55KG
    -Carries up to 16 GB of RAM
    -Supports the Intel i7 processors
    -Has optical audio (TOSLink) in/out
    -Has 8 SATA ports for many HDDs (plus 2 eSATAs on the back)
    -Built-in bluetooth module (convenient; one less thing to purchase to make my keyboard / mouse work)
Processor - Intel i7-870 (1156 chipset)
Memory - OCZ 3P1600LV4GK
    -4 GB total
    -I originally went with the Corsair Dominator 8GB via 2 DDR3 sticks, but thought to be having parity issues and no boot.  After sending those back and ordering the OCZ, I had the same E7, E9, and 5A postcode errors.  After further research, turns out my video card was not properly powered.  In the future, I may go back to the 8GB sticks.
Video - Nvidia GeForce GTS450
    -This gets me 2 DVI outs, and 1 mini HDMI out
    -Mini HDMI to HDMI cables are easy to find; ~$20 on Amazon
Hard drives -
    - 2 SATA Seagate Barracuda 7200 250GB for the OSes (100 GB for ubuntu, 10 GB for swap, and ~140GB for possible future Windows install)
    - These are setup in a RAID 1 format
    -4 SATA Western Digital WD20EARS Caviar Green 2 TB
    - These are setup in a RAID 5 format, with 1 spare for all media storage

Misc:
Case - NZXT Phantom Full Tower (has remove enough for the 6 hard drives and plenty of external connections.  I love how many fans this thing has and is capable of.  Currently, out of the box, I have the Processor heat sink fan, an 80mm in front, 2 80mm on the side, and 1 200mm on the top (not including the PSU and Graphics card fans)... and this running with all HDDs is still very quiet with very little power draw.  My APC unit is showing a range of 110-140 Watts power draw.
Processor heat sink - Corsair H50 high performance heat sink
 - self contained water cooling... the fan / radiator on the back of the case has 2 hoses that go down to the top of the processor.  Internally there is a pump.  Hookup is quite simple and all necessary adapters are included for common processors
PSU - Ultra X4 750W ATX Power Supply

More to follow on the Ubuntu configuration.  I will be using 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) with a variety of software to automate my streaming and organizational processes as much as possible.

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