New User Looking for DIY 1st Build Help
Hey everyone:

I want to start by saying what a great site this is and thank you for all of the time and effort spent in making it is what it is. It is a GREAT reference guide and a tremendous support forum for all kinds of Q & A and everyone seems very helpful.

I am looking to build my very FIRST media center and would like to know what you all think before I actually go buying parts and kit lol.

I am basically wanting to build a media server rig that will run XMBC. I plan to aslo build a NAS that will store all of my media [my media consists of movies, music, tv shows, etc., some in HD and some not, some movies downloaded online and some from my collection, music my own, etc.]. The major point is to have a SINGLE repository for ALL of my media rather than the loose collection of external drives now that store it.

In MY mind, I would like to put them BOTH [NAS and XMBC server] on my home network, then access the XMBC computer for content, which would pull it from the NAS [will probably have 4-6 bays with 2-4 TB now and potentially 10-12 TB in time].

I have Comcast Internet at home now with 30-35 Mbps DL and 3-7 Mbps UL speeds with a 1GB Router.

Here is what I am looking at and considering for equipment:


- AMD A8-3850 Llano 2.9GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU (CPU + GPU) with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6550D AD3850WNGXBOX - $109

- AMD A6-3650 Llano 2.6GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU (CPU + GPU) with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6530D AD3650WNZ43GX - OEM - $89 [with extra $10 gift card]

- AMD A6-3500 Llano 2.1GHz (2.4GHz Max Turbo) Socket FM1 65W Triple-Core Desktop APU (CPU + GPU) with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6530D AD3500OJGXBOX - $79


- MSI A75MA-P35 FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS - $69.99 [After Rebate]

- MSI A75A-G35 FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS - $69.99 [After Rebate]

- ASUS F1A55-M LE FM1 AMD A55 (Hudson D2) Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS; FM1 w/ UEFI BIOS,12xUSB2.0,DirectX 11,CrossFireX - $79.99


- 4 - 16 GB [Depending on the Board and the Configuration]

Hard Drive:

- 160 GB 7200 RPM HD
- 32 GB SSD [OS and Boot]

Power Supply:

- Depending on MB

Currently own now an Asus NZXT Apollo Case that I could use for either rig mentioned above or purchase separate cases for each setup.

Thank You in ADVANCE for your assistance and your help in this matter. I know that I have listed several options and listed several different specked out configurations and I need to figure all this out, but it is really a little overwhelming to me right this second. So many options and so many choices it is making my head spin.

If there are ANY suggestions to either setup or you would like to ADD ANY input, comments, suggestions, etc., please feel free to make them. I am ALL EARS and will take ALL the advice and help I can get.

Thank you again


OH.... I also have an XBOX 360 250 GB HD in the house and hooked up to the home network.

I can use this with the setup, along as part of the setup, in lieu of something in the setup, or in any combination that helps achieve my end goals from the systems.

I will also be streaming Netflix and accessing out of market content via the web such as BBC, and possibly Hulu as well.

Thanks again for your help.

And one other thing I forgot to let you know lol [Sorry], I also have an Eee PC netbook with a Intel 1.6 GHz processor and 2 GB RAM as well as an older HP Pavillion DV6000 Laptop with an AMD Turion 64 processor and 1 GB RAM laying around the house doing nothing that I could use again either towards this setup, or in conjunction with this setup.


I have feeling that you want to build a powerful all-in-one HTPC. ASUS F1A75-M PRO FM1+AMD A8-3850+Silverstone ML03B should be a great HTPC.....
>Alienware X51- do it all HTPC
>Simplify XBMC configurations
>HOW-TO Bitstreaming using XBMC
I refused to watch movie without bitstreaming HD audio!
If you are just using it for XBMC, I don't think you need such a big PC. Just a small box, a small SSD HD, 4GB of ram a GPU/CPU and a MiniITX or MicroATX board.
very true, a small box like Beer40's build
Thanks fr the timely responses everyone.

Would it make more sense to pair the A6/ A8 GPU with say 8-10 TB and a small SSD in my NAS machine and then make a simple XMBC unit to stream from?

Then add the XBOX for the Netflix?

I realized last night that I can't use the old Turion AMD laptop for the XMbC
Computer bc it gets way to HOT and LOUD plugged in full time.

Thanks again

i think you meant " A6/ A8 GPU + SSD" and "8-10 TB in my NAS machine"
if so, i say yes!

A6-3500 and windows as O/S will give you 1080P Netflix-HD playback!
(2012-04-12, 21:12)eskro Wrote: i think you meant " A6/ A8 GPU + SSD" and "8-10 TB in my NAS machine"
if so, i say yes!

A6-3500 and windows as O/S will give you 1080P Netflix-HD playback!

Sorry for the typo, I was writing that on my iPhone on the train lol, and HALF the screen was filled with site data so I could NOT even SEE what I was typing. I am home now, so let me try to clarify lol.

Based on my needs, I think what will work BEST [IMO - but take that with a "small" grain of salt lol as YOU all are the experts here, NOT me]:

NAS: A6/ A8 Processor
ASUS F1A55-M LE FM1 AMD A55 Motherboard [CrossFire X Capable]
8 GB RAM [1333]
32 / 64 GB SSD HD
2 X 4 [2 TB HD] for Storage [since XBMC does not support the 3 TB drives - I believe ??]
120 Power Supply
Asus NZXT Case
Win 7 64 Bit w/ XBMC

* Possible a few HD cages [Cooler Master]
** Possibly a few extra fans for the case if needed based on the layout and HD amount

Also, will I see ANY [or worth while] difference in, or degradation of, performance, usability, capabilities, etc., by going with the A6 3650 [Quad Core 2.6] instead of the A8 3850 [Quad Core 2.9] since BOTH are Quad Core processors, BOTH use the FM! socket, and BOTH are relatively the same in GHz [BOTH are also capable of OC as well] ??

XBMC: Intel Celeron G530 Sandy Bridge 2.4GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics BX80623G530 Processor [$52]

OR Intel Pentium G620 Sandy Bridge 2.6GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics BX80623G620 Processor [$69]

BIOSTAR TH61ITX+RCH LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS Motherboard [$79]

OR BIOSTAR TH61 ITX LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS [$79]
Mini-ITX, Blu Ray-Audio, HDMI, 4 x USB 3.0

OR MSI H61MA-E35 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard [$69 after Rebate]

4 - 8 [12 ??] GB RAM
90 - 120 Power Supply [depending on MB]
Case [Similar to Beer40's build]
Windows 7 64 w/ XBMC OR XBMC Live [USB distro]

Take BOTH computers and hook them up to the home network and use the XBMC unit to pull media [movies, tv shows, etc.] from the NAS unit.

Also, since the XBOX I own is hooked up to the TV in the bedroom, use that to pull Netflix, Hulu, etc.

I would like to place the NAS downstairs and the XBMC unit upstairs BEHIND the TV in the bedroom and just pull from the NAS downstairs when needed, and also PUSH from the XBOX Upstairs to the TV Downstairs in a similar manner.

Additionally, I would potentially throw a HD Cable Card Tuner in either now, or in the future [depending on cost], to receive programming that way and eliminate a $135 month cable bill Smile)))

I know it "seems" like I am all over the place, but I really am committed to making sure that I design and build something that will do what I need it and want it to do the FIRST time - I am a disabled Veteran on a limited fixed income budget so I cant afford to make any [well too many lol] mistakes in the design and build.

And again, just trying to make the MOST of what I already have in kit [XBOX 360 w/ 250 GB HD, Asus Case, Netbook, Laptop, etc.] in ANY manner that can help achieve the end results I am looking for.

THANK YOU again to everyone that is participating and offering help and suggestions. I really appreciate you taking the time to help me in my build and design.


I will TRY to use the case above since I already own it and it is sitting there doing nothing. If not for this than I can find something useful for it lol.
wow ok, uhm,
get a NAS to hold your media and feed your HTPC with it.

i suggest you read my unRAID server guide for your NAS

and my HTPC guide for your XBMC client.

I read BOTH your unRAID Guide [last night] and the HTPC Guide a few moments ago - GREAT Stuff bud. Thanks for ALL of your work and ALL that you do for the community. Really good stuff and a GREAT reference tool.

I am limited on funds per se right now, so I want to make something that has the ability to GROW with me and my needs as my finances do lol.

Do you think with what I mentioned above for the setup makes sense using the ASUS NZXT case I own for one of the rigs?

there's no problems into using parts u have,
Here is the case:
Im leaning towards using the A6/ A8 for the NAS build


Im leaning towards using the Intel I mentioned for the XBMC Server
well u can put at least 9 drives in there, good
OK so Im please with that haha.

So here is what Im thinking, and scratch the above mention of Intel lol.

NAS: A6 3650 [Quad Core 2.6] - $79
ASRock A55 PRO3 FM1 AMD A55 (Hudson D2) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - $74
1 Cooler Master HD Cage with [4 x 2 TB HD]
100 W PS
2 extra case fans

Still working on the XBMC setup lol

Comments .... Thoughts ....

Oh... And the case has a 5 in 1 reader using 1 of the front face bays as it sits now; leaving 5 x 5 1/4 free front bays [I believe] plus internal

Thanks as always

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