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AsRock H77m-itx / Core i3 Home Media Center/NAS

Joined
Dec 4, 2012
Messages
2
Motherboard
Win8/10.8.2
CPU
i7 Ivy, i7 Sandy, i3 Ivy
Graphics
hd4000, hd400, hd3000, GTX570, GTX550ti
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS
YupYup's Home Media Center / NAS: Core i3-3225 - AsRock H77M-ITX - Asus GT-210​

image-1.jpgimage.jpgimage_5.jpgimage_2.jpg

Components

Processor: Core i3 3225
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116774

Mobo: AsRock H77M-ITX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157311

RAM: 8gb Kingston HyperBlu 1600mhz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104262

Graphics: Asus 210 Silent -works Out of Box
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121422

Power: Corsair CX430m modular
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139049

Case: Fractal Design Node304
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352027

SSD: OCZ Vertex 4 128gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227791

SSD: SATA: Western Digital Caviar Green 2tb
http://www.amazon.com/Green-Desktop-3-5-Inch-Internal-Retail/dp/B00471EYUU/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1357793569&sr=8-3&keywords=caviar+green+2tb

RAID 0: 2 x Western Digital Caviar Blue 320gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136770


Comments:

So, I've already done a few builds. This is probably one of my favorite so far due to the low cost, looks, small form factor, and lastly, performance. My other 2 machines are mainly used for distributed video encoding/rendering. They are way more powerful, but also more expensive and more than most would need. One is a 3770k / GA-Z77-UD5H setup with SSD w/500gb RAID 0 & GTX-570 Twin Frozr, the other is a 2600k / GA-H61M-DS2 with SSD w/500gb storage & GTX-550ti.

After deciding that I didn't want 2 huge & unsightly machines sitting in my living room, I decided to experiment with something a little more compact. I decided to build a home media/nas machine that I could use as both a controller for my cluster as well as a machine that fits, and looks, perfect sitting in my living room. I could then stash my render machines in the other room yet still do all the video editing I need to in the comfort of my recliner. It turned out to be more than I expected and is the perfect mix between power, size, and affordability. I went for what I could get for the most bang for the dollar without overkill, but with enough power to do what I needed. You could easily upgrade this combination of components and get a pretty powerful setup (i.e. core i7, self-contained water cooling, and hi-po graphics card) that is also compact.

I shopped around and waited for sales and ended up getting this put together for under $700. Under $700 for a dual core with hyper threading (4 core), 2.5-3TB of storage, and fits in much less than 1 cubic foot of space. You can easily put a Core i7 and a single fan water unit in this thing, which i just might. You can bump the graphics card up to a hi-po if you wanted to, there's room and the fan intakes would suck air in from the side mesh window and blow exhaust out the rear. There's fan controllers that come with the case in the event you want to build a gaming rig and need some extra air flow. If not, turn the fans on low and this thing is SILENT!

The Core i3-3225 will give you plenty of power for everyday, casual use. It comes with HD4000 graphics in the event that you don't want to use your PCIE 3.0 lane for a graphics card. Most attractive to me, it only consumes 55w of power, which for the performance, is perfect for my media box/NAS setup. This is why I chose the combination I did.

Install/Setup ML 10.8.2

1. Flash patched bios (do at your own risk, I take no responsibility. Consult forum for this motherboard for more information regarding sleep/wake/power management for this motherboard)
2. Run Unibeast w/Mountain Lion. At boot screen if using this setup, type "PCIRootUID=0" and hit Enter to start the installation. If you don't type this command, you will get a black screen.
3. After install and reboot, if you use this setup or a graphics card, at the boot screen with Tonymac logo, and options for USB drive and your freshly installed system, arrow over so your new install is highlighted.
4. Type "PCIRootUID=0" without the parentheses and hit ENTER.
5. Once you complete the setup, run MultiBeast with the following options. Restart, remove your USB, and you should be good to go. You will be able to natively change resolution, and run normally. The only thing you won't have is HDMI audio. You can get HDMI audio via Toleda's guide, but that's on you. Optical audio and airplay will work.
6. I haven't tested sleep/wake yet, but they should work. With a 55w processor under full load, I just turned hard drive sleep off. Be sure to set your bios for USB keyboard/mouse wake to Enabled, otherwise you won't be able to wake the display sleep.

MultiBeast Configuration for Mountain Lion, Meow
Screen Shot 2013-01-09 at 11.50.01 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2013-01-09 at 11.49.14 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2013-01-09 at 11.47.46 PM.pngScreen Shot 2013-01-09 at 11.47.04 PM.png
 

Stork

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Great looking build! :thumbup: Hopefully, it's living up to your expectations.
 
Joined
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Great build! A few questions, as I have many of the same components (same board, CPU, and case, but with 16 GB of RAM) and am getting ready to install the OS and use this as a NAS/media center also:

- Why are you using the video card? Isn't the onboard Intel HD4000 graphics faster/better? Is it improved compatability/stability?
- Are you using the Intel heatsink, or aftermarket? I'm using the Corsair H50 water cooler, but it is surprisingly loud (a buzzing noise from the integrated pump).
- Why the two smaller hard drives in Raid0?
- What are you using for mouse and keyboard? Are you using bluetooth?
- Wireless or wired networking?

Thanks!
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2012
Messages
2
Motherboard
Win8/10.8.2
CPU
i7 Ivy, i7 Sandy, i3 Ivy
Graphics
hd4000, hd400, hd3000, GTX570, GTX550ti
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS
The HD4000 is faster/better performance wise, but there are some issues with getting it to work correctly, mainly at boot. If you set GraphicsEnabler=No, the HD4000 should work fine, it'll boot fine anyway. The Asus GT 210 was on sale for $35 and less hassle as I didn't need to do anything else besides run Multibeast as its natively compatible with Mountain Lion. With HD4000, if you try to change resolution through OS X, you will have issues, with GT 210 I don't.

I am using the stock intel cooler as the i3 3225 is only 55w and doesn't get hot at all. Corsair coolers can be a bit loud, the H-100 on my 3770k sounds like a jet engine when it gets going. I have a Cooler Master Seidon120 on my 2600k running at 4.0 and it is a quieter unit. Unless you're running a 3570k or better, you should be fine with the stock cooler. Just make sure you have air flowin through the case. On this Fractal Node, if you have fans on medium you can barely hear it. I've had fans on low with the 3225 and it is silent with no temp issues at all.

The 2 smaller drives in RAID 0 are used in my video editing since it is quicker moving files around with the RAID. When my 2TB drive fills up, the smaller drives will be replaced with larger drives.

I am currently using the Apple Bluetooth mouse and Apple Bluetooth keyboard, along with the Zoom Bluetooth, Model 4322 dongle. I've had no issues or disconnects after its been up and running and it works like a charm. With mouse and keyboard, I have noticed there is a wait time upon boot before it kicks in, I probably just missed a bios setting though, no issues after computer is up and running. Maybe the 3225 just takes a bit to boot.

I am using wired networking currently, I have had wireless on it though before. You're best option is the TP Link 4800 that TonyMac uses, but it will use up your PCIe lane. It works out of box natively and is super fast though with 0 connectivity issues. The other I used was Engenius USB Wirless N, it works as well after software install which you can download or use CD. It is Mac OS X compatible.

Hope that helped. If you have any more questions let me know. I love this case and you will too. If you're not going to over clock you shouldn't need the water as long as you keep the air moving. It's quiet enough anyway. If you do go with a higher end chip and need water, Antec Kuhler 620, the Cooler Master Seidon 120 have both been good to me. If the stock radiator fans are too loud, you can pick up some good after market fans that are quieter such as Enermax's silent series. They offer comparable airflow and static pressure at half the noise. For a radiator fan, you want static pressure, case fans airflow. Take care
 
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