My HTPC 3.0: Server/Client setup + Better energy efficiency
I've been using HTPC for my house's TV duty for almost 5 yrs now since 2004.
v1.0: in 2004, I built my first HTPC for my home. it had a P4 520, 6600GT, 2x 300GB Matrox HDD, a PVR500 MCE, etc. it served me fine, and I was playing CS:S almost every single night on my 52" 720p HDTV in the living room, and love the convenience of recording the show onto a PC, watch it whenever I want. and I've never look back..... (and that was when htpcnews.com was pretty much the one and only htpc site. I remember I did post the pics in their gallery)
v2.0: in 2006, when HD channels started to take off and becoming the next big thing. I've moved onto HD too. bought a Fusion5 Lite OTA HD tuner. however, the P4 520 was too underpowered to play back the recorded HD shows from BeyondTV. so I've built a new HTPC, and this time around, I from the previous experience, I chose to go watercooled for both reduce noise and for the fun.
v2.5: in 2007, I want to be able to watch TV in the bedroom too. so I built a thin HTPC client using a Shuttle XPC barebone. and in the meantime, I started to store all my ripped/downloaded/collected movies, tv series/shows, music, etc. onto my personal PC too since I'm (again) running out of HDD room on the main living room HTPC.
v3.0: now, fast forward to fall/winter of 2008, I know it's not a good way to have my personal PC also served as a media server. and the living room HTPC is starting to get a bit dated (for HD-PVR's H.264 recording), and running out of room soon. so, I decided to rebuilt the "whole house" media distribution setup again for longer term usage. plus my power bill is getting out of hand w/ so many PCs in the house (at one point, I had way more than a dozen PCs and most of them were running 100% loaded 24/7 w/ 3x Tri/Quad GPU machines.); therefore, I also want to make my HTPCs more energy efficient too!
first, I want to have a real server for serving all the media files duty and while at it, also want to back up all the PCs in the house. so, I choose WHS (Windows Home Server) for it's ease of use, set it and forget it backups, and good future proof upgrade path (just keep adding more HDD when needed versus rebuild a RAID array). I did look into a few other server options (e.g. unRAID was another good choice that Jon is using in his house).
my WHS server was mainly built for low budget in mind. so I bought a cheap, on sales Antec 300 case (6 3.5 HDD space plus I could use 5.25->3.5 converter for more HDD space when needed, and very good airflow), I reuse some of the parts that I had laying around to keep the cost down.
Antec 300 case (has potential for at least 10 HDD)
Gigabyte P35-DS3 (laying around)
E2180 (laying around)
2GB ram (laying around)
1x WD 750GB AAKS (previously used to store media file in my main PC)
2x WD 1TB Green drives
1x WD 2TB Green drives
1x Seagate 750GB 7200.10 (from my previous main living room HTPC)
a DVD burner (laying around too)
it sits in my basement storage and sipping just under 80w according to my kill-a-watt.
[img width=650 height=487]http://landshark-racing.com/pics/homeserver/1.jpg[/img]
[img width=650 height=487]http://landshark-racing.com/pics/homeserver/2.jpg[/img]
[img width=650 height=487]http://landshark-racing.com/pics/homeserver/3.jpg[/img]
[img width=600 height=800]http://landshark-racing.com/pics/homeserver/4.jpg[/img]