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HTPC Server - Completed PC Build

This build is progression of my most recent Everyday Workstation/Light Gaming build and a ever growing need for more data storage. I took all of the parts from this build, dropped a 10 TB WD gold drive in it and tried stuffing it all in a Fractal Design Node 202 and call it a server. It was a squeeze.


completed build

I choose to use Ubuntu 16.04 as my operating system. I am going to start with the server version and run temporarily as a headless machine but my intentions with this build are vast. Here are the main planned uses for this machine:

  • Movie, TV Show, and Home Video & Photo Storage
  • Automated video processing from a tv tuner and other sources
  • Entertainment library and organization
  • Game emulation and game station
  • VPN to a physically distant network
  • VMs within my network and possibly remote
  • Local network backup

Parts List

Here are the parts I used for my build thanks to PCPartPicker Part List

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Xeon E3-1231 V3 3.4 GHz Quad-Core Processor Purchased For $246.79
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-L9x65 33.84 CFM CPU Cooler Purchased For $49.95
Motherboard Asus Z97I-PLUS Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard Purchased For $153.00
Memory Crucial Ballistix Tactical 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR3-1600 Memory Purchased For $111.99
Storage ADATA Premier Pro SP310 64 GB mSATA Solid State Drive Purchased For $49.99
Storage Crucial M4 256 GB 2.5” Solid State Drive Purchased For $205.00
Storage Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1 TB 2.5” 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive Purchased For $60.00
Storage Western Digital Gold 10 TB 3.5” 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive Purchased For $339.99
Video Card Gigabyte Radeon RX 550 - 512 2 GB Video Card Purchased For $99.04
Case Fractal Design Node 202 HTPC Case Purchased For $59.99
Power Supply Silverstone Strider Gold 450 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular SFX Power Supply Purchased For $84.99
Case Fan Noctua NF-S12A FLX 120 mm Fan Purchased For $19.99
Total $1480.72

Parts Explanation

stack of drives

I was going to run this machine headless but I realized that it was gonna much harder to install an OS because this Xeon Processor has no graphics built into it. So I spent a lot of time finding a sub $100 dollar card sort of last minute that would play nice with Ubuntu and still fit in this drive. I’m hoping I don’t regret not getting a GTX 1050.

The major challenge of this build was finding room for all the drives. I like the style of this case and knew I wanted it ever since it was announced. Despite reports of the node 202 being a hotbox and not being suited for my requirement of a 3.5” drive, I snatched it up as soon as it went down to $60. I decided to take out the 2.5” drive bay to make room for the large drive side ways. I used Velcro to hold it down to the case and Velcro in between each of the other two drives. I worry about the the hard drives spinning up and vibrating each other. I put my SSD in between but I am still worried they will gyrate too much. I zip tied the three drives on top of each other.


insides after build

Following suite with my other builds, I bought the case first and built around that. Most of my parts were recycled from the build mentioned above. The cpu fan was bought for this build and has clearance only if you take off the top vent.

Big thanks to Mikaroon’s PC Part Picker build and Peppercorn’s PC Part Picker build for the help to know I wasn’t the only one who thought about putting a 3.5” drive in a node 202. Although I feel like my version turned out to be sort of a hack.

Date Build Completed: December 30, 2017

sata to msata velcroed in

Updated 2/20/2018 - Two months later why not upgrade. And why not continue with the unconventionality of this build. I repurposed a mSATA 64gb drive into this machine with hopes of using KVM virtualization on a full disk to install windows and then passthrough my GPU to that machine. Bought this guy because I didn’t have a full size mSATA port. Then I bought this one as a mistake. Then correcting myself I bought the pictured this and that and finally realized I might have been better off striping out my wi-fi half mSATA port and replacing it with this little one. But what would be the fun in that.