Description

TiPLiSS Cube (Tivo-Plex Linux Streaming Server)

Well the acronym title describes the purpose of this build. The basics: I plan to use linux (Ubuntu), I may occasionally stream 2 or in rare cases possibly 3 feeds that could need conversion (none of them 4k). I plan to use the machine to extract, convert, and store tivo recordings. For the most part this can be headless but I was thinking I'd like an option to use a monitor. That means no graphics card needed but possibly on board graphics. I'm not using it for gaming or any other type of computing (other than the tivo conversion).

Preferences were for low power, quiet, and a small form factor, but potentially to add storage.

The build went pretty well. It took some time because I decided to go conservative and methodical since I was building my first PC in eons (outside of upgrading, this was my first build since the uh. early 90s?).

I did a pre-build (mobo, Processor, RAM, power supply) on the Mobo box and tested if it posted. Success! After putting it all together, managing cables, and trying I ran into an issue of no post... well, no power. After tracing the issue I figured it had to be the connection to the power switch because jumping the board with a screwdriver worked. The solution was that I'm an idiot. I was hitting the reset switch on the case as a power switch. The power switch on the Cooler Master Elite 110 is the big logo on the front of the case. I did not know that (and I'm not sure it was in the manual, just checked, it is. It is labeled on the front facing view in the first panel of the instruction sheet, very easy to miss). Anyway, once pressed, it immediately worked!

So far it is lightning fast. Tested streaming 3 conversion at same time with no hiccup. I have some minor Linux tweaks to work on (wake from suspend not working, have to set up delay in looking for network drives until after network establishes, switching so root pass doesn't need to be entered to mount network drives, etc.) but that's all non-build related. Have the tivo conversion software loaded but have to optimizer that. I might have built too nice of a machine to let sit idle all day. Perhaps I'll revise intended use and use it as a desktop work machine.

As I mention below, the chassis fan is not as quiet as I would like. I mean it is somewhat quiet but since it runs all the time, it is more like white noise. I may look into something quieter but keeping it for now.

Part Reviews

CPU

No problems. Push pin install is nice, BIOS and Linux had no problems

Motherboard

ASRock z370M-itx - I ran into one small problem here. I installed the CPU then went to install the RAM. But they are so close together I couldn't fit in the memory with it's bulky heat spreader. A quick solution was to remove the CPU, install the RAM first, then rotate the i5 stock fan so that the side with no extra clips was on the side with the RAM. It fits that way but I doubt it would any other way. My one pre-build concern was the Team Dark RAM. It showed up here as compatible but the specific size/brand was not listed on the supported list. Other 2x8 configurations were and other Team Dark were. It is up and running and recognized. I haven't checked specs on how well it's running yet.

Memory

A little worried since it wasn't listed as supported on my the BIOS but showed up on screen. The silver black matches my motherboard.

Storage

So far boot is real snappy. No problems

Case

Cooler Master Elite 110 - This is probably where I ran into most of my issues. Most of them could have been solved by better documentation. What they send you is not well specified for a first time build. Luckily I found a review online that did a similar build and could follow their build (not sure if a link will work here: https://www.pcper.com/reviews/Cases-and-Cooling/Cooler-Master-Elite-110-mini-ITX-Case-Review). This helped with optimal positioning of the drives and other factors.

The second issue with the case is that you may want to get your own sata/power power cables for the drives. (this interacts with the mobo/power supply. The issue is that side case mounted drives are better suited to have straight cables. The direction is such that the 90 degree cables (or chained cables) will have the cable immediately flexed back on the outside case wall. There's enough room for it to work but just barely with a SSD (and actually not with a 90 degree sata cable, I had to use the 90 end in the mobo side).

A third minor issue is I expected the fan to be much quieter. Maybe my tolerance for noise is too low. I may replace it. On the plus side it seems to run cool with good airflow for a little case (but no top HDDs). It actually feels like cool air flowing out the back. Overall I like the case with these issues.

Comments

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

Linux Represent! Also all the -buntu distro's I believe have tracking now.

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm going to look into that. It mentions 18.04 and I installed 16.04. This is my first real Linux install that I tried to do correctly (I did put it on some old machines as trials). It's a bit of work but definitely satisfying.

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

Mhm. Linux Mint and Manjaro also could work very well, at least for regular desktops.

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome build! I am a big fan and user of Linux, I really love it, as compared to Microsoft windows or mac os. I was an avid user of Microsoft Windows and Mac OS for a very long time, and as time went I saw things changing in a direction that I didn't like so I switched to Linux. I've been a linux user now for four years and have played around with a lot of distro's. My daily driver is Mint 18.3 xfce, and it works flawlessly all of the time!

Enjoy your build! I love the min-itx elite cases!

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

You're right: this is a really nice computer for a server. The world of servers and Linux is not one I've dared venture into and I don't think we've ripped enough DVDs and media to make it worth our while... yet. I'd hate to build a computer just to have it sit there too. I'm glad this bad boy does all you need it do and more.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

Decided I didn't need a GPU. I may actually disconnect it from a monitor and put it in another room (by the router). But I wanted the option of using a monitor so went with an on-board graphics CPU.

It is tight in there, but there is some room for an appropriately sized graphics card. It looks like there's space between the side mounted drives and the power supply that a graphics card could go (but it might involve switch the HDD to an SDD. Plus, the top mounts could be used for the drives opening up that space.