New KODI server build

  • 1 February 2017
  • charm
SPEC-01 case that holds our KODI server

Our current living room KODI server is getting a bit old. We currently have 8TB of storage between 2 x 3TB and a 2TB hard drive. Media is spread across the drives and is starting to get a bit disorganized. Part of the disorganization is because of the age of some of the data. Back when I first started ripping media for what was then called XBMC I used the command line interface program transcode to do a lot of work. When Handbrake came to my attention I changed how I ripped media, and after a conversation with a friend I finally clued in as to how simple it was to rip DVDs with subtitles embedded (but not on by default). After this I started organizing newly ripped media into sub-folders so I knew what media had subtitles embedded and which I needed to re-rip. But media re-organization is only a small part of the impetus for a server redo. The other issue is our KODI server has suffered numerous power-outages (I keep saying I'm going to put a UPS between it and the wall, but so far I haven't) and there are at least one or two blown capacitors on the motherboard. Despite this it continues to run.

As I mentioned, our data is stored among several folders. Here's a rough breakdown:

  • DVDs : 727GB
  • TV : 131GB
  • Blueray : 2.5TB
  • Blueray2: 122GB (on second 3TB because first 3TB drive not large enough)
  • Blueray TV : 416GB (Four seasons of 1 popular show) on the second 3TB
  • Pictures : 17GB
  • Music Videos: 20.2GB

At almost 4TB of data, it really didn't make sense to buy a 4TB hard drive. Even though data is currently stored across 3 drives going forward my thought was to have 1 large drive that backs-up to a second drive. Here's what I came up with for a parts list:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU AMD A8-7650K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor $112.25 @ shopRBC
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-D3HP Micro ATX FM2+ Motherboard $84.99 @ Newegg Canada
Storage Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $66.99 @ Amazon Canada
Storage Seagate 6TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $286.98 @ DirectCanada
Storage Seagate 6TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $286.98 @ DirectCanada
Power Supply Corsair CXM 550W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $58.98 @ NCIX
  Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts  
  Total (before mail-in rebates) $917.17
  Mail-in rebates -$20.00
  Total $897.17
  Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-02-01 21:12 EST-0500  

I know several people would probably comment on my choice to use Seagate drives, especially for important data like my DVDs and Bluerays, but our KODI server has run only Seagate drives for many years without issue. Maybe we're just lucky, but I did mention we've had several power-outs and the drives are still marching on like a champ. I've also owned a Kingston 120GB SSD for almost 2 years and haven't had an issue with it yet. 6TB drives seem to fit the bill of being enough storage without too high a price tag.

My first choice in CPU was actually an Intel Core i3-6100, but I opted for a slightly less powerful AMD A8-7650K because it had the same 65W thermal footprint while coming in about $50 cheaper. I'm also a fan of Gigabyte motherboards. There were less expensive motherboards, but the GA-F2A88XM-D3HP had extra SATA ports and has a USB C connector for future expansion. I'm running a Corsair power supply in my desktop system and have been happy with it. The one I chose for the server build is semi-modular and should go great in the SPEC-01 case our current server is in.

I haven't quite figured out how I'm going to back data up, but I don't plan on doing a RAID backup. I mentioned deltas because it seems like an incremental backup is the way to do things both for data protection and performance.