Xeon to Replace i3 on Supermicro Board - AVS Forum

AVS Forum > Video Components > Home Theater Computers > Xeon to Replace i3 on Supermicro Board

Home Theater Computers

stepmback's Avatar stepmback
07:44 AM Liked: 13
post #1 of 22
01-16-2013 | Posts: 1,782
Joined: Nov 2003
I have a WHS 2011 box that I built about 7 months ago with 8GB of RAM and a i3 processor. I have no complaints about the box except I suscept that my CPU is not up to snuff. When I built the box I did not intend to do lots of transcoding of files, but that has changed. I find myself using Plex more and more and really like it. However with my current setup I notice stutters and buffering quite often when transcoding. My CPU usage spikes to 75-85%. If i play the file from my network share and no transcoding needed, it plays fine. I have checked and it is not my network (wired or wireless). I get consistant speeds much higher (streaming uncompressed files) with no issue wirelessly. It only occurs when transcoding.

I currently have a Supermicro board SUPERMICRO MBD-X9SCM-F-O board (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813182253) running an Intel Core i3-2120T Sandy Bridge (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115094). I am considering replacing the CPU with a XEON something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117286

A couple of questions:
1. Any issue with using this XEON chip with my board?
2. How good is this chip at transcoding 1080p bluray rips in MKV to 1080p files to play on a Roku or iPad or workstation? Could it handle 2-3 transcoding at the same time?
3. Any other issues you can foresee with my approach?
TType85's Avatar TType85
04:21 PM Liked: 10
post #2 of 22
01-16-2013 | Posts: 118
Joined: Oct 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by stepmback View Post

I have a WHS 2011 box that I built about 7 months ago with 8GB of RAM and a i3 processor. I have no complaints about the box except I suscept that my CPU is not up to snuff. When I built the box I did not intend to do lots of transcoding of files, but that has changed. I find myself using Plex more and more and really like it. However with my current setup I notice stutters and buffering quite often when transcoding. My CPU usage spikes to 75-85%. If i play the file from my network share and no transcoding needed, it plays fine. I have checked and it is not my network (wired or wireless). I get consistant speeds much higher (streaming uncompressed files) with no issue wirelessly. It only occurs when transcoding.

I currently have a Supermicro board SUPERMICRO MBD-X9SCM-F-O board (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813182253) running an Intel Core i3-2120T Sandy Bridge (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115094). I am considering replacing the CPU with a XEON something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117286

A couple of questions:
1. Any issue with using this XEON chip with my board?
2. How good is this chip at transcoding 1080p bluray rips in MKV to 1080p files to play on a Roku or iPad or workstation? Could it handle 2-3 transcoding at the same time?
3. Any other issues you can foresee with my approach?

1. I have 3 servers at work running that board and that chip, no issues.
2. I am sure it could, I've done 2 HD transcodes to ipad/iphone on a regular i3-2100.
3. Do you have ECC ram? The Xeon will require it.
wraslor's Avatar wraslor
07:43 PM Liked: 15
post #3 of 22
01-16-2013 | Posts: 140
Joined: Feb 2009
Are you transcoding over the internet or at home on your network. If over the internet it could be more likely your upload speed. Maybe try adjusting your qaulity settings in Plex. I've got a phenom ii x4 and it handles it no problem. Upload speed of 5mbps. I would think an i3 would be more than enough.
stepmback's Avatar stepmback
08:07 PM Liked: 13
post #4 of 22
01-16-2013 | Posts: 1,782
Joined: Nov 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by TType85 View Post

1. I have 3 servers at work running that board and that chip, no issues.
2. I am sure it could, I've done 2 HD transcodes to ipad/iphone on a regular i3-2100.
3. Do you have ECC ram? The Xeon will require it.

I already have the ECC RAM.

I think I read somewhere that the i3 may have issues because it only has two cores, even though it has 4 hyperthreads. I just want it work and am at loss as to what the issue is.
stepmback's Avatar stepmback
08:10 PM Liked: 13
post #5 of 22
01-16-2013 | Posts: 1,782
Joined: Nov 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by wraslor View Post

Are you transcoding over the internet or at home on your network. If over the internet it could be more likely your upload speed. Maybe try adjusting your qaulity settings in Plex. I've got a phenom ii x4 and it handles it no problem. Upload speed of 5mbps. I would think an i3 would be more than enough.

I have tried on internet and my local network. On my local network I am wired with Cat6 all going through an HP Procurve gigabit switch. I have done test on wired and get great speads when doing copies 110 MB/sec to server for writes and about 75 MB/sec for reads. This is Mega bytes, so I have plenty of bandwidth. I alo get about 115 mbps on wireless at consistant speeds. I have multiple acces points throughout house.

Either a bug in the Plex or not enough CPU speed.
Tong Chia's Avatar Tong Chia
08:55 PM Liked: 16
post #6 of 22
01-16-2013 | Posts: 1,140
Joined: Nov 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by stepmback View Post

I have a WHS 2011 box that I built about 7 months ago with 8GB of RAM and a i3 processor. I have no complaints about the box except I suscept that my CPU is not up to snuff. When I built the box I did not intend to do lots of transcoding of files, but that has changed. I find myself using Plex more and more and really like it. However with my current setup I notice stutters and buffering quite often when transcoding. My CPU usage spikes to 75-85%. If i play the file from my network share and no transcoding needed, it plays fine. I have checked and it is not my network (wired or wireless). I get consistant speeds much higher (streaming uncompressed files) with no issue wirelessly. It only occurs when transcoding.

I currently have a Supermicro board SUPERMICRO MBD-X9SCM-F-O board (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813182253) running an Intel Core i3-2120T Sandy Bridge (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115094). I am considering replacing the CPU with a XEON something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117286

A couple of questions:
1. Any issue with using this XEON chip with my board?
2. How good is this chip at transcoding 1080p bluray rips in MKV to 1080p files to play on a Roku or iPad or workstation? Could it handle 2-3 transcoding at the same time?
3. Any other issues you can foresee with my approach?

Your current CPU is at its limits given the CPU load you reported, the E3-1230 you selected will improve matters, I suggest consider offloading some of this onto the GPU as the CPU will not scale all that well given the small number of CPU cores in the E3. Increasing the number of cores can get very expensive very quickly. The 6 core E5 Xeons are above $500 plus a new motherboard.

The other option is to do single pass transcoding and use a fixed bitrate, to reduce the amount of work the encoder has to undertake. There is a penalty in the picture quality, this is something you have to experiment with.
lockdown571's Avatar lockdown571
09:34 PM Liked: 59
post #7 of 22
01-16-2013 | Posts: 1,623
Joined: Nov 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tong Chia View Post

Your current CPU is at its limits given the CPU load you reported, the E3-1230 you selected will improve matters, I suggest consider offloading some of this onto the GPU as the CPU will not scale all that well given the small number of CPU cores in the E3. Increasing the number of cores can get very expensive very quickly. The 6 core E5 Xeons are above $500 plus a new motherboard.

The other option is to do single pass transcoding and use a fixed bitrate, to reduce the amount of work the encoder has to undertake. There is a penalty in the picture quality, this is something you have to experiment with.

Plex currently cannot use GPU-based transcoding. Btw, I don't know much about the Xenon's but I just upgraded from an Q8400 to an i5-3570K, and PMS can now transcode three uncompressed blu-rays on the fly at 80-85% CPU. This is under Mac OSX though.
Tong Chia's Avatar Tong Chia
10:03 PM Liked: 16
post #8 of 22
01-16-2013 | Posts: 1,140
Joined: Nov 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

Plex currently cannot use GPU-based transcoding. Btw, I don't know much about the Xenon's but I just upgraded from an Q8400 to an i5-3570K, and PMS can now transcode three uncompressed blu-rays on the fly at 80-85% CPU. This is under Mac OSX though.

The internals of the Xeon E3 are very similar to the i5. 3 streams @85% load via CPU is about the limit currently on the desktop quad i5/E3 CPUs

The one I was thinking about was Handbrake with OpenCL, I am hoping this is the direction things will go but it still not quite ready for primetime

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5835/testing-opencl-accelerated-handbrakex264-with-amds-trinity-apu

Get it here. It is experimental,so use it accordingly.
https://build.handbrake.fr/view/OpenCL/
TType85's Avatar TType85
11:15 PM Liked: 10
post #9 of 22
01-16-2013 | Posts: 118
Joined: Oct 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tong Chia View Post

The internals of the Xeon E3 are very similar to the i5. 3 streams @85% load via CPU is about the limit currently on the desktop quad i5/E3 CPUs

The one I was thinking about was Handbrake with OpenCL, I am hoping this is the direction things will go but it still not quite ready for primetime

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5835/testing-opencl-accelerated-handbrakex264-with-amds-trinity-apu

Get it here. It is experimental,so use it accordingly.
https://build.handbrake.fr/view/OpenCL/

E3-12xx are the i7's with ecc support. 4 cores 8 threads (hyper-threading). i5's are 4 cores 4 threads (no hyper threading). In theory it should handle more than the i5's would.

http://ark.intel.com/compare/53427,65732

big jump in processing power between the two CPU's

Also, the board the OP has will handle the E3-12xx V2 cpu's with the most recent bios, no need for a new board.
Tong Chia's Avatar Tong Chia
11:46 PM Liked: 16
post #10 of 22
01-16-2013 | Posts: 1,140
Joined: Nov 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by TType85 View Post

E3-12xx are the i7's with ecc support. 4 cores 8 threads (hyper-threading). i5's are 4 cores 4 threads (no hyper threading). In theory it should handle more than the i5's would.

http://ark.intel.com/compare/53427,65732

big jump in processing power between the two CPU's

Also, the board the OP has will handle the E3-12xx V2 cpu's with the most recent bios, no need for a new board.

I have 2 E3 that I use with Handbrake, I bought it for the reasons mentioned above, HT on the E3 was somewhat of a disappointment. I am switching over to an Opteron 63xx with 16 cores, and I am also taking a serious look at the 6 core Xeon-EPs.
The E3 is only about 1.2x faster than the equivalent i5 in Handbrake so I will not be getting more E3s

The advantage of the E3 over the desktop chips is a bigger cache. The ECC is good for server use as one of my transcode boxes is up 24x7
TType85's Avatar TType85
12:08 AM Liked: 10
post #11 of 22
01-17-2013 | Posts: 118
Joined: Oct 2002
I'll have to set up a test on my i5 2500k vs my i7 3770 to see apples to apples.

Which E3 do you have? The 1220 is only 4c/4t.

The difference between the i3 2xxxT and the E3-1230 v2 is huge.
Tong Chia's Avatar Tong Chia
12:19 AM Liked: 16
post #12 of 22
01-17-2013 | Posts: 1,140
Joined: Nov 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by TType85 View Post

I'll have to set up a test on my i5 2500k vs my i7 3770 to see apples to apples.

The difference between the i3 2xxxT and the E3 is huge.

I would agree on the difference between the i3 and the E3. (2 cores vs 4 cores)

I saw the same with the Opteron with 1/2 the cores disabled relative my E3 1230 (8 real cores on the Opteron vs 4real + 4HT on the E3 )
HT does not seem to add much when the CPU functional units are running flat out.

A lot of it is also expectations, I am looking for 1.6x or more improvement which is what I see on the Opterons. The Xeon-EPs are even better but at almost 2X the cost.

I would be interested to see what you get with Handbrake.
stepmback's Avatar stepmback
07:18 AM Liked: 13
post #13 of 22
01-17-2013 | Posts: 1,782
Joined: Nov 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tong Chia View Post

I have 2 E3 that I use with Handbrake, I bought it for the reasons mentioned above, HT on the E3 was somewhat of a disappointment. I am switching over to an Opteron 63xx with 16 cores, and I am also taking a serious look at the 6 core Xeon-EPs.
The E3 is only about 1.2x faster than the equivalent i5 in Handbrake so I will not be getting more E3s

The advantage of the E3 over the desktop chips is a bigger cache. The ECC is good for server use as one of my transcode boxes is up 24x7

I really like my motherboard so I am only interested in upgrading the chip. I see that they are selling several quad core E3 chips on Newegg. Will I see any appreciable difference in performance for transcoding if I bought a faster E3 than say the Intel Xeon E3-1230 V2 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100008494+600126647&QksAutoSuggestion=&ShowDeactivatedMark=False&Configurator=&IsNodeId=1&Subcategory=727&description=&hisInDesc=&Ntk=&CFG=&SpeTabStoreType=&AdvancedSearch=1&srchInDesc=
TType85's Avatar TType85
08:14 AM Liked: 10
post #14 of 22
01-17-2013 | Posts: 118
Joined: Oct 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by stepmback View Post

I really like my motherboard so I am only interested in upgrading the chip. I see that they are selling several quad core E3 chips on Newegg. Will I see any appreciable difference in performance for transcoding if I bought a faster E3 than say the Intel Xeon E3-1230 V2 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100008494+600126647&QksAutoSuggestion=&ShowDeactivatedMark=False&Configurator=&IsNodeId=1&Subcategory=727&description=&hisInDesc=&Ntk=&CFG=&SpeTabStoreType=&AdvancedSearch=1&srchInDesc=

In my opinion, price vs performance the 1230 V2 is the sweet spot. The 1240 is $40 more for a .1ghz bump, the 1220 does not have hyperthreading (so only 4 threads). Your board has onboard graphics so you don't need a 12x5 processor.
Tong Chia's Avatar Tong Chia
11:26 AM Liked: 16
post #15 of 22
01-17-2013 | Posts: 1,140
Joined: Nov 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by stepmback View Post

I really like my motherboard so I am only interested in upgrading the chip. I see that they are selling several quad core E3 chips on Newegg. Will I see any appreciable difference in performance for transcoding if I bought a faster E3 than say the Intel Xeon E3-1230 V2 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100008494+600126647&QksAutoSuggestion=&ShowDeactivatedMark=False&Configurator=&IsNodeId=1&Subcategory=727&description=&hisInDesc=&Ntk=&CFG=&SpeTabStoreType=&AdvancedSearch=1&srchInDesc=

The E3-1230v2 is the sweet-spot costwise. The fastest E3 (1290V2) is 11% faster is about 2.5x the cost.

I have the SM X9SCM-F as well, check your bios is 2.0b or later if you are using the Ivy Bridge. If you are upgrading, the bios is in multiple parts, the Intel ME portion is the most troublesome as it can fail to upgrade the first time.
stepmback's Avatar stepmback
12:36 PM Liked: 13
post #16 of 22
01-17-2013 | Posts: 1,782
Joined: Nov 2003
I went ahead and bought it. I am pretty sure I am using the old bios. Do I have to upgrade? If I do, can you point me to the correct bios along with instruction.. Assume I will use a USB stick to upgrade.

I hate upgrading bios on servers. I have had bad luck in the past.
TType85's Avatar TType85
01:17 PM Liked: 10
post #17 of 22
01-17-2013 | Posts: 118
Joined: Oct 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by stepmback View Post

I went ahead and bought it. I am pretty sure I am using the old bios. Do I have to upgrade? If I do, can you point me to the correct bios along with instruction.. Assume I will use a USB stick to upgrade.

I hate upgrading bios on servers. I have had bad luck in the past.

I hear you on the upgrading bios's on servers! i'm glad our boards came with the newest bios.

Bios is here:
http://www.supermicro.com/support/bios/

Walkthough here:
http://www.servethehome.com/supermicro-x9scmf-x9sclf-bios-flash-v2/
stepmback's Avatar stepmback
01:37 PM Liked: 13
post #18 of 22
01-17-2013 | Posts: 1,782
Joined: Nov 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by TType85 View Post

I hear you on the upgrading bios's on servers! i'm glad our boards came with the newest bios.

Bios is here:
http://www.supermicro.com/support/bios/

Walkthough here:
http://www.servethehome.com/supermicro-x9scmf-x9sclf-bios-flash-v2/

Thanks... the walkthrough looks straightforward...I Hope!!!
stepmback's Avatar stepmback
01:48 PM Liked: 13
post #19 of 22
01-18-2013 | Posts: 1,782
Joined: Nov 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by stepmback View Post

Thanks... the walkthrough looks straightforward...I Hope!!!

I upgrade the BIOS last night. I could not get an ISO to work so I was forced to use a bootable USB and downloaded info from website. All went well except I am having an issue with my software raid. I believe the bios update invalidated my software licesnse. One thing I have noticed is that 2.0b when I boot the CPU goes up to about 25% for a couple of minutes and stays there, then goes back down to 1%. It may be related to my software issue, not sure.
stepmback's Avatar stepmback
09:51 AM Liked: 13
post #20 of 22
01-22-2013 | Posts: 1,782
Joined: Nov 2003
I got the new chip in yesterday and replaced it. All look good. My load on the CPU for converting files went from 75% to 10%. I still need to do some testing but this appears to have resolved my issue with buffering on my network for workstations.
TType85's Avatar TType85
10:42 AM Liked: 10
post #21 of 22
01-22-2013 | Posts: 118
Joined: Oct 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by stepmback View Post

I got the new chip in yesterday and replaced it. All look good. My load on the CPU for converting files went from 75% to 10%. I still need to do some testing but this appears to have resolved my issue with buffering on my network for workstations.

Good to hear that. I hope you got your RAID issue cleared up. All my supermicro boards are not using the onboard raid.
stepmback's Avatar stepmback
11:58 AM Liked: 13
post #22 of 22
01-22-2013 | Posts: 1,782
Joined: Nov 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by TType85 View Post

Good to hear that. I hope you got your RAID issue cleared up. All my supermicro boards are not using the onboard raid.

I use software RAID (FlexRaid) and apparently the BIOS, then the CPU upgrade made the software key invalid. I had to do a transfer of my liscense to the new build. Once that was done (extremely confusing process) everything started back up and all looks good.
Reply Home Theater Computers

Subscribe to this Thread

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3