Server Motherboard options for Intel Sandy Bridge i5 2500K - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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Home Theater Computers > Server Motherboard options for Intel Sandy Bridge i5 2500K
itznfb's Avatar itznfb 03:05 PM 03-27-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Based on your goals you chose a solid motherboard http://uk.hardware.info/reviews/2858/28/32-intel-z77-motherboards-tested-with-ivy-bridge-processors-energy-consumption

Z77 isn't necessary in my opinion, but depending on how you purchase it (Microcenter) it can be the same price or cheaper than the other 7 series boards
I think you are basing your (mis)understanding of necessary CPU for transcoding off of an old version of PMS. You aren't alone, there are forums full of people who couldn't believe their i7 needed so much cpu to transcode a video. Prior to version 0.9.7.3, Plex Media Server always used ALL of your available CPU until it reached a desired buffer length (which it rarely reached) in an attempt to make transcoding as fast as possible and allow users to seek. Didn't matter how powerful your CPU was

http://elan.plexapp.com/2012/11/19/plex-media-server-v0-9-7-3-with-plexweb/

What specifically do you feel is crippled about the B75 chipset compared to the Z77

I'm pretty sure I have the latest PMS version and the mkv (especially mpeg2) still peg at 100% on the AMD when transcoding. I'll double check later tonight though. Transcoding mp4/h264 uses almost no CPU at all.

The B75 chipset has no performance option for CPU or RAM. No RAID functionality. Has no Smart Response Technology support. No RST. PCIe configuration is limited to 1 × 16. Most B75 use the horrific Realtek chips for LAN and Audio. Stuck with legacy PCI slots taking up space that could be used for PCIe slots. Fewer possible SATA and USB ports.

For someone who specified that it could be a multi-function machine in the OP a B75 chipset based board is just bad advice.

Basically the B75 chipset was designed for business users who sit at a machine like a Dell Optiplex all day working in MS Word, Excel and Outlook.

jeff lam's Avatar jeff lam 03:13 PM 03-27-2013
Thanks for all the help guys... I also see and respect both sides of the suggestions. As far as the B75 Board, I didn't want to limit myself in case in the future i will use this build as a workstation or I wanted to play with overclocking more. Also, the price difference between the B75 and the Z77 was minimal in my eyes. The Gigabyte Z77 board I chose was only $110.00 which is what really swayed me to go with it over the AsRock Extreme 4.

renethx,

The RSV-L4500 was actually the case I was going to buy, but after looking at it more, It's quite a bit deeper then the 4000 and would have required some modifications to the spot I was going to put it. I was ok with this until I saw the RSV-R4000 was only $65 shipped. That's less then half the cost of the 4500. With the additional drive cage I plan to get I can still have 12 drives in there. With the way storage is going, now I could have 48TB of space minus parity so about 40TB. if that is not enough, I'm looking at the wrong class of case all together.

I feel confident in my parts for this build and I did want to slightly overkill it on the MB, CPU, SSD and RAM as with my current HTPC I cut corners on the SSD, RAM, and used an old gaming CPU and MB to save a minimal amount of money and I'm regretting it.
Dark_Slayer's Avatar Dark_Slayer 03:49 PM 03-27-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by itznfb View Post

I'm pretty sure I have the latest PMS version and the mkv (especially mpeg2) still peg at 100% on the AMD when transcoding. I'll double check later tonight though. Transcoding mp4/h264 uses almost no CPU at all.

I have h264/vc1/mpeg2 in mkv/mp4/avi containers, never had a problem. The majority of mkv-mpeg2 videos should be DVDs that were ripped using MakeMKV, I couldn't imagine a 2500k ever having any problem with a 10.5 Mbps mpeg2 transcode or a broadcast 1080i recording that was converted (<18Mbps)
Quote:
Originally Posted by itznfb View Post

The B75 chipset has no performance option for CPU or RAM. No RAID functionality. Has no Smart Response Technology support. No RST. PCIe configuration is limited to 1 × 16. Most B75 use the horrific Realtek chips for LAN and Audio. Stuck with legacy PCI slots taking up space that could be used for PCIe slots. Fewer possible SATA and USB ports.
Nice to see some discussion on this. Multi-function or not, the only option that would be truly limiting would be dual x8 if you intended to go over 14 HDDs. With current hardware pricing and software trends the other options listed only offer marginally-noticeable real-world improvements today and wouldn't likely further the life of a re-purposed machine later on
jeff lam's Avatar jeff lam 05:44 PM 03-27-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Based on your goals you chose a solid motherboard http://uk.hardware.info/reviews/2858/28/32-intel-z77-motherboards-tested-with-ivy-bridge-processors-energy-consumption

Z77 isn't necessary in my opinion, but depending on how you purchase it (Microcenter) it can be the same price or cheaper than the other 7 series boards
I think you are basing your (mis)understanding of necessary CPU for transcoding off of an old version of PMS. You aren't alone, there are forums full of people who couldn't believe their i7 needed so much cpu to transcode a video. Prior to version 0.9.7.3, Plex Media Server always used ALL of your available CPU until it reached a desired buffer length (which it rarely reached) in an attempt to make transcoding as fast as possible and allow users to seek. Didn't matter how powerful your CPU was

http://elan.plexapp.com/2012/11/19/plex-media-server-v0-9-7-3-with-plexweb/

What specifically do you feel is crippled about the B75 chipset compared to the Z77

Thanks for the link. It re-assures my decision as the AsRock Extreme 4 board I was almost set on is one of the most power hungry boards at 49W idle. The Gigabyte performed decent at 39W idle.

Also, I also did not realize the new version of Plex was less CPU intensive. My wife has mentioned lately thet Plex has been working better. before the update sometimes Plex would just not even work, which is one of the main reasons I felt I needed to build a more powerful server. My HTPC (e8500 core 2 duo) running PMS was pegged at 100% while transcoding to one client. This made it extremely laggy when trying to navigate WMC, watch TV, or listen to music.


To throw another wrench in the debate, I was hoping that Handbrake would run on the server as I may want to use it to shrink some larger MKV rips of non-critical movies and shows to save space and be easier to transcode to portable devices. And this would be extremely CPU intensive, which is why I decided to run the i5 2500K on the server instead of my HTPC client .
itznfb's Avatar itznfb 09:09 PM 03-27-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

I have h264/vc1/mpeg2 in mkv/mp4/avi containers, never had a problem. The majority of mkv-mpeg2 videos should be DVDs that were ripped using MakeMKV, I couldn't imagine a 2500k ever having any problem with a 10.5 Mbps mpeg2 transcode or a broadcast 1080i recording that was converted (<18Mbps)

Nice to see some discussion on this. Multi-function or not, the only option that would be truly limiting would be dual x8 if you intended to go over 14 HDDs. With current hardware pricing and software trends the other options listed only offer marginally-noticeable real-world improvements today and wouldn't likely further the life of a re-purposed machine later on

I'll have to do some re-testing on my server. I know MKV transcoding is a common problem on PMS. At least it comes up a couple times a week on the Plex forums. It might only be in the Roku sub-forum though. So I guess it's possible it could be a client issue causing the heavy load on the server. I'll have to look into it more.

It will come down to a use case. The OP said he'd probably tweak around with performance settings so that wouldn't be an option with any B75 board. No onboard RAID would be a huge issue for me. All my boot drives are two RAID0 SSDs on the Intel RAID controller. Limited SATA and USB ports would be an issue for me as well. Plus I love having the mSATA for a cache board on the Gigabyte boards. Especially on ZFS storage systems.

@jeff lam.... that system will handle encoding really well. Get a water cooling kit and crank that 2500k up to 5.0GHz and watch it fly biggrin.gif
DavidT99's Avatar DavidT99 02:39 PM 03-28-2013
I am looking at the ASRock B75 Pro3-M for my FlexRAID server build. The board has 3x SATA3, 5x SATA2, 4x USB2 and 2x USB3 on the back I/O panel and headers for a further 4x USB2 and 2x USB3. The board also has 4x DDR3 memory slots. Looks like a well spec ed inexpensive motherborad.

The ASRock H77 Pro4-M has 4x SATA3 and 4x SATA2 and supports RAID but only costs a few dollars more.

David
Dark_Slayer's Avatar Dark_Slayer 03:49 PM 03-28-2013
This is something that has bugged me for a while, so I'll take a stab at clearly explaining it

onboard RAID Historically (Core 2 days)
  • Was generally a poorly performing, resource constricted SARAID not even comparable to cheap dedicated RAID cards
  • Made some sense due to the speeds of HDD tech of the time
  • Typically used by people with 2x Raptors on a very expensive motherboard
  • Motherboards that supported the option typically cost the same or more than a basic motherboard + RAID controller (see enthusiast NForce chipsets)

Onboard RAID today
  1. Uses better architecture thanks to Intel's involvement combining Matrix RAID and SRT to make RST
  2. Can KILL benchmarks (nearly the only way to show off this type of system rolleyes.gif )
  3. Might open applications in 1 s (where a single SSD system used to take 1.5~2)
  4. Has been said to slow down boot times
  5. Makes little to no sense for a compressed media (h264, vc1, mpeg, mp3, etc) storage server
  6. Used to trash SSD (most firmwares alleviate this in current tech, but I'm not sure if RST supports TRIM yet)
  7. I'd guess is "commonly" used just to say it's used, and possibly by holdovers who were accustomed to always using RAID 0 to debottleneck the slow HDD speeds of old

itznfb's Avatar itznfb 04:41 PM 03-28-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

This is something that has bugged me for a while, so I'll take a stab at clearly explaining it

onboard RAID Historically (Core 2 days)
  • Was generally a poorly performing, resource constricted SARAID not even comparable to cheap dedicated RAID cards
  • Made some sense due to the speeds of HDD tech of the time
  • Typically used by people with 2x Raptors on a very expensive motherboard
  • Motherboards that supported the option typically cost the same or more than a basic motherboard + RAID controller (see enthusiast NForce chipsets)

Onboard RAID today
  1. Uses better architecture thanks to Intel's involvement combining Matrix RAID and SRT to make RST
  2. Can KILL benchmarks (nearly the only way to show off this type of system rolleyes.gif )
  3. Might open applications in 1 s (where a single SSD system used to take 1.5~2)
  4. Has been said to slow down boot times
  5. Makes little to no sense for a compressed media (h264, vc1, mpeg, mp3, etc) storage server
  6. Used to trash SSD (most firmwares alleviate this in current tech, but I'm not sure if RST supports TRIM yet)
  7. I'd guess is "commonly" used just to say it's used, and possibly by holdovers who were accustomed to always using RAID 0 to debottleneck the slow HDD speeds of old

I see you don't use your computer for much. Or you have never actually used a RAID0 SSD setup.

Ever since ICH6 Intel's onboard RAID solution has been pretty solid. The boards then didn't cost any more to include the ICH controller as they do now. There was never a premium cost for such a feature as it was always built into the desktop platform. Just look at boards like the GA-965P-DS3P and GA-965P-DS4. Entry level and Low-Mid range boards like that have always included the ICHxR controller. They often had a ICHx counterpart as well though.

Ever since ICH9 it pretty much dominates all other software based RAID solutions on the market in terms of performance, reliability and compatibility. Cheap software based RAID cards have tons of compatibility issues. Fail often. And don't perform anywhere near as well. With the Z77 onboard RAID up to 3 SSD drives in RAID0 will literally scale linearly 1:1. 3 drives will triple your performance. 4+ drives it starts to top out. With just 2 Samsung 830 128GB drives vs a single drive it can save me several hours of photo or video editing. I can load large RAW and TIFF files twice as fast. Working within Photoshop you get real world significant improvement. Anyone that works with video editing or encoding (as long as the CPU isn't bottle-necked) will notice a huge benefit. TRIM isn't needed as most drives do their own garbage collection. It is supported on Windows 8 though.

Depending on the UEFI configuration and what type of boot options you're using it can make the boot time slower while it loads the RAID configuration. But I only reboot my PC about once a month. I'm sure a lot of people utilize sleep and wake-on lan.

At this point it's so cost effective and gives such a great performance boost there really isn't any reason not to throw 2 SSDs into any machine you're building for performance. If you're trying to minimize cost obviously a single SSD already provides great performance so naturally it suites most people's needs. Especially in a server scenario where rotating rust is typically sufficient. Just saying for the enthusiast crowd (quite a few people here are in that crowd) when you're building a $1000 pc no reason not to spend an extra $75-$100 to double the root volume performance. You do get a lot out of it. Having a lag free system is quite nice. I like being able to click on any shortcut and having any application open instantly. Never having to wait is smiles. smile.gif
itznfb's Avatar itznfb 10:45 AM 03-30-2013
Just got some new parts for my new Plex server (somewhat multi-function). GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-D3H and an Intel i5-3570k with 8GB of 1600 RAM. The 3750k is running at 4.0GHz on 1.1 vcore and it's encoding blu-rays much faster than my 3770k @ 4.5GHz on 1.225 vcore... almost a full hour faster. Obviously somethings wrong with my 3770k machine frown.gif

MgS1wsDl.jpg
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 02:44 PM 03-30-2013
What case is that ?
itznfb's Avatar itznfb 05:59 PM 03-30-2013
Antec P280

It's a great case for the money. It's on the heavy side though.
6 full size drive bays + 2 SSD slots above them. 3x 5 1/4 bays for an additional 4 drives in a Silverstone CFP51-B. I have 4 Gentle Typhoons, 2 exhaust up top and 2 intake on the front. There's room for two more snapped onto the drive bays. Corsair H80i out the back.
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