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post #1 of 56 Old 07-21-2013, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Need advice on putting together a Media Server.

2 years ago I built an HTPC with the help of this forum and Assassin's guides (thanks!).

HTPC:
nMEDIAPC 6000B case
Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 LGA 1155 MoBo
Intel i3-2100 Intel HD Graphics 2000
G.Skill Ripjaws 12GB (2x2GB, 2x4GB)
2x3TB WD Green HDDs, 2x2TB Barracuda Green HDDs
Ceton InfiniTV 4 PCIe (4 tuner)
LG Bluray Drive
Crucial M4 128GB SSD

I run Windows 7 64bit off of the SSD. 1 3TB drive is reserved as the PVR drive for Recorded TV and Live TV from WMC via the Ceton tuner. The other 3 TB drive is the parity drive for my FlexRAID array and the 2 2TB drives are the data drives for the FlexRAID array. I wanted all the drives to be in the FlexRAID array but WMC/Ceton did not like having the live TV buffer and Recorded TV files on the array (lots of funkiness), so it is separate. I use MCEBuddy to convert the large wtv files to more reasonable sized mkv's (not all of them, just the ones I want to keep). I use Media Browser to watch movies in WMC and RecordedTVHD to watch both mkv and wtv TV shows in WMC because it seamlessly integrates multiple file types and locations together. I have 2 Xbox 360s that run as Media Extenders. I use Shark007 codecs to seamlessly play mkv files on the HTPC and extenders. I do not have a GPU, I use the Sandy Bridge HD2000 graphics. I also run Plex to stream to my iPad and iPhone when away from home. I live in base housing right now and luckily all rooms are wired with Cat5e (as will any future house I move into!!).

The 2 problems with the HTPC are:

a) My 4TB of data are almost full. There is no more room in the case for HDDs and no more SATA ports on the MoBo (6).

b) My i3-2100 gets bogged down when trying to handle everything. Transcoding recordings with MCEBuddy is very CPU intensive. If MCEBuddy is running any movies on the HTPC or extenders stutter. Same if trying to stream to my iPhone while away from the house and watching media on the HTPC and extender at the house.

*******Solution, build a Media Server!!!**********

I will still use FlexRAID since I already have a license for drive pooling. For the OS I am leaning towards WHS2011. I thought about using Windows 8 to do both, but since I was going to be moving my existing data on existing drives, Win 8 is out because you have to format drives to use its drive pooling scheme. I am going to purchase 2 4TB HDDs, one will be my new PVR drive and the other will be the new parity drive for FlexRAID. That will allow me to use both 2TB and both 3TB drives for data (10TB total). I want to also purchase a Haswell LGA 1150 Mobo and Intel i7-4770 with HD 4600 Graphics for its better CPU power for transcoding and better integrated graphics than my Sandy Bridge for media playback.

But now I have some questions:

1) Do I put the i3-2100 or the i7-4770 in the Media Server? If the Media Server is going to be doing a lot of transcoding (MCEBuddy and Plex) the i7 makes sense, but it sounds like overkill for a Server, no?

2) Do I move the Ceton InifiniTV 4 to the Server along with ALL the HDDs (even the 4 TB PVR drive) and leave only the SSD in the HTPC or leave the Ceton in the HTPC as well as 1 4TB (PVR drive) along with the SSD?

3) Ties into #2, if the Ceton is in the Server, will I have trouble playing protected wtv content on the HTPC and Extenders?

4) Will the Xbox Extenders still connect through the HTPC as users like before in WMC, or do I need to remove them from WMC on the HTPC and re set them up connected straight to the WHS Server?

5) Is it worth spending around $100 on a SSD for the Server?

6) Case recommendations? I want to spend less than $100 but eventually have room to fit at least 9-10 HDDs and an optical drive.

7) I am assuming I re-install some of my software on the WHS Server and delete them off of the HTPC: Plex Media Server, Media Center Master? Except for Media Browser and RecordedTVHD, those should stay on the HTPC, right? And MCEBuddy, DVRMSToolbox should be on what ever machine (HTPC or Server) has the Ceton tuner?

8) What else am I missing?!

I have to return some video tapes....
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post #2 of 56 Old 07-21-2013, 05:46 PM
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If your going to put an i7 in your server it is certainly worth $100 for a nice SSD like a Samsung 840 or Vertex4/450/Vector.

I am getting yelled at by wife eek.gif I will try to post more later and help you biggrin.gif

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post #3 of 56 Old 07-21-2013, 07:15 PM
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Thanks for using the guides. I will try to give you a few more ideas but there are many ways to go about what you are doing...

Before saying anything else I would strongly consider using Win 7 (or Win 8) with WMC on your server and your HTPC. The only drawback really to this is the price (more than WHS2011) and that you can't automatically backup client PCs. This may or may not be a big deal to you. This gives you the flexibility of using WMC with extenders from either machine.

Answers to your questions:
1. Depends on which one you want to make your "workhorse" PC. I have an i3-2100 in my Server and it does really well streaming Plex to my phones, tablet, Rokus (when I am tinkering) etc around the house. Outside the house its largely limited by the cell phone data speed in my experience.

2. Depends where you are wanting your storage. I would think having it in the server makes the most sense though.

3. You shouldn't if you are using Win7 with WMC. This may depend on how your media is flagged by your provider though.

4. You are probably going to have to set them up again.

5. Yes. I would recommend the Samsung SSDs at this point.

6. This is completely dependent on where you are storing your case and what you want it to look like. There are about a thousand possible options.

7. I would install those programs on whatever machine gets the i7 and is going to be your "workhorse".

Hope that helps. Again, there are a bunch of ways to do this.
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post #4 of 56 Old 07-21-2013, 09:28 PM
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First thought is do you really need i7? Would something like a 4670k be better ?

I'm with Assassin on using windows 7. I like WHS and I use it. Assassin does too. But there is no WMC so in your case if you want to use the ceton card in your server Windows might make the most sense,

If you want to keep the ceton on the HTPC then WHS would be best.

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post #5 of 56 Old 07-22-2013, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilky13 View Post



The 2 problems with the HTPC are:

a) My 4TB of data are almost full. There is no more room in the case for HDDs and no more SATA ports on the MoBo (6).

b) My i3-2100 gets bogged down when trying to handle everything. Transcoding recordings with MCEBuddy is very CPU intensive. If MCEBuddy is running any movies on the HTPC or extenders stutter. Same if trying to stream to my iPhone while away from the house and watching media on the HTPC and extender at the house.


Sounds like easy enough problems to solve. Add more hardrives and get a faster CPU biggrin.gif


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilky13 View Post


1) Do I put the i3-2100 or the i7-4770 in the Media Server? If the Media Server is going to be doing a lot of transcoding (MCEBuddy and Plex) the i7 makes sense, but it sounds like overkill for a Server, no?


I don't think it matters because by removing the need for a single machine to do it all I think even your i3 should be up to the task. I use a 3570k in my HTPC and only a G860 (basically an i3 2100) in my server and I don't seem to have any issues. But my server doesn't do much other than just serve. I think for you the decision would be how robust do you need your new HTPC to be ? Are you going to try MadVR, or SVP or anything else that might benefit from a higher end CPU with more horsepower ? If not- I'd keep your HTPC the way it is and just build a server with a quad core like an i5 or a Xeon.

I'd tend to think a 4670k for $199 @ Microcenter might make a good choice for you instead of the more expensive i7 you listed. Or even better:


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100008494&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&ActiveSearchResult=True&CompareItemList=727%7C19-116-909%5E19-116-909-TS%2C19-116-910%5E19-116-910-TS%2C19-116-908%5E19-116-908-TS%2C19-116-907%5E19-116-907-TS%2C19-116-905%5E19-116-905-TS&percm=19-116-909%3A%24%24%24%2434%24%24%24%3B19-116-910%3A%24%24%24%2434%24%24%24%3B19-116-908%3A%24%24%24%2434%24%24%24%3B19-116-907%3A%24%24%24%2434%24%24%24%3B19-116-905%3A%24%24%24%2434%24%24%24

Something like that in the $200-$300 range. You could virtualize, some have integrated graphics, and some support hyperthreading. I think either an i5 or a Xeon under $300 makes the most sense for you. Neither of them would struggle much on transcoding and would be quite a big difference from your i3.






Quote:
2) Do I move the Ceton InifiniTV 4 to the Server along with ALL the HDDs (even the 4 TB PVR drive) and leave only the SSD in the HTPC or leave the Ceton in the HTPC as well as 1 4TB (PVR drive) along with the SSD?

Do you have a lot of already recorded material that moving the card might effect ? If so- just leave the machine how it is and add a server for more horspower and more storage. Just map the network drive and you can use the server to store, perhaps have a dedicated local disk for time shifting or live TV recording and move after recording is complete only what you want to save ???


3
Quote:
) Ties into #2, if the Ceton is in the Server, will I have trouble playing protected wtv content on the HTPC and Extenders?
That's what I just asked you and said ^ biggrin.gif

You could leave your HTPC as it is now, with the card and just add a server if so.

Quote:
4) Will the Xbox Extenders still connect through the HTPC as users like before in WMC, or do I need to remove them from WMC on the HTPC and re set them up connected straight to the WHS Server?


I don't see how building and adding a server would change anything. But if you set it up to go through your HTPC instead of directly to server you will have to make sure the HTPC is always on.
5) Is it worth spending around $100 on a SSD for the Server?
Quote:
6) Case recommendations? I want to spend less than $100 but eventually have room to fit at least 9-10 HDDs and an optical drive.

I love my Norco biggrin.gif In your budget a Rosewill might work well. Assassin has a bunch of them on his hardware guide for building servers.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007731&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&ActiveSearchResult=True&CompareItemList=412%7C11-147-155%5E11-147-155-TS%2C11-147-164%5E11-147-164-TS&percm=11-147-155%3A%24%24%24%24271%24%24%24%3B11-147-164%3A%24%24%24%24271%24%24%24

Look at those ^
Quote:
7) I am assuming I re-install some of my software on the WHS Server and delete them off of the HTPC: Plex Media Server, Media Center Master? Except for Media Browser and RecordedTVHD, those should stay on the HTPC, right? And MCEBuddy, DVRMSToolbox should be on what ever machine (HTPC or Server) has the Ceton tuner?


Yes. Move plex server to the server. You can have media center master on both. I do. Use what you like. I actually use both at same time on different monitors (dual monitors) and manage my TV shows separate from my Movies, I use remote desktop connection and maximize the window of my server on my second monitor biggrin.gif

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post #6 of 56 Old 07-22-2013, 02:03 PM
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Regarding the SSD; While it will make OS booting and software loading faster, do you really need this in a media server? I think once the server is up and running, any benefits from ssd will be minimal. Especially on a device that's not likely to be shut down often.

Also, considering 8GB or more of ram for either the htpc or the server is probably overkill also. I have 4GB on my htpc and have yet to see more than 50% utilization in task manager (win8 pro, 64 bit) . So while more memory is always welcome, given that it has doubled (or more) in price in the last 6 months, it's is something to think about. I built a 3770K workstation last november, 32GB of 1866 ddr3 was only $120 or $110 at newegg. Today the same memory is $290 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231561). It was too good of a deal to pass up. Even on this workstation with multiple VM's running, i've yet to tap more than 16gb.
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post #7 of 56 Old 07-22-2013, 02:17 PM
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What do you propose he should use as an OS drive instead? Even a small hard drive isn't much cheaper.

For multiple extenders or multi purpose non-htpc use I recommend 8gb ram but otherwise agree it's largely overkill for simple playback.
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post #8 of 56 Old 07-22-2013, 02:44 PM
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^^I have this same decision to make myself soon. I'm repurposing a few drives (2 x 3tb) from one machine to the htpc in a raid 1. The machine presently has an old 250 or 320gb 7200 rpm drive that just houses the OS and software video players. Initially thought about just adding the 2 drives as data only. Decided to ultimately redo the whole system from scratch using just the 2 3TB's only for both OS and data storage.

For imaging purposes i'll probably give windows a 60-80 GB partition, with the rest for data. In my case, another consideration is the fact that I'm using these drives in a very old (relatively speaking) system without UEFI support. My readings thus far indicate that so long as boot partition is < 2TB, I should be ok. We'll see. Alas, the discussion for this issue is beyond the scope of this thread as I believe the OP's board supports UEFI.

So to answer your question, although the OP's context was in terms of the server (question #5), I believe the above comments still hold true. My advice would be to eliminate the ssd entirely, creating a small OS partition on the data drives for the OS. Unless you can point out otherwise, I see minimal benefit from a ssd in such implementation after boot time.
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post #9 of 56 Old 07-22-2013, 03:14 PM
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If that drive dies you lose the os and media data.

I am not sure if you could even utilize something like flexraid or snapraid in that scenario either.

It's not about performance here (although that's a nice bonus).
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post #10 of 56 Old 07-22-2013, 03:38 PM
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Not entirely, thus the reason for my going with a raid 1 arrangement. Same for separating the OS and data into two distinct partitions, although this is mostly for ease of imaging the OS.

I'll have time later this week to play with that machine and find out if the 3TB drives will work the way I want them to. The board has no UEFI/EFI support (asus p5k deluxe, circa 2008, p35 chipset)

I'm not familiar with snapraid or flexraid. I'll read up on it shortly.
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post #11 of 56 Old 07-22-2013, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Everyone, thank you so far for the suggestions.

While SSDs are nice, either a 128GB SSD or a cheap <500GB HDD will do for the OS. I don't want it to be on one of the data drives that is in FlexRAID. I find FlexRAID is still a little buggy and that just might exacerbate the problems.

The only reason I have 16GB in my HTPC now is because I got the 2x4GB sticks for $30 last year!! What a deal. The extra RAM does get used when both extenders are running.

Xeon chips? Never thought of this. What makes a Xeon chip different from a regular Haswell chip? Does it require a different MoBo chipset?

Time to hit up Google some more!!

edit: It seems a Xeon is comparable to an i5. The only thing I see different is the support for ECC memory and only certain Xeons have Graphics, which I need. But why not an i7 that can do 8 threads versus 4 on the Xeon or i5?

I have to return some video tapes....
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post #12 of 56 Old 07-22-2013, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsolo View Post

Not entirely, thus the reason for my going with a raid 1 arrangement. Same for separating the OS and data into two distinct partitions, although this is mostly for ease of imaging the OS.

I'll have time later this week to play with that machine and find out if the 3TB drives will work the way I want them to. The board has no UEFI/EFI support (asus p5k deluxe, circa 2008, p35 chipset)

I'm not familiar with snapraid or flexraid. I'll read up on it shortly.

Partitions are still on the same physical drive. I am not talking about losing a partition. I am talking about losing a drive --- in this case the drive that houses the OS and the remaining data on the OS.

I still recommend a dedicated OS drive. Whether you want that to be a small hard drive or SSD is completely the OP's choice. I used to do the partition thing back in the day but now with SSDs being so affordable the reasons not to choose them are dwindling --- even in a server.
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post #13 of 56 Old 07-23-2013, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

If that drive dies you lose the os and media data.

I am not sure if you could even utilize something like flexraid or snapraid in that scenario either.

It's not about performance here (although that's a nice bonus).

+1.

If your data drive dies but your OS works you can rebuild the data drive.

If your OS dies, you can replace it and all your data drives are ok.

Makes sense to have a dedicated OS drive.

Once that is settled the decision of SSD vs HDD becomes easier. A $60-$80 SSD isn't that much more than a HDD so it makes sense to go with the SSD.

If you use Remote Desktop you'll see a difference. Also with programs like mediacentermaster load times. SSD is better. Doesn't mean you "need" it but its clearly better at everything without any room for debate.

You don't "need" SSD in your HTPC either. But many do it. It's same concept and arguments. I'm very PRO SSD, but I respect the opinion to omit it.

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post #14 of 56 Old 07-23-2013, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilky13 View Post

Everyone, thank you so far for the suggestions.

While SSDs are nice, either a 128GB SSD or a cheap <500GB HDD will do for the OS. I don't want it to be on one of the data drives that is in FlexRAID. I find FlexRAID is still a little buggy and that just might exacerbate the problems.

The only reason I have 16GB in my HTPC now is because I got the 2x4GB sticks for $30 last year!! What a deal. The extra RAM does get used when both extenders are running.

Xeon chips? Never thought of this. What makes a Xeon chip different from a regular Haswell chip? Does it require a different MoBo chipset?

Time to hit up Google some more!!

edit: It seems a Xeon is comparable to an i5. The only thing I see different is the support for ECC memory and only certain Xeons have Graphics, which I need. But why not an i7 that can do 8 threads versus 4 on the Xeon or i5?

If you put the Xeon in the server why would you need the graphics?

I just rebuilt my server with an 8 thread Ivybridge Xeon, server motherboard and 16 GB ECC for $550.


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post #15 of 56 Old 07-23-2013, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

If that drive dies you lose the os and media data.

I am not sure if you could even utilize something like flexraid or snapraid in that scenario either.

It's not about performance here (although that's a nice bonus).

+1.

-If your data drive dies but your OS works you can rebuild the data drive.
-If your OS dies, you can replace it and all your data drives are ok.

I think it makes perfect sense to have a dedicated OS drive for reasons entirely not related to performance of SSD vs HDD. biggrin.gif

Once that is settled the decision of SSD vs HDD becomes easier. A $60-$80 SSD isn't that much more than a HDD for $50 so it makes sense to go with the SSD. If your going do two drives, you might as well spend a couple more bucks and get the superior performance of SSD IMO. Now for the entire cost of an SSD that value decision might be harder to make- but for simply the difference in cost between a HDD an SSD I think it's an easier decision.

If you use Remote Desktop you'll see a difference. Also with programs like mediacentermaster load times you should see a difference. Of coarse you will see a difference in the start up speed. SSD is better basically everywhere. This does not mean you "need" it but its clearly better at everything without any room for debate. Your "need" for it is personal decision. You could argue that you don't "need" High Speed Internet also, and that dial up is enough wink.gif

You don't "need" SSD in your HTPC either. But many do it. It's same concept and arguments. I'm very PRO SSD, but I respect the opinion to omit it.

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post #16 of 56 Old 07-23-2013, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilky13 View Post

Everyone, thank you so far for the suggestions.

While SSDs are nice, either a 128GB SSD or a cheap <500GB HDD will do for the OS. I don't want it to be on one of the data drives that is in FlexRAID. I find FlexRAID is still a little buggy and that just might exacerbate the problems.

The only reason I have 16GB in my HTPC now is because I got the 2x4GB sticks for $30 last year!! What a deal. The extra RAM does get used when both extenders are running.

Xeon chips? Never thought of this. What makes a Xeon chip different from a regular Haswell chip? Does it require a different MoBo chipset?

Time to hit up Google some more!!

edit: It seems a Xeon is comparable to an i5. The only thing I see different is the support for ECC memory and only certain Xeons have Graphics, which I need. But why not an i7 that can do 8 threads versus 4 on the Xeon or i5?

I think you are most of the way there biggrin.gif You have got the idea, but I can try to clarify for simplicity.

Advantage of server CPU (Xeon) is support for ECC memory, option for hyperthreading, option for graphics, and support for Virtualization. Xeon is Intel's flagship product, it starts on the high end and goes up from there. You can buy Xeon's that a positioned quite a bit above an i7 biggrin.gif




Xeon is positioned at enterprise and server markets, and it is not so much aimed at consumer markets. But the low end Xenon are compariable in price and performance to i7 or i5 quad cores on both price and performance. The 4770k and 4670k (or 3770k or 3570k) do not support virtualization so if you wanted to do such a thing you would want to choose another CPU. That's the main reason why you would not want one for your server.

If you decide you don't want virtulization capability then it comes down to ECC support. For a simple consumer server most don't need either- and thus that is why so many people use a normal CPU consumer chip in their server instead of a real server chip. I believe Andy does virtualization on his server, I know many here on AVS do it. I do not (yet).

Assuming you don't need ECC or Virtualization then there isn't going to be much difference between i5/Xeon I posted above as they are nearly the same performance. I believe the i5 might be a couple bucks cheaper so that surely matters.

When you talk about 8 cores your talking about the 4 extra virtual cores on the i7 ???





That is because of "hyperthreading"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyper-threading

Assuming you wanted this you would want to choose a CPU that supports hyperthreading. i7 is not the only CPU that supports hyperthreading so you don't need to choose an i7 to get it. (I am typing this on my 4770k i7 biggrin.gif )

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post #17 of 56 Old 07-23-2013, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
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i3's are 2 cores using hyperthreading for 4 threads.

i7's are 4 cores using hyperthreading for 8 threads.

i5's are 4 cores but do not have hyperthreading so you only get 4 threads.

That was my justification for an i7 over an i5. But it seems many people think the i5 hits the sweet spot better on performance versus price.

I have to return some video tapes....
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post #18 of 56 Old 07-23-2013, 07:45 PM
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Regarding processors, check out microcenter if there is one near you. They usually have the best prices on processors [and sometimes] board combo's. Usually less than amazon and newegg, even after tax. Picked up my 3770K last november for $230+ tax (~$245 after tax). Sometimes the price difference between an i5 and i7 is so small, it makes sense to pay the marginal increase. At the time, I believe an i5 3570K was going for $180 or $190
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post #19 of 56 Old 07-23-2013, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Seems to me the Intel Intel Xeon E3-1245V3 3.4GHz is equivalent to the Intel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz, but at $290 versus $310. And if you don't need graphics you can get the Intel Intel Xeon E3-1240V3 3.4GHz for even $10 less.

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post #20 of 56 Old 07-23-2013, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Regarding processors, check out microcenter if there is one near you. They usually have the best prices on processors [and sometimes] board combo's. Usually less than amazon and newegg, even after tax. Picked up my 3770K last november for $230+ tax (~$245 after tax). Sometimes the price difference between an i5 and i7 is so small, it makes sense to pay the marginal increase. At the time, I believe an i5 3570K was going for $180 or $190

Unfortunately, I am stationed in Lemoore, CA right now. But I know there is one in San Jose. That's like a 3 hour drive, though. Not worth the gas at $4 a gallon, but if I am ever there for another reason! wink.gif

edit: oh, that was a Fry's. The closest Microcenter is near Anaheim. I was just there last week at Disneyland!!! eek.gif

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post #21 of 56 Old 07-24-2013, 06:10 AM
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i3's are 2 cores using hyperthreading for 4 threads.

i7's are 4 cores using hyperthreading for 8 threads.

i5's are 4 cores but do not have hyperthreading so you only get 4 threads.

That was my justification for an i7 over an i5. But it seems many people think the i5 hits the sweet spot better on performance versus price.

There is a big difference in SVP with hyperthreading. ReneTHX tested 30%.

i7 is always best if you can afford it. The i5 is the lowest price than can get it done. Different they are.

But that's also why I recommended the 4 core Xeon server chip- they are available with hyper threading cheaper than i7.

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post #22 of 56 Old 07-24-2013, 06:13 AM
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Seems to me the Intel Intel Xeon E3-1245V3 3.4GHz is equivalent to the Intel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz, but at $290 versus $310. And if you don't need graphics you can get the Intel Intel Xeon E3-1240V3 3.4GHz for even $10 less.

He could even go another step down and have more than enough CPU too.

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post #23 of 56 Old 07-25-2013, 07:09 AM
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Quick Question: Do you care if you get a new socket 1150 Haswell or an old Socket 1155 IVY or Sandy ???

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post #24 of 56 Old 07-25-2013, 08:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quick Question: Do you care if you get a new socket 1150 Haswell or an old Socket 1155 IVY or Sandy ???

I wanted to go with 1150 for future upgrades. I think Intel will close off 1155 in the coming years.

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post #25 of 56 Old 07-25-2013, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
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In using Win 7 or 8 instead of WHS2011, does WHS2011 allow Remote Desktop? I am not sure if Win7 Home Premium does?

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post #26 of 56 Old 07-25-2013, 09:29 PM
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In using Win 7 or 8 instead of WHS2011, does WHS2011 allow Remote Desktop? I am not sure if Win7 Home Premium does?

Win7 Home does not. Win 7 Pro and above do.

However, there are a few tricks to enable remote desktop with home. I have posted them at AVS before and if the new forum search function wasn't so incredibly horrible I would find it for you.
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post #27 of 56 Old 07-26-2013, 06:14 AM
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I had a thread about it too. Google search is all you need.

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post #28 of 56 Old 07-26-2013, 11:11 PM
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Xeon is positioned at enterprise and server markets, and it is not so much aimed at consumer markets. But the low end Xenon are compariable in price and performance to i7 or i5 quad cores on both price and performance. The 4770k and 4670k (or 3770k or 3570k) do not support virtualization so if you wanted to do such a thing you would want to choose another CPU. That's the main reason why you would not want one for your server.

For what it's worth, the non-"K" versions of the consumer line of i5 and i7 processors *do* support VT-x, and are good candidates for virtualization. But if you are serious about virtualization, then you probably want to use a Xeon processor anyway, for all the extras that they can get you.

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If you decide you don't want virtulization capability then it comes down to ECC support. For a simple consumer server most don't need either- and thus that is why so many people use a normal CPU consumer chip in their server instead of a real server chip. I believe Andy does virtualization on his server, I know many here on AVS do it. I do not (yet).

ECC is nice if you are running a serious production/enterprise environment, but it's not necessary for home use.


By the way, AMD consumer-level CPUs are absolutely fabulous at virtualization and many motherboards do support unbuffered ECC memory. It's a great inexpensive platform to get your feet wet in virtualization.
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post #29 of 56 Old 07-28-2013, 09:15 PM - Thread Starter
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As a test, I got remote desktop to work on my HTPC (Win 7 Home Premium) by following this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9MEl4FvKC8 I connected to it with my Win 8 laptop. Only issue was my HTPC only has one user named "HTPC" and the password is blank. When I checked "Allow blank passwords" I could not connect, but when I unchecked it I could. However, I could not log-on, it kept saying my password was incorrect for user "HTPC". So I had to add another User on my HTPC with a password. Then I could logon through the laptop. Anyone know a way to use blank passwords so I can delete the new User Account off of my HTPC?

So.... now I lean more towards using Windows 7 Home Premium (since I have a "3" license upgrade disc) than WHS2011. I can now put the best processor (new Haswell i7 or Xenon) in the "server" and since it has WMC I can connect all my extenders to it. Now the i3-2100 is freed up in the HTPC to only having to support media on it's own screen and not the extenders.

Of course I have been reading about SVP and the strength of CPU you need in your HTPC to run it.... hmmmm.... of course I am turned off that it is only 32-bit, since I currently run WMC 64-bit with no direct show players. I use Shark007 to run everything natively.

One more question (and this one is the dumbest), if I get a Xenon that does not have integrated graphics on it; I know the VGA output will still work with a monitor, but if I plug in an HDMI cable to the HDMI port on the motherboard and connect to a TV/monitor will I get any video?

Make that 2, what am I missing about WHS2011? What benefits does it have over Win7?

I have to return some video tapes....
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post #30 of 56 Old 07-28-2013, 09:54 PM
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Back on the SSD vs HDD discussion.. for me, the jump to an SSD for the OS drive made all the difference in making the HTPC snappy like an appliance device such as a Cable Co STB because the SSD makes the OS basically "embedded" like a STB OS.

Don't fool around here. Two years ago it was questionable on the value of an SSD but now it is a no-brainer.

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