Originally Posted by Wilky13
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
Originally Posted by Wilky13
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:
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.
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 ???
) 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 ^
You could leave your HTPC as it is now, with the card and just add a server if so.
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?
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
In your budget a Rosewill might work well. Assassin has a bunch of them on his hardware guide for building servers.
Look at those ^
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