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Computer geek in training needs help!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Currently I see my future needs as requiring 4 new computers. I currently have three laptops that we use for surfing and a little bit of working. But I now need to have the ability to edit video. I also now need to have the ability to have a TiVo / DVR function which I would like to do with a computer. Also I need to store 14-18 TB of video in a server or some kind of network accessed storage. My forth need is to have a server to run windows home server to back up each of my three laptops and any other computer that I have. I see that as being 4 computers, 1 for video editing, 1 HTPC, 1 massive server maybe unraid? and one server for Windows Home Server. My question is this, can I instead put all of my needs into two computers, one killer fast video machine that can crunch video like it is no big deal and also act as my TiVo / DVR, and the other machine to be a huge Windows Home Server?

First let us talk about the fast video machine: I would like it to be able to do the following things: 1. Edit video with out getting bogged down, 2. Be able to have four DVD drives, one or two for input data and two or three for burning DVD's it would also be nice if I could use all 4 drives at the same time to copy video files to the huge Windows Home Server. 3. Be able to play a few cool new computer games. 4. Record live TV that is coming from a killer antenna and either store it locally or store it on the huge Windows Home Server, so I am looking for a TiVo DVR function. 4.5 I need to be able to control this DVR function with a RF controller as I will be watching TV in another room, through a wall about 15 feet or so from where this computer will sit. 5. It would need to be able to send video/audio via HDMI to my current Home Theater receiver. 6. I would like to have a dual monitor setup with one of the monitors having the ability to watch TV that has gone from the fast video machine to the home theater receiver and back. If I ran it strait from the fast video machine I think I would have audio delay issues due to the receiver processing time. The home theater speakers would be able to be heard from the video station see below for more on my current setup.

Second let us talk about the huge Windows Home Server: I would like it to be able to be the hub of all my computers and store info for them and back them all up. 1. I have 14-18 TB of video I need to store and send to the fast video machine, or PS3. This 14-18TB of video does not really need to be incredibly safe, meaning if I lose it due to drive failure, no big deal because I have all of the data stored else ware 2. I would like it to have space that would be accessible to any computer in the network where they could store media such as music, pictures or even word files that would be backed up incase of drive failure. This would not need to be very big maybe ½ TB or maybe 1TB? 3. I would like the fast video machine or the PS3 to play videos off of this server. 4. I would like this server to automatically each night back up each of the computers on the network. They are all laptops and have very small hard drives.

Since I right now do not have a network I am trying to figure that out too, but I need to be able to have any of the laptops or the fast video machine be able to print off of the Laser Printer, it is a Lexmark E240n, the n stands for network meaning that it has a cat5 input on the back but I have never used it. The network would be hard wired and unfortunately since I live in the middle to no where the whole network would only be connected to the internet via an AT&T air card that now is plugged into a Linksys wireless G router.

Currently I have my house set up so that I have my office which is an unused bedroom (where the fast video machine and one of the laptops will go) next to my living room. On the wall between the living room and the office there is a bedroom closet, I have put a full size Shark Rack server rack in that wall so the front of it opens up into the living room and the back of it opens up into the office. I have it well vented with 1U shelf fans etc. My point of telling you all of this is to say that the server could be put in server rack facing the office and my desk which would have my video editing station would only be about 10 feet away or even less if needed. See above for my dual screen idea for the video editing station.

My current plan is to start with the fast video machine and as soon as I get it up and running and have the money start working on the huge windows server.

My questions are how can I make the above happen? Unfortunately like everyone now days my means are not unlimited. I am the kind of person who likes the new stuff but buys something a few months after it comes out so I do not pay the premium. I do believe that quality things do save money in the long run. I am currently typing on a laptop that was a quality machine for its time. I got it now 5 years ago! and I have had zero problems with it except for the screen and that was only in the last few months. I got my wife a computer for Christmas a few years ago off ebay for cheep and it has been nothing but trouble, but she doesn't use it for anything but facebook and email so we are ok. I just ordered two books on computers and building computers off of Amazon and I have not yet received them. I would like to build these machines myself to save money and learn about how to do it myself. Can you help me? I am specifically looking for a build list for the fast video machine, a suggestion on what hardware and software I will need to make the TiVo / DVR thing work. I want to know if you know of a RF remote that runs a HTPC. I am also wondering if you could tell me what I would need as far as speed ram etc I would need for what I am trying to do with the fast video machine.



this is the wall between my living room (Theater) and my office. You will see the projector and the Shark Rack server rack. Also note the door into the office.



This is the front of the server rack with the door closed.



This is the front of the server rack with the door open. Note the receiver on top of a fan rack shelf with the PS3 right below it. Below that is a HDTV receiver for over the air TV. That is siting on a battery back up and then I have a switcher below that. Take my advise never try to start a rack in silver!



This is the office side of the server rack. I have plenty of room in it and I have lots of empty shelves. It is about twice as deep as I really need it to be for what I have in it.



this is my office where the fast video machine will go
post #2 of 4
Servers and HTPC for all budgets are included.

If you want a machine that won't be bogged down when processing video, I would say -

First get software that supports multiple cores, Sony Vegas, Pinnacle Studio 12 and Adobe Premier all support more than one core. The more cores you have the faster the processing, not sure about Windows Live Movie Maker which is frankly very limited in terms of compression formats and no way to control bit-rate.

i7's are REALLY expensive now, i5's aren't much better in terms of cost. If it has to be Intel maybe i3 will get the job done. However you can buy Triple and Quad Core AMD's fairly cheap for the computing power you'll end up with (3Ghz + per core) and it will process video fairly quickly.

You wanna be able to rip 2 to disc (HD) or burn 2 disc at time? That shouldn't be an issue with a Quad Core, I can't say how fast it would be and I believe you should be able to watch TV (Live or Recorded) at the same time. I can burn a disc and watch TV all inside Windows Media Center without issue (Dual Core), though its been awhile and I did it when I running Vista, W7 being less of a resource hog should be much better.

Any sort of semi-serious gaming is going to require a video card. Best of the bunch for budgets is the ATI HD5770 IMHO. Runs about $140, some have rebates.

That should handle most games up to 1080p resolution. When I say most games I mean Crysis Warhead not the original game... Basically any game that doesn't require a enthusiast level video card, this card is plenty. Also don't listen to so-called "Gamers" they believe life starts at 60fps, but me and others in the PC world believe games are "playable" at 30fps and this card will play 90+% games on the market at 30fps or more, if not double up on them

Running more than one video card and a Quad Core CPU runs you out of the budget machine area however.

I think you could have quite a powerful machine sub $600, it will be tough and you'll be using budget components and it won't be great for overclocking but will give you good performance.

Since you back up to the internet (I assume that's "elsewhere"), then you won't need to bother with fancy RAID setups. 14-18TB? Drive prices are really dropping, you could have 4TB for about $300, as Fry's recently ran an ad for Hitachi 1TB drives - $77

Good Luck and show us when your done...
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
I was messing around on newegg and using the Recommended HTPC forum by renethx page 437 to come up with a build list for the Huge Windows Home Server, since I have read more about that then the other machine. Anyways here is what I found. The NORCO RPC-4020 case is out of stock so I went with his System II suggestions and the NORCO PPC-4220 case. New egg has a free Motherboard when you buy the 4220 case right now. It is a ASUS P5BV-M LGA 775 Intel 3200 Micro ATX Intel Xeon Server Mother Board, it is listed at $174.99 for free.

So I then found a processor a Intel Yorkfield 2.66GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Server Processor Model BX80580X3330 for 209.99 which is probably over kill but oh well it works with the free mother board.

I got G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL4D-4GBPI-B memory for $114.99.

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply power supply for $119.99.

Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive for a OS HD for $79.99.

A copy of WHS for $99.99.

Now what I don’t know is that since it is another mother board and I will not be using a hardware RAID then do I need an SATA Controller PCI Express x4 Card? Right now I am assuming that I will need a ASUS PIKE 1068E Flexible storage options for end users to expand my SATA slots from 4 to 12. I do not see myself needing more than 12 drives if 11 of them are 2TB drives. Will I need the NORCO C-SFF8087-D SFF-8087 to SFF-8087 Internal Multilane SAS Cable - OEM ?

So I am at $1130.85 before getting any storage drives. I would see myself getting 8 HITACHI 2 TB drives that are right now $129.99. $1039.92 for the 8 drives.

That would give me a Quad-Core 2.66GH, 4 GB DDR2 800 RAM, 850W Power Supply. With 16.75TB of Hard drive space…
Does anyone see any problems with this setup?

Now I need to look at the Fast Video Machine.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
I read Building Your Own PC for Dummies last night and then watched the DVD, it was kind of basic but it was good. I then played around last night looking at a build list for the fast video machine. I found an awesome setup but it is not really in my price range so I will need to keep working on that.

I did make some progress, I ordered everything I need for a wired network. I got a nice switch and some cables. I will now be able to link my three laptops, my PS3 and my network printer together so I can share media etc. This is something I have wanted to do for years so I am glad that I got that much done.

Now I am still trying to figure out the TiVo DVR function of my to be new computer known as the “Fast Video Editing Machine” I am looking at a Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Dual TV Tuner / Encoder 1229 PCI-Express x1 Interface on newegg it is only $115 bucks. Anyone have any ideas on this card?

I am also trying to figure out how to control the computer via remote through a wall. A KEYSPAN ER-V2 Silver RF Wireless RF Remote for Windows Vista, looks like a good idea. The Hauppauge has a IR remote that comes with it but the $115 version does not come with a remote. A lot of reviews says that remote sucks, and to get another.

Has anyone heard of “GB-PVR Wiki” ?

Does anyone actually respond to questions on here?
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