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post #11 of 34
@OP

First thing you need to decide is what exactly do you want this server to do.

1. Simply stream your DVDs to media software running on devices around the house? (Can this software make sense of .iso or VIDEO_TS directory structures?)
2. Transcode on-the-fly and stream your DVDs to smaller devices such as PSP over WiFi? (requires more CPU than simple streaming)
3. Provide storage space for files and backups from other PCs in the house?
4. Act as a central print server?

How much storage you need today has already been decided: if you budget for 8GB per DVD, multiply that by how many DVDs you have and that will be your storage need today. At what rate does your DVD collection grow? Do you plan on moving to BluRay (comes in 25GB and 50GB formats)?

EDIT:

Re-read your post. 8GB * 1000 = ~8TB. That's four 2TB drives + one 2TB drive for parity, in RAID 5). Add another 2TB drive for RAID 6. An i3-2100 is more than enough for your needs, you could probably get away with less compute power for simple streaming and file serving.

Which motherboard and case you get will be determined by how many drives you plan on supporting.
Edited by parityboy - 10/9/12 at 3:35pm
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post #12 of 34
Thread Starter 
@parityboy
Comments had talked me down to a Pentium G640, but now suggestions are suggesting more power.
I would like this machine to serve as a backup for computers within the house (only 2), as well as streaming movies and music. I would also like to keep photo archives on it. Print sever is a bonus, but not entirely necessary.
Streaming, for right now, would be to a Sharp smart TV, Samsung mobile devices and an iPad.
So I'm thinking that will need the higher computing power. I was looking to eventually upgrading to a quad core. Might as well work it into the budget now. So the question becomes what CPU am I looking at. I want to do this right.

I was looking at larger cases, expecting to need room to expand.
So now I'm back to my original post question of what CPU and what motherboard?


Well, maybe I've been a little ahead of myself...
After establishing I want a home server for streaming media to TVs and handheld devices, as well as file backup, the next step may be knowing exactly what I need to do this right.

Six 2 TB HDDs (minimum)
Case (large enough)
Quad core CPU?
Mobo
Bluray drive (cover all bases)
Raid card? (not originally planned, but I want the added safety of parity)
Power supply (minimum watt?)
Memory

Am I missing anything?
So now I'm back to my original question:
What CPU and mobo do I need for this?

Thanks to everyone for comments and suggestions, it's a great help in figuring all this out.
Keep 'em coming!!
Edited by GuardedLegacy - 10/10/12 at 3:21am
post #13 of 34
im suggesting you go intel 1155 sandy bridge. this will give you enough power to your needs. as on what CPU to use, if you're streaming your HD videos to other devices like you've mentioned, better go quad. an unlock cpu would fit your needs. maybe an i3 will suffice. as for streaming HD movies to SMART TV, you should be streaming your movies to a GIGABIT network. that means, you need a gigabit lan card, a gigabit lan cable(cat 6 or cat 5e) and a gigabit router. mobo will depends on cpu, if you're going to a "K" series of cpu, you should be looking on a z68 or z77 boards.
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post #14 of 34
Unless you are transcoding on the fly to devices, you do not need a quad core CPU for anything you mentioned. Everyone recommending otherwise is wrong.

I have a home server running on an older E7600 streaming 1080 media to an HTPC, laptop, desktop, xbox, tablets, phones etc. Your fine with an i3.

Unless the above holds true. Transcoding on the fly takes magnitudes higher CPU power than streaming. If your looking at doing simultaneous streams and planning on transcoding them to boot,t hen your going to need something more like a 2600k overclocked, especially when dealing with higher bit-rate content (Blu-Ray and such)


By all means buy a quadcore, it's not like having too much power is a bad thing. But suggesting a quadcore for streaming is asinine when even an i3 will support on the fly transcoding of one stream up to blu-ray quality.

Honestly....
    
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post #15 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelvintheiah View Post

im suggesting you go intel 1155 sandy bridge.

I was planning on going with an 1155, regardless of what CPU I was looking at (dual / quad core). Hopefully save me some trouble when it comes time to upgrade, which shouldn't be for a while.
A couple days ago I was looking at the Z77 mobos (mostly checking ASUS at the time). They seemed to have a lot of video out options that seemed unnecessary to me (I'll try checking some other recommended brands), but nothing really rated over 4 stars anywhere I was looking (newegg, amazon, tiger direct). Four stars is still good I guess. above average.
I was trying to find something with a good number of SATA connections. But if I go for RAID 5 would I still need the SATA connections on the board or would the RAID card have that? Never looked into RAID cards before. I know what RAID does, but I don't know how it's set up.
Any suggestions on mobo and/or RAID?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator View Post

Unless you are transcoding on the fly to devices, you do not need a quad core CPU for anything you mentioned. Everyone recommending otherwise is wrong.
I have a home server running on an older E7600 streaming 1080 media to an HTPC, laptop, desktop, xbox, tablets, phones etc. Your fine with an i3.
Unless the above holds true. Transcoding on the fly takes magnitudes higher CPU power than streaming. If your looking at doing simultaneous streams and planning on transcoding them to boot,t hen your going to need something more like a 2600k overclocked, especially when dealing with higher bit-rate content (Blu-Ray and such)
By all means buy a quadcore, it's not like having too much power is a bad thing. But suggesting a quadcore for streaming is asinine when even an i3 will support on the fly transcoding of one stream up to blu-ray quality.
Honestly....

I was originally looking at either the i3 2100 or the Pentium G640, and it didn't seem like they were too different. i3 is 3.1 Ghz vs the G640 at 2.8 Ghz, and I think the only other difference I noticed was hyperthreading for the i3.
Would that be a big deal? It's almost a $40 difference between the two and I was going to go with the G640 if it will work fine for streaming.
There are only two of us that would be using this and we'd probably only be streaming one thing at a time anyway, so if I can go with something weaker and cheaper for starting off, I don't mind saving that money.

Thanks biggrin.gif
post #16 of 34
RAID doesn't mean anything by itself. It can be either software or hardware controlled. For RAID5 you need a minimum of three disks IIRC. Due to your storage requirements and the lack of availability of 4TB HDDs, your probably looking at 4 3TB or 6 2TB drives. The 6 X2TB HDD's net you a little more storage over all due to striping/parity.

Since you only need 6 drives, you can probably get away with just the mobo raid controller providing you get an all SATA2 or SATA3 board. A split board would work possibly with software raid but not hardware as they will be on separate raid controllers. SATA2 would be fine, but I don't know if you can find a 1155 board with that config. As far as RAID cards go, you'll probably spend around $75-$100 on ebay if you go that route. It's nice, but not necessary for your needs.

The i3 2100 would handle the on the fly transcode. The pentium wont. Bear in mind thats a subjective statement depending on OS, file size and bit-rate, etc. The pentium may handle it in a linux distro. Not sure as I don't have one =). The 2 HT cores can make a difference in on the fly transcoding as well as your initial transcode or ripping. That being said, if your not doing on the fly transcoding the Pentium will be fine.
    
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post #17 of 34
Thread Starter 
So this will be a dumb question, but I'm a little confused by this and I want to clarify.
Transcoding on the fly means it's converting the video format as your watching, correct? I looked it up and it seems like "streaming" and "transcoding on the fly" mean the same thing. Is that right?

So if my intent is to watch movies from my server on my TV or my phone or whatever device... Is that going to require transcoding on the fly?
Does it only require transcoding on the fly if the TV or phone can't read the original format of the ripped DVD?

Next, regarding a board with all SATA2 or all SATA3 that can support RAID 5, if an 1155 board wouldn't have it, what type of board would? I'm trying to look this up on newegg, but I have to scroll through each board and hope all the stats are accurate. I can filter by number of SATA connections, but it doesn't always mean they all work on RAID, as shown below:
Quote:
SATA 3Gb/s 4
SATA 6Gb/s 6 x SATA 6Gb/s
SATA RAID X79 chipset:
2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0/1) and 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2 2/3/4/5) support RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
* When a RAID set is built across the SATA 6Gb/s and SATA 3Gb/s channels, the system performance of the RAID set may vary depending on the devices being connected.
3 x Marvell 88SE9172 chips:
4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3 6/7/8/9) and 2 x eSATA 6Gb/s connectors support for RAID 0 and RAID 1

So, Questions:
1. Clarification on the streaming / transcoding on the fly bit.
2. What board type would I find having all matching SATA that support RAID?
3. What is the best way to look up components? (manufacturer site, newegg, etc.)
4. If I start this project without RAID 5 (say I start with only 2 drives), is it possible to come back later and impliment the RAID5 (once I have more drives)?

Thanks for all the help.
post #18 of 34
This is what a transcoding stream of Avatar (Bluray) from home does to my NAS server with a quad core Xeon E3-1240 processor.



Depending on how many trancoding streams you will have going at one time, your CPU usage will increase.

If you are just opening a media file or DVD folder through the network to play on another PC or device, there would hardly be any CPU usage.
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post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuardedLegacy View Post

So this will be a dumb question, but I'm a little confused by this and I want to clarify.
Transcoding on the fly means it's converting the video format as your watching, correct? I looked it up and it seems like "streaming" and "transcoding on the fly" mean the same thing. Is that right?
So if my intent is to watch movies from my server on my TV or my phone or whatever device... Is that going to require transcoding on the fly?
Does it only require transcoding on the fly if the TV or phone can't read the original format of the ripped DVD?
Next, regarding a board with all SATA2 or all SATA3 that can support RAID 5, if an 1155 board wouldn't have it, what type of board would? I'm trying to look this up on newegg, but I have to scroll through each board and hope all the stats are accurate. I can filter by number of SATA connections, but it doesn't always mean they all work on RAID, as shown below:
So, Questions:
1. Clarification on the streaming / transcoding on the fly bit.
2. What board type would I find having all matching SATA that support RAID?
3. What is the best way to look up components? (manufacturer site, newegg, etc.)
4. If I start this project without RAID 5 (say I start with only 2 drives), is it possible to come back later and impliment the RAID5 (once I have more drives)?
Thanks for all the help.

1.) Transcoding is the process of live encoding. Encoding is when you use a program to convert your .MKV video file to a .AVI or something similar. The need for transcoding all depends on your source file, software serving the media, and the end device that is playing the video. In my case, all of my movies and tv shows are MKV files. Either 720p or 1080p, some with DTS audio. I stream to computers, phones, tablets, HTPC, and my Google TV box. ALL of those devices transcode, except for the HTPC...because it is playing it natively, over my LAN. (when I say stream to computers, I am using SubSonic via my browser -- my SubSonic config, uses FFMPEG to transcode all video files to FLVs which is what it can play.) When streaming Avatar (1080p) at 5mbps, my media server is using about ~50% of it's 6 core vCPU (my media server is a Hyper-V VM, on a host with a Phenom II X6 1055T, overclocked at 3.5GHz -- there are 5 other VMs running on this box sharing the same physical CPU). 1080p Avatar transcoding at 5mbps is not going to work too well on a low end dual core. If it does work, you are not going to be able to do anything else on that box at the same time. Streaming 3 movies at once to different targets? Not going to happen. I can stream at home, while my mom streams to her Roku, and my friend streaming to his browser all just fine...because I have the CPU for it.

2.) Onboard Raid, is called firmware raid. It's like a hybrid...and not the greatest. It works, but be cautious and have backups. Most Intel boards (newer -- I think) have 2 controllers. One controller running 2 SATA ports at SATA 3, and ~4 SATA ports at SATA 2. AMD boards have ~6 SATA ports all at SATA 3. 6 is the typical number of SATA ports on a motherboard, unless it's a mITX or mATX (then you are looking at 2-4). Some higher end Intel boards have 8 Sata ports (6 SATA 2, 2 SATA 3)...I think. I'm an AMD guy, so I may be wrong.

3.) I find what I want from Newegg, then compare prices with Amazon, Tiger, and a few other sites. Camelegg.com is a great place to check the price history of an item from Newegg, to see if it recently had a decrease/increase in price (if it recently had an increase, I usually hold off and see if it drops...or buy elsewhere).

4.) You will need at least 3 drives to start a Raid5. 2 drives for storage, plus 1 for parity. You can always go back later and use existing drives for Raid5, however you will have to backup your data because when a Raid initializes, it wipes the drive (a full init will 0 out all blocks, where a fast init will just delete the MBR). I say get 3 drives, start your Raid5...then expand when you need more space. If you can't afford 3 drives, buy two and wait until the third one. It's worth it. Also, never take a Raid5 above ~8TB or so...since an URE (unrecoverable read errors) is statistically likely to happen. URE will make a drive go offline in an array, and if it encounters another URE while rebuilding the array (moving all the data around), a second drive could fall out of the array killing the entire array loosing all data. Raid is not an excuse for backups...so make sure you backup anything you can't replace to externals, flash drives, online backup, or somewhere else.
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post #20 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tycoonbob View Post

make sure you backup anything you can't replace to externals, flash drives, online backup, or somewhere else.

BACKUP YOUR STUFF!! Got it!! Wow!! This is awesome!!
Almost like a skydiving experience. Stoked to go and jump and learn more until now you're pushing me up to the door and I'm actually looking down at what I'm getting myself into and I kinda wanna just back up, sit down and shut up again. worriedsmiley.gif (maybe tandem jumping would be a good start)

Man... I would have been content to buy a list of parts, put a running machine together and then figure out how to put DVDs on a drive and play them on my TV one at a time!! (shows how small my dreams are).biggrin.gif You're blowin' my mind man!!

Seriously though, that's basically all I wanted to do. I wanted to set up one central machine where I could store all my media and view/play things on basically any device in my house for just myself and my wife (and we'd probably be watching together). One thing at a time. My plans didn't involve friends or family just yet... (or ever at all... until now that you mentioned the possibility).

So I don't think I need the processing power right now.

But on that thought, I looked up your CPU and it got me thinking what I had been thinking all along, but hadn't actually looked into until now.
From the start of this "build a machine" idea, I wanted to go with an AMD processor, but I didn't know what I was looking at (AMD or Intel for that matter). I still don't, to be honest. Intel seemed to at least have a numbering system, so I didn't even look at AMD, just straight to Intel. Now after looking up yours, my original suspicion is confirmed. I thought I had once heard that AMD tends to be cheaper than Intel. Now I see it's true. I do know that the caches function differently. AMD has a group cache for all "x" number of cores, while each core in an Intel CPU has it's own cache, correct?

(that's about how vague my understanding of most things "computers" is)
I had a two week crash course preparing me to pass the 701/702 A+ exams. My knowledge is not in depth. Very much a crash course, pass the test sort of knowledge.
The instructor was very hands on and had us tear apart and reassemble a computer before installing the operating system (XP). I very much have faith in my ability to build my own computer.
But this project has been stepping me into murky waters from the start. I like it, and I want to learn, but I just want to stick with my minuscule "in home" (tandem jump) plans for now.

So nothing big or fancy. (not that I don't appreciate all the info I'm having a blast looking at all that you guys do and I am blown away by the machines you build!! I don't even know what half of them do!!)

I don't mind attempting to set up a RAID 5. I think I can figure that out (maybe definitely with all of your help) . But first, I want to build and turn on a machine.
To do that, I need to learn.


So... Question Time!! (YAY!! I feel like a kid in a candy store... where I'll start at dumb and take several steps back)

1. What kind of processing power do I need to build a machine that can rip, store and play media to multiple devices around my house? (I'll worry about mobile devices outside of the house later)
2. How do I look at CPU specs and know if that is a good CPU or not? (translating all the numbers, what are the key specs to check when shopping for CPUs?)
3. (basically 1 and 2 for motherboards) How do I know what I need from a motherboard, and how do I look at the specs? (what specs to look for?)
4. Perhaps I should bring up PSUs and Memory... maybe next time.
5. For the sake of experimenting... How do you rip DVDs to 720p/1080p, and when you rip them, does it keep the menu and features, or is it just the movie? (I'd like to keep the menu and features if possible)

I'll stop there for now. This has been enough nonsense for you to deal with, and it's late and I should be getting to bed.
I really do appreciate all of your replies. You are extremely helpful and I really enjoy learning from all of you.
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