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i7 or Xeon 6 core for new Home server?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'll be building a 20+ drive Home media server in a few weeks to replace 2x Dlink DNS323 Nas devices (2+2 HDD)

I've got 8x 3.5" HDD's of varying sizes at the moment from those NAS' and Older prebuilt family PC's. I am leaning towards Flexraid running on top of Win7 or WHS2011. Will be purchasing a 4tb as a parity disk and another 2tb drive bringing the initial installation to 10 drives. When the remaining 10+ hotswap bays are filled, I'll start replacing the smaller capacity HDD's.

I've got a 100/10 mbit cable internet connection through the cable companies Cisco EPC3925 bridged to an Asus RT-N66U router (both actively cooled)

9 adult family members in the main house and apartment/condo next door and thus the connected devices are 4x Desktop Pc's, 3x Laptops, 5x XBMC media players, 3 iPads, 9 smartphones.

House and Apartment/Condo are wired with Cat5e through a gigabit switch. All desktops and XBMC media players use wired connections and the Laptops, iPads and Smartphones use Wireless N

  1. The server needs to be able to stream 1080p content to about 5 or 6 devices concurrently.
  2. It needs to run a centralised MySQL database for the Library content of the XBMC machines
  3. It needs to run SAB/CouchPotato/Sickbeard
  4. It needs to Run AirVideo HD for the Apple devices
  5. It needs to record 1080P from about 8x 1080p IP security Cams(to be purchased)
  6. It needs to run its own instance of Windows XBMC on a connected display concurrently with its other functions
  7. It needs to run an internet browser and play 1080p online content concurrently with all previous requirements
  8. It needs to run scheduled backups of the 4x desktops and 3x laptops
  9. It might need to run a Teamspeak server in the future

The OS or OS's would be installed on an SSD. Is it possible to have Flexraid run the media storage pool of 3.5" drives, WHS2011 run a single 4tb backup drive that mirrors the <4tb of HDD's in the desktops/laptops and also a raid 0 pool of 2 drives for the 8x 1080P IP cams

As one of its uses needs to be an internet browsing machine also, which brings the worry of Virus' and the necessity for Anti Virus/Malware and constant Windows updates and resulting reboots, should I be thinking about VM's or Virtualisation, whichever of those applies. I am unclear about the functions or differences between those approaches but basically they popped into my head because I guess the internet browsing or generall Win7 type functionality should be quarantined from the rest of the functionality of the server. ie. if an infection gets in it only takes out the Windows 7 install and not the rest of the server. Which is the one I need to research. VM's or Virtualisation??

Given that I want only 1 'Always On' device in the house, will I get away with a de-lidded, water cooled, overclocked i7 4770K on a 1050 mobo with 16gb non ECC ram.

or

Do I need to think about a 6 core Xeon on a 2011 board with ??GB of ECC ram
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The Bed-Station
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post #2 of 4
For a server with always on requirements, I would throw away the idea of overclocking, watercooling, or delidding. Unnecessary. What I would recommend with your needs, is to virtualize. If you are going to virtualize, go with whichever will give you more cores. MySQL doesn't take much, and if you are streaming to XBMC devices (which doesn't transcode), that won't take much either. SAB/SB/CP doesn't take much on the CPU end unless it's extracting files, but that doesn't take much either (I have a Server 2012 VM running SAB/SB/CP/HP, which has 3GB of RAM and 4 vCPU (which is more than it needs). The requirement to run it's own instance of XBMC is where I am hesitant though. Generally, a server is off in the corner running with a power cable and network cable, and that's it. Why not invest in a Raspberry Pi and build a lightweight XBMC box for that need?

Anyway, the core i7 would be quad core with hyperthreading (8 threads), where some Xeon E5's would be hex core with hyperthreading (12 threads). Obviously, the hex core Xeon would be better if virtualizing.

I'm not sure of availability in Ireland, but I would also like to recommend a Dell PowerEdge C1100. About $300, you can get one second hand here in the states (from eBay) with dual Xeon L5520 (quad core, hyperthreaded for 16 threads total) and 36GB of RAM. It won't fit your 20 drive storage needs, but you could attach a storage device to it.

Point is, you have a lot you want to do and doing it with one server is probably not the best idea. Just my opinion.
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Scratch the team speak server idea. Brother says a friend hosts their clans server and he's happy enough with that. I can certainly scrap the local instance of XBMC. Tbh, as I've really gotten into this PC building malarkey, it' can be an excuse to build an uSFF. Saw a gorgeous 2" tall low profile build made from black glossy acrylic that I'd like to replicate.

Anyway I digress. Although I've knocked a local XBMC and Teamspeak server off the list and remember the 8x 1080P IP CCTV cameras encode their own streams, I've still probably increased the proposed load on the server. I remembered that I want to be able to game on the 120" projection home theatre system in that room. So there would be SLI/Crossfire GPU's in the system. Presumably I could assign 2 cores of an i7 4930k to the server functions and 4 cores to the Win7 gaming VM.

Then I discovered RemoteFX! Now I know it's not perfect yet and FPS's are a bit stuttery but apparently slower paced games like RTS's feel like you are playing locally. It just so happens that those are the preferred games of those likely to use the remoteFX functionality. Combine that with Steam OS and family sharing and my brothers Steam library suddenly becomes available to everyone even on their non gaming PC's and laptops. (Steam library available when brother not using it obviously)

The way I see it, if people are recommending i3's for media servers with MySQL and the SAB/couch/sickbeard suite then a hex core i7 4930k with a bit of an overclock should be enough to run those and still have 4 cores left available for a concurrent web browsing win7 VM and maybe even a gaming VM too?

I know most people would probably go for something like the Dell hidden away somewhere but I want this thing on show. I have some pretty innovative solutions for fitting everything inside of a Cosair Carbide air 540 case. That's 27 hotswap bays, a 1200w PSU, 2x 360 rads, 1x 280 rad, pump/res, eATX mobo, upto tri-sli GPU's and a 1080p monitor built inside the case, all within the very attractive server like cube case that's only 415x480x350mm. It's going to look fantastic with an innovative lighting scheme and surprisingly clean and uncluttered looking. I've already bought the case.

So I am kind off already emotionally and financially invested in the idea of a showcase server rather than a purely functional hidden one.
Edited by Calibos - 10/12/13 at 3:49am
The Bed-Station
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The Bed-Station
(15 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 4570S MSI H87i Intel HD 4600 8gb Kingston Hyper X 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
120gb Samsung 840 SSD  500gb Hitachi2.5" 5200 RPM Stock Intel i5 Cooler Windows 7 Ultimate 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
LG IPS234 Logitech K800 90W integrated PSU Antec ISK-110 
MouseAudioOther
Logitech Performance MX Darkfield Integrated Creative i-Trigue 2.1 SubSat 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2500K ASrock z68 Extreme 4 2x MSI GTX580 Twin Frozr II in SLI 8Gb Corsair Vengence 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
2 TB - WD20EARX 128gb Crucial M4 SSD Samsung Blu-Ray Corsair H100 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit Dell 24" 2405 Saitek Eclipse Corsair HX1050 
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post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
I realise that I'm talking to myself here but...

After further research I am putting the 4930k and 2011 mobo on hold as well as the bulk of the VM stuff. It seams remoteFX and gaming isn't as far along as I thought and we don't know where valve is going with their Steambox server idea either. Will re-examine the idea again this time next year. I also decided that seeing as I won't have the IP cameras till Q2 next year and a few other things in place till then either, that I should probably wait for Haswell-E.

Does anyone know if the Haswell-E 8 core version will drop into the current 6 core 4930k $500 price bracket? I can't see myself spending $1000+ on a CPU even if it is 8 core.

Still proceeding with the Case modding server plan but for the next year it will be just a Flexraid media server on WHS2011 and Win7 on the free Hyper-V Hypervisor. It's probably a good thing that I learn my way around VM's before I start trying to play games on them anyway!!

I'll just get a Haswell i5 for now on a bog standard mATX 1050 mobo and midrange GPU. When I upgrade to Haswell-E next year I'll turn the aforementioned into a great 3D capable xbmc machine in a custom low profile case.

Nothing will go to waste anyway.
The Bed-Station
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i5 4570S MSI H87i Intel HD 4600 8gb Kingston Hyper X 
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120gb Samsung 840 SSD  500gb Hitachi2.5" 5200 RPM Stock Intel i5 Cooler Windows 7 Ultimate 
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LG IPS234 Logitech K800 90W integrated PSU Antec ISK-110 
MouseAudioOther
Logitech Performance MX Darkfield Integrated Creative i-Trigue 2.1 SubSat 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2500K ASrock z68 Extreme 4 2x MSI GTX580 Twin Frozr II in SLI 8Gb Corsair Vengence 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
2 TB - WD20EARX 128gb Crucial M4 SSD Samsung Blu-Ray Corsair H100 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit Dell 24" 2405 Saitek Eclipse Corsair HX1050 
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Corsair Graphite 600T Logitech M500 Gaming Mouse Integrated 
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The Bed-Station
(15 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 4570S MSI H87i Intel HD 4600 8gb Kingston Hyper X 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
120gb Samsung 840 SSD  500gb Hitachi2.5" 5200 RPM Stock Intel i5 Cooler Windows 7 Ultimate 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
LG IPS234 Logitech K800 90W integrated PSU Antec ISK-110 
MouseAudioOther
Logitech Performance MX Darkfield Integrated Creative i-Trigue 2.1 SubSat 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2500K ASrock z68 Extreme 4 2x MSI GTX580 Twin Frozr II in SLI 8Gb Corsair Vengence 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
2 TB - WD20EARX 128gb Crucial M4 SSD Samsung Blu-Ray Corsair H100 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit Dell 24" 2405 Saitek Eclipse Corsair HX1050 
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Corsair Graphite 600T Logitech M500 Gaming Mouse Integrated 
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