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New Super Budget Mass Core Server Ideas?

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 05:26 AM - Thread Starter
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New Super Budget Mass Core Server Ideas?

So, my home server (specs below) is getting a tad weak, and I might possibly have things setup wrong. But my intention is to build something new to replace it, as cheaply as possible. I need some help sourcing some parts for cheap (? below). My uses are primarily VM's, I like multiple full on desktop environments of Windows available for various uses. I also intend on growing my Plex server (biggest problem here) so that it can do multiple 4k streams. I also need more and less old storage (my current server was built in January 2014 I believe and on 24/7 since). So here's what I have, and here's what I've found (willing to hear other solutions).

Current Server:
Gigabyte Z68 Motherboard
Xeon E3 1245 (4c / 8t @ 3.5GHz Sandy Bridge)
32GB Corsair Dominator DDR3-1600
128GB SSD (main os install)
2x old as dirt 300GB SATA's (RAID 1, storage iso's of server install)
8x Toshiba 3TB on Adaptec 5808z RAID50 (have failed once, unknown reason)
Rosewill Green 650w
NZXT Source 210
VM's for Plex and other various servers using VirtualBox

Proposed Server:
Dual 16 core 2.2GHz Opteron Bulldozer Era CPU and motherboard (found cheap on ebay I believe)
64GB DDR3 ECC / Reg RAM (ebay cheap)
1TB of cheapest SSD Solution x2 (RAID 1 / VM and main OS install)
Whatever size rack case this will fit in and appropriate PSU's
Two of the above for Plex Servers, one for 4k only content the other for 1080 and less and other (TV / Music)
One More of the above rigs for all other VM's that I use, and any extra.
VM's will be switched to Windows 10 and Hyper-V instead of Windows 10 and VirtualBox.
Old server will be repurposed once first one is built as NAS with a dual core celeron or something, and eventually upgrade the RAID.

What about the entire rack cabinet though? Where would I find one for cheap, the cases I'm looking at are 25" deep and the cabinets on ebay are only like 19" deep. Probably will need between 15-20u in height to accomodate future upgraded rack switches, PDU's, and probably mount my receiver in there.

But my concerns are if my ideas on hardware will get the job done. My ISP is not a concern, my other equipment shouldn't be too much a concern. But as it sits right now, there's certain times I'm limited to 360p because my poor server just can't keep up with the load as is. But it also needs to be as cheap as possible of a build, and if possible can be built over time.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 10:05 PM
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Hi,

Here's a 25U Open Rack Cabinet on Amazon for ~$230. Barring buying new, maybe troll your local Craigslist - sometimes racks turn up there.

https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-...ay&sr=8-3&th=1

Not sure what your total budget is for this project, but I'll lay out my thoughts.

For Plex, your CPU requirements will depend partly on how many devices you are streaming to at a time, and whether or not you need to transcode your streams or not, as well as the quality of your 4k files especially.


Here's a quick breakdown from the Plex Website

https://support.plex.tv/articles/201...for-my-server/

CPU Requirements

The most basic thing to remember is that the more Plex apps you have playing content at the same time, the more CPU power you’ll need. Generally speaking, if you have two Plex apps requiring transcoded content at the same time, that will require about twice the CPU processing power compared to if there was only one app playing content.

If you want very basic minimum suggestions:

No transcoding: Intel “Atom” 1.2GHz (NAS devices based on ARM processors should also be capable of at least one stream with no transcoding)
Single 720p transcode: Intel Core i3 3.0 GHz
Single 1080p transcode: Intel Core i5 3.0GHz
Single 4K transcode: Intel Core i7 3.2GHz

If you’ll need to support more than one simultaneous transcode, you’ll need a more powerful processor.


The Guideline

Very roughly speaking, for a single full-transcode of a video, the following PassMark score requirements are a good guideline for the following average source file:

4K HDR (50Mbps, 10-bit HEVC) file: 17000 PassMark score (being transcoded to 10Mbps 1080p)
4K SDR (40Mbps, 8-bit HEVC) file: 12000 PassMark score (being transcoded to 10Mbps 1080p)
1080p (10Mbps, H.264) file: 2000 PassMark score
720p (4Mbps, H.264) file: 1500 PassMark score

The CPU Benchmark website is a good resource to see what sort of PassMark score a particular processor received.

You can see that CPU requirements for 4k is still very hefty.

You might do some research to see if a video card might help with transcoding. I'm not really up to snuff on that side of things. I do not have 4k media on my Plex server, so I can't speak to experience on this, I'm just giving what info I can.

https://support.plex.tv/articles/115...ted-streaming/


Anyway, all that follows below assumes you are relying on CPU only for transcoding.

The Passmark Score for 2x Opteron 6274's (2.2 Ghz 16 Core) is 10536

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php...284&cpuCount=2

According to Plex's guidelines, that may or may not get you 1 4k stream.


I might suggest looking at this site. I have no affiliation with this site. I gain no benefit from recommending this site, it's just a good deal.

https://www.serverbuilds.net/anniversary

This site talks about builds built around a dual Intel Socket 2011 server board available for $175. It can take 2 Intel E5-26xx v1/v2 processors.

It still takes DDR3 Memory. It comes with 2 10GB ethernet ports on board, and as well as a built in 8 port RAID Card.

https://parts.metservers.com/GA-7PES...er-Motherboard

Right now, you can buy that motherboard, 2x E5-2650v2 Processors and 32GB of ECC DDR3 1600 Mhz Memory for ~$400 Dollars.

Those 2 E5-2650V2 Processors give you a Passmark score of 18988

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php...042&cpuCount=2

They are also newer processors than the Opterons and draw less power.

You also have a lot of other processor options for that board. Any Intel E5-26xx V1 or V2 processors should work.

A lot of those chips can be found cheaply on Ebay.

I personally have 3 servers (Not using this board) running E5-2670 V2 chips. They are 10 Core processors. I picked them up for about $150 each on ebay.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-Xeon-...frcectupt=true

The highest end chips you can put in that board are either E5-2697 v2 for core count (12 Cores @ 2.7 Ghz w/ Boost to 3.5) or E5-2687W v2 for Core Speed (8 Cores @ 3.4 Ghz w/ Boost to 4.0)

2 E5-2697 v2 gets a 23334 passmark score

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php...009&cpuCount=2

2 E5-2687W v2 gets a very similar 23319

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php...045&cpuCount=2

Note that those chips are still much more expensive used (Looks like E5-2697 v2 are going between 3-$500, and E5-2687W v2 are running 3-$400, but they do give you a bit of an upgrade path, if needed.)

If you need more CPU power than that, you'd have to look for something newer.

Alternately you can always go lower on the stack as well.


Here's a link to the Intel database for E5 V2 processors. Note that it also includes E5-46xx chips, which are not compatible with the above board.

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us...v2-family.html


A few other things to think about in comparison to the above in terms of rough CPU equivalency...

An Intel i5-9600k gets a passmark score of 13455

An Intel i7-8700k gets a passmark score of 15968

An Intel i7-9700k gets a passmark score of 17269

An Intel i9-9900k gets a passmark score of 20152

A Ryzen 2700X gets a passmark score of 16987

A Threadripper 1920x (1st Gen. 12 Core) gets a passmark score of 19937

A Threadripper 2920x (2nd Gen. 12 Core) gets a passmark score of 22053

A Threadripper 1950x (1st Gen. 16 Core) gets a passmark score of 21914

A Threadripper 2950x (2nd Gen. 16 Core) gets a passmark score of 25648


If you have more questions, fire away and I'll see what I can answer, and maybe someone else will chime in too.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Not going to quote that huge post, but thank you very much for all that info!

My plex server will be transcoding probably up to a couple 4k streams at once, 3 or 4 of them. Or at the very least 3-4 1080p streams at a time (maybe plan for a few more just in case). I share my plex media with my family members. I usually encode my 4k blu rays to a 6GB file size, H264 (because I noticed H265 wouldn't play with Plex), and my 1080p files are 3GB in file size. Audio is AC3 5.1. And I know just here in my own home, Plex can be used honestly up to 3 streams at once just here at home. I also have it shared with my dad and my sister, who are remote. So ultimately I'd like to be safe for around like 6-8 1080p streams at once. 4k content, I can hold off for a while if I need to, but it would be nice.

What I was thinking was 32 cores dedicated to 1080p and lower content only, for remote access for family members. Another 32 cores dedicated to everything (1080p and 4k), and that would be used for just my own immediately family in the home. But if you feel that 32 Bulldozer cores won't be enough, I'm listening. I want to make sure my upgrade is actually useful.

I also do a LOT of VM use, hence so many cores. I regularly have at least 8 VM's running at once on my server doing encoding tasks, security camera viewing, a business machine, etc. So I do need more than just one Sandy Bridge grade i7 Xeon anyway.

Oh, and the Plex servers are currently on a Hyper V VM, which I intend on sticking with Hyper V VM's to keep things separate, depending on how I build the rack. The rack might end up being separate physical machines instead of separate VM's. Depends on what I end up with really I guess.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 03:44 PM
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by Redwoodz View Post
Are sure you don't want to start new?
The 32 core Bulldozer era Opteron setups I was looking at were like $200 for board, CPU's, and I think RAM even (I remember the setups were seriously dirt dirt cheap on ebay). I could be off on the pricing, I'd have to search again, but I know for a fact the WHOLE 4u server setup (without storage) was going to cost less than $400 by a long shot, for one 32 core server.

So yeah, $700 just for one CPU is a tad much. I've currently got two Sandy Bridge i7's going right now as the server (my main rig and my main server), and its functional enough with the exception of my storage being horribly slow. That's why I was thinking, you know, 96 Bulldozer era cores would be more than sufficient for my needs (in total). Bulldozer = Sandy Bridge basically, and I'm almost doing okay with 8 Sandy Bridge cores / 16 threads. So I figured 96 Bulldozer cores would be about perfect for my needs, and super cheap.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 06:17 PM
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You might also consider some dell t7500's. You can get them dirt cheap. Around $200 for 12c/24t. Not sure how many drives they hold. But 12c/24t for $200 ain't bad. If i remember correctly the 6c/12t xeons. Were just as fast as the 16c/16t opterons do to higher IPC and clock speed.

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Last edited by ozlay; 03-09-2019 at 06:46 PM.
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