Asylum Forums
Show all 8 posts from this thread on one page

Asylum Forums (http://asylumnation.com/asylum/index.php)
- WIT - Whore Institute of Technology (http://asylumnation.com/asylum/forumdisplay.php?forumid=4)
-- What is the beefiest consumer-grade system I could build right now? (http://asylumnation.com/asylum/showthread.php?threadid=50665)


Posted by squee on 07-20-2008 08:09 PM:

What is the beefiest consumer-grade system I could build right now?

I haven't got room for separate desktops, fileservers, and so forth. I need to build an all-in-wonder that can do the following:

- Play videos on my TV in HD (so it will probably have to be a myth box although I'm not married to the idea)
- transcode video in a reasonable amount of time
- Run mysql and various VM boxes so I can bring work home (and actually get queries on, say, 161m records done in a reasonable amount of time)

I was poking around on newegg, tigerdirect, crucial, etc. and it looks like I can put together a quad-core system with 8 gigs of RAM, a decent video card, and I think up to 3 TB of storage space. Some of the most expensive bits are the media center case since this has to go in my living room (if I had the space to just put, e.g., a server in the basement and put an el cheapo system up front I would but as it stands I think I have to do it this way).

Total cost is about $1200. What can I improve upon for around the same price, or, how can I lower the price by ditching capability I'm probably not going to use?

__________________

What does polite society know of the secret hearts of men?
What shows the shuttered window but all the evil you can imagine?


Posted by Large Filipino on 07-20-2008 08:12 PM:

Shit. My old mac can't get me the new flash as it is.

__________________


I want a Trump sex doll.
I would throw it in a Orangutan enclosure
And watch the orgy.


Posted by macker on 07-21-2008 10:36 PM:

I'm not much of a fan of trying to run a HTPC on what will be a mixed purpose box, simply because you're inevitably going to do something that'll break it. I'd probably consider getting an ATX sized case but then putting 2 mini-itx motherboards inside it(one for the HTPC functionality and the other as the server). However, it'll cost more.

Without specifics of the spec you came up with, I can't comment much except that unless you *really* need the quad core, you might want to consider dropping to a simple dual core CPU. Quads will had a TDP anywhere from ~95W up to 125W which is not an insignificant amount of heat to get rid of. Combined with the heat output from drives, chipsets, memory and conversion losses from the PSU and it's not unusual to start hitting dissipation figures of 300W.

It doesn't help that most HTPC cases have fairly poor thermals and are often placed in areas where airflow is also restricted. I've also yet to see a HTPC that has a decently dampened drive mounting mechanism although if you're prepared to pay the extra for the WD Greenpower drives it's not such a big issue.

__________________

Expecting people to be smart team players is like looking for double Ds in an oriental brothel.


Posted by Large Filipino on 07-21-2008 11:23 PM:

Shit. I only have ONE core.
Goddamnit.

__________________


I want a Trump sex doll.
I would throw it in a Orangutan enclosure
And watch the orgy.


Posted by squee on 07-22-2008 05:25 PM:

The reason for the quad core setup was so I could transcode video quickly; I was trying to think ahead to when I would want to actually record TV (especially high definition) and then transcode the video to make it portable.

Check my thinking here because now I'm thinking it could just be a fault...
I'm now thinking I may as well keep the system to a low spec--tailor it JUST to play movies, which means I don't need so much processing power.

OTOH the additional functionality I wanted generally centered on work...like running virtual machines or chopping up logs of various flavors. It may be that I just have to get a dedicated desktop for that (or a headless desktop that I can access via SSH).

In fact, I may as well just make the desktop a fileserver/SQL beast and let the HTPC handle playing audio and video alone. This would also be somewhat forward-looking as it would set me up for a frontend/backend setup in the future. Not sure if I would still be required to run mythbackend on the fileserver if all it was doing was storing videos. Will have to do some more research.

Thanks for the advice!

__________________

What does polite society know of the secret hearts of men?
What shows the shuttered window but all the evil you can imagine?


Posted by Pianomahnn on 07-22-2008 05:50 PM:

Quad core is only as good as the software using it. If the software you're using is written to utilize those cores, great. If not, you're just paying for the right to say I'm using quad core processors. I'm hoping you've thought of that already, though.

And what the hell do you do that you need your own box to be running queries on 160M records?


Posted by macker on 07-22-2008 07:21 PM:

Transcoding to a portable device resolution is fairly trivial and won't get much benefit from threading. And the tendency these days is to not to bother transcoding the live recordings for short term storage as disk capacity is cheap. Long term storage you can just defer the transcoding process to a later date, in which case the speed is somewhat irrelevant.

To give you an idea, ATSC caps out at around 20Mbit/sec and DVB-T has a theoretical max of ~30Mbit/sec, although that's a stupidly insane rate for h264 AVC and 10Mbit/sec is going to be far more likely. Assuming an average of around 7GB/hour you're still looking at 100+ hours of recorded material on a 750GB hard disk(current price/GB sweet spot).

You'll still need some CPU power if you plan to decode HD material, however dual cores are cheap these days. Something like an Intel E8500(which got a very nice price cut recently, although I'm not sure if it's filtered through to the retail channel yet) would be fine and is still a relatively low TDP CPU. If it's just SD material you really don't need much in the way of CPU. An Intel E7200 would be fine(or you could go as far down as an E1200 if you want, but you'll limit the amount of filtering you can do to make SD material look presentable on an HD display).

As for MythTV, unless you're going to record stuff I'd think twice about it. As much as I love MythTV and think when it comes to recording TV it's hard to beat, it's general media management abilities are somewhat lacking. Freevo or Elise(if it's somewhat more stable now than when I last looked at it) might be more suitable. Elise does also have the advantage of looking super snazzy if that your kind of thing.

__________________

Expecting people to be smart team players is like looking for double Ds in an oriental brothel.


Posted by squee on 07-22-2008 10:46 PM:

quote:
Originally posted by Pianomahnn
Quad core is only as good as the software using it. If the software you're using is written to utilize those cores, great. If not, you're just paying for the right to say I'm using quad core processors. I'm hoping you've thought of that already, though.

And what the hell do you do that you need your own box to be running queries on 160M records?

Most of the applicable programs (DVDRip and so forth) can take advantage of threading.

As for why I need to go through 160M records...I'm doing that tonight. A customer gave me a year and a half of apache logs because they found a rootkit on one of their webservers and they have no idea when or how it got there. For something like this it's easier to plunk the data into mysql and do, for example, association rule mining to make sense of the data set, which can be fairly intensive.

Normally I would VPN into the corporate network and use a server set aside for just this purpose but my company laptop shat the bed this week so I'm in the dark. Would be nice to have a 2950 or something here but...instead I'm stuck trying to do this on an old T40.

quote:
Originally posted by macker
As for MythTV, unless you're going to record stuff I'd think twice about it. As much as I love MythTV and think when it comes to recording TV it's hard to beat, it's general media management abilities are somewhat lacking. Freevo or Elise(if it's somewhat more stable now than when I last looked at it) might be more suitable. Elise does also have the advantage of looking super snazzy if that your kind of thing.
What's attracting me to Myth is, aside from playing back video, MythGame, MythMusic, etc. I was reading about a dude who had a multi-zone music setup using a 5.1 card under Myth, looked interesting. My cousins and I are also playing around with the idea of setting up a central recording server in Chicago with maybe up to 4 inputs, and then building frontends for the fam. Sort of a poor man's slingbox...as with all of these projects the fun is in building them, even if you could just go buy the same functionality.
__________________

What does polite society know of the secret hearts of men?
What shows the shuttered window but all the evil you can imagine?


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:05 PM.
Show all 8 posts from this thread on one page

Powered by: vBulletin Version 2.2.8
Copyright © Jelsoft Enterprises Limited 2000 - 2002.
Copyright © 2014- Imaginet Inc.
[Legal Notice] | [Privacy Policy] | [Site Index]