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New Build Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by BigLeo, 13 Aug 2019.

  1. BigLeo

    BigLeo New Member

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    Hi,

    I want to build a couple of new systems and I'm not sure which components to use. Any advice much appreciated.

    The first system is for my main PC and I want it to be AMD based. I don't do gaming but I want a lot of memory for virtualisation and graphics/video editting. The PC will be mainly used for programming and testing virtual operating systems. I don't want wifi but good audio would be a big advantage.

    X570 looks like the best solution with a 3900X and 64GB of memory. But I don't like that X570 boards have a chipset fan. The only board I can find without one is Gigabyte but it is over £700.

    Any board must have a quick method of connecting the case cables. Asus have the Q-connector and Gigabyte have the G-Connector, but I don't know if all boards have these. I have not managed to find out whether MSI and Asrock have an equivalent.

    On the main system I cannot decide whether to run Linux Mint as the main operating system with virtualised versions of Windows or the other way round?

    The second system is to act as a media server with a satellite TV card recording TV programmes. It will also run Plex or Emby, and various other audio servers such as LMS, Jriver etc. This will feed various Kodi TV systems.

    As this system will be on much of the time power consumption is important. I keep going round in circles trying to decide which components to use for this system. I have considered AMD 2400g/3400g but I don't know if this is the right sort of processor to use.

    Any advice much appreciated.
     
  2. meandmymouth

    meandmymouth Well-Known Member

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    You could go for an X470 motherboard instead. You'd lose PCIe 4 support but it would also be fanless.
     
  3. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    Are you going to be doing a lot of transcoding on this, or will it be mostly directplay/directstream? This won't be overly cheap but it's a lot of cores/performance for 35w TDP - https://ark.intel.com/content/www/u...8700t-processor-12m-cache-up-to-4-00-ghz.html

    If you're not transcoding a lot, an intel i3-8100T would be fine. It'll still handle 3-4 HD transcodes but it'll be around £100 instead. Lower outlay.

    Why intel here? Well if you have Plex Pass you'll get hardware transcoding via intel quicksync, you don't get that with AMD. That's it basically.

    8GB of RAM is plenty for a linux-based server.

    I personally use openmediavault, and I have installed a Hauppauge WinTV Quad-HD card doing freeview. You could do the same, although it doesn't really matter because you can run just about everything in docker instances anyway.
     
  4. BigLeo

    BigLeo New Member

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    I've looked at X470 but I keep going around in circles. I can't decide what is a good board and none of the reviews seem to state which boards have the equivalent of the Asus Q-connector. I also understand that I need a board with good VRM's but I don't which boards have good VRM's.
     
  5. BigLeo

    BigLeo New Member

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    I expect most of the video I watch will be recorded and edited to remove adverts before being stored on the server. I already have a 2500k based system that I could use but I was looking to build something more tailored for use as a server. I'd like to end up with a virtualised server but I have been told that it is not a good idea to run a TV card virtualised. At the moment I have a HP N54L microserver running FreeNAS to store my files but it is too noisy to put where the TV server needs to go and I don't know if I could run TV server software under FreeNAS anyway.

    What software do you use for the recording and do you get TV Guide info from Freeview or through a service?

    What made you choose OMV?
     
  6. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    Plex includes a plugin to automatically remove adverts but you'd better test it a bit first, as once it edits, it's permanently gone, and there's no way to roll it back i.e. it may remove too much and you lose some of the program. The 2500K system has a passmark of 6477 - Plex sizing is usually around 2000 passmark per HD transcode, although if you're recording SD television, then I dunno maybe assume 500 passmark or something? The 8100T I suggested above has a passmark of 8032, and that's not even factoring in the quicksync from the intel iGPU. It's also 35W TDP opposed to 95W TDP on the 2500K. It'd mean you'd get away with a much quieter cooling solution potentially.

    I personally run plex and the TV card on baremetal. I have Debian Stretch, with OMV4.x installed on a 120GB SSD, and the TV card on that. I assume you can map it in through docker but I'm not sure. I prefer just not to mess with the whole topic and leave it all on the baremetal, easier to troubleshoot then.

    Plex provides an inbuilt EPG, you just have to give it your region and it'll subscribe to one. You need Plex Pass for the functionality though.

    I chose OMV because I was looking for a NAS solution as well as a TV solution, and the Plex plugin for OMV was a bit of a nobrainer therefore. I didn't want to use FreeNAS because - while I like BSD personally - driver and software support tends to lag a bit since it's a more "stable" ecosystem. Debian is also a "stable" ecosystem, however because it's directly compatible with most Ubuntu packages, you can also creep in the occasional bit of bleeding-edge you need to fix things, and the more open driver support.

    Given you already have the FreeNAS, you could keep it running FreeNAS, in a different room where the fan noise doesn't matter, and run an ethernet cable to it.

    You could set up a thin ITX based system running off a laptop power brick, with maybe a 4th gen board (those ones for £18 are floating around for resale quite commonly) and something like a 4590T or a 4690T, just make sure the motherboard has a PC-E x1 or x4 slot for the TV card. Alternatively you could have a HD Homerun which is an external TV tuner and also compatible with Plex. This system would record directly to a mapped drive on your FreeNAS box, over the wire. The local storage device would be a 120GB or 240GB SSD just to give it somewhere to cache the files while encoding and for the Plex library itself for a snappy response.

    This way you'd have a super small and super quiet box that handles all the media throwing - and wiring that in to your router is never a bad idea anyway - and your noisier, larger, NAS box elsewhere in your home where the noise matters less.

    My NAS isn't quite silent; I could search out a Zalman fanless PSU, and look at an over-powered heatsink with the fans set to minimum in the BIOS etc, but it's quiet enough that you can only hear it when the TV is paused so it doesn't matter much.

    I have to tell the truth, I don't really use the TV functionality very much, I 99% just watch movies and anime stuff I have painstakingly ripped and encoded from my personal collection on my 4790K :)
     

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