Media Server/ HTPC combo all in one - Do I have enough power?

rated by 0 users
This post has 5 Replies | 1 Follower

Top 75 Contributor
Posts 1,629
Points 21,115
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: United States, California
giantjoebot Posted: Wed, May 16 2007 7:22 AM
I justed posted a similare thread over at the Media Protal forum. Some of this is simply pasterd from that thread.

I was working on upgrading my media server and putting it in my room, its kind of a long story, but it ended up being to loud. So I put it out in the living room, and since I planned on building a HTPC using the Media Portal TV server in a single seat config, and one or 2 other clients, I thought why not combine the 2. I can us the hardware from my main rig, and upgrade instead of buying new stuff for this. I'm a little worried that I might not have enough power to run all the apps that I want to put on it though.

Windows Version: XP Pro or Server 2003?
CPU Type: AMD Athlon X2 3800+
HDD: over 1TB jbod
Memory: 2GB OCZ platnium
Motherboard: DFI Lanparty 939 SLI
Motherboard Chipset: nforce4
Video Card: ASUS 7200LE
Sound Card: Onboard
1. TV Card: Hauppauge WINTV-PVR-150
1. TV Card Type: Hard
MPEG2 Video Codec: Probably buy nvidia's
MPEG2 Audio Codec: NA
Satelite/CableTV Provider: Comcast
HTPC Case: Antec P180
Cooling: Zalman 9500
Power Supply: Corsair 520W
Remote: Hauppauge, but probably use unversal learning remote
TV - HTPC Connection: S-Video, or RGB

# I will be running Media Portal Server and Client, Orb, Filzilla FTP server, Azureus (as a server, with the new server client plugin), And proablly Jizora or Winamp with the http plugin. Is my hardware powerful enough to run all of this on one machine? (The CPU is very overclockable, and I could easly put it at 2.4gh with a ram divider if needed, but would rather run at stock for stablity, and cooling purposes) Orb says that it required a 2ghz AMD Athlon for proper video streaming. The same is recomended for Media Portal, but thats with a soft PVR, an d I got a hard PVR, and my Graphics card has partial Hard decoding as well.

# I have another gig of RAM that I can add. I know that XP doesn't like over 2GB, but server 2003 might be able to handle it. It would force me to run in 2T. Would an extra gig, for a total of 3GB, help?

# I currently have 2 X 400GB SATA, 2 X 250GB IDE, and 1 X 160GB SATA drives. I was thinking of using the 160GB SATA for the OS, and application install, and using one or both of the IDE drives for my TV recordings. Would there be any advantage to running the 2 IDE drive in a stripe (RAID0)? They are on the same IDE channel. I don't have very much experience with MPEG2. My network is all gigabit, but I'm a little worried that there might be a problem accessing the TV recordings by 2 clients at the same time.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 5,063
Points 46,755
Joined: Sep 2004
Location: United Kingdom, Other
Elsparrow replied on Wed, May 16 2007 8:02 AM
I'd rather run 2GB 1T over 3GB 2T as the drop from 1T to 2T will hit performance.

CPU sounds powerfull enough to me.

Not sure how easy it is to RAID IDE drives, not even sure if the s939 DFI boards support it as standard.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 75 Contributor
Posts 1,629
Points 21,115
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: United States, California
It does support IDE RAID, just looked it up

"# NVIDIA RAID allows RAID arrays spanning across Serial ATA and Parallel ATA
# RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 0+1"
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 75 Contributor
Posts 1,629
Points 21,115
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: United States, California

 Wow, its been almost 9 months, and I'm finally getting this done.  Well things come up and life happens.  It looks like its a little bit under powered.  I didn't forsee the 720p H264 mkv files that are coming out now.  Its just to much for Orb to encode in real time down to a small enough resolution to stream.  

I'm also noticing that some apps such as Jinzora and Orb cause CPU spikes, and that may interfer with people watching video at home while I'm streaming Video or Music.  Jinzora's not to bad, and it only for short periods, but those CPU spikes could screw things up.  I'm thinking about setting the priority of Jinzorra and orb to below normal so that it doesn't intefer with Media Portal.  Then agian the only people that will be watching it at home is my roomate and his girlfriend, and they didn't put anything into this, so why should I care.

I guess I just wanted to let the next guy that trys this know.  If I had the money to buy new hardware I and the time to do it over, I would go quad core.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,864
Points 24,270
Joined: Jul 2001
Location: United States, New York
digitaldd replied on Thu, Feb 21 2008 11:48 AM

Are you still using Azureus? thats one app that causes spikes way too much in CPU usage when its being used, might be due to it being written in Java. I've had much better luck with BitComet or uTorrent [if you need RSS support].

Top 75 Contributor
Posts 1,629
Points 21,115
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: United States, California

 Yeah, but I don't get any CPU spike with azureus, just uses a lot of RAM.  I use it because of the AzSMRC remote control plugin.  The next beta is suppose to let you choose your save location.  The other way I was doing it before, and the only way to do it utorrent, is to have everything saved in on lump folder.  Its a pain to have to organize that stuff.  

I'm running the web server for jinzora as a startup app instead of a service, and it seems to actually be more responsive, and run better.  It seems to only use one core, so I don't think that will cause any problems in the future.  I guess the only problem would be streaming HD video in Orb.  Honestly thats not really as much of an issue though since I generally just download the video that I want over http or ftp. 

So most the stuff works, and I shouldn't have any problems now really, but as things move towards HD, problems are very likely to occur.  I guess I'll just have to cross that bridge when I come to it.

  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (6 items) | RSS