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Supermicron X8DTi Xeon with Intel x5660

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Joined: 08 Nov 2014 02:02
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Supermicron X8DTi Xeon with Intel x5660


Post by genes »

I've been happily running Nas4Free since way back when it was freenas and was a bit active in the old forum there before the name change in 2011. It's finally time for an upgrade. I've been running the same main hardware since about 2008.

Current Hardware:
Motherboard: Abit IP35 Pro
Processor: Intel Q6600 overclocked on stock voltage to 3Ghz from 2.4ghz stock
Ram: 10GB non-ecc 667mhz DDR2
Nas4free drive: 30GB ssd
Storage: 5x2TB WD greens (idle disabled), 3TB WD greens x6 (idle disabled), Random 3tb drive for backups
Current nas4free version: - Sandstorm (revision 573)
Enabled: Phpvirtualbox extension along with extras, installed sabnzbd plus, sickbeard, couchpotato, Samba, torrent server
Virtual machineS:
Ubuntu 64 bit - running squeezeserver for music, Mythtv
Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit - running as Windows MCE server for multiple extenders, also running as a h.264 live tv placeshifter for multiple clients. Originally ran Sagetv server for placeshifting but moved to Cetontv xbmc server/plugin structure. The H.264 encoding of 720p streams and working as mce extender was too much to handle for q6600 processor
Power Usage: Idles around 100 watts

Upgrading to hardware:
Motherboard: SuperMicro X8DTi
Processor: Intel Xeon X5660 (dual core motherboard capable so probably a second if I see one cheap enough on ebay)
Ram: 16GB ECC Registered DDR3-1333
Sata card: Intel M1015 LSI 2008 card
New 3in5 sata cage: iStarUSA BPU-350SATA

Reused hardware:
Case: Cooler Master Stacker 810 case
Existing sata cages: AMS Sata II 3in5 x2
Power supply: 500 watts gold rated
Nas4free drive: 30GB ssd
Storage: 5x2TB WD greens (idle disabled) Riad 5, 3TB WD greens x6 (idle disabled) Raid 6, Random 3tb drive for backups
Network switch: Dell PowerConnect 2716 with LACP

So why this upgrade to non-cutting edge hardware?
Well I wanted ECC memory, PCIE 2.0 architecture and I needed a processor that could handle xh264 encoding better. However I didn't want to break the bank. An intel i7 4790k setup with ecc was approaching $700+. The direction I went however was around $300 and get's me 2/3rds the cpu performance and if I need more I can add another cheap x5660. My current Q6600 passmark score was near 3,000 and it has a TDP of 105 watts. In contrast, the X5660 has a passmark score of 8,123 (I7-4790k is 11,299) and tdp of 95 watts along with 6 cores. This means I can assign 4 to 5 of the cores over to virtual machines if needed. Also my old board only had a pcie 1.0 x16 slot and a bunch of x4 slots. The Intel m1015 can use an PCIE 2.0 x8 slot. In addition the ECC ram was an important upgrade to lessen data failure points. Finally having Intel based gigabit nics is going to really improve the networking aspect over the realtek nics. Plus I figure with more mature hardware all the drivers are in place. Cutting edge hardware caused a lot of problems for me last time.
Reference: Passmark minimum score of 2,000 is a baseline for a 1080p realtime h264 stream encode per Plex documents

Software upgrade: Newest nas4free along with reinstalling virtualbox/phpvirtualbox. Add back Sabnabd, couchpotato and migrate to SickRage (best fork of Sickbeard that is maintained and developed).

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