Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)

Sandy Bridge/Quick Sync for a WHS2011 Media Server


Neophyte
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am currently planning my build for a new WHS 2011 server, which I will use for backups, storage, and media. Besides music and pictures, I also have many DVD rips (video_TS) that I have been waiting for WHS2011 before I start to also make transcoded versions for mobile purposes. Perhaps also can start doing the same for Blu-ray in the future.

 

Thus I have been intrigued by Quick Sync in Sandy Bridge, as from what I am reading performs very well with transcoding. However I have also found it is not as easy as slapping a Sandy Bridge processor into a 1155 board.

 

Here are two in-depth articles about Sandy Bridge which thoroughly explains the platform and seems to have good information/testing of Quick Sync.

 

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sandy-bridge-core-i7-2600k-core-i5-2500k,2833.html

 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-review-intel-core-i7-2600k-i5-2500k-core-i3-2100-tested/1

 

For transcoding, Quick Sync (paired with the i5-2500K) can significantly outperform discrete cards (like Radeon HD 6870/6970 and GeForce GTX 460/570).

 

AnandTech: “With Quick Sync enabled you can transcode a ~2.5 hour Blu-ray disc in around 35 minutes. If you’ve got a lower quality source (e.g. a 15GB Blu-ray re-encode), you can plan on doing a full movie in around 13 minutes. Quick Sync will chew through TV shows in a couple of minutes, without a tremendous loss in quality.”

 

However, Quick sync has to use the integrated Intel HD Graphics 2000/3000 and software that is designed to utilize it (CyberLink MediaEspresso 6.5 or Arcsoft MediaConverter 7, about $40 each).

 

TomsHardware: “There are two versions of the graphics core, inconspicuously dubbed HD Graphics 3000 (GT2) and HD Graphics 2000 (GT1). The former features all 12 EUs, while the latter is limited to six.

 

Of the 15 mobile Sandy Bridge-based SKUs being announced, all of them offer HD Graphics 3000. Some models run at up to 1300 MHz, others run at 1100 MHz, one does 950 MHz, and another tops out at 900 MHz. As you might guess, the final specification is largely dependent on TDP.

 

The desktop is a different story entirely. Of 14 new Sandy Bridge-based CPUs, only two of them come equipped with HD Graphics 3000. Almost humorously, those two chips are the K-series SKUs—enthusiast-oriented parts that I’m willing to bet will never get called on to perform a 3D task. The other 12 models—the ones that’ll go into more mainstream home and office desktops—get HD Graphics 2000. Those are the processors whose owners would actually appreciate saving $50 on an entry-level discrete card. And they get pegged with the handicapped version.

 

Power users spending an extra $20 on a K-series chip also buy discrete graphics. Period. This point gets hammered home even harder on the next page, where you learn that the H67 chipset needed to utilize on-die graphics doesn't support processor overclocking, so there's really no reason for a K-series/H67 combination.”

 

"Later in 2011, Intel will release a chipset called Z68, which will facilitate core and graphics overclocking on the same board."

 

Others will use their WHS2011 servers differently. But for my purpose, right now my choice will be to use the i5-2500K in a H67 board so I can utilize Quick Sync. I will be trying to keep the server to a relatively small form factor and using a mITX board (looks like Zotac will be coming out with one once the SATA issues are resolved, H67ITX-A-E), and they usually have only one PCIe slot which I will be using for a RAID card. Thus I need the integrated graphics. Even though I have no use for overclocking, I want the speed and better graphics the processor and integrated HD 3000 graphics will provide. More than I originally wanted to spend, but I think will be worth it in my case.

 

I would like to get your opinions and let me know if I am missing anything. Otherwise just wanted to put this out there in case others were in the same boat as me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 37
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • pcdoc

    5

  • Neophyte

    8

  • Jason

    7

  • EquallyWrong

    3

Guest no-control

I don't know if its the chip the board or what , but I've noticed my DVD -> mkv rips are taking about 5-6 minutes now as opposed to 15 for my x58 system. BD rips about 10-15 mins. used to be 30min at least.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know if its the chip the board or what , but I've noticed my DVD -> mkv rips are taking about 5-6 minutes now as opposed to 15 for my x58 system. BD rips about 10-15 mins. used to be 30min at least.

Looks like you are using the XFX 5870 card? How much do those go for? When you say "used to be 30 min", what chip were you using with X58 board then?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest no-control

Same GPU on both systems ~$200 for a 5870. x58 is the chip! If you mean CPU it was an i7-920 clocked to 4.0ghz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Same GPU on both systems ~$200 for a 5870. x58 is the chip! If you mean CPU it was an i7-920 clocked to 4.0ghz

Yes, CPU is what I meant. Thanks. That certainly is an improvement with your new CPU/board. My previous testing with transcoding was with handbrake on my previous PC and also I tried the HP 3.0 software (Twonky) that is on my HP 475. Not good experiences in both cases.

 

I am now just waiting for the new boards to come out before building and testing Sandy Bridge. Should be relatively soon, looks like some are already showing up in Newegg.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

There is one huge problem and it has been known for some time.

 

Intel will not be making any Windows Server 2008 or WHS 2011 drivers for any of its' Desktop boards with the most important driver being for the HD2000/3000 graphics. Since WHS 2011 will only be detecting a standard VGA driver, I would be willing to bet my house Intel's Quick Sync feature will return with an error stating no Intel graphic chip has been detected, regardless if a discrete gpu has been installed.

 

We are oh so close to having the central repository we desire but still oh so far. First, no media center integration with WHS and now can't take advantage of fast gpu processing.

Edited by EquallyWrong
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have installed the Win7 x64 drivers successfully on my build. However the issue is that you have to use a monitor with your WHS2011 box for it to use and recognize the HD 2000/3000 graphics. I am currently testing MediaEspresso 6.5 and MediaConverter 7, both recognized the Intel Quick Sync hardware acceleration. But you have to use the monitor, it will not work over RDS.

 

On a side note, I have already ruled out MediaEspresso for my purposes which is to convert DVD folder rips. It will convert VOB, but I could not figure how to use that application to actually stitch all of the individual VOBs into the whole movie. It is a nice piece of software, but not for me. MediaConverter 7 works well and is easy to use.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does MediaConverter 7 allow you to rip DVD and BD? If yes, can you select just the movie and not the adds, menu, subtitles, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does MediaConverter 7 allow you to rip DVD and BD? If yes, can you select just the movie and not the adds, menu, subtitles, etc.

I am currently at work so am unable to check. However it does not have any decryption, you have to convert "unprotected" discs. I do not know if it can work in conjuction with AnyDVD or other methods of decryption. Or if it can do BD. I will check on specifics later. But it will rip "unprotected" discs. I have already ripped my DVDs to folder, I am just converting to additional, more mobile (or streamable for WHS2011 remote access), formats.

 

Yes, it is a simple one-click selection to choose just to convert the main movie and leave out the extras.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes it does. However, I'm having trouble selecting the proper audio stream. I can select any stream on my disc, it's just gamble to pick the right one because MC7 doesn't label them correctly.

 

It's good to hear W7 drivers work on WHS 11. However, I'm taking the safer route and will just add hdds to my desktop as needed. Somewhere along the line Intel or Microsoft will break something in WHS that will spoil the party and I'm burnt on troubleshoot and finding fixes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...