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Upgrade CPU and RAM on HP EX495 WHS 2011


JazJon
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I'm enjoying WHS 2011 on my HP EX495.

 

It's time to upgrade the CPU and RAM though. Can we drop in the CPU, and 2011 will still boot up? (no re-install needed I hope)

 

I've read page after page on multiple threads (other forums), but I can't decide on which CPU. I want enough speed that I can stream Blu-Ray ISO's stutter free, and trans-code other 1080P videos or possibly re-encode/repair other large files etc. I'd like to be able to remote access into the WHS, and not have the screen freeze slow down/delays as it does under load now. I'll have either Vuze or uTorrent running as well. (and other streaming apps/services I'm sure, iPhone stuff)

 

So the question is, which CPU will give me enough extra horsepower, with out worrying about heat and possible fan speed noise increases while under load?

 

E6500

http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Pentium-Processor-Socket-LGA775/dp/B002LM38YK/ref=pd_sim_e_4

 

E6800

http://www.amazon.com/Processor-Intel-Pentium-LGA775-Socket/dp/B0041IQCX6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1309327643&sr=8-1

 

E7500

http://www.amazon.com/Intel-E7500-Processor-Socket-LGA775/dp/B001OVBXIC/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1309320807&sr=1-1

 

E8500

http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Processor-Cache-Socket-LGA775/dp/B00116SLYY/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1309328776&sr=1-1

 

Or.... ?XXX

 

I wouldnt mind having VT so I could run other Virtual OS's to test out etc.

 

I'd like 4GB too, and I see Mushkin thrown around a lot. So far I'm only seeing the 4G kit for sale which is really 2x 2GB sticks.

 

Mushkin 240 pin PC2-6400 4GB ? (where is the single chip for sale at?)

I think standard memory in this this is 800Mhz, but the motherboard supports XX00Mhz memory too right? (which is ??)

 

While we're at it, I wouldn't mind having the VGA Adapter too if anyone knows a cheap place to pick one up.

 

I'm happy that someone wrote drivers to get the LED Drive lights, and Health light working in WHS 2011!

http://forum.wegotserved.com/index.php/topic/18458-hp-ex48x-lights-management-driver-for-whs-2011/

https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=596fc9848383b16d&sc=documents&id=596FC9848383B16D%21105&wa=wsignin1.0

 

I'm happy using StableBit Drive Pool (beta) so far as well.

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Changing the CPU shouldn't require an OS re-install.

 

I have been using Stablebit DrivePool as well. I am doing it in a VM and have been removing drives (duplication is on) trying to break it and haven't been able to yet. Only thing I don't like, is some of the UI. Some of it is confusing and not as clean as I would like. For instance, I went to add another drive to the pool. Instead of telling me the pools total size, it told me the total size of the free space in the pool place the new drive even though it is labeled drive pool size.

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Yeah let's hope Drive Pool Beta M3 is where is closer to what we want. :)

 

Your best bet is to follow this thread http://www.mediasmartserver.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=5512 as long as the power temp is 65W or lower, your good.

 

I installed the E5400 and 4 gig Mushkin. I built my own vga/PS2 cable for a cleaner look.

 

 

Ok so I read around, and went ALL OUT on the Q9550S. ($340 on Amazon, after you click the fine print link below the $382.99 one found via search)

 

I got the Mushkin Silverline 4GB 240-Pin DDR2 800 from Directron.com (newegg is out of stock)

 

Wow nice mod there, I'd like my EX495 to have a cleaner look for VGA/PS2 as well. Can you post more details on that? If I buy the pre-built one, I don't think I'll have the option of mounting them in the areas you used. I'm willing to put some effort into a longer term solution such as yours. (looks fantastic) I don't really want to solder a ton of stuff if it's that involved. The pre-built one is nice, but again not sure I can mount it like you did then. Any links to your stuff?

 

Well it looks like I won't be putting money into that AWIECO HFX PowerNAS case after all. The EX495 will be plenty fast now! I won't have USB 3.0 but oh well everything is eSATA anyway, and I can always replace 2TB with 3TB drives still for more expansion.

 

Ok so did you upgrade your FAN at all? The HP Stock one is actually pretty quiet, but I know some ultra dead silent fans exist out there, and I'm not sure the Q9550S will cause more heat or not for faster fan speeds while trans-coding etc.

 

I originally wanted just the VGA, but I might as well go all out on PS2 ports, and buy a cheap ass mini PS2 keyboard and old PS2 mouse too. (won't break the bank) That way I don't have to worry about running out of USB ports etc as well.

Edited by JazJon
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Your best bet is to follow this thread http://www.mediasmartserver.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=5512 as long as the power temp is 65W or lower, your good.

 

I installed the E5400 and 4 gig Mushkin. I built my own vga/PS2 cable for a cleaner look.

 

Whoa John, you didn't mention on UStream the other day the awesome job you did on PS2/VGA port addition to your EX. Now I'm gonna have to tear mine apart and take a look inside it to see what I can do :)

 

gib

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Whoa John, you didn't mention on UStream the other day the awesome job you did on PS2/VGA port addition to your EX. Now I'm gonna have to tear mine apart and take a look inside it to see what I can do :)

 

gib

 

I'd really like to see how you built your own cable. Again, I'm not sure the pre-made one for sale will be flexible to insert VGA in one corner, and PS2 in the other corner. I'd like the same setup! Please elaborate on where/how :) I'll be upgrading my CPU/RAM soon and I'd like to do the VGA insert at the same time if I can track down all the parts.

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Are you comfortable soldering ? you would have to build the cable between the server and the PC board, but I do have some spare parts I can sell you by palpal.

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Are you comfortable soldering ? you would have to build the cable between the server and the PC board, but I do have some spare parts I can sell you by palpal.

 

I worked on Electronics in the Air Force. (Sensors and Electronic Warfare Systesms on the U2) I can't say I'm exactly in practice soldering like a pro any more but I'm sure it's like riding a bike all comes back quickly. You know I had a soldering iron laying around for years that I never used so I got rid of it last year. My roommate has one so I can barrow his. So the short answer is yes I can solder :)

 

http://www.mediasmartserver.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8066&p=84234#p84234

 

 

Interesting, well I do have a multimeter and stuff, but again not sure It's worth all the effort if I can outsource the build, and possibly just use pig tails to extend the VGA port into the same corner you used, and PS2 extensions to read the other corner.

 

So it looks like I have two choices.

 

Option 1)

I buy the pre-built assembly and either find a spot to mount it out the back.

(or hide the bulk of the circuit board inside, and use mini-pig tails to pass through ports)

Do you think pig tails is a good approach?

 

Option 2)

I build my own cable using your spare parts and guidance. (no pig tails would be needed, would be direct clean cables to port)

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I like the form factor of the MediaSmart Server and wanted a clean finish, it is quite a bit of work but I'm happy with the results.

 

Also as you pointed out, using the PS2 keyboard and mouse saves me from using 2 USB ports.

 

That thread over at WGS on the driver lights is really active. I'm happy to read that testing on the Acer boxes is also being confirmed as working.

 

I sent an emails to both Stablebit and Drive Bender to see if they can add code to their addin to support the driver. Martin Rothshick of Light's Out is also following the thread. I asked him if there was anything he could contribute.

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