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WHS build help.


horrocksn
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Hi all.

 

This will be my first WHS build and I have a few questions (more like a million - but I doubt anyone has time for that).

 

What I need this server to do is stream, stream some more and d/l content constantly. However, I will at max have only 3 devices streaming from server The streams will be HD (blu ray rips), music and the occasional photo. The devices are pcs, an ipad and an aTV.

 

I've read a ton of stuff on whs builds and it is very clear that intel is the way to go. Also, most people that were running mulitple streams suggested at minimum the i5, my question is, since I am running only 3 streams (max) at any given time would I be able to run it off something a bit less expensive, like i3 or even AMD?

 

Thanks in advance, and my apologies for an obvious newb question :)

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Hi horocsn. If streaming and downloading are you main functions then disc I/O and network bandwidth are going to be your biggest bottlenecks. Make sure you're running gigabit Ethernet to your server and wired to your devices where possible. Obviously the iPad will be wireless so I'd put that on a dedicated wireless N network (no G devices). I would go with faster hard disk drives, RAID'ed if possible. As long as you are not transcoding your video (changing resolutions, etc) on the fly the i3 should be fine. A lot of folks run i3's on this forum for their WHS 2011 boxes with no problems.

 

Hope this helps and I'm sure others will pipe in as well.

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All Newb accepted and thanks for posting your questions.

 

I have 2 different Core i3 boxes and just love them, but use them for different purposes. I think PC Doc is going to need to weigh in on this one, but I would think a current generation Core i3 would do you just fine! Make sure your network is up the the task of moving all that data as well!

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Welcome to the forums.

 

I agree with the others that network performance is crucial. Next comes disk I/O. The i3 might do everything you need. Personally, I would go i5, but mostly to ensure the CPU is never the bottleneck

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There are two things to consider. First streaming to 3 devices is not a problem and deals more with network speed. The I3 will be just fine. Transcoding to lower res devices (assuming your content is BD) such as iPad will work your CPU harder. The I3 will work but will be a bit more limiting going forward such if add a second or third ipad, which will force your CPU to trans-code 3 streams real time, or if you want to run additional applications/addins on your WHS. Personally, if you are buying, spend the extra $50 and get the I5. If you already own the I3 go for it as it will just fine for quite awhile.

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Thanks for the advice everyone. It sounds like the i3 will work for me, however as pcdoc noted I wouldn't be able to add more devices in the future so I think I'll be getting an i5.

 

Building a server has far different requirements than building a gaming rig. I never really thought about network speed, atm I am running a regular wifi router (n, but not gigabit), that's obviously something I'll be upgrading. Any recommendations? At most I'll need 4 wired ports.

 

Thanks again.

 

Nick

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Most of us do not recommend using a wireless router as your main Ethernet switch. Get a real switch; it will be more reliable and give better performance. The backplanes (switching fabric) in wireless routers is usually not sufficient to run all the ports at full speed. Netgear, D-Link, and Cisco make good switches. If at all possible, have only 1 switch and put it at the core of your network. You can prevent possible lag and jitter issues that way.

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ikon - Could I add a gigabit switch to my existing router? Would my server and other devices be able to access the internet still? Will the network (assuming the devices are connected to the switch) run at gigabit speeds or will the 10/100 router bottleneck it?

 

Thank you

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You need to come from the router with one connection to the switch and make ALL of your internal wired connections to the switch and not the router. Your internal wired LAN will have gigabit speed.

 

Your router is faster than your WAN connection so it will not be a bottle neck.

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ikon - Could I add a gigabit switch to my existing router? Would my server and other devices be able to access the internet still? Will the network (assuming the devices are connected to the switch) run at gigabit speeds or will the 10/100 router bottleneck it?

 

Thank you

 

Basically, yes. Connect everything that isn't wireless to the switch. Then connect the router to the switch (one of the router's LAN ports). If the router is your gateway to the internet then use the normal procedure to connect the router's WAN port to your internet modem and configure the router to connect to your ISP.

 

As jmwills said, everything that has gigabit capability (servers, desktops, etc.), and is wired directly to the switch, will be able to communicate with each other at gigabit speeds.

 

Your wireless equipment (laptops, tablets, smart phones, etc.) will communicate at the speed of their individual wireless links, but that likely will be faster than your internet link (unless you're one of those people I hate who have 100 Mbit+ links) ;)

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