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How much power is needed for Blu-Ray?


DblCrsOvr
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I am brand new to the Windows Home Server idea. Currently, I have a desktop (Windows 7) that I use to house all of my music and some movies. This is a machine that was a beast about 5 years ago, so it had quite a bit of power, but not something that I want to leave on 24/7.

So, now I am interested in building a Windows Home Server to replace my old machine. The question that I have is how much power do I need for my server (Not wattage, but performance). I want to scale it down as far as I can to make it run as cheaply as possible, since it will run 24/7.

Now, for the wrinkle:
I want to load all of my Blu-Ray movies on the server to be served up to machines that I will either build or purchase next to each TV. I understand that playing a Blu-Ray requires a pretty strong system, but which system needs the power? Is it the home server, or the satellite machine that needs the power to play the Blu-Ray? I figure that as far as the server is concerned, it is just serving up a file, so all it has to do is serve it up fast enough.

So, that would mean that my server could be an exceedingly light machine. How light can I go? I want it with as small of a footprint as I can get it, though I would like 4 SATA ports. So, maybe a Atom Ion machine? Anything else I should make sure to include? I am thinking that the server could have the Blu-Ray drive, so I think I would do my ripping there, but I am not married to the idea.

Anyone see any flaw in my logic, any potential trouble spots, or any considerations that I should take into account?

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Ripped Blu-ray disks use up a large amount of hard drive space. You may want to figure out how large the file size is for a typical Blu-ray when stored on a server. Then look at the WHS you are thinking about building (or buying) and be sure it is scalable to handle all the storage media.

The other consideration is ripping Blu-ray to disk. I am not familiar with doing this, but it might be more CPU intensive than just file transfers.

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Since you want to put your BR on the server, you should have a box that can hold 4 drives minimum. Also you should have a gigabyte network card in the sever and your whole network should be gigabyte.

To save power, your best choice would be a Atom chip. But then you should not be doing the ripping from your server. An other suggestion is a mobo with the same processor as the HP EX490/x510 boxes. Intel E5200 dual core, can do the ripping, but stick to a low wattage CPU if you choose something else. Choose a 64 bit mobo. WHS V2, need I say more.

The combination of a Atom & Ion HTPC with a gigabyte network card is a good idea.

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Yeah, I realize that Blu-Ray can take up quite a bit of space. But fortunately, I don't have very many at the moment. Er, maybe unfortunately. :)

Since the satellite machine would need to be strong enough to decode Blu-Ray, can I do my ripping there, then move the encoded Blu-Ray to the server? This would (seemingly) eliminate the need for the a beefy server, as it wouldn't need to be a strong encoder. It would need to serve up multiple files quick enough, as I would hate for a person watching something in one room to impact another person elsewhere. Though, that may be bottlenecked more by my network than the server itself.

Perhaps an Intel Atom Ion w/ gigabyte network card & 4 SATA's for the server, with the newly announced Intel Atom Ion 2, or something similar, for the satellites?

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DblCrsOvr,
I am doing extactly what you want to do and my opinion is to not go with the atom. Go for the Core I3 as your base and you will be happier. Any dual core should work but for performance value, and low power, the I3 is tough to beat.

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pcdoc,

Thanks for the tip. That was exactly what I wanted to know.

BTW, I just checked out your site, and saw your network and various machine write-ups.

All I can say is "Wow!". You are my new hero.

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@pcdoc - Yes, I have to agree with DblCrsOvr about your site. I was looking over your HTPC build featuring the 13-530 and now I am thinking about building something very similar. The difference in power usage is remarkable.

What did you use to measure the power?

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And if that's your home system, all I can say is 'wow!' I may be just a little jealous.

And I see from your pics that you like the Lian Li cases. I just bought my first one and I'm really impressed with it.

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You guys are making me blush... Thanks for the feedback.

dvn,
I used the kill a watt meter to meausre right out of the plug so I would get a true reading of power consumption, and yes, actually this is my home system. I assume you are talking about my water cooled Core I7 that is on the front page? That is my pride and joy of the fleet. As for the Lian-li cases I am definetly a fan. Have been for quite some time. I tend to spend on cases, power supplies, and monitors as I keep those for awhile. They are not perfect but the construction and noise levels are tough to beat. Thanks for the conmments and thanks for checking out the site.

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@pcdoc - You bet. That's a cool site. Very nice job.

I actually first noticed the Lian Li's listed on your Home Server 1 + Home Server 2 pages. For myself, I chose the K60B because I wanted good, quiet cooling. I also did not want a side window. The K60B has 3-140mm fans to go along with the rear-mounted 120mm fan, and I thought those 140's would move a lot of air at reasonably low speeds, thus keeping the noise down. I'd have to say I was right about that.

And I was actually referring to the whole home network setup, all those computers and devices, and not the i7 system alone. I saw your Network Map and Detail page, and was thinking it was a pretty sweet layout.

btw - Which Kill a Watt model you have? Recommend?

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