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Thread: So out of touch, but got the upgrade bug

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    isn't trying to wind U up Shooty*'s Avatar
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    So out of touch, but got the upgrade bug

    Gents,
    Haven't been around for a while. I posted a thing several years back about creating my HTPC, step by step, which was quite well received. Since then, 2 kids, little time, little money, and generally my rigs have been behaving well and able to cope with my needs (less games, more movies).

    However, my server is wheezing a bit. I'm toying with the idea of upgrading it, but have totally lost touch with what would be a decent upgrade.

    It's a headless unit running several hard drives, storing media, accessed over our wired network house. It's running WHS 2011. At the moment, it has a M2N68-AM Plus mobo, an Athlon 64 LE-1640 (single core?) and three gig of mismatched ram (1x1gb, 1x2gb).

    I don't need a GPU in it: all video decoding is done on the machine playing the media, although now I think about it (I use Media Browser), if I put a GPU in the server and rigged it to do all the graphics grunt work at that end, that would make it easier to steam to a lower powered HTPC unit.

    I was thinking of getting a socket AM2 quad core phenom or something, but it might just be less hassle to get a decent new mobo, CPU and Ram.

    Sorry, that's a bit vague. But, anyway, what do you think? What would be a good upgrade, just to improve server response times.
    My HTPC: Linky

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    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: So out of touch, but got the upgrade bug

    Get an A8 7600 with an A88X motherboard??


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    isn't trying to wind U up Shooty*'s Avatar
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    Re: So out of touch, but got the upgrade bug

    A88x looks like a good move. Thanks, Cat. Have had a look at other CPUs for that line, as compared to the one I've currently got, and they look like a significant, but reasonable priced, upgrade.

    Much obliged.
    My HTPC: Linky

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    Re: So out of touch, but got the upgrade bug

    Strange choice of platform for a server. Most of those chips have a big GPU. The 860k might be worth looking at as it's an A10-7850k with the GPU disabled for a big discount (although prices are creeping up a little, they used to be closer to £50 than £55).

    Generally though for CPU power and video transcoding the obvious choice is Intel. Their cheapest mainstream CPUs are light years ahead of AMD (who single module designs are awful) and quicksync is generally better than VCE.

    If you can get away without a GPU then 860k just about stays on the pace generally (although should be particularly good at CPU transcoding), otherwise I'd be looking at an Intel Celeron G#### or Pentium G####.

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    Senior Member Bonebreaker777's Avatar
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    Re: So out of touch, but got the upgrade bug

    Agree on the Intel. Second hand CPUs have incredible value. Ivy Bridge Celerons or Pentiums with a cheap 1155 motherboard for max £50. (£60-65 if ITX).

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    Re: So out of touch, but got the upgrade bug

    The OP said that they would not mind if the server had a GPU in the mix too. The A88X chipset supports upto 8 SATA drives too.

    Bagnaj97 on this forum runs his media box,HTPC and a few Minecraft servers off a A10-5800K . FM2/FM2+ is in fact one of the best value platforms for a cheap server and even supports IOMMU for VMs that I believe even Core i3s lack.

    I would suggest looking at the following:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/367/dp/B00LU...ywords=a8+7600
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/A88XM-PLUS-M.../dp/B00G3PR2W0


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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: So out of touch, but got the upgrade bug

    Quote Originally Posted by EndlessWaves View Post
    Generally though for CPU power and video transcoding the obvious choice is Intel. Their cheapest mainstream CPUs are light years ahead of AMD (who single module designs are awful) and quicksync is generally better than VCE.

    If you can get away without a GPU then 860k just about stays on the pace generally (although should be particularly good at CPU transcoding), otherwise I'd be looking at an Intel Celeron G#### or Pentium G####.
    If you want the grunt of an i7 then yes Intel is the one to go for. Hardware transcoding in every decent review I read has said that it is quick but the output quality is really bad and if you care about quality you need to stick to software.

    I run an A8-6500 on an FM2+ motherboard for my server. My only complaint is that it won't make use of ECC ram, otherwise it works really well as a small low power box that basically runs the home network routing, email, firewalling and a few VMs for video camera monitoring and a couple of minecraft servers on a mirrored pair of discs.

    You could use a 860K for that sort of thing, but you want some sort of video output in case something goes wrong and you can't ssh/VNC/rdp in to the machine. It makes it easier to keep the machine quiet if you stick to the 65W models as well (though I don't think that is a deal breaker, I just went for the cheapest quad core available).

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  12. #8
    isn't trying to wind U up Shooty*'s Avatar
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    Re: So out of touch, but got the upgrade bug

    Comprehensive as ever, chaps. Thank you.
    My HTPC: Linky

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