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Hardware Support Discussions related to using various hardware setups with SageTV products. Anything relating to capture cards, remotes, infrared receivers/transmitters, system compatibility or other hardware related problems or suggestions should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 04-05-2008, 07:30 AM
paulbeers paulbeers is offline
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Going Quad - Intel or AMD?

Okay, so I think I'm going to need to go Quad. By adding the HD100's to my house, we are now watching a heck of a lot of HD shows. So your asking yourself...why the need to go Quad since the HD100 takes all the burden off the server? Well because we are watching everything in HD, that means our MVP's are doing a lot more HD content. I don't trust transcoding on the fly more than 1 HD show at a time with my current rig. I could probably overclock my e4300 over the 2.4 mark and it would probably be fine, but I really would rather just leave 1 core solely to Sage and OS and have the other cores do the transcoding....so with that in mind Quad Core becomes my choice. With Quad core I can have 1 core doing OS and Sage and 3 cores available to do 3 on the fly transcodings (planning to get a couple more MVP's cheap).

So here comes my quesiton....Anyone tried the new AMD Phenoms with on the Fly Transcoding on High? I know they are slighly slower than the Core 2 Duo's, but just curious if they are better bang for my buck?

From an Intel standpoint, I would buy a Q6600. I know that anything higher than 2.2Ghz on the Core 2 platform is fast enough to transcode to High on the fly, but what about Phenom? Anyone have any luck? I like the power saving functions of the Phenom (ability to underclock and/or shut off each core individually) which is probably one of the reasons why I am even considering the Phenom (that and I used to only buy AMD for years).

Thanks for any help!
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  #2  
Old 04-05-2008, 09:58 AM
dagar dagar is offline
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Does your current mobo support the Q6600 series? What make/model is your mobo? Or is it a 1st or 2nd tier system?
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  #3  
Old 04-05-2008, 10:58 AM
paulbeers paulbeers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagar View Post
Does your current mobo support the Q6600 series? What make/model is your mobo? Or is it a 1st or 2nd tier system?
Its a Gigabyte GA-945P S3 that doesn't support Quadcore, but either way I don't believe in processor swaps. Why? Because I want the a more current motherboard anyway....what do you do with a used processor? Ebay it for half its value (at best)? Naw, would rather swap motherboard and processor out of my server and upgrade one of my desktops with it.

Any opinions?
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  #4  
Old 04-05-2008, 01:25 PM
CollinR CollinR is offline
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Will you be using the PCI bus?
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  #5  
Old 04-05-2008, 07:42 PM
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mayamaniac mayamaniac is offline
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While you consider the processor as the deciding factor between AMD or intel, I think the motherboard and chipset is a greater factor. Yes HD transcoding or comskip processing is CPU intensive, but a good C2D or Q2D 2.4 or above can easily handle the task. As for the motherboard, different chipsets, drivers, Sata/raid controllers, etc, are more of a concern because of stability and compatibility issues. So I would pick the motherboard first, and then decide the processor to go along with it. There's a few threads about the AMD boards and chipsets, I would check them out.
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  #6  
Old 04-05-2008, 10:39 PM
mikesm mikesm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayamaniac View Post
While you consider the processor as the deciding factor between AMD or intel, I think the motherboard and chipset is a greater factor. Yes HD transcoding or comskip processing is CPU intensive, but a good C2D or Q2D 2.4 or above can easily handle the task. As for the motherboard, different chipsets, drivers, Sata/raid controllers, etc, are more of a concern because of stability and compatibility issues. So I would pick the motherboard first, and then decide the processor to go along with it. There's a few threads about the AMD boards and chipsets, I would check them out.
Completely agree. I use a Q6600, but its complete overkill for Sage. Unless you use a NAS, you should really pay attention to disk configuration and PCI/PCIE slots for tuners, etc... Stay away from realtek GbE controllers if you can.
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  #7  
Old 04-06-2008, 07:21 AM
paulbeers paulbeers is offline
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While I agree that motherboards are important, my Sage Server only needs to have a 2 PCI slots, 3 SATA connectors, 1 IDE, 4 DDR2 slots, and GB ethernet (and I know how bad Realtek GB ethernet is, my mainbox right now has an onboard realtek GB connector and it is no where near as fast as my Intel chipset). I have a cheap 6200LE PCIE vid card in my current rig and so there is no reason for me to even need integrated video. If I was using the integrated video as a client box, then I would be definately looking at AMD for the 780 chipset, but since this is a headless server.....

So truthfully the chipset/motherboard isn't as important as raw power for transcoding on the fly. You all say its overkill, but if you have to transcode for MVP's, it is definately not.
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  #8  
Old 04-06-2008, 06:42 PM
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Slipshod Slipshod is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulbeers View Post
While I agree that motherboards are important, my Sage Server only needs to have a 2 PCI slots, 3 SATA connectors, 1 IDE, 4 DDR2 slots, and GB ethernet (and I know how bad Realtek GB ethernet is, my mainbox right now has an onboard realtek GB connector and it is no where near as fast as my Intel chipset). I have a cheap 6200LE PCIE vid card in my current rig and so there is no reason for me to even need integrated video. If I was using the integrated video as a client box, then I would be definately looking at AMD for the 780 chipset, but since this is a headless server.....

So truthfully the chipset/motherboard isn't as important as raw power for transcoding on the fly. You all say its overkill, but if you have to transcode for MVP's, it is definately not.
Absent any brand preference, go for the cheapest one with the lowest power consumption.

I just finished putting together the hardware for a new server, and opted for Intel. I got an Asus socket 775 server motherboard which supports the new 45m quad-cores. Onboard VGA, 3 PCI, 8 Sata, 2 PATA, 1 floppy, 4 USB, 2 PCI-E, and 4 LAN (yes, overkill - but the dual-LAN only had 4 SATA). Got a Xeon x3350 for relatively cheap ($315 on special), which is the new 2.6GHz Quad-core 45nm, and also put in 4GB of RAM. Also slapped in a 5-slot internal "Icy-dock" hot-swap SATA enclosure.

Total overkill for Sage, but I'm going to be running VMWare server on it as well and putting a couple of linux VMs in the background for Email and web serving. It'll also be the backup server for all the PCs in the house (running WHS on it). Trying to plan for the future so I don't have to take it down to upgrade once it's up and PVR-ing with Sage.
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  #9  
Old 04-08-2008, 11:31 AM
MrD MrD is offline
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I am an AMD user... but my Sage box has always been Intel... too many issues with VIA chipsets back in the days.

That said, I think Intel is the route to go. AMD has not had anything exciting in a few years, whereas Intel has newer faster chipsets and CPUs.
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  #10  
Old 04-08-2008, 12:53 PM
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Humanzee Humanzee is offline
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So I started looking for new server components not long ago and began with outlining the requirements I had, regardless of the processor brand. I narrowed it down to this. motherboard as it seems to be the only board that I could find that has most of what I need. So that means AMD for me.

3 PCI slots
2 PCIe x1
2 PCIe x16
Firewire(1394) for recording HD
Serial for some Home automation stuff.
7 onboard SATA with at least one eSATA for lots of storage and expansion
Optical S/Pdif output
8 Channel Audio
Also has 2 gigabit lan which, like the SLI, I'll probably only use one of.

I couldn't find an intel board that had the correct ratio's of the above features that I could also put my faith in. So now its time to start picking other components, but when I start looking for the best bang for buck in AMD my mind was completely blown. Quad core? Dual Core? Can a fast dual core do the same work per unit time as a slower quad core? Where to start?

What do you folks think?
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  #11  
Old 04-08-2008, 01:04 PM
dagar dagar is offline
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Well I have the ROG 590 version and the WS version of that board. They're both great boards that support Phenom CPUs; the one you're looking at does support it and would imagine it's a great board too. Not as fast as my Q6600/ uabit IP35 Pro system but great nonetheless (that board doesn't meet your port reqs.)
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  #12  
Old 04-08-2008, 01:07 PM
CollinR CollinR is offline
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I would compromise and do that in a heartbeat what the IP35 Pro doesn't have can be easily added. It would be worthwhile for me anyway.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813127030
+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819115017



But since I didn't I got this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131030

Still very pleased.

and this for video
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127301
+
PureVideo decoders

Last edited by CollinR; 04-08-2008 at 01:12 PM.
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  #13  
Old 04-08-2008, 01:15 PM
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Jesse Jesse is offline
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Hi Humanzee,

Will that board support a phenom? I thought the phenom's required AM2+.

Jesse
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  #14  
Old 04-08-2008, 01:23 PM
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ltitran ltitran is offline
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I just finished what you are listing on this thread...

System flyes!

All from NewEgg - $561 OTD

HTPC2 - Build
SilverStone HTPC Case
GABYTE GA-MA78GM-S2H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
(2) G.SKILL 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Desktop Memory
AMD Phenom 9600 Agena 2.3GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W Quad-Core Processor
OS: XP Pro SP2

Reused - SageTV 6.3
Reused - (2) Hauppauge WinTV PVR PCI II Capture TV Tuner (250)
Reused - 80Gig SATA OS
Reused - 500Gig PATA - Data
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File Type: jpg House Media System_v1.1.jpg (75.6 KB, 105 views)
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  #15  
Old 04-08-2008, 02:31 PM
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Humanzee Humanzee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse View Post
Hi Humanzee,

Will that board support a phenom? I thought the phenom's required AM2+.

Jesse
I certainly hope so, they are packaging that board as a combo with a Phenom 9600, and it says (edit its says AM2 not AM2+ on the specs page) on the specs page.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CollinR
I would compromise and do that in a heartbeat what the IP35 Pro doesn't have can be easily added.
Yes, but the problem with that is sacrificing your available space for capture cards. I already have 3 pci capture cards that I would like to re-use. If I need to add a serial port card it would have to be PCIe x1 which on some of these boards might interfere with the graphics card, especially when using silent pipe. Then if I still need to put some things on a header like the 1394 port I'm plumb out of space. It would either barely work, or barely not work. Ill probably ditch the 1394 recording and go for the Hauppauge component capture thing which is USB by the look of it, but still, the spacing could be difficult with any expansion card to fill the gap for missing features. I might need USB expansion by then. See my predicament?
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagar
Not as fast as my Q6600/ uabit IP35 Pro system but great nonetheless
What are you looking at here? Processors, chipset, FSB, I guess all of the above. This does seem to be a compromise for me on performance in order to get the feature set I'm after. For me a Media server should be about storage capacity and capture capacity. I have no MVP's just clients and probably future HD100 so my real time processing will be for commercial detection, and maybe for the placeshifter. Can I go wrong with the board and a Quad core Phenom? Should I be looking for the fastest Athlon 64 X2 I can find instead?
A64X2 6400+ 3.2Ghz x2 cores = $165
Phenom 9850 2.5Ghz x4 cores = $235

The Phenom wins on number of cycles available per dollar, but I don't know if that matters if 2 or 3 cores are sitting idle depending on how their use is divided up. I seems like both cores on my C2D client get pegged at the same time most of the time. Would that imply that I'm better off with fewer faster cores? What about energy consumption, should I be looking at 95W chips or 125w chips? Can you easily under clock or turn off certain cores dynamically, or is that just a feature on a piece of marketing paper?

Sometimes I hate being an analyst.
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Last edited by Humanzee; 04-08-2008 at 04:26 PM.
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  #16  
Old 04-08-2008, 02:48 PM
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mayamaniac mayamaniac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulbeers View Post
While I agree that motherboards are important, my Sage Server only needs to have a 2 PCI slots, 3 SATA connectors, 1 IDE, 4 DDR2 slots, and GB ethernet (and I know how bad Realtek GB ethernet is, my mainbox right now has an onboard realtek GB connector and it is no where near as fast as my Intel chipset). I have a cheap 6200LE PCIE vid card in my current rig and so there is no reason for me to even need integrated video. If I was using the integrated video as a client box, then I would be definately looking at AMD for the 780 chipset, but since this is a headless server.....

So truthfully the chipset/motherboard isn't as important as raw power for transcoding on the fly. You all say its overkill, but if you have to transcode for MVP's, it is definately not.
You're still missing the point. It's not just about number of PCI slots and SATA connectors. It's also about stability, which is usually related to the motherboard chipset. As others have mentioned as an example, the VIA chipset is terrible for HTPC in terms of compatibility and stability. Most of people went with intel chipset motherboards for this reason. For a server, you need something 100% stable because you are running it 24/7.
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  #17  
Old 04-08-2008, 03:03 PM
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Jesse Jesse is offline
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Quote:
I certainly hope so, they are packaging that board as a combo with a Phenom 9600, and it says AM2+ on the specs page.
No offense, but I do not see AM2+ listed on the specs page for this board. Not on the newegg page or the Asus page. On the Asus page they do not list the phenom as supported (It does not say it is not supported either..).

I do see the newegg combo package, but I am wondering if it is an error or if they now something we don't.

Not trying to be a jerk. It would just be a drag to get all this together and not have it work.

Jesse
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  #18  
Old 04-08-2008, 04:08 PM
CollinR CollinR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humanzee View Post
Yes, but the problem with that is sacrificing your available space for capture cards. I already have 3 pci capture cards that I would like to re-use. If I need to add a serial port card it would have to be PCIe x1 which on some of these boards might interfere with the graphics card, especially when using silent pipe. Then if I still need to put some things on a header like the 1394 port I'm plumb out of space. It would either barely work, or barely not work. Ill probably ditch the 1394 recording and go for the Hauppauge component capture thing which is USB by the look of it, but still, the spacing could be difficult with any expansion card to fill the gap for missing features. I might need USB expansion by then. See my predicament?
What are you looking at here? Processors, chipset, FSB, I guess all of the above. This does seem to be a compromise for me on performance in order to get the feature set I'm after. For me a Media server should be about storage capacity and capture capacity. I have no MVP's just clients and probably future HD100 so my real time processing will be for commercial detection, and maybe for the placeshifter. Can I go wrong with the board and a Quad core Phenom? Should I be looking for the fastest Athlon 64 X2 I can find instead?
A64X2 6400+ 3.2Ghz x2 cores = $165
Phenom 9850 2.5Ghz x4 cores = $235

The Phenom wins on number of cycles available per dollar, but I don't know if that matters if 2 or 3 cores are sitting idle depending on how their use is divided up. I seems like both cores on my C2D client get pegged at the same time most of the time. Would that imply that I'm better off with fewer faster cores? What about energy consumption, should I be looking at 95W chips or 125w chips? Can you easily under clock or turn off certain cores dynamically, or is that just a feature on a piece of marketing paper?

Sometimes I hate being an analyst.
Both boards have same basic port layout so PCI, PCIe is basically the same unless you want SLI which you shouldn't.

Both have Firewire, the IP35 pro has more already.

I look at northbridge (Intel only, nothing else considered) and then southbridge and then implementation. IMHO the IP35 Pro would be the ultimate if it had the new Intel integrated graphics. however neither of these boards do.

If storage is your deal it's still on the IP35 Pro it not only has the ICH9R southbridge and 6 internal SATA it also has a jmicron controller with PATA and 2 eSATA ports supporting multipliers. Thats 6 internal and 8 external SATA drives and you can run RAID 10 on the internal ones if you like.

USB is the same between these two as well.

Q6600 = 2.4ghz (many run 3.2 on the IP35 Pro) for $249
2400*4= 9600 cycles per second
9600 / $249 = $0.39 per cycle

For course that is based on the assumption that both can do the same amount in one cycle.

It does appear the phenom 9900 has an advantage in java multimedia processing however there are no benchmark references for a 9850. Still I wouldn't make the trade.

Also this is an Asus vs. an Abit, I give the edge to Abit in general as well.
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  #19  
Old 04-08-2008, 04:23 PM
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Humanzee Humanzee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse View Post
No offense, but I do not see AM2+ listed on the specs page for this board. Not on the newegg page or the Asus page. On the Asus page they do not list the phenom as supported (It does not say it is not supported either..).

I do see the newegg combo package, but I am wondering if it is an error or if they now something we don't.

Not trying to be a jerk. It would just be a drag to get all this together and not have it work.

Jesse
Yeah, hey that's weird, I could swear that it said AM2+ on the specs page, Maybe that was another board that I was looking at. Now I'm all dismayed again. I'll have to look at the IP35 Pro again.
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  #20  
Old 04-08-2008, 04:28 PM
CollinR CollinR is offline
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FWIW Asus does stuff like that quite often, my P5B supports much faster ram then the specs claim.

I would make sure and verify before you do anything though.
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