Thoughts on spec for media server...

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,nz.comp (More info?)

I'm just in the process of specing a new machine. I'm hoping that I'll
be able to use it for a video & music server (as well as the standard
web, office etc use), with a TV tuner card and a fair amount of HDD
space. Any old programs I want to archive I'll do with a DVD burner.
I'm not a 3d gamer, and probably won't OC at first.

I don't want to fly too high, cost being a limiting factor, and am
aiming for best bang-to-buck ratio really.

So I'd appreciate anyone's thoughts on the following:

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-8S655TX Ultra
This has 8xAGP, ATA-133, SATA, RAID 0,1 controller, 5.1 sound, USB,
Firewire, Gigabit LAN, yada yada...
What's the chipset like? Any ideas how the SiS655TX is better than the
FX? Compared to Intel's?

CPU: P4 2.8GHz HT 800MHz FSB Northwood Socket 478.
I might go to 3.0 GHz. Don't bother with Prescott yet?

RAM: 2x Kingston Dual Channel 256Mb DDR400-SDRAM DIMM in a matched
package, 512 Mb total.
Is there any advantage to buying a matched pack, rather than sticks
individually? What's the general findings of memory useage when
converting video? I'm thinking 512 to start, and if that's not enough
add another couple of sticks to 1024?

HDD: Either 2x WD Caviar 120 Gb, SATA 7200 RPM 8 Mb or the Seagate
Barracuda with the same specs, in a RAID 0 configuration
Silly question time, this _does_ give me 240 Gb total capacity doesn't
it? I understand this spreads a byte 50:50 (really 4:4) across the
drives, giving double throughput?

DVD: LiteOn LDW-451S DVD±R/RW, DVD 12/4/4 CD 40/40/24
This is really cheap at the moment, and althought not DVD-RAM, seems
to be software-updateable for faster R/RW when available.

Video: Albatron GeForce FX5200, 128Mb, 8xAGP, TV Out, DVI
I'm not a 3D gamer, and as this doesn't have a fan will be quieter.

TV Tuner: Leadtek TV2000XP Expert, TV Tuner/Video Capture Card + FM
Tuner, PCI
Does anyone know if this has a hardware decoder? Is there another card
I should look at here?

Case: 3R System, Air, Mid Tower, 400W Whisper ATX PSU, Steel, Silver
Nice looking case, not too fussy. I'm not after glowing internals with
transparent sides, as this may be sitting next to the TV in the

OS: XP Home.
Sigh, the Beast of Redmond again. I'll probable dual-boot Suse or
something similar, to salve my conscience.

So if anybody has thoughts or comments on the above, feel free to

Thanks in advance!
1 answer Last reply
More about thoughts spec media server
  1. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,nz.comp (More info?)

    > TV Tuner: Leadtek TV2000XP Expert, TV Tuner/Video Capture Card + FM
    > Tuner, PCI
    > Does anyone know if this has a hardware decoder? Is there another card
    > I should look at here?

    Software encoding... should work fine encoding to mpeg4 with those specs
    providing your not doing something else cpu intensive at the same time. Tho
    personally I found the quality of the tv tuner not all that great, most tv
    tuners for that matter. interference from PC internals..

    You didn't mention what software you are going to use. ie suppliedwinfast
    dvr software, snapstream, etc or not?

    Personally I think you're better of going with a video capture card + IR
    blaster for use with a VCR or Sky decoder than with a tuner card. Or forget
    the PC TV recording and go for a Tivo! Only does one thing tho (recording
    TV) but does that oh so very well..

    ahh theres my biased opinion ;)
Ask a new question

Read More

Homebuilt Systems