What to do with this Q8200

I saw a Q8200 for such a great price that I bought it. I knew I would use it for something in the future, but am still trying to decide what is my best use.

I already have a gaming computer, but have no server set up in the house yet.

My future plans are to:

Have a server
- manage clients
- central storage
- stream media (want to rip all my DVDs to it, already have all my CDs ripped)
- store and deploy Virtual Machines

Have a HTPC for each TV/projector

I'm looking to see what everyone thinks.

Thanks in advance for the help.
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More about what q8200
  1. Hi there huron.

    Please be more specific with your plans for a server and VM usage:
    1) When will you build this?
    2) Will your server be all new parts or combo with existing parts(list them)?
    3) Number of clients/users and max # of users at any given time?
    4) Projected Average & Max Bandwidth needed?
    5) Besides streaming media, what other type of server do you need?(web, file, databse...)
    6) Will you be compressing your DVDs or just ripping to an image? You could easily set it up to rip several DVDs to an image on hard drives and then use the Q8200 to compress them. You could use something as nice as TMPGenc to create 'jobs' for all the images and just let it run. And it can be setup to write the encoded data over the network to your server. So, I guess I am saying is put the Q8200 in an HTPC or other PC which you can easily rip your DVDs. Or sell the Q8200 and use it for the server.

    I have some good experience in setting up PCs and servers which can run VM's efficiently, support anywhere from 10-100 clients and provide cost effective Raid combined with great speed.

    Just from your need for VMs, the new i7/Xeon chips will be, by far, the best route for a few main reasons: 1) these new Intel chips provide much better performance due to page size...look at Anandtech IT for their new article which shows that the new chips can support as many VMs as the prior quad-cpu/16 cores total xeons. 2) Hyper-Threading provides 8 logical cores.

    Depending on how demanding your needs are and how much you have to spend, you can either get the desktop i7 and overclock or get a dual-xeon(Nehalem) setup which will cost a bit more and have less speed per core, but can provide a far better and smoother experience, especially if you combine the server AND VMs into one server.
  2. My plans for a Q8200 would include building a Windows Server 2008 system w/Hyper-V. On that system, I'd run a Test SQL and Web server (I'm a VB Developer). As guest OSes, I'd run Windows Server 2003, Vista, and XP:

    - Server 2003: Just because. I'd probably load SQL 2005 and test out replication.
    - Vista: for Media Center/Gaming Purposes.
    - XP: for media encoding/Gaming purposes.

    -Wolf sends
  3. I was planning on putting some VMs up to experiment and play with. Not a ton for full time use.

    It's really just a home environment, so the max users will be mostly be myself, my wife, and whoever comes over. I guess that puts it at 2 HTPCs (eventually), 2 laptops, a gaming computer, and that's about it.

    I plan on having everything wired at Gig speeds (gig router, and gig switch), or over wireless N for media. With so few users on the network at a time, I don't think bandwidth will be too big an issue.

    I don't have too many plans for the server - maybe a simple web server and ftp, but mostly the above listed items.

    I planned on ripping all the DVDs to a compressed format, or just removing the bloat, to save on storage. If there's a good solution, I'm all ears.

    Thanks for the time so far.
  4. Totally forgot to clarify further

    I will probably plan on building sometime this summer (after school gets out, or during Spring Semester).

    I need to purchase the parts for both the server and HTPC. I really only have the CPU, but am not looking to spend a ridiculous amount quite yet (don't want the wife to kill me).

    So...I figure I'll need P43/P45 for the server with quite a few SATA connectors (for more HDDs) or a 9400 or 9300 board for the HTPC.

    I would love to build an i7 machine, but the cost is a bit high for me right now. I don't think I'll need that kind of power/capability quite yet.

    Thanks again for the replies earlier.
  5. Just thought of another thing.

    Our school has licenses for pretty much everything MS, so the OS is not a problem. I was thinking Server 2008, or Vista (for the HTPC).
  6. For home use, with relatively low utilization, it might be decent as a server. I don't think it's powerful enough for professional-level work, but would probably be nice at home. It's overkill for a HTPC / web browsing; a lowly 4850e is enough for that.
  7. Thanks jtt. I was thinking it was way overkill for the HTPC.

    I was thinking it might be pretty good for a home server (certainly not business class).

    I can install Server 2008 (or 2003) on it.
  8. Certainly get an Intel motherboard with ICH9R or ICH10R southbridge chipset which includes 6 Sata Raid ready ports for your server. Before I go on and on about the benefits of Raid, please let me know if you want to protect your data AND improve performance? Raid is very simple and easy to setup and I'd be glad to help you with it.
  9. I was planning on having RAID 5 or RAID 10 set up.

    I have looked at a few boards that even have as many as 8 SATA ports.

    I understand RAID and plan to use it.
  10. why don't you use that CPU for both server and HTPC on the same PC...

    You won't have a lot of traffic on the server side and you'll be able to use the PC as a HTPC at the same time...

    the only thing is you'll need more than 4GB of ram if you use that PC as a server/HTPC... 8GB of ram should do the trick...

    I have a E4300 setup as a HTPC and I don't use more than 15-20% of the CPU with Windows 7 beta and 2GB of ram for now...
  11. Hmmm....interesting idea nocteratus.

    I could deploy the OS (server, HTPC, or both) in VM to not conflict.

    RAM is cheap, so that shouldn't be a problem.

    I will think about how to deploy a solution like that.
  12. The boards with 8 Sata ports only have 6 available for the Intel Matrix Raid and usually the other 2 are JMicron. I have used Raid 5 with 4 drives on Intel's Matrix Raid and it was good for reads and just ok for writes. Because you won't have more than a few people streaming video from it, Raid 5 should be fine. However, if you want to combine the server & VM, I highly recommend Raid 10. I tried Raid 10 for the OS/Apps with 4 150GB Raptors and also a Raid 5 for storage. Even with these 10k rpm drives, write speeds were abysmal when the Raid 10(C drive) was being accessed. If I was playing a movie from the 5(D drive) and copied or pasted to the C drive from my 3ware hardware Raid 5(E drive), the movie would stutter. A Raid 10 will seriously improve random access and support several users + VMs with no problem. And you can do either a 4 or 6 drive Raid 10.
  13. Thanks for the info.

    I'm thinking that speed won't be too terribly important as long as we avoid stuttering.

    Thanks again for the help.
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