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Building a small server with strong encoding capabilities

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November 10, 2012 10:25:22 PM

I'm am currently browsing around the web for components that would be good for building a small form factor server capable of holding at least 5-6 desktop hdds (4 tb most likely) while also being ablel to re-encode ripped films and shows into a small portable mp4 format for watching between classes or at work. Any suggestions? I have a wish list on newegg that I'm thinking of which I will upload after doing more research.
November 11, 2012 6:29:01 AM

i would shoot for some enterprise level drives if you can, they will hold up better over time with encoding..

also some form of dual xeon setup is what im thinking.. are you going for speed or just something that can get it done without breaking lol?
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November 11, 2012 5:45:07 PM

My main goal is to be able to encode a blu ray overnight and not have it burn out, make a lot of noise, or take all night and day to do the job basically.
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November 11, 2012 5:49:55 PM

These are the parts I am looking at so far:

LIAN LI PC-Q08B Black Aluminum Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P8H77-I LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Desktop Memory Model CMV16GX3M2A1600C11
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


If I can use this computer in the living room as an htpc/minor gaming rig as well then that would be one less thing for me to build. What does everyone think about the parts so far?
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November 11, 2012 5:54:29 PM

That'd be fine as an HTPC, although if you wanted to game, you might want a better graphics card. If you're going to have more than one, like on a rack possibly, I'd recommend a different case, so you could fit more. I dunno, on a bookshelf or something, if you're not part of a huge company.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You're Blu-Ray drive will probably be the most important part of this build. Pick a few decent ones, and you'll be good to go, for the most part.
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November 12, 2012 2:44:07 AM

those specs will do you just fine.. remember you will need fast, performance, and reliable storage.. hard drives will be more likely to die when your running them this much
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November 12, 2012 2:46:02 AM

sonicers said:
That'd be fine as an HTPC, although if you wanted to game, you might want a better graphics card. If you're going to have more than one, like on a rack possibly, I'd recommend a different case, so you could fit more. I dunno, on a bookshelf or something, if you're not part of a huge company.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You're Blu-Ray drive will probably be the most important part of this build. Pick a few decent ones, and you'll be good to go, for the most part.



I'm not planning on putting it in a bookcase or anything, it will be sitting in the living room next to the entertainment center. The case you're suggesting does look nice but unfortunately it wouldn't have any place to actually sit which is why I picked the cube shaped case. What type of card would be a good fit for this case? I'm aiming for 1080p gaming on the tv at the best possible possible without sounding like a jet engine or feeling like it's on fire.
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November 12, 2012 2:54:06 AM

prodigydoo said:
those specs will do you just fine.. remember you will need fast, performance, and reliable storage.. hard drives will be more likely to die when your running them this much


What would you suggest as far as a good reliable hdd that can handle encoding? I'm not actually planning on having the hdds working 24/7 or anything. Mostly they will be used for watching blu ray rips. Encoding will be occasional when it's needed.
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November 13, 2012 5:36:03 AM

livetodaytomorrow said:
What would you suggest as far as a good reliable hdd that can handle encoding? I'm not actually planning on having the hdds working 24/7 or anything. Mostly they will be used for watching blu ray rips. Encoding will be occasional when it's needed.


something like this would be really good
http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=30
but just a regular WD Caviar Black would get you through no problems :) 
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November 16, 2012 5:21:48 PM

what would be the best way to fill the case with hard drives while keeping it near silent while the discs are spinning? is there any cheap way that would make the hdd filled case as silent as a case filled with ssds?
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November 17, 2012 7:09:00 AM

livetodaytomorrow said:
what would be the best way to fill the case with hard drives while keeping it near silent while the discs are spinning? is there any cheap way that would make the hdd filled case as silent as a case filled with ssds?


descent hard drives on descent mounting systems dont make any noise at all..

you need to aim for a case that has some form of suspension system for the drives.
simmilar to what you see here:






You could just try to put some rubber or something between the drive and the mounting system.. whatever you do though, DO NOT GET A CASE where the drives screw into the actual metal rack.. this is where you get that vibrational noise

This might be of interest ->> ((((())))))
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November 17, 2012 10:37:37 PM

That sounds like a very interesting idea, the only thing I can think of that would be a concern would being able to fill the case with hard drives. Since it's listed as being able to hold 6 drives that is my goal over time. Suspending the drives like that wouldn't work for me if I'm only able to put 2-3 drives in instead of the 6 possible.
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December 10, 2012 3:22:21 AM

No one has posted anything for a while so I'll ask a new question regarding the cpu. I'm leaning towards keeping this as a small form factor server whose main purpose will be encoding blu rays using the atv3 or high profile preset in handbrake. After doing reading I am still not sure if I should look for a cpu that has more cores like the AMD FX which has 8 cores, or a Intel sandy bridge quad core. Which is actually more important for encoding, the number of cores or the speed of the cpu?
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