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Thread: config ideas for MythBE/NAS + Myth/XBMC/Boxee FE

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  1. #1
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    Default config ideas for MythBE/NAS + Myth/XBMC FE

    Myth Back-end + NAS (already own the parts; cept 3x 1/1.5TB HDD)
    This machine will do all video capturing/transcoding.
    It will also be the Backup Server/NAS....

    1x Old Lian-Li midi-Tower or Chen Mei FT
    1x Gigabyte 8600GTS .................................... [take transcoding load off CPU w/VDPAU or is this def. not doable?]
    1x Hauppauge HVR-2200 .................................. [may eventually add a 2nd one]
    1x GA-P35-DQ6 (ATX form-factor)
    1x TWIN2X4096-8500C5DF ................................. [2x2GB DDR2 1066; 4GB enough?]
    1x Core2Duo (conroe) E6420 2.13Ghz ..................... [may underclock/volt slightly?]
    1x Antec True Power 3.0 650W ........................... [Less wattage possible?]
    Storage Sub-sys:
    1x 1TB WD Black ........................................ [video capture disk, can it handle 4 simultaneous HD streams?]
    1x 150GB 10k RPM Raptor ................................. [boot/system volume?]
    3x 1/1.5TB 7.2k RPM HDD ....................... [For content storage & BU, may not bother w/RAID till get hw controller?]

    ********************************************
    Myth/XBMC Front-end (don't have the parts; cept where mentioned)
    This will be the media player & MAME PC...
    Later (6mth) I'll buy a top-end GPU that'll be swapped-in sometimes for gaming.

    1x mATX H57 or Q57 mobo. ......... [make/model?]
    1x Intel Core i3 530
    2x DDR3 1GB ...................... [make/model?]
    1x 30GB SSD or USB Flash*? + 74GB 10k RPM Raptor? (for local storage; already own)
    OR
    1x 1TB WD Black or Samsung F3? [innermost sectors -20GB?- for OS, outermost for local storage]
    1x Xonar Essence ST (PCI; already own)
    1x H6 (Essence daughterboard; already own)
    1x PSU ................................ [perhaps BE PSU is best here if I intend to use strong GPU sometimes; make/model?]
    1x Case ............................... [make/model?]
    1x nV GT220 ....................... [only if IGP+CPU not enough; make/model?]

    For the back-end I was thinking of doing a minimal Ubuntu install & only adding what is needed.
    For the front-end I was thinking of starting the same way and gradually adding MythTVFE, XBMC, and maybe a lightweight DE like crunchbang etc.
    Interested in peoples thoughts on what I'm missing hardware or software wise or just some general advice.
    Thanks!
    ________
    discarded:
    ********
    74GB 10k RPM Raptor ....................... [very old -not used much- slightly damaged connector so connection always a bit loose]
    *4GB USB flash ................................ [aside from the fact that 4GB is too small, is USB flash too much of a poor alt to SSD?]
    80GB 7.2k HDD, make/model YTBD.
    Last edited by jalyst; 01-24-2010 at 12:22 PM.

  2. #2
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    The Raptors are a bit of a waste in a media server / NAS. You would probably be better off using them in a workstation unless you just have them already kicking around because of switching to SSD's. Otherwise all I can say is make sure that you have lots of storage capacity for HD capturing. In the year of capturing on my media server I ran through the 6 TB of internal storage in less then a year of stuff I want to keep. Since then I've added a couple of additional eSata 4 in 1 enclosures and populated them with more drives and soon will be getting another. HD chews up the TB's fast. For the OS on the server I actually use a cheap thumbdrive as it just takes up a USB port and is fast enough for the ever so rare reboot.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, I'm up to 2.5TB just for SD shows and videos on MythTV and that's generally transcoding them to low bit-rate H.264 after capture, so 1TB is not much for HD unless you're going to watch shows quickly and delete them.

    If I was to build it again I'd be tempted to use a small SSD for the OS to improve boot time; even with a bunch of non-essential software installed the OS partition is only about 12GB with about 6GB used so it doesn't need much.

  4. #4
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    Yeah just had them kicking round, might move the two raptor's to the front-end, but eventually I'd like to have a SSD in the front-end and maybe 1x 1TB drive. Any recommendations there?


    For the actual capturing drive I was going to use the black. What do you reckon I should use in a RAID5 array for the BE/NAS? WD RE3 1TB or Samsung F3's? I think 2TB's still have a tad too much of a premium...

  5. #5
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    All my drives are WD 1TB Blacks, love that drive. I wouldn't bother going with the RE3 the loads your going to have on them doesn't justify it's threading capability. As far as samsung drives go I couldn't say, had a massive failure rate with some of their older models and it was enough for me to stay away from them. Once bitten, twice shy.
    Last edited by deanjo; 01-22-2010 at 11:08 AM.

  6. #6
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    I really only recommend Raid 5 in a situation where there is need for it. Unless you have spare identical drives on hand to rebuild the array after disk failure it really doesn't do much. Besides Raid 5 writes using softraid I've always found less then stellar. Chances are by the time one drive fails that model may not be available anymore to replace it.

  7. #7
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    so you don't reckon bother with any redundancy?
    It's also meant to be a NAS for all content.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jalyst View Post
    so you don't reckon bother with any redundancy?
    It's also meant to be a NAS for all content.
    I don't bother for media stuff. If a drive craps out I can live without that media on the drive. Anything I want to keep indefinitely I back up to a external drive that then gets disconnected and turned off and put away. I generally replace critical drives on a 2 year rotation anyways before they fail.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jalyst View Post
    so you don't reckon bother with any redundancy?
    It's also meant to be a NAS for all content.
    So far I've never had a complete and sudden failure of a hard drive: it's always been preceded by bad sectors that gave me time to copy files onto a new disk. I think the most common occurrence is a drive that stops working soon after installation due to firmware/manufacturing fault, whereas old drives generally fail slowly.

    For my MythTV box all the recordings go on one disk because I won't cry too much if it fails, while any important files are on the other disk and I back them up now and again. So far that's been fine.

    However, when the next generation of hard drives come out I'm thinking of moving all the files to Raid-Z2 on an OpenSolaris server and having the MythTV backend write to it over the LAN. At least in principle, ZFS seems much more robust than traditional RAID.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by movieman View Post
    However, when the next generation of hard drives come out I'm thinking of moving all the files to Raid-Z2 on an OpenSolaris server and having the MythTV backend write to it over the LAN. At least in principle, ZFS seems much more robust than traditional RAID.
    Yeah I had plans for something like that....
    But rather than over network I was going to have opensolaris (or some other spin, there are a few other options) in a VM sitting on a bare-metal hypervisor (native VMM) & the MythTV BE in another VM.
    But that was to be on a core i7 based system, & that's on hold for the moment...
    Last edited by jalyst; 01-23-2010 at 07:24 AM.

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