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Core i7 3820 130w TDP worth putting in an unraid box?


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Hey all,


I see 6 is sitting at rc3 now. Can't wait for the official release; I should probably start getting used to 6 on my test rig in the meantime.


My live unraid box is still running 5.05, powered by a lowly Sempron 140 (45w TDP). I was planning to upgrade to some intel hardware I had laying around until I realized that was all BTX.


Now, with unRaid 6, I'm wondering if I shouldn't stick my Core i7 3820 I had planned to sell in there instead to open up the door for virtualization, etc. I'm just not sure that power hungry of a setup is ideal for a 24x7 box? 


Of course the question becomes what do I want to do with this system - a question I am still trying to answer myself. Currently it's not much more than a NAS that runs Plex. While I wanted to, I never got around to running CrashPlan on unRaid - but that's definitely on the to-do for 6.


So let's see:

- Storage

- Plex

- CrashPlan

- OwnCloud sounds fun

- Maybe BTSync or other for keeping a remote system in sync

- Be nice to throw Windows in a VM so I can just leave the one system on 24/7 and still remote in to my home network

- I do a bit of video editing; not sure if there's a way of offloading rendering with just one license of Premier Pro

- I have a number of older PCs / tablet PCs that would be nice to use as thin clients around the house as they're showing their age.


Seems like many people try and pick energy efficient processors. This one's a bit power hungry but it's what I have. Either I use it or try to sell it and get something less thirsty. Thoughts? 

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There are really two classes of UnRAID users. Those who want the lowest power consumption, and those that want to multi-purpose the machine and get the most out of it.


If you are planning on running VMs or if you want to video stream to some of those older devices then you will likely be happy to have the extra horsepower of the i7 behind you. I use UnRAID as a storage repository, Crashplan, SAB/SB server and a Plex server for tablets and external users. I personally use Kodi for my internal video needs so the UnRAID CPU is irrelevant, but we have iPADs and other tablet devices that I use Plex to stream to, and having a beefier CPU on UnRAID helps with that as it's all back end processing.


The bottom line is if minimal power consumption is a high priority then you may not want to use the i7 - if you don't care so much about power then I'd stick with it. You are going to want something reasonable anyways (like an i5) for virtualization, etc, so by the time you sell the i7 after-market and buy an i5 new you are likely at the same spend - or still out of pocket, which doesn't make sense to me.


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The 3820 is a very nice CPU, and with the 2011 bus you'll have much higher I/O bandwidth capabilities than the 1150-based systems.


The CPU isn't as power-efficient as the newer Haswells, but it is still very efficient ... the power rating is its max draw -- not what it would normally use (which would be MUCH lower).


If you're planning to use the newer features of v6, a 2011-based system will be VERY nice to have.  If you're just going to keep using it as fundamentally a "NAS box that runs Plex", then you don't need that much horsepower unless you're doing a lot of transcoding.


As you so succinctly noted, it really depends on ...


... what do I want to do with this system - a question I am still trying to answer myself.

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Great, thanks for the input guys. I had a potential buyer for the 3820 based system in mind but recently sold him a laptop instead. This idea became my "plan B" should the purchase of the laptop have thwarted the desire to also purchase the desktop.


The more I think about it though, the more I'm inclined to want to keep the system regardless, as I'm pretty excited for the added functionality 6 is going to allow.


Also quite intrigued by the game streaming as well... but sadly seems there's no time to game anymore.


I suppose in hindsight the power question is a little silly. As it stands I've been leaving my main desktop on for something to remote into. It currently has a 3970X which is obviously even more power hungry. While the 3820 will use more power than the Sempron, only needing one system on most of the time might balance things out.

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