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I have been running an unRaid box for several years and now am thinking about upgrading. I am running 6.1.1 (Pro) and am using several dockers. Plex, SAB, CP, Sonarr, and Teamspeak3. Plex is currently running 1 stream at a time, but may need to do more in the very near future. Before getting into dockers I was only running plugins for SAB, SB, & CP with no issues. Now that I have a Plex server running I am seeing some slowdowns.

 

I am interested in MineOS and experimenting with a few of the home automation dockers such as home-assistant or openHAB.

 

Where is my $ best spent? Will upgrading the CPU make any difference? Swapping out the 2g ram sticks for something larger? I'd rather not scrap the whole box.. but if I did what should I be looking for?

 

Thanks for your thoughts!

 

 

Currently own..

 

Mobo ASUS P7H55-M LX LGA 1156 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131664

CPU Intel® Core™ i3 CPU 550 @ 3.20GHz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115065

2x2gb Ram

8x2T HHDs

    2T Parity HHD

120gb HHD cache

 

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More cpu means more power for plex (and doesn't hurt for more dockers, a vm or two, etc). If thats what you want, then you should do a full MB/CPU/RAM swap.

 

I'd go haswell of some sort (socket 1150) and at least an i5 or a xeon (big upgrades cpu wise, and support for vt-d if you want that). 2x4gb on the ram at least, move all your hdds over, maybe swap cache to an SSD (is it really a 120gb spinning hdd???).

 

Plenty of good cheap matx mbs out there, more options if your case is atx and you want more expansion later. What are you using as an extra hdd controller? If its pci based and has a few hdds on it, that would be a bottleneck as well.

 

Regardless, if you want more plex streams, upgrade your CPU (which really means mb/cpu/ram, unless you want to shop for a used s1156 i7)

 

EDIT: I guess an i7 970 is a lot better:

CPU Mark: 8537 vs 2852

 

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Upgrade to at least 8GB and consider 16GB.  8 should be fine for your current setup, but get 16 if you envision a lot more dockers or trying some VMs.  The Core i5 CPUs of that generation aren't too impressive, so grab a compatible 1156 Core i7 CPU and you should be good to go for while - check the CPU compatibility list on the Asus website (The 970 is an LGA1366 chip but this motherboard appears to support up to the 880).

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Upgrade to at least 8GB and consider 16GB.  8 should be fine for your current setup, but get 16 if you envision a lot more dockers or trying some VMs.  The Core i5 CPUs of that generation aren't too impressive, so grab a compatible 1156 Core i7 CPU and you should be good to go for while - check the CPU compatibility list on the Asus website (The 970 is an LGA1366 chip but this motherboard appears to support up to the 880).

 

Oops, good catch, i did in fact mean the 870:

 

CPU Mark 2852 vs 5481

 

Probably worth $66 of your time/money?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-Core-i7-870-2-93-GHz-Quad-Core-SLBJG-Processor-/111769520360?hash=item1a05fb88e8

 

You also have 2 memory slots on that MB, so a memory upgrade would require buying 2x4gb, looks like the mb supports 8 max, thankfully its DDR3, and that is easy to find cheap even new.

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Thanks for the help!

 

I have zero experience with VM but I like the idea of combining a few of my PCs into one machine. If I wanted to combine current server and run a VM media PC (probably Kodi or Plex) would anything I have now work for that with minor upgrades?

 

If the answer above is, "time for new MB/CPU/Ram..." suggestions? A new machine would be required to run everything currently, add support for VM of media PC to main TV in livingroom, potential of 2 additional "work" VM with light use, home automation software (most likely through a docker), hosting mineOS running vanilla and/or FTB modded minecraft server with no more than 6 users.

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Thanks for the help!

 

I have zero experience with VM but I like the idea of combining a few of my PCs into one machine. If I wanted to combine current server and run a VM media PC (probably Kodi or Plex) would anything I have now work for that with minor upgrades?

 

If the answer above is, "time for new MB/CPU/Ram..." suggestions? A new machine would be required to run everything currently, add support for VM of media PC to main TV in livingroom, potential of 2 additional "work" VM with light use, home automation software (most likely through a docker), hosting mineOS running vanilla and/or FTB modded minecraft server with no more than 6 users.

 

How do you watch your media on your main tv now? There is nothing wrong with keeping a low powered box/htpc there for that use. How far will this server sit from that main tv? If you change and want the server to have a VM for media watching (openelec for example) you'll need to run a few cables to that setup from this machine. If that is 50ft, that means a LONG hdmi, and probably some usb extenders (for usb keyboard/mouse/remote) to that location.

 

Of course, all that assumes that you have hardware that supports vt-d, which your i3 currently doesn't, but an i7-870 would. Your MB (and bios) also need to support it, and for that, you'll need to research the MB and its bios options. Maybe you'll get lucky, this manual looks like your mb at least has the option (http://www.manualslib.com/manual/438743/Asus-P7h55-M-Le.html?page=41)

 

However, to run some addtional VMs, and a minecraft server/etc, I'd lean towards upgrading to a modern i5/i7 or going with a xeon based build.

 

Depends on your budget, your time constraints, etc.

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I am currently using a roku 2 for my htpc.

 

What would a modern build look like? The xeon processors have so many options and range of specs I'm overwhelmed. I don't have any time constraints. I don't have a fixed budget, $500? I guess I would set my budget based on what improvements I could achieve.

 

Thanks again for your help.

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The simple version of a modern build would be moving to a current gen haswell based intel system. There are AMD versions as well, and they work well, but the best performace per $$ and power draw per $$ is from the current intel line.

 

Cheap: ~ $190 to $320+ for mb/cpu/ram

ASRock H97M Pro4 LGA 1150 Intel H97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard $79

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157512

 

Intel Pentium G3258 Haswell Dual-Core 3.2 GHz LGA 1150 53W BX80646G3258 Desktop Processor $69

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117374

 

2x4GB DDR3 $40

Lots to choose from, so i'm not linking anything specific. Just verify you get the minimum speed (probably ddr3 1600)

 

This mb would be VT-d ready, but the cpu isn't. this means you can't pass videocards/etc to VMs. You can still run VMs, dockers, etc all just fine. You just can't build something like a gaming machine inside your unRAID box without these features. If you wanted VT-d now, swap to a compatible cpu (most haswell i5 or i7), probably upping your cpu cost from $70 to ~$200+

 

Expensive: $560 (Server mb (12 sata)/xeon /w video/ecc ram)

SUPERMICRO MBD-X10SL7-F-O uATX Server Motherboard LGA 1150 Intel C222 DDR3 1600 $250

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813182821

 

Intel Xeon E3-1226 v3 Haswell 3.3GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1150 84W Server Processor BX80646E31226V3  $225

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117319

 

2x4GB DDR3 EEC $85

 

I think either of these options would greatly increase your overall ability with the server, allow for you to run VMs, even do some passthrough (assuming you have the right mb/cpu combo and free slots to put video cards/etc in), and run all the dockers you might want/etc. You'll have to move your addin sata card over to the cheaper build to keep using all the hdds. I'd also add an SSD cache drive to swap in for your current 2.5" spinner, as you should see a good speed improvement there.

 

Keep in mind as well, if you are looking to start replacing hdds (intead of just adding), many of the hdds today are MUCH faster than any 2tb hdd you currently have. I was just reading an unRAID user who noted that his array while writing parity is much faster than his older spinning cache drive, that he doesn't even use cache anymore for shares. He just uses it for apps/dockers/etc.

 

Passmarks for your current CPU, an i7 870, and a G3258:

CPU Mark 2852 5106 3999

 

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