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TyantA

The Hardware Shuffle: Upgrade my Desktop or Server?

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Quick version: 

 

Current Unraid Server: 

P9X79 Pro

i7 3820

16GB DDR3

Arctic Freezer i11 compact cooler

 

Current Desktop: 

P9X79 (vanilla)

i7 3970X

32GB DDR3

Noctua D14 cooler

 

I have the opportunity to sell my i7 3820, 16GB ram & P9X79. 

 

Need to decide whether to upgrade my main desktop to Ryzen (and move the 3970X to the server) or focus on a lower power/heat server upgrade that will handle 4k. 

 

Current mobo doesn't support CPUs with QuickSync so there's the draw to moving to something that does for encoding abilities. Prior to this, my plan was to pick up a Radeon RX 470 to better handle transcoding over the 7950 I have in there currently. I don't have a 4k projector yet, but have started collecting content and plan to make the move one day. I currently only run one VM which is a W10 install that runs my Plex client and other HTPC functions. I wanted to run a 2nd VM for the potential of split screen gaming on my projector one day, but that's not a priority. 

 

3970X + RX 470 + 32GB ram would handle this well, I think, but be a bit of a power hungry beast for 24/7 operation. The other trick is finding a cooler that will fit in my 4U case but still cool the 150w CPU. The Arctic Freezer i11 I'm using currently would need to go with the parts I'm selling, however, it is rated for 150w. Its successor though, the Freezer 12 is only rated for 130w??

 

But I love the idea of upgrading my main desktop if this is the route I go. The flip side is, that could turn into a much more expensive upgrade and the budget is tight. Maybe it makes the most sense to look at an Intel QuickSync capable CPU, mobo, memory and adequate cooler then call it a day. 

 

Thoughts? 

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Actually, the thing that prompted this was a motherboard that was misbehaving. I was trying to build a PC with it but it had onboard audio issues, wouldn't save BIOS settings with the power unplugged even with a new battery and sometimes the NIC would drop out. I ended up using parts from the systems listed above to get this other system up and running. 

 

I assumed I'd then have to upgrade one of the other two systems. 

 

Then I thought about it: Audio isn't an issue in a server. It's always connected to a UPS and if the BIOS settings reset, NBD. As for the NIC, if it does flake out (seemed to only happen when a PCI sound card was installed) I could potentially use an add-in card. 

 

Not to mention the P8Z68-V Pro in question has QuickSync which I'm hoping might come in handy for Plex (even though it's paired with a 2nd gen i7) and still has 8 SATA ports on board. All in all, it's only a few passmarks shy of the 3820 I had in there. Oh, and the PCI(-e) slot config makes it more realistic to get two GPUs in there (not to mention having onboard video freeing one up too!)

 

I dropped it in last night and the server (so far) is behaving just fine! Not sure how much life it has in it with those gremlins... but in some ways this almost feels like a little "upgrade". 

Edited by TyantA

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