Client / Server Advice

Discussion in 'General Support' started by robbo100, October 20, 2010.

  1. robbo100
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    robbo100 Retired Team Member

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    Hi there,



    I have been using MP in the single seat config for quite a while on an E7400 PC with 9400GT graphics (with a DVB-T card, a DVB-S card and a DVB-S2 card installed). Prior to this I was running it on an AMD 3200XP system (which worked but struggled with HD content) which now acts as a FreeNAS server. In short - MediaPortal is bloody brilliant!

    To date, I have never really considered running a seperate Client / Server setup as my current arrangement seems to work well.

    However, I do suffer with some problems with FreeNAS (have difficulty accessing any files at all from my Macbook) and so I am toying with the idea of converting the AMD 3200XP system back to a Windows installation, installing the TV capture cards into that PC and then running MediaPortal Server on this machine.

    Question 1) I know it is very difficult to say, but from other people's experiance would a processor such as the XP3200 be of sufficient to do the server task with 3 capture cards and potentially 3TB storage on 6 drives (1Gig RAM, with PCIe motherboard = MSI K8N SLI Platinum)? When I ran the system before upgrading to the E7400 system, I had no problem recording multiple channels with 2 capture cards so in theory it should work.

    Question 2) When using PowerScheduler in the Server only configuration, will the PC remain active as long as a Client is live? or will it hibernate whenever the TV service is not being used?

    Question 3) Do people find it frustrating having to wait for the server PC coming out of hibernation to watch live TV? (I don't want it running all the time)

    Question 4) Am I correct in saying the the graphics card requirement of the Server PC are not important?

    Thanks in advance of responses.

    Robbo100
     
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  3. funkstar
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    funkstar Retired Team Member

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    Question 1) Easily - The interface is the part that uses the most power. I would recommend an extra gig of ram in there though, not because of the TV server, I would recoment 2GB minimum whatever you were doing :)

    Question 2) Never used PowerScheduler so I can't say, but I would imagine so.

    Question 3) Mine is on 24x7 as it does other things as well.

    Question 4) Correct.

    :)
     
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  4. robbo100
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    robbo100 Retired Team Member

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    Thanks Funkstar,

    If anyone else can help with questions 2 and 3 that would be great.

    Robbo100
     
  5. emphyrio

    emphyrio Portal Pro

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    Question 3) Why don't you suspend to RAM (S3)? Then it only takes 5 seconds to wake up. And I would not find the wait annoying, but that's a matter of personal taste :)
     
  6. robbo100
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    robbo100 Retired Team Member

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    I have always fully hibernated to save as much electricity as possible.

    That said, even full hibernation uses some power. Does anyone have a comparison between S3 and hibernation power usage?

    Robbo100
     
  7. jonm

    jonm Portal Pro

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    2 - mine hibernates if I'm not watching TV on the client, not sure if that's what it's meant to do, though
    3 - not a big deal, esp if you use SSD, you can wake pretty quickly. I use hybrid sleep in Win7.

    I don't have a comparison of the power difference but I could stick my plug-in power consumption meter on a PC at some point if I can find it...
     
  8. robbo100
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    robbo100 Retired Team Member

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    Thanks Jonm.

    Robbo100
     
  9. Jay_UK
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    Jay_UK Test Group

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    Hello mate,

    That processor should be ok. All the TVServer is doing is saving the channel stream(s) to disk - this does not take a tremendous amount of grunt, and having a DB for the channels. Like has been stated I would put an extra GB of RAM in there at least. What about Timeshifting though? Will it be hosting the DBs for anything else?

    As to hibernation, its down to how you configure it. It can keep the server on, or turn it off if not watching TV, or TV it off if you aren't using it at all (eg not watching movies or music), etc...

    Hibernation does not use any power when hibernated (in theory) as it saves the data to disk. Suspend/Sleep/S3 is the way to go... this keeps the RAM alive, but reduces the power to everything else. Then its a matter of a few seconds to wake.

    I have my client configured to WOL the server when it starts, such that in theory by the time I watch TV/movies/music/etc the server is alive. I have the server configured to detect Network usage and only allow hibernation on homescreen from the client. I would suggest you check out Mr Hipps new patch for TV Server suspend, or the new PowerScheduler++ plugin.

    J.
     
  10. robbo100
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    robbo100 Retired Team Member

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    Thanks Jay,

    Technically even hibernation must use some power as it usually powers the 5V rail to enable WOL from complete power down. The difference between S4 and S3 is probably only that a small additional amount of hardware (maybe even just RAM) is supplied with power. I have read on some websites that where S4 runs at about 1.8W, S3 is only 2.5W which is still tiny really.

    I have to admit, the main reason why I went down the FreeNAS route was that I had a spare PC and a lot of fairly small hard drives. In order to make the transition from FreeNAS to separate Clent/Server I decided to buy another hard drive such that I could install the server software on a new drive (and not loose any data on any of the FreeNAS discs).

    Looking on-line I realised that a new 1.5 TB disc was soooooo cheap nowadays, that I could replace my whole FreeNAS setup with by just sticking a new 1.5 TB disc into my existing single seat setup. The cost would probably be recovered in a year or two by the reduced power consumption of a FreeNAS server not running in the loft.

    All is not lost though, as I will probably use the FreeNAS server as a low powered MP client server by my current single seat system.

    I saw the new script written by Mr Hipps and I will get it installed when I get the system up and running.

    My current problem is that my HTPC seems to power-up all the time from S3 without intentional command, but I have (on previous PCs) seen this happen due to UPnP on the router. Hopefully this won't be difficult to fix.

    Thanks

    Rob
     
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