CPU upgrade from Xeon D-1541 for Media Server

IamSpartacus

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Mar 14, 2016
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Currently I have a Xeon D-1541 in my AOI media server that runs about 15 dockers and 3-4 VMs. I'm looking to get a little more horse power in the CPU department for Plex.

Currently I have this board: ASRock Rack > D1541D4U-2O8R

I'm pretty much looking for a CPU/Motherboard combo that will have similar features including:
  • At least 8C/16T
  • Sub 100w TDP CPU
  • MicroATX
  • Onboard HBA that supports 8+ drives in IT mode.
  • 10Gb Networking (dual SFP+)
  • 1-2 M.2 slots (support for 2280 SSDs)
I'd prefer to not need add-on cards for either Networking or Storage as I have an Optane 900P AIC that will take up one of the slots already.

BUDGET: Roughly $1,500 max.
 
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marcoi

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Do you have a budget in mind? I ask because you probably going to get a huge range of suggestions without one.
 

IamSpartacus

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Mar 14, 2016
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Do you have a budget in mind? I ask because you probably going to get a huge range of suggestions without one.
I don't have a hard budget but being that I paid $1000 for my current CPU/board combo, I'd say probably $1,500 would be a good starting point for an upgrade for the CPU/MoBo combo.

One other piece I forgot to add is I'd prefer to keep the TDP of the CPU under 100w as my server is not in the best location for ventilation.
 

IamSpartacus

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this MB might be a little larger then your current MB since it is flex ATX and the price is 1700
X11SDV-12C-TP8F | Motherboards | Products - Super Micro Computer, Inc.
Supermicro X11SDV-12C-TP8F Embedded Processor

I wanted to get one of the higher end boards as reviewed by sth:
https://www.servethehome.com/supermicro-x11sdv-16c-tp8f-review-network-cpu-galore/

But the 2500+ price tag put that out.
I have indeed looked at the Xeon D-2100 chips, and they are nice. But I'm not sure they are enough of an upgrade with regard to the specific workload I'm looking for (mainly video transcoding). Plex (well ffmpeg) seems to like fewer faster cores than more cores. Plus I'm paying for additional features I don't need such as supporting 5 times as much RAM. They Xeon D's also don't have Quick Sync which may be helpful in the near future.

Honestly, the Xeon E series is most attractive to me but the most cores I can get is 6C/12T and I can't go backwards from 8C/16T as I'd rather have more core overhead for VM's, not less.
 

marcoi

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with video transcoding, do you need more cores or more freq or both? Also can you increase processing power by using a video card?
 

amalurk

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Dec 16, 2016
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Xeon E-2146g or 76 is like 50% higher passmark score and about 100% more single threaded. Even if less cores, it is still a big boost.
 

Patrick

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Are you looking to replace, or add a second board/ system? What kind of memory are you looking for?
 

IamSpartacus

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Mar 14, 2016
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with video transcoding, do you need more cores or more freq or both? Also can you increase processing power by using a video card?
Similar amount of cores I have now, higher frequency. Video card hardware transcoding is far inferior to CPU video transcoding at this point.


Xeon E-2146g or 76 is like 50% higher passmark score and about 100% more single threaded. Even if less cores, it is still a big boost.
That part I know and it's why it's so appealing to me, but I'm just afraid I'm going to miss the extra vCPUs.


Are you looking to replace, or add a second board/ system? What kind of memory are you looking for?
Looking to replace the board and use the same RAM (32GB DDR4 RDIMMs).
 

marcoi

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you could go with single proc mb like this : X11SPM-TPF for 400-500 dollars
X11SPM-TPF | Motherboards | Products - Super Micro Computer, Inc.

Then get a used Silver CPU for 800-1000
Intel® Xeon® Silver 4116 Processor (16.5M Cache, 2.10 GHz) Product Specifications

Compare of 4116 vs d-1541 vs e-2146g
PassMark - CPU Comparison Intel Xeon Silver 4116 vs Intel Xeon D-1541 vs Intel Xeon E-2146G

Then when intel golds drop in price you can upgrade.

Note: Not sure about sata onboard being hba mode
 
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jingram

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Oct 21, 2018
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I just went through this exact same debate and settled on the e-2100 series.

I was able to get an e-2176g from TigerDirect within a couple of days. They also had the e-2186g in stock too, but at higher TDP. My take on this is that although more cores would be nice, most of the time those cores are most likely idle. You have hardware transcoding and a lost of brute force single threaded horsepower. With dockerized services, I think the e-2100 series seems like a better win, unless you absolutely need the cores.
 

Patrick

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@jingram - you would probably laugh at our labs right now.

We have a SM 1U E-2186G
We have a HPE ML30 Gen10
Dell EMC R240, R340, T140, T340

Allegedly we have several other E-2100 servers inbound. Something like 4-5 E-2186G CPUs (review later today on STH) and the rest assorted CPUs.

The nice thing is I think we will have coverage of all the E-2100 Dell EMC/ HPE gear, along with the Microserver Gen10 and the ML110 (single socket below and above the ML30) by sometime in Q1.
 

IamSpartacus

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Mar 14, 2016
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Xeon E looks like the best CPU choice for me. The real issue is I'm immediately maxing out the system from day 1 because both PCI-E slots will be taken (10Gb NIC, Intel Optane 900P AIC) and every single SATA port is taken (max supported is 8 on any board and that's how many drives I currently have. So to spend money on a new CPU/MoBo with ZERO ability to expand doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Maybe the Xeon Silver (to Gold down the line) path is my best option.
 

IamSpartacus

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Mar 14, 2016
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The TDP is your limiter. EPYC 7351P would be KILLER for this.
I've definitely gone down the road of considering EPYC. I just don't see how I'd cool it in my office rack which is half in a closet (no other location is an option unfortunately). I've even considered re-purposing my Threadripper 1950x rig but with no IPMI on any Threadripper boards that's out of the question.
 

PigLover

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Jan 26, 2011
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Go with the 6 core E-21xx. Once you have the extra single-threaded clocks you won't cry for the missing 2+2 cores.