CPU upgrade from Xeon D-1541 for Media Server

IamSpartacus

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2016
2,274
548
113
What prompted you to choose that board out of curiosity? Only 5 x SATA Ports, only 1 x M2 port. Seems like they have newer, more fully featured options than that board, which would give you 8 x SATA ports, 2 x M2 ports, etc.

In my mind either X11SCH-F or X11SCH-LN4F make the most sense. Same form factor, more options. Only thing needed at that point would be 10Gb ethernet, which you need anyway. Frankly, I'm not sure why you would bother with the P2000. Emby seems to have the tightest integration with the Intel iGPU and the one in the e-2100 series is the fastest.

I chose the X11SCH-LN4F, but am still waiting for delivery. Tiger Direct finally kicked it off to SM for drop shipment.
I haven't really chosen this specific board yet but I can't seem to access the product page of any of the SM X11 boards today so I haven't had a chance to compare.

But I'm going to use an LSI 9300-16i HBA so I'm not concerned about the amount of SATA ports now. I just want at least one M.2 slot, 1 x PCIE x16 (for a future GPU possibly) and 2 more PCIe slots for HBA and 10Gb NIC.
 

jingram

Member
Oct 21, 2018
53
7
8
Yeah, your requirement for 3 x PCIe slots really limits you in an mATX board. Figure 10Gb NIC takes one unless you are happy with LACP across the 4 x 1Gb NICs onboard. If you are chasing both a graphics card, the Optane, plus your LSI card because the onboard SATA isn't enough, you really are stuck going full ATX and the limitations around that if you are looking for a smaller chassis.
 

IamSpartacus

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2016
2,274
548
113
Yeah, your requirement for 3 x PCIe slots really limits you in an mATX board. Figure 10Gb NIC takes one unless you are happy with LACP across the 4 x 1Gb NICs onboard. If you are chasing both a graphics card, the Optane, plus your LSI card because the onboard SATA isn't enough, you really are stuck going full ATX and the limitations around that if you are looking for a smaller chassis.
I decided to exchange my Optane AIC for the 2.5" variant. This way I can use 2 PCEi slots for HBA/NIC and leave one open for expansion/potential GPU down the line.
 

stresslvl0

New Member
Jan 7, 2019
4
1
3
Hmm, this thread has me rethinking the build I've been putting together. I was looking to build a server for a similar use-case using a X11SPL-F and a Silver 4108 CPU. I hadn't considered integrated graphics options at all. Am I really underestimating their help here? For reference most of my media is high bitrate 1080p h264 files with a few h265 files mixed in and I would only expect to have around 3 streams going at a time.
 

Netwerkz101

Active Member
Dec 27, 2015
280
73
28
Alright, I think I've decided to go in the direction of the Xeon E-2176G + this board. I'll add an HBA and Dual SFP+ NIC and still have a PCIe x16 slot left for an add-on GPU down the line if Plex/Linux ever support something like the P2000.

Of course the vendor that I bought the 3647 board from has a 15% restocking fee on even unopend items so I'll have to put that board up for sale.
X11SCZ-F:
1 PCI-E 3.0 x16,
2 PCI-E 3.0 x4 (in x8 slot)

SAS 9300-16i:
Host Bus Type: x8 lane PCI Express® 3.0

Dual Port 10Gb: x4 or x8 ???

So do you have any performance concerns with the HBA (x8) going into a x4 slot?
Or you use it in the x16 slot until you get a GPU?
 

IamSpartacus

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2016
2,274
548
113
X11SCZ-F:
1 PCI-E 3.0 x16,
2 PCI-E 3.0 x4 (in x8 slot)

SAS 9300-16i:
Host Bus Type: x8 lane PCI Express® 3.0

Dual Port 10Gb: x4 or x8 ???

So do you have any performance concerns with the HBA (x8) going into a x4 slot?
Or you use it in the x16 slot until you get a GPU?
Ohhh, hmmm I did not see that. That could be an issue. Both my NIC and HBA are going PCIe x8 and I'd like a x16 available for a GPU in the future. The problem is I don't see any boards (even ATX) that have at least two x8 and one x16. I guess the real question is, which (if any) of the cards are going to suffer the most from not being in a full speed slot?
 

Aestr

Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2014
900
296
63
Los Angeles
It really depends on how much you expect to push each card. PCIe 3.0 single lane bandwidth is 985MB/s in each direction so a 4x is just under 4GB/s. That is clearly more than enough for a dual port 10gb NIC so that's safe. While the 9300-16i could potentially get bottlenecked by a 4x slot that would only be problematic if you are looking for very fast data transfers within the physical server as your network can't push more than 20gb/s.

In the end it probably makes the most sense to put the GPU in the 16x slot as it has the spacing for a double slot card.
 

IamSpartacus

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2016
2,274
548
113
It really depends on how much you expect to push each card. PCIe 3.0 single lane bandwidth is 985MB/s in each direction so a 4x is just under 4GB/s. That is clearly more than enough for a dual port 10gb NIC so that's safe. While the 9300-16i could potentially get bottlenecked by a 4x slot that would only be problematic if you are looking for very fast data transfers within the physical server as your network can't push more than 20gb/s.

In the end it probably makes the most sense to put the GPU in the 16x slot as it has the spacing for a double slot card.
Good call. I'm not super familiar with PCEi lane speeds so thank you for that. I will have some Optanes on the 9305-16i so I don't want the PCIe to hold it back but I'd say 4GB/s is going to suffice there too.
 

Netwerkz101

Active Member
Dec 27, 2015
280
73
28
It really depends on how much you expect to push each card. PCIe 3.0 single lane bandwidth is 985MB/s in each direction so a 4x is just under 4GB/s. That is clearly more than enough for a dual port 10gb NIC so that's safe. While the 9300-16i could potentially get bottlenecked by a 4x slot that would only be problematic if you are looking for very fast data transfers within the physical server as your network can't push more than 20gb/s.

In the end it probably makes the most sense to put the GPU in the 16x slot as it has the spacing for a double slot card.
Hmm... Yeah ... by the PCIe 3.0 spec numbers ..x4
should allow for ~31Gbps (more than 20Gbps NIC or 12Gbps HBA).

I guess in my mind I am thinking more of the actual device being used in those slots and how
they make use of the available lanes .. i.e. even though a x4 PCIe slot can handle the bandwidth of
either the NIC or HBA ...do those devices themselves have limits when they only have half the lanes available to them.

Device A requires PCIe 3.0 x8 slot: uses 2 channels, x4 lanes each, when only 1 channel is used it's limited to 50% bandwidth use. <~~ best idea of an example I can give of what's in my head.

I guess it's a non-issue ... just something that popped in my head while reviewing the changes.
 
Last edited:

IamSpartacus

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2016
2,274
548
113
Hmm... Yeah ... by the PCIe 3.0 spec numbers ..x4
should allow for ~31Gbps (more than 20Gbps NIC or 12Gbps HBA).

I guess in my mind I am thinking more of the actual device being used in those slots and how
they make use of the available lanes .. i.e. even though a x4 PCIe slot can handle the bandwidth of
either the NIC or HBA ...do those devices themselves have limits when they only have half the lanes available to them.

I guess it's a non-issue ... just something that popped in my head while reviewing the changes.
I'm glad you brought it up, I rarely ever think about PCIe lanes and speeds so it's a good call out.
 

PigLover

Moderator
Jan 26, 2011
2,964
1,271
113
Hmm... Yeah ... by the PCIe 3.0 spec numbers ..x4 should allow for ~31Gbps (more than 20Gbps NIC or 12Gbps HBA)....
YMMV, and it is very dependent on the chip design of the add on card. Anecdotally from my experience:
  • LSI/Avago HBAs and Raid Controllers are very good about using the available bandwidth. Their x8 cards work great in x4 electrical slots. Unless you are running HUGE arrays of SAS3 SSDs you probably won't even notice.

  • Mellanox NICs not so much. Even though PCI 3.0 x4 electrical has plenty of bandwidth to drive 2 10Gbe links, when plugged into an x4 slot the card struggles with symptoms that look like link saturation.
Most of the time the cards will work with the number of lanes provided (heck, in a pinch to get an array back up I've even run LSI cards in x1 slots). Working well is hit-and-miss.
 

IamSpartacus

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2016
2,274
548
113
Are you planning to use a 9305-16i or a 9405w-16i? I don't think the 9300 series supports any NVME/pcie drives.
Oh really? Man, this project just keeps expanding further and further :(. Well it looks like the pricing of them is quite similar so it shouldn't be a big deal.
 

IamSpartacus

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2016
2,274
548
113
Ok got some parts ordered:

CPU (well preordered, let me know if anyone has a line on one in stock for < $400)
MoBo

Need RAM and an 1151 cooler. Looking for something silent on the cooling front so probably will go with a large Noctua. Anyone have suggestions. I think now that I'm set on the direction of this server i'll probably do a build thread.

EDIT: PMS 4.0
 
Last edited:

jingram

Member
Oct 21, 2018
53
7
8
So I have to ask, outside of the hobbyism, what is the need for a full ATX platform here?

10Gb Ethernet? I really doubt you are pushing those speeds out to other folks if this is a personal media server, which it appears to be. It certainly wouldn’t be for internal consumption within the home, unless you are just pushing data back and forth for no reason, unless you don’t trust differentials for things like backup. It certainly isn’t a requirement for streaming multiple instances .

You’re buying a 2176g specifically because of its GPU, so then I question why the p2000 even comes into play, unless it is around encoding and if that’s the case, why not simply leverage speed of the e-2176g that is otherwise staying idle.

Same goes for storage. You’re getting 8 x SATA on board plus 2 x m.2 NVMe.

In mind you either chase extensibility with something like a Xeon silver and build around add-in cards for the majority of functions, which seems to be your preferred approach or you chase the more integrated approach recognizing that there are limits to both approaches.

I get it if this is purely about bragging rights and doing it because you can, but otherwise I’m not sure I see the point as there isn’t much of a use case for a single box media server play in the typical home, even if you are serving outside family, etc.
 

jingram

Member
Oct 21, 2018
53
7
8
Nevermind, somehow missed you pulled the trigger. Congratulations. As an aside, love those Noctua coolers, good kit it is!
 

IamSpartacus

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2016
2,274
548
113
So I have to ask, outside of the hobbyism, what is the need for a full ATX platform here?

10Gb Ethernet? I really doubt you are pushing those speeds out to other folks if this is a personal media server, which it appears to be. It certainly wouldn’t be for internal consumption within the home, unless you are just pushing data back and forth for no reason, unless you don’t trust differentials for things like backup. It certainly isn’t a requirement for streaming multiple instances .

You’re buying a 2176g specifically because of its GPU, so then I question why the p2000 even comes into play, unless it is around encoding and if that’s the case, why not simply leverage speed of the e-2176g that is otherwise staying idle.

Same goes for storage. You’re getting 8 x SATA on board plus 2 x m.2 NVMe.

In mind you either chase extensibility with something like a Xeon silver and build around add-in cards for the majority of functions, which seems to be your preferred approach or you chase the more integrated approach recognizing that there are limits to both approaches.

I get it if this is purely about bragging rights and doing it because you can, but otherwise I’m not sure I see the point as there isn’t much of a use case for a single box media server play in the typical home, even if you are serving outside family, etc.

Not sure what you meant by full ATX platform as I was never going full ATX...MicroATX was always the plan. 10Gb networking is needed. I have 1Gbps WAN UL & DL and I backup my server across a VPN to my parents house (also 1Gbps) daily so I easily push over 1Gbps at times. Does that mean I need 10Gb for that? No. But I also do a lot of copying of large video files from my PC to the server (sometimes hundreds of GB at a time) and really appreciate the 1GBps transfer speeds there.

I’m not sure I see the point as there isn’t much of a use case for a single box media server play in the typical home
This isn't computing for me. You don't see the point in a single box media server at home?