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 Post subject: CPU and memory questions
 Post Posted: Mon May 31, 2010 3:53 am 
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Okay guys, I ordered an HP MediaSmart Server (EX490) to play with for a while, and have plans on upgrading the cpu and memory since the stock components aren't really what we consider to be all that *performance* oriented. Here's a link to the MediaSmart Server if you've never heard of it:

http://www.shopping.hp.com/product/comp ... !234189160

Stock, it comes with an LGA775 Celeron 2.2GHz single core processor, and a single 2GB 800MHz stick of ram.

Something to keep in mind when upgrading the cpu is, you can't use anything other than the original passive HP heatsink, so because of this, 45nm cpu's with low TDP's have been the cpu of choice to keep the heat down. Processors like the E7500, E7600, E8200, E8400, and E8500 have all been used, and all work very well due to their 45nm size and 65W TDP.

Obviously, I want the most performance possible, so I will probably end up with one of the E8x00's due to their 6MB cache, and 1333MHz FSB, which brings me to my question.

From what I can tell, the BIOS is pretty much like a Dell BIOS in that it's, for the most part, locked, and doesn't allow adjustments to the FSB, voltage, etc. The only thing that's adjustable is the timings for the memory. So, if this is the case, and I were to upgrade from the stock 800MHz FSB Celeron, to say the E8400 which has a 1333MHz FSB, will it be reduced down to 800MHz FSB? What generally happens here, and what effect would that have on a cpu designed to operate at 1333MHz FSB?

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i7 3770K @ 4.8GHz (Koolance CPU-380i water block)
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP7 Motherboard
2x4GB Corsair Dominator Platinum @ 1866MHz
EVGA GTX 780 Ti Classified K|NGP|N @ 1500MHz
Dual Corsair Neutron GTX 256GB SSD's in RAID0
Corsair AX1200 power supply
Win7 x64 Ultimate
Lian LI PC-P80B case w/ custom window and lighting
Koolance ERM-2K3U Rev 1.1 (copper) external water cooler
Dell U3011 30" 2560x1600 monitor
Corsair SP2500 2.1 Audio System


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 Post subject: Re: CPU and memory questions
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:07 pm 
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I have a dumb question . . . if you are using this box as a true media server, why the need to upgrade the CPU?

I have been looking at one of these . . .

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Intel i7 950 @ 3.9 GHz
MSI 560 Ti Twin Frozr x2 SLI @ 950 mhz
Gigabyte X58A-UD5
6 GB of Corsair memory (timings unknown atm)
H50 CPU cooler
DF-85 Chasis
3dMark11 P7800 at stock speed, P8643 overclocked


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 Post subject: Re: CPU and memory questions
 Post Posted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:50 pm 
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quick question... how come you went the HP route instead of building your own HTPC rig? Is it price or convenience? I'm looking into building one myself. Since the move, there's no way for me to connect my main rig to the main TV in the living room because of logistical reasons. There's only two choices for me now, either a HTPC or a portable media player (WD Live) connected to an external HDD or wireless streaming.

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i7 920 D0-4200Mhz (1.4125v) Batch-3984A
ASUS P6T V2 Rev 0901
OCZ Reaper 6GB PC3-14400@7-7-7-24
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HAF 932 w/ Silverstone ST1000-P PSU
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
3dmark06 - 24439 @4.0
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 Post subject: Re: CPU and memory questions
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:21 pm 
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davbow wrote:
I have a dumb question . . . if you are using this box as a true media server, why the need to upgrade the CPU?

I have been looking at one of these . . .


The HP EX490 only comes with a Celeron single core cpu, and is quite a snail when it comes to transcoding, converting, duplicating, migrating, collecting, etc. which are all things the HP MediaSmart Server does on a regular basis. Add to that the ability to stream, and transfer files all at the same time and you now have a server that's slower than.....well, you get the point. A dual core processor is the minimum in my opinion, and a quad core would be really nice for when multiple people are accessing your server at the same time or just when there's a lot going on inside the server, and you would like to access it at the same time.

Since I posted this thread, I have received the EX490, and upgraded the cpu to an E8400 which made it a LOT snappier, and I even bought a Q9300 yesterday since it's on sale at Tiger right now, and I got it for $120, shipped, so I couldn't pass up the deal. Heck, if it doesn't work, I'll just throw it in my parents' desktop which only has a Q6600.


kupalupz wrote:
quick question... how come you went the HP route instead of building your own HTPC rig? Is it price or convenience? I'm looking into building one myself. Since the move, there's no way for me to connect my main rig to the main TV in the living room because of logistical reasons. There's only two choices for me now, either a HTPC or a portable media player (WD Live) connected to an external HDD or wireless streaming.


I went with the HP for several reasons. First, and foremost, I went with it for both the price and convenience. Second, the power savings. It only uses a maximum of 50watts and that's with four 7200rpm hdd's and during a lot of tasks going on which are utilizing the cpu about 75%, so at idle, its probably only using around 40watts, which is nice since its on 24/7.

I also went with it for the resale value. Selling a retail box unit (with manufacturers warranty) is always easier to sell vs. a custom built rig.

At first, I wasn't sure if this was even going to work for me, so I went with the safest route just in case I hated it......but now that I have it, I love it. Thing is, I really don't see the advantage of building a full custom rig. This little server does everything I would want it to do, and instantly, so there's really no more performance to be gained by building a server from the ground up. It would still be limited by two things: HDD read/write speeds and your internet connection. The HP server has the ability to process and transfer data faster than my internet connection so (when using it remotely) having a faster rig would do me no good.

Last, this thing is only the size of a large textbook. I have it tucked away in a spare bedroom, and it doesn't even get noticed by anyone. It just hangs out and does its thing for everyone in my home to enjoy. I love it.

_________________
i7 3770K @ 4.8GHz (Koolance CPU-380i water block)
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP7 Motherboard
2x4GB Corsair Dominator Platinum @ 1866MHz
EVGA GTX 780 Ti Classified K|NGP|N @ 1500MHz
Dual Corsair Neutron GTX 256GB SSD's in RAID0
Corsair AX1200 power supply
Win7 x64 Ultimate
Lian LI PC-P80B case w/ custom window and lighting
Koolance ERM-2K3U Rev 1.1 (copper) external water cooler
Dell U3011 30" 2560x1600 monitor
Corsair SP2500 2.1 Audio System


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