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Upgrading personal rig + building a stream encoding + rendering + NAS machine


#1

My current system has an i7-6700K running at 4.5GHz using a Noctua NH-D15 cooler on an MSI Z170-A Pro mobo, and an EVGA GTX 1080 SuperClocked.
I was noticing that my system is having issues keeping the overclock working properly, as I set it to 1.36 vcore. The issue is that the CPU temps are fine, but the VRM temps get pretty high and thus cause thermal throttling.

My initial plan was to get a new Z270 board with better VRM’s, but I figured if I’m spending >$150 for a decent overclocking board, I might as well upgrade to Z370 and get an 8700K, and then use the 6700K + MSI motherboard as a server.

Now it gets a little more complicated: my friend who wants to build his first PC and isn’t as interested in overclocking his build, so I offered to sell the 6700K + mobo for $350 to him.

Here’s the breakdown of the parts for both PC’s. If the part doesn’t have a price next to it, it means that I already own that part.
Gaming PC:

  • Intel - Core i7-8700K 3.7GHz 6-Core Processor ($347.00 @ SuperBiiz)
  • Noctua - NH-D15 82.5 CFM CPU Cooler
  • Gigabyte - Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 (rev. 1.0) ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($188.66 @ Walmart)
  • G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-2133 Memory
  • Samsung - 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
  • Seagate - 5TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive
  • Western Digital - BLACK SERIES 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
  • EVGA - GeForce GTX 1080 8GB ACX 3.0 Video Card
  • be quiet! - Dark Base 700 ATX Mid Tower Case ($169.99 @ SuperBiiz)
  • EVGA - SuperNOVA P2 650W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
  • Noctua - NF-A14 PWM 82.5 CFM 140mm Fan
    Total: $705.65

Server PC:

  • AMD - Ryzen 7 2700 3.2GHz 8-Core Processor ($289.89 @ SuperBiiz)
  • Noctua - NH-U12S 55.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($57.99 @ Amazon)
  • Gigabyte - X470 AORUS ULTRA GAMING ATX AM4 Motherboard ($129.99 @ Newegg)
  • G.Skill - Flare X 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($150.99 @ Newegg)
  • Samsung - 850 EVO-Series 1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive
  • Fractal Design - Arc Midi R2 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case
  • EVGA - SuperNOVA G3 550W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($63.98 @ Newegg)
    Total: $726.84

Basically, I plan to replace the 6700K with the 8700K, replace the MSI Z170 mobo with a Gigabyte Z370 one, and replace the Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 case with a Be Quiet Dark Base 700. The 6700K, the MSI Z170 mobo, and Fractal Design case in the server.

The stream encoding will be done over ethernet using OBS on both machines and using the NDI plugin, so that should be easy to set up. The gaming machine will stream to the server using the Nvenc encoder at 1440p 60fps and >60Mbps to preserve quality and keep my game play smooth, while the server will re-encode that stream into 1080p 60fps 6Mbps to Twitch.

The NAS part of the system is so that I can use all the spare HDD’s I have lying about for something useful. I’d like for it to have the drives spanned or RAID-ed together to create one large volume, but I want to make sure that there is some security to those drives. Speed really isn’t an issue if that’s a sacrifice I’d have to make.
I also want this NAS to be accessible by everyone in my house through both ethernet and wifi on multiple machines: a few Windows desktops & laptops, a MacOS laptop and iPhone, and Android devices. It’d also be nice if I could “partition” the NAS into sections that restricts users to only accessing their assigned partition, with one single partition being a “shared” one between all users.

As for an OS, I was planning on using Windows Server 2016 (I already have a license from Microsoft Dreamspark / Imagine). The plan is that I can use Microsoft’s Storage Spaces to combine the space of the drives but be able to implement a Storage Space Parity setup to make sure if any drives fail that I have some protection. I also get to use Adobe apps that I need for audio / video / photo editing on the server itself. The last thing is that I want to run Gitlab on the system, so I plan to run a Linux VM to host it.

So that leaves a lot of questions I want to ask, like:

  1. Are the parts I plan to get good choices for both the personal and the server machines?
  2. What’s the best way to configure the drives to make sure I don’t lose any data due to drive failure?
  3. How can I configure the storage to be limited by the user accessing it?

I’m probably forgetting some stuff, but that’s the gist of the setup.


#2

COMPUTER HARDWARE:
If it were me, I would dial my overclock back to what the VRMs on your board can handle. The 8700k wouldn’t be worth $200 and rebuilding my PC… to me. You’re just not going to see a noticeable increase in performance for all the hassle. If you just… WANT to, go ahead, but I’d save that $200 for RAID drives.

SERVER HARDWARE:
It isn’t an ISSUE, per say, but you don’t need a huge Noctua cooler for a server… the CPU won’t be overclocked and it won’t be maxing the CPU with the workload you’re speaking of… I’d take that $60 and put it into case fans.

Also, again… not an issue… but a 250GB M.2 SSD is more than enough to hold a couple OS. You won’t have a bunch of core programs on a server like you would a desktop. You will have some, but they aren’t drive-hoggers. IF you already have it, that’s fine… I’d use the bigger drive in the day-to-day rig. All you want is your OS separate from your RAID drives for updating/maintenance/etc.

If you want to run ZFS, double your more RAM

Server Questions:

  • What drives are planning on using/how much storage is needed?
  • Are you sure about Windows Server 2016? It’s very heavyhanded for what you’re doing…

The file system/OS will dictate how you do permissions… be it Linux ext4, Linux BTRFS, FreeBSD ZFS, Windows NTFS, etc… you’ll have access to different permissions controllers and RAID setups. Obviously, the steps to accomplish it will be different, but essentially you’ll mark folders, not partitions with user/pass restrictions. You could set up separate partitions entirely, but that would unnecessarily over-complicate the RAID structure when you can do something as simple, fool-proof, and easy to maintain as user permissions.

I would say initial setup is easiest on Windows Server… but as far as stability, I’d say FreeNAS, CentOS, etc…

You can set up a Samba share pretty easily with any Linux system and have it accessible across the board. You can even set up web-based GUI if you like…