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jimzak
2011-05-26, 13:39
I've tried the following computers as servers for SBS:

1. HP Slimline Pentium dual core (XP 32 bit, 2GB RAM)

This worked fine with good performance and reasonable scan tims but I had concerns about energy usage.

2. Emachines Atom, 1st gen, single core (XP 32 bit, 2GB RAM)

This one was much more efficient, but scans took 45+ minutes and I'm adding a lot of new music all the time. Streaming performance was fine.

3. Homemade 1st gen i3 dual core desktop (Win7 64 bit, 4GB RAM)

Fast scans, but running a desktop with a separate monitor seems inefficient.

4. MSI 1st gen i3 dual core notebook (Win7 64 bit, 4GB RAM)

This seems to be the sweet spot for me. It's a cheap, refurbished notebook. Scans are fast and streaming is fine. The whole thing runs on one power brick, and it stays very cool. Personally I think this is the right balance for performance and efficiency.

Addendum: This is a dedicated server computer, used only for SBS.

YMMV.

Soulkeeper
2011-05-26, 14:20
AFAIU, Linux will allow you to run on 1/4 of the RAM and CPU capacity, with better performance. (Or so I've heard. I use Win myself, and have only tested Linux a little bit, but it seems to be the case.)

I agree that if you have a spare laptop, it makes a good server, because they don't use much power, and if you want to do some maintainance that cannot be done via remote control, the screen, keyboard and touch pad are ready to use.

Letten
2011-05-26, 14:32
And it can be used for other purposes as well.

We just user our "main" laptop for SBS. It's really a desktop replacement with 17" screen, 2*500Gb drives, Core 5i 540M, 4Gb RAM.

With WOL it doesn't use that much power, 1,7Watt suspended, approx 17watt while streaming, 21watt if LED screen is on (someone using the PC).

JJZolx
2011-05-26, 14:34
Using remote desktop software for Windows or Linux, you don't need a locally attached keyboard, mouse, or monitor. And if you're running Linux and can manage a server from the console, you don't even need remote desktop. And it's more convenient than physically going to the server when you need to perform some maintenance task.

I'm not big on using notebooks as servers for a number of reasons. One is the cost, where you can almost always buy or build a comparable desktop/nettop for less than the cost of a notebook. Another is that you're pretty much forced to use external disk drives for storage of a large music library. That means an extra wall wart and a couple of extra cables, which is just kinda messy.

Soulkeeper
2011-05-26, 15:20
Depends on the scenario I guess. I am using an old 1 GHz thing in a tower cabinet. It makes a bit of noise and heat, sucks in loads of dust, and guzzles electricity, but where I live it's usually so cold that the server doubles as a heater anyway. No keyboard or screen attached.

But if I wanted something less power hungry, I'd consider buying a used laptop (possibly with a broken screen, so that I'd get it even cheaper) and put it in a drawer somewhere, together with two or three USB hard drives.

Cables are everywhere, anyway. I've given up fighting them a long time ago. :D

SuperQ
2011-05-26, 15:25
The mac mini also makes a good server. Very small, quiet, power efficient.

slate
2011-05-26, 15:47
But if I wanted something less power hungry, I'd consider buying a used laptop (possibly with a broken screen, so that I'd get it even cheaper) and put it in a drawer somewhere, together with two or three USB hard drives.
That was also the first thing i looked for; also better for the enviroment to recycle an old laptop.

vrette
2011-05-26, 16:20
I'm using an Asus E35M1-M PRO running Windows 7 Pro 64 bit and quite like it. Energy usage is low, and the performance is more than acceptable.

http://tinyurl.com/4yoc2ud
http://tinyurl.com/3ksfhdm

boatnanny
2011-05-26, 16:30
An atom based system is the way to go choose one of the dual core models,install vortexbox (www.vortexbox.org) and hide it away in a corner you wont go back to anything else

pski
2011-05-26, 16:39
The mac mini also makes a good server. Very small, quiet, power efficient.

Maybe an old Mac Mini.. The thing could run for years <decades> on the extra money you spend.

By the way, the more efficient the Mac Mini, the stronger this argument.

P

ajkidle
2011-05-26, 17:45
an atom based system is the way to go choose one of the dual core models,install vortexbox (www.vortexbox.org) and hide it away in a corner you wont go back to anything else

+1

pski
2011-05-26, 18:13
By else, I mean anything other than music?

Before you ask about all the "servers," ask if you need (or know) what they do.

P

dsdreamer
2011-05-26, 19:40
an atom based system is the way to go choose one of the dual core models,install vortexbox (www.vortexbox.org) and hide it away in a corner you wont go back to anything else

+1.

slate
2011-05-26, 23:27
2. Emachines Atom, 1st gen, single core (XP 32 bit, 2GB RAM)

This one was much more efficient, but scans took 45+ minutes and I'm adding a lot of new music all the time. Streaming performance was fine.

Forgot to comment on this...

As can be seen from my signature I didn't find an old laptop at the time and built a server with an Atom dual-core.
With my 10.000 tracks it is pretty fast for me.

About scanning performance; I am running 7.6 and it is wicked fast compared to 7.5. Back on 29 september I did a comparison on my then 8136 track library.

7.3.3 20:57
7.4.2 16:03
7.5.2 16:06
7.6.0_31389 3:47

Half of the time saving came from artwork handling 6:26 -> 0:23
The first big reduction was changing the artwork handling to use SQLite. And then in August/September Andy optimised the code further; but as I recall not everyone would see all the improvements from the code changes..... a x86 library was introduced, but the improvements from that would only benefit SBS on x86.

Below the times from back then - text is in danish but you get the picture

Version: 7.5.2 - r31387 @ Wed Sep 29 02:07:14 PDT 2010

Indeksering af mapper (8136 af 8136) Fuldstændig 00:09:01
Søgning efter afspilningslister (1 af 1) Fuldstændig 00:00:00
Flet Diverse kunstnere (658 af 658) Fuldstændig 00:00:39
Søg efter covere (747 af 747) Fuldstændig 00:06:26


Version: 7.6.0 - r31389 @ Wed Sep 29 02:08:01 PDT 2010

Søger efter filer (9438 af 9438) Fuldstændig 00:00:28
Søg efter nye filer (8136 af 8136) Fuldstændig 00:02:56
Søger efter filer (2 af 2) Fuldstændig 00:00:00
Søg efter nye afspilningslister (1 af 1) Fuldstændig 00:00:00
Gem coverbilleder i cachelager (639 af 639) Fuldstændig 00:00:23

Soulkeeper
2011-05-27, 00:47
By else, I mean anything other than music?

Before you ask about all the "servers," ask if you need (or know) what they do.

A very good point. Personally I need some extra capacity for running some other stuff 24/7. But nothing that couldn't be done better in Linux I guess. I run Windows only because I'm too lazy to change old habits.

fairyliquidizer
2011-05-28, 01:31
Personally I reckon the argument should start with what hardware you own and can repurpose.

When I killed my Pogoplug (which with 7.6 I had no performance concerns with).... I remembered that I had an EEE PC 701 with a Celeron M and 1GB RAM and an nlited XP install. This is more than powerful for running Squeezebox server with spotify, music ip, custom browse, dynamic playlists, spicefly sugarcube and a few more plugins.

When the solid state drive on this dies I am getting a laptop from my sister with a broken display and I'll use that probably with Debian or vortexbox.

It's all reasonably power efficient and I haven't wasted money on extra hardware.

Oh my tunes are stored on a 2.5" portable hard disk so no extra power is required.

satkinsn
2011-05-28, 04:56
Using remote desktop software for Windows or Linux, you don't need a locally attached keyboard, mouse, or monitor. And if you're running Linux and can manage a server from the console, you don't even need remote desktop. And it's more convenient than physically going to the server when you need to perform some maintenance task.

I'm not big on using notebooks as servers for a number of reasons. One is the cost, where you can almost always buy or build a comparable desktop/nettop for less than the cost of a notebook. Another is that you're pretty much forced to use external disk drives for storage of a large music library. That means an extra wall wart and a couple of extra cables, which is just kinda messy.

I have this debate with myself all the time. One thought: shouldn't using external drives be viewed as an advantage, in that it separates the music from the OS?

s.

slate
2011-05-28, 05:31
I have this debate with myself all the time. One thought: shouldn't using external drives be viewed as an advantage, in that it separates the music from the OS?

When I put my server together I choose a small SSD for OS and a green 1 TB for music.

Reasoning:
- fast startup when awoken by WOL package (reality 6-10 seconds)
- When listening to radio the data drive will be shutdown

aubuti
2011-05-28, 06:37
When I put my server together I choose a small SSD for OS and a green 1 TB for music.
That's certainly a good approach, as is using partitions on a single physical drive. In other words, you don't need an external drive -- or even two physical drives -- to separate the music from the OS.