Ok, so my Bobcat machine was a little underwhelming even for use as an HTPC. I’ve never liked waiting on computers.. so I was forced to buy a Pentium G3258 on sale with the cheapest motherboard they had on the shelf. Going Intel feels a little sacrilege since I’ve been predominantly an AMD guy for a very long time. The performance/$ on this thing is great, especially with a mild overclock. I don’t have to use an external GPU any more (likewise I’d be fine with an AMD APU).. although I will admit I threw a GTX 670 in from my 3-way SLI setup to see how it would do. Turns out a fairly respectable ~5200 in 3DMark Firestrike! I think if I was going to do any gaming with it I’d stick with a GTX 750 Ti, though. The power envelope fits the whole idea better (38.5w TDP GPU + 53w TDP CPU) with good performance in most games at 1080p (as if I have anything 1080p anymore..) I guess I’ll have to take a look into the performance and power of GM206/GTX 860 when it comes out.
Windows 8 has been what I can only describe as “annoying,” and has what I’d call a messsy pathetic UI that MS is trying to futilely push on me. Beyond that I’m annoyed at both Win7 and Win8 not being able to do iSCSI MPIO, which would’ve actually given me good performance to my temporary fileserver (sitting on the VM machine). I’m going to try to pull Win Server 2012 iSCSI utilities and drivers into Win7 for MPIO, but I don’t have all that much faith in it working properly.. so I may just be stuck with getting 10GigE cards for the workstations and a multi-10GigE card for the server. Switches are too damn expensive.
The goal is to get the disks out of all the workstations so I can more easily have snapshots and high performance disk IO across everything I use. The HTPC now boots via iSCSI over one link on an 82571EB card while the other link is for regular network traffic. I’d really like to be using both of the links and leave regular network traffic to the onboard viagra aus frankreich.
I’ve always been a bit of a hardware junkie, but I didn’t think I was too elitist to use an E350 as an HTPC. Apparently I was wrong. I guess it’d still be good for a small NAS box (GigE, not enough PCI-E connectivity to support a fast array and 10GigE adapters) — or a Linux media player. I might do the latter just for watching multicast video over the network if I ever get REALLY bored.