Computing Resources Optimisation [2C]

Still looking at this, really just fine tuning expectations / specs. Last time I talked about task separation. Running stuff on mediapc is still a test case really. What has turned out to be important however is limitations on mediapc caused by it having an old CPU that is slow to decode some video formats. This led to problems recently with video playback from the Vimeo site – there was an issue with bandwidth limits on my internet feed, but when the limits were eased I still had problems with video dropout, and since the NUC had no problems at all, I determined it was most likely the hardware spec of this computer, which is the oldest full size computer out of the three I use daily. Although there are also two mini-ITX computers that would have even more issues. 
However the present mediapc is perfectly OK when playing back most of the formats that I have saved videos into on my computer – generally MP4 or MKV. For this reason it will be OK as a playback only computer slotting into the “pc4” role. It might get called “playerpc” or something new.
If this optimisation happens this is the summary of how the computers will change:
  • mainpc stays as is now
  • mediapc’s chassis has the board removed and put into pc4
  • A new board, CPU and RAM are added to mediapc’s chassis and it gets called “serverpc” or maybe “secondpc” or “graphicspc”.
  • The present “serverpc” becomes the new “mediapc” with the only change being the disks taken out and put into secondpc, and then it gets the disks from the old mediapc. This computer being a Skylake has a good enough spec to be able to be considerably superior to the present mediapc which is only an Ivy Bridge. With 16 GB of RAM it can be used for a lot of things. It will continue to be used for backing everything up.
  • The compact chassis gets the old mediapc board but keeps its existing disks. 

Anyway of course we remain to see if these plans progress in any way.

The original proposal for the new system architecture gravitated at the time to a Coffee Lake system. However the Coffee Lake low end CPUs are in very short supply worldwide (Celeron and Pentium G models). I have not bought a Celeron for many years as the slightly lower cost has in the past not been worth the hit in performance, although the gap has closed in more recent times. The Pentium G which would be a Core i1 if there was such a thing, has become even more powerful, now more or less what a Core i3 used to be. This is absolutely typical of Intel: they keep shifting the goalposts; often times they will be trying to trick people into buying a CPU just on name like an i3 or an i5 or an i7 and then these people will discover that their especially cheap Core i series is a crippled version because there were some models produced that had a lowered spec to aggressvely compete. This time fortunately the goalposts have shifted the other way and an i3 is now a higher spec that originally was the case and a Pentium G is now 2 cores 4 threads instead of 2/2 as all the other Pentium Gs that I have are (which is all three of my computers that have a microATX board in them).
So because of the extra costs for a Coffee Lake system and now the i3 CPU which was the lowest spec I could get being out of stock at the moment, I took another look and came up with a Kaby Lake system with the Gigabyte B250M-D3H board because the Kaby Lake Pentium G is still readily available, as I suspect it will be until Coffee Lake Pentium Gs become more abundantly available. Although the RAM for this option is slightly dearer the saving in the CPU more than cancels this out resulting in about $80 less cost overall.

However as the Ivy Bridge system is slated to become a media player and actually has trouble playing back some formats, there is another way to use that $80 and that is by rejigging things a bit. If the new system only gets 16 GB of RAM and reuses the 16 GB from the Skylake system, then replacing the Ivy Bridge outright with a new Kaby Lake system as well as the new Kaby Lake system mentioned at the start of this sentence and giving one of the Kaby Lakes and the Skylake 4 GB each would sneak in for a similar amount as the original spec. Then the Ivy Bridge board and CPU could be sold or kept in reserve.