Lately I've been harnessing the power of our KODI server's i5-2300 CPU to encode the Blu-ray media stored on that machine. Of the CPU's in all the machines in our household the KODI server's i5-2300 was the most powerful CPU and the media was all stored on the server, so it made the most sense to encode right on the server. While I'd love to upgrade the server to an i5-8600, that would mean a new CPU, new motherboard, and new RAM. The i5-8600 is at a pretty reasonable price point right now, but having to buy a new motherboard and RAM puts it a bit out of our budget right now.
Our KODI server has been doing a great job of serving our media (movies, television shows, music videos and music), but lately I've been using it to convert blu-ray media files (via handbrake-cli) and play/download some pretty big Steam games. With the price of SSD storage media dropping it seemed like a good time to think about some upgrades.
Over the past couple of months I've been swapping hardware and and out of my daily desktop computer: tank. The last drive setup involved two Samsung 120GB SSDs in a striped RAID array (Ubuntu 16.04) and a 1TB Western Digital Blue (Windows 10). The setup was annoying both from a hardware and software perspective. One of the SSDs was situated below the 1TB hard drive while the other was mounted below a Blu-ray drive. Part of the reason for this odd setup was the configuration of the Antec Three Hundred Two case.
Even small home networks can sometimes involve a lot of networking technology. Take the photograph above as an example. In that photograph we have a wireless router, an ADSL modem, a Gigabit switch, and a VOIP modem, plus a power bar to support all the devices. This is an old photograph, and the wiring is a bit messy (I've improved things with cable sleeves and changed up some of the technology mounted here).
Lately I've been feeling the need to upgrade the boot SSD in my home workstation. The SSD in question, an 120GB Samsung SSD 750, has been a great drive, but it's simply become too small for my needs. I've switched things up the past few years. My workstation's current disk configuration is as follows:
Recently I came across an interesting old (2009) article by Don Woligroski on Tom's Hardware entitled Gigabit Ethernet: Dude, Where's My Bandwidth? At the time I stumbled upon the article I was transferring some media from my main desktop system (which I use to rip and encode media) to our KODI server. The files were transferring slower than I expected and slower than I remember on other hardware I've had in our server.