It's Nearly 2020. Can A MediaSmart Can Still Hold Its Own?
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Author:  lioninstreet [ Sun May 12, 2019 5:09 pm ]
Post subject:  It's Nearly 2020. Can A MediaSmart Can Still Hold Its Own?

If your somewhat new to the MSS or even have been running one for a while, you might be asking yourself, Isn't the MediaSmart Server pretty much obsolete? The technology is basically 10 years old. Should I still be using one or even consider buying a used one?

Given that you can find them inexpensively these days, and the parts to upgrade them are so cheap, can they be upgraded to hold their own? Can the MSS ever become a barn burner?

That's what this thread is all about.

There is lots of summarized detail on this post that's been gleaned and compiled from many posts by the likes of Yakuza, Comp1962, Cougar, JohnBick, Guardian, Diehard, Ruben Rocha and many others (with a bit of personal experience thrown in). It's about a 12 minute read.

First, an depth evaluation of what potentially limits the MSS. You'll also see some of the typical proven upgrades that have overcome them and decide if for your usage, any of these limitations are actually anything to be concerned about. We'll also start posting some benchmarking by testing one of the most obvious hardware limitations (SATA II interface instead of SATA III) to see if that is actually a bottleneck issue for the MSS or not.

To begin, let's summarize what some could see as the most obvious MSS limitations:

• Hardware is headless, but has a GMA3100x onboard graphics chip (meaning a video signal is available, just not plug & play accessible).
• AMD socket AM2 (replaced in 2008 by Socket AM2+) limits CPU upgrades on ex47x gen1
• Intel socket LGA775 (replaced in 2010 by LGA1156) limits CPU upgrades on later MSS generations
• A proprietary heatsink mounting bolt pattern & 1u heatsink restricts cooler height & enhanced cooling options
• OS Limitations, Drive Pooling, Storage Limitations, & SMB
• The proprietary form factor motherboard has a single slot of DDR2 (max of 4gb for RAM upgrades)
• Realtek RJ45 10/100/1000 Gigabit LAN (no 10 GbE)
• External USB is 2.0 (as opposed to 3.x)
• The Intel based motherboards AHCI Storage Controller is a ICH9R (circa 2008)
• eSATA external drive expansion is limited on Gen2 model
• The primary drive interface is SATA II (as opposed to SATA III)
• Standard drivers are circa 2008/2009

VGA Display with a headless MSS

BIOS tweaks & mods are fairly commonplace when choosing to upgrade the MSS. That means you need to be able to drive a monitor and view BIOS. Despite not having a video output port built into the case, HP had the foresight to put an on-board graphics chip and an output port on the MSS motherboard. So accessing the signal can be done using one of the VGA adapters still sold on the on-line auction sites. This makes upgrading away from headless easily done. Plug in a USB keyboard/mouse, Jump the JP2 pins and you're in full control. You might also find one of VOV's sano VGA/PS2 adapters. They stopped making them a few years ago but also show up on the on-line auction sites from time to time.

There are a couple of ways to set this up. Easiest is to run one of the pre-built MSS VGA cables mentioned above from the motherboard VGA interface up to top cover area or hide it in an unused drive bay. Or, cut an access window in the side of the MSS case, reassemble, and plug in the now easily removable VGA adapter. You can also make a VGA custom soldered connector and mount the plug down at the bottom left rear of the case. Instructions abound on line on the different approaches to enable VGA. If you choose the second route, just use some duct tape to cover the hole when the cable is disconnected so front to back air flow is not disrupted. Effective cooling is something you can't ignore when upgrading the MSS.
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CPU Limitations:
The Gen1 AMD MSS

While the Gen1 ex47x is still quite useable for file serving, it comes from HP with an AMD circa 2006, 940 pin, AM2 socket, 35w Manila 1.8 GHz Sempron 3400+ with 512 Kb L2 Cache supporting a DDR2 memory controller. It's upgradable to the 2008 single core 45w AMD Lima processors (up to the 2.8GHz Athlon 64 LE-1660) & the 2007 dual core 45w AMD Brisbane processors (up to the Athlon 64 x2 2.5GHz BE-2450). As reference comparison, the AMD 3400+ bench's similar to the circa 2004 Prescott based 3.6ghz Intel Pentium 4. The LE-1660 benches roughly 10% better than the 2008 Conroe based 2.2GHz Intel Celeron 450 (standard in the 2nd & 3rd generation MSS). Note that the maximum AMD upgrade CPU (the dual core BE-2450) still benches about 15% shy of the 2008 Wolfdale based 2.5GHz Intel e5200 (found in the Gen 3 MSS). Both of these AMD CPU upgrades mentioned require a modified BIOS.

All benchmark data referenced is courtesy of Passmark ( While Passmark is not the final say, at least it's a frame of reference.

Upgrading the AMD based Gen 1 MSS to the BE-2450 yields a gain of over 275% over the Sempron 3400+, quite an astonishing gain. But you still end up with less processing power than with a stone stock ex495. That's not to say the ex47x isn't a capable box. But because of this, more attention will be given to the upgrade path and potential limitations of the later Intel generations of MSS.

The Gen2 & Gen3 Intel MSS

The second and third generations of the MSS are restricted by the circa 2008-2011 LGA775 65w processors. The wattage restriction is primarily due to the passive 1u aluminum based heatsink inefficiencies noted below. The processor path started in 2008 with the Gen2 running the 2.2 GHz Celeron 440/450 and matured to the 2009-2010 Gen3 ex495 & x510's running the Pentium Core2 Duo e5200. Some today consider the e5200 a compromise. But lucky for us, a handful of the "higher end" LGA 775 processors are still great for serving purposes. Not to mention, at today's prices all will cost you less than a tank of gas (some even less than a hamburger).

The circa 2008 dual core 65w Wolfdale based 3.33 GHz e8600 (the top of the line Core2 Duo, now $10) compares favorably with the 2013 Haswell based 2.6GHz Pentium G3220T and benches roughly 40% better than the e5200. It's more than plenty for file serving. In fact the now $5 Pentium Dual Core e6800/e5800 remain strong performers for this task, both taking only a 10%-15% performance hit over the e8600.

Surprisingly enough, the quad core q8200s-q9550s & Xeon L3360/L5430 will still hold their own against a four generation newer 3.0ghz i3 Sandy/Ivy bridge. Both the L3360 & Q9550s bench roughly 260% faster than an e5200 and an astonishing 625% faster (!) than the Celeron 450. The Harpertown & Yorkfield Core2 quad & Xeon's are also more than capable of transcoding HD video.

Note that the ex48x requires a modified BIOS to handle these CPU upgrades. On the ex49x, all the above mentioned CPU's are drop in except the Xeon L5430. This chip will require a modified BIOS & CPU pin mod to be recognized.
But, don't expect anything LGA 775 to transcode BluRay. Even today's top of the line, 4 bay Synology DS918+ with a quad core Celeron J3455 has a hard time with that. You'll need at minimum an i5-4570 Ivy Bridge (some even suggest the next generation Haswell i5 for BluRay transcoding.

This leaves the rest of the hardware, the OS, and the drivers to look at.

Heatsink & Cooling Limitations

Heat is somewhat less of an issue if you upgrade to a Dual Core Pentium e5800/e6800 and use 5400 RPM hard drives, but still can't be ignored. On the other hand, with a 7200 rpm hard drive and a q9550s, the MSS can run pretty hot. Without making some minor changes, it's not unusual to see the mid to high 60's or even a random shutdowns in a warm climate. With the Core 2 Duo e8600 or any of the Quads, it's also pretty much mandatory that you set BIOS to run fans at 100%. Better yet would be to re-slope the fan setting to turn on and run at full earlier.

Also, make sure any unused hard drive sleds have the little partition facing up. It's an easy mistake to make. They actually restrict air flow in the slot area and restrict air flow so it can be better sucked thru the heatsink and past any populated drives. If you don't have all the drives populated, you might also leave the second slot from the bottom vacant. This will help to keep the primary drive temp. cooler.

Another easy mod is the MSS's rear cover. It turns out those little holes are quite an air restriction and it's quick and easy to remove it, making a measurable difference. A more elegant solution is to cut it, removing the area that restricts exhaust air flow, leaving the rest so you have use of the plastic on/off button.
modified back plate.JPG
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The factory thermal paste will be degraded after 10 years, so it's worth re-pasting both heat sinks even if you're not upgrading to a hotter running, faster CPU. In the last few years, these pastes have gotten much better (Arctic 5 is no longer top of the heap...). A great reference on pastes can be found on the link below. I settled on Coolermaster's newer Mastergel Maker Nano because of its effectiveness, consistency, easy application, and low price. Remember the ultra effective liquid metal pastes can't be used with an aluminum heatsink (well you can, but the aluminum will dissolve). ... ,5108.html

A quick & easy heat sink cooling solution is to install a small 30mm fan or super glue 2 together (pictured are the 20db, 5000 RPM Evercool EC3007M12C fans wedged in place just in front of the heatsink on a ex49x). They fit perfect.
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But instead of the whirring little 30mm fan(s), an enterprising MSS owner might also figure out how to cleanly place a larger (maybe 80mm), quieter fan in the MSS front cover to direct air over the heatsink and primary drive, driving it with the same fan header on the front of the mobo.

On the subject of the heatsink, one of the gripes many had was that the bolt pattern (63mm x 58mm) is proprietary. To upgrade it, you basically have two options. Easiest is to hand lap the stock aluminum heatsink. It's notorious for being improperly lapped with lots of scratches on the mating side. This means positive cooling improvements with the stock heatsink are easy to come by. The other solution will take a well equipped garage to tinker in or a machine shop because you've got to alter an existing heatsink made for a different application.

If you're able to tackle it, a relatively simple and effective upgrade would be to ditch the aluminum heatsink in favor refitting a Dynatron K129 1u. While it still passive, it's made of copper and has twice the thermal conductivity.

Better yet would be to modify a copper 1u active heatsink. Great candidates are the Evercool LGAL-710CA, the GLID CC-SLIM Silence-A-Plus, the Zalman CNPS2x, or possibly an Evercool EC-HPS-810cp. These are all socket 775 heat sinks. Several have been written up as effective here on this forum. It's also likely that Socket 478/479 heat sinks are also modification candidates since they use a 76mm x 60mm bolt pattern. Frankly, any 1u LGA 115x / LGA 1366 / Socket 478/479 / Socket 775/771 heatsink is a candidate. They all carry a bolt pattern similar enough for you to find enough meat on the heatsink to modify to the MSS bolt pattern.

Just watch that the fins can still be situated for front to back air flow. Stay aware the overall clearance height and the height of the base/mounting screw stand-off's to apply a similar seating pressure to the processor as the OE heatsink.
Water cooling? No reason you couldn't modify an existing wet heatsink to run it.

Operating System, Drive Extender, Storage Limitations, & SMB

All MediaSmart servers originally ran Microsoft's Windows Home Server WHSv1 (code named "Quattro"). The OS was originally released in mid 2007 as a solution for homes and small business users with multiple PC's to permit file sharing, automated backups, print serving, and remote access. And it does these things pretty well. It similar to XP has it's root OS based on 32 bit Windows Server 2003 r2 sp2.

Several unique features are baked into Quattro that are not found on s2k3. First is the storage innovation called Drive Extender. Features include:

• Files formatted using NTFS permitting them to be viewed by other windows terminals
• Multi-disk redundancy (if any given disk fails, data is not lost ensuring that copies of the files were found on multiple physical disks).
• No loss of raw disk space with data redundancy
• Arbitrary storage expansion by supporting any type of hard disk drive in any mixture and capacity.
• A single folder namespace (no drive letters) providing a file share that gives a unified view of all pooled disks

This provides multi disk redundancy so if any given disk fails, data is not lost, automatic redistribution of file space permitting arbitrary storage expansion, support for multi size disks similar to JBOD also providing arbitrary storage expansion, and provision for multiple physical disks to act as a single storage volume.

All this permits the easy addition of storage space (additional hard drives) to the existing server pool and data safety. In addition to Drive Extender, Quattro has the built in ability to back up as well as complete bare metal restores of its connected clients, duplicate it's backups, backup its shares, and although not native, back up its terminal backups with this add in

In April 2011, Microsoft released its 2nd gen home server OS WHS2011 (code named "Vail"). Based on Server 2008 r2 sp1 (like w7), it was only sold to "system builders." It is also a three disk sets (Server Installation & Client Restore, & Pre-installation) and is still readily available on line auction sites for $40-$80. Vail has some distinct advantages to Quatro; it is 64 bit based, sees hard drives larger than 2tb, recognizes drives with 4k sector size, can format GPT, and permits longer file names. However, Vail no longer had what most users felt was the primary attraction to WHS, Drive Extender. But it's features can be added back using the $30 add-in Drive Bender from Division M or Stablebit's DrivePool.

So which one is better? Depending on your storage needs either OS remains a good first choice.

Quattro, despite being included for free with MSS hardware & having drive extender, does have storage limitations. Hardware storage capacity is capped at 8 Tb, meaning an extensive HD video library won't plug & play. This can be overcome, but requires a fair amount of work-arounds. Second, important when choosing storage media is the OS only recognizes hard drives with a 512 Mb sector size. Luckily most of today's larger hard drives can emulate this (look for the sector size specification 4K/512e on drives 2Tb and smaller and you will be safe). Finally, Quattro uses the network security protocol SMB v1.1 (though you can manually update it with Microsoft's 2017 SMBv1 WannaCry updates).

On the other hand, Vail doesn't have Quattro's 2Tb drive limitation and is happy running drives with a 4k sector size. Although it's probably never been done, a Mediasmart Server running Vail could theoretically manage 44 Tb of storage. This using three of today's (2019) 14 Tb HGST (Western Digital) HC530 Helium filled storage hard drives (with a 2 Tb primary drive for the OS). The 2 Tb OS drive is necessary because the WHS11 auto install will format the primary drive using the MBR format. But all additional drives can be formatted using GPT under Disk Manager instead of using Dashboard. etc. Vail also has the third generation networking security of SMBv2.1 (still requiring the 2017 SMBv1 WannaCry updates). The down side of Vail is you have to buy it as well as pay extra if you want to implement drive extender.

So what is SMB and why is it important? Basically SMB is the network protocol that provides shared access to files, printers, and communication ports over a network. Its vulnerabilities are one of the primary attack vectors that permitted the 2014 Sony Pictures Attack and the 2017 WannaCry ransomware attacks, the latter based on leaked NSA SMB exploits. Interestingly enough on 3/15/17, two months before the 5/13/17 attack, Microsoft issued MS17-12, a critical automatic update to address the NSA SMB leak. But this only updated Visa thru w10. The XP & s2k3's SMB patches came after the attack on 5/15/17 and many with the early E.O.L. operating systems felt abandoned. But reality (with respect to WannaCry), third parties Kaspersky Labs & Kryptos Logic actually found that 98% of the successful attacks happened on w7/s2k8 based OS's that had not been updated. Less than .02% of effected computers ran XP or s2k3. XP computers would crash rather than auto load WannaCry and execute the encrypt files. SMB also has other vulnerabilities. Once again, a reminder to use decent scam-ware practices & protections on your terminals and avoid using your server to browse with (this so tolerating them isn't that big of an issue). Reference links below: ... oms-later/ ... statistics ... note-:2-38

Lastly, as with all other Microsoft OS's that you do a bare metal or repair install with, both home server OS's require updating with Service Packs, Power Packs, Update Rollups, Critical Updates, Security Updates, System Updates, etc. This can still be done even though Microsoft considers both OS's near or at "end of life."

Quattro's ongoing product lifecycle evolution ended 1/2013. The last new security & system update for its root s2k3r2 (besides WannaCry Updates) pushed in 7/2015. Of the 236 updates Microsoft was pushing when s2k3r2 went EOL, only about 36 of them (including Quatro's Power Packs and Update Rollups) are still available using MS on-line update. But if your using the free program WSUS offline, you can store all 236 Quattro updates on media and then re-install them as needed. This link shows how to do this: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14784

With Vail, the product lifecycle evolution for the updates & Power Packs ended on 5/2016. But ongoing development of s2k8r2 security/system updates has continued and all on-line updates are still available from Microsoft. That development is scheduled to end 1/2/20, and at some point the ability to update Vail on-line will end as well. WSUS off-line can already fully update WHS11's core OS off-line and they are expected to add the Vail Power Pack updates to their off-line package as well.

But, if you just feel more comfortable receiving ongoing OS updates from Microsoft, the remaining server options are Server 2012 Essentials r2 (based on W8.1, extended support ending 10/23) and Server 2016 Essentials 1803 (based on W10 1803, extended support ending 1/27). The MSS has more than enough juice to run them, they have a client backup feature, run even newer SMB versions, and can also run DriveBender or DrivePool. But the cost is typically $260-$350 including 10 user CALS (plus the drive pooling software). Windows 8.1 or 10 is also being used as a file server software albeit not being as turn-key as WHS or a Server OS. Linux based OS's such as Amahi & FreeNAS are another option but requires you have found Linux compatible drivers and run the drive pool with RAID.

At the end of the day, first choice for most who have experimented with some of the other OS's options is still Quatro, primarily because it's the most seamless and the least costly. If your shopping for a good used MSS, look for one that includes the three disks (Server Recovery, Software Installation, & PC Restore) it shipped with so you don't have to pay extra for them. Due to differences in drivers between the three models motherboards, each model of the MSS has its own specific version of this disk set. Second best choice for a home server OS is probably based how deep your wallet is and a toss-up between Vail & s16e.

Memory Limitations

All the MSS servers are hardware limited to a single stick of 240pin DDR2 desktop memory. This means a memory cap of 4Gb of since that is the maximum size for a single module of non-ECC DDR2 and the fastest memory type a MSS compatible CPU can see appears to be PC2-6400 800Mhz.

This is more than enough to serve files and encode a stream of HD video, but not BluRay. Most of the 4GB DDR2 available today is CL6. The 2% better CL5 doesn't seem to be made any longer and has gotten really costly (if you can find it). But not to worry, upgrading to a 4gb stick from a 1Gb or 2Gb, even if you have to use CL6 is still well worth the $15-$20 investment.

Of note. there was PC2-8500 1066Mhz DDR2 memory available in 4Gb sticks. If anyone has seen or had experience with it, please chime in. Maybe it will work with the 1066/1333 FSB Core 2 & Quad chips.

LAN Limitations

The Intel based MSS use a Realtek 10/100/1000 Gigabit LAN Controller. But, equipment with 10GbE still isn't mainstream for the prosumer yet, even if you're a professional photographer / videographer. As 10/100/1000 is still pretty much mainstream for consumers, the MSS is still in the game there.

External 2.0 USB

Unlike a desktop terminal, rarely is there a need to load files to or from a USB stick directly with a home server. This makes the need for a faster external USB port somewhat unnecessary. Especially considering drive expansion is possible with the eSATA port. But, if using USB 3.x to get data to and from a MSS, a work around is to access a MSS networked drive thru a USB 3.x terminal. This isn't as good as having direct access with USB 3.x, but not a deal killer.

Storage Controller Limitations

The MSS uses the P35 (Bearlake) ICH9 storage controller chipset introduced in 2007. It was superseded in mid 2008 by P45 (Eaglelake) as ICH10. Following generations of storage controller's integrated some of the North and South bridge functions into the CPU. So ICH9 is pretty close to the best of the best when it comes to Intel's stand alone storage controllers.

In a separate post I'll be toying with updating the AHCI / SATA controller driver from the 2008 version of Intel Storage Matrix Manager (v8.2.0.1001) to the last generation of Storage Matrix Manager (Intel Storage Matrix v8.9.0 from 2009), then to latest generation Intel RST driver still compatible with ICH9R (Intel RST v11.2.0.1006 from 2012). Based on comments from other threads this should make a drastic difference in I/O. But there is only one way to find out if that is true, and even if it will run.

eSATA Expansion

With the second generation ex48x, the eSATA port is limited to a single drive and doesn't have port multiplier support. However it has been reported that the SansDigital 8 bay USB drive enclosure is ST-SAN-TR8UT+NC is compatible. The first and third generations do not have this limitation. The ex47x series supports eSATA expansion of up to 4 drives, the ex49x series supports eSATA expansion of up to 5 drives. However, some would contend that the file transfer speed of eSATA (comparable to SATAII) is hobbled when compared to a more modern SATAIII. But does SATA II really hobble performance of a mechanical hard drive? Let's do an I/O test and find out.

SATA II Limitations

For the initial baseline test, we'll check for SATAII's saturation point using a 128gb Crucial M4 SATAIII SSD. According to a 2011 SSD review, this drive (when new) would bench with an I/O of 414 MB/s read and 183 MB/s write (this with a SATAIII interface). ... ial-tests/

As a quick review of the SATA interface itself, The MSS uses SATA II to connect the internal hard drives via a daughterboard that plugs into to the motherboard. SATA II has theoretical transfer rate cap of 300 MB/s. The newer generation SATA III has a theoretical cap of 600 MB/s.

Given that this SSD benchmarks near or faster than the SATA II theoretical saturation point, we should also be able to use this test to see if there is some kind of daughterboard bottleneck too. So let's confirm it.

The benchmark software used below to determine input /output (I/O) speed is CrystalDisk Mark 5.1.0 (2/2016 version for 32bit compatibility) set to default (5 passes, 1gb file size).

The test bed hardware is a ex9x running a Celeron450, and 4Gb of CL5 DDR2 RAM.

Prior to the test, the M4 had a clean version of WHSv1 installed on it (up to the restart point). The block size was then properly aligned. Upon restart the OS install was completed (the D partition & drive extender created) and WUMT offline was used to fully update. Note that this test M4 is not brand new. So there is the potential variable of SSD cell degradation. But I'm presuming it's still in good enough condition to fully saturate a SATA II interface.

SSD Benchmarking Results/1Gb File Size:
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As you can see this used M4 is still in pretty good shape. It's reads are pretty much saturating the SATA II interface, and it's writes are actually better than the benchmark provided by Recent, larger capacity 2.5" SSD are absolutely capable of fully saturating both the read and the write side of SATA II and SATA III.

Interestingly enough, there is no change in benchmarking between files sizes (typically smaller is faster), further evidencing that the little M4 is saturating the MSS SATA II interface.

So yes, if you were to compare the MSS to a SATA III NAS (running a full array of SSD's), the MSS (running the same full array of SSD's) would probably take a 40% - 50% hit in I/O benchmark speed. That is a pretty big hit. But how many home networks run a full array of high capacity SSD's for networked storage? So let's see if a mechanical HDD will saturate SATA II. That would be a little more real world for a home or small business users. If SATA II bottlenecks a mechanical HDD, that would pretty much put a nail in the MSS coffin.

Mechanical Hard Drive Benchmarking
The benchmark will run the same MSS hardware, but this time with a 7200 RPM 2gb WD Gold HDD WD2005FBYZ (currently rated as the fastest writing 2gb 7200 RPM HDD per This site shows an average I/O of 157 Mb/s read & 199 Mb/s write best from over 1200 drive tests (max 198 Mb/s read / 233 Mb/s write). Recall that this I/O benchmark is already well under the SATA II theoretical saturation point). Some prefer the cooler running and (43% slower benching) 5400 RPM WD Red's. Unfortunately none were available to test with.

The OS is again a clean, bare metal install (fully updated with WSUS off-line) of WHSv1, no hoop jumping required, no other data on the drive, and no additional drives in the MSS sleds.

Hard Drive Benchmark/1GB File Size:
wdgold 1gb on v1.JPG
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As you can see, despite being the king of the 2tb mechanical drives, the WD Gold's actual throughput is nowhere near the theoretical 300 MB/s saturation point of SATAII. So if you're running mechanical hard drives, no reason to fret over only having SATA II.

Below benches the WD Gold with a 50mb file size. Comparing to the above benchmark at 1Gb testing drive I/O with a smaller file size resulted in a 70% faster transfer speed.

Hard Drive Benchmark/50mb File Size:
wdgold 50mb on v1.JPG
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Interface Summary
Four tests runs were done with a Sequential Q32T1 reads between 137.2 Mb/s & 173.6 Mb/s. That's really inconsistent. There's clearly some limitation causing application throughput to be below the average worth exploring. Note that when the 50mb file size was run on the SSD to compare it to a 1gb file size test, the results were extremely similar (within 2% of each other). On the other hand, benching the WD Gold at 50mb shows something is making the drive favor small file size transfers by a large margin. But for sure the SATA II interface is more than enough for even the fastest of today's mechanical hard drives. Even with a 50mb file size, it's still 20% under theoretical saturation.

Initial Summary of Results

The MediaSmart Server has some limitations in 2019, but is not obsolete by any means. Upgraded, all generations of the MSS remain more than capable of being a reliable and fast file server. That said, an upgraded G1 has a clear limitation when it comes to streaming HD video, with the exception possibly of running a higher end Brisbane processor. If streaming video is your thing, an upgraded G2 & G3 Intel based MSS can more than comfortably stream HD video. Just don't expect to stream BluRay.

Given that you can find one for $75 or less (no drives) with Quattro, and upgrade it for so little, they are a realistic alternative to a home build with hardware and OS costing 6x-9x this amount (again, no drives). This not to mention, if your concerned about having spares should a PSU or a motherboard fail, Another $75 buy a second one.

Next posts coming as time permits: Updating drivers and the storage controller, CPU & heatsink temp / benchmark testing, and file transfer speed testing between Quattro & Vail.

Author:  Jachin99 [ Wed May 15, 2019 7:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: It's Nearly 2020. Can A MediaSmart Can Still Hold Its Ow

I think it's awesome someone is still keeping up on all this!! It was a great read and I appreciate your work

Author:  lioninstreet [ Wed May 15, 2019 11:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: It's Nearly 2020. Can A MediaSmart Can Still Hold Its Ow

Thanks for the kind words. Jachin99.

It's a work in progress and I'm still editing a few things in. I'm not sure if I'll add additional testing and benchmarks to this thread or just start new threads and edit links in to this post.

Author:  Ruben Rocha [ Thu May 16, 2019 2:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: It's Nearly 2020. Can A MediaSmart Can Still Hold Its Ow

Very good article.

Just be prepared for people to challenge some points.
Myth,fact or fiction.

Author:  lioninstreet [ Thu May 16, 2019 2:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: It's Nearly 2020. Can A MediaSmart Can Still Hold Its Ow

Ruben Rocha wrote:
Very good article.

Just be prepared for people to challenge some points.
Myth, fact or fiction.

Thanks for the review Ruben, some of this info is from your threads.

That's why I posted, to try and summarize a little bit of what's scattered throughout the forum in one place. You've probably seen some of what is written on another MSS thread here, another MediaSmart forum, or a posted third party reference.

That said, maybe we'd all learn something with a good challenge. That would be fun. It sure wouldn't be the first time I've been proven wrong...

Author:  Jachin99 [ Fri May 17, 2019 11:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: It's Nearly 2020. Can A MediaSmart Can Still Hold Its Ow

If you get too bored, here is another path for someone to follow to enable modern ciphers like TLS 1.2 in Win XP: ... correctly/

Author:  Ruben Rocha [ Fri May 17, 2019 1:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: It's Nearly 2020. Can A MediaSmart Can Still Hold Its Ow

just fyi.
smb1.0 finally self deleted and I had to reinstall it to see the server.
So you were correct.
I don't know why because I have had win10 for since it came out.
Just recently it uninstalled.
So probably because I did not use it for a while. And or another update turned it off.

Author:  lioninstreet [ Fri May 17, 2019 5:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: It's Nearly 2020. Can A MediaSmart Can Still Hold Its Ow

Jachin99 wrote:
If you get too bored, here is another path for someone to follow to enable modern ciphers like TLS 1.2 in Win XP: ... correctly/

My comment below is based in my ignorance of how TLS works, so please don't flame me.

Since it's atypical to access websites directly with an MSS, what makes it's version a concern? I might at some point use web access from outside of network to get into the shared folders, but I'm currently using a third party program like Team Viewer to get me terminal access. So with that it's pretty easy to access the shares thru the terminal.

Author:  captainsemtex [ Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: It's Nearly 2020. Can A MediaSmart Can Still Hold Its Ow

Thank you lioninstreet for bringing this info together. I've been happily running MSS Gen 1 for over 10+ years and I've lost count of the number of times it has saved my bacon. This post will help me to keep it alive for a few more years.

Author:  Gardian [ Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: It's Nearly 2020. Can A MediaSmart Can Still Hold Its Ow

Very Good!!! :encore:
I'm still running mine X2 one backs up the other.
I have been thinking of re-loading my main server with (4) 2tb SSD and redoing the paste on the cpu to get it ready for the next 10 years :-) lolololo

I did finally upgrade one laptop to windows 10 :crazy: and it seems to be playing nice with the server. I may even upgrade some of the other clients in the house.

I have ordered a copy of server 2016 essentials and will be giving it a test drive on my DIY server. I hear that 2016 will be the last of "essentials" as 2019 has it, but it's not the same, no backups or any of the other stuff that made essentials what it was.
With support till 2024 server 2016 might come in handy down the road. ut my data still fits on the 4 2tb drives.

Till then, the'll have to pry the media smart from my cold hands lololoololo Still running whs V1

Best thing Microsoft and HP did, to bad they didn't see the value....

Good Luck to everybody, it was a great run.....And for some, still running strong!!!!!

Author:  lioninstreet [ Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: It's Nearly 2020. Can A MediaSmart Can Still Hold Its Ow

Hey Gardian,

Great to see you back and that your MSS are still pack'n a punch. I actually just did the same as you are considering. Watching fleabay carefully, I picked up four new 1.92tb Micron TLC 3d NAND drives. Even their 5100 eco's are rated for over 2x the DW/per day compared to the Samsung Pro's. So for the money, the Microns are a no brainer. And I happened to get them for well under $100 per Tb. \:D/

I'm also starting to play with Vail on a spare server, first trying to sort out a low hassle clean install & update process to store the updates off-line. Once I've got that figured out, I'll give it a shot backing up my sole w10 terminal, try to get Stablebit Drivepool & the add-ins I want working happily. If that all goes smoothly, I'll probably put Vail on the SSD's to get SMB2.

In the mean time v1 just keeps on running in the WD Gold's that are on my main ex49x.

But if I was to drop the coin on a newer server OS for the home/SOHO, it would be on Server 2019 Standard with Office Maven's 2016 Essentials Role on top of it. That looks like the most current way to manage terminal & network drive backups, assure your secure with the next 10 years of updates, not to mention avoid any SMB or other potential down the road conflicts with w10. Plus you get the full functionality of Server Standard.

You've added so many valuable contributions to this site. Hope to see you back more often.

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