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I've always wanted a nice, clean, all-in-one server but could never find the right set-up. That is until i came across the HP ProLiant MicroServer below.


The purpose of this server will primarily be a media server, but also a vmware host and file backup. I do have some concerns regarding XBMC performance on this hardware.

I will probably run Windows 7 64-bit with 8GB of RAM and probably an external video card. My front-end will be an AppleTV 2.

1. Are there any issues with streaming movies wirelessly (stuttering, lag, etc)?

2. Will this play 1080p blu-ray rips?

3. If so, will I need an external video card?

4. If so, which video card is recommended?

5. Will I be able to stream XBMC content to an Xbox360?

6. Will only XBMC Live work with this configuration?
I think you have gotten alittle mixed up, the server only hosts the content, it dosnt to any decoding or anythjng really intensive, thats what the atv2 does. For exaample I use a NAS with an arm processor and it works fine
Bearing in mind Atomic Zombie's comment, you only need worry about upgrading the video card in the HP if you plan to use it for playing videos as well as acting as a data store. If you want to watch video on the HP then you will need to upgrade the video. Check the HP video can be upgraded as not all servers allow this.

1080p can demand a lot of network bandwidth if you use a high bitrate. Depending on how strong the wireless signal is, you may run into problems playing 1080p over a wireless link. We have had reports in this forum that it doesn't work well, but then other people find it's OK.

Stupid question. If I'm running XBMC on my ATV2, do I still need to run XBMC on my back-end where all the media is stored? Or will I just simply point back to that data on my ATV2?
Simply share your content on the server.... you dont need to add any video card to the server if your intention is to use ATV... infact set the memory to the GFX in the BIOS to a minimum.

I run this server - its fantastic. A cheaper and simpler OS would probably be Windows Home Server if your heading on the Windows path.
No, no backend xbmc software is needed, all that Is needed is for the content to be available on the network, which is why many people decide to use a lightweight operating system such as ubuntu or unraid for their server/NAS.
Geeba Wrote:Simply share your content on the server.... you dont need to add any video card to the server if your intention is to use ATV... infact set the memory to the GFX in the BIOS to a minimum.

I run this server - its fantastic. A cheaper and simpler OS would probably be Windows Home Server if your heading on the Windows path.

What do you use for your front-end? Are you streaming to that device? If so, can you stream 720p/1080p content? What OS are you using?
I run a Windows Home Server at the centre of my network... its hard wired at a Gig to a switch which in turn feed my front ends - a Zotac ZBOX running Openelec, 2 x Xboxes, and various other laptops and computers.

The setup easily streams 720p/1080p full or compressed, the Zbox plays everything without even breaking a sweat, the Xboxes are limited due to the lack of CPU power within the console itself.

The ATV2 as far as I know tops out at 720p and will scale higher res content down to 720p
Awesome. Can you tell specifically which model you have?

I can get this one for $250: https://h10057.www1.hp.com/ecomcat/hpcat...75-001.htm

Or this one for $350: http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/...40197.html

From what I can tell the only difference is that the one for $250 has a 200W PSU and 160GB HDD and the one for $350 has a 150W PSU and 250GB HDD.

Are you able to stream any HD content to your XBoxes? If so is it 720p or 1080p?

Finally, I know this may be the wrong forum to ask but do you have any experience with running multiple VMs in your environment? I'm a techie so I want to set up a sandbox environment and was hoping this could handle it Smile
Thats the model I have.... but they do have a later model for the same price out now.. with an upgraded CPU.


It also has £100 cash back which makes it a complete steal in the UK. I also flashed a different BIOS which runs the internal SATA connection at full rate and I put an extra HDD in the DVD drive bay.

The 160Gb model is the first one, the 250Gb model was an update... and the latest release in my link has more memory and a faster CPU.

We have an Exchange server running on Server 2008 on VM ware on this microserver with 8GB of RAM and doesn't break a sweat! Top little box!

The Xbox will do 720p in XviD/AVI format but that is about it, the work Arnova and ExoBuzz have done of late over on xbmc4xbox.org is fantastic, but the xbox has just turned 10 years old, so hardware wise its a little limited. I tend to use it as a child-proof media box... stick it on and the kids love it!
Just to be certain I would like to repeat what I read above:

XBMC is usually run local (E.g. on the device connected to the TV) and the "server" part only has to have a NAS functionality. You definitely do not need a 64 bit OS with 8 GB ram...

For mediastorage you can get a consumer NAS, just plugin an HDD and you are good to go:

If you want a device that both stores your files and outputs HDMI/Optical to your TV then I can recommend you build something based on AMD's new FUSION chipset. This has an 18 watt dualcore E-350 APU (cpu+gpu) that is able to deliver 1080p. It should be much more powerfull than the HP proliant which has an older AMD Neo cpu without any graphics.

I use the e-350 as a hybrid myself. I have no fans at all so it is silent (asus motherboard with heatsink). It is connected to a tv by HDMI and a surround set by optical cable. Furthermore it streams my content to other mediastreamers (lg dp1b) and pc's. Works great with xbmc (though it only uses 1 core of the 2 available). Other hardware: Windows xp, 4 GB ram, Spinpoint 2 TB. You could probably do with 2 gb ram.
I wish I could cash in on the rebates, but im in the US not UK. Sad

1) I wanted to set up the onboard hardware RAID 1 for my media. Can i configure any two drives for RAID 1? Say I wanted drive A to be only the OS and drives B and C to store my media in a RAID 1 configuration. Is this possible?

2) can I do two separate RAID1 configurations? Say I have 4 disks, A,B,C,D. Can A & B be one set of mirrored disks and C & D be another set of mirrored disks?