TaoW80

Estimable
Oct 19, 2015
3
0
4,510
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I'd like to build a Media Center PC that will also handle my security cameras. I'm trying to generate all of my electricity from my solar panels so I need it to be as energy efficient as possible. I was planning on running LinuxMCE, unless someone has a better suggestion. Should I just use a laptop and some external HDs for storage?
 

TofuLion

Estimable
Oct 10, 2014
1
0
4,510
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PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD 5350 2.05Ghz Quad-Core Processor ($45.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock AM1B-ITX Mini ITX AM1 Motherboard ($37.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: G.Skill NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($25.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Patriot Blaze 60GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($38.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.89 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Western Digital WD Purple 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($81.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 5450 1GB Video Card ($27.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 110 Mini ITX Tower Case ($38.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 360W 80+ Gold Certified ATX Power Supply ($57.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $405.80
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-10-19 13:00 EDT-0400
 
Just buy a laptop. They're already optimized for low power consumption, and the mobile quad core i7 (which most security camera software recommend) is pretty much the same as the desktop version, just clocked lower.

What exactly are you planning to do with the security cameras? If it's just monitoring, then you don't need a powerful CPU and something like the above suggestion or another mini PC (Zotac makes a bunch of them) will work. But if you're planning on recording security camera footage, it's going to require CPU and power.
 

TaoW80

Estimable
Oct 19, 2015
3
0
4,510
0


I like the KODI Ubuntu and that little media center looks great. The cameras are IP cameras that are connected to a POE switch. This is probably an idiotic question, but if I hook my wireless router up to the POE switch and the media center as well, the media center will have access to the IP cameras as well as the internet, correct?

Also, any recommendations on external storage? Are any brands or types more energy efficient than others?

 

geofelt

Distinguished
Oct 9, 2006
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19,910
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On storage a ssd will be the most power efficient and the fastest.

The main drawback is the cost per gb.

For a hard drive, the 2.5" laptop drives are designed for battery savings and will be the more efficient types.
But... performance for a os is not good. For sequential recording of video images, they will do ok.
 

Yes it'll work. A PoE switch is the same as a regular switch. It sends some special signals when a device is plugged in. If the device requires PoE power, it recognizes those signals and responds, then the PoE switch sends the 48V power. If the device is a non-PoE device, then it doesn't respond to these signals, and that port on the switch just acts like a normal (non-PoE) switch port.

Also, any recommendations on external storage? Are any brands or types more energy efficient than others?
The 2.5" "portable" external HDDs require less power than the 3.5" external HDDs. And the 5400 RPM drives require less power than the 7200 RPM drives. If you're storing security camera video and the initial write is to an internal SSD or HDD, that's where most of the intensive write activity is going to be as the computer writes the raw video stream, then processes it to convert it into a smaller format for long-term storage. The external drive is just used for long-term storage after the video has been processed. So it generally isn't a problem if that drive is 5400 RPM. Though this may no longer be true if you're using an unusually large number of cameras.
 
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