Feedback on Potential Blue Iris Server

mincient

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I am not certain this is the best place to post a couple hardware questions, but since I am genuinely new, I figured this the safest place for when I come across as in idiot.

From the hardware Blue Iris (BI) wiki and Newbie Starter Guide, I started looking on eBay at better CPUs until I found one I might be able to afford. If possible would like to spend less than $400 on the server and OS.
I will be adding to my setup over time, but currently expect to end up with about 10 cameras.
I think I will start with a 16 or 24 port POE switch.
Eventually I would like to have several cameras displaying live on two or three monitors.
Though I will likely not initially have internet access to my BI machine, I would like the computer to at least be able to have two NICs so I can add that securely in the future.

Does this Lenovo machine look like a good BI option for the money? I am open to other suggestions if anyone has any.


On cable, I am planning on Cat6 and it looks like the most common recommendation is Monoprice or Cable Matters (which appears expensive). If Monoprice, I assume $102.99 plus shipping is what most people get. Does anyone have an opinion on the $115 Southwire cable from Home Depot? After shipping that would be a little cheaper than Monoprice.

That is what I am ready to purchase now. Of course once I get the "server" and cable, I will be needing a switch and camera(s) to actually do anything.


Thank you for for any feedback or if I need to provide additional information.
 

Judman

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That PC looks okay. No need for the Nvidia GPU.

My only caveat with the PC you selected is hard drives. You are typically limited to one 3.5" HDD and maybe another 2.5" SSD/HDD. If you need long storage times for 10 camera's then you are going to have to be creating when it comes to onboard storage. Also, lookup the model and find a motherboard diagram. It may only have 1-2 sata ports which completely limits easy storage additions.

If you can find a fill tower PC it will give more options.

Edit: Here is a computer that I would use - Dell Inspiron I3670-7743blk Intel Core I7-8700 16gb RAM 2tb HDD Windows 10 for sale online | eBay
Don't blame me if the things ends up being crap or dies in two days!
 

SouthernYankee

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:welcome:
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Not a computer price performance person. But I would go for a tower as You can add more disks. You will need to add at least one hard drive. Make sure the mother board has a slot for an additional NIC card.

For multiple displays are the Local to the BI PC or remote, like the kitchen, bed room. See the Blue Iris picture frame / UI3 camera viewing station.
Do not be cheap on the cable, Use only solid copper, AWG 23 or 24 ethernet wire. , no CCA (Copper Clad Aluminum).

I would get one good camera to test your camera placement. If you want to be able to ID faces, don't mount cams higher than 8ft. You want to know who did it, not just what happened. use a test mount to verify the camera mount location. My test rig: rev.2
 

TL1096r

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:welcome:
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Not a computer price performance person. But I would go for a tower as You can add more disks. You will need to add at least one hard drive. Make sure the mother board has a slot for an additional NIC card.

For multiple displays are the Local to the BI PC or remote, like the kitchen, bed room. See the Blue Iris picture frame / UI3 camera viewing station.
Do not be cheap on the cable, Use only solid copper, AWG 23 or 24 ethernet wire. , no CCA (Copper Clad Aluminum).

I would get one good camera to test your camera placement. If you want to be able to ID faces, don't mount cams higher than 8ft. You want to know who did it, not just what happened. use a test mount to verify the camera mount location. My test rig: rev.2
nice test rig - added it to newb setup:

Follow that thread and let us know the questions.

I linked amazon cat6 cable - normally quicker shipping and comes out to less vs monoprice due to shipping (but may vary from your location):
 

mincient

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You both make great points (which is what I hoped for when posting) on the full tower...I think I will have to find a full tower.

@Judman:
Thank you for the link to that full tower. I will try to bid on it tonight, but expect it will go higher than I am ready to pull the trigger on today. I may end up having to go over $400, but I will fight doing so for at least a little bit.


@SouthernYankee:
My current plan is for the multiple displays to be local, but that Blue Iris picture frame is awesome, so maybe some day down the road I would try to build something like that too. Thank you for the link.
With Blue Iris, would a remote display and local display have to show the same camera(s) at the same time?

The Southwire cable is solid copper and 23-Gauge.

I like your test rig. In driveway and at the door, you are right, I will want to be able to know who did it. I also want to end up with some cameras overlooking a couple fields, up to 300' and 600' out.


@TL1096r:
Thank you for the Amazon link. I may end up going with that cable from Amazon Warehouse.
 

Judman

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@mincient You might also consider an higher end 8-9th gen i5 for the system. They tend to go pretty cheap in full size cases.

I really don't think you would have a problem running 10 2mp cameras on that CPU.
 

mincient

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@Judman Well I may have been able to get that full tower for $440. I had some company stay longer than expected last night so by the time I checked the listing it was over...I will keep watching to see if I can afford an i7.
 

Judman

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@mincient A i7-6700 should work for you too. A few options from a quick ebay search this morning. Good Luck!

No OS, but you can run windows 10 without activation =) HP EliteDesk 800 G2 TWR Intel Core i7 6700 3.4GHz 12GB DDR4 RAM 2TB HDD NO OS | eBay


 

bp2008

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When buying used PCs on ebay, the price roughly correlates with their age, but performance does not. An i7-3770 is close to 87% of the performance of an i7-7700, but 30-40% of the price. Really the CPU performance from 2nd gen to 7th gen did not change very much, and Intel only started adding more cores with the 8th and 9th generations due to pressure from AMD. 8th and 9th gen are still too new to find super amazing deals on.

Of course, you never know how much life an old PC still has in it, and older machines typically come with less RAM and storage, and typically will consume a little more power due to less efficient CPUs.
 

TL1096r

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When buying used PCs on ebay, the price roughly correlates with their age, but performance does not. An i7-3770 is close to 87% of the performance of an i7-7700, but 30-40% of the price. Really the CPU performance from 2nd gen to 7th gen did not change very much, and Intel only started adding more cores with the 8th and 9th generations due to pressure from AMD. 8th and 9th gen are still too new to find super amazing deals on.

Of course, you never know how much life an old PC still has in it, and older machines typically come with less RAM and storage, and typically will consume a little more power due to less efficient CPUs.
Great info! Added to the newb guide.

Those prices are high. I would suggest if you want to spend $350 - spend another $100 dollars and go with a i5-8500. If you look on auctions they are going for $350-450

For example this went for $350:

$400:

all really good prices you can get it for if you wait and look.

I saw a i7-8700 G4 SFF go for $550. It had a SSD/16GB ram. These computers are good as they are more energy efficient than the older computers HP put together and they will allow you to expand to more cameras also
 
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Judman

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I got my HP Pavilion Desktop 590-p0066 Intel Core i5-8400, 12GB RAM, 1TB, Win 10 on ebay for 389 shipped. I am super happy with it. The 8th gen i5 cpu's are really nice!
 

mincient

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@Judman thank you, I will check those out.

@bp2008 thank you too for mentioning the performance is fairly similar up to iX-7XXX

@TL1096r thank for pointing out some specific examples with what you consider good prices on them. Most of the active i5-8500 listings I see right now seem to be small form factor, but I will start watching for those as well.

I can go $450 if that will get me a decent machine that will (hopefully) last a while. Currently I am really wishing I had bid on the i7-8700 @Judman pointed out yesterday.
 

TL1096r

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@Judman thank you, I will check those out.

@bp2008 thank you too for mentioning the performance is fairly similar up to iX-7XXX

@TL1096r thank for pointing out some specific examples with what you consider good prices on them. Most of the active i5-8500 listings I see right now seem to be small form factor, but I will start watching for those as well.

I can go $450 if that will get me a decent machine that will (hopefully) last a while. Currently I am really wishing I had bid on the i7-8700 @Judman pointed out yesterday.
SFF for the G4 is nice. it has 2 bays for the HDD. It is what I am using now very compact and good amount of storage. The dell 7060 sff is smaller with only 1 HDD bay.

what i7-8700 are you talking about? I do not see a link to this.
 

Judman

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SFF for the G4 is nice. it has 2 bays for the HDD. It is what I am using now very compact and good amount of storage. The dell 7060 sff is smaller with only 1 HDD bay.

what i7-8700 are you talking about? I do not see a link to this.
This one i posted yesterday in my first reply.

 

TL1096r

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mincient

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@TL1096r does the G4 have space for two NICs also?
Is one large storage drive all I will really need for video storage (I plan to put Windows and Blue Iris will be on an SSD)?
 

Judman

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@TL1096r does the G4 have space for two NICs also?
Is one large storage drive all I will really need for video storage (I plan to put Windows and Blue Iris will be on an SSD)?
I have two purple drives that I split my cameras over so if one fails I still have at least half my footage, but you can get up to 12TB purple drives ( they cost more than your PC though lol)

The G4 TL 1096r posted does PCI slots (16x, 4x and 2 - 1x slots as shown on page 24 of this HP manual - ) So you can easily add a second gigabit PCI based nic for $20.
 

TL1096r

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@TL1096r does the G4 have space for two NICs also?
Is one large storage drive all I will really need for video storage (I plan to put Windows and Blue Iris will be on an SSD)?
yes plenty of space for NIC - 2 nvme / 1 ssd / 2 hdd

Yes check this out:

It answers your question:
"You will want to install Windows, Blue Iris, & Blue Iris Database on the main NVMe/SSD (256-512gb is best) and videos on a HDD (Purple HDD by WD is most popular)"

I promise if you read and study that above thread you will learn everything you need to start your build.

yes the Purple HDD are expensive.

When I did my build the last thing I purchased was the computer because I was waiting for prices to be reasonable.
-You can buy the cameras/switch and you can set up the cameras following the dual NIC:

-change IP/pw on all cams and write it all down
-you can use another computer to set up your blue iris cams and then export the settings to your new computer
-i did all of this on air gapped computer
-i set up my cat6e cables and ran them through house and installed cams

By the time I found the computer I wanted all I had to do was plug in the switch to the second NIC and change the IP so it all matched. Installed BI and hook other NIC into router and I was up and running in minutes.
 
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mincient

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@Judman thank you for the link to the G4 HP manual and writing that you use two drives for video storage. Thanks to the manual you linked, I am confident that G4 would allow a 2.5" SSD plus two 3.5" HDDs and an optical drive as well which I think I would also like to have. It does not sound like I will be getting a 12TB purple drive any time soon ;)

@TL1096r Thank you for creating and maintaining the Newbie Guide. Clearly I need it. I have read it and will be rereading it. That is how I new to even ask about a separate drive for video storage, though I do not see in that guide what @Judman explained about the benefit of using two drives for video storage (though I know I have previously read that somewhere else here at ipcamtalk), so I am still glad I asked. I know hard drives are covered somewhat in the Wiki, but reading similar things different ways certainly helps me understand (eventually...hopefully).
It sounds like I am starting my build from the opposite direction you did. I am not certain my approach will prove better, but I know that getting to 10+ cameras as I intend will be expensive and I would like to get a few running in the next month or so. I can definitely be going ahead and running cables (as soon as I acquire some cable) but I think I should be computer hunting now too.

I like the SFF for the compactness if it will still meet my needs, which I currently think is one SSD, two high capacity HDDs (WD purple if I can afford), a second NIC, and potentially an optical drive. It does not appear likely I will need to have a dedicated graphics card. I want as much CPU as I can get for around $400ish and I would like to end up with at least 16 GB of RAM, though I see that the Wiki says I will be find starting at 8 GB. It sounds like the G4 will do all of that. If anyone sees something I am over looking, please point that out to me.

I will lean on the Newbie Guide to research potential cameras for my setup, though I will not be surprised if I end up asking dumb questions about those too :facepalm:


Thank you all again, I appreciate your continuing help.
 
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Judman

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@mincient No worries! I went through this same process about a year ago getting a system off the ground for myself. I don't know that it is mentioned in the newb guide, but I have 2 cameras (one from each side of the house) saving footage to purple drive 1 and 2 cameras (again one from each side of the house) saving to purple drive 2. This is relatively easy to do in BlueIris with the recording setting and Aux configs. I don't know that this is the right or best way to do thing's but its been working for me. The logic I had was that if a drive fails, I still have half my clips and hopefully footage in the event I need it.

I also have the boot drive as a nvme ssd because my HP motherboard only have two sata drive connections, so that forced my hand on the SSD, but I don't think its necessary on a dedicated BI PC since you aren't booting often or loading applications a lot. Im sure there are some performance benefits with the database though so it cant hurt.

I will add that I have 4 (3 at 10 fps, 1 at 15 fps and all at VBR-Best 2048kpbs) cameras running on H.265 and get about 4 months of storage across the two 3 TB purple drives in my system.

16 GB is nice, but I really dont think it will be necessary on a BI PC so dont let 8 or 12 GB sway you from a good base PC that you can throw 40-60$ at later to add a ram stick.

As for camera's, there are so many reviews and topics about the main consumer cameras on this forum that you should be set when it comes time to pick those out!
 
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