I've mentioned before that I have a small server in my basement that I use for media storage. All my movies, music and TV shows have been ripped from DVD or BluRay and encoded as h.264/AC3 files.
The server is nothing more than a mini PC case with a fanless Via C7 mini-itx motherboard, 2 Gb of RAM and a 2 Tb "green" hard drive. Since it is nothing more than a file server it needs very little horsepower and thus I used the low-power, low-performance parts. It works wonderfully.
I have about 1 Tb of files on it that took me almost a year to rip, encode and properly tag. I really don't want to do it again -- ever, so I bought a little external USB 1 Tb HD for $90 at Walmart.
The external drive is USB 2.0/3.0, but the motherboard is USB 2.0. You'd think 480 Mbps is fast, but once you try and copy over 1 Tb of data it seems a lot slower.
So I bought a USB 3.0 card to stick in the one slot the motherboard has. That was a trick, actually. It seems that the older Via motherboards have PCI slots and that since USB 3.0 is *faster* than the PCI bus, almost no one makes a USB 3.0 PCI expansion card. There are plenty of PCIe cards, but finding a PCI card was harder than I thought.
I finally tracked down one -- and only one -- on Ebay. It is from a Taiwanese OEM named "Serial Technologies Expander", whom I can't find online.
The card works like a champ under Linux. Power down, plug card into slot, plug in power from case power supply (for USB-powered device support) and go. No drivers, no nothing. Plugging in my external drive showed
US 3.0 maxes out at 5 Gbps, but the PCI bus tops out at just a hair over 1 Gbps. So I'm not getting the full benefit of USB 3.0, but it is more than twice as fast as the USB 2.0 backup was.
I need to do a full benchmark of the speed just to satisfy by nerd curiosity. Because since I backed up once (just "cp -aR
For the record: Makemkv is what I use to strip copy protection and rip DVD and BluRay movies. The actual encoding to h.264 is done with HandBrake. CD audio I rip to Ogg-Flac (lossless) using K3B. It all works like a charm. I chose h.264 for video because damn near everything has hardware acceleration support for it.