ok, with the download getting close to finishing (not the Dual Layer disk, still a week out on that, lol) I am running into road block on what I should do regarding the Core system. The Dell Optiplex 755 I wanted to use is limited to 2 PCI slots. 1 of which has to be used by a 2nd NIC (unless I use a USB NIC). I have 2 older machines that i could use instead, but i might run into issues with each of them also.
1. P4 3.0 with HT processor, 2gb of RAM
2. AMD64 3800, 2gb of RAM
If I use either of those systems, I will have 3 PCI slots open after the 2nd NIC. They also have onboard raid controllers (hopefully not like the Optiplex, but actual hardware raid controllers) so i would not need to use the PCI raid controller. I would be limited to either of these 2 AGP video cards though: NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra or Radeon X800 XT. Since this is a core system only, I am not sure if that matters at all since it will not have a disply connected once its configured.
The lack of PCI slots heavily limits growth it seems. I have a Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500 MCE card that i assume should go in the Core system (downsides to sticking it in another system?) and if i want to expand to make use of phone functionality, I would need to add a X100P card to use Comcast's VOIP. Thats 2 PCI slots there.
If you want to comment on the above, please do so, otherwise here are the specific questions i have for the experts:
1. Assuming when im finished that i have 5 MD's(3 initially, 2 more as time goes on. at most 1 of these will be network boot if that matters) would either of the 2 systems mentioned above be able to handle that without many issues, or should i stick to the Optiplex (Dual Core @2.33)
2. Can I have the Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500 MCE card on a machine that is not the core? Aside from that PC needing to be on to record or watch TV, are there any other down sides to doing this?
3. Would a USB NIC be a terrible choice for the external NIC? Should I stick to the PCI card?
4. If I end up using the Optiplex as the Core and I use the USB NIC (or spring and buy a pci-e 1x NIC, but i would rather not spend any money right now), what would be the best choices to stick in the PCI slots? the Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500 MCE card and eventually the X100P or an additional capture card?
I know i could figure this all out on my own as i go, but if others already have experiance with it, it could save me a bit of time, so wh not ask right?