Buy Lenovo TD340 or buy/build something instead?


Sep 23, 2010

I currently have a Lenovo TS140 with a Intel E3-1231v3 (almost a i7 4770 equivalent) that i use in the media room. The purpose for this PC was to use with security cameras through Blue Iris and for playing blu ray full iso rips/music to my home theater. My problem is that 2 security cameras use roughly 20-30% cpu power currently, and i'm looking to expand to around 7-8 cameras by early next year. With that many cameras, i won't be able to play back blu ray movies without the machine lagging.

Which leaves me at my current debate, what machine should i pick up for the living room next. I thought about building two pcs quad core with HT each but the cost is too high for even older desktop cpus and space needed. Recently I've been looking at buying a Lenovo Thinkserver TD340 instead. Cost is relatively cheap on ebay (350-450 depending), support dual cpus and they typically come with 8 GB of ram and a e5-2403v2 which ill replace with a 6 or 8 core xeon. I've checked reviews, and the machine is relatively quiet as well. The only other option i have in mind is to buy a x79 motherboard used on ebay and then buy ram, a E5 xeon cpu and assemble a unit that way but cost would be the same or higher than the Lenovo TD340 (x79 boards go for roughly 150-300 alone on ebay). Are there any other suggestions out there? I'd like to keep this under $500, $400 if possible. As for the TS140 i currently have, though i thought about selling it to recuperate from my next purchase, i'll probably set it up as a ZFS NAS box instead.