New Mac or new NAS?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Kevo82, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. Kevo82 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    #1
    I am using a Time Capsule as a NAS, and a MacBook black early 2008, to watch movies stat are stored on the Time Capsule's 2TB HDD, on a plasma TV (mini dvi->hdmi). The movies are mkv 1080p >10gb, and the MacBook it's connected to the TC via Gigabyte ethernet.

    The speed it's awfull!!! The movie pauses, freezes and the sound goes faster than the image.

    What is the problem? My old MacBook, or the Time Capsule? I use XBMC to play movies, and I tried VLC and I get the same problems.
    I want to see the movie without any glitch and freeze.

    I think it should be the TC, because when I play the same movie from the MacBook's hard drive, I have no problems.

    So should I get a dedicated NAS like a Synology, or a new Mac like the Mini or the iMac?
     
  2. angelsguardian macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    North East Scotland
    #2
    Would be helpful if you could post what your network infrastructure (wired/wireless etc) to have a go at the problem. Personally I'd go for a iMac with local storage (maybe Firewire drive) over a wired network at least as far as the TC. I use a late 2006 iMac for this which is fine.
     
  3. Kevo82 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    #3
    NET --->(cat6) Switch --->(cat6) Time Capsule
    --->(cat6) MacBook

    I also tried:

    NET --->(cat6) Switch --->(cat6) Time Capsule ---> (cat6) MacBook

    The results are the same. Every few seconds e image freezes for one second, and then it continues to play. The image falls behind the sound.

    I just tried to copy the movie on the MacBook HDD, and I get the same problems but not that often, which makes me think that my MacBook could be a part of the problem also. It is 2.4 Core2Duo with 2Gb Ram, and no other program is running in the background.

    What should I upgrade first? The Mac, or the NAS?
     
  4. angelsguardian macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    North East Scotland
    #4
    It does sound like the Macbook is the bottleneck at the moment. My advice would be to forget storing your library on the NAS and cut out one 'journey'. If you can find another Mac (My late 2006 iMac (2.16ghz Core 2 Duo with 2gb RAM for now) has no problem serving HD to 2 ATV3's at the same time) and store the library either on the machine or on a HD attached to it. It needn't cost a fortune. In the last 2 weeks I've bought the iMac and renewed my network for less than £400 and it works a treat.

    I have the iMac by Cat6 to my router which is gigabit and then wirelessly (450mbps max) to the ATV's in a house with thick stone walls and it works REALLY well. I expected to need to use home plug networking out to the ATV's but I found it completely unnecessary.
     
  5. Kevo82, Jun 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012

    Kevo82 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    #5

    Today I tried with a newer MacBook aluminium unibody, and the same thing happens...so it's not the Mac, it's the TC. The movie that I tried to play directly from my old MacBook's HDD, continues to freeze on the newer MacBook's HDD also, so I think it's a movie decoding error.
    But any other movie played from the Mac HDD works fine. Any 720p movie played from the TC via ethernet cat6 works just fine, but NOT the 1080p movies..

    I also think that the only solution to have a proper HTPC with a movie colection, would be to buy an iMac or a Mini, and connect it to a NAS with firewire, and not gigabyte ethernet. I would like a NAS with ethernet AND firewire. All have ethernet and usb (Synology) or usb and firewire (drobo).

    Did ANYBODY tried a Mini or iMac with an ethernet gigabyte NAS (like Synology DS411j or Drobo FS), and got good results (playing a 1080p movie the same way a blu ray player would play...without pausing and freezing)?
     
  6. mfacey macrumors 65816

    mfacey

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #6
    I'm running a Synology DS212+ NAS with my entire movie collection. Its connected via gigabit ethernet to a 2008 3.06GHz iMac. Displaying 1080p mkv files (around 10GB each) on the iMac works fine. I run a media player in the living room which is only 100mbit unfortunately, but even this one has no problems whatsoever running 1080p content on my TV.
    I would say lose the time capsule (its just a crippled NAS in the end), get an Airport Extreme Base Station and a separate NAS. Synology makes some great models and i know for a fact that even the lower end single bay models have no problems with streaming big files. Then get a media player for the living room. Western Digital Live or Popcorn Hour for example. Or wait until the apple tv 3 can be jailbroken...
    I'm guessing the Macbook is a model with shared graphics memory? That is most likely causing the lackluster performance when you play the files locally.
     
  7. Kevo82 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    #7
    Yes, it's the black MacBook with shared video card.

    So if I get an iMac i5 and a Synology DS411j I won't have any problems?

    Or should I spend more for the Drobo FS (ethernet) or Drobo S (usb and firewire)?

    The only thing that i like at Drobo it's that I can make a RAID 5 without losing storage space and I can use different sizes HDD.

    Thanks for the replies
     
  8. mfacey macrumors 65816

    mfacey

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #8
    I don't have any experience with the Drobo, but when i extensively researched the available NAS servers i found that Synology and QNap are basically the defacto choices. drobo is very expensive for what you get. Have you looked at the Hybrid Raid formats available from Syn and qnap? They are more flexible than raid5 in my opinion.
    I would say any recent model mac will serve you HD needs just fine.
     
  9. angelsguardian macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    North East Scotland
    #9
    From my researches I agree that Synology and Qnap seem to be the best received for Mac networks, but cost quite a lot but you get what you pay for. Another to consider (this from a reseller for all of these models so may be reliable) was Buffalo Linkstations in one and two bay models. Their opinion was they had a similar level of Mac support. My opinion without use is they have less features and probably lower build quality but much cheaper. You pays your money etc....

    Personally if (as I am) you have a limited budget I'd go for local storage. If you have more to spend I'd look at a really good NAS with really good drives.
     
  10. torana355 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #10
    I stream all my movies from my 2008 iMac to my PS3 via gigabit Ethernet and i have no lag even with 1080p videos. My 2tb hdd in my mac is almost full so im going all out and getting a Synology DiskStation DS1512+ 5 bay NAS Im going to fill it with 3TB enterprise drives and run it in raid 6. It should last for years with 8tb of usable storage. :)
     
  11. torana355 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #11
    Drobo's are very slow, stay away from them if you are trying to avoid your movies lagging. I would stick to a conventional raid 5 or 6 setup.
     

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