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TEN Do's & Don'ts for Intellex Systems

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  • TEN Do's & Don'ts for Intellex Systems

    The major misconception of the Intellex system is that it is a proprietary and you can not make any modifications nor can change basic components...

    Here are my take on TEN assumptions that surround this product and creates unnecessary confusion.

    Assumption #1 – many will assume that you can not change the motherboard/processor combinations with anything else other than Intel based solution – wrong assessment.

    You can use motherboards from different manufacturers using both Intel or AMD chipsets. Our tests revealed that AMD based motherboards provide much better performance. You have to make sure to provide the operating system all the drivers that will recognize your motherboard components... You also can reuse your existing MAC address allowing to use your existing SW key...

    Assumption #2 – many will assume that the video card can not be anything else other than what Intellex comes with – wrong assessment.

    You can use video cards from various other manufacturers. Make sure that you are using at least 128MB of on-board RAM (256 MB is preferable) and also make sure that you manually provide its respective driver. There are utilities available that can clearly show that higher video RAM and faster GPU based video cards do contribute better performance. It does not increase video resolution at all, rather increases video performance.

    Assumption #3 – many will assume that hard drives must be by Western Digital – wrong assessment.

    Western Digital drives are great products and come with three years warranty. They also come with 7200 RPM speeds in both PATA and SATA format and they perform very well. With few dollars more, you can buy Seagate hard drives that come with five years warranty with similar specs and yet, operate cooler. Any hard drive operating cooler does and will prolong the life expectancy of such hardware and besides, additional two years warranty is the icing on the cake.

    Assumption #4 - many will assume that the power supply should not be more than 400W and it must be exact same manufacturer – wrong assessment.

    With simple calculation of all the hardware Intellex systems, 400W power supplies are just enough for the task. Using basic formula available anywhere and here is one that you can use as a reference - shows clearly that if the Intellex system comes with 500GB or more internal storage, the required powers is 388W. The main problem is that there is no extra overhead (20% is a must) to insure properly balance supply of power.

    Instead, you must use power supplies with at least 450W capacity and I recommend efficiency factor with no less than 80% and also that it comes with several fans of its own, preferably at least one that has 120MM fan. This type of spec power supplies last very long time and surpass even life expectancy of most components in the same system. The efficiency factor also helps to reduce your electrical bill, as it guarantees this high percentage of transfer of energy.

    Assumption #5 – many will assume that CD burner can not upgrade to DVD burner – wrong assessment.

    There are patches available on AD website allowing you to upgrade your CD burner to DVD burner. But... the standard DVD burners you purchase today may not work with Intellex systems. The software that control burn function of CD or DVD burners is tightly integrated with Intellex software and it is a very old versions. Thus, it works only with older version DVD or CD burners, most of which are no longer available in the market. One way to "find" this solution is to buy dozen DVD or CD burners in the market and test them individually to confirm if they work. There are few current models from various CD or DVD manufacturers that work with older and newer Intellex systems. So, search or ask and you will find them.

    Assumption #6 – many will assume that you are not allowed to obtain all the Microsoft critical updates and must use only the updates that the manufacturer recommends – wrong assessment.

    This seems tricky, but very easy. I recommend to download and apply only the critical updates and nothing else. Install Firefox or Opera and disable Microsoft IE, the Outlook Express and the Media Player. Even if you disable the IE, you still be able to perform your updates, however, if you really have to use Intellex for web browsing (you should not use Intellex other than what it is intended), then do not use IE – instead use Firefox or Opera. Do not install any new software for different tasks. If you have to install printer, make sure it does not change your system configuration and do not take any updates from Microsoft for the same hardware.

    Assumption #7 – many will assume that Intellex internal storage will not exceed more than 750GB – wrong assessment.

    750GB storage is the maximum internal storage available for Intellex platform from the manufacturer (excluding Intellex Ultra platform). However... Dependent if you have a desktop or rack mountable version Intellex, you can increase such internal storage to maximum 4TB (4,000GB). It is little tricky on how to do it, but with basic computer skills and persistency, it is fairly simple task. It may use all your ATA and SATA connections (exceptions apply to older boards that are restricted to no more than 4 ATA outputs), but with current storage capacities available from both Western Digital and Seagate reaching to 1TB (1,000GB), you can achieve this objective easily. Word of caution – make sure that you change your internal power supply to at least 600W and with 80+ efficiency. This way it will accommodate all the power requirements for these hard drives.

    Assumption #8 – many will assume that you can not backup video content from existing hard drives to newer hard drives – wrong assessment.

    You can transfer content of all your video per partition to a newer hard drive with the same size partition. The trick is not to exceed or short change the size of such partition. Due to Microsoft limitations of dividing hard drives to maximum four partitions, just remember that when assigning partition size, it matches with the original older partition contains the original video. There are many utilities available to perform this type of task. You have to insure that partition size and content mirrored and copied perfectly on the new drive.

    Once such copies are done, then visit Intellex Storage Manager and have these new partitions added to the database. Once complete, now you have access to your older video on a newer hard drives.

    Assumption #9 – many will assume that you can not add more internal fans or better system fans to improve air flow in and out of Intellex.

    Dependent which form factor Intellex you have, desktop or rack mountable, you can always either add more fans or use better fans to improve air flow in and out of the cases, thus increase life expectancy of your product.. In case of desktop form factor – make sure that besides the 120MM fan that must be part of your power supply, you also have one or two (dependent on age and version of such case) 60mm fan in the back of the case (above and near the processor fan). Always use ball bearing type of fans. You can also add yet another fan on the front of the case and right behind of the capture card. It will require to temporary move the front cover and use yet another 60mm X 1cm fan. Now, when you have a front fan pulling air into the case and the rear fans extracting air, what that does is helping constant move of the hot air away from internal components and increases life expectancy of the system.

    If you have rack mountable Intellex system, then here is what you do... Besides 120MM fan that is part of the power supply, you have to add two more 60mm fans in the back of the case. Replace 120MM fan that comes with the system for the following reasons.. First of all, it is way too laud and if you work with one, you can relay this clearly. Second, because its constant speed, it does not survive more than a year (we replaced too many of these fans and still do today). Instead, replace it with another 120MM fan that is quieter but more importantly, comes with built in thyristor. What this small component does for this type of fan is that it detects heat variations. Upon detection of more heat, it increases the fan speed to push more air or reduces if it senses less heat. This way, air flow fluctuates based on heat built up within the case.

    Assumption #10 – many will assume that adding more RAM into the system or utilizing rounded ATA cables will not make any difference in the system performance – wrong assessment.

    The debate for more RAM causing better performing Intellex is still going on. Here is my take which is based on facts. If you know how to perform registry change to allow the view of the performance of the entire system, then you can observe how Intellex operates. You can view the utilization of the processor and RAM usage based on every task you perform. The older systems came with 256MB of RAM, whereas the newer systems come with 512MB of RAM. Close analysis of RAM utilization through basic Windows Task Manager “Performance” tab, you can observe that simultaneous tasks of playing back video, burning CD, etc. requires more RAM than provided to the system. My personal recommendation is to install 1GB (1,000MB) of RAM. You can use two stick of 512MB or 1 stick of 1GB and it is mainly dependent on type and the age of your motherboard. You may not notice immediate performance advantage by adding more RAM, but it is there. If Intellex needs more RAM, it does not have to “borrow” from the hard drive in form of “Virtual Memory”, which always impacts with lesser performance.