Last year I put together a new camera server using Blue Iris along with a few components from companies like Silverstone, Intel, Noctua, Cooler Master, MSI, and Kingston. I skimped out on hard drives at the time hoping to find a deal in the future and over the last year I’ve seen a few areas where we can improve on things. With that, it is time to revisit the Icyu build to give things a little polish, and hopefully finish things off.

Product Name: Project Icyu– Blue Iris Build Part 5

Written by: Wes Compton

Build Sponsors/Supporters: SilverstoneIntelNoctuaCooler MasterMSIKingston, ServerPartDeals

Amazon Affiliate links: Coral USB Accelerator

Links to the rest of the project: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 – Part 5


Before getting into the new components that I’m going with I wanted to touch on how it has performed over the last year. The new system was a huge upgrade from our compact ITX build that was in use full-time for 6 years. The larger case size helped clean things up by being mounted in our rack finally and it helps us have the expandability combined with Silverstone’s FS303 hot-swap bays to make storage expansion possible when that wasn’t possible with our old setup. It also allowed the built to have water cooling which has kept things cool and also kept the noise down. The old system ran hot all day long and was loud. The 12600K was a huge improvement from the i7-7700K and as it turns out the Z690 platform as a whole does leave us open to upgrades with the 13 Series and 14 Series both being supported if later I need more processing power.

In addition to handling Blue Iris the Icyu server also handles a bit torrent client and for reviews at times it is also used for network testing by running an OpenSpeedTest server on it. That actually brings me to one area that I wanted to upgrade. The 2.5G Intel I225V NIC built in the MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk Wifi is more than enough to handle the workload from Blue Iris but I want to have a full 10 gig connection on to our network so I’m looking to upgrade that.

At the time of the build, I went with a few 6TB hard drives that I had around but the plan was always to upgrade the storage. I’m going to address that issue today as well which will go a long way in expanding how many days of recordings we have. Last up, while the CPU has performed well Blue Iris has still been slow in AI processing which I use to tag notifications when there are animals, people, cars, and trucks. That is used to eliminate a majority of the false positives. But the speed of notifications can be very important. With the original build, I left room to add in a video card which could help with processing and I’ve even had one on hand but in the last year support for the Coral Accelerator has improved and their availability has gotten better. Last year even if you wanted one you would pay two or three times as much as their MSRP or you would have to wait 6 or more months, that isn’t an issue now. So I’m going to give that a try and keep a GPU as the backup plan.

Beyond that, I have been improving our network including a new PoE switch from EnGenius, cleaning up and redoing most of the wiring on our rack. I have also been slowly upgrading the network cables that go out to our cameras. With our original installation, I just used the Cat 5e cable that we had on hand but now 6 years later the cables that have runs outside are starting to have UV and water damage. In fact, one of our cameras just went down yesterday because of it. So I have been upgrading to TrueCable Cat 6 outdoor-rated cabling which should hold up a little better.

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