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WHS Build Advice


ChrisB
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With my network harddrive failing I have decided to take the plunge and build something which I can rely on a little more.

 

Before I start I must admit that I am very indecisive so I would appreciate any feedback on the below.

 

 

The Purpose:

Currently I am looking to have a central store for all my music, pictures and documents. These will be accessed by approx currently 4 pc's and a XBox 360 (This will increase to include 2 x HTPC's). There is alos a couple of music recievers which will also be accessing the server.

 

In the future I like the idea of being able to download HD movies and then access them from the HTPC. I would also consider storing my Bluerays and DVDs on the server as well.

 

Finally I would like to access the server remotely to access music and pictures etc.

 

First Question

WHS V1 or Vail? As Vail is still pre beta/rtm is it risky to run with it. I realise that there will be no upgrade path for either once Vail is launched so I dont see this being an issue/

 

Hardware

 

Based on the purpose of my server I am stuck in two minds as to what to go with. I would like the server to be as low powered as possible but I still want it to be able to do the job.

 

Option 1 (Higher Spec)

Processor - Intel i3-530

Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-H55N-USB3 or Intel DH57JG

Memory - 2x 2GB DDR3 1333 Memory

PSU - Corsair HX450W

 

Option 2 (Low Spec)

Processor - Intel Atom D525

Motherboard - Asus AT5IONT-I or Gigabyte GA-D525TUD

Memory - 2 x 2GB DDR3 800 Memory

 

Hard Drives

1 x 7,200 250GB System Drive (Due to case this may be a 2.5" Western digital Scorpio Black)

2 x 5,400 2 TB Green Storage Drive (Samsung SpinPoint EcoGreen F4 or Western Digital Caviar Green)

 

I am open to other suggestions.

 

Case

As I am looking for something that is good looking due to the box being visible I am considering the Lian Li PC-Q11.

 

This has space for an mitx board, 2 x 3.5" H/D and 2 x 2.5" H/D. It also comes with USB3 ports to the front.

 

 

Thanks to everyone in advance for reading through the above and I would appreciate your input.

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Welcome to our forums ChrisB.

 

If you read through the other threads in the build forums you will see a pretty consistent pattern of people using the Core i3 and the Gigabyte motherboard. The fact you are already talking about streaming video from the server means you should consider something more powerful than an atom processor.

 

Jim Collison from the Home Server Show podcast has document his build here.

 

Read through the different threads and you will find a lot of good information to help you make your decision.

 

Ultimately, you will find the forum members here will encourage you to go with the Core i3-530 or i3-540. Everyone who has made that decision has not been disappointed.

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Thanks for finding the link Chris K and welcome Chris B. I have built both systems you have listed here in the last 3 months and found that the Atom is a little underpowered for a Home Server beyond version 1. That is just my opinion after testing it on both.

 

I currently use the Core i3 for my Vail/Aurora Test box and I use the D525 as a dedicated DVR that streams out to an Xbox 360. I also use the Atom box to stream the Home Server Show on uStream each week. They are both excellent boxes.

 

I have talked about it a bit on the shows over the last couple months if haven't listened to them yet.

 

Like Chris said, lots of good info on this subject right here in the forums if you dig a bit. I am open for more questions if you have them.

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Thanks both.

 

I am currently working through all vast amount of usefull info on this site.

 

In regards to both boxes what power usage are you getting from them (especially the i3)?

 

Thanks

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Depending on the amount of drives you install you could be around 600w for a 4 drive server which will do just fine with some in reserve.

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First off, thank you for posting. I'm looking at the same thing in the next 2-3 months. (CFO approved) Do you have a price point for the components that you've selected or do you have a cap that you are looking at or a maximum spending point?

 

Lastly, please send me your server for testing? (Come on, cut me some slack)

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With my network harddrive failing I have decided to take the plunge and build something which I can rely on a little more.

 

Before I start I must admit that I am very indecisive so I would appreciate any feedback on the below.

 

 

The Purpose:

Currently I am looking to have a central store for all my music, pictures and documents. These will be accessed by approx currently 4 pc's and a XBox 360 (This will increase to include 2 x HTPC's). There is alos a couple of music recievers which will also be accessing the server.

 

In the future I like the idea of being able to download HD movies and then access them from the HTPC. I would also consider storing my Bluerays and DVDs on the server as well.

 

Finally I would like to access the server remotely to access music and pictures etc.

 

First Question

WHS V1 or Vail? As Vail is still pre beta/rtm is it risky to run with it. I realise that there will be no upgrade path for either once Vail is launched so I dont see this being an issue/

 

Hardware

 

Based on the purpose of my server I am stuck in two minds as to what to go with. I would like the server to be as low powered as possible but I still want it to be able to do the job.

 

Option 1 (Higher Spec)

Processor - Intel i3-530

Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-H55N-USB3 or Intel DH57JG

Memory - 2x 2GB DDR3 1333 Memory

PSU - Corsair HX450W

 

Option 2 (Low Spec)

Processor - Intel Atom D525

Motherboard - Asus AT5IONT-I or Gigabyte GA-D525TUD

Memory - 2 x 2GB DDR3 800 Memory

 

Hard Drives

1 x 7,200 250GB System Drive (Due to case this may be a 2.5" Western digital Scorpio Black)

2 x 5,400 2 TB Green Storage Drive (Samsung SpinPoint EcoGreen F4 or Western Digital Caviar Green)

 

I am open to other suggestions.

 

Case

As I am looking for something that is good looking due to the box being visible I am considering the Lian Li PC-Q11.

 

This has space for an mitx board, 2 x 3.5" H/D and 2 x 2.5" H/D. It also comes with USB3 ports to the front.

 

 

Thanks to everyone in advance for reading through the above and I would appreciate your input.

 

 

Chris B,

 

For starters, if you are going to pull the plug now, you should go with V1 and not vail as there are too many unknowns. That being said, you could go with either of these systems for V1. For vail the Atom option would have been a bad choice. In terms of whcih is the lower powered, the Atom is only about 15 watts less than the core I3 but in terms of performance it is multiples slower. If you are going to add HTPC's, it is more important that they be better performing and you definetely should go I3. One last comment. I would not go with the case you selected as it only holds 2 drives. You mention possibly Blu ray and other rips which is not going to be good on only two drives. When you add externals, you loose the power efficientcy, speed,and any money you may have saved buying a smaller case. Go with a case with at least 5 internal drives, and if where me I would use a motherbard with with at least 6-7 sata ports. At the average of o 28 gigs per BR, you will need to add drivess sooner than you think.

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Budget permitting, something like this would be very nice:

 

Case: Lian-Li PC-Q08B - http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811112265

Gigabyte H55N-USB3

Intel i3 540

Memory 2 x 2GB DDR3 1333

System drive: Seagate ES.2 500GB - http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822148609

Powwer supply: Cooler Master Silent Pro M600 - http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817171036

 

(Gotta love those soft, easy to work with modular cables).

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I would not suggest using Vail quite yet. The video functionality and Windows Media Center interfaces are not quite complete yet, and although the Silverlight web streaming is a nice touch, you really want solid video performance on the home network. In addition, the WHS Add-Ins for Windows Media Center, movies and other video support are only in v1 at this point. Get the WHS v1 OEM software at Tiger Direct right now for $79 and have some turkey AND video served for your guests at Thanksgiving.

Edited by Daleo1
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