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It makes sense to build my own, right?


AngelosP
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5 members have voted

  1. 1. Does building my own make more sense than the Costco deal?

    • Yes
      4
    • No
      1


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Soon there will be a deal at Costco that would get you HP MediaSmart EX490 + extra 1TB hd (2TB in total) for $399.

 

So compare this deal with a custom build which will allow me to have WHS v1 now and it will also be future proof for Vail and possibly whatever comes after that ...

 

Case: Antec TWO HUNDRED V2 ATX $50

5 x 3.5" HDD Hot Swap Dock Cremax ICY Dock MB455SPF $110

PSU: Corsair VX450W $55

Motherboard: ASRock H55M-LE $70

CPU: Intel Core i3-540 $115

Memory: Crucial CT2KIT25664BA1339 4GB $65

HD: 2 x Samsung SpinPoint F2 1TB 2 x $60

 

Total: $585 (no need to include the cost of the O/S because I can get it for free from work)

 

So for $185 extra I get

 

  • 5 hot swappable 3.5" HD slots instead of 3, plus 6 internal ones
  • Much better CPU & motherboard with the option to upgrade to Core i5/i7 later
  • 4GB of RAM instead of 2, plus it's DDR3 instead of DDR2
  • Ability to plug it in a TV/monitor for installation/troubleshooting
  • Ability to upgrade to "Vail" if and when I decide to

 

Also keep in mind these are all normal retail prices. If I keep an eye out for some hot deals and I get some of the components on a reduced price, I would be reducing the delta too.

 

The downside is that the case on the custom build is a lot bigger and not as pretty. I don't care about these two issues because I will be placingmy WHS on top of my kitchen cupboards (which are really, really high up ... gotta love high ceilings), so it will fit just fine despite the bigger size plus I won't be able to see it so looks don't matter.

 

What do you guys think?

Edited by AngelosP
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I'm a huge fan of the OEM system. It helps to maintain the intent of the server to be a set-and-forget. I'd say go with the HP. I have a ex470 and am very glad I do.

PS, the 490 has 4 bays, although you can't really hot-swap the system drive. Plus you'll be able to put Vail on it (although that will probably be unsupported by HP) when it is released, as you can run the beta on it now.

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I currently own an EX490, and I really love it.

On the other hand, I noticed that copying files really takes a lot of CPU power (going up to 80-85%) so looking back I wish I would have gone for a more powerful CPU. I thought about the EX495, and for that one the delta with your home-built will be smaller still and you're probably going to outperform that.

 

I'd say: build your own - it'll be fun and you'll have a powerful box.

 

PS: I'd love to see a picture of you on top of the cupboard - connecting your screen and keyboard for a debugging session B)

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PS: I'd love to see a picture of you on top of the cupboard - connecting your screen and keyboard for a debugging session B)

 

Hahaha, I've had a custom built WHS before and I almost never had to connect a monitor to it except for during installation and when I lost network connectivity due to a crash. It happened so seldom that I figured I would be willing to take it down from the cupboard when I need to connect it to my TV. Otherwise I can always take the monitor up there :)

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I'm a huge fan of the OEM system. It helps to maintain the intent of the server to be a set-and-forget. I'd say go with the HP. I have a ex470 and am very glad I do.

PS, the 490 has 4 bays, although you can't really hot-swap the system drive. Plus you'll be able to put Vail on it (although that will probably be unsupported by HP) when it is released, as you can run the beta on it now.

 

Dear Jeff, I'm screwed once Vail goes RTM.

 

I want it, but there's no way in hell it'll be possible to upgrade the EX490 to vail, without much headache and conjuring up another 3 TB of HDD-storage from somewhere..

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If you think you need to build your own, go for it. The questions are whether you need the extra power and storage space. You could upgrade the 490's CPU to a dual-core E5500 for $69. That would still put you $115 ahead of a home build, which would cover the cost of an additional 2 TB HDD. But either way you go, you'll be happy. It just comes down to how you think you'll be using your server. And whether you feel the need to move up to Vail. Yes, that would be easier with a home build, but I've installed Vail on my EX495 and it was fine. The indicator lights didn't work, but that's an HP thing which someone may eventually provide a hack for. I'm hoping, anyway.

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I am on the fence right now, but a friend of mine is really pissed off that I want to get a custom build rather than get the HP so I might just do the custom build to piss him off even more. :)

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You could really go either way. At that price, the OEM is very enticing. I may pick one up to put in my parents' house. The i3 build will be a bit more future-proof, though understand that an in-place upgrade to Vail will be very painful no matter which way you go.

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Until the OEM's can catchup to the Vail requirements and have a really nice box, I think the only way to go on Vail is a custom build. Just my .02...valued today at .0125 :blink:

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Soon there will be a deal at Costco that would get you HP MediaSmart EX490 + extra 1TB hd (2TB in total) for $399.

 

So compare this deal with a custom build which will allow me to have WHS v1 now and it will also be future proof for Vail and possibly whatever comes after that ...

 

Case: Antec TWO HUNDRED V2 ATX $50

5 x 3.5" HDD Hot Swap Dock Cremax ICY Dock MB455SPF $110

PSU: Corsair VX450W $55

Motherboard: ASRock H55M-LE $70

CPU: Intel Core i3-540 $115

Memory: Crucial CT2KIT25664BA1339 4GB $65

HD: 2 x Samsung SpinPoint F2 1TB 2 x $60

 

Total: $585 (no need to include the cost of the O/S because I can get it for free from work)

 

So for $185 extra I get

 

  • 5 hot swappable 3.5" HD slots instead of 3, plus 6 internal ones
  • Much better CPU & motherboard with the option to upgrade to Core i5/i7 later
  • 4GB of RAM instead of 2, plus it's DDR3 instead of DDR2
  • Ability to plug it in a TV/monitor for installation/troubleshooting
  • Ability to upgrade to "Vail" if and when I decide to

 

Also keep in mind these are all normal retail prices. If I keep an eye out for some hot deals and I get some of the components on a reduced price, I would be reducing the delta too.

 

The downside is that the case on the custom build is a lot bigger and not as pretty. I don't care about these two issues because I will be placingmy WHS on top of my kitchen cupboards (which are really, really high up ... gotta love high ceilings), so it will fit just fine despite the bigger size plus I won't be able to see it so looks don't matter.

 

What do you guys think?

 

 

This is always a dilemma. The HP you described is a great value as long as you are happy with you bought and keep it till it dies. Building your own is more upgradeable, expandable, and of course the pride of building it. The system you are comparing to the HP is much faster than the HP so it is a bit unfair. You won't go wrong either way and for V1 WHS, both will work for you and meet you needs. It really becomes a personal choice of what make you happy at the end of the day, your budget, and of course expandability. Probably not a surprise to anyone but for me I rather build my own so I can have the way I want and provide the expandability that I am looking for.

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