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Rebuilding my WHS frankenbuild? Your suggestions?


jcollison
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As mentioned on Show 65, I am looking at replacing my current WHS with some new hardware. Looking for your suggestions. Here is what I have now.

Dell Dimension 2400
Intel Celeron 2.20GHz
1.25 GB RAM
80 GB ATA System Drive (Contains the OS) Partitioned into 20/60 GB space
2 x 500 GB External USB 2.0 ATA Hard Drives (Used for Data)
1TB External USB 2.0 Hard Drive IOSafe (Used for File Backup)

Not sure if I want low power consumption or high power processor. Right now I am thinking of just a motherboard, processor and RAM and putting it in a retro Dell PowerEdge 600SC box. Also might just go with a EX490.

Your thoughts?

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Well, regardless of which way you go, I would have to recommend a dual core cpu and at least 2GBs of RAM, and an upgrade on HDD. Sata gets better performance that IDE. :)
Personally, I've been very happy with my PentiumD E5200 CPU (which, yes is in the EX495 also). And I perfer leaving my system on 24/7. But then again, my server acts as a DHCP/DNS/Web/VPN/etc server. :)
If you do decide low power, the Atom 330 is a nice, higher end atom cpu (dual core, and it's x64).

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I'm currently running an old custom desktop as my WHS and would like to do a new build as well. Personally, I'm waiting for the newer ATOM D510 systems to be widely available. These should offer a great combination of performance and power savings.

The new chips and boards are starting to appear online now and should be widely available within the next month or two.

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Hi Jim - In HSS#65 you mentioned a range of considerations relating to the selection of a home server. Having first [naively] asked my [much more wise] friend if WHS and Media Centre could run out of the same box, then having almost recently built a Celeron-based frankenbuild (but later choosing to go with an HP X510), I too wondered about the low power Atom type approaches. Frankly, I still wonder about whether going the dual core route was overkill - I never intended to rip or encode files on my WHS, only serve common working files and backup, however, ultimately I decided on the X510 (compared with the Celeron powered EX490) for a little extra life and/or redundancy.

Something that has always intrigued me is the bang-for-buck you get out of an Atom solution (drawing about 30w) versus a celeron or dual core (about 200w). As a server, I require good responsiveness over a gigabit switch and good throughput. Perhaps I should, but power consumption and heat generation aren't really of concern. So, the question about Atom based machines for me is:

1) Server Latency / Response - how does of Atom compared with a Core2duo solution?
2) Throughput / Serving - How does throughput compare (Atom vs Core2duo)?

If the difference is less than an order of magnitude then [as the rule goes] you'd be hard-pressed to notice the difference (and thus spending extra dollars on a Core2duo machine is money wasted). However, my feeling is that there would be a noticeable difference.

Does anyone have these numbers? (say EX495 v. Asus TS Home Server - both a gigbit network)

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I am running a sempron at 3.7ghz and while tranfering at 120MB/s it takes about 50-70 percent of the processor. I dont see an atom being able to handle full Gigabit speed transfers over the network.

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Hi Juzzle - thanks for your comments. I think I'm leaning towards a low power solution and will keep you posted every step of the way. I am reordering a Kill-a-Watt meter tonight and will keep you posted on my progress.

Citezein - I may wait for the D510 was well. Have you seen any benchmarks on those chips? Post the link if you have. Do you think it will have any issues with Gigabit speeds like CookiePuss suggests?

i-bystander - My WHS is running just fine. Because I use IDE as my system drive and USB for my data drives, I do get terrible I/O marks. Hate to think about the power I am consuming. When the meter comes I will update the usages!

Thanks for your comments guys. Keep them coming!

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jcollison: "Was out looking tonight and came across this at tigerdirect. Comments?

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5325317&csid=ITD&body=MAIN#detailspecs "

Looks good to me in terms of video & power usage, but with only 1 IDE and 3 SATA headers, you are going to be somewhat limited in future expansion. Kind of pricey too, eh? -GDog

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