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Not really a build...more of a customisation?

Andy R

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Hi folks,


I was looking at building my own box (did build a desktop a few years back) and whilst getting totally confused with components and compatibility I came across http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk and it looks that their prices are very close to what I can buy for without the build issues and having a warranty!


I am going from a WHS V1 Acer EasyStore H340 with 1 x 2TB and 3 1TB drives used mainly for the usual things (PC backup, storage of music, photos, DVD rips, torrent downloading and streaming to a laptop connected to TV in lounge and music to iPad). In future I am keen to add TV/Satellite cards to watch and record TV rather than have a second media server.


I am looking at the build as detailed below except the I will:


1) Add Icy Dock MB982SPR-2S Dual 2.5 inch to 3.5 inch SATA HDD/SDD Converter as the system drive for WHS 2011 with mirrored WESTERN DIGITAL Scorpio Blue 2.5" internal hard drive - 320 GB drives.

2) Migrate data and drives from my old machine (1 x 2TB & 2 x 1TB) prior to selling it on eBay.


I would any appreciate feedback and comments on the spec as a whole.


Many thanks,





Case: Lian Li PC-Q08 Mini-ITX Case + 450W PSU

Processor (CPU): Intel® Core™i5-2500S Quad Core (2.7GHz, 6MB Cache) + HD Graphics

Motherboard: ASUS® P8H67-I DELUXE: Mini-ITX, LG1155, USB 3.0, SATA 6GBs

Memory (RAM): 8GB SAMSUNG DDR3 DUAL-DDR3 1333MHz (2 X 4GB)

Graphics Card: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HD + Clear Video HD Technology

Memory - 1st Hard Disk: 2TB WD CAVIAR BLACK WD2002FAEX, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64MB CACHE (7200rpm)

1st DVD/BLU-RAY Drive: 12x BLU-RAY ROM DRIVE, 16x DVD ±R/±RW (£45)


Network Facilities: ONBOARD 10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT - AS STANDARD ON ALL PCs

USB Options: 2 x USB 3.0 PORTS + 4 x USB 2.0 PORTS AS STANDARD


Price (excluding VAT): £576.67

Price: £692.00

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Guest no-control

You have spec'd out a gaming machine minus the GPU. Or a nice HTPC. As ikon noted why the BD are you ripping to the server? If so the HDD isn't going to hold much. Are you keeping the HDDs from the old system?



Reduce CPU to i3-2100

Reduce RAM to 4GB

Remove the BD or install it on your main PC or HTPC

Add a second 2TB HDD



What are you using to backup the server?

How are you going to ensure data redundancy on the server?

Do you already have the ICYdock? If not why buy it? use the system to RAID the drives and tuck the drives elsewhere keeping a slot free. If you really want the dual 2.5 to 3.5 cage use a non raid one like this

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2) Migrate data and drives from my old machine (1 x 2TB & 2 x 1TB) prior to selling it on eBay.


Just to clarify things: 3 TB of HD space, in addition to the 2x2.5in. drives for the IcyDock.

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Hi guys,


Thanks for the feedback so far.


To answer the queries:


At moment I rip remotely but may do it on the new server as it will have more grunt than my other pc!



Was not sure about CPU - did wonder about smaller one which I will take your advice on thanks. Assume slower one may run cooler as well?

RAM: I always though to use as much as possible! :) If opinion is 4GB is fine then am happy with that.

DVD/DB drive: Only went BD as thit didn't add much to cost. Thought to get an optical drive to make installing OS etc easier. Have found it slightly limiting not having one on my existing box!

As for backups, it is for 3 laptops and a desktop.

Would get a new 2TB with machine and as icon says I will migrate 3TB so having 5TB in total which I think is fine especially if I use one of the 'DE' options that are always in the news! From listening to the show I thought the Icy Doc raid was recomended and I was surprised it was not too expensive. Any other opinions on that? I quite like the set it and leave it approach, or am I just being a wimp? :unsure: Also do the 2.5in drives look suitable for system drives? They seem quiete and have good reviews and I assume are RAID suitable?

This set up would also leave a free slot for future use.


Thanks agian!




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  • 3 weeks later...

I agree with no-control, quite highly specced, you should probably list the things you are going to do with (or on) the server first. If its storage, backup and streaming (ripping on a seperate PC) then I'd be templted to go for a cheaper build, or as you are in the UK go for the HP microserver. The £100 cashback is still available and at £139 including with AMD Turion II Neo N40L / 1.5GHz, 2GB DDR3 SDRAM

and a 250GB HDD. Ideal if the ripping and transcoding will be done on a PC.

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Here is my two cents. First, the processor difference between a 2100 and 2500 is about $90 (US) which is significant especially in percentage, however in comparison to the whole server it is pretty minor. I will say that I built my original WHS 2011 with an I3-530, later I changed it to an I3-2100, and about 2 months ago I put in a 2500. My though was that I was going to add a couple of transcoding packages such as air video and look other potential apps in the future. In addition, I am running myMovies on the server. Truth be told, the 2100 handled everything I need so far with no issues and I would have been fine leaving it. Am I disappointed that I upgraded? No, I do feel better that things are a bit quicker and on the rare occasion that I need to transcode it is a bit faster. I plan to keep this server for a long time so I am happy with my choice. The power draw difference in the normal idle mode is minimal. That said, if you are buying/building a sever from scratch, you might want to consider it, for an upgrade, skip it unless you know you need the extra power.

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