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First WHS 2011 Build - Need Advice


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This is my first post, sorry if I don't follow any expected etiquette.


My current system has finally given me one head ache too many, and it's time to move on. What I was working with was an HP Media Smart EX 490 (stock hd) with (2) additional hard drives (WD Caviar Green 2.0Tb). It worked well for quite a while, but over the last 6 months has become slow, unresponsive at times, and now, has konked out and won't allow re installation of the S/W on any drive placed in the main bay.


So, it's time for something new. After trying to deal with the HP MS, I don't want a headless system. I want to see what's happening. So building a WHS seems like the right idea.


I'm a student, and have a tight budget. Considering that I have the drives, I'd like to spend no more than $450.


What I need from you guys, the experts, it advice on a build plan. What CPU, what mobo, ect. I'm not so concerned with the case, it can be small and sexy, or big and ugly, it's going to be hidden away.


I'd like to have room to expand the hd space as needed.


Please let me know if you need any more details. I've tried searching components, but keep getting muddled in the options.


Many thanks,




P.s. Located in Washington D.C.

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I've started making some component decisions.


Case: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower $54.99

Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts Green EA-430D Green 430W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply $59.99

Motherboard:GIGABYTE GA-Z68M-D2H LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s Micro ATX Intel Motherboard $114.99

Proccessor: Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32120 $119.99

OS: Microsoft Windows Home Server 2011 64-bit OEM System Builder - OEM $52.99


Total Cost: $402.99


Assuming there will be additional cables required, this should ring in below my $450 budget.


Any ideas? Do all these components mesh? Should I choose something different? Will WHS 2011 install on this system without issue?


The performance of my old HP EX 490 was fine for my needs. Will this be inline to be a comparable replacement?




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I'm using the same case for my server. It's nothing fancy, not the quietest, but it works fine. The only thing I notice is that it doesn't look like your motherboard has USB3 (maybe I missed it). If you plan to do server backups to an external drive, you'll find USB gets it done much quicker.


On the brighter side, at least WHS 2011 is now around 50 bucks. Much less than the $100.00+ I paid the first day it became available.


Good luck with your build.

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Love the case as I have used three of them. The only difference I would make is in the Power Supply as you can get a 550 or 600 watt modular unit for the same price after rebates and then re-purpose the unit as needed down the road.


Definitely go with 4 gigs. 2 will run but the performance will be better with two. Shop the deals.....TechBargains.com


Build for the future and not the present.

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I really like the recommendations above except for the case. For the money you can do better. I have been disappointed with Antec cases in terms of price/value, noise, and build construction. Here is a couple of alternates.






or my personal favorite: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112154

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Not to hijack the thread but I figured I'd ask a couple of questions here rather than starting a new thread. My question: is an i3 a good choice or should I spring for an i5?

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Not to hijack the thread but I figured I'd ask a couple of questions here rather than starting a new thread. My question: is an i3 a good choice or should I spring for an i5?


Typical WHS application is fine with an I3 as well as things like small applications (file syncing etc.). As you add things you might appreciate the I5 for things like transcoding but only if you do allot of it. The price difference is about $100 (for the 2500 vs 2100). I ran my existing server with the I3-2100 for the first 4-5 months and had no issues at all. The CPU was typically below 20% and went to 90% when transcoding blue-ray movies. I was experimenting with various transcoding packages so I opted to upgrade it to the I5-2500. I did not see any improvement in everyday use except format conversions/transcoding. Unless you plan to expand the use of your server, you will not be disappointed withe the 2100/2120.

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