Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)

First WHS Build - thoughts please!


gizmocom
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone,

 

I am planning my first WHS 2011 build at the moment and have found this forum and site to be invaluable in putting together what I think I want in terms of hardware. Thanks for all your hard work on it!

 

I have built a couple of PCs in the past, but not for a few years, so I would say I am a novice builder. I was going to first buy an ‘off-the-shelf’ package but could not find one I was entirely happy with and also wanted WHS 2011 so decided to make my own … it has been a steep learning curve for me over the last 10 days doing some research!

 

I want to use my WHS for normal operations (backing up 4 pcs, remote access to files for myself and family members, i-phone access to files, media streaming to PS3 etc etc) to start with, but soon plan on doing some HD transcoding to 2 different PCs in my house at once and also hopefully run a small website. So my spec may be overkill initially, but I want it to be future proof and don’t want to have to mess around with hardware too much in the future (apart from storage phase 2, see below).

 

I was originally looking at a mini ITX build in a Fractal R2 Array or Lian Li Q08 case, but then realised this would limit me in terms of future drive expansion and I do not need to have a small case as it will be seated under the desk in my study area at home. So my current thinking for parts is:

 

· Case: Fractal Design Define R3 (with 3.0 USB)

· MB: Gigabyte GA-H67MA-D2H-B3 (Micro ATX)

· CPU: i5 2500 (Retail)

· RAM: Gskill 8GB 1333 X Series Ripjaws

· PSU: Seasonic Fanless SS-460FL (Modular)

· OS HD: ???

· Storage HD: 2 x 2TB Seagate Barracuda Green

 

Once the hard drive prices have come down (they have dropped about 10% in the UK in just over a week, so hopefully will be more reasonable soon) then I will look to add another 5 to 6 more 2/3TB drives in either Raid 5 or 6 using a LSI 9240 MegaRAID 8 port card.

 

I already have a 1TB external drive that I plan to use for backing up photos and important docs, but I don’t have any other drives free to use for this build.

 

Questions:

  1. OS HD: This is one thing I am totally confused about! I want something fast and have considered a pair of 300Gb WD Veliciraptors in RAID1, or 2 x 500Gb Caviar Black in a Icy Dock but for less money in the UK I can actually get a 240GB SSD Corsair Force Series 3 Series SATA III which would be great for fast OS and applications and also to store my (modest) iTunes library for fast access. I would not be covered so well for redundancy, but I understand this is less of a problem with SSDs anyway. I could save a bit by getting a 120Gb SSD, but would prefer a straightforward install and the extra space would be useful anyway. What do you think?
  2. CPU: I can get the 2500K for pretty much the same price. Would this be a better choice due to the improved integrated graphics or stick with the straight 2500?
  3. CPU Cooler: Will the fan and heat sink in the retail package suffice? Or should I be looking for something else? (The soundproofing case will hopefully deaden the sound if it is a bit noisy, but it shouldn’t be too hot in there hopefully).
  4. RAM: Do I have to get 2x4Gb or can I just use 1 x 8Gb stick (cheaper). Also I noticed that of the three colours of Ripjaws that the Black has the fastest CL rating, so should I be getting those? (No real difference in price between the three).
  5. Storage HD: Would it be better to mirror these in the OS, or use the MB RAID1?

 

Sorry if any of the questions are a bit basic ... still learning! Also please let me know if I have made any glaringly obvious mistakes anywhere.

 

Any thoughts/suggestions would be very gratefully received!

 

Many thanks,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't help with all our questions but I can on some.

 

1) I would challenge your comment about SSD's being reliable. By far, my death rate of SSD's have been much higher than the death rate of HDD's. I currently run two 250 GB (I think it is 250 GB) WD Black's in the icydock case.

5) On your storage disks a Raid 1 would give you immediate backup but you could also ignore Raid for them and use the backup features of WHS 2011.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Go with a pair of 160 gig 2.5" Black Caviar in the Icy Dock adapter for the OS.

 

Your MOBO will tell you which CAS rating is best for the board. I'd go with a pair instead of one stick.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not a big fan of Seagate drives; I prefer to use WD, but not greens.

 

I agree with other comments: go with a pair of spinning RAID1 drives for the OS.

 

I pretty much never go with the default CPU cooler. I like Arctic Cooling coolers but there are other good ones too. My current desktop build is using a Corsair H70 and my WHS2011 is using a Zalman CNPS9700.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great, thanks for your replies.

 

I guess I had the (wrong) assumption that because of no moving parts a SSD would be more reliable. Thought I had read this somewhere, but it is good to know this isn't necessarily the case in the real world.

 

I have found a seller in the UK with stock of the 2.5" 160Gb Blacks, so will go with them in an Icy dock.

 

Looking at the Gigabyte website for the MB there are two Gskill RAM sticks that are mentioned on the compatibility list, but neither of them are for the x series ones which I read somewhere are better for Sandybridge. I think I will just go for one of the ones listed so I don't have any problems!

 

I will have a look at the WD drives for my storage instead of the Seagate's. I think I might stick to the green drives due to power consumption and cheapness, but if I don't get on with them then will get 7200 rated ones when I build my storage array later.

 

Thanks for the advice on the cooler. Have looked at the Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro 7 and also saw this one from Akasa;

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/akasa-ak-960v2-intel-lga775-1155-1156-compact-heatpipe-cooler

both look quite big so I need to check that it won't get in the way of the ram of anything else by seeing if I can find the MB schematics anywhere. I might temporarily use the stock fan and monitor the temps for a bit to see if I need more cooling.

 

Does anyone have an opinion on the choice between i5 2500 or 2500K?

 

Many thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The k version lets you overclock but you don't really need that on a server. I guess if you can get it at the same price go for it.

 

As for the HDD's, I usually try to stay away from WD and use almost anything else. You will find that HDD's recommendations are based on personal experience and we all have different experiences. I guarantee you, you can find many people on this board that would recommend each type of drive. So go with the one you are most interested in. Choose by price, reviews, personal experience, which one you think has the coolest name or looks the coolest, etc. In the end you will build your own experience and that will be the best indicator.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Everyone,

 

I am planning my first WHS 2011 build at the moment and have found this forum and site to be invaluable in putting together what I think I want in terms of hardware. Thanks for all your hard work on it!

 

I have built a couple of PCs in the past, but not for a few years, so I would say I am a novice builder. I was going to first buy an ‘off-the-shelf’ package but could not find one I was entirely happy with and also wanted WHS 2011 so decided to make my own … it has been a steep learning curve for me over the last 10 days doing some research!

 

I want to use my WHS for normal operations (backing up 4 pcs, remote access to files for myself and family members, i-phone access to files, media streaming to PS3 etc etc) to start with, but soon plan on doing some HD transcoding to 2 different PCs in my house at once and also hopefully run a small website. So my spec may be overkill initially, but I want it to be future proof and don’t want to have to mess around with hardware too much in the future (apart from storage phase 2, see below).

 

I was originally looking at a mini ITX build in a Fractal R2 Array or Lian Li Q08 case, but then realised this would limit me in terms of future drive expansion and I do not need to have a small case as it will be seated under the desk in my study area at home. So my current thinking for parts is:

 

· Case: Fractal Design Define R3 (with 3.0 USB)

· MB: Gigabyte GA-H67MA-D2H-B3 (Micro ATX)

· CPU: i5 2500 (Retail)

· RAM: Gskill 8GB 1333 X Series Ripjaws

· PSU: Seasonic Fanless SS-460FL (Modular)

· OS HD: ???

· Storage HD: 2 x 2TB Seagate Barracuda Green

 

Once the hard drive prices have come down (they have dropped about 10% in the UK in just over a week, so hopefully will be more reasonable soon) then I will look to add another 5 to 6 more 2/3TB drives in either Raid 5 or 6 using a LSI 9240 MegaRAID 8 port card.

 

I already have a 1TB external drive that I plan to use for backing up photos and important docs, but I don’t have any other drives free to use for this build.

 

Questions:

  1. OS HD: This is one thing I am totally confused about! I want something fast and have considered a pair of 300Gb WD Veliciraptors in RAID1, or 2 x 500Gb Caviar Black in a Icy Dock but for less money in the UK I can actually get a 240GB SSD Corsair Force Series 3 Series SATA III which would be great for fast OS and applications and also to store my (modest) iTunes library for fast access. I would not be covered so well for redundancy, but I understand this is less of a problem with SSDs anyway. I could save a bit by getting a 120Gb SSD, but would prefer a straightforward install and the extra space would be useful anyway. What do you think?
  2. CPU: I can get the 2500K for pretty much the same price. Would this be a better choice due to the improved integrated graphics or stick with the straight 2500?
  3. CPU Cooler: Will the fan and heat sink in the retail package suffice? Or should I be looking for something else? (The soundproofing case will hopefully deaden the sound if it is a bit noisy, but it shouldn’t be too hot in there hopefully).
  4. RAM: Do I have to get 2x4Gb or can I just use 1 x 8Gb stick (cheaper). Also I noticed that of the three colours of Ripjaws that the Black has the fastest CL rating, so should I be getting those? (No real difference in price between the three).
  5. Storage HD: Would it be better to mirror these in the OS, or use the MB RAID1?

 

Sorry if any of the questions are a bit basic ... still learning! Also please let me know if I have made any glaringly obvious mistakes anywhere.

 

Any thoughts/suggestions would be very gratefully received!

 

Many thanks,

 

 

Here is my thoughts:

 

1. I am using an OCZ 240 in my WHS and recently removed the IcyDock station. If you get a drive smaller than 160 you will have to mod your install files as will not install. I can tell you that speed is what made me change. I like the redundancy of the mirror but the speed is a bit too slow especially when you start loading a few addins.

Here is my story: http://homeservershow.com/running-an-ssd-on-whs.html

 

2. WHS does not benefit from a better graphics nor overclocking. Either will be fine so it really a personal choice.

 

3. Standard heatsink works fine if you have good air flow and you do not overclock. I am running my 2500 on the factory heatsink.

 

4. Get 2 sticks so you can use the dual channel mode. The faster the CAS the faster the performance however in an WHS you will not see the difference.

 

5. Either way for the mirror but for me I would go with the OS so you do not have load any drivers.

 

Good luck and let us know how you do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...