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Looking at the N40L as a replacement for my Acer H340


jagowar
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Current H340 (paired with a dell zinoHD) user and its been fine for me but I am retrofitting my system now that windows 8 will directly support storage spaces making the homeserver unnecessary for me.

 

I am not really interested in building my own because for the price you can't beat the way the drives work in a device like this or my h340 so I preferably want something prebuilt.

 

 

 

So my questions...

1. Anybody try the win8 consumer preview with this hardware yet?

2. The cpu worries me a bit... will this be fast enough to power a combo box like this (going to do win 8 media center with a 6 tb storage space and 2 hd homerun dual tuners) was thinking about upgrading the ram to 4 gigs.

3. Was planning on putting my OS on a SSD drive and putting it in the CD/DVD slot... any issues with this? (will install the OS off a bootable usb)

4. Is there any other hardware that I should also look at?

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Windows 8 Consumer Preview will run on the HP Microserver N40L. I'm using it now.

 

I don't believe it will be a good choice if you decide to transcode media.

 

External tuners should be fine. That does not put a load on the N40L.

 

Yes, you can put the OS on a SSD and slide it into the space between the drive cage and the CD/DVD drive. Joe Miner, here, has done that with his server box. Your problem becomes that you would have to install the updated BIOS to take advantage of the speed from that SATA connection.

 

Next would be that if you want to use the CD/DVD drive at the same time, you would have to wire the external eSATA connection back into the case and also slip the power, Again, Joe Miner has also done that, check the posts.

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Current H340 (paired with a dell zinoHD) user and its been fine for me but I am retrofitting my system now that windows 8 will directly support storage spaces making the homeserver unnecessary for me.

 

I am not really interested in building my own because for the price you can't beat the way the drives work in a device like this or my h340 so I preferably want something prebuilt.

 

 

 

So my questions...

1. Anybody try the win8 consumer preview with this hardware yet?

2. The cpu worries me a bit... will this be fast enough to power a combo box like this (going to do win 8 media center with a 6 tb storage space and 2 hd homerun dual tuners) was thinking about upgrading the ram to 4 gigs.

3. Was planning on putting my OS on a SSD drive and putting it in the CD/DVD slot... any issues with this? (will install the OS off a bootable usb)

4. Is there any other hardware that I should also look at?

 

1. Anybody try the win8 consumer preview with this hardware yet?

 

DieHard has probably run Win8 on the MicroServer more than anyone else I know – Many more will by the end of this weekend.

 

I’m running it as a VM in Hyper-V on my MicroServer.

 

2. The cpu worries me a bit... will this be fast enough to power a combo box like this (going to do win 8 media center with a 6 tb storage space and 2 hd homerun dual tuners) was thinking about upgrading the ram to 4 gigs.

 

For a basic Home Server it is a good machine. It also streams media without a burp.

 

Check the User Groups here and here. (Also check out the N36L User groups.) Many people have been buying the N40L’s and the N36L’s before that to make into Media Centers quite successfully. Read through their posts – lots of ideas.

 

If you’re going to get into some serious transcoding you’ll be disappointed IMHO. This machine is designed to be a low power (low operating costs) business server.

 

Put as much RAM in it as you can – at least 4GB will keep your future options open. If you want to play with VM’s or SBS you’ll need to max it out at 8GB.

 

3. Was planning on putting my OS on a SSD drive and putting it in the CD/DVD slot... any issues with this? (will install the OS off a bootable usb)

 

You’ll want to flash the BIOS and make some BIOS changes in order to get optimal speed and performance out of SATA Ports 4 and 5 (4 is the SATA Port on the mother board that would normally go to the ODD (optical Disk Drive); 5 is the eSATA Port on the back of the case). This isn’t hard to do and there are lots of instructions around on how to do it.

 

Beyond that is the fun and excitement of having your little MicroServer REALLY perform with a SSD and your 4 main drive bays are free to fill with data – plus another drive you can stick in the ODD slot.

 

I put my SSD above the 4 drive bay but below the ODD bay in the space behind the HP logo/light. Check the Forum and links – I posted pictures.

 

4. Is there any other hardware that I should also look at?

 

Take some time and read through all the threads in the MicroServer Forum as well as this post.

 

Be sure to check out DieHard’s tear down that he did live with one of his MicroServers and check out these links.

 

Jim Collison did a tear down last weekend that should be posted in the near future -- keep an eye out.

Edited by Joe_Miner
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If you’re going to get into some serious transcoding you’ll be disappointed IMHO. This machine is designed to be a low power (low operating costs) business server.

 

That is my one worry.... I don't do much transcoding but do use remote potato sometimes which does transcode. On my dell zino hd (has the amd athlon neo 6850e... not sure how the performance compares) it does not work very well unless I drop to the low quality which is not watchable. That said I don't use it that often so I could continue to live w/o it.

 

It seems to be in the class of its own but was also wondering if there are any other devices like this that would be comparable for me to look at....

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Also (since I can't edit yet) I was entertaining the possibility of buying a pc with a bunch of usb ports and going that route since it seems storage spaces will use usb drives. I do worry about the performance with a large array like I will be using (4 tuners possibly writing to the drive and my 3 xbox's around the house accessing it at the same time). Probably would wait for something with a bunch of usb3 ports.

 

The above would make it more expandable when needed (would be somewhat limited to 4 drives with the n40l if I wanted to keep performance).

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MY N40L is feeding my HTCP and I see zero issues. Now, I do not use a tuner as of yet and the N40L does no transcoding, it simply serves files to the HTPC but I can be copying files to the N40L and see no hits in performance. I also had an H340 and I think this is a superior box.

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I went ahead and ordered the N40L.... and sprung for the KVR1333D3E9SK2/8G 8 gig memory upgrade and a WD20EARX hard drive to transfer data off my old home server

 

Now to start reading up on that bios upgrade to use my SSD.

 

Anybody want to buy a Acer H340 or Dell ZinoHD? ;)

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What kind of ports on the Zino? What are you asking for it?

 

I could quite possibly have a use for it.

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What kind of ports on the Zino? What are you asking for it?

 

I could quite possibly have a use for it.

 

Ditto. I will give you $10 more than what jmwills offers. ;)

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