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Is this setup overkill? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I was in the process of setting up a file server, I'm not entirely decided on the OS yet, but am leaning towards WHS.  I record lots of HD video, and also will have hundreds of DVDs ripped to the hard drive.  Is this going to be overkill?  I'd probably also throw in the 500 GB drive from my USB enclosure once I copied its data over.  Also, I specifically picked that processor because its one of the 35 watt ones, and the motherboard has 4xSATA built in, plus 4 PCI slots for expansion, and gigabit ethernet built in as well.

    1           COOLER MASTER Stacker 810 RC-810-SSN1 Silver/ Black Aluminum Bezel, SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    1        GIGABYTE GA-M55plus-S3G Socket AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    1         SeaSonic S12 Energy Plus SS-550HT ATX12V / EPS12V 550W Power Supply - Retail
    1         AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Windsor 2.0GHz Socket AM2 Processor Model ADA3800CUBOX - Retail
    1         GeIL 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model GX21GB6400UDC - Retail
    3         Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3750640AS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    1         NETGEAR GS605 10/100/1000Mbps Desktop Switch - Retail



    http://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/wishlist/PublicWishDetail.asp?WishListNumber=5087568
    Monday, April 23, 2007 3:01 AM

Answers

  •  JHoff80 wrote:
    I was in the process of setting up a file server, I'm not entirely decided on the OS yet, but am leaning towards WHS.  I record lots of HD video, and also will have hundreds of DVDs ripped to the hard drive.  Is this going to be overkill?  I'd probably also throw in the 500 GB drive from my USB enclosure once I copied its data over.  Also, I specifically picked that processor because its one of the 35 watt ones, and the motherboard has 4xSATA built in, plus 4 PCI slots for expansion, and gigabit ethernet built in as well.

    1           COOLER MASTER Stacker 810 RC-810-SSN1 Silver/ Black Aluminum Bezel, SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    1        GIGABYTE GA-M55plus-S3G Socket AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    1         SeaSonic S12 Energy Plus SS-550HT ATX12V / EPS12V 550W Power Supply - Retail
    1         AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Windsor 2.0GHz Socket AM2 Processor Model ADA3800CUBOX - Retail
    1         GeIL 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model GX21GB6400UDC - Retail
    3         Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3750640AS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    1         NETGEAR GS605 10/100/1000Mbps Desktop Switch - Retail



    http://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/wishlist/PublicWishDetail.asp?WishListNumber=5087568

     

    I went with a very similar setup:

     

    AMD Athlon 64 3800+ Lima 2.4GHz 45 watt processor

    GIGABYTE GA-M61PM-S2 micro ATX motherboard, which has four SATA II ports and a built in graphics card.

    Two sticks of DDR2 667 PC2 5300 512MB memory

    Two Samsung 500GB drives (SpinPoint T Series HD501LJ). Great price at newegg, great reviews, quiet.

    SeaSonic S12-330 power supply

    Thermaltake Tsunami aluminum (silver, no window version) case with two 120mm fans

     

    On my Kill-A-Watt meter (bought for this project) the system pulls 52 watts at idle (disks configured to never spin down, would drop 20 watts if I had disks power off at idle), and 72-74 watts when system is being accessed -- there are AMD drivers you can install which throttles CPU based on usage.

     

    So, my advice is as follows:

     

    1) Power supply is an overkill. Plus the highest efficiency of the SeaSonic power supply is with a higher percent load. Thus your 550 watt supply will be at 10 to 15% load. And at 10-11 watts per additional hard drive added, even my 330 watt power supply has plenty of headroom for me to add more drives.

    2) Consider 500GB drives. Premium for 750GB is ridiculous and easily will pay for an additional SATA controller card when you need to add a fifth drive.

    3) Doesn't matter much, but micro ATX cards are fine -- I currently have all my slots free and only envision using them for additional SATA controller cards.

     

    Anyway, enjoy and welcome.

     

    Charlie

     

     

    Wednesday, April 25, 2007 12:03 AM
  •  JHoff80 wrote:

    I assume dual-core really doesn't have any benefits for WHS, does it?  

     

    From reading the reports from Beta2 (don't know if it will be the same with CTP), dual-core is more efficient if you're going to be streaming a lot of media.  If you're going to be serving video data, you would do better to have a dual-core processor.  That appears to be the only time where a dual-core processor makes a significant difference.

     

    Wednesday, April 25, 2007 2:27 AM

All replies

  • Should be more than sufficient; components-wise. Many are running less machine than this. Only issue I see is storage space. If you record a lot of HD video AND hundreds of DVDs, you're going to need that other 500GB HDD (at the very least). make sure you've got this backed up somewhere else too. Remember this is a beta tester.
    Monday, April 23, 2007 8:43 PM
  • Yeah, most of my recordings are backed up to DVD-R.  As for the drive space, I realize that in the future I'll probably need to add more, but for now I don't want to have to spend too much money right away.  
    Monday, April 23, 2007 10:22 PM
  • It looks like Newegg doesn't have that low power Athlon processor per this reviewers comments

     

    The AMD 64 X2 3800+ is great... but this is the wrong one to get

    Reviewed By: grignr on 1/5/2007
    Tech Level: high - Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
    Pros: Great price/performance ratio as of Jan 2007. I bought one (before doing the research mentioned below) and it works great.
    Cons: AMD has three 3800+ X2's which differ only by power consumption. This one is the worst of the three, and Newegg stocks one of the others (ADO) at the same price. The OPN for 3800+ X2 is one of: ADA3800CUBOX (89W) (this one) ADO3800CUBOX (65W) (same price) ADD3800CUBOX (35W) Less power consumption it a Good Thing on its own, and if overclocking, it means less heat.

    You are way over what you need for a power supply as the 380 W version will work great and save you $50 and be more efficient.

     

    750 GB drives aren't as good a value as 500 GB drives.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2007 1:54 AM
  • Looks like a decent setup, quite similar to mine

     

    I went for the GA-M61PM-S2 motherboard as I wasn't bothered about the number of PCIe or PATA connectors. You may want to examine some of the other Athlon's and consider the performance/power tradeoffs. I went for a dual-core CPU with a lower clock-speed and power consumption.

     

    As someone has mentioned, a 550 PSU is extreme overkill. I would also get two 400GB drives instead of a single 750GB. Not only do you get more space for about the same price, but you can have your important data replicated across both incase of a drive failure.

     

    Here's my setup:

     

    http://www.andrewgrant.org/2007/04/06/building-a-windows-home-server-part-1-hardware-choices.html

     

     

    Tuesday, April 24, 2007 2:15 AM
  • Your set-up looks good but I agree with the suggestions of others here on the hard drive.  Your price per GB is higher on the 750GB drive compared to smaller drives and with a single drive you do not have folder duplication.  If the drive fails, you lose everything.  If you buy two 400 GB drives, you might spend a few dollars more but you will have more drive space and folder duplication.
    Tuesday, April 24, 2007 6:19 PM
  • Newegg does have the low power 3800+ X2

     

    Here is the link to the product page

     

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103729

     

    This is the processor that I got and it is great in that it is so low power and cool running, especially when at low CPU utilization by the OS (which is what happens most of the time in a file server box).

     

    Ted

    Tuesday, April 24, 2007 9:57 PM
  •  JHoff80 wrote:
    I was in the process of setting up a file server, I'm not entirely decided on the OS yet, but am leaning towards WHS.  I record lots of HD video, and also will have hundreds of DVDs ripped to the hard drive.  Is this going to be overkill?  I'd probably also throw in the 500 GB drive from my USB enclosure once I copied its data over.  Also, I specifically picked that processor because its one of the 35 watt ones, and the motherboard has 4xSATA built in, plus 4 PCI slots for expansion, and gigabit ethernet built in as well.

    1           COOLER MASTER Stacker 810 RC-810-SSN1 Silver/ Black Aluminum Bezel, SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    1        GIGABYTE GA-M55plus-S3G Socket AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    1         SeaSonic S12 Energy Plus SS-550HT ATX12V / EPS12V 550W Power Supply - Retail
    1         AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Windsor 2.0GHz Socket AM2 Processor Model ADA3800CUBOX - Retail
    1         GeIL 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model GX21GB6400UDC - Retail
    3         Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3750640AS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    1         NETGEAR GS605 10/100/1000Mbps Desktop Switch - Retail



    http://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/wishlist/PublicWishDetail.asp?WishListNumber=5087568

     

    I went with a very similar setup:

     

    AMD Athlon 64 3800+ Lima 2.4GHz 45 watt processor

    GIGABYTE GA-M61PM-S2 micro ATX motherboard, which has four SATA II ports and a built in graphics card.

    Two sticks of DDR2 667 PC2 5300 512MB memory

    Two Samsung 500GB drives (SpinPoint T Series HD501LJ). Great price at newegg, great reviews, quiet.

    SeaSonic S12-330 power supply

    Thermaltake Tsunami aluminum (silver, no window version) case with two 120mm fans

     

    On my Kill-A-Watt meter (bought for this project) the system pulls 52 watts at idle (disks configured to never spin down, would drop 20 watts if I had disks power off at idle), and 72-74 watts when system is being accessed -- there are AMD drivers you can install which throttles CPU based on usage.

     

    So, my advice is as follows:

     

    1) Power supply is an overkill. Plus the highest efficiency of the SeaSonic power supply is with a higher percent load. Thus your 550 watt supply will be at 10 to 15% load. And at 10-11 watts per additional hard drive added, even my 330 watt power supply has plenty of headroom for me to add more drives.

    2) Consider 500GB drives. Premium for 750GB is ridiculous and easily will pay for an additional SATA controller card when you need to add a fifth drive.

    3) Doesn't matter much, but micro ATX cards are fine -- I currently have all my slots free and only envision using them for additional SATA controller cards.

     

    Anyway, enjoy and welcome.

     

    Charlie

     

     

    Wednesday, April 25, 2007 12:03 AM
  • Well, for the powersupply issue, I originally had the 380 watt Seasonic listed, and wasn't sure how much power would be used, so switched to the 550, so its nice to know that the 380 would be more than enough.

    As for having multiple 500gb drives versus 750 gig drives, I already plan on putting 3 drives into it right away, and will add my current 500gb drive as a fourth. That'd leave me plenty of drives for folder duplication. My reasoning for saying the 750 gig drives is that the motherboard has 4 sata slots, so I'd rather not need to get an additional SATA controller board initially, and instead make full use of the existing 4. In addition, I'm not entirely sure how long it'll be before I set this up anyway, it might be only a few weeks, or it might be somewhere closer to months, so I'm hoping the 1TB drives will drive down the price of the 750s in that time, but I'll definitely also be considering 500 GB drives.

    I was considering the MATX motherboards, but figured it'd be better to be safe than sorry.

    And with the processor, you're right, it appears newegg doesn't have the 35w X2, so I'd probably switch it to the 45w (single-core) 3500:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103048

    I assume dual-core really doesn't have any benefits for WHS, does it?  
    Wednesday, April 25, 2007 12:16 AM
  •  JHoff80 wrote:

    I assume dual-core really doesn't have any benefits for WHS, does it?  

     

    From reading the reports from Beta2 (don't know if it will be the same with CTP), dual-core is more efficient if you're going to be streaming a lot of media.  If you're going to be serving video data, you would do better to have a dual-core processor.  That appears to be the only time where a dual-core processor makes a significant difference.

     

    Wednesday, April 25, 2007 2:27 AM