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Let's discuss good hardware choices for a solid home build RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Let's discuss home built server hardware that you've found works well.

    There are a couple of components that I've been really happy with for use in a home server:

    Case - Antec Mini P180  Really nice, really solid case with lots of space for hard drives and a good number of fans.  I have 7 hard drives and one optical in mine - optical in the upper 5.25" bay, 3 drives in the upper (vertical) hard drive tray, 2 drives in the lower (horizontal) hard drive trays, and 2 hard drives in the lower two 5.25" drive bays.  The hard drive bays are nice because they are nicely damped with elastomer plugs and they have filtered 120mm flowing right across them.  I want to try fitting something like this in the lower pair of optical drive bays, which would increase drive capacity by 1.  It's important to use a power supply with a rear fan rather than a bottom fan because of the layout of the lower chamber, which houses the power supply at the back and the 2 optical drive bays at the front.  I use this power supply, which also does a good job of moving air through the lower chamber.  Probably my only real complaint about the case is that there isn't a fan guard protecting the upper 120mm fan on the inside of the case; I was adjusting a cable while the server was powered on and put my thumb in the fan, snapping the blade.  Fortunately, Antec carries and sells replacements.

    Networking - a lot of people are perfectly happy with whatever ethernet connections their motherboard comes with.  Having spent some time in server rooms, I know that Intel Pro NIC's are worth the premium.  I'm using the Intel Pro/1000 PT Dual Port PCI-express x4 ethernet adapter and couldn't be happier.  It's got great driver support, has fast throughput, and I haven't had to think about it since the day I installed it.  Not sure if I can ask for more.

    Motherboard - I'm currently using the no-longer available Asus P5K-VM, which gets the job done.  Onboard video is just fine, it's got a good layout, and has been nice and stable.  I like that it has a PCI-Express x16 and a PCI-Express x4 slot, along with a pair of PCI slots and 4 memory slots.  The only thing I wish it had was more SATA ports...I'll be doing my research for the replacement for this board once Vail becomes available.

    Drives - I've got both Western Digital Green 1TB drives and Samsung EcoGreen F3 2TB drives that have been solid so far.

    What are your fave server components?

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010 2:53 AM

All replies

  • Hello Pete. 

    Thanks for the post.  I just received and assembled my new components to build my WHS. I purchased a Gigabyte GA-MA785M-US2H motherboard, and I am curious how your install went as far as drivers.  Since you used an add-on networking adapter, which I researched to have great WHS 2003 driver support, clearly you had no issues there.  Did you have any storage controller driver issues with your ASUS motherboard?  Did the WHS softwar-included drivers recognize your storage controller or did you use your motherboard's driver installation CD?

    I went to the Gigabyte support page to check for Widows Server 2003 driver support for my new motherboard, but like most motherboards, there was very little windows server 2003 driver support--nothing except audio which is useless for windows home server.

    Anyway, I have not installed the software yet, and things might go OK, but I would love to hear your thoughts before I try.

    Thanks,

    Warren

     

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010 6:46 AM
  • If I remember correctly, I just used the Windows XP drivers where no Windows Server 2003 ones existed.  The areas where driver issues usually exist, audio and video, weren't really that important to me.  Audio is turned off in the BIOS, and the basic Intel drivers worked fine for the onboard video.
    Wednesday, June 23, 2010 3:30 PM
  • Drives - I've got both Western Digital Green 1TB drives and Samsung EcoGreen F3 2TB drives that have been solid so far.

    Using green drives for the system drive?  Great for the storage pool, but, I'd suggest a smaller WD black drive be used for the system drive. 
    Saturday, June 26, 2010 3:08 AM
  • Drives - I've got both Western Digital Green 1TB drives and Samsung EcoGreen F3 2TB drives that have been solid so far.

    Using green drives for the system drive?  Great for the storage pool, but, I'd suggest a smaller WD black drive be used for the system drive. 
    Why?  I'm not launching apps and that sort of thing where speed really matters.  Once the system boots up, it just sits there and performs file server and backup duties.  However, I am using a 500GB WD  RE2 for my boot drive, for the moment at least.  Once vail is out, I'll get a new boot drive.
    Saturday, June 26, 2010 4:31 PM
  • FWIW, I've actually got my data drives set to power down after some reasonable time period.  Sometimes, access to a shared folder will sit for a couple of seconds waiting for the drive to power on and spin up--just enough to be annoying, but I remember that I'm lowering the carbon footprint....
     "Pete Ruckelshaus" wrote in message news:4339b654-9655-4b99-91a8-bcdd8047dcd3@communitybridge.codeplex.com...

    Drives - I've got both Western Digital Green 1TB drives and Samsung EcoGreen F3 2TB drives that have been solid so far.

    Using green drives for the system drive?  Great for the storage pool, but, I'd suggest a smaller WD black drive be used for the system drive.

    Why?  I'm not launching apps and that sort of thing where speed really matters.  Once the system boots up, it just sits there and performs file server and backup duties.  However, I am using a 500GB WD  RE2 for my boot drive, for the moment at least.  Once vail is out, I'll get a new boot drive.


    Bill Sanderson
    Sunday, June 27, 2010 4:15 AM
  • Antec 1200 case

    Thermaltake 750 modular PSU

    Intel DG45ID MB

    Intel e6700

    4GB DDR2 PC6400 OCZ

    6 x 1.5TB Seagate 1.5 7200RPM ST31500341AS

    1 x 750GB Samsung 7200RPM (OS) HD754JJ

    1 x 1.5TB Seagate 1.5 7200RPM ST31500341AS (Backup Drive)

     

    the Antec 1200 is ample room for drive expansion, coupled with a nice little mid range Intel MB and some peppy ram, the system has been rock solid and stable for over 12 months now.  I also get the bonus of an excellent NIC built into the motherboard.

     

    Monday, June 28, 2010 3:41 PM