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New Install of WHS 2011. Use old Athlon 64 X2 or new Intel i3 or AMD A-6? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello, I've never use WHS in my life and I'm looking for some advice before I get started.  I have an older desktop system I'd planned on installing WHS 2011 on that uses an old Athlon 64 X2 4200+ CPU with 3 GB of DDR2 memory.  It also has a GT8800 graphics card installed on it.  I bought a new 1TB hard drive, installed and formatted it,  and planned on installing WHS fresh on that.  My thought was to install the software and try it out on the old hardware first and if I liked it then upgrade to better hardware.  But before I do that I wanted to ask a few questions.

    1. The WHS disk I bought is an OEM version.  I know that with Windows 7 the difference between the retail version and OEM version is that the retail software is registered to the buyer but the OEM version is registered to the motherboard of the system.  If I install this OEM version of WHS on my old hardware and later upgrade to new CPU/Motherboard will I have to buy a new Product Key to maintain functionality?

    2. If I use the old processor should I leave the graphics card installed?  Will WHS 2011 use it?  The on-board graphics on this 7 year old system are pretty basic.

    3. We are a multi-computer household including 2 desktops, 4 laptops, and 2 iPhones.  I expect to stream media to no more than 2 or 3 of these devices at any one time.  I also expect to stream movies over the internet to one or more of these devices, but not more than 1-2 at one time.  The vast majority of time streaming inor out of the house will be to only one device.  Sometimes two.  The limit of 3 would probably only be if we have a guest in the house.  Given this, is my old hardware sufficient for this task?  At least to test everything out and get the kinks worked out?

    4. Assuming I like WHS 2011 and do upgrade to new hardware I've been looking at either the second generation Sandy Bridge i3 or the new AMD A-4 or A-6 chips and motherboards.  I've read good things about the i3 as a WHS chip but I'm wondering if the improved graphics capabilities of the A-6 would be useful or not?  The i3 is dual core and has Hyper-Threading but the A-6 comes with either 3 or 4 true cores plus the graphics processor for the same amount of money and same power profile.  Suggestions?

    5. Bottom line, should I just buy new hardware before I install?  If or when I do buy a new CPU, which one would be best?

    Friday, January 13, 2012 4:05 PM

Answers

  • I would start with new hardware using an i3 (I use the low power i3-2100T version, which is excellent) as you will problems moving an installation to new hardware once it has been activated. Having said that, you have 30 days in which to activate so that could be enough time to see if you like it.  You would of course loose everything at that point and would need to start again (other than keeping any data on non System Disks). A 7 year old system is well beyond its "sell by" date.

    As for graphics cards, all you ever use it for is during installation or when something goes wrong - any card that can put out an image (if only at VGA resolution) to your screen is adequate for that purpose.

    As for streaming capabilities, it depends whther you are transcoding. See here:  Processor Requirements but you will get an all together better experience with the i3.

    Conclusion: You could try your old hardware but you will soon want to move to a newer platform.


    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    • Marked as answer by UncleDude67 Sunday, January 15, 2012 8:37 AM
    Friday, January 13, 2012 4:28 PM

All replies

  • I would start with new hardware using an i3 (I use the low power i3-2100T version, which is excellent) as you will problems moving an installation to new hardware once it has been activated. Having said that, you have 30 days in which to activate so that could be enough time to see if you like it.  You would of course loose everything at that point and would need to start again (other than keeping any data on non System Disks). A 7 year old system is well beyond its "sell by" date.

    As for graphics cards, all you ever use it for is during installation or when something goes wrong - any card that can put out an image (if only at VGA resolution) to your screen is adequate for that purpose.

    As for streaming capabilities, it depends whther you are transcoding. See here:  Processor Requirements but you will get an all together better experience with the i3.

    Conclusion: You could try your old hardware but you will soon want to move to a newer platform.


    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    • Marked as answer by UncleDude67 Sunday, January 15, 2012 8:37 AM
    Friday, January 13, 2012 4:28 PM
  • I have been strongly leaning towards getting the new hardware because I kind of anticipated some issues with the older CPU.  Is there any particular reason you recommend the i3 over the A-6?  Cost is almost equal.  Will the i3 transcode better than the A-6?  Or is the i3 just what you have the most experience with?
    Friday, January 13, 2012 4:47 PM
  • Most likely the i3 would use lower power consumtion as oppossed to the A-6.
    Friday, January 13, 2012 5:37 PM
  • Yes, I chose the i3 because of low power and that it met my streaming requirements. I have another Server that uses an Athlon-II x3 435 (2.90GHZ) that works well too but is not as responsive as the i3 based system and it draws more power.
    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Friday, January 13, 2012 5:46 PM
  • Regarding number 1.

    One can install without a product key and use for 30 days.  Nags start at about 15 days left.  One can also extend the 30 day evaluation period 3 times by using the method detailed below.  The link also has a script that will do this automatically three times.  This way, you can evaluate WHS 2011 for 120 days without activating.  This should allow more than enough time to evaluate before moving to newer hardware without using your activation key.

    http://usingwindowshomeserver.com/2011/08/10/extending-the-activation-grace-period-in-whs-2011-and-sbs-2011-essentials/


    ____________

    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    ____________
    <UncleDude67> wrote in message news:34a50ea2-0de2-42fd-b919-f1d5b1a58dbf@communitybridge.codeplex.com...

    Hello, I've never use WHS in my life and I'm looking for some advice before I get started. I have an older desktop system I'd planned on installing WHS 2011 on that uses an old Athlon 64 X2 4200+ CPU with 3 GB of DDR2 memory. It also has a GT8800 graphics card installed on it. I bought a new 1TB hard drive, installed and formatted it, and planned on installing WHS fresh on that. My thought was to install the software and try it out on the old hardware first and if I liked it then upgrade to better hardware. But before I do that I wanted to ask a few questions.

    1. The WHS disk I bought is an OEM version. I know that with Windows 7 the difference between the retail version and OEM version is that the retail software is registered to the buyer but the OEM version is registered to the motherboard of the system. If I install this OEM version of WHS on my old hardware and later upgrade to new CPU/Motherboard will I have to buy a new Product Key to maintain functionality?

    2. If I use the old processor should I leave the graphics card installed? Will WHS 2011 use it? The on-board graphics on this 7 year old system are pretty basic.

    3. We are a multi-computer household including 2 desktops, 4 laptops, and 2 iPhones. I expect to stream media to no more than 2 or 3 of these devices at any one time. I also expect to stream movies over the internet to one or more of these devices, but not more than 1-2 at one time. The vast majority of time streaming inor out of the house will be to only one device. Sometimes two. The limit of 3 would probably only be if we have a guest in the house. Given this, is my old hardware sufficient for this task? At least to test everything out and get the kinks worked out?

    4. Assuming I like WHS 2011 and do upgrade to new hardware I've been looking at either the second generation Sandy Bridge i3 or the new AMD A-4 or A-6 chips and motherboards. I've read good things about the i3 as a WHS chip but I'm wondering if the improved graphics capabilities of the A-6 would be useful or not? The i3 is dual core and has Hyper-Threading but the A-6 comes with either 3 or 4 true cores plus the graphics processor for the same amount of money and same power profile. Suggestions?

    5. Bottom line, should I just buy new hardware before I install? If or when I do buy a new CPU, which one would be best?


    BullDawg
    Saturday, January 14, 2012 1:07 AM