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I'd like to hear how capable a system with the lowest hardware specs can keep up with several MCE clients RRS feed

  • Question

  • I just downloaded the RC today and I would prefer to use the oldest hardware I have in the house to build the server. But I don't want to go below my needs requirements.

     

    I have P4 2.0ghz intel laptop, Amd 3000 XP, AMD 2100, Intel P4 2.8, and an Intel 2.0 box.

     

    Currently the Intel 2.8 is my file server with a 160 and 2x400 gig ide HDDs it is also the only box with gigabit lan and 2 gig of DDR

     

    I can use that for the server but I'd prefer (assuming it is capable of the thoroughput) to use the old Intel 2.0 box and just put a SATA controller in it to use my 750 gig sata drive and then add the two 400 gig IDE drives in it. I'd also add a gigabit ethernet controller to help and I think it has around a gig of SDRam. But would this setup be able to stream music to several PC and also supply ISO images or large MPEGs to multiple media center machines? If not would the 2.8 be capable. Seeing as it will be on 24/7 I'd like to go the lower end.

     

    Any suggestions?

     

    Thanks.

     

    I'd really like to hear from just the people with Single core processors and around the 2.0 ghz level. Just so the thread doesn't get filled with dual core mega machines that cost an arm to build. A lot of us have spare parts and if they are capable and already paid for I see know reason to buy new hardware for little gain.

    Thursday, June 14, 2007 2:44 PM

Answers

  • I'm running my WHS on a HP slimline S7210N, Celeron M 360 1.4 GHz, with 512mb of ram.  For storage, I have one internal 180gb 7200rpm HD and one external USB 2.0 180gb 7200rpm HD.  I should note that the powersupply is rated at just 108 watts, and was told by HP it is more than sufficient for the low power requirements of this machine.
    Although my WHS is running on modest hardware, I'm very pleased with it's performance and would say that it definitely accomplishes the core intent of the product.  I backup 2 desktops (one Vista, one XP) and 2 laptops (one Vista, one XP). Additionally I have over 80 gigs worth of Pictures, Music, and Videos, as well as miscellaneous documents stored on the WHS that my family and I can now access from anywhere via the internet remote access.
    In an attempt to stress the WHS I did the following:  1) streamed the same video to 2 desktops and 1 wireless notebook simultaneously, 2) began backing up the wireless notebook, and 3) transferred a 400mb file from the WHS to a desktop.
    Surprisingly this all happened so seemlessly that while I was at the second desktop to initiate another file transfer to the WHS the first file transfer had completed successfully.  It handled all of this activity superbly! I am very pleased.
    I hope this provides you with a snapshot of what one low-end WHS can accomplish.
     
    Tuesday, June 19, 2007 8:07 PM
  • My WHS runs on a Duron 600 and 1 Gb. of ram 400 + 320 + 320 + 80Gb. Seagate ata disks and a Asrock K7S41 motherbord with integratet grafiks.

    My only problem is teh powerconsumption: 80 Watts on the powermeter in the wall outlet in idle.

    Friday, June 15, 2007 2:20 PM
  • It needs to be on a single drive.
    Monday, August 27, 2007 12:31 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • My 2.0 GHz Intel box seems to do just fine.  I think it may be more than is actually needed, but it is what I had available.
    Thursday, June 14, 2007 6:57 PM
  • What are your ram and Nic specs? Andhow much and what kind of data are you sharing. I use an app called MyMovies in Vista and it can load a DVD iso via Daemon tools from a network share but it will skip if the thoroughput is not there. I can also convert my DVDs to MPEGs and the 360 will see them. I figure at most I'd have 3 potential video streams going and I am curious if a 2.0 will handle that.

    Thanks for the reply.

    Thursday, June 14, 2007 7:39 PM
  • I'm running two boxes for comparison.

    'Basic'
    Intel PIII 1Ghz CPU
    512 MB RAM
    1 x 120GB HDD
    2x 250GB HDD

    'Not so basic...'
    Intel Core 2 Duo [Something]
    3GB RAM
    1x120GB HDD
    2x250GB HDD

    Performance differences?
    The first one takes longer to come on (how often do you do that with a server?  Once every few months).  Other than that performance is fine on both systems - I am really impressed how my basic system stacks up compared to the latest hardware.  So go for it, dig out your oldest stuff and get the Home Server show going...


    Thursday, June 14, 2007 10:35 PM
  •   I'm relieved to see your specs for the "basic" box, I was thinking of using my old Intel PIII 1Ghz CPU, w/ 1 gig of ram and 5 harddrives.

    I wasn't going to use Raid or any fancy media streaming, am more interested in the safety aspects of the software.

     

    So, full steam ahead, thanks for the info.

    Friday, June 15, 2007 12:26 AM
  • My WHS runs on a Duron 600 and 1 Gb. of ram 400 + 320 + 320 + 80Gb. Seagate ata disks and a Asrock K7S41 motherbord with integratet grafiks.

    My only problem is teh powerconsumption: 80 Watts on the powermeter in the wall outlet in idle.

    Friday, June 15, 2007 2:20 PM
  • I'm running my WHS on a HP slimline S7210N, Celeron M 360 1.4 GHz, with 512mb of ram.  For storage, I have one internal 180gb 7200rpm HD and one external USB 2.0 180gb 7200rpm HD.  I should note that the powersupply is rated at just 108 watts, and was told by HP it is more than sufficient for the low power requirements of this machine.
    Although my WHS is running on modest hardware, I'm very pleased with it's performance and would say that it definitely accomplishes the core intent of the product.  I backup 2 desktops (one Vista, one XP) and 2 laptops (one Vista, one XP). Additionally I have over 80 gigs worth of Pictures, Music, and Videos, as well as miscellaneous documents stored on the WHS that my family and I can now access from anywhere via the internet remote access.
    In an attempt to stress the WHS I did the following:  1) streamed the same video to 2 desktops and 1 wireless notebook simultaneously, 2) began backing up the wireless notebook, and 3) transferred a 400mb file from the WHS to a desktop.
    Surprisingly this all happened so seemlessly that while I was at the second desktop to initiate another file transfer to the WHS the first file transfer had completed successfully.  It handled all of this activity superbly! I am very pleased.
    I hope this provides you with a snapshot of what one low-end WHS can accomplish.
     
    Tuesday, June 19, 2007 8:07 PM
  • Well that sounds pretty good. I eventually installed WHS on a 2.8 intel, 2 gig of ram, 2 400 gig drives and will be adding a 750 SATA drive tonight.

    This wasn't my original plan. I wanted to put it on and old 2.0 p4 but I did not have enough pc133 ram to meet the minimum requirements and haven't had any bites on my DDR ram sticks to trade.

    Tuesday, June 19, 2007 8:14 PM
  • I'm running on a:

    Intel PIII 800Mhz
    512 MB Ram
    160 GB internal EIDE
    40 GB internal EIDE
    recently added - 80GB internal EIDE
    200GB external USB (Maxtor OneTouch)
    Belkin Wireless 54g NIC (no wired nic)

    runs like a champ.  Haven't tried streaming anything.

    I also let my kids play Sims 2 on the console (they complain it is lagging, but there is a lot of balancing going on... transferred ~120 GB from another system across the wireless in the last couple of days)
    Tuesday, June 19, 2007 8:44 PM
  • Current system

    Athlon XP 2200+
    1GB DDR400
    120, 160 & 200GB Seagate IDE HDs

    Runs it fine, took a little while when I added the 200GB in the storage server to balance the load, currently 180GB of shared files, but thats the IDE drives bottlenecking. I've been streaming media to 3 other systems with it no issues at all.

    Wednesday, June 20, 2007 6:39 AM
  • I'm running OK on dual P3 700MHz with 512Mb RAM, so you'll be fine with any of those setups.

    cheers,
    Ben
    Wednesday, June 20, 2007 7:42 AM
  • I seem to be OK with a 450Mhz PIII with 512Mb RAM
    Monday, July 2, 2007 2:39 AM
  • Running fine with this old intel P4 3.4ghz , 1 gb ram, low end pci video card, and low end motherboard (gigabyte), I could not manage to have lower system than this to test.

    But the good thing, WHS preform very well, more than XP indeed on the same system.

    My best.
    Monday, July 2, 2007 2:48 AM
  • I dunno if it helps but, judging by the other replies here I may have one of the crustiest hybrid setups:
    Mobo: Asus P2B
    CPU: 1.3 GHz Celeron Via Powerleap Slocket Adapter
    Memory: 512MB PC100
    Graphics: ATI Rage Fury Pro
    Storage: 1x 80GB IDE (OS, and software partition and the rest allocated to data) & Highpoint Rocket Raid 1540 with 3 150GB SATA Drives
    Network: Belkin Gig-E card.

    ^ Spare parts to the extreme Stick out tongue

    Today, I just put it through minor stress test- I had two machines pulling down two different DVR-MS files off of it at the same time over the wired LAN  Then, I used a wireless laptop to remote desktop into it to check out how stressed it was via taskmgr.  It never registered more than 50% CPU Usage, and usually hovered in the teens.
    Tuesday, July 3, 2007 5:09 AM
  • Hi,

    I use WHS on a PII 400Mhz with 512MB Ram and a Samsung 160GB P-ATA HD.
    Ok, booting takes very long. But net access, transfering files, etc is ok.

    Tuesday, July 3, 2007 7:53 AM
  • I got an old system I can use but I don't feel like paying 60 bucks for pc133 sdram. Anyone got soem for trade here.

     

    I have a few procs to trade. 2.0 p4s, a 1.4 p3 tualatin.....ddr sticks of 256 ram.

    Tuesday, July 3, 2007 2:02 PM
  • I've got the system based on a VIA EPIA-M10000 motherboard - I'd like to have very small and cold (quiet) server.

    1 GHz VIA Eden CPU, 1Gb DDR, 400Gb HDD.

    It works fine with 4 connected PCs.

    Wednesday, July 4, 2007 1:16 PM
  • Hi:

     

    My WHS hardware is modest but it works very good on my network.

     

    Winfast mobo (all in one, video set to 4 mb, audio disabled, 10/100, 6 usb 2)

    1 GB pc 4200

    Athlon XP 1800+ (1.5 Ghz)

    2 HD, 200 + 160 GB

     

    Working as server for 5 pc on my network, I just order a new mobo Intel D201GLY Little Valley Mini ITX (http://www.logicsupply.com/products/d201gly) to build a new server, since the mobo has only 1 IDE channel I´ll be using a Promise Ultra100 TX2 IDE controller card for a total of 3 IDE channels (up to 6 HD´s)

     

    Wednesday, July 4, 2007 9:09 PM
  • I have the following server

    3r Systems Midi Case with 400w psu

    Gigabyte 7N400Pro2 (firewire/usb 2 x sata raid, 2 x ide raid)

    Athlon XP 2100+

    768Mb DDR266 Ram

    Nvidia Quadro 64mb vga as mobo has none

    Highpoint 404 raid card running JBOD for all 8 IDE drives.

    1 x 500, 3 x 400, 5 x 120, 1 x 122Gb IDE drives + 1 DVD.

     

    I will be replacing the 12x Gb disks over a the rest of the year and may move the system disk to the SATA controller to increase performance. I don't have an issue with the performance as such but it takes a long time to balance 700+Gb of data with replication on all it, more than likely because of the number of disks and the slow PCI access to 8 of them. I would just prefer the system be on the SATA controller and may also remove the DVD when RTM is released and replace that with another SATA disk if I can make a recovery partition.

     

    Copying files to and from the server is quick and easy, playing divx/xvid's on Media Center is fine, stream music is great. Going to test playing DVD's from ISO images soon, but this might be limited by the Netgear HDX101 powerline network devices I have. They are all running above 100Mbps though so it should be ok. The powerline devices are working better than my 54g mimo wireless with WPA2 so no regrets there. Streaming of multiple movies?DVD's has not been tested as it is not required in my setup.

     

    Server draws max of 180-220 watts as the only device plugged in APC ups. Startup is ok at about 1m 30s for logon screen, reboots take a bit normally 5m. Balancing really depends on number and speed of access to the disks and the amount of files copied/moved/remove from the server. All in all I think the min specs are fine for 3-4 drives or 500Gb data , my specs are good for up to 10 disks or about 1Tb data, something dual core would be better with more than 10 disks or more than 1Tb of data.

     

    but also remember this would be personal preference, I work with servers and desktops all day and do not like to log onto my servers locally, this is how I use WHS as well. It has almost been designed to use older hardware and spare bits (although failure rates/reliability may dictate a new system being preferred). My server may take 1 day to balance 25Gb of data with duplication or 4 hours to check it's balancing is correct but to me it does not affect the server performance with less than 10 PC's/Users accessing the server.

     

    I would suggest a 1Gb nic and a wired network be your most important options if not 2 nic's. Also if possible get a decent 1Gb switch with decent thoughput, no point in buying a switch with 1Gb ports and only 30Mbps throughput, stick with a named brand.

     

    Better stop rambling on.

    Cheers

    DB

    Wednesday, July 4, 2007 11:01 PM
  •  PAPutzback247814 wrote:

    I got an old system I can use but I don't feel like paying 60 bucks for pc133 sdram. Anyone got soem for trade here.

     

    I have a few procs to trade. 2.0 p4s, a 1.4 p3 tualatin.....ddr sticks of 256 ram.

     

    PAPutzback,

    My server is currently running on a Celeron 1.1 Tualatin with 512MB (the max for an i810 chipset).  It's running fine, but it might run a bit quicker with that 1.4 p3 in it.  Drop me an e-mail at falcon4flyer shift-2 hotmail period com and let me know what sort of RAM you need.

     

    Thanks

    Thursday, July 5, 2007 3:27 AM
  • My system is running an Intel Celeron 1.7 w/ 1GB of 266MHz RAM and 10 IDE drives (9x 40GB and 1 DVD/R) and it works nice as you please. I don't see any real performance problems (I'm using a total of 5 machines in the house, and a 100Mbit LAN).

     

    -Brett

    Saturday, July 7, 2007 9:41 PM
  • It seems that about anything will meet most peoples needs, but I'm not streaming any video.  I my put it on one of my less capable systems when it is released.

    This system is not taxed in any way with music, photos and backups.

    Sunday, July 8, 2007 10:50 PM
  •  Cold Deck wrote:
     PAPutzback247814 wrote:

    I got an old system I can use but I don't feel like paying 60 bucks for pc133 sdram. Anyone got soem for trade here.

     

    I have a few procs to trade. 2.0 p4s, a 1.4 p3 tualatin.....ddr sticks of 256 ram.

     

    PAPutzback,

    My server is currently running on a Celeron 1.1 Tualatin with 512MB (the max for an i810 chipset).  It's running fine, but it might run a bit quicker with that 1.4 p3 in it.  Drop me an e-mail at falcon4flyer shift-2 hotmail period com and let me know what sort of RAM you need.

     

    Thanks

     

    Message sent.

    Thursday, July 12, 2007 12:20 PM
  • Little annoyed with 2008HS tbh. I can get it to load but i'm stuffed due to the 65gb disk requirement. As far as i understand from the main pages... there is a 10gb core that i can install and that should install fine to a 40gb disk. I have a 10gb and 30gb spare in the system as well but it supposedly wants the whole 65gb on One drive?

    come on MS. 65gb is abit damn much for a server install. I can get w2k3 on a 6gb disk fine but cant install 2k8HS on a 40gb?

    :edit: Specs.
    Old Asus skt370 with Tualtin Adapter. P3-1gb
    588mb memory (2x256mb, 64mb)
    Samsung 40gb
    Seagate 10gb & 30gb

    Thursday, July 12, 2007 6:20 PM
  • Hi there;

     

    I have a PIII 450 MHz PC and it's sitting doing nothing and I am downloading WHS - I was hpoing to try int on this - looks like I may be lucky?

     

    Not sure it is ACPI compliant - is that essentail?

     

    Mel P

    Sunday, August 26, 2007 1:39 PM
  • ACPI compliance is required for the clients if the connector is to wake them from standby for backups. I can't find anything that says that ACPI is required for the server hardware, though.

    You'll probably find that anything other than basic file sharing will be quite slow on the hardware you propose to use. In particular, I would expect that streaming any sort of media is just not going to be workable. But backups and the remote access web site will probably be slow as well, and other server operations may also be negatively impacted.
    Sunday, August 26, 2007 2:39 PM
    Moderator
  •  

    Thanks - I resurrected the PC and downloaded the WHS.  Unfortunately I had forgotten it only had 256 MB of Ram - but I  have whizzed off an order to Crucial - £22 for another 256MB module!

     

    My next problem was that the BIOS would only access 20mb HDD (I did buy it in 1999 - but it was running XP pro until last month! with 2 x 20GB drives as Windows drive + data) Anyway I have flashed the BIOS to the latest (2002) and it says accesses 75MB HDD - but doesn't say if this is the limit.

     

    I have a spare 60GB drive (seemed large at the time). My other 80GB / 160 / 320 drives have stuff on them.

     

    Will the WHS server load on this 60GB drive - does anybody know?  I have a 2x 500GB NAS which I can use for the real backups.

    Sunday, August 26, 2007 10:19 PM
  • I believe the hard limit for drive size is 65 real GB, not 65 "drive manufacturer GB". I haven't tried to instlal on amything smaller than an 80 GB drive.
    Sunday, August 26, 2007 11:58 PM
    Moderator
  • In one post I read somebody had been trying it with 2 x 60GB - does the 65GB need to be on one drive or can it be spread across 2?

    (just trying to use this old PC rather than scrapping it)

     

    Mel

     

    Monday, August 27, 2007 11:51 AM
  • It needs to be on a single drive.
    Monday, August 27, 2007 12:31 PM
    Moderator
  • Rats................

     

    Monday, August 27, 2007 12:52 PM
  • Shame that - I had hoped because under the post "Hard Drive Confusion", the poster states;

     

    "I have been experimenting with an old P4 computer with two 60GB hard drives and the WHS beta. ..."

     

    suggesting 60GB + another HDD would work.

     

    Mel P

     

    Monday, August 27, 2007 2:26 PM
  •  

    Aejax-

     

    I saw you had a highpoint 1540.  When you installed the WHS software, did you need to load up the drivers for the raid controller?  I have a 1640, but I am trying to use it both as raid storage and boot device.  Perhaps I should follow your lead and use an extra drive for the boot device. 

     

    I have attempted to add a storage device driver during the installation, but once the formatting is complete I get an error that it couldn't load the device driver which I then have to start over again.

     

    Thanks!

    Matt

    Wednesday, October 31, 2007 2:39 PM
  • Matt-

     

      I installed the OS onto the IDE drive and iirc, I had to subsequently install the drivers for the system to see the drive controller and connected drives.  After that, everything went fine. The old Mobo/proc/memory died (no clue which) and, I switched everything to a new mobo/proc and memory (cards included) with no problems.  However, I haven't gotten around to installing the OEM software at this point but, when I do, I will certainly revisit this as I'll be backing up my data and starting from scratch.

     

    I hope this was at least a little helpful.

     

    Cheers,

     

    Aejax

    Wednesday, October 31, 2007 6:13 PM
  •  

    Thanks, I appreciate the response.

     

    I ended up adding a drive off the mainboard so WHS would install.  Then I added the drivers through windows for the HP 1640.  All appears to be working smoothly now. 

     

    Thanks!
    Matt

    Wednesday, October 31, 2007 6:25 PM