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Build or Buy WHS RRS feed

  • Question

  •  

    Are there any real advantages in buying the HP system over buying the software and building your own?  I have a space PC that is a P4 2.6, with 2 gb ram, and 500gb HDD.

     

    Thanks in advance.

    Friday, August 1, 2008 5:02 PM

Answers

  • HP throws in some extra software. They also provide support for their products.
    If you buy OEM yourself, you have to manage it yourself. But you get the flexibility of building your own system and expanding it as you want. It really is all about how much time you want to do devote to maintaining your server.

    Hands-on, time to maintain it yourself... just custom build it yourself.
    No time, no hassles, newbie users... go out and buy the HP server. Smile
    Friday, August 1, 2008 6:28 PM
  • You get a smaller unit if you buy the HP MediaSmart Server. In addition, you get hardware that was designed for use with Windows Home Server. Repurposing an old desktop machine can work, but computers wear out eventually, especially the moving parts (primarily fans and hard drives, in a computer). Also, with a repurposed desktop the hardware may not be up to the challenges of 24x7 operation. finally, you may have trouble getting certain hardware components to work; since Windows Home Server was built on Windows Server 2003, you should use drivers for that operating system if available, and not every XP driver can be installed successfully under Windows Server 2003.
    Friday, August 1, 2008 6:42 PM
    Moderator
  • Flash.  

    In my opinion the HP MediaServe unit is Underpowered and Overpriced....   It is tiny and built custom for WHS so it does have advantages (small, silent, easily removable drive sleds, some added HP apps) but if you have
    a P4 2.6, with 2 gb ram, and 500gb HDD sitting Idle I would use that....    

    I am using an Acer Desktop I got from Geeks.com for $250 and it is working out great.

    Adding on the License for WHS ($160) a 750GB HD ($120) and a UPS ($50) still came out a little cheaper and it's a more powerful system than the HP.

    Like Ken has mentioned the older the system the more there is a chance for failure so you need to make that call for yourself.  

    The other thing to consider is the HP unit is a one trick pony, it will not ever be able to do anything other than WHS, and if WHS V2 comes out down the road (Not for a whille I am sure) who knows if that stingy hardware stack HP is using will be able to handle it....


    Saturday, August 2, 2008 11:23 PM

All replies

  • HP throws in some extra software. They also provide support for their products.
    If you buy OEM yourself, you have to manage it yourself. But you get the flexibility of building your own system and expanding it as you want. It really is all about how much time you want to do devote to maintaining your server.

    Hands-on, time to maintain it yourself... just custom build it yourself.
    No time, no hassles, newbie users... go out and buy the HP server. Smile
    Friday, August 1, 2008 6:28 PM
  • You get a smaller unit if you buy the HP MediaSmart Server. In addition, you get hardware that was designed for use with Windows Home Server. Repurposing an old desktop machine can work, but computers wear out eventually, especially the moving parts (primarily fans and hard drives, in a computer). Also, with a repurposed desktop the hardware may not be up to the challenges of 24x7 operation. finally, you may have trouble getting certain hardware components to work; since Windows Home Server was built on Windows Server 2003, you should use drivers for that operating system if available, and not every XP driver can be installed successfully under Windows Server 2003.
    Friday, August 1, 2008 6:42 PM
    Moderator
  • There are other facts to consider, such as - HP mediasmart comes with a Sempron processor and 512 of RAM. If your primary function is only backup, that may be sufficient. If, on the other hand, you want to use the mediasmart as a Home entertainment hub, not good. You may want to define your needs and then see if the HP is capable.


    Ben
    Friday, August 1, 2008 9:00 PM
  • Flash.  

    In my opinion the HP MediaServe unit is Underpowered and Overpriced....   It is tiny and built custom for WHS so it does have advantages (small, silent, easily removable drive sleds, some added HP apps) but if you have
    a P4 2.6, with 2 gb ram, and 500gb HDD sitting Idle I would use that....    

    I am using an Acer Desktop I got from Geeks.com for $250 and it is working out great.

    Adding on the License for WHS ($160) a 750GB HD ($120) and a UPS ($50) still came out a little cheaper and it's a more powerful system than the HP.

    Like Ken has mentioned the older the system the more there is a chance for failure so you need to make that call for yourself.  

    The other thing to consider is the HP unit is a one trick pony, it will not ever be able to do anything other than WHS, and if WHS V2 comes out down the road (Not for a whille I am sure) who knows if that stingy hardware stack HP is using will be able to handle it....


    Saturday, August 2, 2008 11:23 PM
  • Thank you for the information.  I think you are correct, why spend $500 for another PC when I have one sitting around. 

     

    Would you recommend any other hardware/software to add to this machine?  Can you attach a TV card to it and have it work on the WHS?

    Monday, August 4, 2008 1:49 PM
  • Before you decide to utilise an older PC, the first thing to do, is check the Motherboard manufacturer's site to ensure that Server 2003 drivers are available. If not, you may be able to get away with XP drivers, but would you trust your data to a bought-in system which doesn't use the correct drivers etc.

    The server is designed to be run 'headless', no video, no keyboard, no mouse. All operations that need to be done, are done through the Client's Console, so no, you shouldn't be using anything like TV cards, even if you could get server 2003 to see it.

    The consensus is that you should be using a separate PC to actually house the TV cards etc., while the recordings can be stored on the server, for distribution round the house.

     

    Colin

     

    Monday, August 4, 2008 5:27 PM
  • Thanks for the info.

     

    This pc currently ran the demo version of WHS without any problems. But I didnt know if it was going to be better buying the HP system.  But from what others have said earlier in this thread, building my PC should be good.

     

    I will try it out and let you all know!

     

     

    Thanks again!

     

    Monday, August 4, 2008 5:40 PM