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Shuttle KPC K45 build/component advice RRS feed

  • Question

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    Having built a Vista Home Premium Media Centre PC from scratch earlier this year, Im really taken with the idea of ditching my Netgear SC101 NAS’s for a Windows Home Server.

     I’d use it store my data files, backup my PC and notebook and stream my media files to Media Centre on my desktop or laptop.

    I really like to look of the Shuttle KPC K45 barebones but have some questions before I start throwing money at it. I’m considering;

    - Intel Celeron 430 1.8Ghz or Intel Dual Core E2160
    - 2 x Western Digital Green Power 1Gb Hard drives
    - 1 x 1Gb DDR2 Memory

    Im assuming I’ll need a case fan and a CPU fan.

    I’ve got a couple of concerns with this setup, if you could volunteer some help;

    ? The barebones draws about 55W under load, I understand. If, similarly under load, the Celeron draws ~35W and the drives about 12W in total between them, then we’re already a shade over the capabilities of the PSU. If I add a case fan and a CPU fan then we’re probably at about 110W... If I added an external drive (to make a copy of my critical data files periodically) then this will draw even more power.

    ? Im considering whether to go for something like the E2160 for more grunt, but under load it draws a shade more power than the Celeron, so the total power consumption of the setup Im looking at would be ~120W which seems a big ask for a 100W PSU?

    I dont have ay plans to install a wired ethernet network(!), are there any issues I need to be aware of connecting to the WHS wirelessly (including for backups)?

    THanks for your help

    Saturday, December 6, 2008 5:18 PM

Answers

  • Hi, and Welcome,

    Taking your last point first - a wireless connection from your server will be VERY problematic and certainly isn't recommended. The chance of a drop-out is something that you cannot take, when doing backups etc, it really doesn't matter when web browsing, streaming video/music, but anything else, just isn't worth the risk so the minimum you need is a wired connection to your router/switch.

    Regarding your hardware, whatever you choose, bare in mind that WHS is built onto Server 2003. Therefore, one of your first requirements is to ensure your hardware has the appropriate drivers available for server 2003 - and that would rule out the wireless in the above case as well. It is possible to get XP drivers to run satisfactorily, but you leave yourself open to possible 'glitches' and nebulous errors.

    If you look through this Hardware section, there is a long thread regarding users' hardware, which would be worthwhile having a read through. Also, there is quite a lot of documentation available here, or here, which is also helpful.

    Goodluck, and sorry to be negative on your initial visit!

    Colin



    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.
    Saturday, December 6, 2008 6:24 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi, and Welcome,

    Taking your last point first - a wireless connection from your server will be VERY problematic and certainly isn't recommended. The chance of a drop-out is something that you cannot take, when doing backups etc, it really doesn't matter when web browsing, streaming video/music, but anything else, just isn't worth the risk so the minimum you need is a wired connection to your router/switch.

    Regarding your hardware, whatever you choose, bare in mind that WHS is built onto Server 2003. Therefore, one of your first requirements is to ensure your hardware has the appropriate drivers available for server 2003 - and that would rule out the wireless in the above case as well. It is possible to get XP drivers to run satisfactorily, but you leave yourself open to possible 'glitches' and nebulous errors.

    If you look through this Hardware section, there is a long thread regarding users' hardware, which would be worthwhile having a read through. Also, there is quite a lot of documentation available here, or here, which is also helpful.

    Goodluck, and sorry to be negative on your initial visit!

    Colin



    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.
    Saturday, December 6, 2008 6:24 PM
    Moderator
  • MkSpencer said:

    I'm assuming I’ll need a case fan and a CPU fan.


    No, not at all.  A Shuttle has an integrated CPU heatsink/case fan - they call it an ICE.  Heatsink is attached to the CPU, heatpipes lead to a radiator that's at the rear of the box.  Fan is attached to rear of case, and is used to both cool the heatsink & exhaust the case.

    You'll likely be just fine with the Celeron, as it's not too often that your WHS should be under heavy CPU load.  It's not a desktop, after all...
    Also, with your power consumption concern:  even onboard video can use quite a bit under load.  But, since this isn't a desktop (and, you probably won't even have a monitor attached to it), that load is basically eliminated.

    Drivers will be your biggest issue.  Shuttle doesn't supply Server 2003 drivers for that system (or, I think, any of their boxen):  
    http://global.shuttle.com/download03.jsp?PI=1068
    And, as Colin said, wireless is:
    1- not supported by WHS (because it's not supported by Server 2003), and
    2- is a very bad idea.
    Any server should be hardwired to the network.  Better for throughput, better for stability.

    HTH,
    Chris


    [If this post helps to resolve your issue, please click the "Mark as Answer" or "Helpful" button at the top of this message. By marking a post as Answered, or Helpful you help others find the answer faster.]
    • Edited by Chris Cupler Saturday, December 6, 2008 7:14 PM change font size
    Saturday, December 6, 2008 7:13 PM
  • Hi Colin, thanks for the welcome and the caution.

    re: wireless connections... just to be clear, I was planning to connect the WHS to my wireless ADSL router over wired ethernet, I wasnt planning to install a wireless adapter, does that make a difference?

    re: drivers. Mmm I hadn't given that a thought, thanks. I'm following a published article building a WHS using the Shuttle K45 solution (http://www.homeserverhacks.com/2008/04/build-green-400-windows-home-server_2871.html) and am not planning to add any components other than a processor, RAM and 2 x sata II hard drives.

    I dont actually know which components need a driver and which dont, though some are 'obvious' from experience (eg a video adapter). What's the best way for me to find out whether Server 2003 supports a particular component when Im 'shortlisting'? Could you tell me which components I dont need to worry about (eg ?CPU, ?SATA I/II Hard drives... )?

    Rgds
    Sunday, December 7, 2008 7:24 PM
  • Thanks Chris, I'll strike the CPU fan and case fan from my component list and also roll-back to the cheaper Celeron (do you reckon this is man enough for video streaming to my Windows Vista Media Centre?)

    'Hard-wire' ethernet as opposed to W-Fi is a big disappointment and I reckon that will kill WHS as a consumer product - though I digress. BTW, I was planning to connect the WHS box to my wireless router over ethernet, if that makes a difference... if not, just out of interest, is that because IP is running over UDP (and not TCP) from Server 2003 which would mean packet delivery is not garaunteed over the air?

    Thanks to you both for the driver's caution. I need to go back to the HomeServerHacks article and re-read it as I'd got my component list from there.

    Rgds
    Sunday, December 7, 2008 7:40 PM
  • You don't need to worry about drivers for the CPU, hard drives, and optical drives - those are all natively supported by any OS.
    What drivers you do need to worry about are those for the motherboard and its components (namely, the drive controller(s), and the NIC.)

    Just got a chance to read that article - I didn't know that anyone had actually used a Shuttle for a WHS (they are kinda small....)
    And, it looks like you are going to need a case fan.  All the Shuttle boxen that I've had experience with have their integrated cooling system in them.  It looks (from that writeup) that the KPC doesn't have that.  I learned something today! 

    One note on wireless:  nowhere does MS say that you can't connect the clients via wireless.  It's just that the WHS itself must be connected via hardwire. 
    There's a reason that the HP units cannot be configured with a wireless adapter...

    -Chris
    [If this post helps to resolve your issue, please click the "Mark as Answer" or "Helpful" button at the top of this message. By marking a post as Answered, or Helpful you help others find the answer faster.]
    Sunday, December 7, 2008 11:43 PM
  • Hi Chris, thanks again for your thoughts. I noticed in some of the comments posted against the HomeServerHacks articles that there was speculation that Shuttle were going to incorporate an ICE.

    I also followed the link in your first reply and worryingly there's no mention of Server2003 drivers on the Shuttle site. Clearly a number of people have got WHS running on the K45 and some suggest reliably for some months. My concern will be keeping the box up to date with WHS releases and fixes.

    I'll contact shuttle direct on both of these ...

    Thanks again
    M
    Monday, December 8, 2008 2:12 PM