none
Low Cost System Using a New Computer RRS feed

  • Question

  • I just received my invitation to begin the beta test and wanted to get some feedback on an idea that relates back to some research I was doing in the past.   I was looking for a new low-cost machine to use for this beta test.   I found a machine that is priced between $300-$350 at three different national chain stores.   The specs are listed below.  

    Compaq Presario Desktop SR2150NX:

    Processor: Intel Celeron D 356 (Can be changed to Pentium D 900 or  Pentium 4 601)

    Speed: 3.33 GHz; FS Bus Speed: 533 Mhz

    Memory: 512 MB up to 2 gigs Memory Speed: PC2-4200; DDR@ SDRAM

    120 GB HD SATA (Going to add at least 1 more internal Disk drive (160 GB) and external drives)

    Ports:

    PS/2 – 2

    USB 2.0 – 4

    VGA – 1

    Current Operating System: Vista Home Basic

     

    Thanks for any information you all can provide.

     

    See my other posting below in regards to the use of this information and if anyone is further interested in the information gathered.

    Tuesday, March 6, 2007 4:45 AM

Answers

  • I'm using a sligly less capable box: P4 2.2 GHz Compaq Evo with 512 MB RAM.  I've used WHS for three weeks and don't see any performance problems with backups and file sharing for four computers.  Some other people here are using much higher end machines for the server, but they are interested in streaming media to multiple computers.

    Make sure that the Presario you're considering has an internal DVD reader.  Also, you should make sure that you get Vista on media just in case you want to convert it back to a pc.  WHS will reformat the hard drive and will trash the restore partition on the drive.

    Good luck.

    Tuesday, March 6, 2007 6:43 AM
  • Hi, I'm running WHS since last weekend on a similar system (Acer T671). I have a Celeron cpu(3,2 Ghz), 1 GB memory and 2 x 250 GB SATA drives. Total cost was around 500 Euro. Works like a charm, only problem was that the onboard lanconnector (10/100/1000) was not recognized by winserver2003. And I was not so smart to have the original  Vista setup saved. So I have now an old 100Mb lancard in a pci slot until I can find the correct driver.
    Tuesday, March 6, 2007 10:23 AM

All replies

  • I'm using a sligly less capable box: P4 2.2 GHz Compaq Evo with 512 MB RAM.  I've used WHS for three weeks and don't see any performance problems with backups and file sharing for four computers.  Some other people here are using much higher end machines for the server, but they are interested in streaming media to multiple computers.

    Make sure that the Presario you're considering has an internal DVD reader.  Also, you should make sure that you get Vista on media just in case you want to convert it back to a pc.  WHS will reformat the hard drive and will trash the restore partition on the drive.

    Good luck.

    Tuesday, March 6, 2007 6:43 AM
  • Hi, I'm running WHS since last weekend on a similar system (Acer T671). I have a Celeron cpu(3,2 Ghz), 1 GB memory and 2 x 250 GB SATA drives. Total cost was around 500 Euro. Works like a charm, only problem was that the onboard lanconnector (10/100/1000) was not recognized by winserver2003. And I was not so smart to have the original  Vista setup saved. So I have now an old 100Mb lancard in a pci slot until I can find the correct driver.
    Tuesday, March 6, 2007 10:23 AM
  • Low-cost PC.

    Use processor with more cache then Celeron

    Tuesday, March 6, 2007 9:13 PM
  • I considered this option but decided a better choice was to get a decent older system on Ebay for ~$200 delivered. I do not know the pros and cons of the CPU issue but a 2.6 Ghz P4 should have no problem and I didn't really need to worry about the lack of storage (system came with a 40 GB drive) as I had plenty of larger hard drives to put in it.

    I haven't received the system yet but I should have it in 2-3 days and will keep my thread updated as to the suitability of this particular system.

     

    Tuesday, March 6, 2007 9:36 PM
  • A 3.33ghz Celeron D should be more than enough for this; after all, it's a storage server, not a web server or a database server.  A good gigabit nic and a fast sata controller are more important.  My main server at the moment is a Poweredge SC420 with a Celeron 2.5ghz and a gig of ram; it has *no* problems whatsoever on a home (8 computer) network. 

    So, the more important thing is expandability/upgradeability.  For instance, my SC420 has an 8x pci-e slot... occupied by a nice Highpoint RAID card.  I'd look for a motherboard like that, with slots for more controllers and physical space for more drives.  Processor is probably the least of your worries in this case.
    Wednesday, March 7, 2007 3:06 AM
  • Main concern is the ability to add hard disks.  Multiple SATA ports on the motherboard are a big plus.  The CPU really isn't all that critical, that Celeron D you're looking at is plenty.  The system I built for this is running a 2.66GHz Celeron D, and I have no CPU load problems.  From what I've seen so far WHS is fairly light on CPU usage.  I do think 1GB RAM is good to have for breathing room.  But the processor isn't as critical as it would be if you had SQL databases etc. running on the server, which a home user is highly unlikely to have.  Network throughput, disk throughput, and disk space are by far the biggest things to consider.

    Todd in Cheesecurdistan

    Wednesday, March 7, 2007 4:43 AM
  • I have a P4 2.66, and it runs great. I did get a new motherboard that supports SATA, and I also use a PCI Gigabit NIC and disabled the built-in one on my motherboard. Network speed is ALWAYS important.

     

    Ken

    Thursday, March 8, 2007 4:47 AM
  • I just got a new system to test WHS on. It only cost me $389.02 with tax in Alberta. It came with

    Intel Celeron D 3.2 GHz
    512 MB of RAM (upgraded to 1 GB)
    140 GB Hard drive
    6 USB 2 ports
    Media Card reader

    All in all, I think I did well for the cost of the system 

    Thursday, March 8, 2007 7:00 AM
  • Sounds good to me. This deosn't need a powerful system, which is great for the home user. I don't think the average home user wants to spend a boatload of money on a new system, especially when the product has "server" in the name. Being an IT consultant, when someone hears "server", they think of a huge, beefy system with gobs of memory, SCSI drives, etc.

     

    I think you did well.

     

    Ken

    Thursday, March 8, 2007 11:57 AM
  • I've been running WHS on a PIII 1.1ghz, 512MB (PC-133) for about a week or so. No problems so far! :)
    Friday, March 9, 2007 2:53 AM
  • Thank you for all the feedback.   I am looking beyound the home to other uses for this type of product.  

    Examples would be

    • Personal classroom servers, independent from school servers
    • Small/Home Consulting
    • Small/Essential School File Server

    For a start.   Please let me know if anyone is interested in the developments as I begin this venture.   If so, I will add them to this thread.

    Friday, March 9, 2007 5:43 AM
  • Yes, an independent  classroom server is what many teachers are looking for.  I see many applications. I have just got my server up and running, checking out all of its features and performance.

    ...Sam

    Tuesday, July 10, 2007 4:59 PM
  • I am using a 'new'  DELL Dimension E520 that started life as a DELL Outlet system with a P4 3.0ghz, 1gb memory 1x 80gb HDD.  I have upgraded  this with an Intel gigabit NIC  and a pair of 500gb Seagate SATA HDD.  At 7pm this evening I started installing WHS,  everything ran like clockwork with no problems and I am busy now backing up my first system.  I am very impressed!
    Tuesday, July 10, 2007 9:02 PM