WHS Custom Build Config - Suggestions Request RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi everyone,

    I'm thinking in building a basic WHS system and while doing some research online, I came across this intersting NAS article: http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=829, so I went to NewEgg and I was able to find all recomended Specs for under $300.

    Do you have any suggestions, additions or changes that might make this better/stable/reliable??? Will this be a better alternative than the OEM HP boxes they are selling now?

    this are the parts so far:

    COOLER MASTER Elite 330 RC-330-KKN1-GP Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $39.99

    FSP Group Green PS FSP300-60GLN ATX2.0 300W Power Supply - $30.99

    GIGABYTE GA-G33M-DS2R LGA 775 Intel G33 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard -  $129.99

    Intel Dual-Core E2140 Allendale 1.6GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E2140 -  $74.99

    Crucial 1GB 200-Pin DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Notebook Memory Model CT12864AC667 - $23.49

    Subtotal:     $299.45

    As far as Storage, I could start with a couple

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3500630AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - $119.99 x2

    Subtotal: 539.43

    The DVD I can take it from an old PC I have.

    Then I would need to buy the WHS Microsoft Windows Home Server 32 Bit 1 Pack - OEM - $169.99

    So the Total price on the system will be around: 709.42

    So is this comparable, better or worse than the HP systems they are selling?

    I'm just planing to use it as a backup system for my huge image and Music library, connect a couple pcs and a laptop and use the Xbox360 as a way to access the multimedia content, divix, etc....

    I already have some experience from building a couple systems from scratch in the past, but I never had the chance to play with any Server builds, so I have a few questions that might be silly, so I hope you forgive my ignorace in this regard.

    The main one was about the WHS install itself: will I need to install an OS before I'm able to install the WHS software?, or will the WHS take care of that...Since I'll be accessing the server via the sofware on another pc, I don't really see the need for a full fledge OS there.....

    Also, to install the WHS, can it be done via another PC, or will I need to hook up a monitor to the server to perform the installation?

    As far as the RAID, what do I need to know to set it up, I read somewhere that Raid 5 is better, if so, can this be done here??

    Thanks in advance for any help you may provide.

    Thursday, November 29, 2007 3:05 AM

All replies

  • at new egg you can get a asus server motherboard for 140.00 with home server purchase. ill have mine tomorrow and see how good it works. no raid on WHS


    Thursday, November 29, 2007 3:16 AM
  • Hmm. A couple of things. First, you want to buy memory that will install on a desktop motherboard, which means you don't want SO-DIMMs. Next, the Motherboard is way more expensive than you really need. This one (by the same manufacturer) should work fine. When you finally get to the point of needing more than 4 SATA ports, you can always add a PCI-e SATA card.


    Now, for the installation... When you install, the operating system will get installed as part of setup. You'll need keyboard, video, and mouse to do the install. You can disconnect them when everything is running. Don't bother with RAID. You won't see the benefits you expect, and it's not supported by Microsoft anyway.


    Thursday, November 29, 2007 5:07 AM
  •  Ken Warren wrote:

    ...you want to buy memory that will install on a desktop motherboard, which means you don't want SO-DIMMs. Next, the Motherboard is way more expensive than you really need. This one (by the same manufacturer) should work fine....


    Thanks, that helps to steer me in the right direction, I like your suggestion on the board, do you know of anyone already using it suscessfully with WHS?

    So at this point I'll be putting the savings on the board towards extra memory so I can  max out the board with  2 CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Desktop Memory Model VS1GB667D2 - Retail - Both for $41.98  (will extra memory provide a performance increase in a server environment as it does in a desktop??)

    Together with the  GIGABYTE GA-945GCMX-S2 LGA 775 Intel 945GC Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $64.99

    will bring the total system price to $662.91. Not bad!  By my question remains, does anyone have any experience with this particular set up or can you tell me if this is a better alternative to the new HP OEM systems?

    Any other suggestions will be appreciated.


    Thursday, November 29, 2007 5:50 AM

    I really wouldn't bother with 2Gb.  1GB is fine (but not the SODIMM noteBook Memory you names on the first spec!)  Take the first board as that gave you six SATA ports which is the most usefull attribute for a home server. 


    And I'd just borrow the DVD for setup - it's a waste of space thereafter.


    500Gb disks are the right price/performance point at the moment and the CPU is good too.  If space is tight you could consider a matx case, but if not stick with that one and you have plenty of room for more drives.

    Thursday, November 29, 2007 11:50 AM
  • Overkill, I know, but here is what I built a few weeks ago, all purchased from Newegg.com:

    • Antec TITAN650 Black 1.0mm SECC Server Case 650W
    • ASUS P5M2-E T (LGA 775) Intel 3000 ATX Server Motherboard
    • Intel Xeon 3040 Conroe 1.86GHz 2M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor
    • 2X Seagate ST3500631NS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
    • Kingston 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM ECC Unbuffered DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Kit Server Memory
    • LITE-ON Black 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model DH-16D2P-04

    I also have a Maxtor 250GB external USB drive connected as well, so I've got over 1TB of storage now.

    It runs really good!

    Thursday, November 29, 2007 5:18 PM
  • Will the 300W psu be enough to sustain 4 to 6 HD???
    Friday, November 30, 2007 1:16 AM
  • When it's new, that 300 watt power supply will be fine. After a year or so of 24/7 operation, though, a power supply has typically lost 25% or more of it's original rating due to capacitor aging, so that 300 w supply is more like a 225 w supply, and that's getting very tight for a system with 6 drives. It might be able to keep it running, but it's very possible that the drives would overtax the PS during spin-up.
    Friday, November 30, 2007 12:38 PM