Hesitant Enthusiast Build RRS feed

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  •  Black Belt wrote:
    I am wanting to build a higher end WHS but delaying a bit until the corruption issues are resolved.  For my build, I want it to be a micro system like the HP Mediasmart, not a full-blown ATX.

    Here are my choices thus far:

    Case:  Lian Li PC V350 (can be easily modded to hold 4 drives) http://www.silverpcs.com/product_info.php?products_id=477&osCsid=7c94b99d8771dfea2194df86e65ad202

    Motherboard:  Gigabyte GA G33M-S2L LGA 775 Intel G33 Micro ATX

    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz

    PS:  Athena Power 400Watt Micro ATX PSU

    Drives: SeaGate Barracuda 750 Sata x4

    This is my first WHS, though not my first PC.  I welcome any comments.

    FYI, I am running a Gigabit LAN w/ 5 (going to 7) computers and have extensive media and photographic files.  All of this will also back up offsite to S3.

    You may want to get a motherboard with the "R" version of the Intel ICH9 southbridge (Intel ICH9R).  It never hurts to have a couple more sata ports.
    Thursday, February 21, 2008 7:29 PM
  • Lian Li PC V350 (can be easily modded to hold 4 drives)


    Sweet Case, I put it on my list as a possible upgrade.


    However, you may want to check this one out.  It does not look quite as nice, but it does come with a 80+ power supply, according to Ken.  I got one and while it is small, with a 5.25 inch mounting bracket you can get it to hold 4 drives.

    Antec New Solution NSK3480 Black


    As for the MoBo, check this one out.  Others mentioned it, but here is the link.  6 connectors and you can set them up in a RAID configuration.  If you do this, you can turn off DE which is the root cause of all the corruption issues.




    Hard Drives, check out these 750MB versions: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136150.  They are the WD Green Drives, and for server use I think they would be good.  I have three drives in the case above and they are quiet.


    Also, on RAM, get at least 1GB of RAM.  While WHS is suppose to run in 512, most people forget that the onboard video card uses RAM too.  I have a Gig, works ok, in the future I will get 2GB as it is not much more expensive.

    Thursday, February 21, 2008 8:36 PM
  • Thanks for those ideas guys!

    On that Mobo, I saw that but it seems a little overkill with the HDMI on a headless system, but good to know about the RAID.  Is there a same config without HDMI or do you think it might be useful?  The lack of RAID support always bothered me about WHS and the DE is proving to be a real bugger.   So if you turn off DE it is friendly or at least tolerant of RAID?  All the docs seem to not want RAID anywhere near the thing, while I was hoping it would be more like a hot-swappable ReadyNas box.  Combining with offsite S3 made me less concerned about no RAID.

    On the drives - while "green" is nice, I am concerned that the 5400 rpm would be a bottleneck in a Gig lan serving media. 

    And I gotta chuckle at WDs use of the label "green".  It isn't green, it is just slower.  In comparison, Core Duo IS a green tech - it is far faster and far more electrically efficient. 

    On the case, I've used Antecs in the past, but after building with Lian Li, I am definitely a Lian Li guy.  They are things of beauty.  All aluminum, heavy duty and well-thought out interiors.  I am spoiled and I enjoy building things that make Apples look like *** - in performance and looks.
    Thursday, February 21, 2008 9:33 PM

  • I wouldn't say HDMI is overkill, you need some way to transport video to a screen.  HDCP on the otherhand would be overkill. Smile  However more and more microATX  boards are coming with HDMI these days so it really isn't that big of deal.  If you don't need the raid support or six sata ports you can save quite a bit of money by buying a cheaper mb.

    Lack of RAID support isn't really an issue.  I don't see WHS claiming it supports *any* hardware with the exception of the MediaSmart servers.  That's why this forum exists, to help us.  RAID is a at the drive interface/controller level and for the most part invisible to WHS (unless you install a RAID monitoring software on WHS).  Whether the DE works well with RAID or not isn't fully investigated.  I would guess RAID 1 would be fine.  Does any RAID with striping work well with the DE (as in does it hurt performance), I don't know.
    Thursday, February 21, 2008 10:36 PM
  • I know, but only for hardware RAID 6.
    Friday, February 22, 2008 1:10 AM
  • I thought you are accessing this thing over the network via IP interface.  Do I need video to install it?

    I wouldn't even bother with RAID if it only RAID 1.  The documentation specifically recommends NOT using RAID which is why I am asking the question.  Drive Extender has always seemed sketchy to me, like they are trying to hard to compete with DROBO of all things.
    Friday, February 22, 2008 1:19 AM
  • Black Belt,

    1st. As others have indicated, do not worry about the HDMI interface.  It seems like the MicroATX boards that have RAID also have the HDMI slot.  This board seems to be the best of the bunch. It has the latest SouthBridge ICH9R chipset.  There are a couple of other boards out there that use the 630i chipset on the SouthBridge and as they are nVidia chipsets, probably do better on the video.  However all these boards seem to have HDMI, go figure.

    Also, you are correct, WHS does not support RAID, but in reality it does not have too.  If you setup a hardware level RAID 5 and present WHS with a single volume then you can get rid of all the corruption issues all together.  RAID is a proven technology and the biggest benefit is that if any dirve goes down, you are still fine.

    However, there is a disadvantage.  You can't add space to the server.  If you attach a USB drive or add something later, then DE comes back into play and you are back where you started.

    I am in the middle of putting together a home server and want to use it for a small business that I am putting together.  I will sync files with another home server in another location.  I am going to run the motherboard listed above in a RAID 5 with 4x750GB drives for a 2TB volume (750 formatted capacity is 698) for 2.08TB of space.  In my opinion, this is an easier setup than a non-raid system using DE.  Once setup in the Bios, RAID is a set it and forget it technology.  It just works.  Then in WHS no DE, no problems to worry about.

    As for using the Green Drives, they say they use 40% of the energy a regular drive does and they are 5400/7200 drives that park their heads and shut down when not in use. When using them, they seem to lag slightly when you haven't used them and they shut down, but other than that they work fine.  For the most part, they should work just fine in a WHS box and per their design, they should last a long time too.  Unless you are editing video over the network, you probalby won't notice a difference.

    Friday, February 22, 2008 2:30 AM