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Choice of Hardware for diy WHS.. RRS feed

  • Question

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    I have partially built a pc before but I am still most deifnately new to this. Previoulsy I bought a barebones system and added the rest. I;m going to build a WHS system but I need some advice for the motherboard and processor. I'm limited by cost but I want to get above the minimum requirements so it'll last a couple of years and handle anything I decide to add-on.

     

    What I'm looking at at the moment is:

     

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ (2.1GHz) Socket AM2 Energy Efficient L2 1MB (2x512KB) Cache OEM Processor

    Could someone suggest a quiet cooling fan for this please?

    Gigabyte GA-MA69VM-S2 690V Socket AM2 Onboard VGA 8 channel audio mATX Motherboard

    I chose this motherboard as it has 4x SATA II connections so fast connections and plenty of them (for now) and it only costs £40 and read good revies of Gigabyte

     

    Kingston 1GB Kit (2x512MB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 CL5 - Non-ecc (800mhz is max for motherboard)

    HDD will probably 320GB SATA II drive and ill use a 320GB WD external for duplication initially.

     

    For me the biggest question is will this combination be compatible with the WHS software? I'm going to want to be able to (in time) stream movies and recorded tv.

     

    I already have a case, a 300W powersupply and will temporarily borrow a cd drive from another pc.

     

    Once setup I will remove the cd/monitor/mouse/keyboard.

     

    Many thanks in advance as I really could do with help. Don't want to shell out the money for it now to work.

     

     

     

     

    Friday, December 28, 2007 10:50 PM

All replies

  • This site is a great help when planning your new server!

    I'd go with 2GB RAM to future-proof yourself and I think you'll be good to go!

    Good luck!
    Friday, December 28, 2007 11:21 PM
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    hi,

     

    http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2061379&SiteID=50

     

    if you check the link here over, you can see that there seems to be small problem witt the amd 690 chipset.

     

    the easyest way to get every thing working smoothly and headeak free is to go for intel stuff.(there about the same price and are 100% windows 2003 compatible. if you plan on going for intel stuff, double check if the network card is from intel. that way you will have every thing compatable out of the box.)

     

     

    the 2 gigs of ram can indeed be a better choice, the price difference isn't big.

     

    good luck.

    Saturday, December 29, 2007 2:16 AM
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    Thanks for the advice about the 690 chipset. I'll give AMD a miss and go for intel. I need a few a porblems as possible! I like the way people say good luck! Smile

     

    OK...so intel.. could someone please either give me a recommendation for mobo and processor that wil last me a few years allowing for expansion. I'm hoping to build a Home media centre in the coming months and store everything on the WHS so it'll need to cope with streaming etc.

     

    Or are there any threads where I will get this sort of information.

     

    Thanks

    Saturday, December 29, 2007 12:11 PM
  • I think you'll like WHS, but check for driver support before you buy components.

     

    I used a Shuttle XPS (barebones system), which is about 3 years old.   WHS installed without problem, and found drivers for all components straightaway.

     

    However, I'm seeing some network transfer (and maybe disk access) performance problems, so I wanted to update the respective drivers.   The existing drivers are circa 2002, and would be the ones included with Server 2003.

     

    The problem is that it can be difficult to find drivers for Server 2003.   My box certainly wasn't intended to be a server when Shuttle released it, so it's no surprise that SiS doesn't offer a driver update for my chipset.

     

    Also, with any newer coponents, the installation process may not find drivers that match, so you might need to supply a driver.   Do yourself a favour and confirm that driver support is available from the manufacturer (especially chipset) and you'll be in great shape for whatever box you wind up building.

     

    Saturday, December 29, 2007 6:25 PM
  • Following the advice given above and a bit more reading of the forum I've come up with a new possible hardware selection that I think suits my needs and does suit the budget

     

    Asus P5KPL-VM £44

    Intel Pentium Dual Core E2180 2GHz £52

    Kingston 2x 1GB PC2 6400 £36

     

    HDD (make to be decided - possibly samsung as it quiet with low power usuage) 500GB 16MB Cache SATAII

    Processor cooling fan (yet to be decided, needs to be a quiet one.)

     

    So its going to be about £200 for the above plus the cost of the WHS software.

     

    Your thoughts please...

     

    EDIT: Since noitced that motherboard and processor aren't compatible...back to the drawing board!

    Sunday, December 30, 2007 7:27 AM
  • Whatever you decide on, I would build in an allowance for at least two hard drives from the outset. Ideally, three would be even better, that way, WHS won't store any data apart from the operating system, add-ins etc on the boot drive, so all your backups and duplicated files are on the remaining drives.

     

    Colin

     

    Sunday, December 30, 2007 6:30 PM
  • Thanks Colin. I'll look at throwing some extra cash at it to get some more HDD's. Would it be ok to use say an 80GB primary disk for the OS and use 2x 500GB as the backup disks?

     

     

    I'm going to try and seek confirmation about the Intel Dual Core E2180 not being compatible with the motherboard tomorrow. If that is the case I'm considering the chip below (again after confirmation that it is compatible). Anybody have any thoughts on whether this is a good/bad idea or whether it is compatible.

     

    Asus P5KPL-VM

    Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 2.2GHz

     

    Thanks

    Monday, December 31, 2007 4:35 AM
  • The recommendation is to use your largest drive as your system drive, because the system drive is used for more than just the operating system. That only occupies a 20 GB partition; the rest of the space is used by the primary data partition, which is the starting point for the storage pool. Using a small drive (and by the standards of Windows Home Server, 80 GB is very small) for the system drive will hamper normal WHS operations in all sorts of ways.
    Monday, December 31, 2007 12:15 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Ken for your help with that, I'll make sure I'll pu my biggest drive first, It will probably be a 500MB.

     

    Having just spoken to a supplier of the Asus motherboard they have told me the Dual Core E2180 is compatible with that board as it is a 775 socket. So the setup will be

     

    Asus P5KPL-VM

    Intel Pentium Dual Core E2180.

    2GB Kingston Ram. 2x 1GB

    At least 1x 500GB HDD (hopefully 3)

     

    I'm going to order it in the next couple. I expect I'll be back here for more help!

     

    Thanks for the advice and tips.

    Monday, December 31, 2007 1:01 PM
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    I've found the Akasa EvoBlue CPU Cooler to be pretty good.  I have one installed on my WHS system.  It comes with fittings for both Intel & AMD.  It's fan has adjustable speed control & even at full throttle, is fairly quiet.

     

    It's available from PC World for £35

    Wednesday, January 2, 2008 5:53 AM
  • i find that the stock cooler from intel are good.(no overheat and not much noise either.)

     

    keep your money for the hard drives...

    Wednesday, January 2, 2008 1:49 PM
  •  barchstein wrote:
    i find that the stock cooler from intel are good.(no overheat and not much noise either.)

     

    keep your money for the hard drives...

    I have always found the Intel stock collers to be horribly noisy and I replace them with Zalman coolers where I can adjust the fan speed using a variable controller.  But that isn't an issue for my WHS box as it is an older CPU that doesn't have a CPU fan and even if it did it is in a room in the basement where noise is not an issue.
    Wednesday, January 2, 2008 7:48 PM
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    I just signed up for WHS DVD and expect it within a week...this of course after I just spent a week configuring Twonky on Ubuntu but WHS seems to offer additional features.

     

    I want to build my own machine.  I have plenty of experience and I was thinking of going with an older 945g chipset in the form of the Gigabyte GA-945GCM-S2C.

     

    Its cheap and I've used it for plenty of Vista installs flawlessly.  I assume going with older legacy hardware I'll have better chances for compatability.

     

    You can span drives correct?  Do you need a RAID controller to do so?    if you need the RAID controll to span drives then I might have to reconsider the MB choice.  This is more of an experiment for me so data reliability will come later if I decide to continue using it.

     

    I was going to pair that board with 2 gigs of PC5300, one of the new dual core Celerons thats going to go for $53 or so and 2 250 gig Seagate Sata drives.  I have the Sata drives now in RAID0 in my Vista box but the new 7200.11's look good so I was going to switch to those and use the 7200.10's in the WHS server.

     

    I assume this is a fully complaint DNLA server?  It'll talk to a PS3?

     

    Thats a big part of doing this is being able to stream video and pictures to the PS3 plus a central location for our pics/video/music.

     

    I figure going to 1 7200.11 500gig drive will get me the speed of my current RAID 0 and the new server would run me $300 with 2 gigs of ram, my 2 7200.10 drives, the GB board, Coolmaster case w/PS and the new Celeron dual core.

     

    That was my planned box for the Twonky server.   I'm testing it on a 1800+ Athlon XP but planned on doing this Intel box for something more permanent.

     

    Wednesday, January 2, 2008 9:10 PM
  • I just ordered my first WHS server. I picked the MSI G31M2-FD V2, G31, Socket-775, DDR2, 1333FSB, m-ATX, GbLAN, DVI, PCI-Ex16 for 2 reasons: 1) It uses the Intel chipset G31. It seams to be used by some of the commercial HW vendors for WHS. 2) It has a WOL functionality which gives a possibility to put it in standby when it is not in use.

     

    I plan to use an Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 2.33GHz 1333Mhz and 2 pc Western Digital Caviar SE16 500GB SATA2.

     

     


    Friday, January 4, 2008 2:42 PM
  • Here is what I did after upgrading my WHS.  For $500 I did the following:

    4 GB DDR2800 Memory
    2 - Samsung 500GB Hard Drives
    1 - Core 2 Duo E6550 CPU
    ECS P35T (Great Cheap MoBo with new chipset and 6 onboard 3gb SATA Ports)
    1 - Nvidia 8400gs Video
    1 - TrendNet Gigabit Ethernet Card

    I added a few drives that I had on hand and now have a screaming 2TB WHS Server.  You may ask as to why I went with a seperate NIC..I've always felt that the onboard NIC's were not all that feature rich and sometimes utilized the CPU to handle some of the processing.  a good quality dedicated NIC won't do that, and I've had better performance as a result.

    Remember if you want to do streaming, and specifically streaming that may do transcoding you want a fast CPU and a good amount of memory.
    Friday, January 4, 2008 3:09 PM
  • I know that RAM is so cheap that it almost doesn't matter, but does going from 2GB to 4GB really give any performance increase?

    Friday, January 4, 2008 4:23 PM
  • I think it depends on what you are going to do with your server.  If you are just sharing files and using it for backups then the answer is probably NO.

    I'm streaming out audio and video, and sometimes it needs to transcode the video on the fly so then the answer would be YES. (Stream to two TIVO's and one PS3)

    Friday, January 4, 2008 4:29 PM
  • the OP originally posted -->  "I already have a case, a 300W power supply and will temporarily borrow a cd drive from another pc."

     

    Just an FYI -- you will need a DVD drive (not a CD drive) to load the WHS software on the server. it can be internal or external (as long as the BIOS supports bootable DVD external drives).

    Sunday, January 6, 2008 1:41 AM