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Thread: mini ITX media server

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    mini ITX media server

    Looking to build a mini ITX based media server, but come to one slight hitch. Expansion As far as hdds go. I am getting a separate caddy to contain the drives, thats no problem. There are only 2 sata ports on the mobo (looking at an atom dual core job) and a single pci slot. i will need at least 4 sata ports as i have a sata hdd and sata dvd rw drive to put in it to run the OS. Most pci RAID cards (from my experience) have been pretty bad performance wise (pci bus bandwidth limitation?) my budget is around £300 for the complete system and most mini itx mobos seem to be around the £200 mark without cpu or case. The atom board is £75 on ebay. Any suggestions on what to get? thanks in advance

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    Re: mini ITX media server

    you can get sata to USB caddys and all so these work with CD roms / DVD roms and Hdds ..

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    Re: mini ITX media server

    is the usb bandwidth going to be enough for several people to have access at once?

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    Re: mini ITX media server

    Quote Originally Posted by strike-down View Post
    Most pci RAID cards (from my experience) have been pretty bad performance wise (pci bus bandwidth limitation?)
    What kind of PCI RAID cards have you used? Cheap ones are nothing more than drive controller that identifies itself as a RAID adapter. The windows drivers then do all the RAID work. Historically these have been really bad, but modern implimentations aren't that bad, especially with the speed of PCs now. Proper hardware RAID cards, the ones that are a couple of hundred quid and up, are very fast and very reliable.

    What are you doing for an OS?

    I'd be tempted to stick a SATA controller in there and then use FreeNAS or a similar linux distro to act as the server. Should be able to handle home use without any problems.

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    Re: mini ITX media server

    i was looking at sticking xp on there as i have no knowledge of linux what so ever. Are there any tutorials that would get me up and running with that? and admittedly they have been cheap raid controllers (via VT6421 being one of them). The atom has the performance to cope with these cards, but does the pci bus have enough bandwidth for sata drives to get their full potential? I dont know whether its just me, but it always seems restricted when compared to a pcie x1 controller.

    just thought i would add, i have four 500gb drives that i have from old builds that im intending to use on the controller card
    Last edited by strike-down; 18-10-2008 at 11:42 PM.

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    Re: mini ITX media server

    AMD Board (nVidea 8200 chipset) 4 SATA ports, £85 http://linitx.com/viewproduct.php?prodid=12081 you will obviously need a CPU one of the AM2 duel core 45W ones make most sense.

    Or from Mini-ITX.com same board for £75 http://www.mini-itx.com/store/?c=34#jnc62k

    EDIT: Here is a review of the board, http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/200...200-mini-itx/1

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    Re: mini ITX media server

    Thanks alot
    I think I probably will go with the amd board. I didnt realise the athlons were that cheap now Just one other question, does anyone know if those CF SSD adapters are worth getting or not? Coz ive heard mixed things about them. I might use one as the OS drive. Thoughts anyone?

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    Re: mini ITX media server

    as long as you get the correct CF card.
    □ΞVΞ□

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    Re: mini ITX media server

    I built something similar:

    Link

    First build (check page 1 of link) used an Intel D201GLY2, second version (above link) used the Intel G945GCLF (single core Atom board).

    Also, instead of using a PCI SATA card, consider a SATA port multiplier or external eSATA caddy with a RAID function.

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    Re: mini ITX media server

    SATA port multiplier? For my shame, I'd never heard of one of those - now that's cool.

    Could you recommend one available in the UK?

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    Re: mini ITX media server

    I know of one UK etailer Span.com who stocks SATA port multipliers, I'm sure there are loads more though.

    Span sells an expansion slot mounted and SCSI LD Cent slot mounted 5 port SATA multiplier (non-raid).
    Last edited by DDY; 21-10-2008 at 01:02 PM. Reason: Added links

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    Re: mini ITX media server

    Quote Originally Posted by DDY View Post
    I know of one UK etailer Span.com who stocks SATA port multipliers, I'm sure there are loads more though.
    Looks like Span are the best bet, but there are others:

    http://www.google.co.uk/products?cli...=1&sa=N&tab=wf

    Although i strike-down is really worried about drive bandwith, perhaps splitting a single SATA port isn't the best option.

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    Re: mini ITX media server

    Agreed for bandwidth it's not great, but for a media server running over a 100Mb link I should imagine the disk won't be the weakest link...

    Thanks for those, that has solved the problem I was having doing just the same thing as the OP

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    Re: mini ITX media server

    No, im running it over dual gigabit ethernet . . and its gotta be able to deal with up to 7 clients at once. Also I think im going to set it up to backup the clients on the network, so bandwidth is more of an issue than usual. (perhaps im being a bit over pedantic, but thts me XD).

    As far as specs go then this is probs wt im going with:
    Jetway JNC62K AM2+ GeForce 8200 mobo
    Athlon X2 4850e
    2GB Corsair DDR2 PC2-6400
    IDE cf adapter with 16gb sandisk ultraII cf card for OS
    IDE Samsung dvd rw
    XP pro
    Addonics Mini storage tower (multilane sata)
    4x Samsung spinpoint 500gb
    case would help Venus 669

    anything i should change about it before ordering? (already have the samsung hdds, dvdrw and RAM)
    Last edited by strike-down; 21-10-2008 at 06:51 PM.

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    Re: mini ITX media server

    Only thing I can think of is don't forget it only has 1 ram slot so that stick better be 2GB

    How much you paying for the Sandisk Ultra II it is only a 100x card so will be quite slow 15MB/s you might be better off getting a cheap IDE 2.5" hard drive you could have 120GB for less than £40

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    Re: mini ITX media server

    i dont know about cf at all really XD hence me asking earlier in the thread, but yeah probs be a good idea to then. Ive got a couple of 80gb ide drives lying around somewhere . . . in one of 500 or so identical cardboard boxes in the loft. Now why didnt I label any of them??

    and yeh it is the 2gb stick
    Last edited by strike-down; 21-10-2008 at 07:23 PM.

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