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Thread: Buuilding a home server

  1. #1
    handscombmp
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    Buuilding a home server

    Hiya guy & gals,

    I haven't posted on here for ages but I need some help in chosing what hardware & software for a home server and I alway got lots of help from here before.

    Ideally I want it to be as quite a possible and as compact as possible (I will probably only need around 4 drives max installed)
    Now from what I can see an AMD processor would be the best but as I've said I've been out the loop so have no idea on which one i should be going for or what chipset.

    Then we come down to the issue of what software i should be using. Last time I looked into these things FreeNAS was what everyone was going for but I'm quite keen to for Ubuntu because of the extra features you can add on. When all I'm going to use my home server for is creating network shares to allow windows PC's to backup to and allow HTPC's to access and possibly stream video to an Xbox (would need to trans-code it as all my video is in MKV). Which makes me think is Ubuntu over kill possibly?
    And then what software will I use to backup the windows pc's. Ideally I'd like something that performs similarly to OS X's time machine. I've looked into the options and there seems to be so many I'm completely stumped on which one is best.

    so guy's please help spec me a homeserver.

    Thanks
    Handscombmp

  2. #2
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    Re: Buuilding a home server

    An A4 3300 has lower idle and lower load power consumption than an Athlon II X2:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5005/h...buyers-guide/2

    The Celeron G530 is a good alternative which is cheaper,however,you pay more for equivalently specified Intel motherboards.

    However,the level of transcoding is the main issue IMHO. If it is HD material,you might need a Core i3 or A6 CPU,although I cannot be certain.

  3. #3
    handscombmp
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    Re: Buuilding a home server

    If needs be the transcoding for video can be dropped. It's not a high priority. Would just be nice to have

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    Re: Buuilding a home server

    One of the following setups should do the job.

    AMD

    AMD Llano A4 3400

    http://www.ebuyer.com/282388-amd-lla...-ad3400ojgxbox

    MSI A75MA-P35

    http://www.ebuyer.com/320147-msi-a75...l-hd-a75ma-p35

    Intel

    Celeron Dual Core G530

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel...che-65w-retail

    MSI B75MA-P45

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel...che-65w-retail

    Both setups have six SATA ports. If you are running an HTPC,the AMD IGP is better,but from your purposes,it does not seem the case,and the G530 is a faster CPU which should be more useful.

    If you want something faster for encoding then the A6 3650 would be a good choice for the AMD setup:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/AMD-A6-3650-...0138301&sr=8-1

    It is very good value for money,and the IGP might be useful for things like HandBrake when the OpenCL is released.

    However,I would check out the drivers for the Llano IGP are ATM. AFAIK,AMD drivers under Linux have improved.

  5. #5
    jim
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    Re: Buuilding a home server

    Have you considered the HP Microservers that loads of us are running? Approx £130 for a 4-bay server, only a little dual core so transcoding is out of the question for big MKVs but you could still convert in advance.

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    Re: Buuilding a home server

    If you want small and you're considering something like the Celeron G530, you could do worse than this MSI s1155 MITX motherboard from ebuyer, only £42 at the minute. Only has 4 SATA, but does have a PCIe x1 slot so you could add a second SATA/RAID card if you needed more ports...

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    Re: Buuilding a home server

    If you need a compact server case, look at the fractal array r2, I think it supports itx, has space for 4-6 drives, dual slot pci, and a 300-350w psu, I personally like it cause its puny and looks really sleek.

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    Re: Buuilding a home server

    I'd side with Snooty on this one Hands, £230 gets you a HP Proliant Microserver, £110 cashback from HP. Ends up working out at around £120 inc delivery within the UK, for a 4 bay server with a 250GB drive installed. Linux or FreeNas and you are up and running. (using server 2008 myself, no idea how to use it and its obviously overkill, but its study related).

    Not sure if you are in the UK tho, for some reason i'm thinking states, might be similar deals available tho.

    edit : place i got it from within Amazon Marketplace appears to be out of stock atm, this link might help

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/HP-ProLiant-...0177910&sr=8-2
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  9. #9
    handscombmp
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    Re: Buuilding a home server

    Thanks for the respsones.

    The HP Microserver looks very tempting and seems to be a bargin at only £120 with cashback!

    Think i'm going to do some more reasearch on it but on the face it seem to suit my needs and has a bit of upgradbility.

  10. #10
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    Re: Buuilding a home server

    Got one of the older HP Microservers here and it does everything I need - from client pc backups through to file serving - can max out the GbE adaptor pretty much. Mine does have 8gb of RAM - but that is cheap enough - circa £35

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    Re: Buuilding a home server

    uses PC ram too, nice n cheap
    We're only here for the Banter - The Luvvies - Chewin' The Fat

    Violence and Lubrication is the solution to fixing everything, if it still doesn't work, you need more lubrication.

    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_gav View Post
    How do you change the height of them?

    I've just had a quick fiddle with the knob at the front :\

  12. #12
    handscombmp
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    Re: Buuilding a home server

    Quick question I have regarding the HP server is does it accept 3TB hard drives (i wouldn't be using one as a boot drive as I know all sorts of difficulties would come into play then).

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    Re: Buuilding a home server

    cant find anything that says it wont mate, i'll keep looking tho
    We're only here for the Banter - The Luvvies - Chewin' The Fat

    Violence and Lubrication is the solution to fixing everything, if it still doesn't work, you need more lubrication.

    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_gav View Post
    How do you change the height of them?

    I've just had a quick fiddle with the knob at the front :\

  14. #14
    jim
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    Re: Buuilding a home server

    Loads of examples of people on the web saying they've used 3TB drives, can't see why not. Only HP thing I know of that doesn't like them is the B110i RAID card.

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    Re: Buuilding a home server

    I have the first gen HP Microserver and it's fantastic. Small, inconspicuous and just does the job.
    When you say 4x HDDs would be enough, that's good (HP has 4 drives which ARE hot-swappable if you set it up correctly).

    I started with WHS v1 which I loved, particularly with the drive expander, but as I was doing a lot of DCP cinema work, the onboard AMD controller was a bit slow. Also, basedon WS2003, you're limited to 2TB drives, although the hardware supports 3TB as previously suggested.

    I've now upgraded to WHS v2 (based on 2008 R2) and whilst it's nice to have 3TB support, MS dropped the drive expander feature so you lose any built-in redundancy capability.

    As a result, I upgraded and added a p410i smart array controller to the 16x PCIe slot and it conveniently uses the same mini-SAS connector so I just plugged in the existing 4 drive bay cable into that. Now running hardware RAID 5 with 4x 2TB drives, with the ability to live expand if I wanted to add more drives (would put them above where there's a space for the optical drive).

    Just one issue with the hardware: the onboard HP GbE is pants, and despite driver upgrades and firmware upgrades, it does crash if you do some seriously heavy file transfers over it. Now this might only be the case if you're using a Windows-based OS - if going down the linux route, you might be ok (do some more reading).

    In the end, I just bought an Intel Pro1000 CT desktop adaptor and installed it in the PCIe 1x lane, next to the RAID controller. It supports jumbo frames too, and since disabling the onboard LAN and moving over to that, I've not had any problems at all.

    With 2x 2TB drives installed, it idles ar around 30W power which is pretty good. It's probably around 45W now with the extra drives, 410i RAID controller and intel NIC.

    I also use "Lights Out" as a power saving plugin which I've set up to monitor for devices which require the NAS. If no one requires it, it will automatically shut down.

    Anyway, I'll stop blabbing on now, but if you want any more info on using the box with WHS, let me know.
    Last edited by tfboy; 07-07-2012 at 10:12 AM.

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    Re: Buuilding a home server

    looks like price dropped a bit too

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/HP-ProLiant-...1703776&sr=8-2
    We're only here for the Banter - The Luvvies - Chewin' The Fat

    Violence and Lubrication is the solution to fixing everything, if it still doesn't work, you need more lubrication.

    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_gav View Post
    How do you change the height of them?

    I've just had a quick fiddle with the knob at the front :\

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