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Best way to add storage to old desktop media server

Hey Everyone,

I have read a bunch of articles on here about building a home media server and setting everything up, however I have one problem. I'm broke and don't want to spend a ton just to stream some movies/music to my SmartTv/PS3. I have an old dell dimension desktop my folks gave me and I think it will be fine to use, however its an old IDE/PATA system and the storage is only 40gb. It has a P4 2.4 processor w/ 750 mb ram and streaming via wire ethernet. I was wondering what is the easiest way to add more storage and still be able to stream on this old device with no hickups or lagging. I am looking at options of:
External portable HDD USB 2.0, however I worried streaming off this may cause some lag. ($60)
Get a IDE/PATA 250gb hdd ($30 on craigslist) and run it as a slave drive with my current 40gb hdd.
Get a SATA drive and a SATA PC Card. (HDD on CL $40 and $20 sata card).

What do you think would run best and would any of these have a problem streaming to a ps3/smarttv via Ethernet. (I have streamed a .mp4 and worked fine but worried about MKV, no transcoding required).
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about add storage desktop media server
  1. The best advice I can give you is: Don't buy used computer gear, especially HDDs.
  2. ram1009 said:
    The best advice I can give you is: Don't buy used computer gear, especially HDDs.


    So you would recommend getting the external drive? Do you think it would cause lag streaming A movie from an external hdd, through usb, through ethernet to the end product given the computers specifications?
  3. Best answer
    sigmabond said:
    ram1009 said:
    The best advice I can give you is: Don't buy used computer gear, especially HDDs.


    So you would recommend getting the external drive? Do you think it would cause lag streaming A movie from an external hdd, through usb, through ethernet to the end product given the computers specifications?


    I have streamed 1080p movies from an external (USB 2) HDD (green WD) to a remote computer over a wired connection for several years. I don't recommend wireless for this. I use a WD Live Hub as the streaming device because it supports the most formats. I would consider adding some RAM if I were you. NOT USED RAM!
  4. ram1009 said:
    sigmabond said:
    ram1009 said:
    The best advice I can give you is: Don't buy used computer gear, especially HDDs.


    So you would recommend getting the external drive? Do you think it would cause lag streaming A movie from an external hdd, through usb, through ethernet to the end product given the computers specifications?


    I have streamed 1080p movies from an external (USB 2) HDD (green WD) to a remote computer over a wired connection for several years. I don't recommend wireless for this. I use a WD Live Hub as the streaming device because it supports the most formats. I would consider adding some RAM if I were you. NOT USED RAM!


    Decided to scrap the desktop idea and just invest money in a WD mybook live and not worry about any of it.
  5. sigmabond said:
    ram1009 said:
    sigmabond said:
    ram1009 said:
    The best advice I can give you is: Don't buy used computer gear, especially HDDs.


    So you would recommend getting the external drive? Do you think it would cause lag streaming A movie from an external hdd, through usb, through ethernet to the end product given the computers specifications?


    I have streamed 1080p movies from an external (USB 2) HDD (green WD) to a remote computer over a wired connection for several years. I don't recommend wireless for this. I use a WD Live Hub as the streaming device because it supports the most formats. I would consider adding some RAM if I were you. NOT USED RAM!


    Decided to scrap the desktop idea and just invest money in a WD mybook live and not worry about any of it.


    I can vouch for the WD, It's what I use also. Please pick a best answer. Thanks.
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