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Home Server Build Questions

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June 5, 2014 1:11:04 AM

I am looking to build a home server to replace my current Western Digital My Cloud. I have been looking into Amahi for the OS but i'm not sure about the components. I have some picked out but i think it may be overkill for my purpose. Here is what i have so far:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/hmwtQ7
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/hmwtQ7/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/hmwtQ7/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (Purchased For $0.00)
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS8900 Quiet CPU Cooler ($31.00 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($107.12 @ Amazon)
Memory: A-Data XPG V1.0 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($68.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Red 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Red 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Rosewill FBM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($29.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($39.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $457.07
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-06-05 04:01 EDT-0400)

The purpose of this server will be as followed:

1. Serve media to my TV in my living room using plex.
2. Backup 2 windows based pc's using crashplan or something similar.
3. Backup 2 apple macbook's using timemachine.
4. Torrent and file storage thats accessible for any pc or mac in the house (NAS?).

So my questions are: 1. are the components i have picked out complete overkill? and 2. is Amahi and good choice for what i want to do with my server? I am open to any suggestions on any part of this so please don't hold back. IF you need me to provide you with more information i would be more than happy to do so. Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to help me out.
June 5, 2014 1:47:44 AM

This is basically a file server- although some of the files will be media.

The i5 CPU is overkill in my opinion. Something much more basic, with much lower power consumption, might do the job just fine- although I am not familiar with Amahi, maybe it has insane requirements. But for Ubuntu - which is what I'd use - the Asrock AD2550R motherboard which comes with the Atom D2250 CPU for $150 seems more than adequate.

The benchmarks you supplied are relevant to a desktop machine. A server needs to be judged by other criteria, and as disk IOPS.

I'm not sure how well those 5400 RPM drives will do as a video server. I'd want to test one to see if it could stream HD video.

For a file server, I always use mirrored drives. I assume that's what you want to do with those two 2 TB drives.

If this were some kind of database server- Oracle, MySQL or Microsoft SQL- you'd want a different CPU than the Atom D2250- something with more cores, higher speed and especially one with a bigger cache, and lots more RAM.

But the job of a file server is a pretty light load for a CPU.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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June 5, 2014 2:25:07 AM

Your basically doing what I have setup and can deliver multiple HD streams, to give you a guide here is my server.

Server 2012 R2 ( Win7 Pro/Ultimate/Win8 or Server 2008 R2 just as good)
Generic Gigabayte AMD Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X4 840 @ 3.2Ghz
8GB DDR3-1333
120GB SSD for OS and Apps of AMD SATA3
4x500GB WD Blue in Raid-10 Of AMD SATA3
2x1TB Samsung F1 in Raid-1 Of Marvel SATA3
ATI 5450 1GB DDR3
500w OCZ ModXStream PSU
Q-Bitorrent (uTorrnet crashes under server 2012)

All apps installed on SSD, shared folders for user to backups, Q-Bittorent download folder and moves on RAID-10, TV Series/Movies on Raid-1.

Try and stick to MP4 moves as they are smaller in size and quality just as good as any MKV.

All would say is get the biggest drives you can for your budget, I recommended the latest WD purple 7200rpm 24/7 range over the greens and reds.

Notice no optical, as I install from USB or external HDD :D 
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June 5, 2014 11:45:33 AM

das_stig said:
Your basically doing what I have setup and can deliver multiple HD streams, to give you a guide here is my server.

Server 2012 R2 ( Win7 Pro/Ultimate/Win8 or Server 2008 R2 just as good)
Generic Gigabayte AMD Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X4 840 @ 3.2Ghz
8GB DDR3-1333
120GB SSD for OS and Apps of AMD SATA3
4x500GB WD Blue in Raid-10 Of AMD SATA3
2x1TB Samsung F1 in Raid-1 Of Marvel SATA3
ATI 5450 1GB DDR3
500w OCZ ModXStream PSU
Q-Bitorrent (uTorrnet crashes under server 2012)

All apps installed on SSD, shared folders for user to backups, Q-Bittorent download folder and moves on RAID-10, TV Series/Movies on Raid-1.

Try and stick to MP4 moves as they are smaller in size and quality just as good as any MKV.

All would say is get the biggest drives you can for your budget, I recommended the latest WD purple 7200rpm 24/7 range over the greens and reds.

Notice no optical, as I install from USB or external HDD :D 


I didn't even consider windows home server since i figured i couldn't back up my mac's with it. If i can though that might be something i will have to look into. Does the SSD really make that big of a difference in a situation like this? I was looking into throwing a 120gb Samsung evo into the mix but decided against it since i didn't think i would gain much from it. But i will look into the drives you mentioned. I have never heard of WD purple drives before. I was going to go for some WD blacks but they are kind of expensive for the 2 & 3tb models. Thanks for your input.
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June 5, 2014 11:52:59 AM

milosz said:
This is basically a file server- although some of the files will be media.

The i5 CPU is overkill in my opinion. Something much more basic, with much lower power consumption, might do the job just fine- although I am not familiar with Amahi, maybe it has insane requirements. But for Ubuntu - which is what I'd use - the Asrock AD2550R motherboard which comes with the Atom D2250 CPU for $150 seems more than adequate.

The benchmarks you supplied are relevant to a desktop machine. A server needs to be judged by other criteria, and as disk IOPS.

I'm not sure how well those 5400 RPM drives will do as a video server. I'd want to test one to see if it could stream HD video.

For a file server, I always use mirrored drives. I assume that's what you want to do with those two 2 TB drives.

If this were some kind of database server- Oracle, MySQL or Microsoft SQL- you'd want a different CPU than the Atom D2250- something with more cores, higher speed and especially one with a bigger cache, and lots more RAM.

But the job of a file server is a pretty light load for a CPU.

Just my 2 cents worth.


A lot of the builds i have seen for Amahi have used atom CPU's, but with my experience with them in the past (netbooks) i try to stay as far away from them as i can. Now i will say that the new atoms that came out a while back are a huge improvement over the older ones. But i will still probably just go with the core i5 since i just have it laying around. I might see how much they are going for and see it i can sell it and buy something cheaper and maybe put the rest of the money towards drives. I originally had a AMD A-8 5600K and a cheap MSI motherboard picked out, so i may go back to that and see if it will be any cheaper. Thanks.
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