Advice on building a cheap file server

I am planning on building a file server to share files between my 4 computeres at home. I dont want to get a NAS however because I want to be able to upgrade and perhaps run more services at a later date.

What should I look for power wise? Intel P4? Celeron? AMD?

Also, are there any companies out their offering barebones 1,2 or 3U servers?

I am looking to spend between $400-700. I have seen quite a few used servers on ebay, would something like this work? I want to be able to transfer files as quickly as possible over my Gigabit network.

Thanks for your advice...

-Kai
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  1. Quote:
    I am planning on building a file server to share files between my 4 computeres at home. I dont want to get a NAS however because I want to be able to upgrade and perhaps run more services at a later date.

    What should I look for power wise? Intel P4? Celeron? AMD?

    Also, are there any companies out their offering barebones 1,2 or 3U servers?

    I am looking to spend between $400-700. I have seen quite a few used servers on ebay, would something like this work? I want to be able to transfer files as quickly as possible over my Gigabit network.

    Thanks for your advice...

    -Kai


    No matter if you have a gigabit(max 125mb/s) network or just a 100mbit(12.5mb/s) network, the bottleneck will almost always be the network. If you have something around 400mhz with about 128mb ram, you will be fine. There are plenty of old systems on ebay for less than 200 that would be perfect. spend the extra cash on a sata controller card and a high capacity harddrive, and you're laughing!
  2. hes right unless you have many computers simoltaniousley getting files and using your sever at that same time theres no need for high end equiptment.
  3. Quote:
    I am planning on building a file server to share files between my 4 computeres at home. I dont want to get a NAS however because I want to be able to upgrade and perhaps run more services at a later date.

    What should I look for power wise? Intel P4? Celeron? AMD?

    Also, are there any companies out their offering barebones 1,2 or 3U servers?

    I am looking to spend between $400-700. I have seen quite a few used servers on ebay, would something like this work? I want to be able to transfer files as quickly as possible over my Gigabit network.

    Thanks for your advice...

    -Kai


    Cheap is always the most expensive!

    Suggestion " network HDD on cat 5 (6) ".
  4. Alright, well I took the plunge and got a server on ebay for $199.99.

    Here are the specs:

    Dual Pentium III 1.13ghz
    512mb ram
    18gb scsi drive 10,000rpm
    Intel SCB2S Mobo
    2U Case w/6 hard drive bays
    Redundant Powersupply

    And im going to get a SATA controller and throw my 2 160gb maxtor SATA's in there as raid 0 or 1

    So did I make the right choice?
  5. Wow...that's a good price. And yeah, I'd say it'll be just great for a low to medium use file server. :) I'm running a file-server/FTP/HTTP/IRC server system with a Duron 1.8 and 512mb, 40gb system drive and one 200gb storage drive. Works awesome in the same low-medium use range.

    You might want a couple huge capacity HDD's though in raid 1 if you're going to store a lot of important data on it.
  6. Agreed, that's an awesome buy. I'm considering getting a similar machine, and keep my AMD machine for games and stuff I'll be having more time for games over the summer break, no more engineering classes! yes!
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