Cut to the chase: Basically I have a Windows 7 PC and a Macbook Pro. I am a graphic designer and I'd like to be able to work on a PSD on my desktop and then go sit on the couch and open it up on my Macbook and continue my work. When working on a full page Ad I can have my PSD's reach upward of 300MB. Also would like to have a centralized spot for my photo work in lightroom.
I have an old AMD Duron PC that could be used as NAS, all it needs is a hard drive. Would a NAS be the right option? I'm not really sure how the performance would be if I was opening/saving 250MB files on a NAS versus doing it locally. Would using a NAS affect read/write time alot? Am I looking at this the wrong way? I want an efficient workflow.
EDIT: I also have a D-LINK switch laying around if that would be of help
Yes, a NAS is the way to go. BUT everything you are using MUST be gigabit LAN. Not fast ethernet (ie 100mb/s). If your D-link switch is gigabit you're on your way.
Your Duron will probably push FreeNas just fine but you want plenty of RAM if you use ZFS zraid (recommended over other RAID 5 type options). Also, a good gigabit NIC (ie intel pro1000 pcie or, if you must, pci). If you need sata ports you should definitely use a pcie card.
He's writing to the NAS at 85MBytes/s. Faster than most spinning disks can write even locally via SATA. Granted this is a core i3 530 setup and not an AMD duron. You could try freenas on this platform and graid 5 will probably work quite well. There is some file corruption danger with any non zfs file system but you could mitigate that with ecc ram as many amd motherboards support it.
You're more than welcome to check my recent home built NAS thread in this forum too. The title is something like Freenas system that will max gigabit lan. I too bought an i3 530 for this but my system specs are all there.
Don't by a cheap dlink dns232 or similar unless you have read some reviews about the speeds. Sure, they have a gigabit nic but cheap systems never seem to push more than 20Mbytes/sec and rarely even that. It's enough that you would notice it. 250Mbyte files are not that big a deal but anything over a gigabyte will have you making numerous trips to the fridge while you wait.