~500$ Home File Server

I want to build a 24/7 home server for file storage/downloading. So it needs a low energy consumption. I'd also like a low noise, but not really that important. I prefer an Intel Atom dual core board with 1Tb+ Raid1 (!!!) storage. It also needs wifi. I dont need to buy a new CD drive, ive still got an old IDE-drive left (will safe me one sata connector on the mobo)

Parts needed:

- Midi-Tower case
- (Atom) Motherboard (integrated CPU, raid and wifi)
- 2x 1Tb+ HDD's for Raid1 (File storage) (~$180)
- 1x ~250Gb HDD (OS + Applications)
- OS = Windows Home Server (~130$)

I prefer two 1Tb hard drives in raid1, and one small hard drive for the os + some applications (wont use 50GB+ for applications).

I also need an operating system, and I really dont know wich one to use. It wont be a problem to spend some cash on a user-friendly OS.

I'd like to use pc parts from brands like corsair/intel/zotac/seagate etc. I also want to use a NORMAL psu (so no integrated one). I dont care about the money, as ive got a $500+ budget (might want to add another 100bucks if needed). I just want a stable file server that lasts a few years.
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  1. If you go with Windows Home Server you won't need RAID. The OS has its own software duplication mechanism that allows you to choose which "folders" you would like duplicated.

    Your choice of O/S will dictate some of the parts you choose.

    Also, by mini-ATX do you mean mini-ITX or micro-ATX? If mini-ITX form-factor you're going to be very limited in your choice of server cases. The only ones I know of are these:


    You'll want a mini-ITX board with 4 SATA ports which these days is the Zotac boards. Unfortunately, these aren't really server boards so you get the GeForce 9400M GPU consuming more power than you'd want for graphics you don't need.

    I don't know if these are available anywhere yet but they might be good for a server build and have the next generation Atom and 6xSATA:

    If you can go with a micro-ATX case then the sky is the limit. A lot of micro-ATX or even ATX size tower cases can fit a mini-ITX without issue.

    There is one Atom micro-ATX motherboard that I've found but it only has 3 SATA ports. It has the 945GC GPU sucking power again for graphics you don't need.


    You could add-in a SATA card to get more HDDs but then at that price point you'd be better off with something AMD like a Sempron 140 with a 6xSATA micro-ATX motherboard. Once you go there you still need to find a micro-ATX motherboard that doesn't have an IGP and other parts sucking watts that you don't need for features you aren't using. That's where you have to weigh energy-use vs. up-front cost.

    AMD Sempron 140 Sargas 2.7GHz 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM3 45W Single-Core Processor

    with a motherboard with plenty of SATA ports.

    Possibilities are endless ... you just need to figure out what the priorities are: size, expandibility, power consumption, etc.
  2. Thanks for the reply,
    I'll probably choose for the ms home server for the os.
    Also, i actually only need three sata ports and one ide connector.
    One sata for the OS drive
    Two sata's for the raid-1
    One ide connector for the dvd-drive

    Possibilities are endless ... you just need to figure out what the priorities are: size, expandibility, power consumption, etc.

    Size is uninportant to me. I just put the case somewhere under my office.
    I also don't plan on upgrading this build.
    The power consumption is pretty important to me, as I will let it run 24/7.
    I just want an usefull home server for storaging my files.
    I also prefer a quiet server...

    PS: This is not designed for massive storage, but for back-upping my photo's and office documents. 1Tb would be more then enough (Imagine 1Tb photo's/word documents lol). I will also use it to set up a home network for my printer and for sharing files.
  3. actually, I wouldn't go for a atom based fileserver especialy when the os is windows...
    I would recommend getting a 400w antec psu, at least 4gigs of ram and an athlon II based system, if you can, get a phenom x2 and try to unlock the disabled cores.
  4. HP MediaSmart Server LX195 - $244.95 + 1TB external HDD
  5. Windows Home Server is not compatible with RAID. If you want RAID you need to look at something else like Linux.

    If you do want WHS and something pre-built also worth considering is:

    acer Aspire Easystore H340 Intel Atom 1.6Ghz 2GB 1TB GBLAN 4 Bay Hotswap Windows Home Server
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16859321013 ($390 w/ free shipping)

    The only thing that worries me about these pre-built home servers is that they are headless. The assumption then is nothing will ever go wrong with the NIC and that you'll always be able to access it remotely.

    Here's what's in my WHS low-end build wishlist right now (prices include shipping):

    AMD Sempron 140 Sargas 2.7GHz 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM3 45W Single-Core Processor
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103698 ($33)

    Foxconn A76ML-K AM3 Ready / AM2+ / AM2 AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186166 ($53 after MIR)

    G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231098 ($50)

    Antec NSK 4482B Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 380W Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129072 ($90)

    Western Digital Caviar Green WD15EADS 1.5TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136351 ($110)

    Microsoft Windows Home Server 32 Bit 1 Pack (Power pack 1) - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116550 ($100)

    The Sempron is a low-power CPU that is more than sufficient for Windows Home Server. If you were going to do transcoding while streaming that would be the only reason to get a dual-core CPU in which case something like the Athlon II X2 240e would be the best choice however at 2-3x the $$$. The motherboard is just a highly rated motherboard with 4 SATA ports. It's not server class but good enough for a home server. The case is a terrific case for a file server with room for 5 HDDs, 4 of which are secured with rubber grommets and a terrific energy efficient 80+ 380W PSU. You say you won't need more room but it's good to have the room. I thought that once. Now I am out of room especially once I discovered, hey, I can rip my entire CD and DVD collection here and now it's a giant jukebox! I think the sweet spot for value per GB in energy efficient HDDs right now is the 1.5TB drive.

    Total: $436.
  6. WHS has simulated RAID 1. You have to manually select a checkbox to enable it for the directory that is being backed up. On top of that, it is easy to add drives to the simulated RAID, and does not require re-building.
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