Dirt-Cheap Server?

I want to build a server with the cheapest parts available (preferably under $300 USD) and also be energy efficient. This server will only be doing file transfers (usually Word documents, possibly pictures?) and may be on 24/7. I plan on using either FreeNAS or Windows XP Professional's built-in FTP software.

I've looked into Intel Atom and AMD Sempron. Currently Newegg is selling a very cheap Lenovo nettop that includes an Atom D410. I can also build an AMD Sempron 140 system around the same price. Does anyone have experience with either of these CPUs?
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  1. You don't say if your $300 includes HDDs and what capacity you need.

    I think this combo would make a very good server:

    It has a server pedestal chassis, server-class dual-core Atom mobo, a boot drive and 2GB ram.

    $258.99 AR

    Add in a couple of these for $95 ea/ with coupon code:

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 2TB 5400 RPM

    Pretty amazing for the price.
  2. Oh right, HDD is included. I don't need a very big drive. I'll probably only use a 160GB model at best since people would only transfer Word documents and other similarly small files on it.

    Thanks for mentioning the great deal Dougie Fresh!
  3. Since it doesn't seem you have a lot of heavy requirements a cheap single core nettop should work for you. They are very power efficient too for always on. If you run out of internal hard drive space you can either swap out the internal for a bigger one or add an external usb hard drive.
  4. $258.99 AR today.

    That deal comes with a 1TB HDD so you should be good to go. The best parts about that deal is it's server-class parts (Supermicro is very good - read the reviews), low power (80+ PSU and dual-core atom) and the mobo has 6 SATA ports while the chassis also has room for 6 3.5" HDDs (4 in 3.5" bays, 2 in a 5.25" bay with an adapter).

    Even if you go smaller you're not going to get cheaper.

    Unless .... (see below)
  5. Given those requirements, you can go even cheaper believe it or not. I however cannot vouch for the quality of the barebone though it gets good ratings. YMMV. I think there's even a 2nd 3.5" bay in the system should you need more disk in the future.

    Foxconn R10-D1 Intel Atom D410 Intel NM10 Intel GMA 3150 Barebone

    Crucial 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) CT2KIT12864AA800
    $39.99 (same prices as 1GB so might as well)

    Western Digital Caviar Green WD5000AADS 500GB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" HDD
    $38.99 w/ coupon code (same price as 160GB HDD so might as well)

    Total: $178.97 w/o tax & shipping

    If you need a optical drive:

    LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner SATA Model iHAS124-04

    Total: $195.96 w/o tax & shipping

    If you want the D510 dual-core version it's $30 more.
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