I have a gaming PC with a Core i5, AMD 7950, and a 1TB HDD and I have 600GB of free space, I game a lot and keep many games on the same HDD.
Many times I want to record gameplay footage however for certain games I can't get a steady FPS while recording, I researched and its because I am recording to the same drive, getting a second drive for recording should fix the problem. However, I also want to make my gaming PC a bit faster, I would want to get an SSD, and for the games I play constantly I will need about a 240GB SSD. The Kingston Hyper X 240GB is $219 (and going up in price almost every 2 days).
Besides getting an SSD I am recently somewhat interested in Servers and learning how to make FTP Servers, and having a network so all of the PCs on the network can connect to a main PC. The thing is my father (I am 16 years old) has his own server already that he lets me use and do a bunch of stuff on except I dont have complete freedom over it (I cant install FTP, most likely I cant make the PC shareable). The other thing is that he set it up and I have no idea how to, getting this server will basically teach me for the future when I am an adult or in college (file sharing will be very useful when im there.) I selected a couple of parts on NewEgg and I built a PC, with tax its $318 and without tax/shipping it is $284. The price for an SSD which is just a drive that holds 240GB is $219 and a complete PC, that holds 500GB is $318, $118 difference, its a lot but its not a lot.
What should I do? Should I just not buy anything and keep my money? If I were to go with the server, is Windows Home Server good? I have been hearing Ubuntu is really good but when I try doing tutorials I often have to use Terminal, I am fine with using the terminal but many times after following the steps completely on tutorials/guides I still run into problems.
An SSD will dramatically reduce your loading times but otherwise wont do much to increase your gaming performance.
Servers are cool and if you want to learn more about them this could be a great opportunity, but it really depends on what you want to get out of the money you're preparing to spend. Unfortunately that is something that only you can decide!
If you go the server route I suggest using either Debian or CentOS and do NOT install the GUI. Both are free, leaner, and more powerful than windows server. Ubuntu is a great place to start but is primarily for running in a desktop environment. Running the server with command line only will make it run faster and force you to learn the ins and outs of Linux (knowledge you will be glad to have).
You should also check with your father and make sure you will be able to forward the required ports if you get a server. It will be useless if he polices your router with an iron fist.
I agree with Crazyg0053. All good advice and a great educational opportunity.
A third option as well is just get another hard drive. Such as a 3 TB Seagate, they are on newegg for about $140. Keep the 1 TB as your main drive and you won't have to reinstall anything. Then move any videos, pictures, music, etc to the 3 TB. That will solve your problem at the cheapest price and is probably the simplest solution. Some people may scoff at the idea of a hard drive over a SSD but keep in mind that in a few years a 3 TB HDD will still be useful, can the same be said for a 240 GB SSD?
You have a few things to think about. Hope this helps, and I wish you luck!
Wow you guys have helped me a lot, the first post mostly but the rest of you guys helped also! The other server my dad has is running off of Windows Server 2008 R2 and its pretty good, I like it, it has a lot of features however I cant afford my own copy of Windows Server 2008 r2 so I will either have to go for Windows Home Server OEM for $50 or Ubuntu Link...I dont really want to just have the Terminal to use although I do understand why you would you want me to do this as many things in linux still use the terminal...and ubuntu has been aggrivating me lately or I am just following the wrong guide.
As for just getting another HDD, I was thinking about this also and space really is my main concern, the PC is fast so extra space can just be handy.
I think I will ask my dad if I can buy a server, I want to buy something and well I have 600GB free on my 1TB, when it goes down to 200GB or if they are really cheap I will buy another HDD. I asked him earlier today and he said no but I didn't tell him I would pay for it and what I would use etc, for some reason he says "Linux is for specific applications" and didn't even believe me when I said you can make a DNS server on linux (it is possible right?). If he says no again I will just go with a 1-3TB HDD.
Main thing, I already have a Server (its not mine but I can almost whatever I want on it), is buying another server a waste of money?
Considering what you could learn I don't think its a "waste" of money. I think the bigger question is what would you be happy with? From what you told us, the mission at hand is to help resolve your performance problem when recording gameplay. Also, you would like to gain some additional storage space. The question I believe you should think about is, would you be happy with building a server right now? How do you want to invest your time and money? Building a server and configuring it can be a big under taking.
I think I would be more happy with getting the server, and I understand what you mean now by how its not a waste of money because I will be learning, thats the something my dad said when he bought his server. I record probably once every blue moon and when I do my HDD usually pulls through such as for Minecraft but even for CoD4 or BO2 I get FPs going up down but I dont find that a big issue.
I think mainly I will be happier with getting a server, I like learning how to set up networking stuff as it will be something vital possibly in my career, I will probably just Linux over Windows since when I am an adult I will probably use Linux to save money rather than windows. I need to lookup more about Windows Home Server though and its capabilities.
The server would be a great educational experience, but probably not that useful in the long run, especially since your dad already has one. I'd like to build and manage a server to learn more about it as well, but it isn't really practical for my uses. I am 14.
On the other hand, an SSD is really nice. I just have a small one (32GB) and it still makes a world of difference. Mine isn't big enough to hold any games, but everything is much snappier and it boots up in less than 10 seconds.
Wait getting the server or getting an SSD rather than a HDD?
Scrap both ideas and just install a secondary drive.
The server wont help you record fraps. Think about it. if you try to record while your playing an internet game you'll have 2 things trying to use your 1 network cable at the same time (kinda of like your harddrive is getting hit now) but your network is probably no where near as fast as a local drive so you will actually lag worse.
Getting an SSD helps boot times but if its not big enough to install a couple of games to then its not alot of help. Does it really matter that you boot up in 10 seconds rather than 25? Beside, do you really want to reinstall all those games, after having to locate and backup all the game saves... probably not. (You do have alot !)
I agree with Popatim. Just roll with a secondary drive. I think a nice 2-3 TB drive is a worthy investment. Sure, if you really want to save money you could roll with a 500 GB to 1 TB hard drive but getting a nice size drive will future proof it so its still very useful a few years down the road. Storage problems never get better. You only find you need to store more data in the future, not less.