Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

$200 home file server

  • New Build
  • File Server
  • Systems
  • Product
Last response: in Systems
November 25, 2010 3:54:45 AM

I just need to make sure the parts I've chosen are compatible, or if there's anything I need to know about these. This is my first build, although I have experience installing/upgrading other hardware, I've never replaced a motherboard or processor.

This is replacing a 10 year old machine, which I was using as a file server, whose hard drive has died recently. I need to replace it on a very strict budget. I plan to use it for storing office documents and other smaller files accessible over the net, and possibly web browsing/school work for the children, and will be running Ubuntu 10.

I also want it to be easy to upgrade to an HTPC computer running mythtv when I have more money (upgrade processor, graphics, add tv tuner and dvd burner).

Here goes:

Approximate Purchase Date: This week, or sometime before Christmas

Budget Range: <$250 after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: low-traffic file server for documents at home, occasional web-browsing and openoffice.

Parts Not Required: keyboard, monitor, speakers, OS, optical drive

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:, recommendations welcome

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: unimportant

Additional Comments:

I based the selected components off of this article at, although I had to replace some of the parts that had been discontinued on NewEgg to things that looked similar.

I could possibly reuse my old machine's case (a Dell Dimension 4100, mid-tower, ATX), but the power supply for that was only 200W, and it seemed easier just to spring for a case/psu combo as listed below.


AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor ADX250OCGMBOX - $58.99

Foxconn A74ML-K 3.0 AM3 AMD 740G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - $44.99

Crucial 1GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model CT12864BA1339 (2 @ $17.99) $35.98

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $49.99 (Regular price $69.99)

Rosewill R103A Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with 350W 20+4 pin connector Power Supply - $39.99

Total: $229.94 + Taxes and shipping



Just looking at that PSU/Case, the specs at Newegg don't say anything about a fan. Should I or shouldn't I assume that there is one built into the PSU that they simply forgot to mention?

Alternatively, does anyone have any suggestions for a better PSU for this combination? This is one thing that's giving me trouble as I don't want to get something cheap that's going to die on me, and I want to make sure it has enough power to handle any upgrades I add to this box. If I use my old case, choose a much smaller hard drive and go down to 1GB RAM, I can afford a PSU worth up to $60-70.

More about : 200 home file server

November 28, 2010 6:57:24 PM

Okay, I've made some slight changes to my plan, putting more money into the power supply. I hope I can get some advice soon before all of the sales end.

I'm having difficulty finding professional reviews on power supplies out now that are within my price range. Does anyone know anything about the following PSU's? They seem to be reputable brands, they would replace the Rosewill Case/PSU above. (Or are there good quality PSU's for less expense?) The first two ideas came from another similar budget thread.

SeaSonic SS-300ET Bronze 300W ATX12V V2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - OEM - $39.99

(This is a PSU/Case combo) Antec NSK 4482B Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 380W Power Supply - $59.99 (Regular $99.99)

SeaSonic S12II 430B 430W ATX12V V2.3/EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - $59.99 (Regular $62.99)

SILVERSTONE ST50F-ES 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - $59.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - $69.99 (Regular $104.99 - $35 instant & $30 mail-in rebate)

If I get one of those last four, I will be removing one of the RAM strips, and replacing the hard drive with this:

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3250318AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $34.99

For a total of $226.95 at most expensive.
Related resources

Best solution

November 29, 2010 8:11:03 AM
November 29, 2010 12:41:07 PM

Okay, my hard drive went up in price this morning, so good thing that 500 GB is now cheaper than 250GB :) .

Anyway, I like Firestar's best, with the less expensive X2 CPU instead. This machine is still much better than the one it was replacing (Pentium 3), and I think should be fine for office documents, which is probably the most advanced stuff I'll use it for.

However, I think I'll keep the 1GB Crucial memory, unless there's a good reason to avoid that brand. 1GB is still 4 times the amount of memory I had in the machine it was replacing :) . And at $17.99, well, it brings the price down to $218.95, which looks much better to the wife.

So, here's what I've got:

Antec NSK 4482B Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 380W Power Supply -- $59.99

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

BIOSTAR MCP6P3 AM3 NVIDIA GeForce 6150 / nForce 430 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

AMD Athlon II X2 255 Regor 3.1GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor ADX255OCGMBOX

Crucial 1GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model CT12864BA1339

November 29, 2010 10:36:47 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
thats a decent PSU. for what you are doing though, you might consider this PSU:

Seasonic 300W 80+ Bronze PSU: $39.99

the 80+ Bronze mens its 82% efficent. That'll save on your power bills.

If the dell case takes a standard ATX PSU, that will be fine.

Otherwise, consider this case for $29.99

That PSU seems like a little bit of over kill.

This one should perform just fine if you want to save a few bucks. I know it's Rosewill but it has great reviews.
November 29, 2010 10:41:32 PM

taht PSU would probably run the new file server for another 10 years
November 30, 2010 12:32:35 AM


After having seen anecdotes that the Dell cases tend to be difficult to work with, I decided not to go that route. (That last Rosewill case that ScrewySqrl mentioned was part of a combo, so I couldn't put in my shopping cart.)

The 'crucial' memory went out of stock while I was doing other things, so I replaced it with some Kingston memory for about the same price. In the end, I went with the Antec Case/PSU after all. It's only $1 over budget, but it's one more thing I hopefully won't have to worry about.

I am really kicking myself for not having found time to order all of this this morning before the price went up on that case, would have saved me $40.

Thank all of you for all your help. Hopefully I won't need this forum when I start building the machine.
November 30, 2010 12:37:08 AM

Best answer selected by neilmsheldon.