File Server

Hey guys, I was just wondering if anyone has their own file server or HTPC. I'm in the process of putting a budget one together.

All I plan to use it for is mostly for backing up my media. I'll probably have A LOT of pictures in the future as I'm starting to shoot RAW. I don't really need HD streaming or any sort of transcoding/encoding.

I'll also need it to download torrents. Which is one of the questions I have, how does downloading torrents on the machine actually work? Will I have utorrent on my desktop and just save the file into a folder in the server? Or is there a special web interface I use to tell it to download the file?

I only plan on having a monitor hooked up to it when I configure everything, after that it'll just be sitting in the corner of my room.

Which OS is better if I plan on using it for what I've stated? Would Windows Server 2008 be alright? Or is a Linux distro a lot better?

I'll be building the server around a AMD Sempron LE-1200 that I got a while back, maybe a year or so ago. Would it still be viable to use this as the CPU or should I get an AM3 processor with an AM3 mobo and DDR3 ram?

I know I can build an AM2 system for < $100 which is perfect because I plan on spending the most money on the hard drives. Looking at getting around 3-4TB for now, 1 TB + 2x 2TB. And maybe just 1-2GB of ram. This would suffice for what I need right? Or is it a bit too little?

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  1. Firstly you don't need Windows server at all for this. Any version of windows can be a file server. Xp home, xp Pro, vista 7. All versions of windows have files server cababilities. If you buy server you need to buy special CAL licenses for every computer that connect to the server. EVEN if it just for file sharing. A linux distro will work just aswell too. But if you not familiar with them just stick with windows. If you do windows XP do XP pro. It allows up to 10 connected computers at the same time while XP home is only 5. Best suggestion is put on the same os all your computers are running. AKA if all machines in the house are windows 7 put on windows 7. It will simplfy troubleshooting and setup by a large degree.

    As for the system performance many ATOM computers work perfect as files servers with no impact on performance in a house environment. So no worries whatever you choose will be enough power as long as you have a GIGABYTE ethernet connection. Otherwise your transfers will be very slow and frustrating. Thats assuming you have a gigabyte router and gigabite card on you computer. If your going wireless be aware that wireless N averages about 3-5 megaBYTES per second where ethernet averages 40-80. Wired is the best connection you can do if it's possible in your situation.

    I run a file server over WIFI N and it works to steam bluray movies i do get impatient when moving file to it.

    Also a simple way to control the file sever without using a monitor is to us a remote desktop aplication. Windows has one built in or you could use VNC which is free also.

    As for the torrents yes you computer downloads it and as it does it will pass it to the server. This is a bad setup. As you are downloading the file over your network and then passing it back across your network. This can have some performance issues. I suggest using the File server itself to download the torrents. Use the a remote desktop program to control the File server from your own computer and have it download the torrents directly to itself.

    Does that help at all?
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