New Home File Server Build

Hey guys,

I had previously inquired about a HTPC setup with the Moneual Moncase 312, but I think it's more sensible right now to just build the file server first, as I'll only be moving into my eventual home in a year or so. So, here goes :

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP. Leaving for holidays now, but will be looking to purchase as SOON as I get back (4 Jan 11).

BUDGET RANGE: No more than 1000$ if possible, but this is somewhat flexible if need be.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: First, acting as a 24/7 file server. Second, ripping Blu-Rays and DVDs to MKVs. Finally, playing back all those MKVs (including, of couse, 1080p ones) on our 1080p TV, which I'll be using as a monitor for the time being, using IGP. So, thinking right now of something like the 785G chipset, because HD4200 is fine for 1080p playback and I don't really care about HD Audio pass-through - or lack thereof -, cuz as long as I can get standard Digital/DTS, I'm happy (heck - this will mostly be played through a 2.1 system for the year it will be used as a HTPC in addition to its primary file server duty). Fourth - I haven't dabbled in this yet, but I would like to eventually use this computer as a TV/PVR backend. My ultimate vision for this PC is for it to serve as my all-encompassing back end - storing all my media (which will be streamed everywhere using XMBC nettops and/or media players), and functioning as a PVR backend using whichever program.

REUSING PARTS: Not really. I do have an old full-size case, but I think it only has 3 3.5 bays, and 3 5.25. I think I could do better.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Nil, really....

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) / SHOP FOR PARTS: Newegg.ca or NCIX.com. Memoryexpress.com are also quite good. Anything that ships to Canada with good prices, I guess.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada

PARTS PREFERENCES: I'm usually more of an AMD fanboy, and I think they would be better suited for this build due to their lower price (for the low capability I need). However, again, if an Intel rig can be drummed up for a decent price, I sure don't mind. I was thinking something like a 785G chipset, a Regor CPU and 2/4 G of RAM. I was also thinking 4-5 2 TB drives, and another one (320G?) for the system with required applications. One more thing : will be requiring wireless, so either a mobo with built-in or an adapter will be required (want internal if adapter).

Case: No size restriction, and no cosmetic preference - form over function. The thing will be hidden for most of its life (except its first year). I'm looking for something that holds a LOT of drives, but looking for something in the range of 60-80$.

OVERCLOCKING: Very likely not.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Nope.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 (HDTV).

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: No big preferences for anything else. So, looking for recommendations for a build for a home file server. Certainly up for using combo deals and such. Would prefer using Windows 7 (have thought of Linux, but I'm not familiar with it and honestly, I'm not too keen on spending the time required to learn it right now - maybe later...?). Also looking for a good long-range wireless mouse and keyboard combo (the last one I bought was BARELY good for 6'). Will also need a Blu-Ray drive (have had good luck with the low-priced Lite-On models before).

Looking forward to your recomendations! Happy Holidays everyone!
9 answers Last reply
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  1. Nothing? Nobody? I'd like opinions please, as I'd like to order this ASAP (as in, maybe even tomorrow 5 Jan).

    At least, please give me suggestions for a case and memory to match the motherboard. Here's what I had in mind so far :

    Mobo : http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813153155

    PS : Well, I had this one selected, based on a previous recommendation for a file server, but it now looks like it's discontinued...any suggestions?
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151058

    CPU : AMD Athlon II X2 245 Regor

    Mem : Would this work? http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134788

    Five of these guys : http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152245

    Mouse/keyboard combo...emphasis is LONG RANGE :
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823201035

    That's about it, please comment liberally! =)
  2. ^ Some suggestions -
    Mobo - This has better onboard and is cheaper
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138283
    Also has a combo with the CPU
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.581126
    Maybe X3 ?
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.581135

    RAM - Yes it would work, but you will be limited to only 2GB as the mobo has just 2 RAM slots,...

    PSU -
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151086
    If you might add low powered discrete graphic card
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151077

    KB + Mouse - I would prefer Logitech over Rosewill,...
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823126188
  3. Beauty. I always figured 2 Gig RAM would be enough for my purposes - thoughts? If not, I suppose I can just get a 2X2Gb kit of the same brand and speed...

    One more thing : Case! Suggestions for a file server?
  4. ^ 2GB would suffice for now,
    If I had the option to upgrade without having to replace the existing RAM, I would have suggested it, but the mobo is limited to 2 RAM slots, so better to get a single 2GB stick now so you can add 2GB more later on if you want to or go 4GB
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231396

    CASE -
    Maybe this ? Has 6 drive bays, doesnt cost much and is good quality,...
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119203
  5. My brother is using VLC from a laptop to his HTPC instead of using wireless keyboard/mouse. This can work if the laptop is always hanging around.
  6. I'm only aware of VLC as a media player - what is this VLC you're talking about?
  7. OK, just about to order here. Pretty much what we have up there (the Regor instead of the X3, for power consumption), except with a Gigabyte case with 6 internal bays (thanks for the suggestion, but couldn't stand the look of the CoolerMaster one...=)))

    A couple of last questions :

    I will need sata data and power cables for all my drives, right?
    Also, how do I tell the system which drive is which? I'm tempted to get a smaller drive for system/apps, and keep all give 2Tb ones for the media. How would I tell my board the small drive is C? (Sorry, never built a system with more than one initial drive...=))))
    Do I need thermal paste?

    Final big one : doesn't that board only have 4 SATA ports? I'm planning on running up to 6 drives, plus the optical one...isn't that not enough?

    Thanks!
  8. Damn, had to pull the plug on the whole thing because of the SATA deal. I need 7 SATA ports (5 drives, 1 system drive, 1 optical drive). So, that pretty much seems to limit me to AMD boards without integrated graphics, or Intel boards.

    I was thinking the Gigabyte GA-H55-USB3 along with a i3-530. I think that would work. Problem is, I keep reading that it's much better if my PSU has the ATX 4X2 power connector, and I don't know how to ensure that is true. Advice?
  9. Sorry wrong acronym, I meant to write VNC, i.e. remote control of another system.
    Good luck!
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