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New Home File Server Build

Last response: in Systems
December 25, 2010 6:09:02 PM

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: or are also quite good. Anything that ships to Canada with good prices, I guess.


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.



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!

More about : home file server build

January 5, 2011 2:40:11 AM

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 :

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?

CPU : AMD Athlon II X2 245 Regor

Mem : Would this work?

Five of these guys :

Mouse/keyboard combo...emphasis is LONG RANGE :

That's about it, please comment liberally! =)
January 5, 2011 3:14:28 AM

^ Some suggestions -
Mobo - This has better onboard and is cheaper
Also has a combo with the CPU
Maybe X3 ?

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

If you might add low powered discrete graphic card

KB + Mouse - I would prefer Logitech over Rosewill,...
Related resources
January 5, 2011 3:23:52 AM

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?
January 5, 2011 3:39:06 AM

^ 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

Maybe this ? Has 6 drive bays, doesnt cost much and is good quality,...
January 5, 2011 4:39:27 AM

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.
January 5, 2011 10:50:01 AM

I'm only aware of VLC as a media player - what is this VLC you're talking about?
January 5, 2011 3:03:36 PM

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?

January 5, 2011 9:46:27 PM

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?
January 6, 2011 5:41:40 AM

Sorry wrong acronym, I meant to write VNC, i.e. remote control of another system.
Good luck!