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Torrent box build/buy suggestions

Last response: in Systems
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February 16, 2011 7:56:32 PM

I'm currently using an 8 year old pc, probably a pentium 3 or 4 with about 3/4s of a gig of ram as a torrent download box

my mom wants to get rid of it and I'm thinking that a new torrent box would probably perform better and consume less power than this 8 year old pc


I'm wondering if it would be more cost/performance efficient to just grab one of those $200 nettops (foxconn and zotec makes them) from newegg vs. building my own from scratch

if building from scratch is better, I'm also wondering if you guys have some hardware suggestions for a budget of $300 or less

buying time: in a few weeks

main considerations in order of importance are the following: 24/7 stabiltiy, low power, low heat, fast network file transfer

nice to haves: low noise, small form factor, storage space

main uses: torrent downloading/seeding and transferring downloaded files to network pcs


my primary hardware thoughts:

processor: atom dual core, celerom, sempron, athlon II. costs about $30 to $70 i think (not sure if one these would be enough for my needs)

mobo: depends on cpu. micro-atx or smaller. I saw a few atom + mobo combos for less than $100

psu: 300watts - 400 watts might be enough maybe. i'll try to look for psu+case combos

gpu: none, cpu/mobo with built in graphics is my target

ram: 1 or 2 gb of ddr2 or ddr3, depends on mobo

hd: 500gb spinpoint or an ssd maybe if budget permits

optical: none

nic: gigabit if mobo doesn't have one

case: something small, don't really care as long as my stuff fits

os: lightweight linux distro, crunchbang or lubuntu maybe

parts not needed: keyboard, mouse, monitor (I'm planning accessing it only through vnc)

suggestions are welcome, thanks
February 16, 2011 11:22:44 PM

at that low a budget I would suggest pre-builts
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February 17, 2011 12:40:26 PM

joelmartinez said:
at that low a budget I would suggest pre-builts


I agree, atom prebuilts seems to be the only available systems at this budget

but I'm wondering if an atom (or dual core atom) would be able to handle my needs :D 

I just don't want download speed bottlenecks caused by the hardware. don't really care if my network/internet is causing slowness as long as the hardware can handle max possible speeds
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February 17, 2011 8:06:21 PM

I have a dedicated torrent box built out of an old Gigabyte motherboard and a Q6600 running Win7. It's overkill, but I had the hardware lying around.

Most of the time, the system does not drop out of SpeedStep.

You do not need much hardware - except for maybe hard drive storage. I think an SSD would be largely wasted. You will not be spending much time loading programs.
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February 17, 2011 10:11:26 PM

Keep in mind that pre-built nettops like the Zotac Zboxes do not come with an OS, and some don't come with HDD or RAM. That may affect your budget.
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February 17, 2011 10:28:54 PM

^He said he's using linux for OS
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February 17, 2011 10:46:11 PM

Missed that.

HDD and RAM still applies though. :D 
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February 18, 2011 12:21:52 AM

Yeah, I just wanted to clarify your post a bit
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February 18, 2011 1:58:41 PM

rwpritchett said:
Missed that.

HDD and RAM still applies though. :D 


true true

although that would be better though because i can then grab grab a 1tb spinpoint or something rather than feeling bad about replacing the small capacity or slow hdd that it would come with if it has one :D 


jsc said:
I think an SSD would be largely wasted. You will not be spending much time loading programs.


good point. I was thinking an ssd would give bettter read/write performance but it probably wouldn't be noticable anyways
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