Hey everyone Ive decided to build my own windows home server for the first time. It's going to be used for backing up all my files (music, video, important editing files, DVD rips, TV rips, steam backups, etcetera). I've been reading a simple guide on how to build one (its not like i cant build a PC lol) and they use an Intel I3-530 CPU. Ive also read a lot of forum articles saying the Athlon X2 4850e and 5050e CPU's are very good too but i cannot find them ANYWHERE! Should i stick with getting the 530 I3, get an Atom CPU, an AMD X2 or a Sempron or what have you. I have already gone through the trouble of making a list of the hard ware i would use if i got the 530 (or any intel CPU really), I'll post the hardware below. If anyone thinks i should get something different; may it be cheaper, more efficient, more quiet, etcetera then please let me know. Also the whole "low power consumption" thing doesn't matter much to me. And if anyone could tell me if I can use a modular PSU with this then that is greatly appreciated (i was never able to find out on Google).
Case: I'm not too sure on which one. I'm not generally picky on cases but i would enjoy one with some cable management. So my choices are the Cooler Master Elite 310, the COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 or the GIGABYTE GZ-X7BMDX-400. All mid towers and are 50 bucks and can support around 6 hard drives.
Unless you're going to use your WHS for transcoding on-the-fly, and also assuming you're not going to have multiple clients accessing it simultaneously, your specs don't need to be too high at all. I use the first version of WHS (the one that still lets you have Drive Extender ) and my WHS build is:
The CPU is 1.6GHz, and has no issues streaming movies to my media PC. I've tested it by simultaneously streaming the same Blu-Ray to 2 PCs and neither stream stuttered or stalled. Under WHS 2010, your specs need to be a bit beefier but not by much. Either way, the components you've chosen will handle it fine.
To answer point-by-point:
Case: One that has good cable management is important as if your server is running 24-7, you want to make sure there's no obstruction to air-flow. You might want to consider a case that allows you to mount the HDDs across the width of the case (so the connections point at the side) and aren't in the main space.
Motherboard: You don't need one with all the bells and whistles. Onboard graphics helps if you ever need to plug a monitor into your server, for those occasions where it won't load WHS up (and for installing the software in the first place)
PSU: 550W is ample. You could get away with less, 400 - 450W would be fine. Stick to brands (Corsair / XFX, Be Quiet! etc)
CPU: One with a low TDP is ideal as it's low power and heat. Dual-core is all you need.
Main HDD: What about an SSD? Depends how you want to use your server...I use Lights Out to shut mine down as I mainly use it for movies, so there's no need to have it on all the time. An SSD would increase boot times dramatically. If not, then a small one is all you need for the system drive. Use bigger drives for the storage.
DVD Drive: IDE or USB is best, as it's only ever used for installing the software (unless you rip using it, but I wouldn't recommend that). You want to keep as many SATA ports free as you can for your storage drives.
The price is at $500 with all the shipping added so if you can increase it by $1000 than buy it! FOR A home server, you need at least 1 grand to built one because 6 HDD is a lot around $150 for 3TB 6GB/s 64MB Cache
You don't need a CPU like that for WHS, it would be a waste of money (unless it's transcoding, which the OP hasn't mentioned...even then, there are cheaper CPUs that would be just as good). I don't even think WHS can take advantage of quad-core chips, so there's no need for one.
FOR A home server, you need at least 1 grand to built one because 6 HDD is a lot around $150 for 3TB 6GB/s 64MB Cache
You don't need to spend anywhere near that - both your build and the OP's build are circa $500. One of the big pluses of WHS is that it can be done on a relatively small budget. Unless you need masses of storage instantly, then getting 6x3TB HDDs isn't necessary (again, the OP hasn't mentioned storage requirements).
Wow! Thanks for the super quick replies everyone! I'll mention things from everyone's post. Diellur, you have some very good points in your first reply I won't be using this server for many clients, just me and probably my mom will be using it, and maybe my brother when he comes home from school time to time. Ive decided ill get a caviar black 1TB because that will be enough for me at least and over time ill probably extend the storage with a caviar green 1.5tb like LegendKiller posted. Although I couldn't find the Processor you chose I went with Kaweee's post and I'll probably go with that Pentium, Cheap, 2.6GHz, Sandy Bridge, Good little CPU. That AMD APU is definitely the wrong choice; too expensive, wont need 4 cores. Ill probably get an Antec 300 because as you stated, diellur, cable management will be very useful for heat dispersion and having a clean system. The CPU is LGA1155 and i found a great 60 dollar H61 AsRock board, ill link it below. For RAM ill go with the 4 gigs of valueram from Kingston, thanks for posting that kaweee! The Antec Earthwatts 430w PSU looks pretty good for a small sever. Its just under 400 bucks for what i have researched again. Ill link everything down below. Once again, thanks so much for the help and quick relies guys
Also could someone tell me which is the best windows home server version. On newegg WHS2011 has a lot of bad reviews.
Also I forgot to mention diellur, an SSD is sort of out of reach for me. I don't need a super fast sever, a regular 7200RPM drive is fine for me. I dont even have an SSD in my gaming PC yet lol. I'll save myself 20-30 bucks and install WHS through a USB drive and not buy a DVD drive
You're welcome, glad we could help. I'm not surprised you couldn't find the E2140...I got it off of my sister's old desktop when she upgraded to a laptop. You may find it on eBay, but that's probably the only place. As for an SSD, it's not an option for everyone - I'm finishing off my home media setup and wouldn't mind the extra speed it'll give, but it's definitely a luxury item. And even then, it's hard to justify!
I can't speak for WHS 2011 but I've heard it isn't as slick as WHS, but then again that's just opinion. Although WHS v1 is older and will become unsupported circa 2013, it does the job fine. I've not had a problem with it and it talks to Windows 7 with no issues at all. If you do get v1, make sure you install all the Microsoft updates before installing the connector software on your client PCs. I had an issue there that had me banging my head against a wall, and was solved by simply updating WHS! Simple as simple is.
Good luck with the build, and thanks for the vote.
You're welcome. Btw, you can download a 30-day trial of the software from the Microsoft website. Downside is when you purchase the software you have to reinstall, and that wipes all data, but it does mean you can give it a shot without shelling out.