Guide To Building A Media Storage Server - Page 238 - AVS Forum
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post #7111 of 7891 Old 03-12-2012, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killroy View Post

The Intel Pro 1000 is the best. Period.

That's what I have installed in the past but never on my own.

Something like this fit the bill?


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post #7112 of 7891 Old 03-12-2012, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

That's what I have installed in the past but never on my own.

Something like this fit the bill?

I have never tried the PCI version but I assume it should be as good as the PCI-e version.
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post #7113 of 7891 Old 03-12-2012, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post


That's what I have installed in the past but never on my own.

Something like this fit the bill?

This is the one I bought and love. I think the only difference is that it's pci express. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833106033
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post #7114 of 7891 Old 03-12-2012, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by alexsquared View Post

This is the one I bought and love. I think the only difference is that it's pci express. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833106033

I have also used that one... great card.
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post #7115 of 7891 Old 03-12-2012, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by alexsquared View Post

This is the one I bought and love. I think the only difference is that it's pci express. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833106033

Done. Ordered. I will report back.


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post #7116 of 7891 Old 03-12-2012, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post


Done. Ordered. I will report back.

Hope it works out as well for you as it did me.
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post #7117 of 7891 Old 03-12-2012, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by alexsquared View Post

Hope it works out as well for you as it did me.

I am sure it will. I almost ordered an Intel nic from the get go but wanted to give the realtek a shot first.

I should have just ordered it to begin with. I am a hardware tinkerer at heart.


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post #7118 of 7891 Old 03-12-2012, 07:26 PM
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FWIW, with the Realtek NIC in my EM351-I I get 70-80MB/s transfer speeds copying MKVs to it and I've never had a hiccup. Mine's WHS2011.

 

 

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post #7119 of 7891 Old 03-12-2012, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

FWIW, with the Realtek NIC in my EM351-I I get 70-80MB/s transfer speeds copying MKVs to it and I've never had a hiccup. Mine's WHS2011.

My speeds are excellent as well (75-80MB/s). Its just the intermittent stuttering that could be improved on the Realtek. As I said I restart the server and its buttery smooth again.


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post #7120 of 7891 Old 03-12-2012, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

My speeds are excellent as well (75-80MB/s). Its just the intermittent stuttering that could be improved on the Realtek. As I said I restart the server and its buttery smooth again.

Weird -- sounds like a memory or resource leak of some kind.

 

 

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post #7121 of 7891 Old 03-12-2012, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

Weird -- sounds like a memory or resource leak of some kind.

Its usually just after a period of inactivity.


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post #7122 of 7891 Old 03-12-2012, 08:00 PM
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Are you using green drives, energy saver, or something else that could be causing them to spin down?
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post #7123 of 7891 Old 03-13-2012, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Its usually just after a period of inactivity.

I know one of the first things I did was go into the Realtek driver and turn off a bunch of "green" settings as suggested here somewhere. There were a few settings that I needed to change. I don't remember what they were now though but it was from a thread in here.

 

 

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post #7124 of 7891 Old 03-13-2012, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Its just the intermittent stuttering that could be improved on the Realtek.

But how do you know it's a network issue? And if it is, how do you know it's on the server side? As StardogChampion mentioned, there are some settings that can have an impact here. Besides turning off all the "green" features on the NIC, one of the things that has helped me with stuttering is disabling NetworkThrottlingIndex (on the client). That article says it applies to Vista, but it's present in Win7 too. Strangely, it didn't seem to have a negative impact on all my systems. But it did on my Sandybridge client. I don't have any stuttering issues on any of my clients any more, and I'm still using the integrated Realtek NIC on my server.


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post #7125 of 7891 Old 03-23-2012, 03:53 PM
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Hi all, I m looking for a low cost sas card compatible with JBOD mode and Ubuntu because i have a ZFS Systeme on ubuntu.

I need a card which support an expander but i don't find one.

If someone could help me i appreciate it.
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post #7126 of 7891 Old 03-23-2012, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darin View Post

But how do you know it's a network issue? And if it is, how do you know it's on the server side? As StardogChampion mentioned, there are some settings that can have an impact here. Besides turning off all the "green" features on the NIC, one of the things that has helped me with stuttering is disabling NetworkThrottlingIndex (on the client). That article says it applies to Vista, but it's present in Win7 too. Strangely, it didn't seem to have a negative impact on all my systems. But it did on my Sandybridge client. I don't have any stuttering issues on any of my clients any more, and I'm still using the integrated Realtek NIC on my server.

Just saw this post. I had already done all the tweaks you mentioned.

Anyway so far so good after installing the intel nic.


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post #7127 of 7891 Old 03-23-2012, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post


Just saw this post. I had already done all the tweaks you mentioned.

Anyway so far so good after installing the intel nic.

Great to hear that it did the trick for you. Funny how such a small component makes the difference.
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post #7128 of 7891 Old 03-24-2012, 07:49 PM
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Hi all, I m looking for a low cost sas card compatible with JBOD mode and Ubuntu because i have a ZFS Systeme on ubuntu.

I need a card which support an expander but i don't find one.

If someone could help me i appreciate it.

Look for the IBM ServerRaid M1015 on ebay. Its an OEM relabel of the LSI MegaRaid 9240-8i with the Raid-5 mode disabled. They are usually available for $60-80. You can run it as a 9240 or re-flash it to LSI 9211-IT firmware.
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post #7129 of 7891 Old 03-26-2012, 10:06 PM
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Does anyone have any updated recommendation on hardware? I've read through the entire thread and it seems as though StarDogChampion and Assassin are the last ones to complete builds, but even they are a few months old now. I guess I'm just wondering if there's any reason not to just copy StardogChampion's build?

Only difference being I am planning on WHS and Flexraid for some drive failure insurance (crashplan for cloud backup of the important stuff).
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post #7130 of 7891 Old 03-27-2012, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trpltongue View Post

Does anyone have any updated recommendation on hardware? I've read through the entire thread and it seems as though StarDogChampion and Assassin are the last ones to complete builds, but even they are a few months old now. I guess I'm just wondering if there's any reason not to just copy StardogChampion's build?

Only difference being I am planning on WHS and Flexraid for some drive failure insurance (crashplan for cloud backup of the important stuff).

That mostly depends on your budget and goals. If you're looking for a box to run just WHS 2011 and FlexRaid and nothing else, you can take a minimalist approach as neither of those require anything processor intensive. Any of the Sandy Bridge celerons, for example, would be sufficient. Throw in 4GB of ram and find a case that supports the number of drives you feel you need and call it a day.
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post #7131 of 7891 Old 03-27-2012, 10:16 PM
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Lars,

Sorry, I should have expanded a bit more on my goals

Box will be used to do 5 things:

Rip SD DVD's to hard drive array
Stream audio / video (including some on the fly transcoding of SD DVD's) to 3-4 devices simultaneously
Run Girder to take care of some minor home automation stuff
Occassional light home office use (email, excel, etc) nothing too intensive (I have a proper desktop but since the server will be on 24/7 it's just easier to hop on and check email real quick)
Occassional transcoding of movies to Ipad format

I will be using 3 2TB seagate SATA HDD's (already have them) and maybe adding 2-3 more max. Anything more than that and it will be time to move up to bigger hard drives

I already have an Antec nin-hundred case, just looking for recommendations on:

SSD for OS hard drive? or laptop HD for OS HD
Motherboard / CPU
Memory
Power Supply - Especially need help with this

I want this machine to be rock solid stable running 24/7 with as little power use as practical (don't want frugality to sacrifice stability).
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post #7132 of 7891 Old 03-28-2012, 09:37 AM
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How stable would FlexRaid be on a large 24 bay Windows 7 box used as a file server with some conversion utility? To me, stable means long uptimes between reboots (60 days min). How easy is it to manaage on weekly basis?

Alternatively I build on a WHS OS if that is more stable.

Stephen
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post #7133 of 7891 Old 03-28-2012, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trpltongue View Post

Lars,

Sorry, I should have expanded a bit more on my goals

Box will be used to do 5 things:

Rip SD DVD's to hard drive array
Stream audio / video (including some on the fly transcoding of SD DVD's) to 3-4 devices simultaneously
Run Girder to take care of some minor home automation stuff
Occassional light home office use (email, excel, etc) nothing too intensive (I have a proper desktop but since the server will be on 24/7 it's just easier to hop on and check email real quick)
Occassional transcoding of movies to Ipad format

I will be using 3 2TB seagate SATA HDD's (already have them) and maybe adding 2-3 more max. Anything more than that and it will be time to move up to bigger hard drives

I already have an Antec nin-hundred case, just looking for recommendations on:

SSD for OS hard drive? or laptop HD for OS HD
Motherboard / CPU
Memory
Power Supply - Especially need help with this

I want this machine to be rock solid stable running 24/7 with as little power use as practical (don't want frugality to sacrifice stability).

You didn't mention a budget, so I'll assume you want the lowest cost while reasonably meeting your goals.
It sounds like you want a single computer do perform multiple functions, which is somewhat different from a standard media server/NAS solution. Typically a server is made to be low power, low cost, and would serve your media files and run any applications that need to be on 24/7, while a separate PC would used to transcode and rip. You could certainly combine them, but from a best practice standpoint, it isn't recommended.

Best practice also has a server placed in a separate location, not used as a web browser or internet related applications, etc... It is up to you how you wish to use your machine, but you risk security when you open your server up to web browsing, email, etc...

Why is this relevant? Well, if you exclude the transcoding element, you would need very low h/w requirements. A Sandy Bridge Celeron/Pentium would easy fit the bill and would produce very little electrical generation. For frequent transcoding, I would suggest moving up to a more powerful and expensive i series CPU. If you were trying to do this today, I would recommend at least the i3 or i5, but if you can wait a tad, Ivy Bridge is right around the corner for a small performance gain but at the same price and lower power consumption.

From a cost perspective, I would not recommend an SSD for a server. For something that should very infrequently get rebooted or running heavy I/O ops on that drive, it simply isn't a good value. It won't hurt if you have extra cash.

Motherboard is fairly standard. There are plenty of options as long as it has some basic features, you can't really go wrong.
I would recommend this as it has enough PCI-e ports to allow multiple SAS expander cards if you require them in the future and plenty of SATA ports, USB 3.0 ports, etc... If you needed to trim your budget, this is another area where you could have some cost savings.

RAM: Any decent DDR3 that's on same and on your MBs HWC list. 2x2GB minimum for what you want to use it for. 2x4GB is pretty cheap, however, so if your budget has some extra room in it, spend the extra 20$. If you decide not to use this box for any transcoding, 4GB total is plenty.

PSU is one area I never recommend going cheap on. Total power consideration is based on the final number of components you'll have in the system. Your initial component list would be enough for a simple 400w PSU, you may want to consider something a little larger if you decide to add a separate video card and/or additional HDDs. I'm a big fan of Seasonic's gold PSU like this one, but again, if budget is an issue there are plenty of very good psus for half the price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stepmback View Post

How stable would FlexRaid be on a large 24 bay Windows 7 box used as a file server with some conversion utility? To me, stable means long uptimes between reboots (60 days min). How easy is it to manaage on weekly basis?

Alternatively I build on a WHS OS if that is more stable.

Stephen

From a stability standpoint, it will run equally fine on WHS 2011 as it will on Win 7 or Linux. From that point, simply pick which OS you prefer. WHS 2011 offers more from a server standpoint, but it's entirely self requirement generated.

As for stability, you could go much longer without a reboot if necessary. Assuming you have no hardware failures, you should never need to reboot the system. FlexRaid offers a scheduler for updates, verifications, etc... but none of those require a reboot and are really the only maintenance action that takes place. For sanity, I recommend reviewing the logs on the local machine to ensure the SMART/etc... checks FlexRaid does doesn't show any errors or anything else of issue. FlexRaid does allow for email/sms notifications of errors or anomalies so from that perspective, no actual maintenance needs to occur.
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post #7134 of 7891 Old 03-28-2012, 02:15 PM
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Lars,

Thanks for the excellent response.

You are right on all assumptions I understand that ideally the server would not be used for anything other than serving media, however, it's just doesn't make sense to fire up the desktop for a quick check of the email, etc. when the server is already up and running. Also, when transcoding videos, it doesn't make much sense to send the files over the network from the server where they are stored, transcode them on the desktop, then send them back to the server. When I need to do real work, I'll fire up the desktop for sure, but again for these small and infrequent tasks, it just makes sense to use the server.

Unfortunately I really need to get this rig built now as my server array has recently crashed and I would like to take the opportunity to replace the aging C2Duo setup (this machine is starting to show it's age).

Processor - I'll likely go with a 620 or 620T, though I may upgrade to an i3 or i5 depending on how I'm feeling Although I might be convinced to wait for an IVB if it's coming out in a few weeks (any idea when it's coming out?)

CPU cooler - any recommendation for an aftermarket cooler, or will the stock Intel be sufficient? Noise level isn't too much of a concern as this unit will be in my office, but I don't want a jet engine

HDD - good point, however the difference in price between a new laptop HDD and a Crucial SSD is only $30 so I figured why not

Motherboard - I like that recommendation, it's one of the boards I was considering. Only thing I'm curious about is the SATA 3 slots. It only has 2 and I need 4 (SSD and 3 SATA 3 2TB hard drives). I know I can add a highpoint SATA 3 2-port card, but that's another piece of hardware / driver to fail and I've had 2 SATA cards fail on me in the past. Any recommendation for a 4-port SATA 3 motherboard?

RAM - Spot on. I'll be going with 8GB, again, it's such a small price difference. I was planning on G.Skill as long as it's on the MB approved vendor list.

Power supply - Seasonics are incredible. I'm wondering if I need that big of a supply though? With no discrete graphics, a 65W psu, SSD, bluray reader, and 3 HD's, wouldn't 650W be a bit overkill? I'm thinking that the system should idle around 50W and peak around 200W when transcoding and maxing out all hard drives? The only possible addition would be 3 more HDD's in the future. I would just hate to build a nice efficient system and then throw a big power supply in that idles at 50% efficiency.

Again, thanks for your thoughtful response!

Russell
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post #7135 of 7891 Old 03-28-2012, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trpltongue View Post

Lars,

Thanks for the excellent response.

You are right on all assumptions I understand that ideally the server would not be used for anything other than serving media, however, it's just doesn't make sense to fire up the desktop for a quick check of the email, etc. when the server is already up and running. Also, when transcoding videos, it doesn't make much sense to send the files over the network from the server where they are stored, transcode them on the desktop, then send them back to the server. When I need to do real work, I'll fire up the desktop for sure, but again for these small and infrequent tasks, it just makes sense to use the server.

Unfortunately I really need to get this rig built now as my server array has recently crashed and I would like to take the opportunity to replace the aging C2Duo setup (this machine is starting to show it's age).

Processor - I'll likely go with a 620 or 620T, though I may upgrade to an i3 or i5 depending on how I'm feeling Although I might be convinced to wait for an IVB if it's coming out in a few weeks (any idea when it's coming out?)

CPU cooler - any recommendation for an aftermarket cooler, or will the stock Intel be sufficient? Noise level isn't too much of a concern as this unit will be in my office, but I don't want a jet engine

HDD - good point, however the difference in price between a new laptop HDD and a Crucial SSD is only $30 so I figured why not

Motherboard - I like that recommendation, it's one of the boards I was considering. Only thing I'm curious about is the SATA 3 slots. It only has 2 and I need 4 (SSD and 3 SATA 3 2TB hard drives). I know I can add a highpoint SATA 3 2-port card, but that's another piece of hardware / driver to fail and I've had 2 SATA cards fail on me in the past. Any recommendation for a 4-port SATA 3 motherboard?

RAM - Spot on. I'll be going with 8GB, again, it's such a small price difference. I was planning on G.Skill as long as it's on the MB approved vendor list.

Power supply - Seasonics are incredible. I'm wondering if I need that big of a supply though? With no discrete graphics, a 65W psu, SSD, bluray reader, and 3 HD's, wouldn't 650W be a bit overkill? I'm thinking that the system should idle around 50W and peak around 200W when transcoding and maxing out all hard drives? The only possible addition would be 3 more HDD's in the future. I would just hate to build a nice efficient system and then throw a big power supply in that idles at 50% efficiency.

Again, thanks for your thoughtful response!

Russell

IB should be out soon, but they are starting with the Core i series first. Pentium and Celeron won't be out until the end of this year.

If you are (and you should be) running a gigabit network, moving files back and forth is quick and painless. I do exactly what you are describing for my iPads. My files are on a media server and my transcode location is also on the server. I transcode from my i7 desktop. The process is processor intensive so network congestion isn't an issue. Even with network traffic, my desktop is, by design, much more powerful then my server so it serves that purpose. Security best practice should also be considered.

You definitely do not need an aftermarket CPU cooler unless you plan on overlocking, which is an entirely different thread.

The difference between a new HDD and SSD depends also on what you want to use it for. For example, if you want to run WHS 2011 and perform backups of your client computers, an SSD as an OS drive is a waste. A standard HDD can be utilized in this regard and partitioned with server folders naturally.

You don't need SATA 3 slots. With the exception of SSD, mechanical HDDs can't come close to the speed of SATA 2, much less SATA 3. It's simply overkill for a home server.

As I mentioned, the PSU is a more then you would need for what you listed. Add in several more HDDs or decide you want to do some light gaming on your PC and it's within reason. It's gold rated, so efficiency is there.
Of course there are other options. Anandtech did a review two days ago on the Corsair TX 550w and OCZT550. Both would also suit your needs. You can not look at the power rating to determine efficiency. It just doesn't work like that.
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post #7136 of 7891 Old 03-28-2012, 02:55 PM
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Right now I'm stuck with a 100mbit network (rental house in Germany) but when I return to the states in 3 years I will be back on a gigabit network. Even with the 100mbit network though, when I transfer files from my desktop (SATA 2 WD hard drive) to my server (SATA3 Seagate HD) which are both hard wired to the same Linksys router I get craptastic transfer speeds of about 15-20mbit/s. That's why I prefer to rip movies, etc directly to the server.

Regarding the OS HDD, I do plan to run WHS2011 and do backups of my client machines, however, I planned to store those backups on my Flexraid array (and to the cloud) so that I have some failure protection. So I really don't need the extra space. Okay, have I convinced you yet Really I just want to play with an SSD. Who knows, maybe I'll transfer it to my htpc in the living room for lightning fast bootups

Good to know about SATA speeds. I didn't realize that was the case. Why do the manufacturers list hard drives as SATA 3 then, if they can't actually achieve those transfer rates? Not doubting you, just trying to understand the reasoning.

As for the power supply, I love Seasonics. They are bulletproof and built to last. I looked up the 650Xgold series on silentpcreview and saw that at 40W (which is where I'd expect to idle, or even lower) the efficiency is 77% which is good, but would be even better if I found a 400W unit. However, I was surprised to see that all of Seasonic's Gold plus power supplies that are <450W are fanless. I love the fanless design in concept, but that means I need to add another fan to pull heat out of the system somewhere else. Not a deal killer, but not my favorite either. So maybe I just stick with the 650
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post #7137 of 7891 Old 03-28-2012, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by trpltongue View Post

Right now I'm stuck with a 100mbit network (rental house in Germany) but when I return to the states in 3 years I will be back on a gigabit network. Even with the 100mbit network though, when I transfer files from my desktop (SATA 2 WD hard drive) to my server (SATA3 Seagate HD) which are both hard wired to the same Linksys router I get craptastic transfer speeds of about 15-20mbit/s. That's why I prefer to rip movies, etc directly to the server.

Regarding the OS HDD, I do plan to run WHS2011 and do backups of my client machines, however, I planned to store those backups on my Flexraid array (and to the cloud) so that I have some failure protection. So I really don't need the extra space. Okay, have I convinced you yet Really I just want to play with an SSD. Who knows, maybe I'll transfer it to my htpc in the living room for lightning fast bootups

Good to know about SATA speeds. I didn't realize that was the case. Why do the manufacturers list hard drives as SATA 3 then, if they can't actually achieve those transfer rates? Not doubting you, just trying to understand the reasoning.

As for the power supply, I love Seasonics. They are bulletproof and built to last. I looked up the 650Xgold series on silentpcreview and saw that at 40W (which is where I'd expect to idle, or even lower) the efficiency is 77% which is good, but would be even better if I found a 400W unit. However, I was surprised to see that all of Seasonic's Gold plus power supplies that are <450W are fanless. I love the fanless design in concept, but that means I need to add another fan to pull heat out of the system somewhere else. Not a deal killer, but not my favorite either. So maybe I just stick with the 650

100mb makes it a bit more challenging. Why not upgrade the router or put everything you have behind a 1gb switch?

Also, WHS 2011 requires 160GB < SSD standard, but with some tweaking you can install it on smaller.

If you really want to play with a SSD, install it on your desktop

The reason is pure marketing.
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post #7138 of 7891 Old 03-28-2012, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by trpltongue View Post

As for the power supply, I love Seasonics. They are bulletproof and built to last. I looked up the 650Xgold series on silentpcreview and saw that at 40W (which is where I'd expect to idle, or even lower) the efficiency is 77% which is good, but would be even better if I found a 400W unit. However, I was surprised to see that all of Seasonic's Gold plus power supplies that are <450W are fanless. I love the fanless design in concept, but that means I need to add another fan to pull heat out of the system somewhere else. Not a deal killer, but not my favorite either. So maybe I just stick with the 650

I can't comment on the size of the PSU required but I have a Seasonic S12II Bronze 430W PSU and I'm very impressed with how it runs. The reviews I've read indicate that it consistently achives over 80% efficiency, even at low loads. It may be worth considering S12II Bronze series as they're 40% cheaper than the X series.

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post #7139 of 7891 Old 03-28-2012, 10:30 PM
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Lars,

I could add a switch, but I'll still be stuck with the crappy wiring in the house. It's worth a shot though.

I had planned on tweaking the WHS installation to allow me to install it on a smaller hard drive. Though the more I think about it, your beginning to convince me to just go with a laptop HDD

Kesawi, I'll definitely take a look at the S12II Bronze. It may even be more efficient at my expected load (~30-40W) than the gold plus x650. thanks!
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post #7140 of 7891 Old 03-29-2012, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Lars99 View Post

100mb makes it a bit more challenging. Why not upgrade the router or put everything you have behind a 1gb switch?

Also, WHS 2011 requires 160GB < SSD standard, but with some tweaking you can install it on smaller.

If you really want to play with a SSD, install it on your desktop

The reason is pure marketing.

I just installed WHS 2011 on a 64GB SSD last weekend and other than creating the custom cfg.ini on a USB stick there was no other tweaking required. It worked out well for me since I was going to add a drive pool to D: so it was simple to move the serverfolders from C: to D:. Otherwise using the default 160GB minimum HDD install the serverfolders are already on D: so putting the pool there is more of a pain.

FYI, open Notepad and save this to a file named cfg.ini onto an NTFS formatted USB drive:

[WinPE]
ConfigDisk=1
CheckReqs=0
WindowsPartitionSize=MAX

Boot up the install disk with the USB drive inserted and your install will be placed on your < 160GB drive on a single partition.

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