I currently have the following system:
- Shuttle XS35V2 PC Barebone System
- Transcend JetRam 4 GB 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM 1333 MHz(PC3-10600) Laptop Memory Module JM1333KSN-4G
- Crucial V4 CT032V4SSD2 2.5" 32GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
- Windows 7 Home Premium x64
The system run headless and is hooked up to an amplifier and then to built-in speakers in my house. The system is always on, running iTunes, which my wife and I control from our iPhone/Android devices. iTunes streams music from my NAS and I also have CrashPlan running on the Shuttle to back up the NAS content.
This setup worked OK for 3 months. I found the system surprisingly slow, considering it's all solid state, reasonably fast processor, 4GB RAM and barely any software installed on the machine at all. Opening windows and searching in iTunes would be painfully slow sometimes. Nonetheless, it worked for streaming music, which is really all I care about. I was more puzzled than irritated.
After 3 months the SSD drive failed. I was very surprised, as I thought SSDs were supposed to have a much lower failure rate than traditional HDDs (which have moving parts). I RMA'd the SSD with Crucial, got a replacement and got the system up and running again.
It's now 2 months later, the SSD appears to have failed AGAIN (I'm getting a "Windows Explorer Has Stopped Working" error, and chkdsk found a bunch of errors).
I have several questions:
- Why has the SSD failed twice? Am I just unlucky, or could something about the system's configuration make this more likely?
- Why was the system so slow? I note that the RAM is DDR3 1333 MHz, but Shuttle says the max is DDR3-667/800. Could this be the problem? I couldn't even find DDR3-800 available to buy anywhere to test this theory.
- If I'm going to keep having these problems, I'm considering replacing the system altogether. To that end, I could use some advice:
As I said, all I really care about is streaming music from a NAS, and my only real requirements are that the device be always on and run iTunes. Low power consumption and noise (all solid state) are a bonus.
I was looking at some ZBOX devices, the ID41, ID81, Nano-AD10, AD04. I also saw some Foxconn units that are pretty cheap.
My real question here is this - the stats on these new devices seem comparable or even not as good as the Shuttle XS35V2, so would I just have the same problems with the device running really slowly? Do I have a decent set up I just need to troubleshoot, or should I bail and start over?
Any advice is very much appreciated. This is driving me nuts, I can't afford to have my music system down for a month every 2-3 months while I wait for an RMA'd SSD!