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Components for Linux Home Media Server

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I am looking for some advice on the right components to use for an efficient and reliable home media server. I would like to have 2TB+ and use on-board SATA ports, meaning I will use up to 5 or 6 drives. The media server needs enough power for running software RAID5 or RAID6, BT, media extenders, and other useful home server applications that may come up. This will be used as a headless server in the closet in my office, about 5 or 6 feet from my desk.

Given that, I'd like to heard what recommendations are for my hardware setup.

I was thinking of going with an Intel E5200 ($90) and Asus P5Q-EM ($135) motherboard because I have heard good things about the ICH10R southbridge. For hard disks it looks like the Samsung Spinpoint F1 750GB or 1TB disks might be a good option.

As far as RAM goes, I'm not sure if I should go with something like 1GB of 1.8v generic or something more. I am experienced with Linux but not with software RAID, and if large amounts of RAM can significantly reduce disk writes or improve performance the way additional RAM on HW cards does, I'd be tempted to go with 4GB+.

And does anyone have any experience with iStarUSA? I was also considering buying one of their cases or their 4in3 SATA hot-swap backplane.

Thanks in Advance,
Jonesy
post #2 of 3
Software RAID in Linux seems to have no visible performance effects. I've run servers on much older hardware than you're considering with RAID 1, 5, and 10 configurations and never saw any evidence of performance losses. None of those machines has >1 GB of RAM, either. Running X has a much bigger performance impact than running software RAID, but since this machine will be in a closet, just make sure your default run level in /etc/inittab is set to 3 so it boots into text mode. After that, SSH is your friend.
post #3 of 3
Make it even easier, install evms and have a great gui for RAID. Get more than 1GB...it's so cheap that you might as well. The rest of the components have been discussed a bazillion times.

-Trouble
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