|Originally Posted by ashokn225|
What is RAID exactly and what does it do ( advantages)? And would i just set that up in my bios?
RAID is (something to the effect of): Redundant Array of Independent (or Inexpensive) Disks.
In a nutshell, depending on "level" it provides redundancy so that if a disc in the array fails, no data is lost (RAID-0 is an exception that provide no Redundancy).
RAID-5 is the most common/popular RAID level for media servers, it provides the highest efficienty, using only one drive's worth of space for redundancy.
|Yes, i was concerned about the heat, and dont want a ton of fans running in the background of my music and movies. As far as the laptop HD, is that just an IDE HD?|
Yes, but you'll need to get an adapter because laptop drives use a different connector.
|And also, ive wondered what the speed of a hard drive actually has to do with the hard drive in itself. When you access files, isnt it the speed of the processor that allows faster accessibility? Or is it the speed of the hard drive?|
No, the speed of the HDD is, by far, the biggest bottleneck in a PC these days (depending on application). CPUs can process data much faster than a HDD can read/write. Of course notice the big "depending on application" qualifier there.
|The only reason i chose the 10k rpm HD was because i read somewhere that it allows for almost instant boot ups and faster access to media files.|
There are probably two big factors in HDD speed:
Density (how much data/size, usually related to total size but not always).
Basically the higher the density the faster.
The Higher the RPM the faster.
Higher RPMs reduce "access time" (aka "latency") meaning if you're reading/writing lots of different little files (random access), latency is the biggest bottleneck. Server environments are where this comes into play bigtime.
However on media PCs, you don't do a lot of "random access", most access on media PCs is more "sequential", thus access time is a minimal bottleneck.
All in all, you may notice a minor difference in performance with a laptop vs 10k drive, but IMO, for an HTPC it's not worth the noise/heat tradeoff. You don't boot often. Nor will the OS disk speed help you if the media files are on a different disk.
|Ok, well if im going with the NV, i have to stretch my budget which I dont like because it means Im going to have to cut corners somewhere else in my whole setup ( im about to dive into a major HT/HTPC setup). But if its the most cost effective/reliable option WITHOUT having to buy a server case, then I might just do it.|
FWIW, if you look around, you can find other NAS solutions (Buffalo Terrastation, etc) that may be cheaper.
|So with the NV, how does it operate ( you said it has its own OS). Would i just stick in all the HD's and then usb it to my htpc? And if its in another room, how would i do that?|
The NV is a NAS ("Network Attached Storage") you just plug it into your network, and it sits out there, all by itself, providing storage. It's got a nice web interface for what (little) management you have to do (basically just initial setup).
|A crazy thought just entered my head!!! What if i just bought a server case, had the whole shebang put into there, forget the X11, have one cabinet of my tv's stand basically treated for noise and heat and have a slot loading DVD drive machined into some part of the stand!!!!! So all you see is the slot for the drive, my a/v reciever, and my 360!!! That would be sick!|
.....now the real question....doable?
Probably, though I wouldn't
No real particular reason why, though.
The one other option you've got, which is really a pretty new one, is to just drop a 750GB drive or two in the case. I had 4 drives in my HTPC for a while, while I was in school. And it worked. And with 750GB drives it's actually practical to have a video library on a drive or two these days.
Then down the road, if you wanted, you could get a NAS (like the NV) drop a 750 or two in there, and then copy the data from the drives in your HTPC and migrate the drives into the NAS. I'd still consider the laptop drive for boot though.
This is actually probably the best way for you to go for now, IMO.