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I am looking into building a new media server for my house. I was using a P3/667 Mhz machine with 256MB Ram. I was wondering is that enough? It streams MP3s fine, and then it does DVD ok too. But what if I want 2 dvd's and MP3's.

Do you think it is enough... also I was wondering what are the specs most of you have.


P3/667 MHz, 256MB RAM

80G for MP3s, and currently 120G and 200G (JBOD) for DVD's
 

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You should be fine with that speed of processor. Many people run simple file servers with even older chips. There are other chokepoints in your system like HD speed and network speed. I am currently upgrading my file server. After a long few days of research, this is what suits my needs best.


File Server


PROCESSOR: Dual Athlon XP 2400

MB: Gigabyte GA-7DPXDW-P Server Board with 64-bit PCI

RAID: 3Ware Escalade 7506 4 port ATA 133

HD: 4 Maxtor 160 GB drives in RAID 5

HD: 1 Maxtor 80 GB SATA for boot disk

DVD: Lite-on

RAM: 512 Corsair DDR 3200

CASE: Antec Solution Series Mid Tower (5 internal 3.5)

LAN: D-Link Gigabit PCI adapter
 

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Processor: Dual P4 XEON 2.4/533 (more than is necessary)

MB: SuperMicro server board w/ two 64 bit PCI slots

RAID: Dual 3Ware Escalade 7506-8

HD: 16 Western Digital 250GB in dual RAID 5 arrays (3.5TB total)

DVD: Slim DVD

RAM: 1 GB DDR

CASE: ServerCase - rack mount 4U w/16 hot swap bays

LAN: D-Link Gigabit PCI

Other: Firewire card


I have a picture here:
http://gallery.avsforum.com/showphoto.php?photo=4698
 

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Gigabyte GA-8IPE1000 Pro2

Onboard Gigabit Lan

Celery 2.6 @ 3.2

256 MB PC3500

200 GB

No Optical drives, everything is across the network.

4U Rackmount

Lotsa Fans, sounds like a hover craft but sits @ 24 degree C, 32 during hard work (encoding video)

I use it as my DVD file server, PVR (capture directly to WM9), FTP, Music Server (MC9 Music Server), whole house audio (MC9).

WinXP Pro

Reasonably stable, needs restarts about every 30 days.
 

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Dual 2Ghz Xeon

2GB Ram

Raid 5 SCSI - 180GB (need to upgrade)

NVidia GeForceTi4600

Audigy Platinum ex

Want to upgrade to Gigabit Ethernet for everything
 

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1Ghz Athlon

512mb RAM

Radeon 7000 series agp card (doesn't matter)

Linksys gigabit NIC (plus gigabit switch)

3Ware 7xxx-8 RAID card

8x 200gig WD drives - RAID5 (1.4Tb)

1x 120 gig WD drive for general stuff

30gig drive for OS/boot

No optical (network only please)

Iwill KK-266 mobo

Linux - Redhat 9.1 with custom kernel

Samba for file shares

MySql db for storing Home automation db needs as well as media collection info

11 bay Rackmount case - 5U generic

8x cheap hotswap drive trays - work great under linux


More than enough power for my needs - I have streamed 3 dvd's concurently while listening to mp3's. Haven't tried more, but probably have some headroom.


Wouldn't mind more storage though...down to 1Tb free on the array, and am filling quickly.


Cheers,


Rich
 

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Discussion Starter #8
boykster, where didi you get that case from? When I upgrade to RAID 0+1 or 5 i want 8 harddrives mounted in 5 1/4 bays.
 

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Although I've never used them, www.casedepot.com has a wide selection of server cases at a reasonable price.
 

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sknyfs,


I got it from dealsonic...they have it in both black and white..here's a link to black ($99.00)

http://www.dealsonic.com/skyhawip5ura.html


Nice price, but not nearly as nice of a case as Mr. Poindexter's. His is a mercedes, where mine is a used Ford.


I also bought the drive caddies seperately from computergeeks.com for ~$7 each. Again, good price, but not as nice as some of the higher density, more rugged chassis's out there.


Cheers,


Rich
 

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Hehe, I feel weak posting my media server's specs :)


Celeron 300

128MB RAM

4GB HD

60GB HD

80GB HD

40xCDROM

3COM 10/100 NIC

FreeBSD 4.2 w/ SAMBA for fileshares


This machine has been running strong now for over 2 years with periodic FreeBSD updates. Never bogs down, never have issues streaming anything our house needs off it (3 guy live there). If you use Linux/BSD, you don't need much power to be a media server (unless you get into software RAID...)
 

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Don't feel weak, BSD on a 300mhz is equal to much more than Windoze on a 300mhz. My Firewall/Router/File Server is a P133 with 96MB of RAM running Linux. No reboot in over 200 days (and that is only because of upgrades). It's amazing how efficient Unix type OS's are with everything. Too bad they haven't won out with consumers, we would have a lot more possibilities if it were mainstream I believe.
 

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Then mine is a used Hundai: |-]

AMD 1800+, 512MB RAM

1 External DVD recorder via USB2

1 External DVD ROM via USB2

The rest of the AOpen HX08 case is stuffed with Hard drives.

12 x 160GB Maxtors

3 x 120GB Maxtors, with room for about 4 more.

Curently >2TB, holding over 250 DVD's

And fans, lots of fans....(loud, but resides in the basement)


Plays DVD's flawlessly over the 100MBps network.

No RAID, each drive was obtained for ~0.50/GB.

I've had so few drives fail over the years, and such bad luck with RAID when I've used it, I decided this is the best solution for me now (and cheap). If a drive fails, during warranty, I'll replace it and restore the movies. If not, I'll upgrade to a larger disk, and restore the movies.


S
 

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Media Server

Motherboard: Asus A7M266-D (Dual Athlon MP processors, 64-bit PCI slots, etc.)

Memory: 512 184-pin DDR (PC2100) DIMMs

CPU: Single 1.8GHz Athlon MP

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 40GB IDE Drive (on primary IDE controller) (OS and software)

CD-ROM: Plextor CD-RW

RAID Array: 3Ware Escalade 7500 Parallel ATA Raid controller card (8 port)

RAID Drive: 7x120GB Samsung (cheapest at the time)

Video: Elsa Gladiac

Sound: M-Audio Delta 410


I use it for file serving, DVD serving, and audio playback to multiple zones.


It runs Thinsoft's Winconnect, from which multiple tablet PCs connect to it via remote desktop and run the MainLobby suite.


- Ken
 

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K6-3 500mhz

384mb of ram

(2) ATA100 cards

s3 virge video card

Soyo Motherboard

40gb Maxtor hard drive

(2) 120se Western Digital Hard drives

160se Western Digital hard drive

200se Western Digital hard drive

3com 10/100 nic

Mid Tower case
 

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File Server:


OS: WinXP Pro

Processor: AMD XP 1900+

MB : Soyo Dragon+

Ram: 1Gb DDR

Video card: Radeon 9500 pro

Raid: Promise TX2000

Removable media: DVD +/-R +/-RW 4x, 40x CD-RW, Zip drive, floppy!!

Case: Some funky tower case from compusa, lots of fans, found out it lights up blue when I got it home...

HD's: 60GB boot, 160Gb mirrored, 200gb mirrored

Soundcard: Audigy2 platinum?

Display 17" LCD (for space saving)

PSU: 600W Trupower

UPS: Cyberpower 1500AVR

Nic 1: Built in 100mbit out to net

Nic 2: 3com gigabit out to lan


Used for network file storage and firewall computer room jukebox.


- Rick
 

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I'm new to all this...

What do I need to do, to build a media server? I understand I need a case that can hold 5-10 hard drives, but How do I connect so many drives? I thought I could only connect 4 ATA to my MB...

again sorry for asking newbie questions!
 

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Hi GenoG,


you'll notice that many of the system configs above list a 3Ware card of some sort (serial ata / parallel ata)...these are hardware raid cards that support 4/8/12 drives per card. There are other brands of raid cards (promise, etc) that support different #'s of drives, but 3ware is pretty common, and 8 drives seems to be a sweet spot =D


It is possible using other means, however. My previous raid server used 4 2 channel ide controller cards - promise ultra66's and promise ultra tx2 100's (2 each) to connect 8 drives with. I then used linux software raid to combine these drives into 1 big one. Much more overhead and harder to maintain than a true "hardware" raid implementation, but cheaper.


Cheers,


and good luck,


Rich
 

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I am interested in building a server/client and getting rid of my Sony 7700 Cinematrix... never owned a HTPC before but am currently ripping my CD's to APE lossless and Media Center since I heard Media Center was the best way to handle music...


I was wondering what you guys are planning on doing when HD-DVD's start coming out... I figure a typical HD-DVD with a primary soundtrack will be at least 20 Gig... so how do you plan on handling that? Are they going to have 1T IDE drives available for $400.00 in two years? Also, the copy protection may be so robust it may never be rippable... This might be the first time we cannot rip.
 
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