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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:16 am 
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I am one of those who has been sitting on the sidelines. I had hoped HP would announce a new line of MediaSmart servers that would be a better match for Vail. I almost bought a EX495 on sale before Christmas, but decided to review this web site first and after reading about Microsoft and DE and then HP getting out of the MediaSmart business, I ended up not buying. So now it appears the best solution may be to build my own.

I have started reviewing this forum for what others have built, but many of them seem to be more that I envision needing. The January 2011 issue of MaximumPC has an article on building "A Windows Home Server with Muscle". In general, this system uses the following parts:

Lian-Li PC-Q08 Mini-Q Case (room for 6 drives)
Seasonic SS-460FL Fanless 460W Power Supply
Zotac H55ITX-A-E Motherboard
Intel Core i3-530 CPU
Crucial 2 x 1GB DDR3-1333 Memory
2 x 2TB WDWD20EADS Hard Drives

Total for Hardware is listed as $799. The article author (Loyd Case) states his goal was "to build a system that will get the most out of Vail". If anyone has any thoughts on this system, I would appreciate hearing them. In the meantime, I will continue reviewing this forum to learn more about what others have built.

Fred


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:17 am 
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I think the total price is a bit high. I am currently building my own server and including the case i spent $423 and thats with an Amd quad core processor. I will be posting the spec soon with a list of parts. If i were you i would do some research first. There are a lot of good ideas here on this website.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:11 am 
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Since the whole situation with Microsoft seems to be up in the air on Windows Home Server and having delayed way too long already, I ended up taking a totally different path this week.

I am currently using a bunch of external USB and eSATA drives for storage along with Blu-ray discs for critical file backup. I setup several Linksys NSLU2 'unbricked' dedicated systems; one as a music system using the Firefly package and another as a dedicated Web Server. The dedicated Web Server only uses USB Flash Drives and takes minimal power to leave running continuously. I am not a Linux person and had some challenges in getting the Linksys NSLU2's setup. That is one of the main reasons I was hoping to use Windows Home Server.

This week our local CompUSA store (now owned by Tiger Direct) had an add for a D-Link DNS-321 for $70 after a $20 mail-in rebate. This is a small NAS device with 2 bays for SATA hard drives. After researching the device on the internet for awhile, I decided to buy one along with two 1TB SATA drives that were on sale. At $70 the device is cheaper than what I paid for my old Linksys NSLU2's. There are packages and instructions on the internet for opening up Linux on the device and installing add-on packages including a much more robust Web Server and Firefly. With 7200rpm drives people report the device can stream video fine over a gigabit ethernet connection. The device also appears to be Mac friendly. You can review all the other capabilities of the device. The biggest downside is naturally you are limited to two SATA drives and if you run them as a RAID1, the capacity of one SATA drive.

Last night I found on D-Link's web site DLinkTV. There were several video tutorials that showed how with the latest firmware for the DNS-323 (a slightly more robust NAS) there is now an 'Add-On' capability to easily install a number of packages including Firefly. Unfortunately in the process of researching this, I discovered that there are no firmware updates for the DNS-321 to provide the same capability. I then discovered that D-Link has announced outside the US the new DNS-320 with evidently a much more powerful processor. I am guessing that the DNS-321 may be discontinued once the DNS-320 becomes available in the US. I am not sorry I bought the DNS-321 as worse case, I will simply use it to consolidate a bunch of the data that I now keep on external USB and eSATA drives. If I can get other Linux packages installed, especially Firefly, so much the better.

One person's decision on what to do while waiting for the dust to settle on Windows Home Server.

Fred


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:09 am 
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SherlockH wrote:
I am one of those who has been sitting on the sidelines. I had hoped HP would announce a new line of MediaSmart servers that would be a better match for Vail. I almost bought a EX495 on sale before Christmas, but decided to review this web site first and after reading about Microsoft and DE and then HP getting out of the MediaSmart business, I ended up not buying. So now it appears the best solution may be to build my own.

I have started reviewing this forum for what others have built, but many of them seem to be more that I envision needing. The January 2011 issue of MaximumPC has an article on building "A Windows Home Server with Muscle". In general, this system uses the following parts:

Lian-Li PC-Q08 Mini-Q Case (room for 6 drives)
Seasonic SS-460FL Fanless 460W Power Supply
Zotac H55ITX-A-E Motherboard
Intel Core i3-530 CPU
Crucial 2 x 1GB DDR3-1333 Memory
2 x 2TB WDWD20EADS Hard Drives

Total for Hardware is listed as $799. The article author (Loyd Case) states his goal was "to build a system that will get the most out of Vail". If anyone has any thoughts on this system, I would appreciate hearing them. In the meantime, I will continue reviewing this forum to learn more about what others have built.

Fred


That build is actually similar to my HTPC build which I documented here. The motherboard is not bad, but a couple things to point out:

- At least when I bought the motherboard the Turbo feature was not working. This may not mean much to you, but worth mentioning
- The PCI slot did not work for TV tuner cards (once again, when I purchased it, I don't know if there has been a revision). Not sure if it would support an eSata card for further expansion.
- I am not sure if that mobo supports hot swap if that matters

Overall I have been very happy with the motherboard. However, if I was building a server now (you can see my server Shawshank in my signature) I would opt to go with a mobo that had USB 3.0. I expect a majority of the next round of mobos released in 2011 will have USB 3.0 standard

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:58 pm 
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I agree the price seems high . I used the quad core AMD as well and with the ASUS MB and was closer to 500.00 than 600.00. just get things on sale now things seem even cheaper. I do suggest a good powersupply if you are going to run it alot and use all the HD space. my info is in the Sig as well.

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