Home Network Help

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Home Network Help

Postposted on Sat Feb 20, 2010 2:02 pm

Hey TR,

Here's the problem: I have three computers that I would like to network together.

Comp 1: Win 7 Pro Machine - This is my gaming/ general usage computer.

Comp 2: Snow Leopard Machine - iMac has all multimedia, out of HD space.

Comp 3: Asus Netbook running XP - "Living room PC", just for IM/ web

So here's the thing. My Mac is out of HD space. I like to do video editing on it and the external drive currently attached is too darn slow.

All these computers are hooked up to a D-link DIR 615 wireless N router.

What I would like to do is use some of my current spare parts (HP mobo, AMD 4200+ proc, 1Gb RAM, HP 300w PSU) to build a home server where all comps could access data at anytime.

I'm guessing I'm going to need a case and a couple of HD's but what else?

Am I going to have compatibility issues? How about speed? I'm trying to do this as cheap as possible, but I'm always open to suggestions so long as the performance justifies the price!

-HF
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Re: Home Network Help

Postposted on Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:03 pm

Is the motherboard's NIC 100Mb/s or 1Gb/s?

Edit: Do you have a Windows license for this old HP (and if so, which version)? Or are you thinking about Linux?
How many HDDs are you thinking of adding? How many sata ports ports does your motherboard have? If your motherobard lacks a 1Gb NIC and enough ports, it might be better to buy a new motherboard instead of buying two PCI/PCIe cards.
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Re: Home Network Help

Postposted on Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Have you looked into FreeNAS?
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Re: Home Network Help

Postposted on Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:18 pm

wibeasley wrote:Is the motherboard's NIC 100Mb/s or 1Gb/s?

Edit: Do you have a Windows license for this old HP (and if so, which version)? Or are you thinking about Linux?
How many HDDs are you thinking of adding? How many sata ports ports does your motherboard have? If your motherobard lacks a 1Gb NIC and enough ports, it might be better to buy a new motherboard instead of buying two PCI/PCIe cards.


I'm not sure about the OS at this point. I do have the HP license (somewhere :roll: ) and it is for Vista 32bit. I have 400Gb of video alone, so maybe 2x 1.5Tb drives in RAID. Speaking of RAID, I'm almost sure the HP mobo doesn't support RAID, so is an an-in card a decent option?

The hp mobo itself has 4x SATAII ports, one PCIe slot and that NIC is only 100Mb/s :x . Hp specs page. Will the NIC speed be an issue?

deputy dawg wrote:Have you looked into FreeNAS?


No I haven't but it looks pretty promising, I might just use that as appose to Vista.

Something I just thought of was using my gaming computer as a server as well. The mobo it it supports RAID and has four free SATA ports. Is there a way I could just throw two HDs into it and make it work?
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Re: Home Network Help

Postposted on Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:53 pm

if the plan is to access everything over wireless then don't bother with raid, the limiting factor will be the network not the hard drives. If you're worried about the data then setup a proper backup system on the server.

You could use you're gaming machine as the server but that would mean you'd have to leave it on all the time which would probably use a lot of power, but if it's on all the time anyway...
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Re: Home Network Help

Postposted on Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:30 pm

cheesyking wrote:if the plan is to access everything over wireless then don't bother with raid, the limiting factor will be the network not the hard drives. If you're worried about the data then setup a proper backup system on the server.


This is true of the wired side as well, since the DIR-615 is a 10/100 device. OP, how feasible is it to dedicate your iMac's available space to active projects and store non-essential work elsewhere? It's fine if you want to build a home server, but don't expect it to match external drive performance.
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Re: Home Network Help

Postposted on Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:27 pm

Contingency wrote:
cheesyking wrote:if the plan is to access everything over wireless then don't bother with raid, the limiting factor will be the network not the hard drives. If you're worried about the data then setup a proper backup system on the server.


This is true of the wired side as well, since the DIR-615 is a 10/100 device. OP, how feasible is it to dedicate your iMac's available space to active projects and store non-essential work elsewhere? It's fine if you want to build a home server, but don't expect it to match external drive performance.


Well that's my current setup. I have an external 1Tb drive hooked up to the iMac that has Movies on it along with time machine backups. But what's this about a home server being slower than my current setup? I was under the impression that Ethernet would be much faster than USB in this case.
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Re: Home Network Help

Postposted on Sat Feb 20, 2010 10:42 pm

Have you measured your external's performance? I assume it's 20-30 MBps, which is well above the Fast Ethernet theoretical max of 12.5 MBps.
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Re: Home Network Help

Postposted on Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:14 pm

Contingency wrote:Have you measured your external's performance? I assume it's 20-30 MBps, which is well above the Fast Ethernet theoretical max of 12.5 MBps.


Your assumption is correct. I average about 26MBps. So stick with the external for now? I still find it quite slow, so it sounds like the best option is to buy a 2Tb HD and throw it in the Mac. :-?
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Re: Home Network Help

Postposted on Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:03 pm

A new internal drive would offer good performance at a decent price. If you are still considering a home server, it may be worthwhile to drop to a 1TB disk, buy two, and purchase a gigabit switch (if your iMac has a gigabit port). Add one 1TB drive to your gaming system and use that as your backup.
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Re: Home Network Help

Postposted on Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:37 am

henfactor wrote:
Contingency wrote:Have you measured your external's performance? I assume it's 20-30 MBps, which is well above the Fast Ethernet theoretical max of 12.5 MBps.

Your assumption is correct. I average about 26MBps. So stick with the external for now? I still find it quite slow, so it sounds like the best option is to buy a 2Tb HD and throw it in the Mac. :-?

Yeah, your network is the limiting factor. Accessing a file server over 100 Mbit/sec Ethernet is going to be slower than the external drive you're using now. Unless you're willing to upgrade your network infrastructure, you need to either live with the performance of the external drive, or add an internal one.
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