ATX full tower for family server..?

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ATX full tower for family server..?

Postposted on Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:00 pm

Hi ,

I planning to setup a machine to store all the picture/video for my whole family and intent to use it for around 5-7 year old.

I haven't yet decide on the mbox and CPU but i blieve it i will get at least a 4 Core + pletty of memory(4GB) expand to at least 8GB in 2 year time + 1 TB *2 harddisk for starter.

i currently looking at this casing from COolerMaster Cosmo 1000 RC

Or Silvestone Raven RV02

Any one have build a rigg on this 2 case ??
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Re: ATX full tower for family server..?

Postposted on Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:00 pm

I'd go with the Coolermaster Cosmo in silver. It will just look like a household appliance. Even the Raven RV02 is trying too hard to look awesome.

That said, I'd also take a look at why you need such a big case, since any decent ATX case is going to have 4 3.5" internal bays.
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Re: ATX full tower for family server..?

Postposted on Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:09 pm

I think you are probably going a little over the top on the specs. While I can understand that you want something that will last 5-7 years. Having a home file server is not that intensive of an application. You can even add webserver, etc with a Windows Home Server build and have it work very well on lower end hardware.

I have a WHS build for my home using a spare Dell work computer. 3.06ghz Pentium 4, 2GB of ram, Purchased Intel NIC for gigabit & 2x 750GB + 2x500GB. This file server runs like a dream. I currently have it set up for light picture/web server as well for remote access and allowing extended family to view pictures/movies.
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Re: ATX full tower for family server..?

Postposted on Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:53 am

Yeah... when a lot of people hear "server", they think "high end". This need not be the case. Yes, production servers in a corporate environment (or to serve a high-traffic web site) need to have multiple CPU cores, lots of RAM, and high-performance disks. But for a home server this is overkill.

Until very recently, my home file server was an ancient Slot A Athlon system. I have finally replaced it with a Socket 939 dual-core Athlon64 (so still "obsolete" components by modern standards), and I figure that will probably be good for several years. Even with a several-year-old CPU, it has plenty of horsepower to serve files (even with software RAID-5).

A dual-core CPU and 2 GB of RAM should be plenty for a home file server.

I do suggest getting a motherboard that supports ECC memory, and using ECC DIMMs; this is my one concession to using "server" hardware for a home server. When you're entrusting a box with all of your data, data integrity is critical!

A full-tower case is probably overkill unless you intend to put a huge pile of hard drives in the thing. You will want to make sure that whatever case you get has good ventilation around the drive bays though; this can be a hidden advantage of going with a bigger case, even if you don't need all of the bays.

Upgrade your network to gigabit, if you haven't already. If you're still running 100 mbit Ethernet, the network will be the bottleneck!

Decide whether you want to optimize for power consumption, since this box will probably be left powered up 24x7. Depending on how expensive electricity is where you live, it can add up over time. A dual-core CPU will use less power than a quad core, and you probably won't notice much (if any) difference in performance for typical home file server workload. Disk drives are also available in standard or low-power models. For example, Western Digital has their "Green" drives, which use less power but have longer access times.
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Re: ATX full tower for family server..?

Postposted on Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:36 am

You could get a prebuilt thing like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... _-59105382

When I get around to evaulating WHS and making sure it does what I want it to, I'll get a similar little system as my home server/backup/media solution. Like the others have said, if you're just dumping files, you don't need beefy specs, really. And if it's not a storage solution for, like, editing video over a network, then it doesn't need to have fast drives, either.
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Re: ATX full tower for family server..?

Postposted on Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:42 am

just brew it! wrote:Yeah... when a lot of people hear "server", they think "high end". This need not be the case. Yes, production servers in a corporate environment (or to serve a high-traffic web site) need to have multiple CPU cores, lots of RAM, and high-performance disks. But for a home server this is overkill.

Until very recently, my home file server was an ancient Slot A Athlon system. I have finally replaced it with a Socket 939 dual-core Athlon64 (so still "obsolete" components by modern standards), and I figure that will probably be good for several years. Even with a several-year-old CPU, it has plenty of horsepower to serve files (even with software RAID-5).

A dual-core CPU and 2 GB of RAM should be plenty for a home file server.

I do suggest getting a motherboard that supports ECC memory, and using ECC DIMMs; this is my one concession to using "server" hardware for a home server. When you're entrusting a box with all of your data, data integrity is critical!

A full-tower case is probably overkill unless you intend to put a huge pile of hard drives in the thing. You will want to make sure that whatever case you get has good ventilation around the drive bays though; this can be a hidden advantage of going with a bigger case, even if you don't need all of the bays.

Upgrade your network to gigabit, if you haven't already. If you're still running 100 mbit Ethernet, the network will be the bottleneck!

Decide whether you want to optimize for power consumption, since this box will probably be left powered up 24x7. Depending on how expensive electricity is where you live, it can add up over time. A dual-core CPU will use less power than a quad core, and you probably won't notice much (if any) difference in performance for typical home file server workload. Disk drives are also available in standard or low-power models. For example, Western Digital has their "Green" drives, which use less power but have longer access times.


Hi Just Brew It,

Thank for your advices , now properly my time to look for a 2nd hand motherboard + maybe a P4 CPU...any recommendation for this combination ??


Scrotos wrote:You could get a prebuilt thing like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... _-59105382

When I get around to evaulating WHS and making sure it does what I want it to, I'll get a similar little system as my home server/backup/media solution. Like the others have said, if you're just dumping files, you don't need beefy specs, really. And if it's not a storage solution for, like, editing video over a network, then it doesn't need to have fast drives, either.


Hi Scrotos ,

The con is HP don't sell this product to malaysia.. :( so we got to DIY ourself.. :)
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Re: ATX full tower for family server..?

Postposted on Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:48 am

mghong wrote:now properly my time to look for a 2nd hand motherboard + maybe a P4 CPU...any recommendation for this combination ??
Unless you are getting the combo really cheap, I would not recommend a hot inefficient chip like the P4. Cheap dual cores can be had fairly easily these days, used or new.
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Re: ATX full tower for family server..?

Postposted on Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:10 pm

Flying Fox wrote:Unless you are getting the combo really cheap, I would not recommend a hot inefficient chip like the P4. Cheap dual cores can be had fairly easily these days, used or new.

Seconded. Unless you have really cheap electricity, the up front cost savings from going with an old P4 will be eaten up in electricity costs after a few years (or sooner). When I upgraded my own server, my original plan was to go with an old Athlon MP (dual Socket A) system I had sitting around. I scrapped that plan when I measured its power consumption and calculated the cost of the additional electricity over a 5 year period.

P4 and Athlon XP/MP use a lot of electricity and/or don't have very good power management. So you probably want something that is at least Core 2 or Athlon64 based.
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Re: ATX full tower for family server..?

Postposted on Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:24 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:Unless you are getting the combo really cheap, I would not recommend a hot inefficient chip like the P4. Cheap dual cores can be had fairly easily these days, used or new.

Seconded. Unless you have really cheap electricity, the up front cost savings from going with an old P4 will be eaten up in electricity costs after a few years (or sooner). When I upgraded my own server, my original plan was to go with an old Athlon MP (dual Socket A) system I had sitting around. I scrapped that plan when I measured its power consumption and calculated the cost of the additional electricity over a 5 year period.

P4 and Athlon XP/MP use a lot of electricity and/or don't have very good power management. So you probably want something that is at least Core 2 or Athlon64 based.


Flying Fox wrote:
mghong wrote:now properly my time to look for a 2nd hand motherboard + maybe a P4 CPU...any recommendation for this combination ??
Unless you are getting the combo really cheap, I would not recommend a hot inefficient chip like the P4. Cheap dual cores can be had fairly easily these days, used or new.


Hi flying fox, Just Brew It.

Thank for the advance highlight , i did't even notice this .

Look like for AMD chip ,it might be hard to get a 2nd hand cases , with a better power saving such as Athlon II X2 240
it needed to be a newer motherboard such as AM3 .

I think for Intel chip , a Pentium D + A G31/P43 chipset motherbord will be a better 'cost saving' plan ??
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Re: ATX full tower for family server..?

Postposted on Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:38 pm

mghong wrote:I think for Intel chip , a Pentium D + A G31/P43 chipset motherbord will be a better 'cost saving' plan ??
A "Pentium D" is possibly the worst consumer CPU you could use in a low-power build. Maybe you meant the similarly named "Pentium Dual-core". Make sure the processor number isn't 8xx or 9xx.
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Re: ATX full tower for family server..?

Postposted on Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:24 pm

Pentium D, strictly speaking, refers to 2 Pentium 4's slapped together in a package. As you can see how this is not such a good idea.

Pentium Dual-Core or Celeron Dual-Core (they are all numbered Exxxx) should give you pretty low power and be fast enough for even some programs to run on that file server. I know some retailers who don't know proper product nomenclature would make the PDC "Pentium D", which does not help things.

On the AMD side, the Athlon II X2 would be a very fine choice. The older Athlon X2 "e" processors should not be too bad themselves. Just the original Phenom and the higher-performance Phenom II that you need to stay away from.
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Re: ATX full tower for family server..?

Postposted on Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:48 pm

Something like the GA-MA785GM-US2H is quite inexpensive. Drop in an Athlon II X2 245 or X2 240 then add a stick of two of DDR2, and you're on your way for under $170. Let's have no more crazy talk of using those horrible old Pentium-D chips for home server applications.

On the Intel side, you'd spend more to get something like the P5QL/EPU and Celeron E3200 or E6500.
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Re: ATX full tower for family server..?

Postposted on Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:48 pm

I use a Antec Sonata for my WHS machine. Now with a Gigabyte 740G board, Athlon LE-1660, four terabyte drives. It's very quiet.
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Re: ATX full tower for family server..?

Postposted on Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:09 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:Something like the GA-MA785GM-US2H is quite inexpensive. Drop in an Athlon II X2 245 or X2 240 then add a stick of two of DDR2, and you're on your way for under $170. Let's have no more crazy talk of using those horrible old Pentium-D chips for home server applications.

On the Intel side, you'd spend more to get something like the P5QL/EPU and Celeron E3200 or E6500.


Hi..I checked Gigabyte US site , i found a comparison chart on this US2H and UD2H ,Comparison chart

I found this Athlon II X2 is a AM3 socket but if US2H is only on AM2+/AM2..then is it possible ?
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Re: ATX full tower for family server..?

Postposted on Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:37 am

mghong wrote:Hi..I checked Gigabyte US site , i found a comparison chart on this US2H and UD2H ,Comparison chart
The only differences between the US2H and UD2H are:
1. DDR2 vs DDR3 memory
2. Not all the capacitors on the US2H are solid state caps

mghong wrote:I found this Athlon II X2 is a AM3 socket but if US2H is only on AM2+/AM2..then is it possible ?
The AM3 socket is designed to be backwards compatible with AM2+. The current batch of AM3 CPUs (like the X2) have memory controllers on the chip itself that can talk to either DDR2 or DDR3. This means you can pair AM3 CPUs with DDR2 memory. In fact this is what I am planning to do, pairing a 250 with 2x2GiB of G.Skill DDR2.
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Re: ATX full tower for family server..?

Postposted on Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:47 am

Flying Fox wrote:The AM3 socket is designed to be backwards compatible with AM2+. The current batch of AM3 CPUs (like the X2) have memory controllers on the chip itself that can talk to either DDR2 or DDR3. This means you can pair AM3 CPUs with DDR2 memory. In fact this is what I am planning to do, pairing a 250 with 2x2GiB of G.Skill DDR2.

Clarification/nitpick: Current AM3 processors are designed to be backwards compatible with AM2+ sockets. The AM3 socket is not backwards compatible with AM2/AM2+ processors. (Just figured I'd stress that, for anyone reading this who may not realize that AM2/AM2+ motherboard = DDR2 and AM3 motherboard = DDR3.)
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Re: ATX full tower for family server..?

Postposted on Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:09 am

just brew it! wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:The AM3 socket is designed to be backwards compatible with AM2+. The current batch of AM3 CPUs (like the X2) have memory controllers on the chip itself that can talk to either DDR2 or DDR3. This means you can pair AM3 CPUs with DDR2 memory. In fact this is what I am planning to do, pairing a 250 with 2x2GiB of G.Skill DDR2.

Clarification/nitpick: Current AM3 processors are designed to be backwards compatible with AM2+ sockets. The AM3 socket is not backwards compatible with AM2/AM2+ processors. (Just figured I'd stress that, for anyone reading this who may not realize that AM2/AM2+ motherboard = DDR2 and AM3 motherboard = DDR3.)


Hi fox, Just brew it..

As a laymen view . If i buy this motherboard US2H , it will be a AM2/AM2+ socket and it can fix to any AM3/AM2+/AM2 processor with benefit that support DDR2 now.

If i bough the UD2H , it mean it will fix into only AM3 CPU and run only DDR3..

Am i correct ?
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Re: ATX full tower for family server..?

Postposted on Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:06 pm

mghong wrote:As a laymen view . If i buy this motherboard US2H , it will be a AM2/AM2+ socket and it can fix to any AM3/AM2+/AM2 processor with benefit that support DDR2 now.

If i bough the UD2H , it mean it will fix into only AM3 CPU and run only DDR3..

Am i correct ?

Exactly. You got it. ;)
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