Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

For small-form factor PCs and the (extremely small) people who love them.

Moderators: mac_h8r1, Nelliesboo

Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:13 pm

I would like to build a new computer to replace my 9+ year old Dell Dimension XPS. It's got a 1ghz PIII, it's big, loud and can't handle the amount of storage I need.

My needs are as follows:

1. Must be quiet. I need the computer to be up and running in the guest bedroom 24/7. My Dell is very loud and must be shut off at nights.
2. Must be small. I don't want a mid tower if I don't need it. If I have to get a tower, I want the smallest one possible.
3. Energy efficient. Since it's going to be on all the time, I don't want a power hog.

That being said, I've been looking at the MSI Wind and the Jetway bare bones on Newegg. The biggest downfalls with these is that they don't have the capacity for two hard drives. I'd like to get two WD Green 1TBs and run them in mirror.

Any advice for me? I've looked at the February guide and based my searching off the Kitchen PC recommendations.

Thanks!
poindexter6
Gerbil
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:44 am

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:35 pm

How much processing power did you want?

Mini-ITX case with one 5¼" and two 3½" drive bays
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811147131

AMD 780G mini-ITX motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813153124

45W low-power dual-core 64-bit processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... rchInDesc=

You might need a CPU cooler designed for a 1U server application to fit in this case.

This is many times more capable than Atom. It could double as an HTPC.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15427
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:43 pm

Get a NAS. Buffalo Terrastation or something similar. Look at reviews on www.smallnetbuilder.com
flip-mode
Gerbil Khan
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 9084
Joined: Thu May 08, 2003 12:42 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:49 pm

flip-mode wrote:Get a NAS. Buffalo Terrastation or something similar. Look at reviews on http://www.smallnetbuilder.com
Will a NAS allow me to serve a printer and do some torrenting?
poindexter6
Gerbil
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:44 am

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:53 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:How much processing power did you want?

Mini-ITX case with one 5¼" and two 3½" drive bays
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811147131

AMD 780G mini-ITX motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813153124

45W low-power dual-core 64-bit processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... rchInDesc=

You might need a CPU cooler designed for a 1U server application to fit in this case.

This is many times more capable than Atom. It could double as an HTPC.
That looks promising. I priced out a MSI Wind with Ram, ODD & HDD and was right at $300. I think if I went the route of entirely from scratch PC, I'd be closer to the $400 range, right?
poindexter6
Gerbil
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:44 am

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:03 pm

Newegg's combo deal with the motherboard and processor could save another $20 or $25:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductCo ... =10&page=1

Depending on how critical it is that it be small, a low-profile micro-ATX desktop case would open up less expensive alternatives. If you don't want the excellent graphics performance of AMD's 780G chipset, then you could also look at an inexpensive Intel G31 option.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15427
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:16 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:Newegg's combo deal with the motherboard and processor could save another $20 or $25:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductCo ... =10&page=1

Depending on how critical it is that it be small, a low-profile micro-ATX desktop case would open up less expensive alternatives. If you don't want the excellent graphics performance of AMD's 780G chipset, then you could also look at an inexpensive Intel G31 option.
Graphics aren't a factor. Anything onboard graphics and sound will be sufficient.
poindexter6
Gerbil
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:44 am

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:50 pm

do you really need a mini-itx setup? Can't you just put a micro-atx mini tower under the bed? That way the components won't be crowded and their be enough room for a few HDD's and future expansion.
Foxconn TLM436-CN300C-01 Black / Silver Steel MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case 300W Power Supply, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811153028

I think even the older 7150 onboard graphics will be good enough and probably use less power than the 780G. Also a single core cpu is only $30 and plenty powerful enough for what you need: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819103189

edit: actuall the newer LE-1640 single core would be better with its much higher HT speed:
AMD Athlon 64 LE-1640 Lima 2.7GHz, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819103240 $43
Last edited by eric93se on Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Increase your half open TCIP connections with the Half-open.com utility.
eric93se
Graphmaster Gerbil
 
Posts: 1263
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:31 pm
Location: Home of the most reprehensible false flag attack in the world.

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:59 pm

poindexter6 wrote:
flip-mode wrote:Get a NAS. Buffalo Terrastation or something similar. Look at reviews on http://www.smallnetbuilder.com
Will a NAS allow me to serve a printer and do some torrenting?
Ah, I thought all you needed was a file server.
flip-mode
Gerbil Khan
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 9084
Joined: Thu May 08, 2003 12:42 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:03 pm

eric93se wrote:I think even the older 7150 onboard graphics will be good enough and probably use less power than the 780G. Also a single core cpu is only $30 and plenty powerful enough for what you need: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819103189
I agree with Eric's whole post, but especially these points. Single core should use less power too. Some undervolting should definitely be considered too. My Athlon X2 undervolts very nicely.
flip-mode
Gerbil Khan
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 9084
Joined: Thu May 08, 2003 12:42 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:03 pm

NVidia's chipsets are notoriously power-hungry (and hot). Intel's chipsets use the least power, according to TR's reviews.


Slim-line micro-ATX desktop case:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... rchInDesc=

740G micro-ATX motherboard (Socket-AM2+)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128342
(This will work with the single-core or dual-core socket-AM2 processors linked above)


If you prefer the Intel route:
G41 micro-ATX motherboard (LGA 775):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128367

35W single-core LGA775 celery:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... rchInDesc=
or
65W dual-core LGA775 processor:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... rchInDesc=
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15427
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:57 pm

Also think about getting a low wattage but high efficiency rated PSU, might be a few bucks more up front to get an 80+ unit but it will save money in the long run.

For 420 shipped I got the following:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819116039 (Celeron 35w $40)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131243 (Asus MATX $48)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820146526 (2x1gb $21)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817151055 (Seasonic 300w $38)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822136317 x 2 (caviar green 1tb $100)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811121071 (Mini Tower $35)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6827106287 (DVD Burner $22)

I'd probably add to that a low speed fan to replace the 80mm in the case:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811999199 (6.50+ ship enermax low rpm)

Might add a low end heatsink that's built for noise reduction if necessary.

I'm really not familiar with the stock heatsinks, if they're already really quiet it wouldn't be necessary to get another. Also, I'm assuming that you can put a hard drive into one of the floppy bays, I've never tried but the screws should line up, right?
Thebolt
Graphmaster Gerbil
 
Posts: 1212
Joined: Fri May 30, 2003 4:29 pm
Location: VA

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:52 pm

So - is it pretty much common practice to buy a case and remove the PS it comes with? Many of the reviews I'm finding on NE have complaints about the PS.

How hard would it be to find a PS that fits a Micro-ATX/ITX case? People are also mentioning processor heat sink / fan clearance issues in some of the SFF cases.
poindexter6
Gerbil
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:44 am

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:24 pm

poindexter6 wrote:Anything onboard graphics and sound will be sufficient.
Do you have an old discrete graphics card laying around? This might be a silly idea, but you could get a motherboard without integrated graphics and set up the system with the graphics card installed. Once it's running well and you stick the box in the corner of your guest room, you could remove the card and connect to it only remotely.

Does anyone know how much power an integrated graphics chip consumes when no monitor is attached? 5-10 watts?
wibeasley
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 952
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:19 pm
Location: Norman OK

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:28 pm

wibeasley wrote:
poindexter6 wrote:Anything onboard graphics and sound will be sufficient.
Do you have an old discrete graphics card laying around? This might be a silly idea, but you could get a motherboard without integrated graphics and set up the system with the graphics card installed. Once it's running well and you stick the box in the corner of your guest room, you could remove the card and connect to it only remotely.

Does anyone know how much power an integrated graphics chip consumes when no monitor is attached? 5-10 watts?
I do have an old AGP(?) graphics card in my 9 year old dell now. That is an idea...call me silly but...a remote PC doesn't even need a graphics card? Like...at all?
poindexter6
Gerbil
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:44 am

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:46 pm

poindexter6 wrote: That is an idea...call me silly but...a remote PC doesn't even need a graphics card? Like...at all?
The comptuer would need it initially when OS is installed and the remote desktop settings are configured. But I agree with you that it won't need it during normal operations.
wibeasley
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 952
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:19 pm
Location: Norman OK

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:25 am

Since mostly only the IGP-chipset with onboard video are very power efficient, that is your best bet.

So: AMD 780G / 790GX or nVidia GeForce 8200/8300 or earlier should be very efficient.

Mini-ITX there is also the Jetway JNC-something - which is Socket AM2+ and has either AMD 780G or GF 8200 chipset, i forgot.

Anyway a modern AMD system with plenty of onboard SATA and at least two PCI-express would be fine. You may want to take a look at FreeNAS - a powerful operating system based on FreeBSD with easy web-interface for easy configuring. Also it can do advanced software RAID.
sub.mesa
Gerbil
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2009 3:35 pm

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:58 am

I'm a Small Form Factor (SFF) freak.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6856101080 (Case/Mobo/PSU/HSF/Int.Vid - $135)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819116039 (CPU - $40)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820146526 (RAM - $21)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822136317 (HDDs x2 - $200)

Total cost: ~$400

As long as you use Windows Home Server, the "RAID" is done via Drive Extender.

edit: oh, and you'll end up doing the OS install with either a flash drive (my preferred method) or an external DVD drive.
Your ideas intrigue me; I would like to purchase stock in your company.
eitje
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 661
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2003 11:28 am

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:03 pm

I was disappointed to see that April's Buying Guide didn't include another Kitchen PC. I was hoping for some more ideas...
poindexter6
Gerbil
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:44 am

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:28 am

Well, I've decided to go with the Kitchen PC Bild listed in the February 2009 buying guide:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-NA-_-NA (MSI Wind Barebones)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-NA-_-NA (2GB of Kingston RAM)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-NA-_-NA (WD Caviar Green 640GB x 2)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... rchInDesc= (SilenX Fan since the stock one is reported to be loud) Are any of these better than the other? Looks like one is trading noise for cooling power, but should I just go for the quietest one?

Wish me luck!
poindexter6
Gerbil
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:44 am

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:36 am

Atom is a huge step backward in technology. For less money, you can buy a 21st-century processor with a modern chipset.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15427
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:40 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:Atom is a huge step backward in technology. For less money, you can buy a 21st-century processor with a modern chipset.
But I really like the form factor and price of the case / bare bones setup.
poindexter6
Gerbil
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:44 am

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:11 pm

Does your monitor accept a vga cable? The product website says, "MSI reminds you: The VGA port can not be converted into DVI or HDMI through any adapter."
wibeasley
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 952
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:19 pm
Location: Norman OK

Re: Need to build Small, Quiet and Efficient File Server

Postposted on Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:19 pm

wibeasley wrote:Does your monitor accept a vga cable? The product website says, "MSI reminds you: The VGA port can not be converted into DVI or HDMI through any adapter."
It won't have a monitor. I'm going to connect it to VGA initially for install but after that it's going to be headless.
poindexter6
Gerbil
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:44 am


Return to SFF Station

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest