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help on these specs as a file server please ?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by newstuart, Apr 30, 2005.

  1. newstuart

    newstuart
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    hi all
    I may be buying a pc off here with these specs,

    Abit KT7-RAID mobo
    Amd Duron 800
    256 MB ram (168 dimm)
    80GB Western Digital Caviar IDE HDD
    Radeon 7000 AGP, 32MB
    WinTV-Go PCI card
    Soundblaster PCI
    PCI Modem
    PCI network card
    CD-Rom drive
    Black midi-tower case & 350w PSU.

    I intend to use this with 3 200 gb hardrives in a home network with 3 MCE based small cube type PCs, and have all my movies stored on this pc to be accessed from the others. With the specs listed is there anything im missing ?
     
  2. Skunkpipe

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    The only thing I'd say is increase the memory to at 512MB
    My server is a lowly P3 500 but the extra 256MB made a huge difference
     
  3. mjn

    mjn
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    Make sure the PSU is a good quality one.
     
  4. drummerjohn

    drummerjohn
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    Agree with previous:

    Good PSU (400w Antec or Enermax)
    512mb RAM if running XP otherwise 192mb for Win98.
    The 800 Duron is a bit slow for my liking - the KT7R will take a Athlon 2000 I believe.

    My file server is the KG7 Raid and has been working 24\7 for 3 years now making the KT7Raid a good choice.
     
  5. GrahamC

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    Memory is low no doubt about it and no need for the modem. I would change the Duron as well seeing as how cheap a replacement would be. For around £60-£70 you would have nice media server with a much better life span and flexability.
     
  6. HitmanIP7

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    I would upgrade to 512mb RAM, and Id also recommend you some good cooling. At least one intake and one exhaust.

    And why do you need the following if its a file server?

    WinTV-Go PCI card
    Soundblaster PCI
    PCI Modem
     
  7. drummerjohn

    drummerjohn
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    Indeed - get rid of the add in cards.

    Cooling - dont worry too much unless you have 2+ HDs. Im sure the KT7R can take 6 HDs as can my KG7R. A nice quiet 120mm fan blowing over the HDs will be effective.
     
  8. HitmanIP7

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    I would personally always recommend an exhaust as well ;)
     
  9. Desticado

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    hi there.

    if the PC is going to be on 24/7 then a good PSU is a must and if you're going to load it with several drives then id fit a 500w unit.

    Fit more Ram 512 is the minimum for a half decent XP setup and if you're going the full server/RAID route than 1024 is not going to break the bank. Are you planning to actually configure it using Windows server software or with XP and just use it as a filestore?

    Unless you're going to run MSServer, CPU isnt really a factor as the PC is not going to be doing much other than delivering/relaying files. but with CPU prices low at the moment it wont cost much to go for a slightly higher processer, but you wont gain much for doing it.

    What RAID configuration are you planning? 0,1,5?

    I've not looked at your RAID controller spec but if you can stretch to the extra drive, RAID 5 is best bet as it offers best utilisation of space whilst still offering redundancy in case of a drive failure. Drive failure is THE most common cause of data loss, so unless you dont mind losing those movies/music go for RAID 5.

    any more questions, let me know.
     
  10. jameson_uk

    jameson_uk
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    Don't get too hung up on power ratings as these are not the most important thing.

    Having four hard drives you are going to need a decent 12V rail. Look at the amount of current you can get out of this. A lot of 500W+ PSUs will not provide anything like enough where as a top notch 350W one will.

    Look for something which has about 30A on the 12V rail also if youur 200GB hard drives are SATA (presume they are if you are planning on RAIDing them) make sure your PSU has enough SATA power connectors (you will normally find that the actual rating on the 12v line and the number of SATA are connected. (i.e. the better ones often have 4 connectors)
     
  11. jameson_uk

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    Not sure why as a server you would need a modem / sound card / tv card etc ?? In fact are you sure you even need a CD/ROM & graphics card ??

    I would be interested in what prive you would get all this for. The Duron 800 / mobo combo is obviously now out of date and if this is anything over about £40, you might want to consider something like the Asus NF7-S mobo and a Sempron processor. You can get this and something like a 2600 processor for about £100 and this would give you a lot better performance than the Duron.
     
  12. jameson_uk

    jameson_uk
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    The one thing you have not mentioned is operating system.

    If you have limited resources then I would stay well clear of Windows. I have just setup my server running Debian (Linux) and it is pretty easy to setup as a file server for Windows.

    I do not have anything plugged into the system, no keyboard / mouse / monitor etc and I only plugged in a CD during installation. I can then log on to the system from my Windows box

    The machine is silent based on the EPIA fanless motherboard / processor and a Beblu case. The case only houses one hard drive and is very expensive but the mobo/processor might be worth considering if you want a silent system.

    The machine is reasonably low spec (I seem to recall that the 533MHz C3 chip is about the same as a 533MHz PIII)
     
  13. Andy_Lee

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    Nope he also forgot to mention a backup solution, if its a server and you value your time or data then a backup solution is mandatory.
     
  14. Desticado

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    That's what the Raid 5 configuration is for...




     
  15. WBC

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    If you are only looking to store files in a central repository then this is a good solution.

    http://www.linksys.com/products/product.asp?grid=35&scid=43&prid=640

    I use them and provide me with everything I'm after (including an inbuilt backup scheduler)

    At about £60 plus HD's of choice, they're cheaper than a PC.


    Just a thought
    Stace
     
  16. GrahamC

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    Holly moly this system spiraled didn't it.. :rotfl:. It started off as using a few out of date scrap bits and pieces and ended up as a raid array toting, megabit memory, 64 bit processor snarling uber system fit for a call centre run by norwich union.. :rotfl::rotfl::rotfl: . All sound advice though, it just made me smile.
     
  17. MikeFish

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    I think the point was that he was buying a second hand machine and that was what was already in it, as oppposed to he was planning on putting it all together.
     
  18. mjn

    mjn
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    LOL, never heard such rubbish in all my life!!!

    Ever heard of multiple HDD failures? Viruses? Power surges?
     
  19. drummerjohn

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    Indeed - One of our Dell 2600 RAID5 arrays died last week. Faulty LSI chip took all the data with it without warning.

    The best backup is a backup in my opinion. That is a completely seperate storage solution to the one you work with.

    BTW - the KT7R will only do Raid 0, 1 & 0+1. But I wouldn't bother using it. HDs are so cheap just backup onto another one.
     
  20. jameson_uk

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    The NSLU2 is a nifty little linux box. Remember that the cost of this plus two external USB hard drive enclosures does push it up a bit.

    An EPIA mobo is available for about £65 + £65 for a case / PSU. I have seen the NSLU2 for £56 plus USB enclosures for £17 so this would add up to £90.

    @ £130 for the EPIA system, this does sort of compare and would give you onboard sound / video, USB2, TV-out, and a little more control over what you could do with the box.

    There are also a few other NAS boxes which do this sort of thing but are a lot tiddier one box solutions (£160 +HDD and up though)
     
  21. Desticado

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    sure, but it all depends on just how robust he wants to make it. For some people simply backing up to CD is fine. for others they want Raid 10 with DAT backup and a mirrored server alongside it, of course this doesnt rule out complete hardware failure (theft/fire/floodO so a remote site mirroring might be required. There was a good artical in 'micro mart' a couple of weeks back where the guy ahd effectively put together a 'network drive' using an old pc which he stored in the loft of his house. Struck me as a useful idea, as its unlikely to get stolen if its well out of site.

    If you recall I offered 'If the controller supports it' then Raid5 Is an easy next step option as it adds a level of self contained reliablity for a very marginal cost or hassle.
     
  22. SeanT

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    So, you would recommend using RAID 1 then!!!!!
     
  23. drummerjohn

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    No - because its in the same box running from the same controller and therefore prone to the same failure.

    I have a media server with just over half a terrabyte of storage - I made the decision that if all went tits up I could live without just over half of it.

    So I have the family PC with a HD in it they cannot access which is big enough to keep a backup of all the essentials on the fileserver. With the 1gigabit LAN backing up is relatively quick.
     
  24. SeanT

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    How old / savvy are the family?
    You better hope none of em are like me or a couple of my mates at work - any challenge like that....

    Fair point with the controller etc. however you have to weigh it against the controller being able to alert you should your infrequently accessed backup drive go and die on you.....
     
  25. drummerjohn

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    LOL - My kids aren't that savvy yet. But then if they get to it and by some even tragic accident blow it all away I still have a copy on the fileserver. If they ever got that good at finding backdoors then my fileserver would be a risk as well. Im getting scared now!!!
     

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