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Ok, i've finally realised i need a better storage system...

instigator

Active Member
Originally had an old windows xp desktop machine with all my iTunes files on it... We are mac/iThing household...

I think I got a sata card and put in a handful of drives in it... Then I had to make an alias and keep movies in a large drive as collection grew...

Then as I ripped more of our movies bought more downloads etc I got a 2tb seagate goflex nas as a stopgap...

Now this is full... And rather than just keep getting a bigger drive I've been reading up on some of the unraid and other solutions you guys are using...

I could get rid of windows xp on my old pc which really annoys me and just plug in all my internal drives I've got and be set...

I can't remember the exact spec of the xp machine but I know it's the lowest powerful CPU that can play blu ray discs... So that should be powerful enough for nas duties?

Do I need to fire it up and write down the full specs of it? It's got a gigabit Ethernet card in it... The home network is gigabit... I know it's got a really lame graphics card that doesn't play blu rays... But for nas duties it doesn't matter, right?

Is power consumption something I need to think about? If this machine is configured for nas duties will it run more economically than when it's just set to be on 24/7?

I guess once I know the max amount of drives I can stuff in it I'll know if it's better to get a new case and start from scratch? Or could I drop this CPU and other bits in a better case for nas?

Ok, here is the info on pc, let me know if there is anything else you need to know... I'm not a pc person so apologies for not understanding this stuff it the lingo etc...

IBM ThinkCentre
Windows xp professional

Intel pentium 4 CPU 3.20ghz

Then on next line it says:
3.19 Ghz, 1.99 GB of RAM

IDE ata/atapi controllers:
intel 8280 1FB Ultra ata storage controllers - 2651
Primary IDE channel
Secondary IDE channel

2x Intel pentium 4 CPU 3.20ghz

Silicon Image SiI 3112 sataRaid controller
 
Last edited:

jammyb2004

Novice Member
My NAS/Server is a tall case that can hold 12 drives plus an optical drive.

It's a P4 3GHz with 3GB ram and windows 7.

On 24/7 and remote desktop in by netbooks/iPhone to maintain/add to downloads.

I don't use RAID as if a drive fails I don't lose/waste time rebuilding arrays. For every drive I buy I buy a second as its mirror and used as a backup. These are kept offsite at parents house.

It's simple and it works. My Revo accesses it to stream content and my network isn't gigabit!

Like they say "keep it simple, stupid!"
 

instigator

Active Member
jammyb2004 said:
My NAS/Server is a tall case that can hold 12 drives plus an optical drive.

It's a P4 3GHz with 3GB ram and windows 7.

On 24/7 and remote desktop in by netbooks/iPhone to maintain/add to downloads.

I don't use RAID as if a drive fails I don't lose/waste time rebuilding arrays. For every drive I buy I buy a second as its mirror and used as a backup. These are kept offsite at parents house.

It's simple and it works. My Revo accesses it to stream content and my network isn't gigabit!

Like they say "keep it simple, stupid!"
Right, so how does windows handle large collections? Like when a 500gb drive fills up how does it handle spreading out collection across several drives? This is where I gave up on the pc solution and got a 2tb nas drive...

If I had know about the solutions people are using now, to automatically span data across many drives I'd still be using my old pc as a server... Not worried about auto backup via raid... Just automatically spreading data across various drives as if it were one giant drive that I could keep expanding...
 

instigator

Active Member
jammyb2004 said:
I maintain it myself. I leave 50gb spare per drive free and move onto the next drive :)
Er, I couldn't do that... Too painful... I actually dread using computers so I need this kinda stuff to be automated...
 

instigator

Active Member
Does anyone know if I can canabalize the CPU, gigabit card, sata card etc from this system into a case with more drive bays?
 

instigator

Active Member
jammyb2004 said:
Yes you can.
Great, thanks! I'm not a pc person so apologies for so many questions... From what I've read this morning researching there are one or two motherboard standards? Do I have to find out my type of motherboard thingy before I choose a case or is everything standardized?

Also, ive got a power supply in the case... I can use that as well in the case for now or should I get a case with its own power supply?
 

instigator

Active Member
jammyb2004 said:
Find out your motherboard then go from that :)
Thanks... Sorry to be a pest but I can't find this info in any of the control panels or property screens on the pc... On a mac there is a simple profile thingy to list all this kinda stuff....

Tried google search as well... Just got pages of refurb sales... Heh... Will keep searching... If I open the case will I be able to find this info? Or take a picture of the inside and post it here?

Thanks for all the help!
 

instigator

Active Member
Ok, is this the info on motherboard?

Processor 1 ID = 0
Number of cores 1 (max 1)
Number of threads 2 (max 2)
Name Intel Pentium 4 540
Codename Prescott
Specification Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.20GHz
Package (platform ID) Socket 775 LGA (0x4)
CPUID F.4.1
Extended CPUID F.4
Core Stepping E0
Technology 90 nm
Core Speed 2795.2 MHz
Multiplier x FSB 14.0 x 199.7 MHz
Rated Bus speed 798.6 MHz
Stock frequency 3200 MHz
Instructions sets MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3
L1 Data cache 16 KBytes, 8-way set associative, 64-byte line size
Trace cache 12 Kuops, 8-way set associative
L2 cache 1024 KBytes, 8-way set associative, 64-byte line size
FID/VID Control no
 

jammyb2004

Novice Member
print screen button is on the keyboard mate, you then paste it into paint, save as a jpeg then upload to somewhere like photobucket and copy the IMG tags into your post! you don't need to take a photo of the screen :lol:

so basically, now you know your spec/model. what is it you want to do next?
 

instigator

Active Member
jammyb2004 said:
print screen button is on the keyboard mate, you then paste it into paint, save as a jpeg then upload to somewhere like photobucket and copy the IMG tags into your post! you don't need to take a photo of the screen :lol:

so basically, now you know your spec/model. what is it you want to do next?
Well, I need to find a case with space for loads of hard drives that can also accept the CPU, motherboard etc...

What details do I need to make sure the new case fits? I know pentium 4 is too general... Is it motherboard?
 

instigator

Active Member
It just occurred to me that perhaps an easier route would be to run one of those external sata port thingies for now and put some drives in a box... And figure out what software to use to pool the drives...

Unless its feasible to find a bigger case that can accept my CPU etc?
 

jammyb2004

Novice Member
There are plenty of cases that hold your motherboard. It's an ATX board not a mATX one. Just find a case you like and get going!
 

instigator

Active Member
jammyb2004 said:
There are plenty of cases that hold your motherboard. It's an ATX board not a mATX one. Just find a case you like and get going!
Super, thanks!

One more question.... Is this motherboard so old that it would be a bottleneck on a faster sata card? I think I've got a 1.5 something or other card... Not 3 or 6gb per second? Is that the term?
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
Running a P4 PC 24/7 will suck the juice faster than a drunk at a free bar!!!

For a NAS, you only need something low powered.
 

instigator

Active Member
mjn said:
Running a P4 PC 24/7 will suck the juice faster than a drunk at a free bar!!!

For a NAS, you only need something low powered.
Ah, thanks for that advice... I was talking to our electricity supplier a while ago and the dude did say we were using a lot of power so I suppose be a bit more Eco friendly would be nice...

Is there any way the P4 system can be tuned down to run slower/draw less power?

I don't use this machine at all now that I have a 2tb sea gate goflex nas and I've noticed a drop in electric bill, ha ha... But the little nas drive is filling up so need to expand...

If this kit can run at low cost could you recommend a better low power CPU? I do use this machine on occasion to rip blu rays when my mac is busy so hopefully that can still be done on a low power system... Speed isn't really an issue...
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
No, the P4 is very inefficient. There are plenty of newer CPU's running at <40w, and have power saving features built in.
 

instigator

Active Member
mjn said:
No, the P4 is very inefficient. There are plenty of newer CPU's running at <40w, and have power saving features built in.
Ok thanks... I've been doing web searches and I guess it's a trade off between using old stuff that's on hand or buying new stuff that is more efficient... Argh...

When it was on 24/7 my Supplier did say we were using lots more electricity than a normal household... My quad core mac pro is on 24/7 too... Heh...
 

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