Originally Posted by Sc4r3d
I know there are a lot of threads out there, but I wanted to make sure everyone thinks what I am going to purchase will do the job. All I am going to be doing is serving up some files to my PS3, SmartTV, AppleTV via iTunes. I will store some music, I will not be doing any encoding, or if so, it won't be very much at all.
mb - ASrock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3
cpu - Intel Pentium G645
ram - Samsung 16GB DDR3-1600 PC3-12800)
HD 8 x 2TB Green 5400/5900 (is it worth having sata 6 vs 3)?
raid card - Need advise, I want the best card that will support 8 drives for the sub $200 range. (0,1,5,10 please)
The part I need the most help on is picking the RAID card and HD's. I come from a vmWare background, but with that being said I am used to SAS, PERC, etc. never played with WHS, and I don't want to use my G5 any longer at home, it is simply too loud and the drives are too $$ for my needs.
Thanks in advance!
So to first clarify something, you say you won't be doing any encoding. Encoding is basically converting a video, such as encoding a 720p blu-ray .MKV rip...to a .avi file. TRANScoding on the other hand, is the process of real time data conversion to another encoder. Not actually change the file, but changing the method that is being streamed. I can tell you that if you are going to be playing MKV files (typical high def blu-ray rips), you will definitely be transcoding to play that media on a PS3 (if using something like Plex, Tversity, PS3MediaServer, Serviio, etc) as well as to your AppleTV.
Now if you will be transcoding, I would recommend at least a dual core with HT, or a quad core. Seeing that you want to put 16GB of RAM (overkill, but RAM is so cheap you might as well), I would bump that CPU up to something a little more powerful. It will definitely increase the life of this box. That G645 will probably work, but I personally would want something a little more powerful (I have a Xeon E3-1220v2 in my storage server).
SATA 2 vs SATA 3 in 5400RPM drives, is not going to yield a difference. It's just the interface, and the disc can only spin so fast. I would recommend the SATA 3 simply because it's newer, and possibly means more power efficient, and quieter.
A raid card, if you are looking for a true hardware raid controller...in the $200 price range, I would be looking at a used Dell PERC 6/i. Can handle 8 drives, and can do Raid 0/1/5/6/10/50/60, and supports a Battery Backup Unit (recommended). PERC 6/i can support up to 16 drives, if used with a SAS Expander, but the card itself has 2 SAS ports (not miniSAS). You can get cables that go to a mSAS (SFF-8087) or a breakout cable that goes to 4 SATA ports, depending on your HDD caddys (hot swap, etc). You would need two of these cables, which will run you $15-25/ea.
WD Green drives will do you just fine, but I would recommend taking a look at Toshiba's new line of drives (DT01ACA) which come in 1.5TB, 2TB, and 3TB. Fairly new, and are basically rebranded Hitachi Deskstars. I love Hitachi, and sad to see the buyout...but Toshiba is now my recommended drive. Good luck with your build!