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Home server build

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys.

I need your help figuring out what the best build for a Windows Home Server would be.

So far I've been considering going M-ITX with this board, but the down side to it is the amount of SATA ports on the board. And a RAID card is expensive.

Also, what is the performance loss if you choose SATA 2 instead of 3? Would that be a bad idea given the server will be handling larger file transfers, albeit from the internet.

I want to go RAID 5 for redundancy, and in the beginning I thought about running 4 of theese.

But I'm beginning to doubt the ITX form factor a bit, because of the lack of SATA ports and would really like some inputs from more experienced WHS builders.

So, here's my main requirements for the build, can you suggest me something that would suit a WHS?

  • Motherboard needs to support WIFI (If it doesn't, it would need to have two PCI slots, one for the RAID card and one for the WIFI. Max price of £100 (150USD)
  • If possible the motherboard should have 6 SATA ports (could be SATA 2 and 3, given the performance loss isn't to great)
  • Intel platform (Going with i3 3220 Ivy Bridge)
  • Reliable HDD's
  • Reliable SSD


And lastly, my budget is around £680 or approx 1000 USD

I hope you guys can help, especially with the motherboard!

Cheers
Chris
post #2 of 6
SATA 2 will not bottleneck a mechanical hard drive, so that really shouldn't matter much. I wouldn't recommend using wifi for a server, but if that is your only option you'd be better off getting a usb wireless card so as to not be required to have an extra slot on your mb. I wouldn't use an ssd in the server either. No point really and you won't see any significant difference. Besides, you won't be able to bottleneck the drives over wireless anyways.
post #3 of 6
Is there a reason you can't use the built-in RAID capability of that H77N-WIFI you mentioned? According to the specs, it supports RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10.

As for SATA-II and hard drives, most HDDs have a max throughput of ~150MB/s, which is roughly half of what a SATA-II port can handle.
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Julia
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post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
The reason I was kinda leaning against the Gigabyte board was it's lack of onboard SATA connectors. I might be going for this instead then.

With regards to WIFI, I know I should avoid it, but it just might not be a possibility with cabling etc.

What do you think of that board?
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by foffer View Post

The reason I was kinda leaning against the Gigabyte board was it's lack of onboard SATA connectors. I might be going for this instead then.

With regards to WIFI, I know I should avoid it, but it just might not be a possibility with cabling etc.

What do you think of that board?

That was the board I was originally thinking of recommending but for your earlier stated requirement of having WIFI.
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Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600JS NEC ND-3520A Windows XP Dell M780 
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post #6 of 6
I own that Asus p8h77-I and for this specific purpose. I have it currently running Freenas with 2x 500gb hds and a 64gb Samsung ssd for cache to the zfs array.

I have a Chenbro Sr30168 case which has four hot swappable bays and you can mount two 2.5 drives on the side.

All which that motherboard can benefit from. 4x sata 2 + 2x Sata 3.
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