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Go with a NAS or Windows Server box?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Lately I've been thinking about setting up some sort of NAS or Home Server. Essentially it will mainly be used to hold my movies / music to stream to the many HTPC's in my house. I'm getting tired of copying them from one PC to another. My work with a NAS is very limited, I used a prebuilt one back in 2001 at my old job, I do not know what is involved in making one though (ie software, hardware requirements, etc).

The windows home server would be nice as well as I could share certain folders based on their login. What is the HW requirements to run a decent speed Windows Home Server? I have two PC's laying around.

Athlon XP 2500+ Barton, 1GB RAM
Athlon X2 1.8GHz (3800+?), 1 GB RAM

RAM can be upgraded on either system. Would Home Server need a dual core?

Lastly I'm assuming I would need to upgrade my router to N as it only supports up to G. Will N allow the proper speed to stream MKV's at 1080p?
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post #2 of 8
Either of those pcs would work, but I'd go with the X2 for x64 support and the lower power consumption more than anything else. Another GB of RAM would be advisable though.

I personally wouldn't stream with wireless at all, as its a little flaky. G is fast enough, and N is generally more reliable, but nothing beats a good cable if you can go that route.
post #3 of 8
Well here is a link to an article about building your own NAS system (which is what I am in the process of doing myself).
Good reading and an easy to follow tutorial if you want to do it yourself.

http://www.overclock.net/hard-drives...-into-nas.html
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
I really won't have an option of doing anything but streaming via wireless. Every day I stream hulu and netflix with no issues even while using G. I'm hoping N would be a little more solid though. The Server / NAS would be attached to the router via CAT5 but the HTPC's are all wireless.
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post #5 of 8
Do you have a N network now? If so, is it 150Mbps or 300Mbps? 2.4GHz or 5GHz?

With wireless, you can expect to get half of the rated value at best.

The issue with wireless streaming is not just about throughput but an issue of drop packets. With streaming data, you will notice it even with a few drop packets.
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post #6 of 8
Id' go with a Windows box.
My experience with Dedicated NAS boxes it that something is always missing..
Just put XP & som HD's in a computer, set it up for filesharing...good to go...
Just add service as you go..
The windows route is a litte easier to administer IMO.
Tried linux and the BSD route, but it seems there is always a patch or wrong kernel version, or something else wrong..
And you also get RDP..
My thoughts.....As I'm not too good with Linux/BSD
    
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post #7 of 8
Hmmm...seen to have skipped some lines...

Just upgrade the RAM (Minimum 2GB)

WHS Works well enough, but tends to be slow with file transfers...
The good thing about WHS is the addons and backup features..
If you don't care to much about transfer speeds, but want addons & backup,
I'd try WHS.
If you want a clean slate, so you can install your own features, I'd go XP.

I think XP with a descent HW RAID card, will kick WHS a$$,
and as a base system, i think XP needs less resources...

But like I said in last post....(minimum 2gbRAM)
    
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post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmoronimo View Post
Hmmm...seen to have skipped some lines...

Just upgrade the RAM (Minimum 2GB)

WHS Works well enough, but tends to be slow with file transfers...
The good thing about WHS is the addons and backup features..
If you don't care to much about transfer speeds, but want addons & backup,
I'd try WHS.
If you want a clean slate, so you can install your own features, I'd go XP.

I think XP with a descent HW RAID card, will kick WHS a$$,
and as a base system, i think XP needs less resources...

But like I said in last post....(minimum 2gbRAM)
Don't forget that you are on a 1Gb LAN so max throughput is 110-120MB/s.

If you get good HDDs, they should be able to do around 100MB/s average, 130MB/s maximum, and 80MB/s minimum.

Personally, WHS features outweigh the slight throughput loss.
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