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Low Power, Compact, In-house Server Build

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by nocrapman, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. nocrapman New Member

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    Hi Folks...
    I am attempting to build something, I have never done before. A simple, compact machine to be used as an in-house audio server, that will run 24x7. This is in start contrast to my power guzzling gaming rig.

    I was thinking:
    - small form factor... something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856101039
    - a dual core chip or a low power consuming quad(if such a thing exists)
    - On board video or a simple VGA
    - Obviously no OCing...
    - 2 Samsung 500GB HDDx2 - RAID/non RAID?
    - About 2 gigs of ram
    - Windows XP prof
    - If it can rip FLACs from CDs fast... would be a bonus.

    Please suggest ideas, improvements or alternatives... and definitely a processor.

    Thanks guys!
     
  2. IggSter

    IggSter

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    I have a media server running at home and here are my thoughts for what they are worth:

    1. Keep the server simple....it will be required 24/7 so being able to fix it quick is a real bonus. I use one internal 160Gig drive for the OS and application. All data is held on ext USB/Sata drives. Also when you have media server fully configured and running...make a disk image and store it on anothe PC etc.

    2. No raid (see 1.) I use external USB and sata drives and periodically copy my whole music library to another disk in case of failure. Hard drives are by far the most reliable/quickest and cheapest media for backup!

    3. Try not to use the media server for anything except storing and presenting media. I Use another PC to rip/add music to my library and to manage tags/album art etc.

    4. My software setup: Ubuntu + apache + mysql + php + tomcat + Java + Subsonic. Subsonic is the application I use to present media via a web interface which means i can access/stream from anywhere i have internet access (inc mobile phone).

    5. Things i would do differently if i was to start again? I would build 2 identical PCs so if anything goes bang i can easily move the disks etc to the spare box and be running again in minutes. I wouls also use a few Sharkoon SATA QuickPort Pro to allow hot plugging/swapping of ext drives.

    P.S I usually dont have a monitor/kb/mouse attached therefore i use TightVNC to get remote desktop access (again i can do this from anywhere)
     
    nocrapman says thanks.
  3. nocrapman New Member

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    (please read above in bold print)
     
  4. IggSter

    IggSter

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    1. Subsonic is available in a Windows version (it comes bundled with a cutdown version of all the backend software software needed to run as a media webserver and will take at most 15min to have installed and configured) The only downside to the Windows version is its more resource hungry especially when 4-5 people are connected/browsing/creating playlists/streaming. http://subsonic.sourceforge.net/

    2. Sharkoon... http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD-001-SH&groupid=701&catid=14&subcat=72&name=Sharkoon%20SATA%20QuickPort%20Pro


    3. With regard to the wife.......I had the same problem. But when I presented her with a fully functioning media PC beside the TV (my backup server :cool:) she was delighted (also i changed orig spec from one atx PC to 2 micro atx and the overall cost was not much higher)


    P.S. if you want any more info about Subsonic (what it can do, how it works etc) please ask away
     
  5. JC316

    JC316 Knows what makes you tick

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    I would say go with an AMD setup. x2 BE chip, go with a board with onboard video. If you go intel, go for the E1200.
     
  6. lemonadesoda

    lemonadesoda

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    1./ For 24/7 low power media server, consider an Atom ITX. No need for more CPU power. Something like this is all you need: http://www.tranquilpc-shop.co.uk/acatalog/T7_Barebones.html

    2./ If you do go for a fancy fast and/or dual core CPU... you will have heat and noise

    3./ You also have so much redundant CPU processing power. It's a waste, UNLESS you do more than let it just sit there as a NAS or media server, eg. automatic encoding tools, mail services, webserver, etc. Remember that a Pentium 3 is more than enough for a NAS/media server.
     
  7. nocrapman New Member

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    - Will definitely play with subsonic... very interesting
    - Tried to look for Sharkoon on newegg... doesnt look like they carry it :( that would have been a very useful thing to have handy
    - So what do you do with a media PC next to the TV... or how do I sell it to the wife :))
    Thanks for all the helpful suggestions!
     
  8. nocrapman New Member

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    I had sworn years ago... that I would never do Celerons again! So the E1200 is out...

    Whats an x2 BE chip? I have been away for a while and am lagging behind on the jargon...
     
  9. nocrapman New Member

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    That's one of the coolest barebones kits I have come across...
    Its not available here in the US though.

    In terms of Atom ITX options - there isnt a whole lot either... at least on newegg.

    I have been thinking about this setup and I am getting more and more to the point where I want to simplify things instead of complicate them by adding a PC. Tell me what you guys think of this:
    Buy a reasonable fast but quiet, cool and not a very power hungry setup. Replace my 3 yr old AMD Sandy setup with this, without the fancy VGA since I dont game on the somputer anymore. As long as it can support a 22-23" LCD monitor via DVI, I'd be happy. As long as it inconspicous and compact... I'd be happy. As long as it doesnt suck up more than 100watts of power per hour - it would be reasonable. Is this possible to build within a budget os $500?
     
  10. IggSter

    IggSter

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    Just a quick answer about selling it to your wife:

    1. she has full internet access from the comfort of the sofa

    2. she has he own user acct/playlists in Subsonic so can listen to her own personalised music stream

    3. she can access video on demand services and watch them on the main TV (Channel 4 4OD, BBCi etc)

    4. she can print to a shared printer attached to the Ubuntu server (look at all those shoes!)

    5. ebay, as seen on screen, yoox....yada yada yada :banghead:

    6. I've ripped all of our dvd's and store them on the Ubuntu data drives, so she can now browse/watch any of these without actually having to look for the dvd.
     

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