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437 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 30386 6-Feb-2009 12:22
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just a question I would like to buy a out of box WHS but looks if I have to build one as not sure if in NZ we will ever see the HP WHS's, Tranquil PC, Via Technologies and Shuttle Computer Group WHS boxes.  (only 2 in NZ is from Playtech and PC Gear)

Like living in a third world!

(freitasm) I like external drives because it's easy to manage in terms of adding/removing. Yesterday I've added another 1TB drive to the system and might start replacing all those 500GB drives with new 1TB drives.

That looks a smart way of doing things if you have a old pc sitting round the place with a couple of 160 GB internal drives etc and adding some external USB drives.

Do you need lots of USB ports or running through a USB hub etc is ok? interested to know.

Whats the performance like using USB compared to a internal drive?

If streaming media off the WHS do you have your shares on the internal drive or off the external drives?

Are these external drives designed to be running all the time as I treat mine as when finnished backing up to remove it and to go park it somewhere safe.

I like the thought of a shelve and with the PC box with a row of ext drives would look impressive!

However with hardrives at $250 mark and a 1 TB mybook at $300 mark I suppose if you had to add internal drives might mean a new motherboard, ram etc and this looks to work out cheaper.

As with the first paragrapgh you reakon a old box and exteranal drives would be the way to go?

"The only way to learn some- thing is to do it"

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BDFL - Memuneh
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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 194455 6-Feb-2009 12:31
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You need lots of USB ports. I have two PCI cards in addition to the onboard USB. Otherwise performance will take a hit. Write performance is of course not as good as internal SATA drives, but for Windows Home Server you are more interested in storage. Read performance is ok, because you will probably saturate your network before using 100% of the drive read speed anyway.

You have to use the drives connected 100% of the time to your Windows Home Server. When you plug a drive (internal or external) you can add to a storage pool or not. When adding to a storage pool the drives are formatted and you won't see them anymore - no drive letters, nothing. You will always access through shares defined and managed through the Windows Home Server console.

I bought a Seagate 1TB drive for $249 yesterday. I have six external drives on my desk, all look the same, so yes it looks cool. It's cheaper than getting new motherboards and SATA cards at the end, and easier to replace if needed.

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  Reply # 194458 6-Feb-2009 13:01
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I just spent a few hundred on a new case, motherboard, and CPU to set up a WHS.  The case was only $115 on trade me and came with heaps of internal drive bays for storage.  I have already filled the 3.5" slots with 6 SATA drives, and have some enclosures I can use to put some more 3.5" drives in the 5.25" bays when I need to expand.  There are 4 free bays in my case so theoretically I can add an extra 4TB to my current 4.5TB. 

I've gone for the internal drive route because I am a minimalist.  I hate cables - bain of my life!  I also hate having things cluttering up my desk or office.  However, there were only 4 SATA connectors on my motherboard, so I took out a PCE-e SATA controller from my HTPC that I don't need in there anymore, and added an extra 2 connectors this way.  This also has 2x e-SATA connectors on the back so if I *did* eventually need to connect an external drive, I'd use that instead of the USB ports.

I guess it's up to your personal preference.  There isn't much price difference at all between external and internal drives anymore.  You can even buy cases that have hot-swappable drive bays that you can access without even needing to open the case itself.  Some cheaper ones aren't hot swappable but still give you the drive access easily. 

To give you an idea, I managed to get a CPU for around $120 (AMD X2 5000), motherboard for around $95, already had 1GB of ram laying around, and the case came with a 500W PSU.  So it was a pretty cheap exercise to get things up and runnning.  I added a bunch of drives that were already in my HTPC.  My HTPC now runs A LOT cooler and quieter!

Still getting to terms with the usage of WHS but it's all a bit of fun right?

437 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 194465 6-Feb-2009 13:42
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Thanks for that info.  Food for thought yeah I have a case here but has some pwer issues with the motherboard.

Even thoe I could build one would be nice to buy a WHS like the the via NSD-7800

I have look around for case and a newer motherboard as I understand the next update for WHS is down the 64 path.

Yeah cheaper to build a box.

Will look prob at a combo of internal and external but and will need look at SATA drives for the mian hd and find a way of using my old PATA drives as I have a stack of those. Any suggestions would be welcome.

"The only way to learn some- thing is to do it"

437 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 194608 7-Feb-2009 11:48
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Done some sums and have sent off a enquirey email to PC Gear as after reading the reveiw here (fellow geekzoner) to buy a new WHS box with 4 TB storage.

Really comes down to when I was trailing WHS all our PC's and laptops I needed more the 1.5 TB storage so Im up for either internal harddrives or external drives. I only have some old PATA drives which gives aout 500 GB

If I look at Seagate Freeagent 1 TB at $249 times that by 4 = $996.00

Plus I still need the WHS software say $150 - 200 , case, MB, CPU etc and just easy to by a prebuilt system.

"The only way to learn some- thing is to do it"

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 196494 18-Feb-2009 13:28
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Just a quick update to close this post off.  (will add screen shot to show off your WHS post when pc arrives)

Done me sums and thanks to Bradley from PC Gear Dunedin Limited I have brought a new complete WHS

  • 1 PC Gear Computer System
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E5200 2.5GHz 800MHz FSB 2MB Cache
  • Gigabyte GA-G31M-S2L LGA775 - Intel Gb LAN, HD SND, mATX
  • 2GB DDR2-800 Desktop Memory
  • WD 1TB SATA2 3.5" HDD 16MB Int SATA2 Green Power - WD10EACS
  • Sony IDE DVD-RW Drive - OEM
  • GLI N226 Black Case 500w PSU
  • MS Windows Home Server OEM

For extra storage went with 3 x WD 1TB SATA2 3.5" HDD 16MB Green Power - WD10EACS

"The only way to learn some- thing is to do it"

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 197205 22-Feb-2009 08:38
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As a Dunedin based chap I'm happy to see a local vendor is selling such systems.

The system I built is of a similar spec and met my requirements.

There still appears to me to be a lack of 'street talk' about WHS in New Zealand.

It's such a great product and saved my bacon a few times in recent months especially with all the Win 7 testing I have been doing lately.

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