jgciamarra

Help - Building First Whs 2011

17 posts in this topic

FYI...I've decided to build my "first" WHS 2011.

Here's my first cut at a configuration, but would appreciate your input to help me finalize the configuration, so I can make the purchase and get started :)

CPU: Intel Core i5-2405S

Motherboard: ASUS P8P67-M PRO (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel

RAM: Corsair XMS3 8 GB (2 x 4GB) 1333 MHz PC3-10666 240-Pin DDR3 Memory Kit CMX8GX3M2A1333C9

Case: Fractal Designs Array R2 Mini‑ITX

Storage: WD Caviar Green WD20EARS 2TB (x2)

OS Storage: WD Caviar Green WD10EARX 1TB

OS: Windows Home Server 2011

Key Requirements:

  1. Powerful enough to support media streaming and transcoding (real time video conversion and streaming from one format to another)...example: Core i5 or better.
  2. Onboard video is required. I don’t want to have to install a video card
  3. Support for DDR 3 Memory
  4. Low power consumption...as it will be on 24x7
  5. Gigabit Ethernet Only (Dual ports is a nice to have)
  6. No less than 4 SATA ports
  7. Here are some of the nice to haves:
    a, USB 3.0
    b, 6Gb SATA

After "Round 2" of researching, I have some new learnings & questions:

  1. For the ASUS motherboard (see above), I noticed that it doesn't support "Intel z68" - onboard graphics. Is there a similar ASUS motherboard with this support? If so, can you please provide the model?
  2. I just realized the "Computer Case" I was looking at is "Mini-ITX", but will not support my motherboard. I now know I need a Case that supports "Micro-AIX". Is there a case(s) that you would recommend to support this confguration?
  3. Need to obtain a keyboard & mouse for initial install - pretty sure I have some laying around :-)
  4. Am I missing any components?

Thank you for your help with building my "first" WHS 2011. Let me know if you need any additional information.

Best Regards,

Julio

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Why bother with a RAID controller if you aren't going to be using RAID? I have the same controller in my 2011 machine, currently running in RAID 5 with 3 1TB drives and a 1TB parity drive. I get a single large GPT drive, and I don't have to worry about moving folders around when a drive fills up.

Unless you plan on teaming, there's no real reason for anything more than a single 10/100/1000 card, IMHO.

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Kegobeer, thank you for your response.

You're right, I don't plan on using RAID for this WHS 2011 configuration, so I've edited my original post and removed it. thanks.

Can you please share your knowledge and experiences to help me with my motherboard & computer case questions?

I like this motherboard, but noticed that it doesn't provide "onboard video" (i.e. Intel z68), which I need. Can you recommend an ASUS motherboard preferrably (or another one) that is comprable to this one below with "Intel z68"?

Motherboard: ASUS P8P67-M PRO (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel

Can you suggest a computer case that supports "Micro-AIX" and my above configuration?

Thank you so much for your willingness to help.

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I'll leave it to others to chime in about motherboard suggestions, but for the case, you could take a look at the Antec P180. It's for the Micro-ATX form factor, but also has room for storage expansion. I've been very pleased with mine, which now holds 5HDDs and an ICY-Dock bay for removeable HDDs. One thing, the Antec P180 doesn't come with a PSU, so you'll have to add that to your list.

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Asus P8Z68-M PRO

I think the price difference between motherboards using the P67 and Z68 chipsets are so marginal now that you might as well get the latter.

Please note that the Asus motherboards tend to use an Intel LAN chip which is not supported by WHS2011 "out of the box". So during installation you'll need to have the installer from Intel available (e.g. USB stick). There is info about this on the web (including this forum).

Personally I like to keep my data separate from OS, especially on a server. So an additional smaller capacity HDD might be a good idea. I use a Velociraptor for my server OS, to get a bit more speed and reliability.

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Thanks to all who have provided their input...very much appreciated. I've done another round of research & I would like to share it with you for your perspective and any additional input/guidance. THANK YOU!!!

Round 3 – Home Server/WHS2011 Configuration:

Here are my "updated" requirements for a home server:

  1. Powerful enough to support media streaming and transcoding (real time video conversion and streaming from one format to another). From my research on this, it suggests a CPU: Intel Core i5 or better (e.g. Intel Core i5-2405S).
    Research findings: For the CPU, the only LGA1155 Core i5/i7 I found with reasonable watt burn is the Core i5-2390T at 35 watts, or the Core i7-2xxxS series at 65 watts, according to this Core i3/i5/i7 overview site.
  2. I prefer Intel vs. AMD (personal preference).
  3. Onboard video is required (would prefer to avoid video card). I’ll need to use a monitor connection for initial WHS 2011 installation, but installed I can use my PC to connect to the WHS Dashboard to manage/update it.
  4. Support for DDR 3 Memory (research I’ve seen for WHS 2011 suggests this)
  5. Low power consumption...as it will be on 24x7
    Note: Efficiency is a concern, as electricity costs over 4 years really add up.
  6. Gigabit Ethernet Only (dual ports is a nice to have)
  7. Decent SATA (i.e. for example…something like 6Gb SATA): No less than 4 SATA ports, but would prefer 6 for future growth.
    Note: I’m a fan of Western Digital (WD) Caviar Green hard drives. Currently thoughts for Storage:
  8. Media/Back-ups: WD Caviar Green WD20EARS 2TB (x2)
  9. OS Storage: WD Caviar Green WD10EARX 1TB
  10. USB 3.0
  11. Form Factor: I prefer a smaller one (i.e. Micro vs. Tower), but this isn’t a showstopper
  12. Longevity: If at all possible, I'd like to get 4 years out of this home server

This is all I can think of. Based on your server expertise, is there anything else I should consider?

DISCLAIMER: I’m NOT a server expert, so based on my requirements I would appreciate any suggestions anyone would have for me.

Proposed Configuration

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard ($65)

Note: Port configuration not less than Motherboard noted. No USB 3.0. Gen 3 card with 4 6G ports available at 3x price. 6 ports available on non-ASUS brand at 4x price.

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K LGA 1155 Boxed Processor

RAM: HyperX blu 8GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) CL9 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit (Two 4GB Memory Modules)

Storage: Caviar Green 2TB IntelliPower SATA 6Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive WD20EARX – OEM (x2)

Note: 7200 RPM playing more important role than 6G. Thought 6G only playing importance in gaming - not as important as streaming. Can anyone validate this?

OS Storage: Caviar Green 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive WDBAAY0010HNC

Considerations:

  • What about Solid State Drives for OS (SSD is 6G port)?
    or
  • Western Digital “VelociRaptor” - SATA 6 Gb/s, SATA 3 Gb/s

I’m thinking this is worth considering, but I haven’t fully researched it. Key point is moving SWAP files off to regular HDD.

Power Supply: Corsair Builder Series 500 Watt ATX 12V Power Supply

Note: Power Supply options focus on different variations of guaranteed efficiency of 80%+ - silver, gold, platinum, etc.

Optical Drive

Case: Cooler Master Elite 360 Slim ATX Mid Tower / HTPC / Desktop Convertible Computer Case

I hope my "newbie" research & your valuable/experienced input will help others interested in home built solutions.

Thanks again for everyone's willingness to help.

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Update to share: I've received responses in other forums that suggest the performance benefits are not substantial enough with investing in a SDD or high-speed SATA drive for my OS-Storage Drive. Was worth asking :)

Update on Motherboard selection: The best MB I've been able to find to meet most of my requirements (USB 3.0, capacity for 6 SATA HDDs, etc.) is: ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard ($210 at Micro-Center).

Yes, it's a little pricey and may include a few specs I probably don't need/want immediately, but this appears to meet most of my immediate needs and I think will be expandable enough for my future needs (i.e. hopefully extend the life of this server to 4+ years; one can only hope).

All input & guidance is greatly appreciated...as I think I'm getting real close to finalizing my configuration for my "first" WHS 2011 home-built server.

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For other "newbies" who can benefit from my reseach, learnings & input from others...here is my final WHS 2011 Home Server Configuration:

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K LGA 1155 Boxed Processor

RAM: HyperX blu 8GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) CL9 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit (Two 4GB Memory Modules)

Storage: Caviar Green 2TB IntelliPower SATA 6Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive WD20EARX – OEM (x2)

OS Storage: Caviar Blue 500GB 7,200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive WD5000AAKX - OEM

Power Supply: Corsair Professional Series AX650 650 Watt Modular ATX Power Supply

Optical Drive: Samsung 22X DVD±RW Burner with Dual Layer Support - OEM

Case: Cooler Master Elite 360 Slim ATX Mid Tower / HTPC / Desktop Convertible Computer Case

I hope you find this to be helpful. Best wishes with your new server.

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Erm, your power supply seems to be somewhat overpowered for what you need, I think. It's my understanding that it's better to match a power supply to what it actually needs to supply for efficient working.

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I would take a second look at the memory modules. You don't have a price listed, but the "High performance/Gaming" lines are not worth paying extra for (unless the difference in price is "inisigificant" to you), especially for a file server.

The powersupply is a bit oversized, but it is a Gold certified PSU, so it shouldn't really be a problem.

The build looks good to be (but I'm not up-to-date on Intel based motherboards). Have fun with the build!

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Thanks to all that have provided their input as I've learned so much in a short time. I need your help again...please.

WHS 2011 Home Server Configuration:

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K LGA 1155 Boxed Processor

RAM: HyperX blu 8GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) CL9 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit (Two 4GB Memory Modules)

Storage: Caviar Green 2TB IntelliPower SATA 6Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive WD20EARX – OEM (x2)

OS Storage: Caviar Blue 500GB 7,200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive WD5000AAKX - OEM

Power Supply: Corsair Professional Series AX650 650 Watt Modular ATX Power Supply

Optical Drive: Samsung 22X DVD±RW Burner with Dual Layer Support - OEM

Case: Cooler Master Elite 360 Slim ATX Mid Tower / HTPC / Desktop Convertible Computer Case

OK, my WHS 2011 home-built server is up and running (thanks guys) & I almost have it fine tuned, but need your help with a couple "Device Manager" issues where I have a couple "question marks":

1) PCI Simple Communications Controller

2) Universal Serial Bus (USB) Controller

3) Universal Serial Bus (USB) Controller

4) Unknown Device

Any advice on how to resolve these issues would be greatly appreciated.

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Go to the Asus website and list the downloads for the P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3. However don't download them because the installers will probably not work on WHS2011. You can force them by editing the config files, but I'd recommend that you instead go to the websites of the manufacturers for each device and download the drivers from there. This should resolve all your device manager bangs.

I can also confirm what others have said about the PSU. Please note that any efficiency certification applies to a specific load band. I can't remember what it is, but something in the order of 20-80% load. So below about 130W a 650W PSU will not be very efficient. This will also impact the reliability of the PSU. It's your choice, but I'd recommend you put something like a 400W PSU in.

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Thank you, I've been able to resolve the issues with Device Manager. Appreciate the help.

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Thanks for the feedback related to the Power Supply (PSU) from my home server configuration. As a follow up, I'm just curious if this PSU is more aligned with your suggestions/recommendations: "Corsair Builder Series 500 Watt ATX 12V Power" - 80%+ Efficiency, here is a link:http://www.corsair.com/builder-series-cx500.html

Thanks again for your input.

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That's a good midrange PSU and probably more than you will need.

I doubt you will be running (or need) any high end graphics card on your server.

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Try using one of these Calculators for the PSU. From my estimates you only need a 400 watt max when adding 50% for aging capacitors (explains on website), but see what you get. I put in a tuner card and other devices into the mix onto both. It will save you money on your electric bill and on your purchase.

http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

or this one

http://www.thermaltake.outervision.com/

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Thank you, I've been able to resolve the issues with Device Manager. Appreciate the help.

Can you confirm how please? I have exactly the same devices listed in Device Manager and exactly the same mobo as you.

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