And now for something completely different23 Feb 2006 I got remarks that I have too many "automated installations" posts, so I will shut up about it for some time ;)
I need to buy a decent computer to use as a fileserver at home.
I've decided I want at least 1TB of storage in RAID 5. Since 300GB drives are pretty common these days, I will buy 5 of those and use them in RAID 5, which gives 1.2TB of useable storage space.
The most likely store I will buy from is Snogard, which is a German store. I don't understand any German (well, mostly not).
Harddisks are called Festplatten in German, and they can be found under the Laufwerke category on the Snogard site.
(Maxtor 6V300F0) 300GB, 7200U/min, 16MB Cache, 9ms, S-ATA II, NCQ for 124,90 €
Because linux can't boot from a RAID 5 set, I will need a 6th disk to put the OS on. Overall, I'll require 6 SATA2 connections. I've looked into this before and found that almost no motherboards have that many SATA connectors. Luckily, there are PCI-E SATA controllers :)
But lets first find a decent motherboard...
This fileserver will be some sort of a multimedia machine. Besides being able to hold lots of files, it must be able to show and record TV at the same time (requires 2 TV tuners), playback the recorded TV stuff (requires decent graphics card and sound card, preferably with dolby surround), it will serve as the gateway to the internet with 2 internet providers (requires 3 networkcards: 1 gigabit download for the internal network, and 2 other networkcards). I also want to have a bunch of USB connectors to attach things like webcams and the like. A DVD drive would probably also be good and maybe a DVI port for digital video (for when we get a projector)
So, to summarize:
- 6 SATA2 harddisks
- 2 TV cards (PCI or PCI-E)
- Decent graphics card with DVI and maybe TV-out
- Decent sound card with surround sound
- 3 network cards: 1 Gbit and 2 100Mbit
- DVD drive
Whew! That's quite something. I will need at least 4 PCI slots (2 TV cards and 2 network cards) if I assume that the GBit network card is on board. Then I will probablt need an extra one for a SATA2 controller.
Before I can go on selecting motherboards, I need to know what CPU I want on the motherboard. There is Intel and AMD. Intel has always been more expensive and since this thing will cost a fortune already, it's best to save money whereever possible.
These are the cheapest processors for each type of socket on AMD:
Athlon 64 3000+ Sockel 939, 1800MHz, Venice 144,90 €
Sempron 64Bit 3000+ Sockel 754, 1800MHz, Palermo 74,90 €
Sempron 2600+ Sockel A, FSB 333, T-Bred B 69,90 €
Since all fingers point at Athlon being the best (http://www.short-media.com/review.php?r=272), I'll go with socket 939.