Well I am still playing with the CTP version of Windows Home Server and still enjoying finding the new features and how best to use the operating system. So it’s time to take a look at building a hardware system around WHS that will provide good performance but at the same time will not break the bank. So today I did some window shopping looking for deals around the Internet, comparing prices and trying to set a reasonable budget for using the WHS operating system.

As I have previously mentioned, Microsoft has set some fairly low spec’s on what WHS should work on. But as most of know, that would be a bare minimum and I wanted something just a bit more powerful, yet, not be total overkill. Microsoft lists the system requirements as:

  • 1 GHz Pentium 3 (or equivalent)
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 80 GB internal hard drive as primary drive
  • Bootable DVD drive

So I loaded up my wallet with $500 to see if I could build a WHS system for that price and what I could get. Oh, before I forget. WHS does not use RAID.The operating system controls redundancy so you can add more drives as needed without being concerned and even external drives can be used.

So how about this:

  • AMD 64×2 3600 Brisbane retail cpu for $75.00
  • Asus M2A mobo, video, sound built in – $75.00
  • Crucial 1G DDR2 – 800 memory – $115.00
  • [2] Seagate sata 250g hard disks – $140.00
  • Sony DVD burner – $30.00
  • In Win Case w/ 350 watt PS – $50.00
  • Note – once the server is setup with WHS, no monitor, mouse, keyboard or speakers are needed – so onboards will work just fine. The server can be controlled by any of the other computers on the network. Oh, and I rounded off the prices.

Here is my thinking. The retail AMD comes with it’s own heatsink for cooling and the In Win case has a rear 80mm exhaust fan plus a side air intake. Asus makes a fairly good board and should hold up well. Like I stated, once the WHS software is installed, it becomes a standalone with nothing attached except a rj45 connector to my router. The AMD dual core and 1G of RAM should give the system enough poop to run the WHS software. 500g of hard disk space should be adequate to backup all 5 of my systems. The DVD is only used for the original WHS software setup and also serves as a boot restorer in case of a problem. And since no peripherals will be added, 350 watts should carry the load.

So what do you think? Comments, suggestions, thoughts, anything…… are all appreciated.

[tags]computer, system, windows home server, asus, AMD, crucial, sony, [/tags]