Advice on my new home server


Mar 18, 2012
I am trying to build a home server with as much storage as possible while keeping a small form factor, trying to keep the noise down, and stay with as little energy consumption as I can.

Approximate Purchase Date: By July

Budget Range: Up to $1500 but would like to keep it less if possible

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Windows Home server for data back up and media storage

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, PSU (included with case)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:,,

Country: Canada

Parts Preferences: I really dont have a preference as long as it meets the needs above

Overclocking: NO

Additional Comments: trying to keep it as small with as much storage as possible, quite (it will be sitting in the living room of my appartment with me), and keep it as efficient as possible

I want to use a fractal design array case

This case has room for 6 - 3.5" drives aswell as 1 - ssd (My first question is I believe an ssd is the same size as a 2.5" drive... am I right? I was going to use this for my OS)

I was looking at using the AS rock Mobo but I am willing to use something different

This board only has room for 4 of my 7 drive so I was looking at a pcie to sata card to allow me to add the remaining 3 drives. I wanted to stay away from using a raid contoller because (from my reading) WHS 2011 is not able to use shares over 2.2Tb making the raid kinda pointless. I had also read that it is not wise/ possible to add drives to a card or array as time goes on, which I would like to do in order to keep initial costs lower.

I was wanting to stay away form atom chips and looking at using an i5 or something similar to give me the power when streaming to my HTPC.

Any help is much appreciated.




I was wanting to stay away form atom chips and looking at using an i5 or something similar to give me the power when streaming to my HTPC.
It does not take a lot to power a file/media server - you can run it on like the bare minimum with an H61 and a Pentium G620 - on a server the most important part is the storage - you don't necessarily need anything more than say a Pentium G620, but that PSU will be vastly underpowered for 6+ hard drives, and while I like Fractal Cases (I'm planning to upgrade my workstation to an Arc MIDI relatively soon) - I think the RAID array case is kind of pointless since you can't hold that many drives. A better option would be to get a case that allows for hot-swapping HDs like the Obsidian 800D but that case is quite expensive and a bit overkill.

Try a setup like this:

Case: Fractal Design Define R3 - $149.99
PSU: Corsair Builder Series CX600 - $69.99
Motherboard: Intel BOXDH67DLCB3 - $89.99
CPU: 3.30GHz Intel Core i3-2120 - $127.99
RAM: PNY 8GB 1600MHz 1.5V - $44.99
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $174.99

With this setup you can easily setup any number of RAID arrays you want - I didn't include a GPU because on a file/media server it's pointless to have one - you can run off the onboard video of the i3 and be completely fine. You could actually get away with a Pentium G620 and be fine for your CPU.



Yeah you certainly don't want to skimp on the PSU if you're going to be powering that many drives and have it explode on you, then there goes all your data. The PSU is the most important part of any build and you don't want to compromise especially if only to protect your data.

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