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Building My First Box - Budget Server

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I've decided to put together a budget box (this is my first "from scratch" build, though I'm no novice on the subject of computer hardware) to be used as sort of a general purpose server. That is, I'll use it to host files, as a print server, run bittorrent, etc. I'll probably install Hamachi and VNC for remote access/management. (Note: It is POSSIBLE that I may think about using this as sort of a media center in the future. I'm not real familiar on what sort of specs a media center PC would need, so any input there would be helpful too.)

My goal is to spend $500 or less, thoughit looks to me like I'm going to be able to get away with much less. My idea was to buy components as I ran across them for cheap and just kind of get it a little at a time.

Here is what I've been thinking about so far:

Case - this is what I know the least about, believe it or not. Really, I just want any old box that I can stick in a closet somewhere. I don't want a COMPLETELY crappy one, but I'd like to keep it pretty cheap. I'll probably attempt to use the cheap power supply it comes with at least until I start having problems with it =P (that is unless you guys think it's possible to get a decent case and power supply separate and still keep it within my budget).

Processor - I have a local store selling the Intel Core 2 Duo 4500 for $99, so I think I'm going to pick one up.

RAM - I already bought 2GB of "DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory" ( http://www.newegg.co...;Tpk=20-220-095 )

Motherboard - I only have a few requirements here =P First of all, I want integrated graphics for the initial setup of stuff. After that I'll probably be exclusively remote managing it. I suppose I'll want the option to be able to expand to a graphics card that is suitable for a media center PC should I decide to go that route in the future. A slot for a TV tuner card would also be needed for this. Gigabit ethernet would be nice to have, but I don't think it's necessary as the main computer that will be interfacing with this is on 802.11G (wireless). (For the record, on-board audio will do me just fine if I decide to turn this into a media center PC.) I was kind of looking at these four, though I would really appreciate input on this component: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813138089, http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813128059, http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813127024 and http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813186132

Optical Drive - I already have a DVD-RW drive that I have from another PC. I think I'm just going to use it in this new one. It has an IDE interface.

Hard Drive - I'm looking to get a 500GB drive that I can use for backups, storage and what not. I don't think I have any other requirements besides capacity on this one.

Operating System - I've got copies of Vista, XP and Ubuntu sitting around. I'll most likely run Ubuntu or XP.

So in summary here, I've spent about $40 on the RAM, looking at about $100 on the processor, and $110 or so on the HDD. I have an optical drive already and I don't need graphics or sound.

Mostly what I would like to get input on is for the case and motherboard, as I've never really done that part before. Also, if there's anything I'm missing, or if anybody who has done this sort of thing has general input, it would be really appreciated.

EDIT: Also, my main system is a relatively brand new Macbook Pro. This is what I will mainly be using to access and manage the new system with.

Edited by TriviallyTravis, 25 February 2008 - 03:56 PM.

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Here's what I'm lookin' at:

Case: COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-WW

PSU: Antec Earthwatts EA380 ATX12V v2.0 (380W Power Supply)

Mobo: ABIT LG-95 LGA 775 Intel 945G Micro ATX

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E4500

RAM: Patriot 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300)

HDD: Western Digital Caviar GP WD5000AACS 500GB 5400 to 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA-300 Hard Drive (OEM)

Edited by TriviallyTravis, 26 February 2008 - 11:56 AM.

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Hi there, welcome to Geeks to Go!

I have to admit, those choices look pretty good. If that's keeping within your budget, it should work great!

I was about to point out that you're missing a DVD drive and an OS, but then I re-read your first post! :)

If you're interested, this case is $10 cheaper. You said you're not fussed about the case, but if you're going to be putting it in a closet I would consider grabbing a second fan and install it in the front for better air-flow, so your components don't get too hot. You'd still come out a few dollars cheaper :)

The case and motherboard are fine. The case says it's compatible with ATX and mATX motherboards, and you have chosen an mATX motherboard - sweet!


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