Mini Server

If you’re buying all new parts for the build, that comes to ~ $650. I recycled some parts (old laptop HDD, ram from an old machine, etc) and my total cost was ~$500

I wanted to build a small, efficient, always-on server. The system could be used as a home theater PC, act as a backup server, host public and sandbox websites, code repositories and many other things. With the price of storage dropping and some impressive mini-itx motherboard options out there, the perfect storm of hardware pushed me to build a mini-server.

Here are the specs:

  • 4.5 TB primary storage space
  • 250 GB OS drive
  • 4 GB ram
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • 802.11n
  • e-SATA
  • Intel Atom 330
  • Nvidia Ion (GeForce 9300)
  • VGA, DVI, HDMI out
  • Analog and digital audio out
  • Small case (12″ x 8″ x 6.5″)
  • XBMC Live
  • Full framerate HD video playback
  • ~20 Watts Idle, ~45 Watts Full Load
  • Near silent operation
  • 35 – 45 C operational temperature

Here is the parts list:

  • 3x 1.5 TB Samsung HDDs ($100 each on sale)
  • Zotac Ion ITX-A-U ($185)
  • Athenatech mini-itx tower ($50)
  • 2x 5.25″ to 3x 3.5″ adapter ($25)
  • 4 GB ram ($100 – Note: total overkill. Get 2 GB for $50)
  • USB adapter ($10 – Note: for internal OS drive)
  • OS drive: from an 8 GB Flash Drive ($25) to a 500 GB Hard Drive ($90)

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