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Old 06-23-2006, 11:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Upgrading Home PC to Dedicated Download Client...advice!?!

Okay, I have had like 3 extra towers lying around with parts in them for months and just finished building my most recent machine for media and burning software a few months ago. Now, I have decided to turn my old tower which has tons of potential into a dedicated torrent download client basically. So I have some questions and am looking for some advice on doing this. It's an older system, 754 socket, 1.1 USB's, all that good stuff. It has a MSI motherboard and runs 2 hard drive disks by western digital, one is 120GB IDE, other is 250GB IDE.

I just cleaned the disks off last night and freshly formatted them into partitions. 250GB got split into 100GB (C for the OS XP Pro and some basic files like adaware, spybot, internet etc. The remaining 150GB is set up for downloaded files, such as all the movies, music etc. that will go on it, as wel las al lthe install files for downloaded content and programs will run off that partition (D. The last drive I left by itself as 120GB (E and will use it for backup currently.

What I am interested in is upgrading this PC however, to the next level of stuff. I don't want these HD's to go to waste really, but I am looking at changing this new PC to an upgraded MoBo, dual core processor and dual SATA hard disks, in a RAID 0 configuration, so that processing and seek time becomes astronomically strong. This PC will mainly be used for downloading and hosting a network I created at my house a few days ago.

Should I both changing the processor to a newer one, one in there now is an XP 1700+ @ 1.47GHz. Should I go RAID Configuration, or leave it alone? Should I go SATA drives and revamp the whole PC? I was also looking into liquid cooling for the new system since it will run 24.7 and want to keep it running smoothly and as cool as possible.

I plan to run this PC, despite me having a monitor for it, just as a tower hooked up through my wireless network on .11g, and just remote desktop it through my gateway when I need to check up on it and leave it running in the corner here next to the tower I'm on now, my main PC.

Any advice on doing this would be greatly appreciated. I am thinking I really want to go RAID and just make it haul some ***, but don't know if it's really necessary or not. Maybe it's more of just something I want to play with, but we'll see. It won't be too expensive to upgrade this download PC, because it only needs solid hard drives and RAID stuff, and a decent processor, no video cards or that stuff, that's all for this PC This PC will gather the data from the download client PC and I will burn all my stuff on this PC, via the shared network folders, since this PC is for media burning etc.

Thanks anyone who lends some comments!!!
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Old 06-23-2006, 09:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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anyone??? No replies....makes me sad. Such smart PC people here too!
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Old 06-23-2006, 10:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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if u wanna go raid, and get good performance out of going to Raid, then i would suggesting raiding it with Raptors. a good motherboard would be.....
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813136158

its a great board, supports IDE and Sata, and you can hook it up with an Opteron, any is great, Opteron rocks! and as for the raptors just get like 2x74GB or 2x 150GB.
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Old 06-24-2006, 01:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Generally, for file servers, you don't need a lot of processing power. I would be much more concerned about:

a)Hard drive capacity/speed
b)RAM.

RAID-0 would be a decent idea, as long as the stuff you have on your hard drives isn't crucial. When using RAID-0, make sure you understand that you have 2x the risk of losing all your data If you wanted speed as well as reliability, look at RAID-5, or RAID-0+1(if you mobo supports it).

RAM is pretty important as torrents can be pretty taxing on it, as well as file sharing in a LAN.

If you wanted to do more than a file server (things such as an authentication server of sorts) than you may need to look at a little more processing power, but for files, I wouldn't worry about upgrading that

BTW, welcome to TF!

BTW#2, you probably didn't get as many responses as you would've expected as some people are intimidated by big posts
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Old 06-24-2006, 10:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah I assumed that. I am an admin on other car forums and I know people don't like to read big stickied threads etc. Thanks for taking the time.

Okay, I was thinking that yeah processing power wasn't a huge issue, but I knew I would need memory of sorts and decent hard drives.

I realize RAID-0 has the 2x risk of failure, but honestly, it's going to be no files of true importance or vitality, mostly movies, music, games, pictures, whatever, media content mainly. Eventually, I was thinking of turning that PC into my next superfast PC, but for now I think it will do fine as a download server heh.

Okay so...I'm going to upgrade the motherboard. May as well get a newer 939 processor while I'm at it. Nothing serious, just a 3800+ I guess like I have in my new PC here, a 2.4Ghz or something of the sort, only $100 or so. Then transfer over to the SATA drives and get 2x of them in decent sizes. Then change out this old PC's 512MB stick for 2x 1GB sticks.

Sounds like it shouldn't be too expensive for just upgrading this older one. Soon after that, my new one I just built will get upgraded also to 939. I built it as a tail-end socket 754 cpu, because it works fine, fast and was much cheaper hehe.

Thanks for the advice so far guys!

also- aren't raptors like 10k rpm fast? Would it be wise to risk them damaging or overheating by running 2x of them in a RAID-0 configuration on just a download machine?
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Old 06-24-2006, 11:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If you are upgrading to 939, you might as well skip it and go AM2. I've found that the motherboards aren't that much more expensive for the new socket, and neither is the CPUs. However, the RAM is a tad bit more expensive, but it is DDR2.

As for a specific CPU, the 3800 would be good and is available for AM2.

Raptors are great HDDs. I have a 36GB myself for Windows, and other HDD-hungry programs. IMO, because they run a little hotter and faster, they become a little less reliable. Raptors, although great, come at a premium. The biggest Raptor you can get is 150GB and costs $260 on newegg. For that much money in a regular 7200rpm, you can get a 500GB. I think you'd be better off getting 2 big 7200rpm HDDs and RAIDing them, rather than the raptors.
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Old 06-24-2006, 12:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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That's what I was thinking. Why get raptors if my point is to slave up 2 drives in a RAID-0 configuration for downloads only for quite a while. 7200rpm units would do me fine I'm sure and I could get 2x 250GB ones for really cheap compared to raptors I'm sure on newegg.com

I was looking into the new AM2's and probably will go that route like you mentioned. I'll have to check more into it today, I may as well get a decent or fast processor now for it though as I will be going to turn this download PC I'm building up into a gaming/video PC for media later down the road anyways. I was looking at the FX series AMD units for a processor of choice, FX-57 or FX-60 primarily. I heard the FX-62 is coming out soon though for AM2's..??? I'll have to look into it. DDR2 RAM would be helpful also. Thanks for the info!
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Old 06-24-2006, 12:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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FX-series CPUs come with quite the premium too. The only difference between FX and non-FX is an unlocked multiplier. This means that you can overclock the CPU without overclocking the RAM. I don't really think it is worth it. At this very point, the FX62 does come with a higher clock speed and more L2 cache than other AM2 cpus.

If we look at the 939 CPUs, some FX-series CPUs were identical (clock speed and cache) to regular CPUs but still with the unlocked multiplier. For example the FX53 vs the 4000+.

If you were looking at getting a nice dual core for AM2, consider an X2 4200+. Seems to be a good bang for you buck
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Old 06-24-2006, 12:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Awesome, I'll look into that processor. Thanks for the headsup. I saw some very strong performance benchmarks from the FX series vs. Intel chips so I started looking into them. I have always been a fan of AMD over Intel anyhow, but now this new Conroe core is starting a buzz...I'll have to read up on those.
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