Large home server build

I am looking into building my own home file server to store all my films, music, photos and documents so I will need a redicules amount of storage (360 films, 675 albums on my laptop, 245 albums that havent been ripped to my laptop, plus the hurdreds of photos I take annually I estimate I will need around 1394GB per year) because we are a big family. Also I have 8 desktops in my house (don't ask why) and I need to have this server accessable for all my desktops. It will need to be running all the time with a fair bit of processing power. 

Can anyone advise what parts I should buy? I need it to be easily upgradable as we are constantly buying more and more films, music and taking more and more photos. 

Thanks, I will try and provide additional information if needed.

I don't think I calculated the estimated storage size properly but you get the idea. 

What kind of budget do you have ?

 Because ive sort of looked into it and this is something id do (if you want you can go to 2TB hard drives ect...)

with this case and raid card  (this case supports atx Psu's you can find some with a 300 WATT Psu that has enough connectors for all the harddrives aswell)


My budget is £1000. 

I noticed you selected a Intel Pentium G640T are Xeon processors over kill for home servers? 

i'm going to build my first home file sever next month and these are  my specs

i3-3220 3.3GHz ////   AsRock B75M /////   Corsair CMPSU-430CXV3 430Watt 80Plus Bronze ////   Coolermaster RC-371 ////   Patriot Signature 4GB Single DDR3-1600

dont worry about a raid card just get windows 8 and use storage space aka software raid. For a home sever dont worry about getting a Xeon processors unless you want to use ecc memory.

I just have 2 question for you

what do you reckon you will use to connect all your pc to the the sever  power over network ,wireless, wired ?

are you willing to spend more money and get enterprise drives or will you just get customer drives


wired and enterprise if its a partical choice for the set up i want.

Yea xeons are overkill unless your hosting something/doing a lot with your server, Storage Spaces is nice but i havent looked into it as Hardware raid with a good raid card is more reliable/Faster aswell, with a budget that large id suggest getting WD RED (like enterprise designed for raid but not as expensive) harddrvies at 2 or 3TB per Drive, and Building it up as you need mroe storage, maybe find a matx case with 6-8 Hard drive mounts and if you buy matx you can be a bit cheaper and buy an AMD mobo and CPU, which will do the job fine, one thing id reccomment if you dont have something like a Gbit Switch/Want more bandwidth would be a Gigabit netowrk card with 2 or more ports on it, and even if you dont use them all it gives you the option to expand, as yould a Raid card with 2 Mini sas which supports 4 SATA connections each, allowing up to 8 drives in whichever raid configuration you use.

Id also add in a GBit network card with at least 2 Gigabit ports if you dont already have a Gigabit switch or if you just want more Bandwidth available to use from your server, Intel Network cards are known to be Good and reliable, so id look into those aswell.

i am a cheap SOB lolz so i just buy green drives for myself so i can't testify about any other products but i would buy wd red  and for the love of god dont buy a hub buy a switch please  

what going to slow your network down is the transfer speed of you HDD and your NIC on your server but that been said your HDD should satcherate your gigabit card


Could you give me links to each of the parts you have just listed because I'v be known to buy the wrong hardware. 

Threw in an SSD as theyre much more reliable for 24/7 use (put the OS on it)

Case is up to you but the Define cases have good airflow and would also help keep the noise down/they have rubber HDD mounts

Board and Cpu are a  bit overkill but thats because i dont know what OS you might use/if youll be using Software or Hardware RAID 

If you decide on Hardware RAID you could bring the cpu/mobo down a lot, but thats at the cost of a Hardware RAID card

You dont have to use WD RED HDD's but theyre built for Server/Nas use situations so the more reliable/quiet/cool



if you want to use storage spaces the board has enough sata connections and the CPU has enough power to run Windows 8 smoothly as setting up a raid config can be hard/frustrating

and this if you want a Nic

this only has one port as i didnt dig to hard, but you can get them with more than 1 Gbit Port on them, more expensive though.

All of this is on the NAS (including boot drive, this pc has no disks of its own):

This is 10x 2TB WDC Greens in raidz2 (zfs redundancy scheme where any two disks can fail without data loss, similar to raid6) + 120GB SSD as L2 cache.

motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 (has 8 internal sata ports and supports ecc ram),

cpu: AMD FX-4100 (supports ecc ram and hardware accelerated aes),

ram: 4x Kingston KVR1333D3E9S/4G (16GB ecc ddr3-1333),

+ some random cheap 2 port sata card,

software: FreeBSD 9.0, disks encrypted with geli, zfs filesystem, istgt (C: and D:), samba (Z:), ipxe to boot windows from iscsi drive.

If you don't need ecc ram then any desktop cpu will do (Xeons just support ecc ram and multi-cpu systems). For ecc AMD is cheapest. You don't need much cpu power - for NAS only any dual-core will do. Don't buy hardware raid cards - zfs filesystem offers best reliability with direct access to each disk. You can also add a ssd disk to act as a cache (zfs manages this). Since you probably won't be able to install and configure FreeBSD go with FreeNAS - it's FreeBSD NAS for dummies with nice web interface ;)