Pip has had major hard disk failure issues this week, which has prompted me to bite the bullet regarding larger hard disks and a better fileserver, rather than clinging to old hardware. So I’m going to order:

  • 2x 1Tb Samsung Spinpoint F1 SATA hard disks, they’ll be a bit noisey but they’re the fastest and cheaper than Seagate;
  • A Pentium Dual Core E5200 2.5GHz CPU, which is essentially the same chip as a Core2Duo E7200 with less cache, for a damn site less cash (see what I did there?) huge improvement over the 2.4GHz single core AthlonXP, apparently they overclock to over 3GHz on the stock cooler too!
  • An Intel motherboard, which has an onboard e1000 gigabit NIC not some Realtek rubbish, and 6x SATA2 connectors as well as onboard DVI+VGA graphics so no PCI-E graphics card required. The onboard gigabit and SATA300 should significantly speed things up without the PCI bus limitations and SATA150 controllers of my older hardware;
  • 4Gb RAM

I’ll bung the 2x500Gb and a 250Gb boot drive in there too, using the case, DVD burner and 520W PSU from the old fileserver. It’ll probably run Ubuntu 8.04.2 LTS Desktop.

Then my old Pentium4 desktop machine will become the backup machine (as well as second desktop/PVR box) with 4x250Gb and a 200Gb boot drive, pretty similar to its current config. That will get Fedora 11. Wish I hadn’t bought that eSATA PCI card for it now….

I was going to put a TV tuner, 2nd DVD-ROM and 2nd gigabit NIC in there, but I decided to keep the PCI bus clear and preserve some drive bay space. My AthlonXP fileserver just crashed again as I was playing some MP3’s at the same time as copying some stuff from DVD to hard disk, so I’ll be glad when its banished to the loft!