February 23, 2010 by Stephen Hopkins
There’s no better way to maximize your HTPC dollar than to build it yourself.
This is particularly true when you take the next step to a dedicated server. Whether you want to serve music and movies all over the house or just have a million downloaded episodes of Cowboy Bebop, a dedicated server is the most robust, flexible, and safe (using RAID arrays for redundancy) way to amass large amounts of storage.
When planning a large multi-drive server, don’t overlook the importance of the case. Lots of drives generate lots of heat, so it’s usually not smart to toss them all into a standard desktop case (even the physical space is there).
Something like the Norco RPC-470 4U Rack Mount Server Case - on sale for $69.99 with free shipping from NewEgg - gives you room for 10 x 3.5 drives + 3 x 5.25 drives, a server or ATX motherboard, and plenty of low-noise fans to keep everything cool. With an adapter, you can also turn 2 of the 5.25” bays into room 3 more 3.5” drives.
If you purchase the RPC-470, a free Rosewill External SATA Raid controller will appear in your shopping cart, allowing your new server to control even more drives in another enclosure or letting the server case act as a large enclosure controlled by another PC.
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Stephen Hopkins is chief technology editor for EH Publishing. He writes product reviews, features, and focuses heavily on 3D TV, iPhone and iPad apps, and digital content.
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