This project came about when my Dad bought an Ipad with 128GB, citing the need for more space in order to store more pictures. My next question to him was what he was going to do if the Ipad ran out of space and if he was going to buy yet another Ipad to store more pictures. I was met with silence and so this project began. It was perfect timing because I've been itching to build another computer since my first ever build roughly 2 months ago.
The purpose of this computer is to be a home backup and sharing server for all our devices (~10 total), but the key was to support iOS devices. This computer runs Debian as the OS and boots super-quick from the SSD. I was deciding between running CentOS and Debian but chose Debian because of a wider array of available packages. It hosts a Samba server and we're now able to backup any file we want to this box.
Because this computer was going to be stashed away in the room that was furthest from our router and had weak signal, we also decided to give Google Wifi a shot. Gotta say that I'm pretty impressed by the speed improvement after setting up Google Wifi's mesh network and that it's performing really well so far.
No complaints here. Given I'm not throwing much at it, it does its job. Could probably have went with an AMD core but those are quite old now these days and I wanted something with a potential upgrade path later.
The IO shield is a bit flimsy and has prongs sticking out that face the motherboard. When installing the motherboard, some of the prongs got stuck in the HDMI port so I had to pry them out. Otherwise, for the price, I haven't had any issues with it and even though Amazon reviews seemed to show a lot of DOA boards, mine arrived fine and booted up on the first try.
I went with one that had more reviews (most likely meaning more users) on PCPP to minimize potential issues. I could have paid less for something else but for a server, I wanted to have reliable parts.
Sort of regret my decision on this as I definitely overpaid and could have gotten a 120GB SSD for ~$50. Strictly from a performance review though, nothing wrong with this particular SSD.
Not much cable management space in the back of the motherboard so I had to route many cables along the edges of the case. Otherwise I think it's a beautiful case and is a good size for a server.
Cheap and effective. However, the wrapping around the wires are weak and thin and some became loose as I was bundling the cables together.
Haven't had a chance to actually use it yet. I picked up a optical drive as a 'just in case' thing. It is a bit loud though on boot up but not sure if that's normal or not.
It's got good long antennas, which is perfect for my use case as the computer sits a bit further from the wifi access point. Others may not need the long cable and I don't think it comes with anything else, so just note that when buying.
Not sure how to rate this one. You can definitely hear this as it chugs along if you're right next to it but I'm not worried about sound since the computer sits tucked away in an isolated part of the house. So far so good.
I'm glad I was able to convince my parents to chip in on this one. Setup was painless and there is definitely a noticeable boost in network speeds for devices that are further away.