Build a PC: Blueprints

Note: This blueprints article was taken from the December issue of the magazine.

need toits MiniITX form factor is perfect for a home serverand its inexpensiveIt also has 6Gb/s SATAwhich will be useful for the boot driveand USB 3.0in case I need to plug in additional external storage.
Fractals Array R2 chassis was an obvious choice for this WHS buildIts beautifulhas a builtin 300W PSU with six SATA power leadsand has a drive tray that can hold up to six 3.5inch hard drives.
The most important part of this buildof courseis the storageWindows Home Server needs at least 160GB for its install partitionso I picked a 1TB boot drive because theyre not much more expensive than smallercapacity drivesBecause this server will hold backups of all my computersas well as moviesmusicand family photosredundancy is importantWindows Home Server doesnt have native data redundancy or RAID supportso I had to roll my ownHighPoints RocketRaid 2720SGL is a PCIe RAID card that supports up to eight SATA or SAS drives at 6Gb/sIm pairing it with five 3TB Seagate Barracuda XT drives.

These rigs are lab-tested

blueprints_dec

blueprints_dec

The big news this month is that the price of our Baseline rig has dropped a bit, going from $1,350 last month to low price of just $1,200. The drop is due to two factors—prices for PC parts keep falling, and we swapped out only one component, trading the Gigabyte GTX 660 Ti for the less expensive GTX 660. Since this rig is built for 1080p gaming, the GTX 660 fills the bill quite well and costs $80 less than the 660 Ti. We thought about inserting a Radeon HD 7870, given recent price drops that bring it in line with the GTX 660, but the GTX 660 is less expensive and faster, so in it goes. All other parts remain unchanged.

Click on page two for the Performance and Ultra builds.

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