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Pre-built Office Server

confused over benefits vs high spec desktop pc

3:17 pm on Apr 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

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5+ Year Member

joined:Jan 7, 2009
votes: 0

Hi guys,

I am currently updating our office server computer and am looking for advice. note: it is not acting as a web server at the moment, just a file server for the office.

Our current server pc is simply a desktop pc running windows xp with a shared folder on the lan running at 100mbps.

I now have more pcs accessing the files, need more storage space for the files, better backup solution and hopefully a faster access speed.

My question is:

When I look up small office server computers, pre-built, they use alternate components and software than I would normally use when building a computer. such as this model:

HP ProLiant ML110 G5 Server - Xeon 3065 / 1GB / NHP SATA 160GB / windows server edition

And the spec seems quite low to me, compared to standard desktop pcs I have built.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of using a pre-built server pc for small office networking over a fast desktop style pc with for example loads of ram, gigabit connection, fast hard drives, fast processor? Why the alternate style components between the two types of computer?

All help most appreciated,


8:00 am on Apr 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 14, 2003
votes: 0

The components most likely to fail are the power supply and hard disks, this especially so in a server which runs 24/7 and constantly thrashes its hard drives.

So hopefully when you buy a server these parts have been chosen for reliability not price! Also there should be more than 1 drive in a RAID configuration, so that if one fails your data is still there.

As a server spends most of its time reading and writing to the hard drives they should be as fast as possible.

For a small office server a super fast processor and huge amounts of memory are not necessary.

As to build your own vs. pre-built, I like to tinker! But it depends whether you would rather be fiddling with hardware or actually running your business.