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Rendering of Velocity Micro WHS in silver and black  (Source: Velocity Micro)

Rendering of Velocity Micro WHS in a black and red color scheme  (Source: Velocity Micro)
Another system builder prepares to introduce servers to general consumers

Velocity Micro has leaked details of its upcoming Windows Home Server system, or WHS for short. The upcoming Velocity Micro WHS encompasses consumer friendly design and features enterprise-class thermals and stability.

Expect the Velocity Micro WHS to include hardware for vertical and horizontal placements. Velocity Micro is hush on the noise levels, but claims the new WHS is very quiet with some form of exotic cooling for the unnamed, single-core Conroe-based processor.

An Intel chipset and DDR2 memory join the Conroe-based processor. Velocity Micro has not revealed which Intel chipset it is specifically, but claims a high-performance Intel chipset with PCI Express-based Gigabit Ethernet and SATA 3.0Gbps are inside the WHS system. Intel has a large inventory of chipsets that fits the bill, including the most recent Bearlake-family, last-generation Broadwater-family or even the 946-series that is still chugging along.

"The WHS is another piece to our digital home initiative: cable cards, home theather, desktop, living room form-factor ... and it's not the last one," said Chris Morley, director of product development, Velocity Micro.

As Velocity Micro is a custom system builder, expect the WHS system to have build-to-order options with varying storage capacities, up to several terabytes of storage. Additionally, the Velocity Micro WHS system will have an eSATA port for external storage expansion. Velocity Micro plans to release an external storage enclosure that matches the WHS system design by Q1’2008.

Expect Velocity Micro to have the WHS ready in time for the official Windows Home Server launch in the September-October timeframe.

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Exotic cooling
By PAPutzback on 7/19/2007 2:26:53 PM , Rating: 4
You don't need exotic cooling. The most heat is going to come from Hard drives. One big slow turning fan can keep the entire thing cool. I am running it on a 2.4 P4 with 2G DDR ram and have decided to go to and older 2.0 with 512 of SDRAM. Why? Because for transferring files for a typical home network you really only need a gigabit card and network and 512 is the minimum to install WHS on. There are people running these on VIA chip sets and 400Mhz celerons. The O.S. and drives should be the most expensive parts. I would think that any OEM with any sense would use the cheapest CPU with the lowest TDP out.
Check out the WHS forums here.
There is a good thread under hardware that will let you see what people with different hardware specs are using the server for.

RE: Exotic cooling
By JCheng on 7/19/2007 2:39:38 PM , Rating: 2
FYI, I'm running it on an Athlon M-XP 2200+ with 512MB and the console and website feel quite sluggish.

RE: Exotic cooling
By MonkeyPaw on 7/19/2007 6:59:40 PM , Rating: 2
I ran it on a PIII 1.0ghz with 512mb RAM. Install took ages, but once configured, I didn't notice any performance issues. I would typically max my network speed during file transfers, and the console seemed responsive enough. Never tried the web-access feature though.

RE: Exotic cooling
By nerdboy on 7/19/2007 3:12:37 PM , Rating: 2
512 meg is a little low if thats the minimum for whs. If it takes 512 just for whs then you going to want a gig because it does take some ram to move files. I would put in a least 1Gb, depending on how many users you plan to access this device you might want more. Microsoft stuff just works better with a gig or more.

RE: Exotic cooling
By Xerio on 7/19/2007 3:58:01 PM , Rating: 2
Just look at the harware requirements for all the other MS operating systems (past and present). To get acceptable performance you need quite a bit more than MS says you do. 1gb of RAM is probably the real-world minimum, as well as at least a 1.5GHz P4 (or equivalent).

RE: Exotic cooling
By TomZ on 7/19/2007 4:17:41 PM , Rating: 2
It depends on the particular OS. XP runs fine on 512MB, but Vista really should have 1GB, in my experience. The amount of RAM is pretty important in the case of Vista. Vista runs decently on slower processors, but not if you have a small amount of RAM.

RE: Exotic cooling
By Xerio on 7/19/2007 4:24:11 PM , Rating: 2
I guess it really comes down to what you need. If you are just surfing the web and using word processing software, the minimum requirements are good. I use Photoshop all the time, so 1gb is the minimum for me in XP and 2gb in Vista. But that's me.

RE: Exotic cooling
By Chadder007 on 7/19/2007 4:25:20 PM , Rating: 2
But a Server of this nature wouldn't actively run any resource hogging apps in the background. You are just storing data to it basically. More RAM shouldn't be needed if you just have a few computers uploading to it.

RE: Exotic cooling
By Xerio on 7/19/2007 4:27:51 PM , Rating: 2
Gotcha. Makes sense.

RE: Exotic cooling
By PAPutzback on 7/19/2007 5:04:29 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. If you start addin the addins I am sure it would take more. If I can find 512 sticks of SDRam that will work in a Dell optiplex gx 240 I'll upgrade it.

RE: Exotic cooling
By MonkeyPaw on 7/19/2007 7:01:56 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that's were Celerons and Semprons come in handy. I think an AMD-based solution would be the most efficient, since it uses CnQ and has less expectations from the northbridge. All you need is a cheap IGP and a good memory controller.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
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