OK. For $900, you can get yourself a nice Intel-based P4 server with a 250GB HD. Since this is a personal server that’s going to be used by just a few people, you really don’t need anything powerful, like Xeons or Opterons. A 3GHz P4 is going to be more than powerful enough. But you needing the parts being shipped to HI is going to present a problem. Newegg has awesome prices, but shipping for the mobo went from $4 to $25 when I entered in a HI zip code. But anyway, here’s the server archetype I created that isn’t too much over $900. (namely due to shipping costs)
Case – Antec Server Case w/ 400W PSU
- $105. Rock-solid, name-brand case with lots of room for additional drives.
Motherboard – Tyan S5120AGNNRF
- $175. Has all the features you’re looking for, with 6 SATA ports, Gigabit LAN, Dual-channel DDR ram, etc. And it comes from Tyan, the maker of the most reliable and stable mobos known.
Processor – Intel P4 @ 3Ghz
– On sale now for $180. Remember, you’re not hosting to 300 people, a P4 is more than fast enough for your purposes.
Memory – (2x) Corsair 1GB PC3200
- $200. You’ll need at least 1GB of ram to run a server, so the more the merrier.
Hard Drive – Hitachi Desktar 7K250
- $135. Hitachi/IBM makes fast, quiet, reliable drives. This SATA drive is roomy and will store all your photos, ISOs, etc. with room to spare. I would have recommended a NCQ drive, but you’ll need a motherboard that supports it, and it will be a bit difficult trying to hunt one down when your budget is $900.
Total: $800 (without shipping)
I know that shipping to HI is REALLY expensive, which is why I left you around $100 for shipping costs. If worse comes to worse, you can get 1GB of ram instead of 2. This configuration will leave you space to add additional drives as necessary, as the motherboard supports RAID 0+1. It should also be very stable and should run 24/7 without any issues. You can always rip a CD-ROM drive off of an older computer or find one for 10 bux if you need one.