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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    NAS or USB Drive?

    I've been running SqueezeCenter on and old PC (which also runs some other bits and bobs) for a while, pulling the music library from my main PC over the wired LAN. Obviously this means I need both on at the same time and I get a perfromance hit on the main PC if someone's using it and I'm pulling flacs of at the same time. So I want to move all the media onto storage that the SC machine has exlusive access to, freeing up the main PC for kids homework etc. and hopefulyl getting better performance from SC (I do have the occasional drop-out). So the question is; should I go with a NAS for storage (still running SC on the PC) or a USB Drive on the PC? I guess I'mm looking for 500Gb. Any reccomendations either way?

  2. #2
    I would buy a couple of USB hard drives, one for the data, one to use for backups. I have two Western Digital My books (500GB) for just this use, they also spin down when they are not being accessed so they only draw a couple of Watts when idle.


  3. #3
    Seeing as you have a PC, just get a USB disk. No need for a NAS. A 500GB usb disk is about ú50, and a cheap NAS is ú100.

    Or, if you're up to it, you could just install a new internal HDD into the old PC to have less clutter.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Northern Cal
    I've been happily using USB drives for music and backup for several years. I've encountered no issues.

    Squeeze users who are more PC technically oriented seem to scoff at USB drives. I'm not sure why, maybe someone of that view will speak up here. For those less technically inclined, like me, plugging something into a USB slot is about the limit to the amount of PC "building" I want to do. So this approach meets my needs. USB drives also provide portability that internal drives can't duplicate.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    If you already have a PC running 24/7, it makes sense to put your drives there. Any reason you don't want to go with internal drives? Small case? Out of bays? In my opinion, what makes the most sense is to have one box (whether it's an old PC, or a NAS device) that is always on and provides a central place for your services, storage, etc. On a box like that, I prefer internal drives in RAID-5 with an external backup drive(s).

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Udine, Italy
    One annoying thing with usb drive is that, ifyou disconnect itfor some reason and then recconnect it, the letter assigned to dhe disk by the system can change, depending on other usb devices you have: is there any way/utility to preserve the same letter for a specific disk/usb port?

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    lemme break some ground for the NAS - since enough has been broken for the USB variant. ;-)

    i also had one of these *old* PCs sitting around, serving files and other stuff to various devices around the house. but that machine was **OLD**, about 6 years and has been running 24x7 since.
    -> it was LOUD. sitting under my desk it drove me nuts.
    -> it was quite efficient, but still pulled ~50W on full blast and ~35W idle.
    -> it had three parallel IDE disks in it, one of which was visibly failing (one partition was sporadically losing data). the others were just a matter of time. (one had already failed some years ago, with everything on it)
    -> it had no more space for further expansion.

    i bought a RAID-capable NAS device (qnap 409 pro) which completely *replaced* that old crate.
    -> it pulls about 35W full blast (4 disks) and 20W idle.
    -> it is MUCH quieter. since i have it, my offcice is truly silent!
    -> it is RAID capable, so failure of these cheap SATA disks is not going to hurt me! btw. the more disks you are using, the more likely one will fail!
    -> it is based on newer SATA technology and allows me to stepwise replace the disks with larger ones online.
    -> it runs SC 7.2 for me, kissdx (a network DVD player server), p2p filesharing (of course i never use that) and tons of other fun stuff.

    reasons why i decided _against_ a USB disk:
    -> adds one more disk which increases the statistical likely hood of a failure and dataloss
    -> increases power consumption by another ~5-10W.
    -> wont get rid of the noise, rather will increase it
    -> more cables and stuff lying around
    -> does not get rid of the *old* PC, which is waiting for an opportunity to fail
    -> not nearly as much fun as a new linux-based toy to play with! :-)

    so for me the main target was to get rid of the old piece of junk and be future-safe. if that applies to you too, get a NAS.

    if you just need a quick fix for more GB, get a USB drive.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Thanks all, plenty of food for thought there.

    @SubFuze Yes it's only a small factor PC wit no room for expansion which is why I'm looking at external solutions.

    @dcote I see the advantage of NAS for reliability etc. but I've read so many war stories about problems running SC straight of the NAS that I'd probably still want to use the PC for SC.

  9. #9
    I have a Thecus N5200PRO with SC running on it and am very happy with it, however, with the hardware options out there today I'd probably opt for a low power Linux PC that can handle enough drives to accomodate your library. That way you're free of any dependencies iro SC support for your NAS, the box can be configured for speed and low power consumption when idle.

    IF your existing box is on 24/7 then either add a USB drive (would recommend an Antec MX-1 enclosure) or replace an existing drive with a larger one and put your library on it.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    NAS vs Windows Home Server

    I've been using a NAS for some years and have taken the plunge and bought a Tranquil T7 running Windows Home Server. See:
    It's much faster than a NAS and much more versatile in that it can run SlimServer without a PC being left on.
    QNAP is an alternative, but apparently slower.

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