This story starts off with the struggles with my MacBook Pro. The SSD is no longer large enough for all of this. How could I get more storage? The answer to this is to use a server. I currently own a 4TB Synology server which is wonderful. Although the problem is that I can not move my iMovie projects there because the drive format is not compatible. For now, all of my iMovie projects have been saved locally on my MacBook, and as you can imagine it can take up some space. It was time to find my self a new server, one that gave me more options, and let me experiment a little. What better to use than a Windows PC. Yes, WindowsOS won’t work either for what I need it for, but it’s a start. The good thing about many WindowsOS towers is that they are very customizable. Every piece in the internal hardware can be replaced until its not even the same computer. Another issue that arose was my budget. I didn’t want to spend $500 or even $200 on a new computer, anyway, it’s just a server it doesn’t need to be big and fancy, and that brings me to how I got my server.
Wanting a cheap computer, I found no luck with refurbished computers, because they all had Office and Windows 10 and a bunch of other software included that was just unnecessary that increased the price. It was time to look at another place, that’s when I thought of Goodwill, my local used everything shop. While there I stumbled upon more refurbished PCs that were just crazy expensive in my opinion and included a bunch of old software. In an attempt to get cheaper I looked into some of the other regular used machines until I found one that I liked, a 2011 Dell OptiPlex 390 for $25.
It looked perfect, it was small and just what I needed, so I thought. Making sure that I knew what I was getting myself into, I cracked open the side to view the interior. Something was missing though, more than just something. Something like the memory and a hard drive. It was a good thing I looked in then because I would have been very disappointed when I go home only to find that it is missing crucial pieces. With no stamp saying what type of memory was missing, nor the correct hard drive to use I had to investigate the PC a little further. I typed the service tag id into Dell’s website and that where I learned that it was a Dell OptiPlex 390 desktop version, from there I found what memory was required and which hard drive was needed then I was on my way. Inside are two memory slots, which I filled with two 2GB sticks, for a total of 4GB of memory which I think is perfect for a server. From there I purchased a hard drive which wasn’t hard to find, I got two Seagate 120GB drives. I got to so that way I can set one up to RAID, or copy, to the main drive because you can’t trust used drives.
Memory x2: $22
Internal HHD x2: 30
This is not recommended for all users if you want to take this route please make sure that you understand what you need for a computer so like in my case you don’t end up purchasing a computer that doesn’t work or is missing parts.
Update: Over time this computer has served me well. But, some upgrade were needed to really bring it up to speed. So, I bought and 8GB stick of memory for a round $30. This brought the total memory to 10GB. I also upgraded the boot drive to a 128GB SSD. Putting one and two together have worked wonders.