We have talked about the Viridian PC Windows Home Server’s previously, and now it is time to exclusively review their VHS-5HC Colorado edition Windows Home Server 2011 box.
Here is what Viridian say about their Colorado Home Server range:
Our Colorado Home server range comes pre-installed with Microsoft Windows Home Server 2011, based on Windows Server 2008 R2, this OS is 64-bit and supports the latest technology such as Advanced Format hard drives. Microsoft have improved many aspects of Windows Home Server such as the remote access and media streaming to give a much improved experience.
The VHS-5HC Colorado Edition server delivers an outstanding range of features in a very compact unit. The server comes with features not typically found on small home servers, such dual Intel network adapters featuring redundancy and teaming and optional Intel Active Management Technology (Intel AMT requires a CPU upgrade to i5/i7 or Xeon).
Using the latest dual and quad-core Intel ‘Sandy Bridge’ processors, this server is remarkably energy efficient, drawing as little as 30w at idle when coupled with green hard drives. The base configuration uses the Intel Pentium G620T which offers excellent value for money, however those seeking more power can upgrade to a choice of CPUs right up to the quad-core i7-2600S or even the amazing quad-core Xeon E3-1260L which combines all the features of the i7 with a TDP of just 45W. Customers who wish to use the video transcoding features of WHS are recommended to upgrade the processor to at least a Core i3.
Windows Home Server is installed on the internal 2.5” hard drive, leaving all of the space on the data drives free. The data drives are housed in hot-swap bays and can be configured as RAID 5 to protect against drive failure, or without RAID for use with drive pooling add-ins.
Who are Viridian PC?
From their website:
Viridian PC Systems Ltd. are a new company, based in the North West of England and founded with a mission to deliver the best range of home and small business servers in the world.
CPU : Intel Pentium G620T, 2.2GHz, dual core, 64bit, 3MB cache (other processor options available)
Chipset : Intel C206
Memory : 4Gb DDR3 1333MHz, Max 8Gb
Networking : 1 x Intel 82574L Gigabit LAN port, 1 x Intel 82574LM Gigabit LAN port
Storage : 5 x free SATA hot-swap drive bays, 160Gb internal drive for Operating System
Graphics : Intel Integrated Graphics
USB : 4 x USB 2.0 (4 Rear), 2 x USB headers on motherboard
Expansion slots : 1 (x16) PCI-Express
Remote Management : Intel Active Management Technology v.7 (requires upgrade to i5, i7 or Xeon)
Power supply : 300w, 80Plus Certified
Physical dimensions : (W) 199mm x (H) 280mm x (D) 366mm
2 year return-to-base warranty as standard.
What’s in the Box?
Along with the VHS-5C server, there is a Getting Started with WHS 2011 guide, a server build guide, software DVDs, power cable and an assortment of screws, clips and other bits!
A Closer Look
Using the VHS-5C
Once you have completed the configuration of WHS 2011 you can launch the Dashboard. This is exactly what you would expect to see. Viridian have included the AWIECO RemoteLauncher and DriveInfo add-ins pre-installed, both of which are really useful add-ins, so good move Viridian!
Here are the individual results:
It’s very nice to see yet another UK company releasing a Windows Home Server 2011 box. It seems that the UK is pretty much keeping WHS 2011 going!
Viridian PC is a new company, but they have already got a few different models available, which is great.
Viridian gave us a heads-up on a couple of points:
Firstly, there are a few cosmetic issues to address with the server bundle. We’re awaiting some case badges to cover/replace the Lian Li badge on the front. We’re hoping to improve the ‘polish’ as we go along.
Right now that really doesn’t cause us a problem for the review, but it’s useful information to know.
The Lian Li case is really nice and very easy to get into – basically the sides just “pop” off and then go back on just as easily. So no worrying about screws and screwdrivers if you need to get into it. There is also an ample amount of fans in the case to keep it cool, and noise wise the box was pretty quiet.
Fitting drives into the case and using them in WHS was very simple and only took a few moments to do.
The i3 processor made video conversion pretty simple and I had no problems streaming audio and video to other computers on my network.
There were enough ports on the back of the case for my needs, however it would have been nice to have had some front ports, although this is the drawback to using this Lian Li case. Overall it wasn’t a major issue.
What would have been nice though would have been some USB 3.0 ports rather than just 4 USB 2.0 ports, after all there are more and more USB 3.0 devices available today, and if you want to use external drives you want them to be connected at the fastest possible speed you can get. Maybe in the next model?
So all in all its a good WHS 2011 box and one worth considering if you are in the market for one and you are in the UK. Although Viridian have said they are willing to ship outside of the UK, although the price for shipping may add more onto the price that you are happy with – best to check with Viridian if this is something you are interested in doing.
And don’t forget that we also host the official support forums for Viridian PC.
Price wise, the VHS-5HC starts at £675.00 depending on what specifications you choose.
Another UK based company releasing a WHS 2011 box
The Lian Li case looks good and is easy to get into
i3 Processor works great
Overall a great WHS 2011 box
2 Year Return to Base warranty
What’s Not So Good:
Only USB 2.0 ports
No front USB portsLearn more and order your Viridian PC from their website