My Network is expanding to include a dedicated site to serve files, to do this I am prepeared to shell out on a new server just for serving files. But I am un-sure on what's more important when serving files (mainly .zip's). What would be best?
1) 800Mhz CPU, 2GB RAM
2) 1.8Ghz CPU, 512MB RAM
3) Or just an all round meaty server?
I don't have a great amount of money to spend so I need to maximise the amount of files this server can serve.
An all round meaty server would be good on file serving just depends on how many your intending to serve. You would be best trying to serve files over ftp to instead of http and this will cut down on alot of problems and let you serve more files.
When you handle the server right you can handle a huge amount of files on a small servers.
Well, I don't know what you'll need for CPU power, but especially in a fileserver, you'll really want to load it up with RAM. Linux "caches" things in RAM, so for at least some files, you'll never even have to read from the disk, resulting in major speed increases. I've always advocated stuffing boxes with lots of RAM. (By the way, I'm not sure about other operating systems -- I know that Linux caches things. I'd guess that FreeBSD does the same thing, though I haven't used it.)