Advice: First Budget Build


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Purpose: Something to tide me over for the next months until I move into my new place and will incorporate a Norco 4224 configuration. Putting this together as cheap as possible just to provide more space as my current ReadyNAS NV+ is full.

 

9 Drive unit, no hot swap bays.

 

Unraid: 4.7 stable release

CPU: AM3 Sempron LE-145 AMD Phenom II 555 DualCore 3.2GHz 80W BLACK ED

Motherboard: AsRock 880GM-LE

RAM: Kingston DDR3 1333 2GB

Case: Antec Three Hundred Tower Gaming Case

Power Supply: Antec 520W ATX NEO 520C ECO PSU

SATA Expansion Card(s):  2 port SATA2 Serial ATA II PCI-Express RAID Controller Card (Silicon Image SIL3132) x 2

Cables:SATA Hard Drive Data Cable Female to Female x 9

Fans: Antec 120mm SmartCool Fan x2

USB Stick: Sandisk 4G Cruzer CZ37 Slice USB Flash Drive

Others: iMicro Serial MOLEX Power Splitter Cable x 4 (few spares),

HDDS: WDEARS20, I have 9 ( Cache and Parity to be utilised with WDEARS20) Hitachi 2TB SATA 6.0Gbs 32M CoolSpin

 

 

Questions:

 

1) I saw a question posted but not answered relating to the function of the single core processor. Will this CPU be able to manage Unraid and have no issues with Unpar / Unrar with Sab / Sickbeard?

2) Stock cooler, is that sufficient or should I get an aftermarket cooler? Summers in Australia will hit 40 degrees.

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The Sempron range seem to run pretty cool, you shouldn't need aftermarket cooling, if your worried you can add it later without problems, right now being Winter, you shouldn't see high temps.

 

And all of the parts (except the case) are fine to move across to a Norco case when you want to do the upgrade? or is this literally going to be a temporary system?

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Just a temporary system, I really like the look of the SUPERMICRO MBD-X8SIL-F-O and want that for my 4224.

 

I will probably whore this out to friends as a means to extend my library.

 

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Any truth to the Sempron not being able to handle Unraid and extracting / verifying of par / rar?

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CPU Change: AMD Phenom II 555 DualCore 3.2GHz 80W BLACK ED

 

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I've seen too many questions asked regarding Single Core vs Dual on extracting large compress archives, for an extra $50 I don't need the point in gambling.

 

Price now $350

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There's always a trade off between power comsumption and speed.

If you leave the server on 24/7(sab/sickbearding), a faster CPU will unrar and repair faster, but you'll pay for it in higher electric bill.:'(

I have a little Asus Atom cpu and sab works pretty well(while I'm off at work or asleep). Repairing rars while you stream a 25mbps bluray will choke it up. >:(

 

I don't really understand everyone's infatuation with Norcos. They're $400(USD) and then you gotta replace all the stock cooling to get it quieter(more $$). I can see using them for commercial servers in a chilly rack storage room, but not in my media closet.

 

I used to dream of a massive 21-disk 42TB Beast! Then I woke up and discovered that even with all my data-hording, my collection maxes at about 20TB.(and that's WITH several desktop backup images)

And YMMV, so plan for the future, but don't overkill it.

 

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I don't really understand everyone's infatuation with Norcos. They're $400(USD) and then you gotta replace all the stock cooling to get it quieter(more $$). I can see using them for commercial servers in a chilly rack storage room, but not in my media closet.

 

It is the absolute cheapest way to get that many hot swap bays.  Also, the stock cooling isn't bad, it just is a bit louder than most people prefer.  I too found a Norco to be overkill for my needs, though.

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Yeah NORCO vs Antec 1200 = NORCO for value for money

 

 

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My media library grows 1TB a month so it doesn't take long to fill up drives, currently my collection is spread across Server 2008 R2 Raid 5 / ReadyNAS Ultra4 configurations.. Really looking forward to my first UnRaid box and hopefully decommissioning the other systems.

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Yeah NORCO vs Antec 1200 = NORCO for value for money

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My media library grows 1TB a month so it doesn't take long to fill up drives, currently my collection is spread across Server 2008 R2 Raid 5 / ReadyNAS Ultra4 configurations.. Really looking forward to my first UnRaid box and hopefully decommissioning the other systems.

 

LOL, I got my whisper-quiet Antec 1200 on sale for $95. How is a loud $400 Norco cheaper??

 

If your library grows 1TB/mo, it sounds like you just started collecting. I'm currently at 1006 HD movies and I'm working on watching the ones I haven't seen and deleting the ones I didn't care for.(it's a never-ending job ;D)

 

@Rajahal, Hot swap bays "sound" like a cool idea, but when do you REALLY need to hot swap anything?

Don't most people just:

1) install a harddrive

2) run the clear script on it

3) add it to the array

4) never touch it (until it dies)

 

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LOL, I got my whisper-quiet Antec 1200 on sale for $95. How is a loud $400 Norco cheaper??

Well if you factor in the cost of 4 5-in-3 hot swap bays @$90 ea then the Norco 4224 is definitely cheaper and it can hold more disks (24 vs. 20). So it really comes down to how many drives you need/want to hold and do you need/want hot swap capability.  If so, then the Norco's are the cheapest route. If not, then I agree that the Antec 1200 is probably one of the best options out there. I have my server in an Antec 300 and so far it has been great. It's pretty cheap but still high quality.
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@Rajahal, Hot swap bays "sound" like a cool idea, but when do you REALLY need to hot swap anything?

Don't most people just:

1) install a harddrive

2) run the clear script on it

3) add it to the array

4) never touch it (until it dies)

 

Strictly speaking, I agree that hot swap bays are a luxury item, but they make your server more of an appliance and less of a project.  There are some cases that allow you to mount drives internally but still replace/upgrade them fairly easily.  Now that I've built so many servers using hot swap bays, I consider them a necessity.  Once you go hot swap, you won't go back ;)

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LOL, I got my whisper-quiet Antec 1200 on sale for $95. How is a loud $400 Norco cheaper??

Well if you factor in the cost of 4 5-in-3 hot swap bays @$90 ea then the Norco 4224 is definitely cheaper and it can hold more disks (24 vs. 20). So it really comes down to how many drives you need/want to hold and do you need/want hot swap capability.  If so, then the Norco's are the cheapest route. If not, then I agree that the Antec 1200 is probably one of the best options out there. I have my server in an Antec 300 and so far it has been great. It's pretty cheap but still high quality.

 

And there it is.

 

I have an Antec 1200 filled with 16 2tb drives and will be out of disk space in less than a month.  I can spend roughly $400 to add 5 in 3's and max out at 20 drives or spend $400 for a Norco 4224 and max out at 24 drives.  I'll take the Norco.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well here is some pics, I'm not too overly happy with the 12v power input I just couldn't get it tucked away. I might get an extender and try and organise it as best as possible.

 

So I have packed it up and sent it home, the overall build was painless and the assistance provide with the Configuration Tutorial in the wiki was more than enough.

 

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There's always a trade off between power comsumption and speed.

If you leave the server on 24/7(sab/sickbearding), a faster CPU will unrar and repair faster, but you'll pay for it in higher electric bill.:'(

I have a little Asus Atom cpu and sab works pretty well(while I'm off at work or asleep). Repairing rars while you stream a 25mbps bluray will choke it up. >:(

 

I don't really understand everyone's infatuation with Norcos. They're $400(USD) and then you gotta replace all the stock cooling to get it quieter(more $$). I can see using them for commercial servers in a chilly rack storage room, but not in my media closet.

 

I used to dream of a massive 21-disk 42TB Beast! Then I woke up and discovered that even with all my data-hording, my collection maxes at about 20TB.(and that's WITH several desktop backup images)

And YMMV, so plan for the future, but don't overkill it.

 

 

Newegg had it onsale for $320 with something free not too long ago.  The 4220 was an even better deal IIRC.  It came out to something like $250 with a free HDD.  I think I'll eventually get a Norco just because it looks nice. It definitely is a luxury though since I have the iCute sitting downstairs.  I bought it for $90 in Taiwan.  ;D

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@Rajahal, Hot swap bays "sound" like a cool idea, but when do you REALLY need to hot swap anything?

Don't most people just:

1) install a harddrive

2) run the clear script on it

3) add it to the array

4) never touch it (until it dies)

 

Strictly speaking, I agree that hot swap bays are a luxury item, but they make your server more of an appliance and less of a project.  There are some cases that allow you to mount drives internally but still replace/upgrade them fairly easily.  Now that I've built so many servers using hot swap bays, I consider them a necessity.  Once you go hot swap, you won't go back ;)

 

I understand how people can feel that the hot swap bays are more of a luxury than an necessity.  I used to feel that way.  But if you start to have any sort of array problems, and are unsure if the problem is disk related, cabling related, or something else - the ability to be able to quickly exchange disks and know you are not introducing new problems is invaluable. 

 

Several times I have had a drive appear to fail (or do something flakey) and wanted to swap it with another disk to see if the problem followed the disk or stayed with the slot.  With hot swap backplanes, this is very easy to do.  But without them, you are looking at 1/2 hour of micro-surgery inside the case.  And while you're in there, it is so easy to knock something loose, or forget to plug something back up.  And then there's the constant urge to tinker with the cable management.  So you finish the exchange and try to boot and find some other disk is not recognized, or the system won't boot, and you're back in there again trying to figure out the new problem you inadvertently introduced.  An hour later you finally have the array working again and the case reassembled.  You're asking yourself "is everything solid?".  You start doing things in an attempt to see the affect of exchanging the two disks.  Maybe the symptoms disappeared - does that mean the problem is fixed?  (Would you like to swap things back and see if the problem is really gone?)  Maybe the symptoms have changed - is this a new problem I just introduced or related to the original problem?  Because you didn't run an isoloated test, its really hard to draw conclusions.  And the effort to run other tests is such that you're likely not going to do them.

 

Or another example, say a drive does fail.  You open the case to swap it out and put in the new disk.  You start the rebuild.  20% into the rebuild another drive fails.  If you've been running monthly parity checks cleanly, you probably knocked something loose when swapping out the bad disk.  The chances of this type of thing happening after opening the case vs doing a hot-swap exchange are much higher!

 

When a disk fails or starts to act flakey, that is the worst time to open the case and start tinkering.  You really want to be able to move disks around, swap out a disk to rebuild it, or leave a problematic slot empty - all without disturbing anything else.  The hot swap racks are the only way to have this ability.  Although with a small array it might be considered a luxury, and a special case that makes swapping disks incredibly easy may reduce their importance, for a big array in close quarters, it quickly becomes a necessity.

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  • 8 months later...

Looks good!  I was thinking of buying the Antec 1200 for my 1st build as well, but I ended up buying the Azza Helios 900 due to being on sale.  I've got 6 drives in it right now, with about 1.5tb left of storage  :o.  I though 10tb was going to be enough, but I just keep adding HD movies to it weekly.  I just bought the Pro license, and thinking of may be buying a norco as well.

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@Rajahal, Hot swap bays "sound" like a cool idea, but when do you REALLY need to hot swap anything?

Don't most people just:

1) install a harddrive

2) run the clear script on it

3) add it to the array

4) never touch it (until it dies)

 

Strictly speaking, I agree that hot swap bays are a luxury item, but they make your server more of an appliance and less of a project.  There are some cases that allow you to mount drives internally but still replace/upgrade them fairly easily.  Now that I've built so many servers using hot swap bays, I consider them a necessity.  Once you go hot swap, you won't go back ;)

 

I agree.  Today, I was working on removing a Samsung F4 drive and replace it with another drive, and after taking my server apart 3 times, I wish I had a hot swapable cages.  I am definitely buying some now.

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