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Looking to upgrade a few parts !


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Hey guys, first post, so be gentle ! 

I've been a unRAID user for a few months now and feel like it's time to upgrade the server ! 

I wanted to run you guys through what I'm currently using and what I'm thinking about getting and get a second opinion incase I am missing something !

Current system:


CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 3800+



Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-K8NSC-939



Memory: Random 4x 512mb DDR 333


PSU: Corsair CX600 Builder Series



Case: iCan 9809



PCI Controller card:  BT-P150E



Hard Drives: 3x WD 2.0TB Green ( WD20EARS )



Now, onto the pieces im looking to replace !


New Mobo:  ASUS P7H55-M LX ( on sale for $54.88 at my local shop, clearance and only 2 left ! )



New CPU: i3 540 Clarkdale



New Memory: 8 gig of whatever 1333 I can find on sale !


I would also be losing the PCI Controller card seeing as this mobo has 6x Sata 3.0GB/s ports.


Now, onto the RTFM of this forum !

My budget is, well, whatever it needs to be, but im trying to keep it on the cheap as I don't really NEED to upgrade, it's just something I feel like doing.  If nothing else, to minimize the idle power usage a tad and check out a paid version or unRAID :)


My server is currently using 3x 2TB drives and I was thinking 6? would be a decent number to tide me over for a while.  1 Cache 1 Parity and 4 data, dropping the cache down the road if im getting tight on space to give me a little more time i guess ?


Expandability is not overly important to me,  I don't plan on have 20+ drives in it anywhere in the near future. 9-10 could be a posisbilty, but no where close to soon !


Addons, I am currently running, AirVideo(ipad/phones) and the normals(so I think)... cleanpowerdown, apcupsd, bwn, smarttools, etc.  I would however like to read up on and install sabnzbd, sickbeard, couchpotatoe etc, so I would like room to grow with addons for sure.


Green drives all the way baby ! ( aside from the WD 500g Blue I have here waiting for the cache drive ! )


There are no other spare parts I have laying around that I would want to include in this build.  On a side note, my house bedroom to basement is wired for 10/100/1000.

I would also like this build to be fairly power efficient at idle ( under load im not really concerned )

I am currently on unRAID 4.7 and would like to avoid the beta's if possible !  I would also like to mention that I am in Canada, so some of the deals in the US I cannot get.

I would like to thank everyone and anyone in advance with the patience to read through this wall of text !  I am willing to accept any/all thoughts/comments or recommendations !

Been browsing these forums for a few weeks and seems like a great community !


Thanks again guys, I look forward to getting some feedback !

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If you are going to upgrade your drives, it sounds logical.

After 5 drives on your current setup, it will start to slow down.


you could get 22 drive on that motherboard if it works with unraid. (you should do a forum search to make sure there is no anomaly with that board).

2 SASLP-MV8 and the 6 onboard = 22 drives.


If you are worried about electricity usage, a sandybridge will be a little easier on the energy, but hard to find at that price.


there will always be another sale and right now drives are overpriced.

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Thanks so much for your reply !

I am planning to upgrade to at least 6 for the time being, just sitting by until something goes on sale.

I have also searched that motherboard and found a few posts with good results, just wanted to ask the question myself to see if anyone that already had it might stumble across my post.

On another note, is it the motherboard that decides on being 3tb friendly or as long as unRAID is ok with it so should the board ?

Would the sandybridge be that much cheaper on energy ? Do they not also mostly run on the 8111E nic ? I have read about a lot of issues with that nic and unRAID, kinda why I was shying away from 1155.

I just thought that was a really good price for a motherboard I dont think i would have to upgrade anywhere in the near future.


Again, thanks so much for your time, it's really appreciated !

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the 3TB should work fine on almost all modern motherboards for data drives.

the problem is trying to boot from them if they do not have a UEFI bios.

You will be booting from a usb flash drive so it is fine for unraid.


You are correct on the 1155 nic issue.

the power savings is probably not enough to worry about. i am sure there are some good comparisons online.

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Awesome, thanks for the info !

I would never use a drive that big to boot from, so I wouldn't think that to be a concern.

I do actually read up on this stuff, I just like to ask the questions myself because you can't believe everything you read on the internet !

Again, I do really appreciate the input !



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My desktop is a i7 950 @ 4.0 or I would too ! haha

I am actually debating what to use this hardware for now, I feel like it is pretty overkill for my unRAID box lol.

you mentioned earlier that my old motherboard would saturate itself around 5 drives correct ?

Was that figuring on a second PCI Controller card ? and by " slow down " do you mean parity checks and what not ?

I feel pretty bottlenecked already with the xfers ( 12 - 18 MB/s ) but I think that is mainly due to not having a cache drive, as I said before i'm gigabit all through the house, I thought maybe the PCI cards had something to do with it /shrug

If I can run a 6 drive setup in my box the way it stands right now, maybe I'll find another use for the little i3 ! ( I have been seeing alot of " ESXi " talk, and although I have no idea what it is I feel like i need one ! haha )


Cheers yet again !

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Congrats on the upgrade!


IMO 8GB is way overkill for an unRAID box. Seeing as you have already purchased it though, maybe if you do another build use that kit in something else and pick yourself up a single 2GB stick for unRAID. Also, an i3 is a great budget server CPU, super low temps and a surprising amount of power.


With your transfer speeds it is most likely bottle-necked by the parity calculations. I have a 150GB raptor as my cache drive (I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to get a raptor but I had a "spare") and I usually get around 65-85MB/Sec copies. If you are getting a new drive and want something cheap but effective, any single-platter 7200rpm 500gb drive is probably your best bet.


If you want to avoid the unRAID Beta's then stay away from 3TB drives as 4.7 will not support them. They are still overpriced anyway and 2TB drives are your best bang-for-your-buck, even though the flooding in Thailand is currently affecting everyone's drive prices.


Keep us updated on how it is all going!

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Ya, i agree that 8gb was overkill, but at 39$ for the kit, it was hard to say no :D

I have a 500gb seagate sitting around that im planning on using for my cache drive once I purchase a license :)

Just trying to get 1 HPA issue and 1 Air Video issue resolved before I make the plunge :)

Aside from that, everything else seems peachy and im lovin unRAID :)


Cheers !

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