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My first unRAID build


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I actually built this server in March, 2011 but I am just now getting around to posting it.  It originally had an Athlon X2 3600+ (1.9GHz) CPU that I already had laying around and 2GB RAM. With that it idled at around 45 watts.  After adding another 2TB drive, the 250GB cache drive, adding another 2GB stick of RAM, and upgrading the processor to a Phenom II X4, it now idles at 56 watts.  I am undervolting the Phenom II X4 to 1.25V from 1.35V.


OS at time of building: unRAID 4.7 Pro (on sale at $109)

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 830 ($50 Microcenter)

Motherboard: Biostar A760G M2+ ($56 Ebay)

RAM: 2 x Kingston ValueRAM DDR2-800 2GB ECC ($40.49 Newegg + $28.74 Amazon)

Case: Lian Li Armorsuit PC-P50 ($120 on sale + coupon @ Newegg)

Drive Cage(s): 1 x Norco SS-500 ($89.99 Newegg)

Power Supply: Antec Neo ECO 400C ($34.99 Newegg)

SATA Expansion Card(s): Sil3132 2 port SATA II (from card collection)

Cables: 6 x 10 inch UV Blue ($10.02 Monoprice)

Fans: SWiF2-800 fan in Norco SS-500 ($10.95 Amazon)


Parity Drive: SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 HD204UI 2TB 32MB ($80)

Data Drives: 4 x SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 HD204UI 2TB 32MB (4 x $80), 2 x WD EARX 2TB ($80 + $100), 1 x WD EADS 1.5TB (recycled from another system)

Cache Drive: WD 250GB (originally TiVo Series 3 drive)

Total Drive Capacity: 15.5TB + 250GB cache


Primary Use: Storing media files and backups

Likes: Clean layout of motherboard.  Very quiet even with overkill cooling.

Dislikes: No IOMMU (AMD-Vi), so no ESXi virtualization w/ VMDirectPath

Add Ons Used: unMenu w/ packages

Future Plans: Upgrade to Tyan server board w/ low power Xeon, M1015 card for ESXi passthrough, 3-in-2 3.5" cage + 4-in-1 2.5" cages for top 3 bays (there are tabs for optical drives that I don't want to flatten), lots more disks, cache drive upgrade


Boot (peak): 135W

Idle (avg): 56W

Active (avg): 100W

Light use (avg): 70W








(Photos taken in March, 2011 before drive additions/other upgrades)


I really like the case.  It is all-aluminum and therefore very light.  With drive cages, it would max out at 4 + 5 + 5 = 14 drives.  I have no intention of going much beyond 10 in the near future, however.


Total cost with shipping and taxes: Around $1,080.  It ran perfectly well with 2GB and the Athlon X2; without those it would have put the cost just under $1,000.



(future edits)

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Yes, I got the case on sale.  It was a screamin' deal - the sale price was $139.99.  I had been looking at it for a couple of days and newegg sent me a coupon for %15 off Lian Li cases.  So with $9.95 shipping, it came to $128.98.


I upgraded the CPU and RAM with the thought that I'd virtualize unRAID and add a couple other small VM's to consolidate.  I didn't realize at the time that I'd need AMD-Vi support to do that with an AOC or 1015 card.  The power increase isn't enough for me to pull it back out.  $50 for the Phenom II was a good deal, so I'm not too worried about it.


I played around with ESXi for a few days and I'm smitten.  The goal is to consolidate a lot of stuff I have running onto it when I can afford to buy new guts for the server.

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