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new build check

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Hello,

 

Here's what I was thinking for an unRAID box:

 

 

EDIT: Will be using this unRAID server for nightly/weely backups of data (Ghost images, email, My Documents, etc.) from my two computers and (in the near future) as storage for some camcorder video (non-HD, probably no more than 10 hrs worth).  Right now I have two external hard drives (120GB and 160GB) that I use for data backups (and that's plenty of space for me for that) but that obviously wont be enough storage for camcorder video.  This server will not be used to stream media or as storage for a huge library of music or movies.

 

TIA>

-g

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Looks good, but here are my comments to consider ...

 

1.  Size your PSU for the ultimate size of your array.  At 425 watts, you'd be okay to 6-8 drives.  500 watts would maybe get you to 9-11.  If you want to be able to go to 16+ eventually, I'd recommend looking at 650+.  If you already had a 425W PSU, I'd say go with it.  But if you are buying new, give yourself some room to grow.

 

2.  I'd recommend looking at 750G or 1T drives.  The Seagate 750G is only $20 more per drive, and you could get 5 instead of 6 at roughly the same cost and capacity.  (Seagates have a better warranty - 5yr vs 3 yr - and are well regarded by most everyone).  There have been some excellent deals recently on 750G and 1T drives (see good deals section).  Bigger drives = more ultimate capacity and overall cooler / lower power operatoin.

 

3.  1G of RAM is okay, but many are putting in 2G for future expandability reasons.

 

4.  I'd chuck the single trayless rack and look for at buy another module similar to what comes with the case (holds 4 drives with a 120mm fan on the front).

 

Good luck!

 

(I like that video card!  I've been looking for something cheap that will output composite video without an adapter.)

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Guest Sparkie

I'd also recommend that you buy the Intel Pro PCI-E Gigabit NIC Card instead of using the onboard one.

I use the gigabyte motherboard in my system. It is rock solid

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1. Size your PSU for the ultimate size of your array. At 425 watts, you'd be okay to 6-8 drives. 500 watts would maybe get you to 9-11. If you want to be able to go to 16+ eventually, I'd recommend looking at 650+. If you already had a 425W PSU, I'd say go with it. But if you are buying new, give yourself some room to grow.

I won't need more than 6 drives anytime soon. I will not be streaming media with this server. It will be strictly used to backup some video from a camcorder and data from my two computers.

 

2. I'd recommend looking at 750G or 1T drives. The Seagate 750G is only $20 more per drive, and you could get 5 instead of 6 at roughly the same cost and capacity. (Seagates have a better warranty - 5yr vs 3 yr - and are well regarded by most everyone). There have been some excellent deals recently on 750G and 1T drives (see good deals section). Bigger drives = more ultimate capacity and overall cooler / lower power operatoin.

Reason I picked this HDD is because of the reviews it was getting. I looked at the 750GB and 1TB and reviews seemed a bit disappointing. Plus I'm not all that concerned about maximizing space (especially since unRAID is so flexible).

 

3. 1G of RAM is okay, but many are putting in 2G for future expandability reasons.

Is there some unRAID features in the future that will use the 2GB of RAM? Is there currently a big performance gain (and even with the CPU I'll be using)?

 

4. I'd chuck the single trayless rack and look for at buy another module similar to what comes with the case (holds 4 drives with a 120mm fan on the front).

I was worried about cooling with the 3 or 4 in 1 racks. I was thinking I'd use the open racks I have listed above and spread out the 6 hard drives over the 9 bays available. Then add more 120mm or 140mm case fans as needed. Wouldn't that be better than having 4 hard drives that close together with a single 120mm fan on the back?

 

(I like that video card! I've been looking for something cheap that will output composite video without an adapter.)

I selected it because of its passive cooling and low profile. Thought that would make it perfect for a server like this.

 

I'd also recommend that you buy the Intel Pro PCI-E Gigabit NIC Card instead of using the onboard one.

I use the gigabyte motherboard in my system. It is rock solid

I don't have any GigE network equipment or computers. Is there still a benefit to a GigE NIC in the unRAID server?

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If you go with the ABIT AB9 PRO you can have 9 internal drives and 1 external drive before you have to purchase a controller.

PLUS there's a rebate available.

 

As far as RAM, the server will function fine with 1GB, I would still suggest getting 2GB so you have room to grow in the future.

The root filesystem is on ram, and you will see eventually you will want to add other programs to the root filesystem.

 

With the AB9 PRO, I have not had to purchase another nic.

 

Also with the Centurion case, if you look inwards from the side, you will be able to see the POST CODE LED.

 

I use the I-STAR Trayless, I like them.

 

However, the 4 in 3 moduiles will also do you fine. There is a 120MM fan in the front.

It will keep your drives cool, no problem

I had a similar module with an 80MM fan on 10,000 RPM drives and it worked well.

 

I use the i-STAR because there is no fan and because you can use MOLEX OR SATA power.

I put 9 drives in my centurion (the AB9 Pro comes with all the SATA cables too).

If you want to grow later with the AB9 PRO you can purchase a controller or port multipliers.

 

PSU, If any of the PSU's put out 18A on the rail then you're not going to benefit much from a larger power supply.

If you are going to possibly upgrade later on, then you want a single rail power supply that can supply more amps on a single rail.

 

On my setup I have a 500W seasonic for 9 drives.

 

Fan. I would suggest more 120MM fans. (no 80s).

tape up the two vents on the side panel with clear packing tape.

Tape up the bottom vent by the power supply with clear packing tape.

 

I have 2 120MM fans at the top of the case which do good at pulling air through the drive vents of the i-STAR.

 

If it were my setup, I would go with at least 1 1TB drive for parity.

Then only buy the amount of hard drives I can fill + 1.

The drives are always going down in price.

However if you believe you will not grow past 6 drives, then by all means get what you can afford.

 

I built my centurion for 9 drives, the AB9, Centurion + 2-120MM fans + I-Star was perfect for me.

 

I think your CPU is a decent choice, I almost bought that one.. But I won a 2.66 duo core 2 on eBay really cheap.

I still may swap it out for the conroe-l 2ghz to save some electricity.

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You've obviously done some homework and feel that is a good choice for your needs.  I'm not here to talk you out of it.  But you did post your configuration here and asked for comment - and I think I gave you some pretty good advice.  Keep an open mind.  I was sitting in your shoes 4 months ago.  I think once you get unRAID set up, you'll be finding more and more uses for it, and looking for ways to expand.  It's normal!

 

I don't have any GigE network equipment or computers.  Is there still a benefit to a GigE NIC in the unRAID server?

 

unRAID is a media storage solution.  Gigabit ethernet is needed to get good performance.  Most users here would be totally dissatisfied to 100Mb performance.  You need a Gigabit router to make it happen, and Gigabit LAN adapters in your computers.

 

 

Reason I picked this HDD is because of the reviews it was getting.  I looked at the 750GB and 1TB and reviews seemed a bit disappointing.

 

Not sure what reviews you are reading or what stats you are looking at, but 750G and 1T drives are very reliable and many people here are buying them.

 

 

Plus I'm not all that concerned about maximizing space (especially since unRAID is so flexible).

 

You should buy the largest drives that are at the "sweet spot" in terms of $ / gig.  Right now that is 750G (or 1T if you find the right deal).  640s are OK, but not the smartest choice IMHO.  If you have a few lower capacity drives laying around, by all means use them.  It costs you nothing and unRAID flexibility will let you swap them out for bigger ones later.  But if you are buying new, try to find a good deal on the biggest drives you can.

 

 

Is there some unRAID features in the future that will use the 2GB of RAM?  Is there currently a big performance gain (and even with the CPU I'll be using)?

 

There is no big performance gain to be had with more memory right now, and likely won't be in the future.  Performance is closely tied to HD performance and network speeds.  No one knows what the future will hold, but it seems likely that you will be able to run apps besides the unRAID storage solution on the unRAID server that will benefit from extra RAM (and more CPU cores / horsepower) in the not-too-distant future.  I've also NEVER heard anyone say "I wish I'd bought less memory".

 

 

I was worried about cooling with the 3 or 4 in 1 racks.  I was thinking I'd use the open racks I have listed above and spread out the 6 hard drives over the 9 bays available.  Then add more 120mm or 140mm case fans as needed.  Wouldn't that be better than having 4 hard drives that close together with a single 120mm fan on the back?

 

Absolutely not.  These cartridges are design to force air to be constantly moving over the top and bottom of the drives.  They do an exceptional job of cooling.  Case fans with well spaced drives will not cool drives nearly as effectively.  I am running a burn-in test right now with two 5400RPM (cool running) drives widely spaced in a completely open case on my test unRAID server.  Their temps are 34C.  If I closed the case, temps would shoot up 10C easy.  My unRAID box (right next to it) has ALL 7200 RPM (hot running) drives running at about 25C, with 120mm fans forcing air between 14 tightly packed drives in a custom designed HD rack.

 

Good luck!  Cheers!

 

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If you decide to check out the AB9 Pro, you'll find a bit of a dodgy reputation overall due to numerous DOA's... I bought factory refurbed units from a dealer on EBay that sells them in a dutch-auction and got them (2) for the starting $49 price....

 

;)

 

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More RAM is already utilized in new betas. Since the virtual filesystem is in RAM, if you have many shares, go for the extra RAM (it is dead cheap after all).

 

Also definitely don't even try it WITHOUT GbE networking...

 

 

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More RAM is already utilized in new betas. Since the virtual filesystem is in RAM, if you have many shares, go for the extra RAM (it is dead cheap after all).

 

Also definitely don't even try it WITHOUT GbE networking...

 

100% agree with you.  I have 2G of memory.  But the extra memory is not giving better performance.  For better (write) performance, a person should invest in a cache disk.

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For me the extra memory plus tuning a kernel option IS giving me better performance.

Both on writes and on directory reads.

For reads much of the directory information stays in memory all the time.

Therefore navigating around reading directories does not cause the drive to spin up as much as it used to.

Plus I load allot of other programs which use root filesystem space and ram (60,000 mp3s indexed in ram takes up space).

 

 

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Thanks for the replies all.

 

Regarding the RAM, any point in getting 4 CAS RAM instead of 5 in my case? What about bandwidth? I was looking at 800 since the CPU's FSB will only be 800.

 

For the PS, the ENERMAX MODU82+ EMD525AWT 525W should be more than enough for me then.

 

As for HDD racks, I think I'll stick with the one bay I-Stars because they are trayless, cost considerably less than a couple of 3 or 4 HDD racks, and either SATA or molex power can be used. Plus, all the trayless multi-HDD racks seem to use smaller fans. I think I'd have more flexability in balancing noise vs. CFM with larger case fans (even if I must add some), especially with the Centurion 590.

 

EDIT: This is the RAM I'm now considering.

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The Core2 architecture seems to be somewhat oblivious of the ram's performance numbers, faster ram usually buys you very little in other than benchmarks... that said, Newegg is selling Crucial Ballistix 2x1024gb @gb Kits at $49 dollars with a $30 rebate !  :o  And it is 4-4-4-12 800 mhz ram... can't hardly go wrong.... I have this stuff in ALL of my machines and it works great.... you need to bump up the dram voltage in the cmos setup though, to 2.15-2.2 volts....

 

Jim

 

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No point in spending extra for cas4 ram vs cas5 ram.

 

This is the ram I use

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227199

After the rebate, it's $20 more and you get an extra gb. (my machines only see 3.2GB due to pci addressing).

 

 

In the beginning you really only need 1gb of ram, but after a while when you start adding things to it, the ram comes in handy.

Buy once, never upgrade again.

 

Reality is you currently don't need more then 1GB.

 

I have two unraid servers both with 4GB of ram.

The drives hardly spin up when I navigate around.

Only when I read something that has not been read before or write something do they spin up.

 

Upon boot up I install the locate utility and do an slocate down all the drives.

This loads all the directory information into the cache.

Once done, I can use the locate tool to find a file without spin up and redo the slocate without a spin up.

 

Actually I added another 4GB to one machnie and recompiled with PAE, so my larger machine is running 8GB now.

 

> I think I'll stick with the one bay I-Stars because they are trayless,

I like them. However I think I may mod the last one on the bottom and cut a hole in the bottom front to allow air underneath the drive. When you look at the centurion, there is a small vent hole in the front grill bottom.

When you install the I-Star it covers this hole.  Just a small mod will do.

 

 

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Please provide link, I'm only finding $60 w a $30 rebate.

 

For those who do not install allot of apps, 2GB is fine. So just go for that.

 

For me, I need as much ram as possible. ;)

 

I have apache, perl, php, mysql and a bunch of other RAM file systems exported via NFS.

I've been taking some of my other machines and booting them with root via NFS to save on spindles and it's working out really well.

 

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Good Price, My only beef is that Corsair never honors my rebates! OCZ has honored every rebate I've sent.

 

Hmmmm, did you see this review???

 

==== SNIP ====

Corsair is cutting corners...

 

    Reviewed By: dpeter on 5/28/2007

    Rating + 3Rating + 3Rating + 3Rating + 3Rating + 3

    Tech Level: somewhat high - Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

    This user purchased this item from Newegg.com

 

    Pros: Runs at 4-4-4-12 @ 2.1V with no errors in memtest 86+ on my Intel 975 XBX2. Should be fine for your average user.

    Cons: Probably not for overclocking. Corsair pulled a bait and switch. They used high quality Micron D9 ICs in the early revisions that were sent to reviewers. They then switched to garbage ProMOS ICs that you typically find in el cheapo RAM so they could make more money. This is extremely deceptive and scummy on their part, and probably explains the high defect rate that others are reporting with this memory. I only learned about this recently, and feel a little bit ripped off.

    Other Thoughts: The rebate is nice, but at its core this is basically value RAM that should already be cheap in the first place.

 

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Ah, well isn't that sneaky of them! It was good you pointed that out, I was going to buy a pair (well, 1). I guess I'll be staying with Wintec.

 

edit: ugh, accidentally clicked "notify" instead of "modify". lame eyesight. Sorry about that. :/

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I would say try it out if you are willing to follow up closely.

 

With my first purchase ever from Corsair they honored the rebate.

 

Thereafter (many other purchases) they did not.

 

I may purchase the extra ram and really stick with it by keeping the paperwork close to me and putting it on my calendar to follow up. It's just that by time I realize how long it's been, It's always been too late to follow up.

 

With OCZ, they send me an email when they get my paperwork and a few weeks later I get a rebate check.

Working well so far. I purchase a couple gig ever other month or so.

 

I "may' give corsair one more chance. You can never have too much ram LOL!!!

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Please provide link, I'm only finding $60 w a $30 rebate.

 

For those who do not install allot of apps, 2GB is fine. So just go for that.

 

For me, I need as much ram as possible. ;)

 

I have apache, perl, php, mysql and a bunch of other RAM file systems exported via NFS.

I've been taking some of my other machines and booting them with root via NFS to save on spindles and it's working out really well.

 

 

here ya go... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146565

 

:D

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That's actually a pretty sweet deal.

First time I ever saw memory with "LIMIT 2 REBATES PER PRODUCT PER HOUSEHOLD."

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