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New 24 Bay Rackmount Build

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I'm thinking of putting my next server in that case,  interested in hearing how it is when / if you get it.

No problems Chris, I will be doing this build in my spare time so I will take photos and comment. I should start the case build next week although I already have it.

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Do NOT buy a 1265 chip for a mainbord with a c204 chipset. It is not advised by supermicro. I tried it and it will give you unpredicted result.

Downloadski I notice you had some issues with the Noctua fans on your X9SCM-F motherboard, did Supermicro cure these problems with a bios update and can you give me some advise as I've got 3x NF-P12 PWM, 2x NF-R8 PWM for my setup and want to know how to set them up. Thanks

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Okay so Im going to start my build. Just a bit of background info. Originally I thought about getting another NAS but as a good one is expensive, £1000 plus hard drives I decided that a rackmount was the best way to go. I built my own HTPC but a rackmount system was way beyond me, or so I thought. I looked around on the internet and contacted Graham at My HTPC in the UK. www.myhtpc.co.uk all I can say is that he was amazing when it came to advise. I know time is money when running your own business but I felt he went out of his way to help me and give me good advise, and I know I can run on a bit. So I originally intended Graham to do the build but after going through the expense of a 2 year court battle over my children with my x partner money was tight. I had a buyer for my NAS but as he was a friend he kept me hanging on for the money and I really felt bad towards Graham as he had been so patient and so helpful. I contacted him and told him I wanted to pay for the parts he had brought so far and try and build it myself over the next few months buying parts as and when I could afford them. I know he charges a small fee for his system builds and as a one man band cannot compete with the bulk component suppliers but after all his help I will always go back to him for cases and other parts and recommend him to friends who are not computer savvy.

I didn't want to build a system that would be of no use in a years time so I want to take my time and get the right components whatever the cost and I also decided on a 24 bay case, although I could have got away with a 20 bay case but it is 50mm deeper and I really wanted a short case.

I spent a long time looking around the internet and came across Johnm's posts and was intrigued. Not just by his informative posts but by the unRAID system as well.

If Im honest when the build is done I still don't know which way Im going to go with regards to hard drive pooling and the operating system. I like the reliability of Linux and unRAID but as my server is primarily for ISO Blu-ray storage I may go with WHS2011 and flexraid as WHS2011 provides an automatic Blu-ray ripping system through My Movies which I use on my HTPC running Win7 HP and will be running on my HTPC clients as I intend to build another HTPC after this server build.

So on to the build. As I go through it over the next few months I hope that it will help someone else in my situation or someone who just likes system building.

I unbox the parts and check the drive caddys on the case and one of them is stuck but after a bit of force it came free and I bent back part of the caddy which was stopping it coming out. I noticed that the caddis even when locked move in and out about 3mm so I hope that when the hard drives are in they will all sit flush against the front of the case. The lid is removed by a screw either side and then by sliding it back, there are two more holes for screws to hold the lid down (one front and back each side) but they are not really necessary and don't come with any of the other screws in the parts box.

I brought the short depth case as its 50mm shorter and I new I was going to use a ATX or M-ATX motherboard which fit and as I don't want a really deep rackmount cabinet in my spare room I hoped I will be able to fit it in a 600mm deep USpace 12U cabinet with mesh front and back so as to provide good cooling and also because its open I needed it to be quiet as well. Most rackmount cases are 600mm deep at minimum.

This photo shows the stock case with fans as it came with a box of parts and a set of rails. I purchased the Noctua Fans and CPU cooler and a 90 degree mains cable for the PSU as its going in a 600mm deep rackmount cabinet (Hopefully) I knew it would be a tight fit a the rear of the server case where it meets the rackmount cabinet back so this should help with the cable management.

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I removed the fan covers from all the stock fans and screw them onto the Noctua fans. I really hope that Supermicro have sorted the issue with the low fan rpm setting and the ramping up and down of the fans as people have reported on the X9SCM-iiF motherboard or i may have to back these PWM fans and get the non PWM one's, glad I purchased them from Amazon. I have decided to use the Noctua suppled silicone mounts and see how well they work, Noctua do include screws the same as the ones securing the stock fans but if there is any chance of vibration these silicone mounts should stop that, although they seem a little lose for my liking, especially on the rear 80mm fans. I removed the fan wall, 3 screws either side and 4 on the bottom as the lower silicone mounts are a pig to put through, especially with my large fingers. The lower ones on the 80mm fans are arkward as well but I managed to do it.

I spread out the parts sent with the case and apart from the screws all marked on the bags (Great Help) Im not sure what the other parts are for, the obvious is a couple of large plates that must be to fit in the case for different power supplies, I think the one installed is for an ATX PSU, the small black plastic part is a spanner for the backplane thumbscrews and the small spanner is for the motherboard stand off's. Any ideas on the other parts guys.

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I replaced the fan wall and rear fans and look at the rails. Ha Ha fun and games, not instructions and I've never fitted them to a case or cabinet before. So onto xcase to look at their useful you tube videos and no joy. So I need to play around with them. After about 15 minutes of getting covered in grease from them I figure it out and slide off the part of the rail that attaches to the server case after pressing the release button on the rail. So I locate the front in a lug and screw it on with 5 of the 6 screws included. No hole for the 6th screw and the rail will only attach one way round or the screws don't line up. I slide the rail back on but notice that its not going all the way to meet the front of the case (photo). So after a bit of investigating I figure out I need to remove the furthest screw at the rear of the rail (photo), as the screw head is catching. After removing the screw the rail now meets the front of the case. (photo).

The rails are really well made and its nice they come with the case but some mounting instructions or a you tube video on the xcase website would help (Note to Ian from xcase if your reading this).

So next Im going to order the motherboard and CPU. Im still not 100% on if I should take johnm's advise and stick with the tried and tested sandy bridge E3-1240 or go with the problematic E3-1240V2 as its faster and will save a little on power as this server will be on 24/7/365. The same goes for the Supermicro X9SCM-iiF as I've read a few more forums posts about people having issues with memory etc, although again this seems to be with the Ivy Bridge CPU so perhaps I should listen to John and forget about the power saving as they cost the same. I need IPMI and want the intel NIC so this motherboard is a good choice in my opinion although Im more worried about the issues I may face with the Noctua fans and the fact although it has 5 headers only two are controllable. One for the CPU and one for the other 4 headers and I have 5 fans, though I could run the rears together using a LNA that comes with the Noctua fans and run three on the fanwall off the other controllable header.

Im also concerned that the Noctua CPU cooler may be overkill for a E3-1240 or E3-1240V2 may be overkill, Its massive and although another forum member is using one the stock Intel CPU cooler may be quiet enough and would probably not restrict the airflow out of the rear of the case as much.

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I just thought Id add a photo of my current HTPC and NAS, plus the case now I've replaced the fanwall and rear 80mm fans with the Noctua ones.

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I'm thinking of putting my next server in that case,  interested in hearing how it is when / if you get it.

Here you go Chris, I've started it, hope it helps.

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Really frustrating, the M1015 is now fetching £85 used on e-bay, and they have gone up to £100 new. I think my best option is to buy a LSI 9201-16i new for £300. They never come up on e-bay and at least it will have a warranty, be future proof for a while and also free up one PCI slot. From what I've read they are very good so it looks like my best option for now. I just hope they support drive spin down, Im sure I've read posts saying they do and some saying they don't.

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The 120mm fans have to go in their current position as the motherboard meets the back of the fanwall so I hope I can get the 8087 cable in the backplane without to much hassle.

Ive decided to screw the fans instead of using the Noctua silicone mounts as they leave a 2mm gap around the fans which would allow a small amount of air to bypass and the silicone mounts don't seem very secure.

Im not going to do this yet as my main concern is if the latest supermicro bios (2.0b) has cured the PWM fan issues. If not then I will back them and replace them with non PWM versions and use the ULNA on the 120mm and the LNA on the 80mm fans. Can anyone on the forum please help me with this information. The motherboard will be the Supermicro X9SCM-iiF.

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Honestly. I have my 120's at full speed. I can hardly hear them and at times my drives can get a bit hot (never having passed the 41C mark mid summer). but can hit 38ish under normal heavy load. and low 30's idle. 

 

I can hardly hear my server unless I'm right next to it. the drives make the most noise.

 

 

i do like that chassis.. the pullouts look a tad more like supermicro bays cosmetically. but sigh, they are norcos.

 

 

PS. dont forget to fill in the opening in the fanwall after you get it.

 

 

EDIT.

Those qnap boxes are a nice form factor. I wish you could buy a miniITX chassis like that. put a SM ITX server board into it...

 

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Honestly. I have my 120's at full speed. I can hardly hear them and at times my drives can get a bit hot (never having passed the 41C mark mid summer). but can hit 38ish under normal heavy load. and low 30's idle. 

 

I can hardly hear my server unless I'm right next to it. the drives make the most noise.

 

 

i do like that chassis.. the pullouts look a tad more like supermicro bays cosmetically. but sigh, they are norcos.

 

 

PS. dont forget to fill in the opening in the fanwall after you get it.

 

 

EDIT.

Those qnap boxes are a nice form factor. I wish you could buy a miniITX chassis like that. put a SM ITX server board into it...

 

Yes the Qnap boxes are a lovely size. I haven't forgot about the gaps in the fanwall either, I've read all your posts.

The chassis has had quite a few improvements with the drive caddies over the Norco case but if Im honest I would have brought a Supermicro case had they been a little shorter as their build quality is excellent. With regards to the fans thats good news as I will run the 120mm's at full speed if they are that quiet.

I suppose IM a little confused as to the PWM1 and PWM2 settings on the X9SCM-iiF as I don't really know what they are, people have connected all their fans up to the header but only use PWM1 for the CPU and PWM2 for the fan control. I just don't understand it, does this mean they daisy chain all the fans to one header. I mean should I send the PWM fans back and use non PWM's as they are the same price.

Oh I nearly forgot john, I need 12 socks for the drive caddies Im not using, where did you buy yours from. LOL

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Yes the Qnap boxes are a lovely size. I haven't forgot about the gaps in the fanwall either, I've read all your posts.

The chassis has had quite a few improvements with the drive caddies over the Norco case but if Im honest I would have brought a Supermicro case had they been a little shorter as their build quality is excellent. With regards to the fans thats good news as I will run the 120mm's at full speed if they are that quiet.

I suppose IM a little confused as to the PWM1 and PWM2 settings on the X9SCM-iiF as I don't really know what they are, people have connected all their fans up to the header but only use PWM1 for the CPU and PWM2 for the fan control. I just don't understand it, does this mean they daisy chain all the fans to one header. I mean should I send the PWM fans back and use non PWM's as they are the same price.

Oh I nearly forgot john, I need 12 socks for the drive caddies Im not using, where did you buy yours from. LOL

 

....  >:(  those are special anti static socks.. very expensive..

 

(i stole my GF's.... she has small feet)

 

 

they have cables that use the power from a molex plug and read the sense data from the mobo header. the one i have has 3 fan headers on it.

I tend to use those on my desktops though. not in my servers.

 

Something like this. I picked up a nice braided one.

PWM:

http://www.amazon.com/Splitter-Molex-headers-CONNECT-MULTIPLE/dp/B009D3HV1Q

http://www.amazon.com/Evercool-EC-DF001-Braided-Splitter-Multiple/dp/B009D3KQ54

http://www.amazon.com/Computer-Connector-Splitter-Sleeved-CA-PWM-03/dp/B0067LWQ1C/ref=pd_sim_sbs_pc_1

 

 

for my Norco fan walls.

I got something like this

NON-PWM:

http://www.watercoolinguk.co.uk/p/BitFenix-Molex-to-3x-3-pin-adapter-20cm-sleeved-black--black_33804.html

 

I am thinking if you get the PWM one and NOT plug the pwm header in, it will go full speed.

if they were the same price, i'd prolly keep the pwm. unless the non-pwm had more static pressure. thats the key to get the air through the drives.. high static pressure fans keep speed when dealing with restricted airflow (like cpu cooler fins) or when trying to pressurize a chassis. the norco has both issues at once.

 

I have heard of people drawing to much power with their fans on SM boards and causing problems.

Personally, I always use power supply to power the fans and then a sense wire to monitor/control them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Do NOT buy a 1265 chip for a mainbord with a c204 chipset. It is not advised by supermicro. I tried it and it will give you unpredicted result.

This is useful information, thanks for that. Im interested how do you find the low power (35w) i3-2100T CPU in your setup, is it fast enough, as I noticed your running the E3-1265V2 on a different board. Does this board have IPMI and why did you go for the 1265V2 over other CPU's ????

Late answer, but i hope it helps you.

The i3-2100t works ok, i did not do lots of testing though. It runs stable with copy to the server, and streaming worked ok sometimes (problems with this mainbord in other threads)

 

The 'other' bord i use is an X9SAE-V which has no ipmi and is more a workstation than a server mainbord. The E3-1265L v2 works ok as this has a c216 chipset and needs the video part in the chip (the E3-12X5 chips have video)

 

I picked the 1265 chip over the others because of the lower TDP.

 

As for the cou cooler question, i use an noctua NH-U9B se2 which is small enough not to block the first pci-e slot.

 

 

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Do NOT buy a 1265 chip for a mainbord with a c204 chipset. It is not advised by supermicro. I tried it and it will give you unpredicted result.

Downloadski I notice you had some issues with the Noctua fans on your X9SCM-F motherboard, did Supermicro cure these problems with a bios update and can you give me some advise as I've got 3x NF-P12 PWM, 2x NF-R8 PWM for my setup and want to know how to set them up. Thanks

Look in the mainbord section at the topic on pwm support for the X9SCM-F thread. The ports you can read back are not the same as printed on the mainbord i think (also found the same with the X9SAE-V mainbord) read both threads and it will work out for you.

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I suppose IM a little confused as to the PWM1 and PWM2 settings on the X9SCM-iiF as I don't really know what they are, people have connected all their fans up to the header but only use PWM1 for the CPU and PWM2 for the fan control. I just don't understand it, does this mean they daisy chain all the fans to one header. I mean should I send the PWM fans back and use non PWM's as they are the same price.

Noctua provides splitters with their pwm fans.

My findings on both the x9 mainbords i have http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=23590.0

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I have heard of people drawing to much power with their fans on SM boards and causing problems.

Personally, I always use power supply to power the fans and then a sense wire to monitor/control them.

Link ?

 

I have 6 noctua fans in both my servers.

The nf-f12 is 0.6 watt

The nf-p12 is 0.6 watt

The nf-r8 is 0.72 watt

 

So 5 x 0.6 + 0.72 = < 4 watt at full rpm. They spin up not to full power at start up, but soon after the startup, and than are controlled down by the fanspeed scipt.

 

No issues thus far

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I have heard of people drawing to much power with their fans on SM boards and causing problems.

Personally, I always use power supply to power the fans and then a sense wire to monitor/control them.

Link ?

 

I have 6 noctua fans in both my servers.

The nf-f12 is 0.6 watt

The nf-p12 is 0.6 watt

The nf-r8 is 0.72 watt

 

So 5 x 0.6 + 0.72 = < 4 watt at full rpm. They spin up not to full power at start up, but soon after the startup, and than are controlled down by the fanspeed scipt.

 

No issues thus far

I've read every post I can find about the X9SCM-iiF, a lot of them are yours, some are recent and some are older ones. I don't know if the latest bios (2.0b) has any more fan updates but what I need to know is. 1: Have they lowered the 700rpm min fan spin speed threshold as you stated it was hard coded into the bios. 2: even though it monitors the CPU fan and four other fans, are only two still controllable on the bios or is it with IPMI, and does it give a speed reading from all 5 fans. With this info I can plan what to do. i.e. keep the pwm noctuas and run them at full speed or maybe a LNA on the rear 80mm's.

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Yes the Qnap boxes are a lovely size. I haven't forgot about the gaps in the fanwall either, I've read all your posts.

The chassis has had quite a few improvements with the drive caddies over the Norco case but if Im honest I would have brought a Supermicro case had they been a little shorter as their build quality is excellent. With regards to the fans thats good news as I will run the 120mm's at full speed if they are that quiet.

I suppose IM a little confused as to the PWM1 and PWM2 settings on the X9SCM-iiF as I don't really know what they are, people have connected all their fans up to the header but only use PWM1 for the CPU and PWM2 for the fan control. I just don't understand it, does this mean they daisy chain all the fans to one header. I mean should I send the PWM fans back and use non PWM's as they are the same price.

Oh I nearly forgot john, I need 12 socks for the drive caddies Im not using, where did you buy yours from. LOL

....  >:(  those are special anti static socks.. very expensive..

 

(i stole my GF's.... she has small feet)

 

 

they have cables that use the power from a molex plug and read the sense data from the mobo header. the one i have has 3 fan headers on it.

I tend to use those on my desktops though. not in my servers.

 

Something like this. I picked up a nice braided one.

PWM:

http://www.amazon.com/Splitter-Molex-headers-CONNECT-MULTIPLE/dp/B009D3HV1Q

http://www.amazon.com/Evercool-EC-DF001-Braided-Splitter-Multiple/dp/B009D3KQ54

http://www.amazon.com/Computer-Connector-Splitter-Sleeved-CA-PWM-03/dp/B0067LWQ1C/ref=pd_sim_sbs_pc_1

 

 

for my Norco fan walls.

I got something like this

NON-PWM:

http://www.watercoolinguk.co.uk/p/BitFenix-Molex-to-3x-3-pin-adapter-20cm-sleeved-black--black_33804.html

 

I am thinking if you get the PWM one and NOT plug the pwm header in, it will go full speed.

if they were the same price, i'd prolly keep the pwm. unless the non-pwm had more static pressure. thats the key to get the air through the drives.. high static pressure fans keep speed when dealing with restricted airflow (like cpu cooler fins) or when trying to pressurize a chassis. the norco has both issues at once.

 

I have heard of people drawing to much power with their fans on SM boards and causing problems.

Personally, I always use power supply to power the fans and then a sense wire to monitor/control them.

The static pressure is the same on the PWM and non PWM at full speed but the non PWM has the option of a middle setting using the included LNA which the PWM version doesn't have. The PWM version drops from full speed 1300 to 900 where as the non PWM version gives you a middle setting of 1100 rpm.

Until I can actually hear the sound its so hard to tell but Im sure it will be lower than my 41db NAS, although I will have 5 fans running on this.

I dont want to run scripts but I want to be able to adjust and monitor so I wondered about running 3 x non PWM on full speed 1300 and if its to loud then middle setting of 1100 rpm, my drives are supposed to run quiet and cooler than a lot of others, well so the reviews say. I would put each one on a separate power supply from the PSU and attach the header to the motherboard so they run at full speed but I can see if one fails (Would it do this if I used the single power to 3 header splitter that you spoke about). The two rear 80mm's would be non PWM run at full to start and split using a power to two header splitter and onto the last motherboard header. The reason I've thought about doing this is I don't want this low rpm (Under 700rpm) alert coming up. Unless DOWNLOADSKI can confirm the threshold has been dropped or the script is run outside of unRAID in case I do something different. I just want the option to make sure if a fan fails I will know about it, I don't get alarms from the motherboard unnecessarily and I have the option to lower the fan speed slightly if I need to. The CPU cooler I have looks massive and Im wondering if this will restrict the airflow out of the 2 x 80mm fans, Im wondering if the standard intel heatsink and fan is quiet enough and can be controlled by the motherboard PWM, if the cpu fan is 4 pin. The most I will use is going to be a E3-1240 V1 or V2.

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1: Have they lowered the 700rpm min fan spin speed threshold as you stated it was hard coded into the bios.

I think it is a limit, and when you go under it ramps up again. This must be a savety threshold.

Not sure from my head it is 300 or 700 though. Not likely i can check soon, as both my servers are stripped down, for drive replace some drives.

 

2: even though it monitors the CPU fan and four other fans, are only two still controllable on the bios or is it with IPMI, and does it give a speed reading from all 5 fans. With this info I can plan what to do. i.e. keep the pwm noctuas and run them at full speed or maybe a LNA on the rear 80mm's.

You can read back the actual fan speed from all mainbord headers. The issue is there are only 2 pwm controls you can use (never got pwm 3 to work)

I wrote this down in http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=23590.0

 

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It was 700rpm but i think I found a bios update notes that said it was changed on version 1.1a so this must have been to cover the low rpm of 300 on the Noctua's. So the PWM settings are in the bios I presume. Its just the motherboard manual doesn't cover this.

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Are you using the 3 m1015 cards right now ?

I have 2 supermicro cards and now one m1015 to test with.

No as I put in a post on the other page I think Im going to get a LSI 9201-16i like you suggested, the M1015 cards are about $200 here and the 9201 is about $600, a bit more but it will free up another slot and help with keeping things easier.

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Ordered some more parts so they should be here soon, Got the Mini SAS cables, motherboard and some more hard drives coming. I had some hard drives delivered yesterday but some were damaged in transit so I have to wait for them to get some more stock in. The WD 3TB red drives seem to be very very popular at the moment even though quite a few people have had a lot of DOA units, I've only had broken ones but thats down to transit.

Im going to use something other than the Noctua NH-C12P SE14 CPU cooler as I want something smaller so if anyone in the UK wants to trade or buy let me know, its brand new in the box. I also have a brand new LSI-9201-16e card for trade or sale.

I will post more as the parts arrive. I still haven't decided between a E3-1240 or E3-1240V2 CPU.

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