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[SILVERSTONE DS380 i3-3225 BUILD] unServer Media Server (LOTS of pictures)

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I started here in the forum about 2 years ago, when I had just bought a very serious SuperMicro motherboard, that happened to be not compatible with unRAID.

Took quite some time to get to that conclusion and I ended up giving up selling off all the parts and found another solution.

Now that solution is about to run out of space and I need something more permanent, so now it's time to get serious and unRAID!

 

Been hanging around in the forums from time to time and should now be ready to build.

 

 

I have a good deal of parts laying around from different projects, and many of them seems ideal for a build like this.

I want my server to take care of backups from my four other PCs/Mac's, I want it to hold all my pictures, music and movies and I want it to even backup sensitive data to the cloud (preferably Amazon Glacier as I already use that). Plex streaming is a must but transcoding is not super important as I have a pretty powerful gaming rig I could always use to make copies in various formats on.

Lastly, I need it to be a bit cheap as the wife and me are soon moving into a much bigger house and have our second child on the way, so money does not hang on the trees here.

 

 

From the start I had a pretty clear idea about what I wanted to build, so as I waited for the last parts to arrive I made a little drawing of how my machines compare in size: Gaming rig, server, media center, a soda can and a mac mini:

 

 

 

 

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Total cost according to PC Parts Picker without the USB drive and the two 2TB drives (because they are not in their list) is $582

 

I think that is EXTREMELY good value for a reliable 4TB server with parity and room to expand!

 

 

 

5/5-14 IS THE DAY THAT MY unRAID IS ALIVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I spend about 4 hours saturday and a few more Sunday this past weekend on putting my complete unRAID server together.Right now it sits on my temporary work table (our dinning table actually) until the kids, my wife and me move into our new huge house in a month from now.

I'm so happy my wife lets me play around like this and occupy the whole living room with my techs...

The box is currently pre-clearing the three drives it's holding and omg I had not expected that would take THIS long time to do!

As the drives are brand sparkling new (or at least very close to) I decided to do 3 passes, but if anyone by any chance knows how to change that to 2 pass when its already running then please please please tell me.

 

 

The final box contains these components:

 

CPU: Intel i3-3225

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L9i (yes the stock cooler would have been fine, but I don't do stock)

RAM: Corsair Vengeance LP CL9 DDR3 1x4GB 1600MHz (originally a 2x4GB pair, but split it up to save money for now)

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B75N ITX

PSU: Silverstone ST30SF 300Watt semi-fanless

HDDs: Hitachi 5K3000 2x2TB + 1x3TB parity (for a current total of 4TB)

USB key: Sandisk Cruzer Fit 16GB as boot drive (16GB was cheaper than 4 and 8 so why not)

Case: Silverstone DS380 8bay 3.5 +4bay 2.5 ITX NAS case

Fans: Replaced the stock SilverStone fans with Noctua NF-S12A ULN with low noise adapters

...and 3 pcs of StarTech SATA3 cables with latches on both ends and angled plugs in one end.

 

 

Installed the current 5.0.5 stable release as I don't feel adventurous with my precious data. Have installed the add-ons Screens and unMenu so I can control the whole thing with PuTTY and my browser for truly headless awesomeness.Will add some others later on when it's fully operational.

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There is something seriously wrong with the way this forum understands HTML, it inserts weird font sizes, changes colors and inserts break spaces and line changes places I did not ask it to do so... Omg it took forever to write that first post!

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Meet the unServer:

 

 

 

 

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...Yes, that is the actual machine before the case, fans and CPU cooler arrived.

Living a quiet life inside a headphone box for a pair of Bowers&Wilkins P7. Only a Plextor M3 SSD to boot from and with two Western Digital Studio Mac FW800 drives.

Setup for now as a unRAID test machine and Mac OS for everything else.

 

 

 

 

Setting up the workspace as I waited for the last components to come home:

 

 

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That's our sofa table my wife have been so nice to lend me for a little while. As long as I promise not to scratch the wood and/or glass!

 

 

 

 

Meet the gang of components:

 

 

 

 

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Things I already had.

 

 

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New toys!

 

 

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And even more toys!

 

 

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Pretty ones.

 

 

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Nice upgrades

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Say "Hello" to the DS380 case:

 

 

 

 

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It took my a little by surprise how heavy the thing actually is compared to size. A big part of that is because of the thickness of the front door!

 

 

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Same width as the tip of a tube of Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste.

 

 

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Another heavy component is the drive cage, this thing is actually quite big (I have to admit I have never seen 8 drives stacked before so maybe this is just how it looks).

Sorry but all the pictures is taken with my iPhone as part of the deal is that my wife could have the camera when I play around...

 

 

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A nice behind.

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Time to build something:

 

 

 

 

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First thing was to replace the intake fans for the hard drives as they can not be accessed when there is any other components in the case.

Mark my word when I say intake fans, as there is a filter on the outside leaving dust behind. Very clever.

 

 

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With the magnetic filter in place.

 

 

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I have decided to use a original SilverStone SFX power supply for three reasons:

 

 

I already had it, it fit's in the case and it has just the right amount of connections. Also a benefit is that the PSU itself does not power up its tiny noisy fan unless it reaches 55C degrees internally on the power components. Clever...

 

 

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But I my self is sometimes not so clever. I don't read manuals. Therefor I installed the PSU without taking out the 2.5" bracket (yes the picture before this one is actually taken after the PSU was already installed). So I scratched the little thing :(

It can't be seen behind the 2.5" bracket but just something to keep in mind if you buy the same case.

 

 

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The CPU was already installed in the motherboard so no need to take it out.

Just had to give it a good alcohol cleaning.

 

 

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Give it a dot of the Noctua thermal paste.

 

 

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Give the cooler a quick cleaning and check it is flawless.

 

 

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Mount it...

 

 

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...in the case.

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On the inside:

 

 

 

 

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For now I only have three drives to keep the cost down in the beginning, one parity and two data drives.

Therefor I can run them all off the 3xSATA2 ports on my motherboard!

 

 

I have kept the single SATA3 port free so I can add a SSD Cache drive later. Considering either a Toshiba or a Intel, as I want something with high reliability rather than highest speed or best price.

 

 

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I am pretty impressed by that back plane. It looks bad a*s!

 

 

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Speaking about a**, here is the behind of the machine fully assembled.

Yes I have tried to paint the IO shield a while back for a build that never worked (due to a faulty PSU).

The paint it chipping off therefor the small white specs, little annoying - but then again, this is a server, set it and forget it basically.

 

 

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The front. I love how Silverstone have chosen to make the logo a option.

 

 

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My fans.

 

 

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My CPU.

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Bonus info:

 

 

 

 

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When SanDisk named this drive Cruzer Fit, I don't think they were really thinking.

Everything fits somewhere. The Earth fits in the universe and so on. I think they should have named it the Cruzer Tiny because that is exactly what it is, SO small you can easily loose it.

 

 

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Impressive they make 16GB storage in something as small as a fingertip. Even better, it comes in 64GB in barely the same size!

 

 

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Here is the bonus info. It fits behind the closed door of the DS380 case!

No need for a internal USB adapter that will be hell to get out in case you need it to.

This picture actually reminds me of two other bonus info.

The lowest bay is a little hard to access when there is a drive in it, because the bottom of your drive hits the cage screws a little bit. Solution is to unscrew the screws and put something in between them and the case, like a small spacer. Another bonus info, in case you have a too big USB drive and need to put it in a USB adapter inside your case, then it is a big benefit to replace the two screws that holds on the side panel with thumb screws as I did (look 7 pictures back, on the closed behind of the case, left side screws are thumb screws I put in).

 

 

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Close up.

Note to self: I need a Dymo label writer to label my drives and SATA cables...

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Placement:

 

 

 

 

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First I thought the case was small enough to lay on the side and place it under the couch, again the P7 box came in handy.

 

 

 

 

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It kind of fit.

 

 

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As long nobody sit on it it's fine...

 

 

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But its a couch, people sit there all the time!

 

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Not gonna work so had to redo the Ethernet wiring of our current apartment and move it to the dinning table, where my gaming PC already lives, until we move into our house in a few weeks. The Hackintosh logo is on the dual booting gaming PC, the DS380 is the one on the left.

 

 

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Same setup at night.

 

 

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Compared to a standard soda can (the only thing I have so far found that every geek know the size of all around the world).

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It's alive!

 

 

 

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By now the name have been changed to unServer Media Server and it is running Pre-Clear on the drives. The first 2TB drive is currently 92% done of it's first pass at 21 hours 30 minutes.

 

 

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One last shot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for looking. This is my unRAID build :)The unServer

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Like I said, I don't read manuals... I just found out there was a guideline for how you write a UCD thread.

Sorry, hope this goes as well. And hope my ImageShack Premium account is as good as a free imgur to show the pictures here.

 

 

I need to put a watt meter on my buy list... I actually have a multimeter, but how can I measure Watt usage with that?

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Looks very nice!  It's a cool small build!

 

Here, I did the preclear on mine too, it took 76hrs for my 6 x 3TB WD Red drive...

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I need to put a watt meter on my buy list... I actually have a multimeter, but how can I measure Watt usage with that?

 

If you put the multimeter in series with your A/C supply (likely requires cutting one of the wires in a power cord to put the meter in series with it) ... and then measure the amperage, you can easily calculate the watts you're using.    Discounting power factor considerations, it's "close enough" to just multiple the voltage (120v) x the current.  i.e. 0.8 amps at 120v = 96 watts.

 

But it's a lot simpler to just buy a Kill-a-Watt  :)

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Looks very nice!  It's a cool small build!

 

Here, I did the preclear on mine too, it took 76hrs for my 6 x 3TB WD Red drive...

 

 

How many passes did you do and did you do all 6 at once?

How many GB of RAM do you have?

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Nice build! One quibble and one OMG ...

 

1 - Too much thermal paste. Less is more. But unless you are willing to de-lid (which I would not do on a CPU you won't be OC'ing) nota big deal. But in general, the least thermal compound that covers is best.

 

2 - You are really going to smash that thing under the sofa?? What if someone sat down hard on it. OMG, get it from under there.  And it would likely make it run hot too. >:(

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Nice build! One quibble and one OMG ...

 

1 - Too much thermal paste. Less is more. But unless you are willing to de-lid (which I would not do on a CPU you won't be OC'ing) nota big deal. But in general, the least thermal compound that covers is best.

 

2 - You are really going to smash that thing under the sofa?? What if someone sat down hard on it. OMG, get it from under there.  And it would likely make it run hot too. >:(

 

 

1) I know it is like 30% more than what I should have used, but to my surprise the Noctua cooler have intented tiny little grooves so I need to cover that little gap all over the surface.

 

 

2) It was just to get it out of the way to not hold the whole living room hostage too much, but did not work so now its on the dinning table until we move to the house and I can build a thermal controlled sound insulated closet for it and a lot of other tech.

 

 

 

 

And yes, thank you. I think my self this build looks pretty close to a NAS you could actually buy off the shelf. Not bad for Diy.

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Under the couch wouldn't be bad IF there was room for the springs to drop a couple inches when folks sat on it-- but clearly there was NOT !!    Excellent idea to get it out of there !!

 

And I agree you definitely used too much thermal compound -- in fact with that much, I'd expect a good bit to "ooze" out of the sides of the heatsink when it was securely mounted => be sure to check for that, as you do NOT want it to flow onto the components mounted immediately beside the CPU.  (Just wipe it out with a clean lint-free, anti-static cloth)

 

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The key work is "tiny little grooves".

 

There are two reasons too much compound is bad.

 

1 - as Gary mentions, it will ooze out onto the CPU or other components. Although most (not all!) compounds are non-conductive some are and some are capacitive (don't ask me to explain I'm a software guy). Bottom line having this stuff do no harm is not a guarantee. I would hate to have this stuff seep into my CPU housing!

 

2 - even a little too much can prevent the metal to metal contact of the HS and CPU's IHS. This is bad for cooling. You want to fill the valleys but not pile more on the hilltops for best cooling. Think about how little compound is needed to fill the valleys between the very flat surfaces! It is an art to get the right amount, but even missing a little has little impact. But way too much isn't good!

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The key work is "tiny little grooves".

 

There are two reasons too much compound is bad.

 

1 - as Gary mentions, it will ooze out onto the CPU or other components. Although most (not all!) compounds are non-conductive some are and some are capacitive (don't ask me to explain I'm a software guy). Bottom line having this stuff do no harm is not a guarantee. I would hate to have this stuff seep into my CPU housing!

 

2 - even a little too much can prevent the metal to metal contact of the HS and CPU's IHS. This is bad for cooling. You want to fill the valleys but not pile more on the hilltops for best cooling. Think about how little compound is needed to fill the valleys between the very flat surfaces! It is an art to get the right amount, but even missing a little has little impact. But way too much isn't good!

 

 

One day if I really dont have anything else to do then I will consider disassemble the rig and put less thermal paste, but for now this non-conductive paste just sits there.

The Noctua paste does not run, its a very firm and grippy clay like substance - even when hot. I have used it on many different builds now and never has it done any trouble, even if there was a little too much from time to time.

 

 

The thing is still pre-clearing the drives, decided to give the 2TB drives all 3 passes as recommended, because they are basically new. The 3TB drive have for a long time been my backup drive so I am only giving that one a 1 time pass - also, in the event that the 3TB drive is dying, then it just gives me reason to move my upgrade to 4TB closer.

In the beginning I did not do all of them at once, so the first 2TB ran solo in about 60 hours.

Right now the last 2TB and the 3TB are running side by side and seems to be done some time tomorrow around the 60 hour mark too.

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There's a very simple way to determine whether or not the thermal paste is an issue ==> just monitor your CPU temps.  If the CPU isn't running too hot, you're fine  :)

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I have the same case and would be interested to know how your drive temps are with those fans and the magnetic dust filter on during parity sync or check.

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There's a very simple way to determine whether or not the thermal paste is an issue ==> just monitor your CPU temps.  If the CPU isn't running too hot, you're fine  :)

 

Agree - except ...

 

Some thermal pastes are conductive. In fact conductive pastes work quite well at conducting heat. Just be especially careful if using one to not over apply.

 

Some (most) say they are capacitive. I don't exactly know if this is a real danger, but I'm sure someone will explain what that means and why you would care.

 

Looking back at the picture I'd estimate the OP used roughly 4x as much as necessary. Not awful. Leakage minimal if any. If you were using liquid metal it would be more of a concern.

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Agree - except ...

 

Yes, if a conductive or capacitive compound leaks onto the motherboard components, it can cause circuit changes that are NOT good  :)

 

That's why I warned about that above ...

 

... with that much, I'd expect a good bit to "ooze" out of the sides of the heatsink when it was securely mounted => be sure to check for that, as you do NOT want it to flow onto the components mounted immediately beside the CPU.

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I have the same case and would be interested to know how your drive temps are with those fans and the magnetic dust filter on during parity sync or check.

 

 

I have not done Parity sync yet, but I am just now done pre-clearing my three drives and they all stayed between 40-50 degree.

The dust filters are all mounted any my fans are using fan speed reducers so might not give the best cooling, but they are sure quiet and within spec of what the drives can handle.

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There's a very simple way to determine whether or not the thermal paste is an issue ==> just monitor your CPU temps.  If the CPU isn't running too hot, you're fine  :)

 

 

Any way I can do that in the unRaid Telnet sessions or on the Server Management Utility?

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... they all stayed between 40-50 degree.

 

Low 40's is okay, but if they were getting close to 50 I'd consider either removing the filters or speeding up the fans a bit.  Ideally your drives should be in the 30's in normal operation, and no higher than the low 40's during extended operations like parity syncs/checks.

 

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