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4U Server Case Question

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I am looking to update my current rig and move over to a rack I was recently given. Servergrade equipment is new to me, maybe someone here could help.

 

I was  considering the Newegg deal for the seaming popular Norco 4224 @ $300 + $10 s&h. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811219038

 

However when scanning for deals on eBay I came across this used supermico case. $175 +$85 s&h so I like the price, especially considering that includes x2 900w redundant PSU. It also seems the general opinion that supermico is superior albiet costly brand name. http://www.ebay.com/itm/4U-NAS-Supermicro-24-bays-Storage-Server-Chassis-SC846E1-R900B-846EL1-2x-PS-/141841661060?hash=item21066bfc84:g:7KAAAOSwv0tU47SJ

 

Both hold 24 hot swap drives, plenty of space for me. I currently have 10 3.5" HHD and a single 2.5" cache drive. What are the pros/cons of either case? Drive size? Transfer speeds? I understand the backplane has a lot to do with these questions, and there is where my eyes start to glaze over and I get confused.

 

Thanks for helping!

 

 

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This seems kike an important note the seller has added

 

***3TB and 4TB Hard Drive may not be recognized by the backplane if fully populated.

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Also, the backplane is a 24 port expander, so fully populated there may be some bottlenecks through the SAS connector.

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I was also looking at this chassis and saw a few with no backplane included. Would it work with just several SATA controller cards? Or is the backplane necessary? Would forgoing the backplane in favor of multiple controller cards eliminate or at least reduce the bottlenecks?

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I was also looking at this chassis and saw a few with no backplane included. Would it work with just several SATA controller cards? Or is the backplane necessary? Would forgoing the backplane in favor of multiple controller cards eliminate or at least reduce the bottlenecks?

Its a hotswap case.  Some sort of backplane is required, otherwise its kinda pointless.  The ones that you can buy without a backplane expect you to buy the backplanes from Supermicro.

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This seems kike an important note the seller has added

 

***3TB and 4TB Hard Drive may not be recognized by the backplane if fully populated.

 

Only an issue once "fully populated?" Is this just a math problem? 24 x 2 Tb = 48 Tb max storage recognition? So would 10 x 4 Tb = 40Tb work? Sorry, I probably should understand this, it just isn't clicking for me yet.

 

Noise. Those 900w beasts are LOUD!!

 

Will be going into the basement far away from people, if they are still an issue I understand upgrading to the 1200w, or just using my current PSU will fix that. I really don't have need for redundancy.

 

Also, the backplane is a 24 port expander, so fully populated there may be some bottlenecks through the SAS connector.

 

Is this only a concern once fully populated? What sort of speed reduction should I been worried about? I don't see filling the 24 drive bays in the very near future, but if/when that day comes can the backplane be upgraded? Cost effective?

 

Once I have the new server build it will mainly be media acquisition and serve 2-4 plex streams. At what point (I'm assuming Plex is the concern) will I be trying to play too many plex 1080 streams that this blackplane becomes the concern? Anything else the machine would be used for (Minecraft VM or Docker, Teamspeak3 Docker, home automation docker, media acquisition dockers) will all run off a cache drive directly connected to the Mobo. This would eliminate any issues with the backplane correct?

 

Thanks for your response!

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While the Supermicro case is a good deal, I'd definitely be wary of the note r.e. larger drives.

 

Personally, I'd spend the extra $$ and go with the Norco ... it works fine when fully populated, so you don't have to be concerned about WHY the Supermicro case has this potential issue.

 

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With the Supermicro case, you can swap out the backplane for a SAS2 model for ~$175 used or $250 new. Which also requires fewer ports on the drive controllers. You can get the AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 for $75-$125. If I recall correctly, you only need 1 of those unless you want failover for the card.

 

I've been really happy with mine. The biggest issue I've had is getting the right rails. I keep ordering the 57 4U rails and getting the 53 2U rails in a 53 box that's been relabeled as 57. This is several different vendors so I don't know what's going on there.

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With the Supermicro case, you can swap out the backplane for a SAS2 model for ~$175 used or $250 new. Which also requires fewer ports on the drive controllers. You can get the AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 for $75-$125. If I recall correctly, you only need 1 of those unless you want failover for the card.

 

I've been really happy with mine. The biggest issue I've had is getting the right rails. I keep ordering the 57 4U rails and getting the 53 2U rails in a 53 box that's been relabeled as 57. This is several different vendors so I don't know what's going on there.

 

Did you swap out the backplane? Mine linking the model number? I believe I already own that expansion card, if that is the supermicro card suggested on the forums. 

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I have the first version of the chassis with the TQ backplane (24 SATA ports). I picked it up with 2x900W, H8DME-2+, 2x 2425HE 6-core, 48GB , and 3x AOC-SAT2-MV8 for $350 shipped. Handles 3 1080p transcodes with a bit left over. I don't need SAS2 right now but I did the research to make sure I wouldn't be SOL when I want to upgrade to handle UHD transcodes. Depending on MoBo and controller card prices at that time, I'll toss the SAS2/3 backplane in if it makes the most financial sense.

 

As far as being able to drop in the SAS2 backplane, it depends on exactly which chassis model you get. Worst case is some of the screw holes don't match up and you mod the chassis accordingly. Normally, I'd suggest just buying something similar to mine dirt cheap or with Xeon 5520/5620s and the SAS2 backplane for ~$750. At the moment though almost everything used on eBay has the SAS1 backplane. If you keep your eyes open for a few days to a week, you'll probably spot something.

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My Norco 4224 came stock with SAS3 12Gb backplanes.  I think I prefer the norco cases.  Plus you get to choose what psu goes into it. If I were to buy a SM case i'd most likely have to swap out the power supply anyway. Just way too noisy.

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Those of us that are buying the SM chassis are doing so strictly on the build quality. I bought all new Norco chassis and ended up boxing them all back up and will be selling them all on eBay hoping to get back half of what I paid. I changed to all SM chassis (some new and some used) as the Norco's don't even come remotely close to the same quality.

 

For my 24 bay units I settled on the 846 with the sas1 backplane. I like to use 2TB drives so they work just fine for me. Also as strictly media servers I couldn't saturate the bandwidth of the older backplanes even if I tried. So they work perfectly for an unRAID build.

 

Only thing I'll be doing is swapping out the power supplies for a standard ATX supply for noise and power usage.

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