Yet Another LIAN LI PC-Q25B build


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Figured I should finally post pics of my build. Originally assembled the server September 2014, only took me until the server's 2nd birthday to take pictures.

 

Original OS:  Unraid 5.0.6 (I think)

Current OS:  Unraid 6.2.4

CPU:  Intel Xeon E3-1220V3 Haswell 3.1GHz

CPU Cooler:  Noctua NH-L9i + Nexus 80mm or 92mm Fan Slot to 120mm Fan Converter + Cougar Vortex PWM 120 Cooling CF-V12HP

Motherboard:  ASRock E3C224D4I-14S

RAM:  Crucial 16GB (2 x 8GB)

Case:  LIAN LI PC-Q25B

Power Supply:  SILVERSTONE ST45SF-G 450W SFX (died) CORSAIR SF450 450W

Fans:  Cougar CF-V14HP 140mm & COUGAR CF-V12HP120mm

 

Parity Drive:  1x WD Red 8TB

Data Drives:  3x WD Red 4TB + 1x WD Red 8TB

Cache Drive:  2x WD Black 1TB

Total Drive Capacity:  7 comfortably, 11 creatively.

 

Primary Use:  Started as just a plex / deluge server but with the proliferation of docker containers it has become my dev, voip and at times game server.

Likes:  IPMI is fantastic for server work. 3 mini sas connectors means I can connect up to 14 sata devices before I need to install additional hardware to add sata connections. Tiny enough to live in my linen closet with a UPS.

Dislikes:  The fan that came with the cooler was unimpressive and threw a bearing after a few months. I was able to fix and improve the cooler by installing a conical duct and a 120mm PWM fan in place of the 95mm that came with the cooler. The cpu is fine but I wish I would have gone one step up and grabbed the one with HT.

Add Ons Used:  OpenVPN Server TUN mode, IPMI support, Dynamix File Integrity and Community Applications

Future Plans:  will be adding another 4TB red here soon. Also just finished implementing 2FA for openVPN so need to start giving remote users access to the server

 

Boot (peak): 52 W

Idle (avg): 32 W

Active (avg): 82 W

Light use (avg): 48 W

 

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Gallery

 

Also don't worry about the last picture. the server normally lives on a metal plate to allow airflow to the bottom of the server. Was just removed for the quarterly filter cleaning.

Another note is I modified the case slightly to use the extended ITX motherboard and the lower hard drive tray. Normally the longer mobo would block the lower tray from being used. I was able to spin the tray 180 degrees causing the drives to be mounted closer to the left of the case giving me adequate clearance.

 

Edited by firetime
updated psu
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Fellow Q25'er here, nice work...

 

I have always been nervous about putting 3.5" drives in the removable tray. I've always stuck with laptop drives for now since they are designed for low airflow environments, and I had a few lying around. You've got two 3.5" drives there (hot WD blacks even), how are temps?

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Fellow Q25'er here, nice work...

 

I have always been nervous about putting 3.5" drives in the removable tray. I've always stuck with laptop drives for now since they are designed for low airflow environments, and I had a few lying around. You've got two 3.5" drives there (hot WD blacks even), how are temps?

 

Latest 1TB Blacks are just a rebranded single platter 1TB Blue, so they don't get warm at all.  I'm pretty sure that's what he's using.

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Checking now, the one near the back is 36°C and the one near the front is 33°C. One is from 2012 and the other is newer but don't know the exact date (2012-2014). The reds were purchased just for this server while the blacks were on hand.

 

I was all ready to recommend you get your valuable electronics off the floor! ...

Funny enough had a mini flood in the house today. Condensate pump failed on the evaporator causing the reservoir to overflow. Managed to catch it in time but would have reached the server where it was in the photograph if I happened to away for the weekend.

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Nicely done ... good idea r.e. reversing the bottom tray so you could use an extended-ITX board without impacting the drive capacity.    I've easily put 8 drives in a Q25 => 7 3.5" and one 2.5" SSD

 

I am, however, curious about just what "creative" steps you envision that would allow 11 drives !!

 

...

Total Drive Capacity:  7 comfortably, 11 creatively.

...

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Well I thought about moving the caches to ssd to free up two 3.5 slots and then a little bit of drive stacking using brackets resulting in something like this:

 

6AqLBwF.png

 

So not quite 11 full drives, but sill fairly drive dense. If I went totally bonkers I know that I can fit a drive between the power supply and the left door of the case. Could get a bracket made that would grab onto the power supply.

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That would indeed do it => if you put 2 SSDs in (with a spacer between them for airflow) you'd have 11 drives in there with no problem -- 9 3.5" and 2 2.5"  :)

 

... Of course your motherboard supports 14 drives  8) 8)  So you need a bit more creativity !!

[You could add one more 3.5" internally "upright" (as you suggested); and then add a 2-port e-SATA bracket on the rear panel connected to the final 2 ports; and use a little 2-drive eSATA case sitting beside, behind, or on top of the case to hold those final 2 drives  :) ]

 

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That would indeed do it => if you put 2 SSDs in (with a spacer between them for airflow) you'd have 11 drives in there with no problem -- 9 3.5" and 2 2.5"  :)

 

... Of course your motherboard supports 14 drives  8) 8)  So you need a bit more creativity !!

[You could add one more 3.5" internally "upright" (as you suggested); and then add a 2-port e-SATA bracket on the rear panel connected to the final 2 ports; and use a little 2-drive eSATA case sitting beside, behind, or on top of the case to hold those final 2 drives  :) ]

 

... with this "loaded" configuration and 8TB WD Reds, you could have 88TB of storage in the array plus a 2-drive cache pool !!

(or 80TB with dual parity)

 

... in a PC-Q25B !!!  :)

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Ha if/when I need to get to that point I would most likely either build or purchase a 4 bay mini sas enclosure. Has the advantage of only needing to run the one sas connection along with power instead of multiple e-sata wires.

 

Was looking at the LIAN LI PC-Q05B as a possibility for a lo profile hard drive enclosure that would match the server but the dimensions don't work well for full sized drives:

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If it was shorter in one dimension and longer in any other dimension it would work.

 

Also updated original post with a few pics I missed also added power consumption as I realized the UPS has a built in watt meter.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well I thought about moving the caches to ssd to free up two 3.5 slots and then a little bit of drive stacking using brackets resulting in something like this:

 

6AqLBwF.png

 

So not quite 11 full drives, but sill fairly drive dense. If I went totally bonkers I know that I can fit a drive between the power supply and the left door of the case. Could get a bracket made that would grab onto the power supply.

 

Build looks awesome.

 

What brackets are you using on the bottom?

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I like this one for a current spec system: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813599009

 

Agree ... that's a VERY nice board for a mini-ITX system.  With 8 SATA ports, you're very unlikely to require an add-in controller card, and it's a server-grade board so you get ECC and Xeon support as well.

 

The only thing "missing" that'd be nice-to-have is IPMI, but that's not really a big deal -- but DO be sure you buy a Xeon with integrated graphics if using this board.

 

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I like this one for a current spec system: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813599009

 

Agree ... that's a VERY nice board for a mini-ITX system.  With 8 SATA ports, you're very unlikely to require an add-in controller card, and it's a server-grade board so you get ECC and Xeon support as well.

 

The only thing "missing" that'd be nice-to-have is IPMI, but that's not really a big deal -- but DO be sure you buy a Xeon with integrated graphics if using this board.

 

Why do you recommend the CPU with graphics with the C236 board? Is integrated required if an nvidia card is installed (and passed through to a VM)?

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Without a GPU for unRAID you'll have no way to see the console. I suppose it should work headless with all config through the webgui, but how would you edit the BIOS etc?

 

With a nVidia GPU you could edit the BIOS and then pass it thru when unRAID boots.

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Clearly if you install a dedicated graphics card you don't need on-chip graphics.    That card will, of course, use the only expansion slot on that AsRock board (or any other mini-ITX board).    If you need it to pass-through to a VM, then indeed it's okay to not bother with on-chip graphics; but if you don't need a graphics card for pass-through, then on-chip graphics keeps the expansion slot free and eliminates the need to buy a graphics card.

 

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Not to mention keeps power use to a minimum with integrated graphics.

 

True ... and many of us who build mini-ITX servers are very focused on keeping our power consumption as low as possible.    For example, my Q25B system idles under 20w  :)

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