Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Server Upgrade (and maybe PC Upgrade?)

6 posts in this topic Last Reply

Recommended Posts

Its coming to the time where I would like to upgrade my unraid server as I have ran out of space and have no more room to add anymore drives. My current case is an Antec 300 and most of the drives are mounted internally and I would like to buy a case which has them hotswappable. My daily driver PC is about the same age and I would like to upgrade this as well if possible.


I've been reading on the forums for a couple of weeks and there's been a lot of posts about combining gaming pc's and the unraid server together. Is there a reason why a lot of people are doing this? Curious as to how it would work or if keeping them seperate is the best thing. Either way I'll be needing a new unraid server soonish and maybe a new daily driver PC.


So I guess my main question is do I upgrade them both into one server with virtualization or do I keep them seperate? My unraid server up until now has been used for downloading and streaming media with the use of dockers. My PC I dualboot Windows10 and Linux with Windows 10 mainly for gaming (CS/Dota/City Builders) and Linux for everything else (browsing internet/streaming videos/ripping media).


  • What is your budget?  Upto £2000 I guess if merging the two but if keeping them seperate then whatever is cheapest would be great!
  • How many drives? I'm thinking of either going 16/20 drives. Current parity drive is 2tb and it doesn't fill up that quickly so I'd rather add more 2tb drives than rather upgrade each drive to 4tb as and when needed.
  • Is expandability important to you?  Yes if I could make them hotswappable that would be great as my current setup means replacing drives by taking them out internally.
  • unRAID Add Ons?  Dockers as above (maybe switch to PLEX?), possible Win 10 VM for gaming / VM for Ripping / Linux VM for Everything else
  • Spare Parts? No, would like to start from scratch!
  • Parts in mind? Case 1 (16 Drives), Case 2 (20 Drives) - These are closest to the Norco cases I could find in the UK.


Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.





Share this post

Link to post

I would suggest buying two 8TB drives. Replace the parity drive and one of the data drives and you suddenly have 6 TB additional space while potentially reducing the power consumption of the system (assuming helium drives). 6 TB extra with the same number of devices is way better than having to add three more 2TB drives. And you will be able to continue to expand until you have four times the capacity of your current system.


There isn't really any good reason to buy more 2TB drives for mass storage - thats the size you use if you just happen to already have a number of drives or if you know you don't need to store any larger amounts of data. You pay a lot for every SATA connector needed to connect all your 2TB drives, and you pay for a lot of electricity to run a larger number of 2TB drives. And 15+1 2TB drives produces more noise and heat than 4+1 8TB drives.

Share this post

Link to post

Ease of use mainly, I've been fortunate enough to not have any issues with the drives so far so havent had to replace any but if I do go with increasing the capacity rather than adding more drives I'd need to replace my parity and another data drive like pwm has said. It would just be much more simpler to swap them out rather than taking it offline and making the switch. That being said I could go for say a different case to make that easier.


I've had both systems for around 7 years now and have some disposable income saved up to make upgrades and the opportunity to do, so was looking to take advantage of unraids features while also increasing capacity.





Share this post

Link to post
Posted (edited)

My solution was to add  a $25 LSI SAS9201-16e HBA card to the server, and DIY build a DAS Tower enclosure to connect it to.  16 extra drives for the server, for under $300.  No hot swap bays, but still 100% toolless drive swapping thanks to the drive cages used.  My $300 DIY 16-drive DAS Tower build goes into full detail of my build.  Could expand to a 24 drive tower, if desired.




Edited by bgeery

Share this post

Link to post



Hi, so I've took your advice in hand and im going to stick with my current amount of drives and just upgrade them when possible and possibly reduce them in time. I've went and purchased a Fractal Define R6 case and bought some of the additional trays from their spare parts store so I can have 10 drives and blu ray reader and some SSD slots.


So I just need to nail down the specifics of what to buy. I run 6 dockers and use Emby/Kodi to stream media to devices in the home. I would be looking to have at least two VM's (Windows for gaming/Linux for everything else) and possibly a third for pfSense.


I'm currently looking at something like this https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/list/PkcTMZ.


CPU     Intel - Xeon E3-1245 V5 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor    
Motherboard     Supermicro - X11SSL-CF Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard (6 SATA, 8 SAS)
Memory     Crucial - 16GB (1 x 16GB) DDR4-2133 Memory (Maybe need to add a 2nd to make it 32gb?)  
Case     Fractal Design - Define R6 Black TG ATX Mid Tower Case (Already purchased)
Power Supply     SeaSonic - FOCUS Plus Gold 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
Optical Drive     LG - WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer


I currently have an AMD R9 270X graphics card that I can use as well for the time being but would like to purchase a new one at some point in the future (maybe when the graphics card prices fall a bit!).


Would this be alright?

Share this post

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this