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Rajahal

Raj's Prototype Designs

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This thread is obsolete.  I will no longer be updating this thread.  Instead, I have migrated the contents of this thread to the Greenleaf Prototypes Blog.  The new blog format makes it much easier for me to update these builds.  Please refer to the blog for current builds.  Feel free to leave comments on the blog itself, or to continue using the Discussion Thread.  Thanks!

 

- Raj

 

 

The purpose of this thread is to lay out all my prototypes for comment and discussion (and to help keep them straight in my head).  Once I have physically tested them or otherwise feel that they are ready for the masses, then I post them to the Recommended Builds section of the wiki.  I've designed some of these servers with specific expansion paths in mind.  You'll notice that I reuse a lot of parts in many of these designs; this makes testing the parts for unRAID compatibility and reliability much easier, and it also allows for easy expansion along the paths I've outlined here.

 

All capacity calculations assume the use of 2 TB drives.

 

In my original incarnation of this thread I ran into the character limit of a single post and couldn't add anything new.  To address this, I had to split this thread into two.  This thread will remain locked so that I can keep adding new builds over time. 

Please relegate all discussion of these builds to the Discussion Thread.

 

Here's a few basic terms I throw around:

 

Budget Build - Intended to net you the highest drive capacity for the least amount of money.  These servers are designed for basic unRAID usage, meaning data storage, media streaming, etc.  They may or may not be fast/powerful enough to handle high-end add-ons such as video transcoding.

 

Beast - Intended to be powerful multitasking servers.  They cost more, but they will allow you to run any add-on you throw at them.

 

Micro - These servers are intended to be as physically small as possible, also known as SFF (small form factor).  Generally you will sacrifice some drive capacity when building this small.

 

Mini - Also built with the intention of being physically small, but with more of an emphasis on striking a balance between size and drive capacity.  These servers will have large drive capacities than the Micro builds, but not nearly as much as the Budget Build or Beast servers.

 

Both the Micro and Mini builds will generally use lower power components akin to the Budget Builds.

 

Quick Links

3-9 Drive Servers

10+ Drive Servers

20+ Drive Servers

Expansion Paths

Alternative, Misc, and Old Components

 

Yet again, the motherboard I have awarded the title of 'budget board' has been discontinued.  I will start a new round of budget board testing soon (hopefully within a week or two).  In the meantime, my old favorite the Biostar A760G M2+ has reappeared on eBay for $60 shipped.  Note that this board takes DDR2 RAM (this will do nicely).  All the other components I list in the Budget Box designs will work with this motherboard.

 

Note regarding Norco SS-500 and SS-400 fan upgrades: The fans I recommend match the cooling power of the stock fans while producing less noise.  I don't consider the stock fans in the Norco drive cages to be too loud, but some folks do.  If you are going to place one of these servers in a closet, garage, basement, or attic then you don't need to upgrade the fans.  If you are going to place the server in a noise sensitive area such as a living room, bedroom, or office then you may want to upgrade the fans to the quieter models I recommend.

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All prices in this section are current as of August 24, 2011.

 

3 Drive microServer

Mobo: ZOTAC GF6100-E-E

CPU: AMD Sempron 145

RAM: Kingston 2GB DDR2 800

PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 430W

Case: Rosewill R101-P-BK

Cables: non-locking SATA x 2 (1 included with motherboard)

Hot Swap Drive Bays: Mobile Rack for 3.5 inches SATA HDD - Open Frame x 3

Hard Drives: Green drives (5400 rpm or 5900 rpm), such as WD Green, Hitachi CoolSpin, Samsung EcoGreen, and Seagate LP

Cost: $235 + shipping + cost of hard drives

Capacity: 4 TB

Expandability: Expandable to the 4 Drive microServer or the 5 Drive miniBox with replacement of hot swap bays.  Expandable to 6 Drive miniTower with replacement of hot swap bays and case.

 

 

4 Drive microServer (same as above, just substitute a 3-in-2 for two of the hot swap bays)

Mobo: ZOTAC GF6100-E-E

CPU: AMD Sempron 145

RAM: Kingston 2GB DDR2 800

PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 430W

Case: Rosewill R101-P-BK

Cables: non-locking SATA x 3 (1 included with motherboard)

Hot Swap Drive Bays:

   Mobile Rack for 3.5 inches SATA HDD - Open Frame

   SNT SNT-SAC2131B 3x3.5" Hard drive in 2x5.25" Bay Hot Swap SAS/SATA Backplane RAID cage

Hard Drives: Green drives (5400 rpm or 5900 rpm), such as WD Green, Hitachi CoolSpin, Samsung EcoGreen, and Seagate LP

Cost: $260 + shipping + cost of hard drives

Capacity: 6 TB

Expandability: Expandable to the 5 Drive miniBox with replacement of hot swap bays.  Expandable to 6 Drive miniTower with replacement of the single hot swap bay and case (but the 3-in-2 will still be used).

 

 

5 Drive miniBox (pics using a different 5-in-3 and a different mobo)

Mobo: ZOTAC GF6100-E-E

CPU: AMD Sempron 145

RAM: Kingston 2GB DDR2 800

PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 430W

Case: Rosewill R101-P-BK

SATA Expansion Card: 2 port SATA2 Serial ATA II PCI-Express RAID Controller Card (Silicon Image SIL3132)

Cables: non-locking SATA x 4 (1 included with motherboard)

Hot Swap Drive Bays: Norco SS-500

Fans: Coolink SWiF2-801 *optional (Norco SS-500 fan upgrade is quieter performance is desired)

Hard Drives: Green drives (5400 rpm or 5900 rpm), such as WD Green, Hitachi CoolSpin, Samsung EcoGreen, and Seagate LP

Cost: $290 + shipping + cost of hard drives

Capacity: 8 TB

Expandability: Expandable to the 6 Drive miniTower with replacement of the hot swap bays and case.

 

 

5 Drive Budget Box

Mobo: ASUS M4A78LT-M (more info; be careful when shopping around, as there is an LE version and a non-LE version of this motherboard.  You want the non-LE version!) new budget board testing will begin soon!

CPU: AMD Sempron 145

RAM: Kingston 2GB DDR3 1333

PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 430W

Case: Xigmatek Utgard Mesh CPC-T90DB-U03

SATA Expansion Card: 2 port SATA2 Serial ATA II PCI-Express RAID Controller Card (Silicon Image SIL3132)

Cables: non-locking SATA x 3 (2 included with motherboard)

Hot Swap Drive Bays: Norco SS-500

Fans: Coolink SWiF2-801 *optional (Norco SS-500 fan upgrade is quieter performance is desired)

Hard Drives: Green drives (5400 rpm or 5900 rpm), such as WD Green, Hitachi CoolSpin, Samsung EcoGreen, and Seagate LP

Cost: $325 + shipping + cost of hard drives

Capacity: 8 TB

Expandability: Expandable to the 15 Drive Budget Box with replacement of the motherboard and the power supply.

 

 

6 Drive miniTower (pics with older version of the case)

Mobo: ZOTAC GF6100-E-E

CPU: AMD Sempron 145

RAM: Kingston 2GB DDR2 800

PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 430W

Case: GIGABYTE gz-ph2a3 currently searching for a replacement case

SATA Expansion Card: 2 port SATA2 Serial ATA II PCI-Express RAID Controller Card (Silicon Image SIL3132)

Cables: non-locking SATA x 5 (1 included with motherboard)

Hot Swap Drive Bays: SNT SNT-SAC2131B 3x3.5" Hard drive in 2x5.25" Bay Hot Swap SAS/SATA Backplane RAID cage x 2

Hard Drives: Green drives (5400 rpm or 5900 rpm), such as WD Green, Hitachi CoolSpin, Samsung EcoGreen, and Seagate LP

Cost: $300 + shipping + cost of hard drives

Capacity: 10 TB

Expandability: Expandable to the Budget Box series with replacement of motherboard, case, and possibly hot swap bays and power supply...though by that point you are basically building a new server.

 

 

9 Drive Budget Box (inspired by WeeboTech's rig)

Mobo: ASUS M4A78LT-M (more info; be careful when shopping around, as there is an LE version and a non-LE version of this motherboard.  You want the non-LE version!) new budget board testing will begin soon!

CPU: AMD Sempron 145

RAM: Kingston 2GB DDR3 1333

PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 430W

Case: Xigmatek Utgard Mesh CPC-T90DB-U03

SATA Expansion Cards:

  2 port SATA2 Serial ATA II PCI-Express RAID Controller Card (Silicon Image SIL3132)

  2 Port SATA Serial ATA PCI RAID Controller Card - Silicon Image

Cables: non-locking SATA x 6 (2 included with motherboard, 1 included with PCI SATA Expansion Card)

Hot Swap Drive Bays: Mobile Rack for 3.5 inches SATA HDD - Open Frame x 9

Hard Drives: Green drives (5400 rpm or 5900 rpm), such as WD Green, Hitachi CoolSpin, Samsung EcoGreen, and Seagate LP

Cost: $385 + shipping + cost of hard drives

Capacity: 16 TB

Expandability: Expandable to the 10 Drive Budget Box with replacement of hot swap bays.  Expandable to the 15 Drive Budget Box with replacement of the motherboard, the hot swap bays, the PCIe SATA expansion card, and the power supply.

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All prices in this section are current as of August 24, 2011.

 

10 Drive Budget Box

Mobo: ASUS M4A78LT-M (more info; be careful when shopping around, as there is an LE version and a non-LE version of this motherboard.  You want the non-LE version!) new budget board testing will begin soon!

CPU: AMD Sempron 145

RAM: Kingston 2GB DDR3 1333

PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 430W

Case: Xigmatek Utgard Mesh CPC-T90DB-U03

SATA Expansion Card: Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 8-Port SAS/SATA Add-on Card

Cables:

   0.5m 30AWG Internal Mini SAS 36pin (SFF-8087) Male w/ Latch to SATA 7pin Female (x4) Forward Breakout Cable x 1

   non-locking SATA x 4 (2 included with motherboard)

Hot Swap Drive Bays: Norco SS-500 x 2

Fans: Coolink SWiF2-801 x 2 *optional (Norco SS-500 fan upgrade is quieter performance is desired)

Hard Drives: Green drives (5400 rpm or 5900 rpm), such as WD Green, Hitachi CoolSpin, Samsung EcoGreen, and Seagate LP

Cost: $520 + shipping + cost of hard drives

Capacity: 18 TB

Expandability: Expandable to the 15 Drive Budget Box with replacement of the power supply.

 

 

12 Drive Budget Box

Mobo: Biostar A880G+

CPU: AMD Sempron 145

RAM: Kingston 2GB DDR3 1333

PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 430W

Case: Xigmatek Utgard Mesh CPC-T90DB-U03

SATA Expansion Card: Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 8-Port SAS/SATA Add-on Card

Cables:

   0.5m 30AWG Internal Mini SAS 36pin (SFF-8087) Male w/ Latch to SATA 7pin Female (x4) Forward Breakout Cable x 2

   non-locking SATA x 4 (2 included with motherboard are locking type, not recommended for use with Hot Swap Drive Bays)

Hot Swap Drive Bays:

   Norco SS-500 x 2

   Mobile Rack for 3.5 inches SATA HDD - Open Frame x 2

Fans: Coolink SWiF2-801 x 2 *optional (Norco SS-500 fan upgrade is quieter performance is desired)

Hard Drives: Green drives (5400 rpm or 5900 rpm), such as WD Green, Hitachi CoolSpin, Samsung EcoGreen, and Seagate LP

Cost: $535 + shipping + cost of hard drives

Capacity: 22 TB

Expandability: Expandable to the 15 Drive Budget Box with replacement of the motherboard, the power supply, and the two single hot swap bays.

 

 

12 Drive Budget Box (alternate)

Mobo: Biostar A880G+

CPU: AMD Sempron 145

RAM: Kingston 2GB DDR3 1333

PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 430W

Case: Xigmatek Utgard Mesh CPC-T90DB-U03

SATA Expansion Card: Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 8-Port SAS/SATA Add-on Card

Cables:

   0.5m 30AWG Internal Mini SAS 36pin (SFF-8087) Male w/ Latch to SATA 7pin Female (x4) Forward Breakout Cable x 2

   non-locking SATA x 4 (2 included with motherboard are locking type, not recommended for use with Hot Swap Drive Bays)

Hot Swap Drive Bays: Norco SS-400 x 3

Fans: Coolink SWiF2-801 x 3 *optional (Norco SS-400 fan upgrade is quieter performance is desired)

Hard Drives: Green drives (5400 rpm or 5900 rpm), such as WD Green, Hitachi CoolSpin, Samsung EcoGreen, and Seagate LP

Cost: $565 + shipping + cost of hard drives

Capacity: 22 TB

Expandability: Expandable to the 15 Drive Budget Box with replacement of the motherboard, the power supply, and the hot swap bays.  However, this one really isn't intended to be expandable.  If you are thinking of expanding to the 15 Drive Budget Box, go with the original 12 Drive Budget Box instead (not this alternate model).

 

 

15 Drive Budget Box (pics using different 5-in-3s and a different motherboard)

Mobo: ASUS M4A78LT-M (more info; be careful when shopping around, as there is an LE version and a non-LE version of this motherboard.  You want the non-LE version!) new budget board testing will begin soon!

CPU: AMD Sempron 145

RAM: Kingston 2GB DDR3 1333

PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W

Case: Xigmatek Utgard Mesh CPC-T90DB-U03

SATA Expansion Cards:

   Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 8-Port SAS/SATA Add-on Card

   SATA2 Serial ATA II PCI-Express RAID Controller Card (Silicon Image SIL3132)

Cables:

   0.5m 30AWG Internal Mini SAS 36pin (SFF-8087) Male w/ Latch to SATA 7pin Female (x4) Forward Breakout Cable x 2

   non-locking SATA x 5 (2 included with motherboard)

Hot Swap Drive Bays: Norco SS-500 x 3

Fans: Coolink SWiF2-801 x 3 *optional (Norco SS-500 fan upgrade is quieter performance is desired)

Hard Drives: Green drives (5400 rpm or 5900 rpm), such as WD Green, Hitachi CoolSpin, Samsung EcoGreen, and Seagate LP

Cost: $635 + shipping + cost of hard drives

Capacity: 28 TB

Expandability: None.

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All prices in this section are current as of August 24, 2011.

 

20 Drive Budget Build (rackmount)

Mobo: SUPERMICRO MBD-C2SEA-O

CPU: Intel Celeron 430 Conroe-L

RAM: Kingston 2GB DDR3 1066

PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W

Case: Norco 4220

SATA Expansion Card: Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 8-Port SAS/SATA Add-on Card x 2

Cables:

   House Brand Molex 79576-3007 Mini SAS / SATA Cable x 1

   1m 30AWG Internal Mini SAS 36pin (SFF-8087) Male to Mini SAS 36pin (SFF-8087) Male Cable x 4

    No SATA cables needed

Fanplate: Norco 120mm fanplate *optional

Fans: (replacing the stock fans is optional, but recommended if quiet performance is desired)

  Nexus PWM Series D12SL-12PWM 120mm Case Fan x 3 *optional

  ARCTIC COOLING ACF8 Pro PWM 80mm Case Fan *optional

Hard Drives: Green drives (5400 rpm or 5900 rpm), such as WD Green, Hitachi CoolSpin, Samsung EcoGreen, and Seagate LP

Cost: $870 (without the optional fans/fanplate) + shipping + cost of hard drives

Capacity: 38 TB

Expandability: None.

 

 

20 Drive Budget Build (tower)

Mobo: SUPERMICRO MBD-C2SEA-O

CPU: Intel Celeron 430 Conroe-L

RAM: Kingston 2GB DDR3 1066

PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W

Case: Antec 1200

Hot Swap Drive Bays: Norco SS-500 x 4

SATA Expansion Cards: Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 8-Port SAS/SATA Add-on Card x 2

Cables:

    0.5m 30AWG Internal Mini SAS 36pin (SFF-8087) Male w/ Latch to SATA 7pin Female (x4) Forward Breakout Cable x 4

   non-locking SATA x 2 (2 included with motherboard)

Hard Drives: Green drives (5400 rpm or 5900 rpm), such as WD Green, Hitachi CoolSpin, Samsung EcoGreen, and Seagate LP

Cost: $1025 + shipping + cost of hard drives

Capacity: 38 TB

Expandability: None.

 

 

 

20 Drive Beast (rackmount)

Mobo: SUPERMICRO MBD-X8SIL-F-O

CPU: Intel i3 540 Clarkdale (the i3 530 and i3 550 are fine too, choose based on price and availability)

RAM: Kingston 4GB DDR3 1333

PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W

Case: Norco 4220

SATA Expansion Cards: Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 8-Port SAS/SATA Add-on Card x 2

Cables:

   House Brand Molex 79576-3007 Mini SAS / SATA Cable x 1

   1m 30AWG Internal Mini SAS 36pin (SFF-8087) Male to Mini SAS 36pin (SFF-8087) Male Cable x 4

    No SATA cables needed

Fanplate: Norco 120mm fanplate *optional

Fans: (replacing the stock fans is optional, but recommended if quiet performance is desired)

  Nexus PWM Series D12SL-12PWM 120mm Case Fan x 3 *optional

  ARCTIC COOLING ACF8 Pro PWM 80mm Case Fan *optional

Hard Drives: Green drives (5400 rpm or 5900 rpm), such as WD Green, Hitachi CoolSpin, Samsung EcoGreen, and Seagate LP

Cost: $1025 (without the optional fans/fanplate) + shipping + cost of hard drives

Capacity: 38 TB

Expandability: None.

 

 

20 Drive Beast (tower)

Mobo: SUPERMICRO MBD-X8SIL-F-O

CPU: Intel i3 540 Clarkdale (the i3 530 and i3 550 are fine too, choose based on price and availability)

RAM: Kingston 4GB DDR3 1333

PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W

Case: Antec 1200

Hot Swap Drive Bays: Norco SS-500 x 4

SATA Expansion Cards: Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 8-Port SAS/SATA Add-on Card x 2

Cables:

    0.5m 30AWG Internal Mini SAS 36pin (SFF-8087) Male w/ Latch to SATA 7pin Female (x4) Forward Breakout Cable x 4

    No SATA Cables needed (6 included with motherboard)

Hard Drives: Green drives (5400 rpm or 5900 rpm), such as WD Green, Hitachi CoolSpin, Samsung EcoGreen, and Seagate LP

Cost: $1150 (without the optional fans/fanplate) + shipping + cost of hard drives

Capacity: 38 TB

Expandability: None.

 

 

22 Drive Budget Build (rackmount)

Mobo: SUPERMICRO MBD-C2SEA-O

CPU: Intel Celeron 430 Conroe-L

RAM: Kingston 2GB DDR3 1066

PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W

Case: Norco 4224

SATA Expansion Cards:Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 8-Port SAS/SATA Add-on Card x 2

Cables:

   House Brand Molex 79576-3007 Mini SAS / SATA Cable x 2

   1m 30AWG Internal Mini SAS 36pin (SFF-8087) Male to Mini SAS 36pin (SFF-8087) Male Cable x 4

    No SATA Cables needed

Fanplate: Norco 120mm fanplate *optional

Fans: (replacing the stock fans is optional, but recommended if quiet performance is desired)

  Nexus PWM Series D12SL-12PWM 120mm Case Fan x 3 *optional

  ARCTIC COOLING ACF8 Pro PWM 80mm Case Fan *optional

Hard Drives: Green drives (5400 rpm or 5900 rpm), such as WD Green, Hitachi CoolSpin, Samsung EcoGreen, and Seagate LP

Cost: $925 (without the optional fans/fanplate) + shipping + cost of hard drives

Capacity: 40 TB + optional 2 TB cache

Expandability: None.

 

 

22 Drive Beast (rackmount) (pics: 1 & 2)

Mobo: SUPERMICRO MBD-X8SIL-F-O

CPU: Intel i3 540 Clarkdale (the i3 530 and i3 550 are fine too, choose based on price and availability)

RAM: Kingston 4GB DDR3 1333

PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W

Case: Norco 4224

SATA Expansion Cards:Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 8-Port SAS/SATA Add-on Card x 2

Cables:

   House Brand Molex 79576-3007 Mini SAS / SATA Cable x 2

   1m 30AWG Internal Mini SAS 36pin (SFF-8087) Male to Mini SAS 36pin (SFF-8087) Male Cable x 4

    No SATA Cables needed

Fanplate: Norco 120mm fanplate *optional

Fans: (replacing the stock fans is optional, but recommended if quiet performance is desired)

  Nexus PWM Series D12SL-12PWM 120mm Case Fan x 3 *optional

  ARCTIC COOLING ACF8 Pro PWM 80mm Case Fan *optional

Hard Drives: Green drives (5400 rpm or 5900 rpm), such as WD Green, Hitachi CoolSpin, Samsung EcoGreen, and Seagate LP

Cost: $1080 (without the optional fans/fanplate) + shipping + cost of hard drives

Capacity: 40 TB + optional 2 TB cache

Expandability: None.

 

 

24 Drive Budget Build (rackmount)

unRAID currently supports a maximum of 22 drives, but you can add more drives outside the parity protected array via SNAP

Mobo: SUPERMICRO MBD-C2SEA-O

CPU: Intel Celeron 430 Conroe-L

RAM: Kingston 2GB DDR3 1066

PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W

Case: Norco 4224

SATA Expansion Cards:

   Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 8-Port SAS/SATA Add-on Card x 2

   SATA2 Serial ATA II PCI-Express RAID Controller Card (Silicon Image SIL3132) x 1

Cables:

   House Brand Molex 79576-3007 Mini SAS / SATA Cable x 2

   1m 30AWG Internal Mini SAS 36pin (SFF-8087) Male to Mini SAS 36pin (SFF-8087) Male Cable x 4

    No SATA Cables needed

Fanplate: Norco 120mm fanplate *optional

Fans: (replacing the stock fans is optional, but recommended if quiet performance is desired)

  Nexus PWM Series D12SL-12PWM 120mm Case Fan x 3 *optional

  ARCTIC COOLING ACF8 Pro PWM 80mm Case Fan *optional

Hard Drives: Green drives (5400 rpm or 5900 rpm), such as WD Green, Hitachi CoolSpin, Samsung EcoGreen, and Seagate LP

Cost: $935 (without the optional fans/fanplate) + shipping + cost of hard drives

Capacity: 40 TB + optional 2 TB cache + optional 4 TB extra space via SNAP

Expandability: None.

 

 

24 Drive Beast (rackmount)

unRAID currently supports a maximum of 22 drives, but you can add more drives outside the parity protected array via SNAP

Mobo: SUPERMICRO MBD-X8SIL-F-O

CPU: Intel i3 540 Clarkdale (the i3 530 and i3 550 are fine too, choose based on price and availability)

RAM: Kingston 4GB DDR3 1333

PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W

Case: Norco 4224

SATA Expansion Cards:

   Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 8-Port SAS/SATA Add-on Card x 2

   SATA2 Serial ATA II PCI-Express RAID Controller Card (Silicon Image SIL3132) x 1

Cables:

   House Brand Molex 79576-3007 Mini SAS / SATA Cable x 2

   1m 30AWG Internal Mini SAS 36pin (SFF-8087) Male to Mini SAS 36pin (SFF-8087) Male Cable x 4

    No SATA Cables needed

Fanplate: Norco 120mm fanplate *optional

Fans: (replacing the stock fans is optional, but recommended if quiet performance is desired)

  Nexus PWM Series D12SL-12PWM 120mm Case Fan x 3 *optional

  ARCTIC COOLING ACF8 Pro PWM 80mm Case Fan *optional

Hard Drives: Green drives (5400 rpm or 5900 rpm), such as WD Green, Hitachi CoolSpin, Samsung EcoGreen, and Seagate LP

Cost: $1090 (without the optional fans/fanplate) + shipping + cost of hard drives

Capacity: 40 TB + optional 2 TB cache + optional 4 TB extra space via SNAP

Expandability: None.

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Recommended Expansion Paths - There are others, these are just the ones I recommend.  Don't hesitate to skip steps or start in the middle - use these paths however you see fit.

 

3 Drive microServer --> 4 Drive microServer --> 6 Drive miniTower

The first step adds 2 TB and the second step adds 4 TB capacity to the server.  Reuse mobo, RAM, CPU, PSU, and 3-in-2 hot swap.  Waste single hot swaps and Rosewill case.  If you plan to follow this path, I recommend that you get the Gigabyte case from the beginning so that you don't waste the Rosewill case, and a single 3-in-2 from the beginning so as to only have one wasted single hot swap unit.

 

5 Drive BudgetBox --> 10 Drive Budget Box --> 15 Drive Budget Box

Each step adds 10 TB capacity to the server.  Reuse Mobo, RAM, CPU, and 5-in-3 hot swap.  Waste the PSU.  If you plan to follow this path, I recommend that you get the 500W PSU from the beginning so that you don't waste the 430W one.  If you do this, there will be no waste at all.

 

 

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Keeping the above builds current isn't always easy as hardware changes so fast.  Motherboards and cases especially seem to come and go on a monthly basis.  Instead of constantly attempting to keep each and every build current, I'll just add some alternative components here.  I'll list the component I use first, then alternatives below.

 

Alternative Components

 

2 port PCIe x1 SATA expansion cards

Preferred:

SATA2 Serial ATA II PCI-Express RAID Controller Card (Silicon Image SIL3132)

 

Alternatives:

JMB362

Discussion here.  Note that these cards ship from Asia and therefore take around 3 weeks to ship to the US.

 

SIIG SC-SA0E12-S1

Untested, but it should work

 

Budget Box Cases

Preferred:

Xigmatek Utgard Mesh CPC-T90DB-U03

 

Alternatives: (in order of my preference)

Antec 902

Antec 900

Azza Helios 910

Thermaltake V6

 

4-in-3 Drive Cages

Preferred:

Norco SS-400

 

Alternatives: (in order of costliness)

COOLER MASTER STB-3T4-E3-GP (if you are on a tight budget and can't afford hot swap drive cages, this internal 4-in-3 is an inexpensive compromise)

AMS DS-3141SSBK

ICY DOCK MB974SP-B Tray-less 4 in 3

ICY DOCK MB454SPF-B

XClio SS034

 

Misc Components

 

Basic Locking SATA Cables

   - Other pretty colors

 

 

Old Components

These are the components that I used to use in my designs, but have since replaced them because they are either EOL'd (end of life'd), discontinued, or largely unavailable.  However, if you happen upon any of these components, then by all means go for them!  They are all good quality and proven in the unRAID community.

 

Cooler Master Centrurion 590 - Oh how we all miss you.  Simple, elegant, cheap.  Nothing this good ever lasts forever.

 

Xigmatek Utgard Original CPC-T90DB-U01 - This case has been discontinued, but the replacements are pretty similar.

 

Thermaltake V5 - Another discontinued case.  I was never a huge fan of the large handle on top anyway.

 

Biostar A760G M2+ - The original 15 Drive Budget Board.  Great while it lasted, but has been discontinued.  Also worked well in smaller cases as it was a good 2 inches shorter than most MicroATX motherboards.

 

Supermicro MBD-C2SEE-O - The original 20 Drive Budget Board.  At the end of the board's production cycle many of us were lucky enough to pick one up for a mere $20 shipped.  For nostalgic purposes, here's the thread.

 

JetWay JHZ03-GT-LF (more info) - A great budget board for 20+ drive servers, unfortunately appears to be EOL'd.

 

JetWay JMA3-880GTV2-LF (more info) - A short-reigned budget board, it was discontinued about two weeks after I declared it the champion of my first round of budget board testing.

 

Intel Core i3 530 - The original 20 Drive Beast CPU.  I haven't seen this CPU for sale for many months so I assume it has been EOL'd. As of August 24, 2011 it is back in stock!  Still, it is more expensive than the i3 540 so there's no reason to choose it.

 

AMD Sempron 140 - The original Budget Box CPU.  The Sempron 145 is marginally faster and is selling for close to the same price, so I'm not complaining.

 

AMD Sempron 130 - This CPU is marginally slower and marginally cheaper than the Sempron 140, but it should still work just as well for a budget box type of server.  I prefer the Sempron 140/145 only because it ships with a heatsink and fan, whereas the Sempron 130 is just a bare CPU.  If you already have a CPU heatsink/fan that you would like to use in your server, or if you plan to upgrade that component anyway, then don't hesitate to use the Sempron 130 and save a few bucks.

 

COOLER MASTER R4-S2S-124K-GP 120mm Case Fan (4 pack) - I originally recommended these cheap fans as upgrades for the Norco rackmount cases, but since have revised my recommendation for some better quality fans that will provide better cooling for drives.  These ones are still fine to use if you are on a tight budget.

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