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Last built a PC in 1995! Sanity check please.

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Hi all,

 

Currently running a HP Microserver Gen8 (with upgrade i3 3240T cpu). Used for Plex (but not shared with the world as I only have 30/3 VDSL!), PiHole, Transmission, UniFI Controller, HA Bridge. Store all of my photos, music, films, documents etc.

 

I like the form factor of the HP, but not the price/performance of the "new" Gen 10. I like the front drive bays, but as I rarely swap anything it isn't a necessity.

 

I've been thinking of a new box for a while so here goes with my first build since 1995. Things have changed a bit - lots of new TLA's to learn. As space is at a premium I've found a small case and everything sort of followed on from there.

 

I'd really appreciate a sanity check as almost everything is new to me!

 

  • case - Fractal Design node 304. This fits where I need it to and has room for lots of drives, considering its size.
  • motherboard - ASUS P10S-I. Not cheap, but gets good feedback.
  • psu - Corsair SF450 Platinum. Only 5 UKP more than the Gold and comes with the required adapter bracket to fit the node.
  • cpu - Core i3 8100. Seems good value in the UK. Has integrated GPU. Retail box comes with cooler/heatsink.
  • cache - Transcend 240GB SATA III 6Gb/s MTS420S 42mm M.2 SSD420S Solid State Drive. Keeps a SATA drive bay free.
  • RAM - Crucial CT16G4RFS4266 16 GB DDR4 2666 MT/s (PC4-21300) CL19 SR x 4 ECC Registered DIMM 288-Pin Memory. ECC as why not.
  • Drives - WD red or ones taken from the 8TB MyBooks.
  • other - CY Internal Mini SAS SFF-8643 Host to 4 SATA 7pin Target Hard Disk 6Gbps Data Server Raid Cable 50cm for my SATA drives - WD Red.
  • other - Asus IPMI 2.0 Management Upgrade Motherboard Kit with KVM

 

That's about £600 right now, probably can do better if I hunt for deals.

 

Have I missed anything? Chosen anything crazy? So much is new to me it's taken quite a while to put this lot together.

 

Thanks all!

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Are you sure that RAM is on the approved list for that motherboard? The quick google hit for that board lists UDIMM, you are speccing RDIMM.

 

Also, does the board come with the mini-SAS, or is that an addon? I didn't dig hard enough to tell the difference.

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8 minutes ago, jonathanm said:

Are you sure that RAM is on the approved list for that motherboard? The quick google hit for that board lists UDIMM, you are speccing RDIMM.

 

Also, does the board come with the mini-SAS, or is that an addon? I didn't dig hard enough to tell the difference.

Hi

 

Good catch on the RAM. You’re right, it should be UDIMM. I’ll look for an alternative.

 

The board comes with mini SAS and apparently to get 6 SATA an adapter is required. Think I read that in a couple of the Amazon reviews.

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I've found some Kingston RAM in spec.

However, I'm now in a pickle. It looks like the i3 8100 isn't supported and from what I can tell a newer board P11C-I is what I need. I can't see many other changes except more recent CPU support. However, I can't find out much about the P11C-I and what I can doesn't fill me with confidence. ASUS seem to suggest the GPU in the 8100 (or any i series) isn't supported, which is rather worrying, unless I'm missing something? I wanted the GPU for Plex, and without it I might as well get the 8100T which is cheaper. I think!  

Assuming I want the i3 8100 is there a better board? ASRock or SuperMicro? I though I was set, but now confused again!

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8 hours ago, page3 said:

ASUS seem to suggest the GPU in the 8100 (or any i series) isn't supported, which is rather worrying, unless I'm missing something? I wanted the GPU for Plex, and without it I might as well get the 8100T which is cheaper. I think! 

Server and workstation boards with IPMI or some form of remote management many times have on board graphics, and may or may not allow access to the iGPU on the CPU. I wouldn't count on using plex GPU transcoding without copying someone elses build where it's been proven to work. My memory is telling me that perhaps @Hoopster has done some background on this, but I could be thinking of someone else.

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49 minutes ago, jonathanm said:

Server and workstation boards with IPMI or some form of remote management many times have on board graphics, and may or may not allow access to the iGPU on the CPU. I wouldn't count on using plex GPU transcoding without copying someone elses build where it's been proven to work. My memory is telling me that perhaps @Hoopster has done some background on this, but I could be thinking of someone else.

Reading some more, this is very VERY good advice. I’m scouring various forums to see what might be more suitable. I have a few leads so we’ll see where they take me.

 

So far the ASRock 390M-ITX/AC is looking good. Supports both Unraid and Plex (inc gpu on new intels), has 6 SATA and dual Ethernet. I’ll lose things such as ECC memory support and lights out management, which is a shame. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Just to update everyone. After loads of forum searching my list has changed quite a bit. It's now based on what others have working with both UnRAID and Plex.

 

Case - Fractal Design Node 304

Motherboard - ASRock Z390M-ITX/AC

Processor - Intel i3 8100

RAM - Crucial Ballistix Sport LT BLS2K8G4D32AESBK

SSD - Corsair CSSD-F240GBMP510 M.2 

PSU - Corsair SF450 Platinum

Edited by page3

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Posted (edited)

Hi,

 

Have you looked at the SilverStone SST-DS380 case.

It is a bit more expensive, but you seem to gave a good budget.

8 x front removable 3.5" / 2.5" and 4 x internal 2.5"

Only slightly larger than the Node 304.

You can add a controller card in your PCI slot if you need more than 6 drives

 

Once I had 2 x Sata cache , 2 x parity I soon needed more drives

 

Edit: Note it needs an SFX power supply 

Edited by Decto

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On 1/2/2020 at 5:00 PM, Decto said:

Hi,

 

Have you looked at the SilverStone SST-DS380 case.

It is a bit more expensive, but you seem to gave a good budget.

8 x front removable 3.5" / 2.5" and 4 x internal 2.5"

Only slightly larger than the Node 304.

You can add a controller card in your PCI slot if you need more than 6 drives

 

Once I had 2 x Sata cache , 2 x parity I soon needed more drives

 

Edit: Note it needs an SFX power supply 

Looks like a nice case, but a lot more expensive and too deep to have the removable bays pointing front (I have limited space).

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Posted (edited)

Look what arrived today!

 

IMG_9738.thumb.jpeg.88a85b0f756b641fe69324dc08e82691.jpeg

 

5 hours later....

 

IMG_9744.thumb.jpeg.fb5276b8e4fb29078005e6e8b3037280.jpeg

 

And UnRAID works perfectly.

 

1828676310_Screenshot2020-01-05at20_25_08.jpg.5c0c1d08a9c37ba5306f9fde0825ae73.jpg

 

Plex GPU transcoding is working fine. Everything else appears to be great.

I need to move my Cache drive from the old SSD to the new M.2 SSD.

 

I also need to sort out the cable management inside. It's currently a bit of a mess. I found 6 x SATA and power really difficult to fit.

 

So far, so good though. Considering how wrong it all could have gone!

Edited by page3

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On 1/5/2020 at 8:30 PM, page3 said:

Look what arrived today!

 

5 hours later....

 

IMG_9744.thumb.jpeg.fb5276b8e4fb29078005e6e8b3037280.jpeg

 

Plex GPU transcoding is working fine. Everything else appears to be great.

I need to move my Cache drive from the old SSD to the new M.2 SSD.

 

I also need to sort out the cable management inside. It's currently a bit of a mess. I found 6 x SATA and power really difficult to fit.

 

So far, so good though. Considering how wrong it all could have gone!

You can have route the cable UNDERNEATH your PSU (and even your mobo) for better cable management.

I ran 2 SATA power cables, 1 from left to right and 1 from right to left. That works well with how the HDDs are mounted in the cages.

Also cable-tie your excess cable as high as you can (preferably to the cable-tie slots along the case frame).

 

Last but not least, to save the HDD cage for HDD, remember velcro is an excellent mounting mechanism for 2.5" SSD. 😅

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4 hours ago, testdasi said:

You can have route the cable UNDERNEATH your PSU (and even your mobo) for better cable management.

I ran 2 SATA power cables, 1 from left to right and 1 from right to left. That works well with how the HDDs are mounted in the cages.

Also cable-tie your excess cable as high as you can (preferably to the cable-tie slots along the case frame).

 

Last but not least, to save the HDD cage for HDD, remember velcro is an excellent mounting mechanism for 2.5" SSD. 😅

Thanks :) I hadn't even considered that. I mounted the SF PSU on its adapter plate (the platinum came with one) so it is flush against the bottom of the case against the air intake. I could rotate the adapter so the PSU has space underneath. I wasn't sure if it was better flush or not.

Running two SATA power cables in the way you describe would work really well with the flip-orientation the bays hold the drives. Currently I've all six from a single connection on the PSU, as the others are taken. I could split on one the others though to give me 2 x 3 rather than the 1 x 6 I currently have.

 

At present one cage only has one drive mounted and the old SSD is blu-tac'd to the side as a temporary measure while I copy data off it to the new m.2 drive. I'll then be removing it anyway.    

 

Good stuff, thanks for the feedback.

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A good explanation, I understood you perfectly!  I wouldn't bother, it looks pretty tight as it is. Thanks for the post.
Is the WD80EFAX older or newer than WD80EFZX?

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When I did my last unRAID build as my case had limited space it was a nightmare to use normal SATA Cables. I purchased some ultra-thin SATA cables like the below and have not had a single issue or error reported from any of my disks. Also made cabling much easier and saved space:

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/YIWENTEC-Speed-6Gbps-Cable-Server/dp/B07MXFHC1Z/ref=pd_sbs_147_t_0/258-8806213-9863812?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B07MXFHC1Z&pd_rd_r=f76e7248-6eab-46b8-8158-f258996df421&pd_rd_w=rEUzJ&pd_rd_wg=mv77u&pf_rd_p=e44592b5-e56d-44c2-a4f9-dbdc09b29395&pf_rd_r=3HA0W51FR8YSQYRBP9D4&psc=1&refRID=3HA0W51FR8YSQYRBP9D4

 

Unfortunately the brand I purchased is no longer available on Amazon but reviews for this one seem fine :-)

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