My First Custom Lounge Room Server


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I thought i would share the build i have been doing with everyone and show some of my latest changes i have done to my pretty much now complete build,

 

Overview

 

Over the years I have had a mix of servers which I have accumulated with a mix of branded NAS's and Micro Servers. So I wanted to finally treat myself to a custom build which would allow me to smash all the systems into a little box to run the home media and also some play VM's.

This unit will be an 'all in one' box which will replace 4 stand alone devices which are over 3 years in age each so a fresh lease on life with this. There shall be updates as things change on this build and also be supplying some power and cost values after some use and initial build.

 

Case - DS308B SilverStone

Motherboard - ASRock C236 WSI

CPU - Xeon E3-1245

GPU - Quadro P400

PSU - SilverStone 450W SFX  Corsair SF450 

Case Fans - Noctua S12B 1200 PWM with NA-FC controller

Cache Drives - Dual BarraCuda 120 500GB SSD

Data Drives - Mix of 2TB drives from other systems

 

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Build and Assemble Update - 08/20

 

Due to stock issues in region and general logistic problem's this build was done over a month as there was aprox 6 suppliers to group all of the parts for this build

Overall the build and assembly went and amazingly the Motherboard vendor was willing to assist to ensure the unit had a recent version of the BIOS to support the Xeon chipset model.

- RAM

I ended up shelling out alot more than I needed to for this specific build but I see this system giving me around 5 years of life so I ended up going the extra on this part as I intend for this to be running VM's for the most of it. The RAM is ECC to also enhance the CPU and offer a true 'server' build being one of the first time's I could say I've used ECC in a build. This also is now the board at max capacity so no changed needed now or into the future for the RAM side of things and should be plenty for the intended workload.

- GPU

Amazingly the GPU for this build, unlike others I have seen online, allows me to take FULL advantage of the 8 bay's as the Low Profile card designed for the workstations fits just inside the clearance area for the drive bay, which I was most pleased about this build.

Some things I would look to changing from this build based on my experience with this case and setup,

Invest in options similar to the CP11 cables from silverstone as the Sata cables are stiff and really added alot of complexity to the build (but for $20 a cable it would have been an expensive addon) so its on the cards to look into a fix (maybe CableDeconn?)

Cable management is always a work in progress so watching the temps to see how this works as its winter so looking like temps would be more of an issue in the warmer months

 

OS - 08/20

 

This unit will be firstly kicking off with UNraid as my first experience running a home server like this and looking to use Plex and the GPU. Previous systems I was always running VMWare as the host.

 

Drive Build - 08/20

 

This build was as budget as I was able to do so most of the storage of this unit will be from spare drives I was able to pull from older systems allowing me to spend abit extra now on the guts and later shell out on the storage for possibly some 10TB units which I'll likely shuck when prices come down,

Dual Seagate 500 SSD for local Cache and VM's

Mix of 2TB Drives from older units to kick off with

 

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PSU Change - 9/20

 

I have made a change to another PSU due to a hardware fault with the SilverStone moving to a Corsair due to the zero RPM fan and also fitting the size of the unit. Sadly the PSU has a faulty fan which was confirmed by the vendor and was RMA'ed due to the loud noise while running. The updated one now has a zero RPM and due to the current load doesn't get alot of use (much quieter)

 

Airflow and Cable Management Update - 10/20

 

During normal use and also the unraid checks the drives would spin up and get a bit warm than I would like during Winter and with Summer coming it was only going to get worse. I ended up finding a mod for the case to fix the air-flow-leaking between the Fans and the HDD cage. This is 3D printed item which goes into the side of the fan and simply closes the gap between the hard drives and forces air over them. This is something I would recommend all who have this case do as it dropped all my drives to running much cooler now always sitting under 40c and sometimes even under during a parity check (depending on room temp)

I also did an upgrade on the fans to get more power and cooling as part of this whole upgrade with a PWM 'hub' allowing me to control all the fans and keeping them at the same speeds using a Noctua controller. With some changes in the BIOS they are now linked to the CPU temp to speed up as the CPU temp increases.

One issue I did see was the massive cable mess which was going to in the long run hit the airflow process and I made out to fix this while doing these changes. I ended up getting a set of Ultra thin SATAIII cables which was alot shorter and also featured a convenient 90 degree angle for the connector which pointed the wires down on the sata ports on the unit. This did alot for making the mess of cables go away and also putting the HDD cage back in without having to force it over all the Sata cables

 

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Changelog

08/20 - Initial build

09/20 - Hardware change

10/20 - Cable+Air flow

 

More Images - PC Part Picker

 

Edited by brent3000
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