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post #7891 of 7909 Old 03-13-2014, 09:11 AM
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post #7892 of 7909 Old 11-13-2014, 01:24 PM
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Ok, looking for some advice and maybe bring this thread back from the dead. First off let me state that it's been 15 years since I've built my last pc, so saying I'm out of the loop is an understatement. I would like a home media server and was planning on building one myself based off the Norco 4224 chassis. I plan on using it to store music and uncompressed Blu-ray rips. The OS will be windows based (not sure exactly which platform yet.) Pooling and redundancy will be handled by FlexRaid. It will be using Media Browser to stream to a home theater, Ipads and an Iphone. I would also like this server to be powerful enough to transcode to h.265 for streaming in the future. I've heard it's an intensive process so I'm not sure how powerful the CPU(s) need to be.

Then I stumbled across the "Cheaper alternative to Norco" thread and decided it would be easier to buy a used server. I started watching Ebay and I found this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/171528374048...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
In short it has:
1. Supermicro X8DTE-F motherboard: http://www.supermicro.com/products/m...m?IPMI=Y&SAS=N
2. 2 Xeon L5520 2.26GHZ quad core processors
3. Adaptec RAID 5805 controller http://www.adaptec.com/en-us/support...raid/sas-5805/
4. 16gb memory

To use this in a home setting the PSU would be replaced with something quieter, more efficient and the fans will be replaced to make it as silent as possible. Now, what I'm not sure a about...

Will two quad core processors be enough to transcode to H.265? I would think so. If not hex core processors would be a possibility.

Can you even use a RAID Controller with FlexRaid or should it be using a SAS controller? I have no knowledge of RAID or SAS controllers.

I would like to use 6tb hard drives so I'll have the ability to store 4k media uncompressed in the future. Does anybody know if the raid controller will support drives that big? I have contacted Adaptec customer support but have not received confirmation yet. It could always be replaced with IBM 1015s.

ANY opinions and advice are welcome. If you think it's overkill or impractical don't be afraid to tell me. I'm new to this and could use some guidance. Thanks in advance!
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post #7893 of 7909 Old 11-13-2014, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by thomps33 View Post
Ok, looking for some advice and maybe bring this thread back from the dead. First off let me state that it's been 15 years since I've built my last pc, so saying I'm out of the loop is an understatement. I would like a home media server and was planning on building one myself based off the Norco 4224 chassis. I plan on using it to store music and uncompressed Blu-ray rips. The OS will be windows based (not sure exactly which platform yet.) Pooling and redundancy will be handled by FlexRaid. It will be using Media Browser to stream to a home theater, Ipads and an Iphone. I would also like this server to be powerful enough to transcode to h.265 for streaming in the future. I've heard it's an intensive process so I'm not sure how powerful the CPU(s) need to be.

Then I stumbled across the "Cheaper alternative to Norco" thread and decided it would be easier to buy a used server. I started watching Ebay and I found this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/171528374048...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
In short it has:
1. Supermicro X8DTE-F motherboard: http://www.supermicro.com/products/m...m?IPMI=Y&SAS=N
2. 2 Xeon L5520 2.26GHZ quad core processors
3. Adaptec RAID 5805 controller http://www.adaptec.com/en-us/support...raid/sas-5805/
4. 16gb memory

To use this in a home setting the PSU would be replaced with something quieter, more efficient and the fans will be replaced to make it as silent as possible. Now, what I'm not sure a about...

Will two quad core processors be enough to transcode to H.265? I would think so. If not hex core processors would be a possibility.

Can you even use a RAID Controller with FlexRaid or should it be using a SAS controller? I have no knowledge of RAID or SAS controllers.

I would like to use 6tb hard drives so I'll have the ability to store 4k media uncompressed in the future. Does anybody know if the raid controller will support drives that big? I have contacted Adaptec customer support but have not received confirmation yet. It could always be replaced with IBM 1015s.

ANY opinions and advice are welcome. If you think it's overkill or impractical don't be afraid to tell me. I'm new to this and could use some guidance. Thanks in advance!
For storing large movie collections (data sets which don't change a lot), bit-rot becomes an issue, read this article for background.
http://arstechnica.com/information-t...n-filesystems/
I'd look into a ZFS based arrays, either FreeNAS or Nas4Free are the easiest to setup.
It's worth reading some of the threads on both forums to get an idea of system requirements and performance expectations re your transcoding requirements etc.
http://www.freenas.org & https://forums.freenas.org/

The other thing to bear in mind and what most people forget to tell you is that RAID isn't a backup in itself so you should maintain a separate copy of the array. (unless you are happy re-ripping and cataloguing your whole movie collection which for more than handful of disks isn't really viable). Bear this in mind when you are speccing your systems and budget etc.

Last edited by VikingBoy; 11-13-2014 at 01:50 PM. Reason: thoughts re backups
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post #7894 of 7909 Old 11-13-2014, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by thomps33 View Post
Ok, looking for some advice and maybe bring this thread back from the dead. First off let me state that it's been 15 years since I've built my last pc, so saying I'm out of the loop is an understatement. I would like a home media server and was planning on building one myself based off the Norco 4224 chassis. I plan on using it to store music and uncompressed Blu-ray rips. The OS will be windows based (not sure exactly which platform yet.) Pooling and redundancy will be handled by FlexRaid. It will be using Media Browser to stream to a home theater, Ipads and an Iphone. I would also like this server to be powerful enough to transcode to h.265 for streaming in the future. I've heard it's an intensive process so I'm not sure how powerful the CPU(s) need to be.

Then I stumbled across the "Cheaper alternative to Norco" thread and decided it would be easier to buy a used server. I started watching Ebay and I found this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/171528374048...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
In short it has:
1. Supermicro X8DTE-F motherboard: http://www.supermicro.com/products/m...m?IPMI=Y&SAS=N
2. 2 Xeon L5520 2.26GHZ quad core processors
3. Adaptec RAID 5805 controller http://www.adaptec.com/en-us/support...raid/sas-5805/
4. 16gb memory

To use this in a home setting the PSU would be replaced with something quieter, more efficient and the fans will be replaced to make it as silent as possible. Now, what I'm not sure a about...

Will two quad core processors be enough to transcode to H.265? I would think so. If not hex core processors would be a possibility.

Can you even use a RAID Controller with FlexRaid or should it be using a SAS controller? I have no knowledge of RAID or SAS controllers.

I would like to use 6tb hard drives so I'll have the ability to store 4k media uncompressed in the future. Does anybody know if the raid controller will support drives that big? I have contacted Adaptec customer support but have not received confirmation yet. It could always be replaced with IBM 1015s.

ANY opinions and advice are welcome. If you think it's overkill or impractical don't be afraid to tell me. I'm new to this and could use some guidance. Thanks in advance!
I think the "used" hardware is usually loud, hot, noisy, and energy consuming pigs.

You would do well with a simple but modern build with new hardware IMO.

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post #7895 of 7909 Old 11-13-2014, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by VikingBoy View Post
For storing large movie collections (data sets which don't change a lot), bit-rot becomes an issue, read this article for background.
http://arstechnica.com/information-t...n-filesystems/
I'd look into a ZFS based arrays, either FreeNAS or Nas4Free are the easiest to setup.
It's worth reading some of the threads on both forums to get an idea of system requirements and performance expectations re your transcoding requirements etc.
http://www.freenas.org & https://forums.freenas.org/

The other thing to bear in mind and what most people forget to tell you is that RAID isn't a backup in itself so you should maintain a separate copy of the array. (unless you are happy re-ripping and cataloguing your whole movie collection which for more than handful of disks isn't really viable). Bear this in mind when you are speccing your systems and budget etc.
Thanks for the link, there was some interesting information in there! I've had my eye on ZFS systems for a while and I would rather just not learn another OS as of right now. I realize FlexRAID will likely be a limitation once the array gets large enough unless FlexRAID implements features that ZFS contain. Until then I would like to stay on a platform I'm comfortable with. I'm definitely not ruling out a ZFS based array in the future though. My plan for backing up the array is to use Crashplan (yes, I realize this could take months). If I have a catastrophic loss I'll box up the HHDs and send them to crashplan.

In the future I'm hoping there will be streaming services that offer high quality video and audio playback for a reasonable price. Current offerings just don't cut it in my opinion. I can't stand watching Netflix or Hulu on the projector and the selection leaves something to be desired. I have high hopes when 4k becomes standardized, h.265 is adopted and finally becomes mainstream. The media server is a stop gap until this becomes a reality.

On the subject of data rot, I've never knowingly experienced it. I wouldn't expect to have many issues with data rot. I guess if there's an issue it would be easy enough to rip the song or movie that it's affecting and replace the file. I agree it would be nice not to worry about it. If it becomes a common occurrence I'll most likely switch to FreeNAS. Am I underestimating the issue here or just not understanding it?
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post #7896 of 7909 Old 11-13-2014, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
I think the "used" hardware is usually loud, hot, noisy, and energy consuming pigs.

You would do well with a simple but modern build with new hardware IMO.
Is it possible to build a server with new parts that has the capacity to hold 24 drives and comparable performance with new parts for around the same price? I think I can take care of most of the noise issue and I'm not too worried about it being a power hog. Electricity is cheap. I'm definitely open to a build if I can get the same value out of it. The case alone would cost twice as much brand new as I'd pay for a used server.
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post #7897 of 7909 Old 11-14-2014, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by thomps33 View Post
Thanks for the link, there was some interesting information in there! I've had my eye on ZFS systems for a while and I would rather just not learn another OS as of right now. I realize FlexRAID will likely be a limitation once the array gets large enough unless FlexRAID implements features that ZFS contain. Until then I would like to stay on a platform I'm comfortable with. I'm definitely not ruling out a ZFS based array in the future though. My plan for backing up the array is to use Crashplan (yes, I realize this could take months). If I have a catastrophic loss I'll box up the HHDs and send them to crashplan.

In the future I'm hoping there will be streaming services that offer high quality video and audio playback for a reasonable price. Current offerings just don't cut it in my opinion. I can't stand watching Netflix or Hulu on the projector and the selection leaves something to be desired. I have high hopes when 4k becomes standardized, h.265 is adopted and finally becomes mainstream. The media server is a stop gap until this becomes a reality.

On the subject of data rot, I've never knowingly experienced it. I wouldn't expect to have many issues with data rot. I guess if there's an issue it would be easy enough to rip the song or movie that it's affecting and replace the file. I agree it would be nice not to worry about it. If it becomes a common occurrence I'll most likely switch to FreeNAS. Am I underestimating the issue here or just not understanding it?
I don't think you misunderstand - everyone has their priorities. For me the security of my data Ive sent the best part of 15 years collecting, ripping, cataloguing is most critical. I run various backups including duplication to a remote location server but I also run crash plan in the background for CD, Pictures and data files. Its really not very useful for DVD or Blu-ray rips. Yes, it will take them, but the time to upload and download an array of any reasonable number of films would be prohibitive IMHO.

How large do you anticipate your needs to be, you mentioned 6TB disks, how many are you planning on using. With disks of that size forget RAID5 and look to RAID 6 at least. The load placed on the remaining drives during a rebuild when (note: I didn't say if!) one goes down has a high probability of taking another out with it.
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post #7898 of 7909 Old 12-01-2014, 09:16 PM
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Looking for some input from the gurus. I have three drives that recently disappeared from my OS. They are connected to an LSI 9211-8i hba. Other drives are fine. I pulled them and connected them to another machine, and they pulled up just fine. In my server, I can't see them in my computer, or disk manager, but I do see them in my devices. Any thoughts?
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post #7899 of 7909 Old 12-01-2014, 10:38 PM
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Looking for some input from the gurus. I have three drives that recently disappeared from my OS. They are connected to an LSI 9211-8i hba. Other drives are fine. I pulled them and connected them to another machine, and they pulled up just fine. In my server, I can't see them in my computer, or disk manager, but I do see them in my devices. Any thoughts?
I would suggest that you check the RAID software for any events that may have occurred. Raid controller will drop defective HD's from array and if you only have your drives configured as JBOD there will not be any additional action so you can only see that they were dropped in the Event Viewer. They get dropped for bad sectors or any SMART faults that are out of the parameters. Both of these faults will not prevent the HDs to be seen on non RAID system. Lastly if the HDs are desktop drives and there is need for sector remapping which the drive will initiate on start up, the RAID controller will time out because the drive will not report OK status in the time limit and the controller will then drop that drive as defective.

Did you make any changes in backup protocol? HD's formatted for backup won't show up in OS.

If not then can you lose the data by reformatting and then initializing the drives? Are they part of RAID array?
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post #7900 of 7909 Old 12-02-2014, 06:46 AM
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Looking for some input from the gurus. I have three drives that recently disappeared from my OS. They are connected to an LSI 9211-8i hba. Other drives are fine. I pulled them and connected them to another machine, and they pulled up just fine. In my server, I can't see them in my computer, or disk manager, but I do see them in my devices. Any thoughts?
Not familiar with the LSI 9211-8i but I assume you can get into it's configuration mode at boot at time and see what it says about the drive status?
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post #7901 of 7909 Old 12-02-2014, 10:47 AM
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I would suggest that you check the RAID software for any events that may have occurred. Raid controller will drop defective HD's from array and if you only have your drives configured as JBOD there will not be any additional action so you can only see that they were dropped in the Event Viewer. They get dropped for bad sectors or any SMART faults that are out of the parameters. Both of these faults will not prevent the HDs to be seen on non RAID system. Lastly if the HDs are desktop drives and there is need for sector remapping which the drive will initiate on start up, the RAID controller will time out because the drive will not report OK status in the time limit and the controller will then drop that drive as defective.

Did you make any changes in backup protocol? HD's formatted for backup won't show up in OS.

If not then can you lose the data by reformatting and then initializing the drives? Are they part of RAID array?
I will try to boot to the HBA and see what it says. One thing that is interesting, is that if I go to the drive in device manager, go to properties and then the volumes tab, when I click on populate, i get an error indicating "Volume information for this disk cannot be found." When I got to a working drive and do the same, it pulls up all the volume data. I was originally concerned my drives had died, but I find it weird they connect just fine to another machine using straight SATA.

On another note, I'm concerned I may be having other issues with the HBA. Not sure if it's on the same one or not, but I just added two more 3TB drives, and added files to one set of drives. I use freefilesync to sync between drives, and I get an error code 23: data error (cyclic redundancy check).
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post #7902 of 7909 Old 12-03-2014, 12:57 AM
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I will try to boot to the HBA and see what it says. One thing that is interesting, is that if I go to the drive in device manager, go to properties and then the volumes tab, when I click on populate, i get an error indicating "Volume information for this disk cannot be found." When I got to a working drive and do the same, it pulls up all the volume data. I was originally concerned my drives had died, but I find it weird they connect just fine to another machine using straight SATA.

On another note, I'm concerned I may be having other issues with the HBA. Not sure if it's on the same one or not, but I just added two more 3TB drives, and added files to one set of drives. I use freefilesync to sync between drives, and I get an error code 23: data error (cyclic redundancy check).
One other thing to try is to switch cables. I had few problems with some of the cables that use very thin strands. First it manifested by high link failures and aborted commands numbers and eventually the HD was just dropped when the cable broke. Usually where the cable exited from the SATA connector block.

Here is one of the more durable cables

This is good one with latches on the SATA connectors

Here is one that broke very shortly after install due to fragility of the leads
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post #7903 of 7909 Old 12-03-2014, 01:35 AM
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At the moment I use a 6th gen HP Microserver n54l with Openelec installed, but I plan to upgrrade my HTPC once h265 and 4k etc become more mainstream.

I appreciate it only has 5 bays but that is potentially 10tb+ of space, more than enough for a reasonable collection of films at current bitrates etc.

I think I got it for about £150 without HDD and Graphics card.

Once I do upgrade I plan to use it as a stand alone NAS with Freenas installed.

Tannoy mercury v4 fronts, Dali Zensor 1 rears, Kef IQ2c centre with a Maudaunt Short Alumni 6 sub. Philips 47pfl6007 with 2 sided ambilight and modded firmware motion -pixel precise to pixel perfect.

Sony s760 bluray player, fat PS3, Virgin TIVO and OpenELEC 4.1.5 HTPC on a HP Microserver N54L with 4tb storage and 6gb RAM.
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post #7904 of 7909 Old 12-03-2014, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by VikingBoy View Post
For storing large movie collections (data sets which don't change a lot), bit-rot becomes an issue, read this article for background.
http://arstechnica.com/information-t...n-filesystems/
I'd look into a ZFS based arrays, either FreeNAS or Nas4Free are the easiest to setup.
It's worth reading some of the threads on both forums to get an idea of system requirements and performance expectations re your transcoding requirements etc.
http://www.freenas.org & https://forums.freenas.org/

The other thing to bear in mind and what most people forget to tell you is that RAID isn't a backup in itself so you should maintain a separate copy of the array. (unless you are happy re-ripping and cataloguing your whole movie collection which for more than handful of disks isn't really viable). Bear this in mind when you are speccing your systems and budget etc.
What you could do is build the spec here and then once HTPC friendly graphics cards that support h265 are released, add one in to handle transcoding.

Having said that, I have a main pc with i7 4770k and that can play 1080p h265 with reasonable ease, so I think that transcoding should be possible. With 2 Xeons you should be ok.

Tannoy mercury v4 fronts, Dali Zensor 1 rears, Kef IQ2c centre with a Maudaunt Short Alumni 6 sub. Philips 47pfl6007 with 2 sided ambilight and modded firmware motion -pixel precise to pixel perfect.

Sony s760 bluray player, fat PS3, Virgin TIVO and OpenELEC 4.1.5 HTPC on a HP Microserver N54L with 4tb storage and 6gb RAM.
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post #7905 of 7909 Old 12-03-2014, 04:07 AM
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What you could do is build the spec here and then once HTPC friendly graphics cards that support h265 are released, add one in to handle transcoding
Currently there is no such thing as GPU-assisted transcoding in Plex or MB3
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post #7906 of 7909 Old 12-08-2014, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by VikingBoy View Post
For storing large movie collections (data sets which don't change a lot), bit-rot becomes an issue, read this article for background.
http://arstechnica.com/information-t...n-filesystems/
I'd look into a ZFS based arrays, either FreeNAS or Nas4Free are the easiest to setup.
It's worth reading some of the threads on both forums to get an idea of system requirements and performance expectations re your transcoding requirements etc.
http://www.freenas.org & https://forums.freenas.org/

The other thing to bear in mind and what most people forget to tell you is that RAID isn't a backup in itself so you should maintain a separate copy of the array. (unless you are happy re-ripping and cataloguing your whole movie collection which for more than handful of disks isn't really viable). Bear this in mind when you are speccing your systems and budget etc.
I just read that link and my head is hurting...

I currently have a Network Server for movies that uses four 3tb drives. I have a few spare slots and was thinking of buying a few new drives. How will I know if my system can support 6tb drives? Would the limitation be on the motherboard and is that what I should check? I'm using Flexraid currently (RAID-F) . Thanks.
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post #7907 of 7909 Old Yesterday, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by thomps33 View Post
Ok, looking for some advice and maybe bring this thread back from the dead. First off let me state that it's been 15 years since I've built my last pc, so saying I'm out of the loop is an understatement. I would like a home media server and was planning on building one myself based off the Norco 4224 chassis. I plan on using it to store music and uncompressed Blu-ray rips. The OS will be windows based (not sure exactly which platform yet.) Pooling and redundancy will be handled by FlexRaid. It will be using Media Browser to stream to a home theater, Ipads and an Iphone. I would also like this server to be powerful enough to transcode to h.265 for streaming in the future. I've heard it's an intensive process so I'm not sure how powerful the CPU(s) need to be.

Then I stumbled across the "Cheaper alternative to Norco" thread and decided it would be easier to buy a used server. I started watching Ebay and I found this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/171528374048...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
In short it has:
1. Supermicro X8DTE-F motherboard: http://www.supermicro.com/products/m...m?IPMI=Y&SAS=N
2. 2 Xeon L5520 2.26GHZ quad core processors
3. Adaptec RAID 5805 controller http://www.adaptec.com/en-us/support...raid/sas-5805/
4. 16gb memory

To use this in a home setting the PSU would be replaced with something quieter, more efficient and the fans will be replaced to make it as silent as possible. Now, what I'm not sure a about...

Will two quad core processors be enough to transcode to H.265? I would think so. If not hex core processors would be a possibility.

Can you even use a RAID Controller with FlexRaid or should it be using a SAS controller? I have no knowledge of RAID or SAS controllers.

I would like to use 6tb hard drives so I'll have the ability to store 4k media uncompressed in the future. Does anybody know if the raid controller will support drives that big? I have contacted Adaptec customer support but have not received confirmation yet. It could always be replaced with IBM 1015s.

ANY opinions and advice are welcome. If you think it's overkill or impractical don't be afraid to tell me. I'm new to this and could use some guidance. Thanks in advance!
Did you end up buying this?
Does anyone have one similar to this?
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post #7908 of 7909 Old Yesterday, 11:14 PM
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Did you end up buying this?
Does anyone have one similar to this?
So you did end up buying it.
Are You Looking For A Less Expensive Norco 4220 / 4224 Alternative?
Let us know how it is going.
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So you did end up buying it.
Are You Looking For A Less Expensive Norco 4220 / 4224 Alternative?
Let us know how it is going.
Yes I did. I'll give an update in a week or two once I get it up and running. Fans, hardrives, ect. are in the mail.
thomps33 is online now  
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