I built a great little 2.2TB RAID5 storage server around a Highpoint card. I know it doesn't have a integrated processor, but the dual-core CPU really isn't doing anything else. Single-drive swap capability is a must if you are using RAID5/10. Just chuck a bad drive, and replace it with a new one. a little more info about the system:
Modified Aopen G35 mATX cube case
Gigabyte GIGABYTE GA-M68SM-S2 Motherboard (onboard Gbe)
HighPoint RocketRAID 2310 PCI Express x4 (SATAII x 4) RAID Card
4 x Seagate 750Gb drives
1 x Western Digital 36Gb Raptor 10K RPM HDD (for OS)
Athena Power BP-SAC3051B HDD internal backplane
AMD 5000+ 64 X2 CPU 2.6Ghz
SILVERSTONE SST-ST60F 600W PSU
Here's some pics of the NAS:
The NAS pulled out of it's home in the entertainment center.
The cover pulled off, a pic of the left side showing the 2310 RAID card. I plan on upgrading this to a Highpoint 2320 8-port card.
The right side showing the CPU & cooler (very tight fit between it and the the bottom of the SATA hotswap enclosure)
A pic of it next to the mini-ITX motherboard I need to put in it for the upgrade, adding another hotswap enclosure for 8 1TB drives, giving me a total of 6TB in RAID5.
A pic of it back in it's home in the entertainment center, hooked up to my HTPC above the TV.
Questions I know that will be asked:
1- There isn't room in that case for 8 drives.
2- Where did you get that case?
3- Won't you have cooling issues in that case with that many drives?
4- That mini-ITX board doesn't have a PCI-e slot, just PCI.
1- Actually- I'm pretty sure there is- Barely. If I buy another 5-drive SATA backplane (exactly like the one you see), and turn them vertically, there should be enough room- If I replace the motherboard with the much smaller mini-ITX board you see in the fourth pic. It should look like this: (photoshop)
2- That case is actually an Aopen G35 mATX cube case like this:
With the front fascia and top corner rails removed. I replaced the front plastic with a black plastic cutting board cut to fit the front of the case and the SATA hotswap enclosure. The side vent grilles are taped shut from behind with wide black electrical tape to promote airflow through the drives, and out through the PSU in the back.
3- Currently the 135mm fan on the PSU pulls air through the drives, helped midway by a 80mm fan mounted at the back of the hotswap enclosure. So the drives stay cool, and the mini-ITX motherboard I plan on replacing the current mATX board with is a low-power board that doesn't expel much heat.
4- The board shown in the pics isn't the mini-ITX board i will be using. The board in the pics with the PCI slot is the VIA SP13000, While I will be using the VIA SN18000 1.8Ghz board which has a PCI-e 16x slot.
I watch 1080p .MKV's stored on it through my HTPC on my 47" LCD all day long. no problems here. If all you are going to be doing with it is storing and watching video, don't get caught up looking at expensive IOP RAID cards. Yes, it's true my transfer speed suffers because of it, but I can stream HD video from it over the Gbe connection with no problems, and it takes an extra minute to transfer a 5+GB file to/from it, but that's fine with me, I saved myself from spending an extra $400+ for a little extra speed.
Questions, comments welcome.