Mfusick's How to build an affordable 30TB Flexraid media server: Information Requested.! - Page 91 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #2701 of 4731 Old 01-28-2014, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by politby View Post

Okay, I simplified a bit for Mfusick's benefit biggrin.gif

Single disk: One disk fails, you're SOL

RAID-0: One disk fails, you're SOL

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It's not 'one disk fails" it's either disk fails. That's more likely than just one, it's if either one of however many.
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

What are your requirements, and what are your constraints?

Fast. Cheap. Must be 3TB or larger. I could cache with SSD (already own) RAID0 is ok to boost performance. Temp disk, not storage.
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The difference would be if your single drive fails you can likely recover data. If your RAID0 array fails it's unlikely you could recover data. That being said I run RAID0 on all of my OS drives (except my backup server). Typically 2x 120~128gb SSDs. Why? SSDs RAID0 arrays have been extremely stable and reliable over the past couple generations. Also, I image my OS drives weekly to my backup server and I can restore a RAID0 array much faster than I can rebuild a failure on a RAID1 array. Granted the RAID0 array restore is offline but it only take about 5 minutes to push a Ghost image where it takes a couple hours to rebuild a RAID1 array with severely degraded overall performance. I do keep a spare SSD available in case one needs to be replaced or else I would have to add shipping to that down time. I also run CrashPlan in case there are some files I needed in between weekly image captures.

This is exactly the same for me. ^

technically you have twice the risk, since either one of the 2 drives fails and your are SOL. But honestly, I don't really care much because the solution if it happened of fixing it is acceptable to me. It's worth the risk, and I never make it a full year on an OS install anyways. I agree with you that SSD in recent generations are pretty reliable too (actually they have always been somewhat reliable, my first sataII drive is still going strong)


In other news,

Just rebuilt my Flexraid pool. I dropped out the failed WD GREEN, and upgraded my parity drive to 4TB (I don't have any data drives 4TB yet)

I decided to use the 4TB Seagate with 800MB platters for Parity drive just because it's rarely an area of bottleneck on the calulcation process. It's really whatever drive happens to be the slowest. Most of the time I get about 80MB/sec-90MB/sec as measured by Flexraid.




That's basically the same as I always get. The fastest I ever see is about 100MB/sec but realistically for whatever reason I don't get that. I assume it's the smaller files that slow things down, it seems like when I read or paste from something like pictures, mp3, or software the read speed is lower than if I copy a 25GB MKV.

So basically it's about 10.5 hours time (just like usual) But I want to monitor this one and see how long it really takes. 10.5 hours is just my guess. Should be done sometime in the early morning.

Then I want to add in a 4TB data drive and see how that effects things. I am curious what the impact will be.

Aside from removing my failed 2TB GREEN I removed the last few I had, I plan to use them in my mom's HTPC for storage instead of the 4TB drive.



I decided not to include any small drives (2TB or less) anymore in my pool, this frees up 3 HDD bays on my server for 3 more hard drives (I'm running out eek.gif )
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

How fast? How cheap? Which is top priority? What's your maximum budget? What's your minimum allowable performance?

Are you doing large sequential writes? Small random IO? Are you limited by noise, heat, space, power, or anything else?

Fast as possible. Too much is almost enough. Cheap as possible. Too cheap is almost cheap enough. I would say my budget is a couple hundred. Under $250 I'd say. I have drives now, but I could use them for storage if I got a better scratch disk solution. Not important or "need" at all, but simply something I "want".

I'd love (3) WD Velociraptors 1TB in RAID 0 with an SSD CACHE, but that is out of my budget. Probably something like (3) 1TB drives (7200rpm) with single 1TB platters and 64MB cache on them in RAID 0, and possibly with SSD cache too. That might work nice.

One thing I noticed on the 7200.14's is that if you beat them hard they seem to thermal throttle down or slow down. Sometimes I get what I would call a "bog" with them if I try to do too much at once.
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post #2702 of 4731 Old 01-28-2014, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Also worth noting that with the i7 the CPU does not seem to struggle much at all when doing parity calculation. Clearly a quad core is more than you need to get efficient Flexraid performance. My 2600k seems to hang out around only 50% and flutters back and forth from full clock speed (3500mhz) and something lower (1600mhz-2499mhz) with Intel's stepping technology and power saving features.




My old CPU actually would hit 100% on this same process ^
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post #2703 of 4731 Old 01-28-2014, 01:59 PM
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That K series chip isn't running at 4.5GHz. Something must be wrong.
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post #2704 of 4731 Old 01-28-2014, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That K series chip isn't running at 4.5GHz. Something must be wrong.

Lol. I know. I sure feels that way. It's a Sandy bridge too, so you could really beat on it. tongue.gif
I made the conscious effort to just install it and leave it alone on "auto" everything. 1600mhz RAM. I left the clock speed in the BIOS on auto, and I did not install the Asrock tune or overclock software. I did not even boost the "turbo" setting.

I actually am happy to see it stays under 3ghz most of the time even when stuff is happening. I have a feeling that it's actually going to be more efficient on energy than my dual core considering that was tapped out at 100% on many things rather often.

I can actually feel the difference pretty easily between the two, even over a remote session. I'm hoping I will get better transcoding and performance from MBserver.
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post #2705 of 4731 Old 01-28-2014, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Fast as possible. Too much is almost enough. Cheap as possible. Too cheap is almost cheap enough. I would say my budget is a couple hundred. Under $250 I'd say. I have drives now, but I could use them for storage if I got a better scratch disk solution. Not important or "need" at all, but simply something I "want".

I'd love (3) WD Velociraptors 1TB in RAID 0 with an SSD CACHE, but that is out of my budget. Probably something like (3) 1TB drives (7200rpm) with single 1TB platters and 64MB cache on them in RAID 0, and possibly with SSD cache too. That might work nice.

One thing I noticed on the 7200.14's is that if you beat them hard they seem to thermal throttle down or slow down. Sometimes I get what I would call a "bog" with them if I try to do too much at once.

Do you actually have some purpose for this scratch disk, or is it just an excuse to say "Bigger better faster more!" and grunt like Tim Allen? What is your intended use for the scratch disk? Is the focus sequential writes? Sequential reads? Small random I/O? What are you doing with it?

I get that you want the best of everything, but that's not realistically going to happen. Realistically you're going to have to compromise on the cost, and the speed, and the size. So knowing that those sacrifices are inevitable, what is the minimum capacity that you require? What is the minimum performance you're expecting?

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #2706 of 4731 Old 01-28-2014, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

Do you actually have some purpose for this scratch disk, or is it just an excuse to say "Bigger better faster more!" and grunt like Tim Allen? What is your intended use for the scratch disk? Is the focus sequential writes? Sequential reads? Small random I/O? What are you doing with it?

I get that you want the best of everything, but that's not realistically going to happen. Realistically you're going to have to compromise on the cost, and the speed, and the size. So knowing that those sacrifices are inevitable, what is the minimum capacity that you require? What is the minimum performance you're expecting?

I do pretty much everything with it. This is my workstation scratch disk. It must be at least 3TB like I said, and I would like it to be as fast and high performance as possible for about $250. I'm ok with buying a few smaller drives and running them in RAID0 rather than buying one single fast big hard drive.

I do lots of winrar. By lots I mean literally every single day, sometimes full BR ISO's. Sometimes 15-25 sessions of winrar at once, (or waiting in queue ). I do lots other stuff but this should be enough to give you an idea of why I want it. There will literally be terabytes of data moved on and off as well, I use this for MCM before placing any media on my server for storage. I do lots of stuff often while I wait for it (like a small copy paste of 50GB) so the speed is important.

Funny because as I say this I see this bad boy is going on sale with Newegg SHELL SHOCKER Special in 34 minutes:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822149382

not as good as I would hope for but if price is low enough 4 in RAID 0 might get me some decent scaled performance.

I also need to buy relatively soon two video cards for gaming. I have my eye on the R9 270X. Anyone know any deals ?
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post #2707 of 4731 Old 01-30-2014, 05:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It ended up going on shell shocker for only $5 discount, not enough to temp me. ^

Still searching for an R9 270 or 270x deal.

Flexraid took 11 hours to finish all 38TB. I'm up and running again biggrin.gif.
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post #2708 of 4731 Old 01-30-2014, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

It ended up going on shell shocker for only $5 discount, not enough to temp me. ^

Still searching for an R9 270 or 270x deal.

Flexraid took 11 hours to finish all 38TB. I'm up and running again biggrin.gif.

I think I might be on the look out for a new video card as well for my HTPC. My 6450 isn't up to madvr and I would like something that can do the highest setting for video @ 1080P
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post #2709 of 4731 Old 01-30-2014, 05:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I might be on the look out for a new video card as well for my HTPC. My 6450 isn't up to madvr and I would like something that can do the highest setting for video @ 1080P

You probably don't need two 270Xs. I'd look for an R7 260 for about $100

Andy Steb uses the old version and reports great luck with it (HD7770)

It should do well with everything except high Frame rate 1080p (60fps) and actually is just barley enough for that just in case.
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post #2710 of 4731 Old 01-30-2014, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

You probably don't need two 270Xs. I'd look for an R7 260 for about $100

Andy Steb uses the old version and reports great luck with it (HD7770)

It should do well with everything except high Frame rate 1080p (60fps) and actually is just barley enough for that just in case.

Why would I need 2?

I would like it to handle all 1080P. Just not worried about 4K.
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post #2711 of 4731 Old 01-30-2014, 06:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Why would I need 2?

I would like it to handle all 1080P. Just not worried about 4K.

You don't! biggrin.gif I was making comment coming from my expressing I am shopping for two R7 260X's currently and then you say you want to upgrade your video card to something better as in what I am shopping for might not help you too much, and rather you should look for a deal on a single R7 260 or HD7770/HD7790 which is much cheaper and enough for your needs.

Sorry it made sense in my head when I typed it. tongue.gif
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post #2712 of 4731 Old 01-30-2014, 06:31 AM
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You don't! biggrin.gif I was making comment coming from my expressing I am shopping for two R7 260X's currently and then you say you want to upgrade your video card to something better as in what I am shopping for might not help you too much, and rather you should look for a deal on a single R7 260 or HD7770/HD7790 which is much cheaper and enough for your needs.

Sorry it made sense in my head when I typed it. tongue.gif

I'm the one who is sorry. After I read your post again I figured it out :P

My CPU for my HTPC is an icore2100 so I guess I'm somewhat CPU limited for SVP if I decide to play with that.

$100.00 is my goal
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post #2713 of 4731 Old 01-30-2014, 07:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You can add something like a 7770ghz or 7790 (new models called R7 260 and R7 260X) and get wonderful MadVR performance with your i3 2100 (your 6450 Radeon is barely better than your i3 iGPU).

For SVP you will be limited to perhaps level 2/3 ??? Just guessing. I never tried running it on less than an i5 3570k. My 3570k, my 2600k, and my 4770K all do it well. The 4470K does it rather easily, and the 3570K can and will struggle with MadVR going too. But I don't overclock it, and that would provide plenty of head room if I wanted to tolerate the noise.

Comment on the above further:^

I've had it in the back of my mind to upgrade my HTPC cooler and mess around with the clock, but I never do. I kind of want to overclock it (and crank up the turbo boost) and install a good big CPU cooler that is still quiet under normal video playback load. I was considering popping the top and de-lidding it to get that extra cool performance- and this should allow me a better SVP and MADVR experience without getting too hot or too noisy. But I never do, and I only use SVP on some media (newer stuff with CGI or Animation) which I playback manually. I would need to remove the HTPC mobo to install a better cooler which is the main reason why (aside from the work of de lid and rebuild it's also the cost of new parts) I probably will do this when I rebuild next time and upgrade my case and GPU card. But I will be looking for QUIET and COOL as a priority in my task so I will likely use a moderate OC only with emphasis on more performance and being quieter and cooler than stock under normal load. Interesting project- I think I could pull it off. Too bad so many around here seem to hate such a thing thinking it has no place in HTPC. I guess it really does if you do it right, and don't just chase a higher clock speed for the sport of it.

I have my MPC-HC set up to rock and roll with SVP, but I don't have it set as an external player, which means I need to manually play the movie back to use SVP. This is fine for me, and wife doesn't know the difference. Too bad Mediabrowser3 theater did not support SVP or have an on and off toggle for it. That would be utlra sweet and I think I would use it a lot more in that case.
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post #2714 of 4731 Old 01-30-2014, 07:42 AM
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Sounds like either of those video cards will serve me well. I don't want to upgrade my HTPC CPU so whatever SVP I get will be bonus.

On the new server side:
1. How do I enable the power saving features of the cpu? My hydro bill had gotten insane so I need to start getting my usage down.
2. Where do I input the ram numbers in BIOS . IE 10-12-12-31-2N for mine.
3. Anything else I should tweak in BIOS?

The overclocking sounds like a cool project but way over my head :P

I would love the ability in Mediabrowser3 to set a flag in the movie file to over ride the external player settings and tell the movie to play with a certain player. I have some ISO's I want played with MPC-HC and others I want TMT 5 to play. Same with mp4 files. Right now I want the internal player to handle all mp4 files for video backdrops, but that makes the rest of my mp4's unplayable with the internal player for me due to another issue. Possibly the same could be done for SVP.
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post #2715 of 4731 Old 01-30-2014, 07:54 AM
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The "flag" idea for external player is pretty cool idea. You should suggest that to Luke!

As for RAM question usually the best way is to just enable the XMP profile from the ram stick which should tell the mobo the optimum settings (speed and timings) of your RAM sticks. You can of coarse do this manually too in the BIOS if that doesn't work (but it should)

What motherboard and RAM ? This worked fine for me most times, It works fine on my TRIDENT X and my Asrock Extreme4 Z87 and it also worked fine on my Z77 and 3570K.

For power saving features you want to enable them, and set windows on that profile. This will allow your CPU to downclock and undervolt in periods of low activity (you can drop as low as 800mhz I think) and you can test this out with CPU-Z to verify http://www.cpuid.com/downloads/cpu-z/1.68-setup-en.exe

Thanks for the info. Do I have to enable that in BIOS or just set the plan in windows?
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post #2716 of 4731 Old 01-30-2014, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by shepP View Post

Sounds like either of those video cards will serve me well. I don't want to upgrade my HTPC CPU so whatever SVP I get will be bonus.

On the new server side:
1. How do I enable the power saving features of the cpu? My hydro bill had gotten insane so I need to start getting my usage down.
2. Where do I input the ram numbers in BIOS . IE 10-12-12-31-2N for mine.
3. Anything else I should tweak in BIOS?

The overclocking sounds like a cool project but way over my head :P

I would love the ability in Mediabrowser3 to set a flag in the movie file to over ride the external player settings and tell the movie to play with a certain player. I have some ISO's I want played with MPC-HC and others I want TMT 5 to play. Same with mp4 files. Right now I want the internal player to handle all mp4 files for video backdrops, but that makes the rest of my mp4's unplayable with the internal player for me due to another issue. Possibly the same could be done for SVP.

The "flag" idea for external player is pretty cool idea. You should suggest that to Luke!

As for RAM question usually the best way is to just enable the XMP profile from the ram stick which should tell the mobo the optimum settings (speed and timings) of your RAM sticks. You can of coarse do this manually too in the BIOS if that doesn't work (but it should)

What motherboard and RAM ? This worked fine for me most times, It works fine on my TRIDENT X and my Asrock Extreme4 Z87 and it also worked fine on my Z77 and 3570K.

For power saving features you want to enable them, and set windows on that profile. This will allow your CPU to downclock and undervolt in periods of low activity (you can drop as low as 800mhz I think) and you can test this out with CPU-Z to verify http://www.cpuid.com/downloads/cpu-z/1.68-setup-en.exe




That should allow you much better efficiency especially on a machine that is not running hard 24/7 but remains on. Haswell is actually very efficient at this (and also sleep states) so the energy isn't a big deal even on a powerful chip if you set it up right.
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post #2717 of 4731 Old 01-30-2014, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info. Do I have to enable that in BIOS or just set the plan in windows?

The XMP PROFILE ?

It's built into the RAM stick. You should be able to enable this in the BIOS and the BIOS will import the XMP profile. Some RAM sticks have more than one profile so you can choose which one. That's a pretty safe way to run your RAM how you should, rather than let it default to something that is the default like 1333mhz or whatever. All this stuff is different based on what motherboard and mobo chipset you have, what CPU and also what RAM sticks.

You can read your XMP profile with the link for CPU-Z I gave above (cool program)

Just click the Memory Tab and it should show you what that is for your hardware. You can also see not just what the XMP profile is, but what you are actually running (verify)



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post #2718 of 4731 Old 01-30-2014, 08:08 AM
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Sorry I meant do I have to enable anything in bios for the Power Saver Plan on WHS 2011. I will dl cpuz and see what it says now.
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post #2719 of 4731 Old 01-30-2014, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry I meant do I have to enable anything in bios for the Power Saver Plan on WHS 2011. I will dl cpuz and see what it says now.

Depending on the motherboard possibly, but often these are "defaults" too. Disabling it would mean you prevent it from downclocking and it would run at the full clock speed all the time. You should and want the energy save modes all enabled so I would just double check in your BIOS. What motherboard ???

Also set your power managment in WHS/Windows to allow energy saving (but still run 24/7 and not sleep which is different)

If you have say a 3+ghz CPU and you see it running at say 1600mhz then you should be good... if you open something heavy like a program launch and watch CPU-Z you should see the clock speed jump up as demand is needed.
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post #2720 of 4731 Old 01-30-2014, 08:18 AM
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Ram looks pretty close except my NB Frequency is 799.5 MHz while yours says 2399.4 and my DRAM Frequncy is 1199.4 while yours is 2399.4.
My CPU looked similar to yours. The core speed should be 799.53 when it's idle?

Motherboard is same as yours - extreme3.
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post #2721 of 4731 Old 01-30-2014, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Those can move around if you have power saving on.. see if you open a task if they change or they are fixed. CPU won't always be 800mhz... it will jump up when needed. I would not worry about the change either, that's just math of the bus and multiplier. 799.xx is basically 800mhz. The change is not that important and you should not expect your system to be identical to mine, just close enough to round up or down.

BTW that was just my desktop... I am on. Not my server. My server is Z77 Extreme3 and 2600k i7. My desktop is Z87 Extreme4 and 4770k i7. They are slightly different. I posted both, one for another reason earlier. One for you as example. Your settings do not have to match mine, as long as they match up with what they should be. Example: If you only have 1600mhz ram, you should not expect 2400mhz speed from it.
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Well I have 2400mhz ram and it looks like it says my dram is 1200. I'm thinking that is a bad thing? CPU is icore 4670 and board is z87 extreme3
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Well I have 2400mhz ram and it looks like it says my dram is 1200. I'm thinking that is a bad thing? CPU is icore 4670 and board is z87 extreme3

You should first check your bios and see what you have for ram settings. If you can enable the XMP profile and boot up and try that again that should be your best choice. It should show in both the BIOS and windows what speed you have. 1200+1200=2400 You are probably ok assuming your BIOS settings are correct. I would just double check that to be sure.



Also check to see if any of these change or are stagnant in CPU-Z. Your north bridge frequency will change with your clock speed. If you chip is in turbo boost it will go even higher and it will drop lower when your CPU is idle. Try doing something CPU intensive while you watch CPU-Z and you should see the changes... I doubt anything is wrong with your system. If you have the BIOS set right everything should work itself out right, that's really the only thing you need to check. Z87 Asrock , 4670 and 2400mhz should all work really nice together. 800mhz is likely your idle speed, and with turbo boost you might hit 3500mhz+ under heavy load. Try WINRAR something from and to your SSD that should give your CPU a workout. As far as BIOS everything on "auto" is probably a safe bet. You can try the Asrock overclock tune software if you want to mess around, then turn it off for normal use if you wanted guidance(of the software) in doing it. I'd probably just leave everything on "auto" and live happily every after though.

Your RAM should not change but your CPU settings will. Once ram is set right and confirmed to be correct this isn't something you need to worry about. With Intel Stepping technology your CPU will raise and lower in clock speed based on demand in an effort to conserve energy. I think everything is fine with your system.

http://saviry.com/deal/475029

That is a decent deal on a GPU card (although I never used this myself)
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post #2724 of 4731 Old 01-31-2014, 08:09 PM
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I am posting here since you seem to be a major proponent of Flexraid and pretty damn experienced with it at this point.

Essentially its time to do some upgrading/changing and I am looking at Flexraid as the major change.

Current build
Norco 4224
3ware 9650se-12ml with 12 2TB drives in a Raid 6 array (call it array #1)
3ware 9650se-8ml with 8 2TB drives in a Raid 6 array (call it array #2)
Supermicro board with a core2 duo chip 8gb ram
Corsair 850W PS
Windows 7 Pro
250gb Laptop drive (OS only drive running off a port on the mobo)
1 2TB drive running off the mobo SATA which is used for photos, data etc that is critical not to lose (backed up regularly with an external drive)
Gigabit LAN


I currently use the server as a media server feeding the 4TVs in the house - (Dune player, and 4 Roku 3s - perhaps changing them to HTPCs). Most of the collection is mkv bluray rips (movie only) and then about 11TB of TV shows).

I do use the server to run JRiver outputting to another TV that is used to be a touchscreen jukebox and digital picture frame.


Essentially I need to move up to larger drives and but cannot afford to do it all at once which would be the best way with hardware raid. I am now thinking FlexRaid is the way to go (but naturally nervous about going "software" vs "hardware").

My thoughts are as follows:

New mobo, CPU and Ram (Microcenter special ASROCK Z87 Extreme 4, i5-4670K, Noctua fan, 8GB Corsair ram)
Stick with the Norco 4224 (reluctantly)
Stick with the Corsair PS

Now grab FlexRaid unlimited
IBM 1015 card (should I go for 2 cards at $100 each or am I better off with one 1015 and an expander card) - flash the card as others have suggested
Grab about 6 4TB drives (about all my budget can handle right this min)


Would this be the best way to go for my usage and am being all nervous about going from hardware Raid 6 to FlexRaid for no reason?

I will still maintain a separate dedicated drive for the stuff that cannot be replaced and back it up with an external drive. All the rips can be redone of course as I keep my media in binders.


If I should go with the expander card what the heck should I get as a google search for IBM 1015 expander card doesn't yield much


Thanks for your time and thoughts.

Greg

FYI I will still most likely run Windows 7 Pro vs anything else since I need to run JRiver from it and also use capture software and an HDPVR to transfer recorded movies from a DTV DVR to my server for keeping

Also would I be risking too much to use something like Seagate ST4000DM000 (ie not the NAS drives) to save money or are the WD Red drives going to be that much of a better option

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post #2725 of 4731 Old 02-01-2014, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

You should first check your bios and see what you have for ram settings. If you can enable the XMP profile and boot up and try that again that should be your best choice. It should show in both the BIOS and windows what speed you have. 1200+1200=2400 You are probably ok assuming your BIOS settings are correct. I would just double check that to be sure.



Also check to see if any of these change or are stagnant in CPU-Z. Your north bridge frequency will change with your clock speed. If you chip is in turbo boost it will go even higher and it will drop lower when your CPU is idle. Try doing something CPU intensive while you watch CPU-Z and you should see the changes... I doubt anything is wrong with your system. If you have the BIOS set right everything should work itself out right, that's really the only thing you need to check. Z87 Asrock , 4670 and 2400mhz should all work really nice together. 800mhz is likely your idle speed, and with turbo boost you might hit 3500mhz+ under heavy load. Try WINRAR something from and to your SSD that should give your CPU a workout. As far as BIOS everything on "auto" is probably a safe bet. You can try the Asrock overclock tune software if you want to mess around, then turn it off for normal use if you wanted guidance(of the software) in doing it. I'd probably just leave everything on "auto" and live happily every after though.

Your RAM should not change but your CPU settings will. Once ram is set right and confirmed to be correct this isn't something you need to worry about. With Intel Stepping technology your CPU will raise and lower in clock speed based on demand in an effort to conserve energy. I think everything is fine with your system.

http://saviry.com/deal/475029

That is a decent deal on a GPU card (although I never used this myself)

DOH! I missed that deal link :P I checked in bios and set the ram to one of the2 xmp profiles (it was set to auto before and both profiles looked the same to me) and set dram frequency to 2400 (it was already set to that). Nothing has changed after my reboot so I'm guessing it's all good. Thanks for the help.
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DOH! I missed that deal link :P I checked in bios and set the ram to one of the2 xmp profiles (it was set to auto before and both profiles looked the same to me) and set dram frequency to 2400 (it was already set to that). Nothing has changed after my reboot so I'm guessing it's all good. Thanks for the help.

It sounds like everything is fine biggrin.gif That's a nice server machine you have. It should do everything very well. Did you install WHS or Windows ?
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post #2727 of 4731 Old 02-01-2014, 09:14 AM
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It sounds like everything is fine biggrin.gif That's a nice server machine you have. It should do everything very well. Did you install WHS or Windows ?

WHS 2011.

I haven't tested it much yet. I should try playing a 3d bluray today in the theatre and start by seeing if one of the IOS devices can watch something with MB3 client. Only thing I don't like is I can't seem to disconnect the ios device from the server. It still shows up after I close the app, even after I reboot the device. In my prior system it would also leave an instance of transcoding running (ffpmpeg or what it is). I will have to see if it still does the same.
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Essentially I need to move up to larger drives and but cannot afford to do it all at once which would be the best way with hardware raid. I am now thinking FlexRaid is the way to go (but naturally nervous about going "software" vs "hardware").


The good thing about Flexraid is that your data is readable in any system, and you can remove a drive (even if the server or hardware has failed) and copy from it later. You can also add full drives or drives with data on them and not lose any data. These are the two big advantages that make it great for a media server, especially if you want to grow as you go. Hardware RAID you need to be all in up front, which can be costly, and it’s less flexible to add on or grow.
I would imagine the tricky part would be how to get the data you have from your current array to the new Flexraid array, - the easiest way would build the new machine and copy over to it. As you copy it all you could then break down your old hardware array and even re-add those drives as empty data drives in your flexraid server. Or you could sell them used and re-coup some cost, replacing them with the bigger variety sizes of today.

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Originally Posted by GCS View Post

My thoughts are as follows:
New mobo, CPU and Ram (Microcenter special ASROCK Z87 Extreme 4, i5-4670K, Noctua fan, 8GB Corsair ram)
Stick with the Norco 4224 (reluctantly)
Stick with the Corsair PS
Now grab FlexRaid unlimited
IBM 1015 card (should I go for 2 cards at $100 each or am I better off with one 1015 and an expander card) - flash the card as others have suggested
Grab about 6 4TB drives (about all my budget can handle right this min)
Would this be the best way to go for my usage and am being all nervous about going from hardware Raid 6 to FlexRaid for no reason?


There isn’t much to be nervous about Flexraid IMO, except for the natural part it is mostly unknown to you. But that would go away once you get your feet wet. Flexraid is just like hardware RAID when it comes to fault tolerance levels. You can keep adding parity drives to provide additional protection for multiple simultaneous hard drive failures until you reach the level of protection you desire. You can also upgrade this later, meaning you can start with 1 or 2 parity drives, and upgrade to a 3rd drive at a later date when you feel you need it.

As far as cards go, I would check out the IBM (and flash it, my guide and record of me doing it was earlier in this thread, PM me if you need to find it). Your other options would be the DELL card. Both would work, I have used both. I would suggest whatever you find a better deal on, they are mostly the same. If you wanted to buy a flashed card Andy Steb or Techmattr would probably sell you a pre-flashed card for a good price. That would save you the trouble and hassle of flashing it. I got my DELL from Andy after I bricked my IBM being a braind dead bone head.

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I will still maintain a separate dedicated drive for the stuff that cannot be replaced and back it up with an external drive. All the rips can be redone of course as I keep my media in binders.


This seems smart. I do this now, with drives in my server but not part of the array. I just simply copy to them as a duplicate just in case. Very easy to do. Just don’t include the drive in the FLEXRAID pool. Or remove it later- then copy back the info from the removed drive to the pool. It is easy to add or remove a drive in flexraid. I like to have a drive separate from my Flexraid pool with our pictures on it just in case.


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If I should go with the expander card what the heck should I get as a google search for IBM 1015 expander card doesn't yield much


I would go with dual cards. They are cheap enough and easy enough to install. I use dual cards and it works fine. I had a DELL and IBM running, and now I have two DELL running. An expander costs as much or more so I don’t see the point.

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FYI I will still most likely run Windows 7 Pro vs anything else since I need to run JRiver from it and also use capture software and an HDPVR to transfer recorded movies from a DTV DVR to my server for keeping


Windows 7 would work fine with Flexraid. No problems there. Actually upgrading your OS with Flexraid isn’t so hard. Just delete Flexraid array and bring all your drives back to normal non pooled status. Clean install right over the old OS a new OS like Windows 8, then re-install Flexraid and set it up again on the drives. I did this with a swapping out of SSD OS drives and it worked great (except I never even got to delete the old flexraid array since my SSD died) and that was a nice thing about Flexraid is that is handled such a thing with ease and no data loss.

Quote:
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Also would I be risking too much to use something like Seagate ST4000DM000 (ie not the NAS drives) to save money or are the WD Red drives going to be that much of a better option

I hate the WD RED drives (everyone knows this) so you won’t get a favorable opinion from me on them. Personally I would be inclined (and have) to use the 4TB Seagate. I have one for my parity drive now (I replaced a WD GREEN 3TB)

For your parity drive it does not seem to matter the speed because the write speed of the parity drive is likely faster than the slowest read speed of your drives- I seem to get read speeds about 80-100MB/sec and I do have a 3TB GREEN drive still in my array which I suspect is my weak link. Your parity time is based on your slowest drive speed and amount of data on your drives. Basically whatever drive reads the slowest over that period is the effective speed you realize. So if you have five drives with 100MB/sec read times, and one drive with only a 50MB/sec read time you will get the slower read speed when running parity updates since Flexraid has to wait for your slowest drive.

I find that the data being read also matters and effects the read speed. For example reading something like a file folder installable version of MS office or Windows 7 is slower than reading an MKV file because of the complexity and size of the various files being read. Lots of small files copy and read much slower than a single big file, pictures, MP3’s, and software will have slower results than a BR rip. So in this circumstance the slower hard drive might not be your weak link, even though it’s slower- because a faster hard drive might be going slower because of the data it’s reading. But generally my slowest drive is my 3TB GREEN WD 5400RPM drive and it reads about 80/MB sec and that is basically what I seem to get from my Flexraid array when doing parity. I can't say for sure that’s my bottle neck but it seems to make sense. At some point I plan to replace it with a 7200rpm and see what happens. I did notice that when I removed my 2TB WD GREEN 5400rpm drives my parity calculation time shot up from about 65MB/sec to about 80/90MB/sec so obviously there is some positive benefits to choosing a fast drive on parity times.

We have argued these minor issues before and some feel like it’s not a big deal how long it takes, others like me like to have the process done while you are sleeping so when you go to use your server it’s always available. If you copy data or move or change data during parity process it can decrease the integrity of your parity process, so it’s best not to do it while it is running. The choice is to have it run when you won’t use your server for anything, or you can actually stop the process do your thing, then run it again when you are done. This isn’t a big deal, but I do like faster drives for Flexraid because I appreciate the performance. If someone did not appreciate the performance, or perhaps they appreciated the extra energy savings from a WD RED 5400RPM that’s ok too. Different strokes for different folks. Although the Seagate 4TB you specifically speak of is as good or better on energy as a WD RED depending on what specific Seagate model you are looking at. The 1TB platter version and the NAS specific version use 4.9watts or 4.0 watts, which is excellent.

I have chosen to use the Seagate 7200.14 3TB for most of my drives because over the past year or two they have consistently been the cheapest per TB ($79-109 each 3TB Drive) and they perform better than just about everything. I have 20 of these, and probably used another 20 in other builds and I have never RMA one yet. This seems at odds with the recent BackBlaze study which is suggesting a 8.9% failure rate.

If you really wanted to make a choice for a reliable drive I would probably tend to think Hitachi is the top choice. The 7200RPM 3TB and 4TB models (k4000) are unarguably both awesome at performance and reliability. They have a statistical advantage in that Backblaze study that shows them quite superior, and unlike the WD RED (which was higher in failure rate) they used thousands and thousands of those Hitachi drives for a long period of time (1.5-2 years) versus only 346 of the WD RED models with average age only .5 years. Since the WD RED is slower than the HITACHI, and since the data suggests the Hitachi is the choice from a reliability perspective I would probably suggest that as your “reliable” option if that is your motivation. They come with 5 year warranty and a 2 million MTBF rating (RED is only 1 million and 3 year warranty) and the GREAT NEWS is they cost the same price!

So to me I would suggest you can either go the low cost route (which is probably Seagate) or you can spend extra from a reliability anxiety concern. If you want to spend the premium for a drive I would suggest the Hitachi is the better choice over the WD RED because it’s basically the same price and a better hard drive.

I just started buying these myself, and honestly I did not know too much about them until that backblaze study got me interested. I found that they are available as externals at staples for about $169 for the 4TB if you catch a sale, and they are online for $150-$199 as OEM bare drives at many retailers. This puts them right in the price range of the WD RED 4TB and really not much more than the Seagate 4TB. I like 7200rpm drives a lot better anyways but the 5 year warranty and reliability evidence suggests they might be worth a few buck more too.

Microcenter carries the Hitachi : http://www.microcenter.com/product/384247/Deskstar_7K4000_4TB_7,200_RPM_SATA_60_Gb-s_35_Internal_Hard_Drive_HDS724040ALE640
It was on sale recently too, but the normal price is only $189 which I think is pretty good.

B+H has sales often too- you can check something like slickdeals.net for updates: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/835056-REG/Hitachi_0S03355_4TB_SATA3_3_5_INTERNL.html

Both have sales you might catch and could be a good option. Newegg is expensive on these.
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post #2729 of 4731 Old 02-01-2014, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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A bit older now, but this chart explains some differences. The Seagate 3TB is still the winner on cost and performance.



It's funny that I see the same consistent performance on the Seagate across reviews (Toms hardware, Storage review, Maximum PC, Anand, and MadShrimps) @ almost always 155MB/sec or pretty close.

In contrast I see the WD RED results can vary as much as 20MB/sec from one review to another, some seem to read high and some low. Hitachi seems the same way, I have seen it reported as fast as 150MB/sec and as slow as 130MB/sec as well.

Here is a good article on the Hitachi:
http://www.madshrimps.be/articles/article/1000500/HGST-Ultrastar-7K4000-3.5-inch-4TB-7200-RPM-HDD-Review/1#axzz2s5y7wRpI

Here is what Madshrimp saw : (more than maximum PC)







You can also look for the Toshiba 3TB models which are also 7200rpm and about the same price as the Seagate, and they perform almost as well.

These Toshiba models are a rebranded Hitachi, and made in the WD plant. They sell for about $105 on sale at newegg each and would be a great choice as well.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822149408

I bought a coupe of these hard drives and I find them on par with the Seagate 3TB models that I love. I seem to be disappointed with every 5400rpm I touch. There is much better ways to improve thermals and noise and energy consumption than reducing the spindle speed. Look at the new Hitachi models that are 3TB or 4TB (or the Seagates) and they are basically right there without giving up the performance.
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post #2730 of 4731 Old 02-01-2014, 11:00 AM
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Thanks for the very detailed response ... its this kind of info I was looking for to be honest.

7200 vs 5400 - the old debate LOL.

With the possibility of as many as 24 drives in the Norco case I am worried about the noise and heat from using 7200 drives. I do like the pricing of the 3TB 7200.14 though ($115 currently at newegg) of course I feel like I am leaving something on the table by not going 4TB lol.

Also I have a chance to grab 5 fairly new Seagate ST4000DM000s for about $600 so its hard not to consider those. Guess I could start with them and go from there.

It sounds like you abdicate going with the largest parity drive I can afford (and the fastest)? So a 4TB 7200RPM would be best?


Hitachi drives ... honestly hadn't considered them but I see B&H has them on sale for $151 right now http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/835055-REG/Hitachi_0S03359_4TB_Internal_Hard_Drive.html (they are the 5400rpm ones though) -- any thoughts??


Additional cards vs Expander - my only concern here is that the 1015s only allow hook up of 8 drives and they need a PCI slot for each card. The expander would allow up to what 24 drives + 4 on the 1015 I think (once the expander is attached)? The Norco holds 24 drives total so 2 1015s would only allow 16 drives in total so I would need a third card and that would eat up all PCI-e slots on this board as I recall.


My plan is straightforward.

I will remove the old board/cpu/ram install the new.
remove one array completely (the smaller one)
Install a fresh Windows 7 X64 on a new 74gb Plextor msata drive I have (back up media browser and plex first of course)
Install new drives in the Norco (at least 6-8 4TB drives or equivalent "capacity wise" 3TB drives)
Install flexraid and once ready copy all the data from the main array to this new flexraid array
Once that is done remove the main array install the secondary smaller array and copy to the flexraid array

Sell off all old hardware for whatever I can get to offset some of these costs and live with the capacity I will have for the time being until I can save up and purchase additional (hence the flexibility of Flexraid is starting to make a lot of sense)

I will most likely start with 1 parity drive to save a few dollars now but eventually I want at least 2 parity drives (maybe 3 as I really raise the capacity)

Of course I will still keep my pertinent data/photo drive separate from the flexraid set up.

Greg

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