Best solution for having 10-15 hard drives - AVS Forum
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I have about 5 3tb hard drives and I ran out of space in my current HTPC which has a asus xonar 1.3 deluxe and daughter card(uses 2 pci slots) and a gt440 video card. I only download 1080ps and play them from my HTPC connected to the projector.
I don't have any other tvs in the house and
I'm pretty sure the internal wiring in the house is not Cat 6

I want the option of having up to 20 drives or so in the future, as or as many as I can fit in a server rack, and as time goes on, add an additional server rack for more drives.

My current HTPC is micro atx and has no space for a PCIE card, and no available SATA spots.

Now I need your help with choosing an ATX board, PCU, and then figuring out the following

eSATA port multiplier
eSATA cards
Raid Card

These 3 choices are giving me a headache. I prefer Windows 7 because my home network is Win 7 and personal familiarity.

I have also considered the NAS option. The server I would have to put right next to the current HTPC, which is fine, but I haven't figured out how to connect it, since my router is in another part of the house, and the max transfer rates I get are 9mb per second MAX.

So basically, how would I add a NAS, or should i build a new machine and start to consider how to incorporate the following

eSATA port multiplier
eSATA cards
Raid Card



Thanks
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:30 PM
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Asrock Z87 Extreme 4 and 2 IBM M1015 or Dell H310 (flashed)
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

Asrock Z87 Extreme 4 and 2 IBM M1015 or Dell H310 (flashed)

This.

I agree.

I have an extreme 3 with two Dell cards and 20 hard drives in my flexraid server and it works great.

A single Dell or IBM card on an extreme 4 would give you 16 ports. 24 with a second card added.

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Old 12-29-2013, 08:25 AM
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+1

You also need a gigabit switch. You don't need Cat 6 wiring. If you want the server next to the HTPC, connect the 2 computers and internet connection with a switch. If you want the server in another part of the house, either replace your router or place the gigabit switch between the router and the rest of your house.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:46 PM
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I only have 2 PCs I am going to change to using 2 swappable data drives in each one The purpose of two drives is in case I want to copy files from one drive to another for backup not over the network. I have a netgear R6300 router on one computer and a Netgear A6200 on the other computer. The system is plenty fast for streaming Bluray. The reason I want to change to swappable drives is so that drives that are not currently being used are just stored not powered up. I had a drive failure a while back. I think I may be able to get longer drive life.
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Great. Thanks. What CPU to get?


i have the Cisco-Linksys E4200 Dual and an ethernet switch which has 16 10/100/1000 mbps ethernet ports 2 buffer size mbits transfer capacity 23.8 mbps switching capactiy 32 gbps

however, my network speed is slow. Why don't i need cat 6 cables? how to check if its the ethernet, router, or mobo ethernet drivers/hardwire that isn't good enough?
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Old 12-30-2013, 06:07 AM
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Intel Pentium G3220 if all you want to do is share files. Intel Core i5-4670K if you want on the fly transcoding to portable devices.

You need to check your connection speed in windows. Gigabit requires all 4 pairs of wires. if you have a bad connection it will fall back to 100 Mbps. At 9 MB/s it really sounds like you are running at 100 Mbps

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Old 01-01-2014, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Gigabit requires all 4 pairs of wires. What does this mean?

I have only 100mbps connection according to my LAN status.

There are 4 components to the system

1. The wires. How to test the houses internal wires to see if they can carry 1000 mbps?
2. the motherboard ethernet port. how to tell if the mobo ethernet is too slow
3. the switch. how to test the speed of the switch? i bought it used, it might not be 1000mbps anymore
4. the router. the router was new and expensive, shouldn't be a problem, but i can check.

how to find out the weak link?

thanks so much.
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:52 AM
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You need a gigabit switch and cat5e or cat6 wires

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Old 01-01-2014, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkson View Post

Gigabit requires all 4 pairs of wires. What does this mean?
Inside of the Cat 5 or 6 jacket there are 4 pairs of wires, if one is broken you will only get 100 mb/s. Most often with inside wiring the bad connection is as the jacks

I have only 100mbps connection according to my LAN status.

There are 4 components to the system

1. The wires. How to test the houses internal wires to see if they can carry 1000 mbps?
Easiest way is to bypass the interior wiring. drag the computers into the same room and plug them into the router


2. the motherboard ethernet port. how to tell if the mobo ethernet is too slow
Windows Device Manager - What network cards do you have?


3. the switch. how to test the speed of the switch? i bought it used, it might not be 1000mbps anymore.
They usually work or they don't. It's not a managed switch is it?


4. the router. the router was new and expensive, shouldn't be a problem, but i can check.
Agreed, I doubt this is the problem


how to find out the weak link?

thanks so much.

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Old 01-01-2014, 03:01 PM
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You can also test the lan cable. Testers are cheap. Also- some motherboards have testers built in. Usually a feature in the bios. If your mobo has dual lan this is likely.

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Old 01-02-2014, 11:29 AM
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I bought one of these http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8511568&CatId=207 right after Christmas. Tiger had it for $105 shipped after AMEX refund and Tiger Direct rebates.

I just set it up yesterday with 4x 3 TB Seagates that I harvested from external enclosures. RAID5 has been building for at least 12 hours, overnight, and was at 30% done this morning when I checked. Unlike Windows 2000 Server RAID5, the volume is usable while it is being built. Even while building the volume, the access speeds seem acceptable, to me. About 60 to 80 MB/s transfer speeds over Gigabit Cat 5e wire.

I already have a Windows 2000 Server with 4x 2TB drives in 6 TB RAID5, and needed more storage.

I also have two of the smaller Lenovo ix2 units, with 2 drives, but for the price, 4 drive unit with RAID5 capability was a nobrainer.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:50 AM
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I'm using Sans Digital 5 bay box connected via esata and my PC is is on my home network.

QUOTE=blueiedgod;24149661]I bought one of these http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...1568&CatId=207 right after Christmas. Tiger had it for $105 shipped after AMEX refund and Tiger Direct rebates.

I just set it up yesterday with 4x 3 TB Seagates that I harvested from external enclosures. RAID5 has been building for at least 12 hours, overnight, and was at 30% done this morning when I checked. Unlike Windows 2000 Server RAID5, the volume is usable while it is being built. Even while building the volume, the access speeds seem acceptable, to me. About 60 to 80 MB/s transfer speeds over Gigabit Cat 5e wire.

I already have a Windows 2000 Server with 4x 2TB drives in 6 TB RAID5, and needed more storage.

I also have two of the smaller Lenovo ix2 units, with 2 drives, but for the price, 4 drive unit with RAID5 capability was a nobrainer.[/QUOTE]
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkson View Post
Gigabit requires all 4 pairs of wires. What does this mean?
Ethernet cabling (CAT5, CAT5E, or CAT6) has four twisted pairs of wires. 100mbps ethernet only uses two of the four pairs. Gigabit uses all four.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkson View Post
I have only 100mbps connection according to my LAN status.
You probably do not have gigabit ethernet controllers in the devices connected to your network. If you need to add one to your PC, get an Intel NIC (Network Interface Card).
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Old 07-09-2014, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
Quote:Originally Posted by A9X-308

Asrock Z87 Extreme 4 and 2 IBM M1015 or Dell H310 (flashed)


This.

I agree.

I have an extreme 3 with two Dell cards and 20 hard drives in my flexraid server and it works great.

A single Dell or IBM card on an extreme 4 would give you 16 ports. 24 with a second card added.
Hi guys,


Have a quick question on the Dell card.........what do you mean by flashed? obviously that means some kind of firmware upgrade but is it something a DIY'er can do by themselves or need help? Just trying to think ahead as I will need to add a PCI-e card for extra SATA ports and keep hearing about SAS cards.


Thanks,
Toys


PS - didn't mean to hijack the thread.......................

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Old 07-09-2014, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Toys7505 View Post
Have a quick question on the Dell card.........what do you mean by flashed? obviously that means some kind of firmware upgrade but is it something a DIY'er can do by themselves or need help? Just trying to think ahead as I will need to add a PCI-e card for extra SATA ports and keep hearing about SAS cards
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toys7505 View Post
Hi guys,

Have a quick question on the Dell card.........what do you mean by flashed? obviously that means some kind of firmware upgrade but is it something a DIY'er can do by themselves or need help? Just trying to think ahead as I will need to add a PCI-e card for extra SATA ports and keep hearing about SAS cards.

Thanks,
Toys

PS - didn't mean to hijack the thread.......................
AVS member techmattr has a guide here http://techmattr.wordpress.com/2013/...ng-to-it-mode/
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:06 PM
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Beat me to it...
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:45 PM
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What is the advantage of those IBM or Dell cards as opposed to a PCI Express SATA card? Or one of the Sans Digital eSATA port multiplier boxes?
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:52 PM
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What is the advantage of those IBM or Dell cards as opposed to a PCI Express SATA card? Or one of the Sans Digital eSATA port multiplier boxes?
Price per port
Slots per port
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:02 AM
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What is the advantage of those IBM or Dell cards as opposed to a PCI Express SATA card? Or one of the Sans Digital eSATA port multiplier boxes?
PCIe SATA cards typically have cheap unreliable chipsets that yield poor performance. Drives dropping offline and data corruption is common with those cards. eSATA port multipliers are funneling all connections into a single SATA port. In addition to the chipsets involved being poor performers they also create a crippling bottleneck. The SAS2 connector on the IBM/Dell/LSI cards has 4 lanes capable of 6Gbps each while an eSATA port multiplier funnels into a single lane with a total of 6Gbps.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:05 PM
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PCIe SATA cards typically have cheap unreliable chipsets that yield poor performance. Drives dropping offline and data corruption is common with those cards. eSATA port multipliers are funneling all connections into a single SATA port. In addition to the chipsets involved being poor performers they also create a crippling bottleneck. The SAS2 connector on the IBM/Dell/LSI cards has 4 lanes capable of 6Gbps each while an eSATA port multiplier funnels into a single lane with a total of 6Gbps.
Thanks. I kind of figured that would be the case with PCIe cards since so many of them have terrible reviews, and I used to see a few for $20-30 and then some that were $100+, making me think the cheap ones used garbage parts.

I've had pretty good luck (knock on wood) with the eSATA port multiplier boxes, one Sans Digital and one Rosewill, and they are pretty convenient as far as hotswap, easy install of drives, cooling fan, etc. My Flexraid array is all running on drives in those two boxes, and read/write performance is fine. Some things got a lot slower when I moved to Flexraid like rescanning my Subsonic library, but I think that's a Flexraid issue not a bottleneck in the eSATA box.

I'm in the process of building a new media server and saw a lot of people talking about the Dell/IBM HBA cards and was curious if it was something I should invest in. For now I have enough SATA ports on my new server motherboard (and drives are much bigger) that I don't need to worry about it, but might need to get one of those cards down the road.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronMilwaukee View Post
I've had pretty good luck (knock on wood) with the eSATA port multiplier boxes, one Sans Digital and one Rosewill, and they are pretty convenient as far as hotswap, easy install of drives, cooling fan, etc. My Flexraid array is all running on drives in those two boxes, and read/write performance is fine.
That's pretty impressive actually. Not too surprising for the SansDigital as they typically use quality part but they are typically a bit pricier as well. Rosewill is pretty inconsistent with quality. It's good that you're happy with it but you never know what you're going to get from them.
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Old 07-12-2014, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techmattr View Post
PCIe SATA cards typically have cheap unreliable chipsets that yield poor performance. Drives dropping offline and data corruption is common with those cards. eSATA port multipliers are funneling all connections into a single SATA port. In addition to the chipsets involved being poor performers they also create a crippling bottleneck. The SAS2 connector on the IBM/Dell/LSI cards has 4 lanes capable of 6Gbps each while an eSATA port multiplier funnels into a single lane with a total of 6Gbps.
I agree 100% with this statement. I bought two cheap cards for mt 21 drive server and had constant drops with corrupted data. I finally upgraded to quality card a year and a half ago and have zero drops
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:18 PM
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Has anybody gone with Thunderbolt? It's supposed to be faster than sata and you can daisy chain drive enclosures together on one connection. I'd be curious to know if the extra money spent on it is worth it.
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