Let's talk about HTPC storage. How much storage is "enough" in today's digital world ? - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 241 Old 03-25-2014, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

For $399 I can buy a Norco 4224 chassis... There's not value there for me. neat and cool yes. But it seems expensive.

Anyone ever stacked a second server case above an existing one and just ran SAS8087 cables to it ? Any reason that won't work ? I really just need 4 more bays I think, I regret not getting the 24 bay chassis instead of the 20 now.

I could always use my desktop for some too. It can hold 14 HDD's and I have plenty of PSU and stuff... I could always move a dynamic collection like TV shows to my desktop and save myself some space.

Storage expansion chassis seem to be very difficult to find. Most cost way more than a server storage chassis for some reason even though they use the same backplanes.. A lot of the ones on eBay have HDDs in them which drives the price up as well. I'm not sure why it's so hard to find a good passthrough or simple sas backplane rackmount storage enclosure. I guess the market just isn't there.


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post #62 of 241 Old 03-25-2014, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Do you know the difference between $0.80 per movie and $0.80 cents per movie and $.080 per movie? You should get your numbers straight when you trying to correct others for their wrong numbers.wink.gif

Do you have any idea of how much time you have spent learning how to get the content on your storage media and following through to a working system?

Do you have any idea about the total amount of time you have used "to process" your content for use on your storage media?

What % of the stored content do you actually watch?

$.080 is 80 cents. Everyone knows what I meant. I guess technically you are right (or can be) but it's the big picture I care more about with than stupid details. I hate details. tongue.gif
Sorry for the math mistakes. If people understood what I was saying I guess it's not important anyhow.

Moving on,

I've spent a considerable amount of time learning and setting up my media server. I've rebuilt and upgraded it more than a few times. I am fully aware of all of this, but I enjoyed it. It gave me a sense of self accomplishment, and it also provided me with something I really enjoy. I don't pretend that others would be the same as me, I know I am operating at the enthusiast level. Normal folks would just buy a prebuilt NAS or two and slap drives in it.

I can say honestly I have watched the majority of content on my media server at least once, and there is many things I've watched a few times. My wife watches a lot, and now I am sharing stuff like good movies or TV shows with my parents. I created a folder on my server called "mom and dad movies" and I put in there movies I think my mom and dad would like to watch. Technically it's all a duplicate copy from my other libraries- I just copy and paste movies into this collection or folder on my server with the only purpose being I want to make it easier for my mom and dad to pick out a movie. I'm to the point where my collection of stuff is so large it would take a long time to pick something out (especially for someone indecisive like my mom who would want to scroll through every movie before she decides.. lulz ) so I narrow it down to perhaps 20 movies for them. They just pick from those 20 movies. When they mention they watch something I delete it fro the folder and add something else.

I know I might be giving up potentially up to a couple of TB of space doing this but honestly the satisifaction of knowing it's providing enjoyment to my parents whom I love very much and I am very grateful for is easily worth the $60 I might be "wasting" on storage space or duplication doing it. I'd actually pay double that, or double the going rate for storage today - for that purpose - if it really came down to it. It makes me happy to provide that to them. I got my mom into a ROKU PLEX junkie biggrin.gif That's also one of the reasons why I decided I needed to upgrade my 3.0ghz dual core Pentium CPU in my server to a 2600k i7 in my last rebuild. I know some think an i7 is overkill but trust me- it's not at all. I've been down both roads. I know it's a different perspective for everyone but at least for me, what I am doing makes perfect sense and it gives me a great sense of joy and accomplishment to do what I am doing and enjoy it not only myself, but share with loved ones. Given this- I'm not sure how anyone could criticize what I am doing, or how much $ I spent or how much time I invested getting it perfect. To me it was all worth it and I'd do it again. The only thing I would change would be not trying to be such a cheap bastard and having to re-do everything and trying to just do it right the first time.

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post #63 of 241 Old 03-25-2014, 05:44 PM
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I appreciate what you're doing for your parents Mfusick and the thought has crossed my mind to someday have a server where I could share some of my content with family too. But why make extra copies? Between that and keeping MKV and ISO versions, and 2D and 3D versions, of the same movies it seems like you're allocating an awful lot of your 40 TBs+ to redundant files. Which is good to know because it at least help answers for me how can somebody have 40 TB and not believe there's any real chunk of it they could be just as comfortable parting with. Between that and keeping full rips of everything it sounds like you may not have much more actual video content than I do. So maybe we're not as far apart as I would have thought on the question of how much media is enough, only on how much storage it should take to hold it.

Anyway, if your server is an i7 then surely there's no concern if your parents should happen to watch the same movie file at the same time you're watching it (and doing God knows what else with the server at the same time). So why the need for duplicates? I hear what you're saying about your Mom not wanting to have to pick through a long list but couldn't you just set up a playlist for them that's integrated with your own setup and both of you could access at the same time?
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post #64 of 241 Old 03-25-2014, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by J_Palmer_Cass View Post

Do you know the difference between $0.80 per movie and $0.80 cents per movie and $.080 per movie? You should get your numbers straight when you trying to correct others for their wrong numbers.wink.gif

Do you have any idea of how much time you have spent learning how to get the content on your storage media and following through to a working system?

Do you have any idea about the total amount of time you have used "to process" your content for use on your storage media?

What % of the stored content do you actually watch?

$.080 is 80 cents. Everyone knows what I meant. I guess technically you are right (or can be) but it's the big picture I care more about with than stupid details. I hate details. tongue.gif
Sorry for the math mistakes. If people understood what I was saying I guess it's not important anyhow.



Sorry, but $.08 means 8 cents. As an alternative, $.80 means 80 cents. Are you using new math? biggrin.gif
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post #65 of 241 Old 03-25-2014, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I meant that my typo error was meant to be 80 cents in reality.

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post #66 of 241 Old 03-25-2014, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ElJimador View Post

I appreciate what you're doing for your parents Mfusick and the thought has crossed my mind to someday have a server where I could share some of my content with family too. But why make extra copies? Between that and keeping MKV and ISO versions, and 2D and 3D versions, of the same movies it seems like you're allocating an awful lot of your 40 TBs+ to redundant files. Which is good to know because it at least help answers for me how can somebody have 40 TB and not believe there's any real chunk of it they could be just as comfortable parting with. Between that and keeping full rips of everything it sounds like you may not have much more actual video content than I do. So maybe we're not as far apart as I would have thought on the question of how much media is enough, only on how much storage it should take to hold it.

Anyway, if your server is an i7 then surely there's no concern if your parents should happen to watch the same movie file at the same time you're watching it (and doing God knows what else with the server at the same time). So why the need for duplicates? I hear what you're saying about your Mom not wanting to have to pick through a long list but couldn't you just set up a playlist for them that's integrated with your own setup and both of you could access at the same time?

I think you are missing the point I made. The cost of $60 of storage (2TB) isn't a big deal to me in the big picture. The result is worth the cost. I fully understand the duplicity is "wasting" space but it's a conscious choice I make to create a dedicated category and library for my parents so they can easily navigate a select or find what they want.

I'm not really aware of a better way to do it either. My way might waste space but it's really easy on my part. Just copy paste into the folder. Delete later after they view it. It's good this way because I can change or manage their library easily and quickly and as soon as the next server scan it's live. Before I actually put media locally on their HTPC and had to update that (which isn't at my house) so this is easier.

Point being the benefit outweighs the cost. (For me)

I noted earlier that I had a good deal of duplicity in my library including 3D and non 3D or mkv and ISO formats - and I also had a lot of other stuff than movies. I probably have 10TB of movies by "normal" accounts. It's sounds small but in reality it's really a lot of movies. At least it seems like a lot to me.

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post #67 of 241 Old 03-25-2014, 07:39 PM
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I think you are missing the point I made. The cost of $60 of storage (2TB) isn't a big deal to me in the big picture. The result is worth the cost. I fully understand the duplicity is "wasting" space but it's a conscious choice I make to create a dedicated category and library for my parents so they can easily navigate a select or find what they want.

I'm not really aware of a better way to do it either. My way might waste space but it's really easy on my part. Just copy paste into the folder. Delete later after they view it. It's good this way because I can change or manage their library easily and quickly and as soon as the next server scan it's live. Before I actually put media locally on their HTPC and had to update that (which isn't at my house) so this is easier.

Point being the benefit outweighs the cost. (For me)

I noted earlier that I had a good deal of duplicity in my library including 3D and non 3D or mkv and ISO formats - and I also had a lot of other stuff than movies. I probably have 10TB of movies by "normal" accounts. It's sounds small but in reality it's really a lot of movies. At least it seems like a lot to me.

Okay. I see where you're coming from. I don't really understand it but if it makes you happy you certainly don't have to justify your choices to me.

Thanks again for starting this thread. It's a good topic for discussion here and I've appreciated reading your views and the others posted.
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post #68 of 241 Old 03-25-2014, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

For $399 I can buy a Norco 4224 chassis... There's not value there for me. neat and cool yes. But it seems expensive.

Anyone ever stacked a second server case above an existing one and just ran SAS8087 cables to it ? Any reason that won't work ? I really just need 4 more bays I think, I regret not getting the 24 bay chassis instead of the 20 now.

I could always use my desktop for some too. It can hold 14 HDD's and I have plenty of PSU and stuff... I could always move a dynamic collection like TV shows to my desktop and save myself some space.

If you're looking for parts to convert a standard chassis (rackmount or otherwise) to work as "dumb" storage expansion, most of what you need can be found here

http://www.pc-pitstop.com/sas_cables_adapters/

This isn't necessarily the best prices on everything, but it at least gives you an idea on what to look for. Options will vary depending on available connectivity in your current server, but in most cases it's as simple as buying an expansion slot bracket with the correct SATA/SAS configuration, and cabling everything up. Expanders can make it a little more complicated, but if you're just looking to add 4 drives, you can just wire everything straight up without any "Active" components. (I'm not sure what sort of cable length restrictions you run into with SATA/SAS cables these days, but I suspect if you keep the total under about 1.5 meters you should be fine. (if anyone knows current length restrictions feel free to correct me)

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #69 of 241 Old 03-26-2014, 04:58 AM - Thread Starter
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I think if be inclined to just upgrade my case or start over/build a second server.

Or,

Hang in there another year or two and the start swapping out 3TB drives for 6TB drives.

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post #70 of 241 Old 03-26-2014, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I think if be inclined to just upgrade my case or start over/build a second server.

Or,

Hang in there another year or two and the start swapping out 3TB drives for 6TB drives.

 

Read this. You can get chassis with SAS backplanes cheap off eBay. Just add the SM power board and a SAS expander capable HBA (like an M1015/Dell H310), a SAS PCI bracket, couple of cables and you're good to go. :) 

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post #71 of 241 Old 03-26-2014, 10:45 AM
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I'm not really aware of a better way to do it either. My way might waste space but it's really easy on my part.

Why don't you use links instead of replicating the files ?
Your parent's folder would contain file links instead of file copies. Undistinguishable from the real files for them (and the software). As easy and faster (no big file copy) for you to manage.
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa365006(v=vs.85).aspx

Cheers,
'nose
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post #72 of 241 Old 03-26-2014, 12:53 PM
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Anyone ever stacked a second server case above an existing one and just ran SAS8087 cables to it ? Any reason that won't work ? .

People have been using HP SAS expanders and SAS8088 cables succesfully to do that.
I am far from having filled my Norco 4020 chassis (8 disks of a possible 20), but I thought about what then...

My Norco Linux file server is usually off, and holds only the movies (the bulk of storage). I power it (remotely through WOL) only when we want to watch a movie, usually 2-3 times a week.
Files, music, photos and TV (I went OTA) are stored on a separate, always on, low power Win8 machine (<$25/yr electric bill), running JRiver media server. All the TVs in the house have SSD based HTPCs running JRiver Media Center.

I am doing "offline RAID-6" on the Linux server using SnapRaid. About once every second week I execute an array check operation in order to see if scrubbing is needed because of bit rot. A full check takes about 6 hours.

Using a SAS expander to an additional chassis would work, but would do nothing for the ever increasing time required for a check operation. For multiple reasons, I did not want real-time RAID.

Also, as I watch media from the JRiver library, I do not care whether the media comes from one drive, one 20-drive server or multiple servers as the library effectively hides this detail.

So for my usage case, a second server will be a much better option than a single 40-drive server...

Cheers !
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post #73 of 241 Old 03-26-2014, 02:12 PM
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How much storage do you have?
30TB

How much storage do you want ideally ?
No additional storage.

How much storage do you expect to have over the next few years?
5 years to get to 50% capacity. At that point I would want to expand.

Is your current storage strategy and solution going to hold up for the next 24-36 months do you think ?
Yes.

What do you currently use? What do you like about it?
Synology DS1813+ 8 x 4TB in RAID-6 Seagate NAS as primary (VMware datastore, Plex storage, CIFS, AFS, NFS, TimeMachine).
Synology DS214+ 2 x 4TB Seagate NAS as backup for important files and surveillance station / IP camera recording.
Total Available Capacity: 30TB
Usage: 10%

What do you wish you could improve?
I would prefer two Synology DS1813+ so I could have High Availability as my disaster recovery, but not really more.

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel or is this a never ending black hole of HTPC ? If you drop a hard drive into the black hole of storage would it ever hit the bottom where enough is enough ?
Technology seems to be at the appropriate pace for me, scaling nicely as my needs increase. IMO, cloud services are touted as the future, but bandwidth caps and pricing may kill it.
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post #74 of 241 Old 03-29-2014, 11:37 AM
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Anyone ever stacked a second server case above an existing one and just ran SAS8087 cables to it ? Any reason that won't work ? I really just need 4 more bays I think, I regret not getting the 24 bay chassis instead of the 20 now.
Check out this new item from SilverStone: RS381S
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post #75 of 241 Old 03-29-2014, 01:33 PM
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Seems like the black hole of HTPC is storage. It's the most expensive part by far of this hobby and in many cases it seems like there is no end to it. This makes me wonder when is too much enough ?

I've seen some digital whores around here. I mean serious freaks of nature with an insatiable storage appetite. I don't think I fall into that category quite yet, but I definitely have more storage right now than I ever thought I would need a couple years ago. I have all of the bays on my Norco 4220 populated with 3TB drives and now I am considering finding a chassis with more drive bays or an add on solution.

How much storage do you have? - Currently 14TB - barely began ripping BR discs - 10TB FILLED with just TV shows.
How much storage do you want ideally ? - 75TB
How much storage do you expect to have over the next few years? 50TB - once I convert all my existing BR discs and DVDs it will just about fill 50TB - I'll be buying 12 5TB drives in a RAID50 config by late August.
Is your current storage strategy and solution going to hold up for the next 24-36 months do you think ? Yes
What do you currently use? What do you like about it? What do you wish you could improve? 6 3TB drives in RAID 50 on 2 computers both with LSI controllers - 1 backing up the first. Quiet. I'll replace all the drives in one with 5TB drives and use the two combined to back up the new system I build with 50TB of storage. I wish I could but a few 50TB SSD drives for $100 each smile.gif

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel or is this a never ending black hole of HTPC ? If you drop a hard drive into the black hole of storage would it ever hit the bottom where enough is enough ? No. Once I complete this project many movies will be re-released in 4K./
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post #76 of 241 Old 03-29-2014, 01:48 PM
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Check out this new item from SilverStone: RS381S

I'm sure that's going to be cheap. biggrin.gif
It's nice looking though.


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post #77 of 241 Old 03-29-2014, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Check out this new item from SilverStone: RS381S

That looks pretty cool !

Looks great. Comes with PSU. All you need is drives and two SAS cables to add 8 hard drives. Seems like a no brainer!

What a great option for an all in one HTPC too.

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post #78 of 241 Old 03-29-2014, 04:11 PM
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That looks pretty cool !

Looks great. Comes with PSU. All you need is drives and two SAS cables to add 8 hard drives. Seems like a no brainer!

What a great option for an all in one HTPC too.
I can't find the price anywhere. They have a 4 drive unit too: RS431U, but it costs $365 eek.gif
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post #79 of 241 Old 03-29-2014, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I can't find the price anywhere. They have a 4 drive unit too: RS431U, but it costs $365 eek.gif

Ouch. I'd buy a NORCO 4224 for that !

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post #80 of 241 Old 03-30-2014, 01:01 AM
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That looks pretty cool !

Looks great. Comes with PSU. All you need is drives and two SAS cables to add 8 hard drives. Seems like a no brainer!

What a great option for an all in one HTPC too.

No reason to have 2 SAS ports for only 8 drives. Pretty sure the second one is for cascading to more enclosures...

I am realizing I got a killer deal on my Supermicro 826 SAS chassis, brand new for £149 ($245) from the UK. They are at least $700 on U.S. eBay smile.gif

http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&id=151257471100
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No reason to have 2 SAS ports for only 8 drives. Pretty sure the second one is for cascading to more enclosures...

iirc the SFF-8088 (and 8087) carry signalling for up to 4 sata sas/drives. So unless a SAS expander was being used, you'd need to use both (assuming populated with more than 4 drives)

Looking at the documentation which is best described as "scant" They mention in order to use SAS drives you need a SAS controller, which to me implies that it should also work with SATA controllers. (otherwise, why not just say it requires a SAS controller, instead of saying it requires a SAS controller for use with SAS drives?) And unless I'm mistaken, SATA controllers won't work with a SAS expander, so that tells me there isn't an expander in use either.

As always feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about any of that.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #82 of 241 Old 03-30-2014, 01:21 AM
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^ You are probably right. I should have read a bit more before posting.

Probably 2x 4-drive backplanes inside, just like in the Norcos. So you need a 2-port SAS or SATA card with external 8088 connectors.

And it probably would work from SATA ports on mobos and cards too, using breakout cables.
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post #83 of 241 Old 04-15-2014, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I just added another 3TB hdd today; that's officially my last bay available on my Norco case frown.gif

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post #84 of 241 Old 04-15-2014, 01:03 PM
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look up se3016 SAS expander, cheap expansion. or buy another norco, and do a 48 bay mod. 48 bays is where it is at, i doubt ill be able to fill it anytime soon. By the time i do i am sure hard drive technology sizing will have double anyway.
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post #85 of 241 Old 04-15-2014, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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What is a 48 bay mod ?

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #86 of 241 Old 04-15-2014, 01:59 PM
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cut the bottom of the top 24bay out and run all 48 bays off of one motherboard, i have pictures of mine in the norco thread but i recently re did the guts and updated a bunch of stuff, if you want pictures just let me know.
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post #87 of 241 Old 04-15-2014, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I wouldn't mind seeing some. That sounds like a good option

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post #88 of 241 Old 04-15-2014, 06:32 PM
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Three swappable bays in my HTPC one for the system drive one for the data drive one for making copies and a shelf for the ones not in the computer.
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post #89 of 241 Old 04-16-2014, 05:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I wouldn't mind seeing some. That sounds like a good option

You will have to excuse the cables, i am converting to SAS cabling this weekend and buying longer cables... the top is plexiglass for no specific reason other than i can easily see the activity lights on the hba cards.


Top

Front

Motherboard looking back

Fanwall 6*140mm fans, with plastic sheet to block excess, also mount molex powered fan expansion

Back of case, top back piece custom cut most people use a norco fan wall here, but my psu has to be in this part due to motherboard being larger than E-ATX.
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post #90 of 241 Old 04-16-2014, 05:11 AM
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The omnistar SE3016 can provide an additional 16 bays and only requires one SFF-8088 connection which i think is neat, i know the expander isn't 6g though which sucks.
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