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The Norco rackmountable RPC-4020: a pictorial odyssey. - Page 4

post #91 of 253
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abq-Pete View Post

This is an excellent choice. This is actually one of the few true dual rail units available.

Yeah, it seems I lucked out, as I really purchased it based mainly on the sheer number of molexes that can be connected simultaneously. Well, if it doesn't arrive DOA. There's a frightening amount of recent DOA reports on Newegg.

Quote:


You can read more here.

A reassuring read, thanks. Looks like they were extremely impressed with it. I'll take some photos when I swap out the Silverstone.
post #92 of 253
Got home and made a few less than perfect modifications to the fan mount I had received from the sheet metal shop.

If I had time to design and a few more bucks I probably could have had them cut all the holes perfectly, but for now this works, got my 3 120MM fans and holes to pass through cables and now more room when removing connectors.

On a side note anyone who has this case notice how flimsy the sata connectors are? I see two already that feel loose and one that came off with the cable.
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post #93 of 253
Can someone post what there current temps are using the stock fans in this case?

Include HD count if possible so that I can compare it to mine using the 3 120mm fans.

Thanks
post #94 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by fleggett View Post

Yeah, it seems I lucked out, as I really purchased it based mainly on the sheer number of molexes that can be connected simultaneously. Well, if it doesn't arrive DOA. There's a frightening amount of recent DOA reports on Newegg.


A reassuring read, thanks. Looks like they were extremely impressed with it. I'll take some photos when I swap out the Silverstone.

Did you get the new 1000W PSU and install it yet? How does it fit into the 4020? How about the spacing between the backplane and the fans?

I've got a Corsair 750 ready to go into my 4020, but saw your post and was considering the 1000W route instead, as I don't want to monkey with molex splitters if I don't have to.
post #95 of 253
Thread Starter 
Yes, I did receive the Corsair CMPSU-1000HX unit and installed it the same day. I was a little worried when I opened the box, as the dessicant pouch had ruptured and spilled silica beads everywhere, including the the inside of the unit. However, I managed to shake them all out.

Fortunately, the unit was NOT DOA. It's still well within the possible infant mortality phase, so I haven't quite yet breathed my final sigh, but it seems to be doing just fine.

I did take a batch of pics that I plan to post here, so give me a day or so. I was ASTONISHED at the amount of molexes you can connect to the PSU. More than enough for the 10 on the backplane and two more for the optical and OS drives. You could even connect another molex cable if you wanted to install a floppy. I'd say this thing was tailor made for the Norco, especially for those of us who're uncomfortable with just connecting five molexes on the backplane.

If you have the option, I'd say get the 1000HX and either use the 750 in another box or sell it on eBay. It's really a tricked-out 1500W unit that operates at 1000W at 80+% efficiency. As such, the amperages per rail are enormous and should easily support 24+1 simultaneous spinups without hiccuping.

I gotta tell you, I'm MUCH more comfortable with this setup than I was with the Silverstone, even though I think the Silverstone is a terrific PSU.

Anyway, I'll get those pictures posted ASAP. The spacing between the backplane and the fan assembly with the cables connected is still tight, but you could still install the fan on the "right" side of the assembly. You'll see this better when I get the pics up.
post #96 of 253
Thread Starter 
post #97 of 253
Thanks for posting these, love the pics. What did you do with the fan from in front of the power connectors to the backplane, I don't see it in any of the pics.

As for the PSU, I just saw the price, and it's 100$ more than my 750psu, so I think I'll stick with that for now, as I'm already overbudget on this "project"..

I bought some cheap extenders, splitters, and sata->molex splitters, so I'll try those out and see if I'm happy. If not, then this might be the way to go, but I'll try the cheaper route first.
post #98 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by sellenoff View Post

Thanks for posting these, love the pics. What did you do with the fan from in front of the power connectors to the backplane, I don't see it in any of the pics.

As for the PSU, I just saw the price, and it's 100$ more than my 750psu, so I think I'll stick with that for now, as I'm already overbudget on this "project"..

I bought some cheap extenders, splitters, and sata->molex splitters, so I'll try those out and see if I'm happy. If not, then this might be the way to go, but I'll try the cheaper route first.

Call or email Corsair, they will send you additional molex cables if you like. I went with the 620 model since I am out of money and only running 10 hard drives at this time. I emailed them and got th extra cable I needed in a few days.
post #99 of 253
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sellenoff View Post

Thanks for posting these, love the pics. What did you do with the fan from in front of the power connectors to the backplane, I don't see it in any of the pics.

Oh, you mean that loud, annoying, get-in-the-way fan? I removed and threw it into a storage bin, along with the back two.

Quote:
As for the PSU, I just saw the price, and it's 100$ more than my 750psu, so I think I'll stick with that for now, as I'm already overbudget on this "project"..

Well, if you can get by on the 750, that's fine. That's essentially what I did with the Silverstone. Keep in mind, though, that I only started with 7 devices. And the 1000W Corsair is a thing of absolute beauty. Once the case is fully populated, anything undesirable could start happening. And so many system problems can be traced back to inadequate PSUs.

It's your choice, but you should really reconsider, especially if you plan to fully populate the 4020. This is very doable now that the Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 card has been released (I have one arriving on the 1st).
post #100 of 253
First of all, great thread - I'm going to be getting this case soon, though will probably wait for the SAS version. I absolutely appreciate all the pics, etc; as you said, Newegg and Norco definitely don't provide much.

I thought I'd address many of the questions (and some misinformation) that I've seen after reading through the entire thread. (IMO, YMMV, My $.02... etc)
Quote:
Originally Posted by fleggett View Post

Hmmm. This is the third or fourth time I've read this (from different sources). I just don't understand why Norco would provide two per plane if only one is needed. Some sort of power redundancy, so that if one molex fails, the other takes over? What if you've got drives that have much greater amperage and wattage requirements?

As someone mentioned more recently, this is definitely for redundancy, and is in fact its only purpose. There's no reason to connect all of the molex connectors, only one column, unless you have redundant power supplies. This is absolutely a server case - most other cases on this scale (e.g. SuperMicro) include double or triple redundant power supplies (and note they're also only about 620-750W).

Additionally, though a 1000W power supply may seem ideal, it's also very likely overkill. For 20 WD Black drives + typical motherboard with onboard video + a few SATA cards, all you need is about 650W. You need to look at the power factor rating for how loaded it will be; often, a more loaded PSU will be more efficient (like a generator is with higher load). Obviously you need to account for burst capacity, but if anyone's getting a case with 20 drive bays, I would submit that staggered drive spinup is an absolute requirement.

EDIT: I remembered that you're using it as a main PC as well, with high powered GPU, etc.. so nevermind, 1000W definitely seems reasonable in that case. By the way, how's the airflow with the large 140mm fan blowing over to the motherboard (instead of out)? I would think it'd be especially useful to do the 3x120mm case fan mod with that type of PSU.

Based on the above, there's only a need for a power supply with six molex connectors.. one for each row of drives on the backplane, and one for everything else in the case (internal drives, slim DVD, fans). Also, get one with a *single rail*.. there's no need for division of connectors across rails then, and most people are installing drives in rows, so you're loading that one backplane connector anyway (and there's nothing wrong with that.. just don't connect the 7-to-1 as others have warned). An example is Corsair's 650W single-rail for $100 an Newegg. Granted, I'll probably go with a 750W single-rail.

I second another comment on finding server racks on Craigslist. Unless you need Middle Atlantic's slide out/rear access type rack, IMO they're overpriced for what you get. E.g. 350 lb limitations on some of them I've seen, whereas a typical datacenter 42U rack will hold on the order of 1500-2500 lbs. They're typically around $150-200 used on CL.

Final thought: I'll be running the open source OpenFiler app (linux) which can provide software RAID of basically every type, as well as iSCSI SAN capability so you can use some more enterprise level virtualization technologies such as VMWare ESX, Citrix XenServer, etc (not Hyper-V until it's mature). But that's another topic.. thought I'd mention it in case anyone else was thinking of doing the same.
post #101 of 253
Hello all, this is Thideras from OCForums. I've registered today to inquire about the backplane for this case. I've read through multiple threads about this case, but no one has mentioned if the SATA backplane is straight-through or a crossover. I'm going to be putting dual Perc 5/i's and I need to know what connector to get for the cards (straight-through or crossover).

From guessing, it seems like it is straight-through and the backplane does nothing but extend the SATA port. I just wanted confirmation before I order $100 in cables ($25/cable).

Besides that, this thread has basically sold me on this case, it will fit my needs perfectly and will probably be fully loaded shortly. Already sitting on 16 drives right now

Thank you for your input,
Thideras

EDIT: I know I can't post links until 3+ posts, but if anyone is interested in the build, I would be happy to send a link via PM.
post #102 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by fleggett View Post

Wow. Really? You don't experience any problems, even under load? Is the other molex just there for some sort of redundancy? If it's really not needed, that's wonderful news, but I just can't imagine one molex powering four drives simultaneously.

I'd like to know about this as well, I just recently ordered all my parts and I ordered the corsair 850W PSU, it looks like it has 6 molex but i cant really tell from the pictures. Im a little confused as to whether all the power adapters need to be populated or if justa few? Can someone explain this part of it? In thye beginning I will only be populating the server with 10 drives plus the OS drive.
post #103 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by dink View Post

I'd like to know about this as well, I just recently ordered all my parts and I ordered the corsair 850W PSU, it looks like it has 6 molex but i cant really tell from the pictures. Im a little confused as to whether all the power adapters need to be populated or if justa few? Can someone explain this part of it? In the beginning I will only be populating the server with 10 drives plus the OS drive.


Its a server case designed for power supply failure. In theory you would have two different power supplies with one molex on each backplane going to a different power supply. Thus if one PSU dies your server would remain running.

If you get the modular Corsairs you call call them up and get extra molex cables (for free) and plug them in to the open sata outlets that you will not be using in this case.
post #104 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by connectedav View Post

Its a server case designed for power supply failure. In theory you would have two different power supplies with one molex on each backplane going to a different power supply. Thus if one PSU dies your server would remain running.

If you get the modular Corsairs you call call them up and get extra molex cables (for free) and plug them in to the open sata outlets that you will not be using in this case.


Thanks connectedav, somehow in my infinite wisdom, i skipped right over kapones post on page 1 of this thread that explains it well. I think I will return the 850 and get the HX1000 as i know it will handle all my needs when i eventually populate all the drives. The 850 most likely would be fine but id rather be safe then sorry. Thanks for the info about corsair and them supplying more adapters, i will be calling them tomorrow.
post #105 of 253
Is anyone using a redundant power supply with the Norco 4020, and running all drives reliably? I'm looking for a reasonably affordable one, ideally dual instead of N+1.
post #106 of 253
Hello,

I have been looking at this case for a friend of mine who is a photographer who has asked me to put together a Raid5 server for him to store his Photos on. His requirements are growing by about 50GB a week so he needs something that will allow him to have initially say 5 TB of space and allow him to just add a drive to his raid 5 server to make more space available.

From what I can see all this case basically does is allow the drives to be added in a high density capacity and requires Sata cables to go to 20 Sata ports is this correct?

I have a question that is a few fold.

I was looking at running hardware raid with something like an adaptec card or a 3Ware 9500S-12 that seems to allow for 12 drives to run in a RAID 5 config with the 3Ware card would I then need to put another card in to allow for the capacity of the additional drives? Now I know Adaptec and 3ware can support upto 124 devices on their raid card so my question is basically what is available out there to allow for all 20 devices to be used in a hardware raid5/6 config and that will also allow for another one of these 4020 boxes to be populated via an external connector without the MB,CPU etc etc.

One of his requirements was also that additional drives can be added without having to rebuild the raid5 set which I know use to be the case . So what card are available that support online expansion.

Also has anyone tried using the water cooling method on this unit to protect the CPU and in the case of gaming machines the Graphics card and memory as I am guessing the Temps inside this case would be up there unless being utilised in a temp controlled server room.


This is an excellent thread.

ikhan42
post #107 of 253
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately, I can't address the RAID questions. I'm still just running plain Jane JBOD, though I did receive an AOC-SASLP-MV8 card for future expansion. RAID still gives me the heebie jeebies.

I'd think watercooling wouldn't be that hard to implement. It might require drilling a hole or two in the back, but you could also just remove some expansion card plates.

I haven't measured any temps. I probably should at some point, but I've just been too lazy. I'm not maxing out the case, though, as I've only got 10 tray-based drives installed.

For anyone curious, the box is running fine. I recently threw in the aforementioned AOC-SASLP-MV8 card and installed build 7100 of Windows 7 x64. Running 9.4 Cats for my 4670-based graphics card as well as the 2.18 Realtek driver for HDMI audio. I also let Win7 do whatever NIC updates were available for my wireless N card and hardwired ports.

I have NOT replaced any fans (yet). I just don't know which to buy, which is complicated by whether or not I want to embark on the task of converting from 80mm to 120mm fans (decisions, decisions).

The Corsair is still going strong, so I'm pretty confident it'll be fine for some time to come. I know it was over-over-overkill, but I'm still happy with the purchase.
post #108 of 253
I bought the corsair 850 which is not modular but has plenty of molex adapters, Although i do have one problem which might require an extension for the molex or 1 splitter. Here is my issue, the problem is i need 5 molex on the backplane and i need one for inside the case (MB Area), PS has 2 lines of 4 molex adapters on each line, i either need to run 1 line thru the fan backplane and use a splitter to get my 5 molex or i need to run both of the PS lines thru the fan backplane and i will have 3 left over but unusable because they cant reach into the MB area. What do you think would be better? splitter to turn 4 molex's into 5? or try to find a molex extension to add to the second line?

Its kind of hard to visualize but i think it makes sense, do you guys get what im trying to say? and whats your recommendation?

Thanks
post #109 of 253
I spoke to NORCO with regards to the new 4020 enclosure and got the following response:

" In 20 days. It is on the way"

so will wait till end of May and see what the deal is with the new cases. It look from the pic that were posted that it only has 4 SAta/sas plugs on the backplane so when connected to a Raid controller will allow 20 drives to work of 4 sas channels allowing a 8 channel controller to controll another 20 drives in another case.

Will see anyway.

Ikhan42
post #110 of 253
How is your DVD rom attatched to the chassis? I have a slimline that I'm going to mount on a flat plate, but struggeling to figgure out how to do it. Nothing came with the player, and the only way I can see is to somehow use the 4 very small holes on each side of the player, is that how it's done in your chassis? Is there an angle fastened to these holes that is again fastened to the chassis?
post #111 of 253
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ikhan42 View Post

I spoke to NORCO with regards to the new 4020 enclosure and got the following response:

" In 20 days. It is on the way"

Interesting. There was some debate as to whether or not the pic kapone posted was the final design (though it looked pretty final to me). However, if that's the case, while the SAS connectors are nice, I would wish for a third revision. The current 4020 is, IMO, deficient in these areas:

o Fan assembly needs redesigning for 120mm fans and to seal gaps to better direct airflow. Pursuant to this, Norco could also include some quieter fans (and would only need four instead of the current seven).

o The fan assembly also needs to be a bit further separated from the backplane so my clumsy fingers can connect cables without taking the whole thing apart.

o The drive trays are very "spartan" and it frequently takes a lot of jiggling to get them fully inserted. Also, the plastic leads for the activity and power lights are very easy to detach.

o Motherboard standoffs should be machined as part of the case. I've had cases like this (e.g., the Antec Skeleton) and it's really nice not to have to worry about any of the standoffs starting to unscrew when removing motherboards.

o A second USB port on the front.

o Revised power and reset buttons. I HATE membrane-like buttons.

Can't hurt to wish, right?
post #112 of 253
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zicoz View Post

How is your DVD rom attatched to the chassis? I have a slimline that I'm going to mount on a flat plate, but struggeling to figgure out how to do it. Nothing came with the player, and the only way I can see is to somehow use the 4 very small holes on each side of the player, is that how it's done in your chassis? Is there an angle fastened to these holes that is again fastened to the chassis?

Unless you have a non-standard drive, the "holes" you mentioned are actually threaded for tiny eyeglass-sized screws. On the first page of this thread, there's a pic I took of the screwpacks and the first bag in the photo contains the screws you need, so you don't have to worry about already having them. You don't need a mounting plate or anything. The drive should just click into place (mine was a perfect fit), at which point you'll only need a tool small enough to screw the drive into the provided mount (I just used my red-handled all-purpose Craftsman, which is pretty thick).
post #113 of 253
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dink View Post

What do you think would be better? splitter to turn 4 molex's into 5? or try to find a molex extension to add to the second line?

Hmmm. Not to dance around the question, but why do you need the molex lead for the motherboard area? The back fans? If so, I'd replace the stock fans with quieter ones that are already wired for motherboard fan headers. That would be the ultimate solution (IMO).
post #114 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by fleggett View Post

Unless you have a non-standard drive, the "holes" you mentioned are actually threaded for tiny eyeglass-sized screws. On the first page of this thread, there's a pic I took of the screwpacks and the first bag in the photo contains the screws you need, so you don't have to worry about already having them. You don't need a mounting plate or anything. The drive should just click into place (mine was a perfect fit), at which point you'll only need a tool small enough to screw the drive into the provided mount (I just used my red-handled all-purpose Craftsman, which is pretty thick).

Yes, I found some screws on an old floppydrive (the screws that are holding the plates surrounding the drive together). I can see on your phots that your rack cabinet has support for the slimline drives, but I'm currently building my own prototype HTPC chassis and I am currently looking for a way to fasten the drive to the chassis.

What I am thinking is something like this:



The top is from the front with the screw sticking out, and the bottom one is from the side with the circles beeing the screws.

Is that similar to how it's done in your chassis? (Other then you having holes instead of the long slide for the screws)
post #115 of 253
Thread Starter 
Hmmm, I'll have to double-check. I need to go back into the case anyway to install my last SFF-8087 cable that just arrived. I wanted to take pics of the Marvell/Supermicro card and can do the optical area, too. I also need to do some PSU cable housecleaning and expel the remaining compressed air in one of my cans.

If you're building your own enclosure (kudos, BTW), are you sure you want to go the slimline route? BR-capable drives are horribly expensive compared to their 3.5" brethren and are saddled with a lot of disc compatibility problems (probably due to a lack of firmware updates). I think they also lack Lightscribe. When I was researching them for possible inclusion into my 4020, they were all very lackluster and had mediocre reviews.

The non-BR ones were fine (which is what I ultimately bought), but I miss the BR functionality.
post #116 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by fleggett View Post


http://www.awfulbooks.com/eBay/Norco...rear_fans1.jpg
A shot of the rear fans, just above the back I/O cluster on the motherboard. They look a little used (hrrmmm).

Yeah mine too. Came with free dust. Note, not all of the fans HAD dust.

This is from a brand new Norco 4020 purchased from Newegg. The rest of the case seems new, plastic on, etc etc.

post #117 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by fleggett View Post

Hmmm, I'll have to double-check. I need to go back into the case anyway to install my last SFF-8087 cable that just arrived. I wanted to take pics of the Marvell/Supermicro card and can do the optical area, too. I also need to do some PSU cable housecleaning and expel the remaining compressed air in one of my cans.

If you're building your own enclosure (kudos, BTW), are you sure you want to go the slimline route? BR-capable drives are horribly expensive compared to their 3.5" brethren and are saddled with a lot of disc compatibility problems (probably due to a lack of firmware updates). I think they also lack Lightscribe. When I was researching them for possible inclusion into my 4020, they were all very lackluster and had mediocre reviews.

The non-BR ones were fine (which is what I ultimately bought), but I miss the BR functionality.

Thank you, yeah I'm stuck with slimline because of the design I'm going with I'm not sure if I'll ever complete it, but just tossing some ideas around. At the moment I'm just working out some ideas on where stuff goes on the backboard, and if I get a design I like look more into an exernal design. But I won't steal your thread any more now
post #118 of 253
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HyPyke View Post

Yeah mine too. Came with free dust. Note, not all of the fans HAD dust.

Huh, bizarre. I don't know if they simply weren't completely dusted prior to installation or if they really aren't "new". Upon closer inspection, mine look a little used, as you can see some scuffing.

How do you like yours? I take it yours didn't come with the SAS-equipped backplane? After connecting my second set of multilane cables and STILL having six SATA connectors unused, I'm beginning to wish for an all SAS solution. The inside is beginning to look really spaghetti-ish.
post #119 of 253
Thread Starter 
More pics! Just some misc photos, showing the optical drive tabs (for zicoz), SFF8087 cable, and the AOC-SASLP-MV8 card. Enjoy!


http://www.awfulbooks.com/eBay/Norco...087_cable1.jpg
The forward SFF8087 break-out cables. I actually could've used a shorter length, but it looks like 0.5m is the minimum.


http://www.awfulbooks.com/eBay/Norco...087_cable2.jpg
The cable itself.


http://www.awfulbooks.com/eBay/Norco...-SASLP-MV8.jpg
The magic Marvell/Supermicro card, which includes two multilane ports for a total of 8 SATA devices. This is a PCI-E x4 device, so care should be taken when choosing an appropriate motherboard. I had to use my second (and last) PCI-E x16 slot, which would otherwise have seen another videocard. And as there isn't another slot available with the Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P, I'm limited to just the one card.


http://www.awfulbooks.com/eBay/Norco...tical_tab2.jpg
For zicoz - a pullback shot of the four optical tabs. Only one (lower right) is drilled for a screwhole. The two back tabs are detented, which clicks the drive into place. The third (lower left) is just a guide/stabilizing tab. The tabs are perfectly spaced. Once screwed down, the optical drive won't go anywhere.


http://www.awfulbooks.com/eBay/Norco...tical_tab1.jpg
A close-up of the back tab allowing screwdown of the slimline optical. The actual screw itself is extremely small, almost eyeglass-sized. Norco provides these screws as part of the screwpack (see pics on first page of thread).
post #120 of 253
Thank you.
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