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Are You Looking For A Less Expensive Norco 4220 / 4224 Alternative? - Page 44

post #1291 of 2256
Thanks, but I just documented in pictures what most others have done before me. You could try a fan controller, but I don't know how well the stock fans would work with one. It's funny that I didn't think of it before because I've got several Zalman CPU coolers that came with fan controllers I could use. I believe it's basically a voltage trimmer that connects in-line with the fan power cable. If you reduce the voltage, you reduce the fan speed. Problem is, some fans may not work well or even at all if you drop the voltage below 12 volts. I may try using them with the three stock 80mm fans that mount on the fan wall and see if they work with it. If it does, I can simply reinstall the original fans and cut back the speed until they sound civilized while still providing adequate air flow. I can try one real quick on another PC when I get home tonight and post a preliminary result. I have to go out after work so I won't have much time to do any real testing until later in the week.

I still believe the fan wall will require some minor modification at best. The huge gap in the right side (facing the front of the server) created by removing the PSU has to have a detrimental effect on the ability of the fan wall to draw sufficient air through the drive bays. I've still got a few ideas bouncing around in my head about what to do about it. As soon as I come up with something concrete I'll post my findings.
post #1292 of 2256
What's the power draw on these machines? Seems like the server is a great value but will you end up paying more in the long run due to the amount of power this thing pulls vs. a consumer based intel CPU server?
post #1293 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff lam View Post

What's the power draw on these machines? Seems like the server is a great value but will you end up paying more in the long run due to the amount of power this thing pulls vs. a consumer based intel CPU server?

That could take a long time if one's electricity rates were as low as mine: $11.04 basic charge, plus $.0684 per kwh.
post #1294 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff lam View Post

What's the power draw on these machines? Seems like the server is a great value but will you end up paying more in the long run due to the amount of power this thing pulls vs. a consumer based intel CPU server?
Good question. I'm not sure what the motherboard and CPU draw, but everything else should be comparable to any PC with multiple drives. I think the Opteron CPU that comes with it is rated at 95 watts, but it probably draws considerably less most of the time. Most of us are using standard PC power supplies vs. the screaming banshees that came with it so they probably draw less power due to being higher efficiency PSUs. I've got a Kill-o-Watt meter currently hooked up to my HTPC. As soon as I get the chance I'll connect it to the server to see what it's drawing.
post #1295 of 2256
I just tried one of my fan controllers on one of the original 80mm fans and it worked like a charm. I had to modify the male connector on the controller cable since it's a 3-pin plug and the fan had a 4-pin connector, but it worked fine. I saw a couple of 5 or 6-fan controllers on Newegg for about $20-23 so I may give one a try.

Now for the dumb question. Can anyone confirm which direction the fan panel fans are blowing when the server is powered on? Are they blowing out towards the drive bays or in towards the interior of the case? I oriented my fan blades the same as the originals, but I'm not feeling a lot of suction on the intake side of the fan so I'm starting to wonder if they're not supposed to be blowing towards the drive bays. I think I've got it right but just want to have someone confirm it.
post #1296 of 2256
I looked through the various selection of fan controllers on Newegg and discovered that out of all of them, only the Zalman controllers had fan connectors at each end of the cables. All other controllers had a 3-pin male connector that mates with the fan cable and a 4-pin Molex connector that connects to the PSU. This won't work with the Supermicro server because it wants to see the fans connected directly to the motherboard. I did see one that had individual Molex connectors for each fan, but you'd have to use a 4-pin Molex to fan adapter which adds to the cost.

As it is, the Zalman controllers only have 3-pin fan connectors and the server fan connectors are all 4-pin. You can easily modify the 3-pin male cable connector to accept the 4-pin female fan connector, but you'd better decide that you want to keep the controller before you trash the cable because it becomes yours the instant you do. The Zalman MFC1 Plus-B controller has six channels and currently sells for $39.99 on Newegg with a $20 rebate and free shipping for a final cost of only $19.99. This will not only control all five case fans but the CPU fan as well.

The fans that come with the server are heavy duty and obviously designed for server use 24/7 so it just seems a shame to get rid of them. Using a fan controller will tame the noise without the need to replace the fans. Depending on what controller you use vs. replacement fans, the cost will obviously vary

I'm just brainstorming here so chime in if you have any better suggestions. biggrin.gif
post #1297 of 2256
I went with a rheostat-based fan controller on several of my servers. Allows much better fine-tuning of the noise level vs air flow. The motherboard connections that want four pins are there to allow controlling the fan speed. They will still work just fine with 3-pin fans, as one of them is the fan RPM signal. So any monitoring you do will still work.
post #1298 of 2256
The AMD motherboard in the Supermicro server has eight fan headers, six of which are 3-pin and the other two are 4-pin for the two CPUs. The type of fan controller you're referring to is what I'm aiming towards. However, the stock fans themselves have 4-pin PWM connectors that plug into the 3-pin headers on the motherboard. The 4th pin is left unconnected, which isn't a problem unless you want to monitor the fan speed as you indicated.

The majority of the controllers I've seen so far use 3-pin male connectors to connect to 3-pin connnectors on the fan cables. They also have a single 4-pin Molex connector that connects to the PSU to provide power to the fans through the controller (only the +12V and ground wires are used). The 3-pin connectors from the controller can be easily modified to fit the 4-pin cable connectors.

The problem is, unless there is a connection to the third (sensor) pin on the motherboard fan headers, the server front panel indicates a fan failure and a red LED flashes continuously, which I find to be extremely annoying. I realize it's probably a non-issue, but it bugs me nonetheless. If I could figure out a way to bypass the fault indicator I would love to go with one of the fan controllers that have a LCD display with fan speed and temperature readouts. They not only control the fan speed but also display the internal temps using integrated temperature sensors that are placed inside the chassis at various locations.

The Zalman controller I mentioned is the only one I've found so far that allows me to connect the controller in-line with the cable between the fans and the motherboard headers, thereby disarming the fan fault indicator. It is only a manual controller so it lacks many of the automatic control functions. However, I can monitor the drive temps via the unRAID GUI in my web browser, which would provide feedback if I need to make any adjustments to the fan speeds. I'd prefer a setup that could do it automatically, but I'd be inclined to have the fans run at their highest possible output while still maintaining a sane sound level. This could probably be accomplished via a set it and forget it manual setting.

Out of curiosity, what make and model controller are you using? What size and make of fans?
post #1299 of 2256
No, I think the 4th pin is speed control, the 3rd pin being RPM. It's only the CPU header style (4 pins) that can control the actual speed from the motherboard. You've always been able to get fan RPM from the 3-pin connections. So a 4 pin fan plugged into a 3 pin header will work, just at full speed. Which is usually a waste of money as the 4-pin fans cost more.

The controllers are no-name chinese stuff bought off fleabay. Rheostats are not the most efficient way to control speed, as they just reduce the voltage by resistance. So they cast off some heat in the process. If you're gung-ho to lower fan speed/noise and you also want to save power then you don't want to use the rheostat kind. Me, I absolutely HATE fan noise. But worse than the noise of one fan, is the discordant harmonics from multiple fans. I tend to dial all of my machines back so they're cooling effectively AND emitting similar noise levels. Sometimes this means a given machine is perhaps a little louder than it "needs to be" from a purely cooling perspective. But the harmonic of the fan noise is so annoying that I'll bump them a little faster to eliminate it.

Along the way I also make sure I'm not losing airflow by placing a few pieces of tape and cardboard where it'd help. Not the prettiest but I'm not making neon-lit gamer rigs here.

What I won't do is bump them so low as to deprive the box of effective cooling. Better to have more fans moving slowly than too few.
post #1300 of 2256
No, I think the 4th pin is speed control, the 3rd pin being RPM. It's only the CPU header style (4 pins) that can control the actual speed from the motherboard. You've always been able to get fan RPM from the 3-pin connections. So a 4 pin fan plugged into a 3 pin header will work, just at full speed. Which is usually a waste of money as the 4-pin fans cost more.

The controllers are no-name chinese stuff bought off fleabay. Rheostats are not the most efficient way to control speed, as they just reduce the voltage by resistance. So they cast off some heat in the process. If you're gung-ho to lower fan speed/noise and you also want to save power then you don't want to use the rheostat kind. Me, I absolutely HATE fan noise. But worse than the noise of one fan, is the discordant harmonics from multiple fans. I tend to dial all of my machines back so they're cooling effectively AND emitting similar noise levels. Sometimes this means a given machine is perhaps a little louder than it "needs to be" from a purely cooling perspective. But the harmonic of the fan noise is so annoying that I'll bump them a little faster to eliminate it.

Along the way I also make sure I'm not losing airflow by placing a few pieces of tape and cardboard where it'd help. Not the prettiest but I'm not making neon-lit gamer rigs here.

What I won't do is bump them so low as to deprive the box of effective cooling. Better to have more fans moving slowly than too few.
post #1301 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post

No, I think the 4th pin is speed control, the 3rd pin being RPM. It's only the CPU header style (4 pins) that can control the actual speed from the motherboard. You've always been able to get fan RPM from the 3-pin connections. So a 4 pin fan plugged into a 3 pin header will work, just at full speed. Which is usually a waste of money as the 4-pin fans cost more.
Right, we're on the same page here. The 3rd pin is for sensing the RPM of the fan. We're also of the same mindset regarding noise level vs. cooling. You can make the server dead quiet, but chances are the drives will start glowing red as a result (an obvious overstatement, but you could conceivably burn your fingers if you touch one of them). These things crave cool air to stay alive and I'm more than willing to give it to them. My previous Supermicro SATA backplanes were quite loud, but nowhere near as loud as the stock fans in these servers. I figure I can dial back on the speed and still get acceptable cooling. If not, then I need to move up to larger fans.

I dug around in my parts boxes and found a few extra Zalman FanMate speed controllers. I'll try them with the stock fans mounted on the fan wall and keep an eye on the drive temps for 24 hours and see if they improve. I was used to seeing temps in the low 20's and 30's, not high 30's to mid 40's like I'm seeing now.
post #1302 of 2256
I installed three Zalman Fan Mate controllers between the original fan panel 80mm fans and the motherboard and adjusted them for a noise level comparable to what my old server generated. The server sits in a small utility room right next to my viewing area so if the noise level is too loud it is easily noticeable in the next room. The surround system tends to drown out any extraneous noise so a little bit of fan noise is of no consequence.

After monitoring my unRAID server off and on over the past 5 hours I can say that the fan controllers appear to be doing the trick. The noise level is greatly reduced and the drives are showing a significant drop in temperature compared to using the Arctic Cooling 80mm case fans. Consequently, I have ordered a Zalman MFC1 fan controller from Newegg for $39.99 that comes with a $20 rebate. The rebate is good until March 31st in case anyone's interested. I intend to reinstall the rear fans when the controller arrives. The only issue is that the controller is designed to mount in a standard 5-1/4" external drive bay which the server lacks. I'm thinking that I might have an old external optical drive enclosure I could mount this in just so it's not sitting exposed on top of the server. I expect I'll just run the cables through the opening once occupied by the original PSUs, but that's no big deal at this point. The bottom line is that I will be able to control the fan noise and still maintain a decent level of cooling within the server without having to buy all new fans.

The cost of the Zalman controller with the rebate is less than what a decent set of five case fans would cost. Anyone considering a fan replacement might want to rethink that strategy and go with a fan controller instead. The original case fans are designed for heavy usage so it would be a shame to see them go to waste. I have them adjusted to where they are still a bit noisy for most people, but you can easily set them to suit your tastes and sound level requirements. I highly recommend setting them at the highest speed you can live with for maximum cooling. Your hard drives will thank you in the long run.wink.gif

The next thing I'd like to try is some sound deadening material for the server case to further reduce the noise level. I bought some material called RAAMmat from RAAMaudio (similar to Dynamat) used for reducing road noise in automobiles and improving the sound of car stereos. I'm thinking about coating the interior of the server case with it to see if it helps reduce the noise even further. It did wonders for my car sound system so I expect it might work here as well. That little project will likely have to wait until the weekend. More to come. biggrin.gif
Edited by captain_video - 3/26/13 at 7:12pm
post #1303 of 2256
Thread Starter 
Hey Captain...

Glad you got everything up and running and your are pleased with your machine... Just a quick question... what are your system temps and HDD temps?
post #1304 of 2256
I ended up replacing the Rear fans with 80mm Silenx Effizio fans (12db @ 25cfm). Then I installed a Norco fan wall and put 3 Yate Loon 120mm fans that I already had in. They are around 20db but push around 40-45cfm. I then put in a 650watt modular corsair PSU that was in the server this one replaced. The server is now whisper silent. You push the power button and from 3 feet its hard to hear. All for the cost of the wall and a couple of $7 fans I got on sale!

The Norco fit perfect with a minor modification to the edge to accommodate the case button at the top. There is about a 1/4" gap on one side, but I secured it with longer machine screws and its not going anywhere.

Very happy with it and love that it's as quiet as any other computer I own.

Currently have about 24TBs of storage on it for NAS duties and my Ceton Infinitv in one of the pci-e slots
post #1305 of 2256
Nice. I've been wondering if the Norco fan wall would fit. Glad to hear someone decided to give it a shot. What kind of drive temps are you seeing with this setup?

Litlgi74 - Here are screen shots I took of the unRAID GUI before and after the server and fan upgrades/mods:

This is the original unRAID server. I used this as a reference to configure the drives in the new server.



Here's the new server with the Arctic Cooling F8 80mm PWM fans installed all around. I'm still using the CPU HSF that came with the server. The two 80mm Arctic Cooling fans I installed on the rear panel are also still installed.



Here's the new server with the three original 80mm fans reinstalled on the fan wall but dialed back to a slower speed for less noise. The temps are now about midway between the 1st and 2nd configurations, if not slightly lower. All drive temps are now below 40 decrees C, which is where I want them.



You'll notice that the temps increased significantly between the 1st screen shot and the 2nd. The server was really quiet, but the temps worried me. The fan speed controller may end up being just a temporary stopgap measure, especially now that I know the Norco fan wall will fit, allowing the use of 120mm fans. The one thing that concerns me is that the three fans on the existing fan wall are offset towards one side, reducing the air flow to the drives on the extreme right of the case (looking at it from the front). The original PSUs probably handled the cooling task for these drives since they were situated directly behind them and the fans were drawing air in through the drive bays. The Norco fan wall would spread the air flow more evenly across the backplane.

There's a seller on ebay that has the Norco fan walls listed for $20 using Buy it Now or Best Offer with free shipping. I offered $15.00 and it was accepted immediately. You might try a lower offer to see if goes through, but $15 isn't a bad deal with free shipping. It's listed as a "Fan Bracket for RPC-4224 RPC-4220 RPC-4116 RPC-4020." The item number is 330795689120.
Edited by captain_video - 3/27/13 at 4:38am
post #1306 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

Nice. I've been wondering if the Norco fan wall would fit. Glad to hear someone decided to give it a shot. What kind of drive temps are you seeing with this setup?

Litlgi74 - Here are screen shots I took of the unRAID GUI before and after the server and fan upgrades/mods:

This is the original unRAID server. I used this as a reference to configure the drives in the new server.



Here's the new server with the Arctic Cooling F8 80mm PWM fans installed all around. I'm still using the CPU HSF that came with the server. The two 80mm Arctic Cooling fans I installed on the rear panel are also still installed.



Here's the new server with the three original 80mm fans reinstalled on the fan wall but dialed back to a slower speed for less noise. The temps are now about midway between the 1st and 2nd configurations, if not slightly lower. All drive temps are now below 40 decrees C, which is where I want them.



You'll notice that the temps increased significantly between the 1st screen shot and the 2nd. The server was really quiet, but the temps worried me. The fan speed controller may end up being just a temporary stopgap measure, especially now that I know the Norco fan wall will fit, allowing the use of 120mm fans. The one thing that concerns me is that the three fans on the existing fan wall are offset towards one side, reducing the air flow to the drives on the extreme right of the case (looking at it from the front). The original PSUs probably handled the cooling task for these drives since they were situated directly behind them and the fans were drawing air in through the drive bays. The Norco fan wall would spread the air flow more evenly across the backplane.

There's a seller on ebay that has the Norco fan walls listed for $20 using Buy it Now or Best Offer with free shipping. I offered $15.00 and it was accepted immediately. You might try a lower offer to see if goes through, but $15 isn't a bad deal with free shipping. It's listed as a "Fan Bracket for RPC-4224 RPC-4220 RPC-4116 RPC-4020." The item number is 330795689120.

Those are pretty good drive temps...I notice you're using the latest beta version of unRAID which is rc12a....is it pretty stable? I'm running a slightly older version. With the Pro version, I think the max is 20 or 21 drives, so with the 24-bay case, would it be possible to populate all of the slots, or would it be better to just upgrade the drives as you go along?

I only have 4 drives (including parity) in my smaller server right now so I am assuming the transfer to the 24-bay case when you did yours went pretty smoothly without any issues. I guess the big thing now is dealing with the fans....can't wait until my name comes up on the waiting list soon, I look forward in getting a nice server upgrade from the Antec 300.
post #1307 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by AVTechMan View Post

Those are pretty good drive temps...I notice you're using the latest beta version of unRAID which is rc12a....is it pretty stable? I'm running a slightly older version. With the Pro version, I think the max is 20 or 21 drives, so with the 24-bay case, would it be possible to populate all of the slots, or would it be better to just upgrade the drives as you go along?

I only have 4 drives (including parity) in my smaller server right now so I am assuming the transfer to the 24-bay case when you did yours went pretty smoothly without any issues. I guess the big thing now is dealing with the fans....can't wait until my name comes up on the waiting list soon, I look forward in getting a nice server upgrade from the Antec 300.

I have all 24 drive bays populated (22 data, 1 parity, 1 cache disk). I'm running Unraid RC10. I haven't read for sure, but I'm hoping RC12a (or one coming soon) fixes the problem with NFS that was present in RC11. I reverted to RC10 because I couldn't get NFS to wor,k properly between the MED600X media player and Unraid. I'm still having a problem, but when I get all the files transferred from my old server to the SM, I'll tackle that issue. I may move the cache disk to the interior of the server, if I find a way to quiet it without doing any internal modifications. There's one internal 3.5" drive bay in the SM, which would free up an additional bay on the front for one more data disk.
post #1308 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by AVTechMan View Post

Those are pretty good drive temps...I notice you're using the latest beta version of unRAID which is rc12a....is it pretty stable? I'm running a slightly older version. With the Pro version, I think the max is 20 or 21 drives, so with the 24-bay case, would it be possible to populate all of the slots, or would it be better to just upgrade the drives as you go along?

I only have 4 drives (including parity) in my smaller server right now so I am assuming the transfer to the 24-bay case when you did yours went pretty smoothly without any issues. I guess the big thing now is dealing with the fans....can't wait until my name comes up on the waiting list soon, I look forward in getting a nice server upgrade from the Antec 300.
It's not a beta, it's a release candidate, which is essentially a final version waiting to be made official. When it will be officially released is anyone's guess. I've been using it since about version rc8 and it's been extremely stable. It's got a lot more features and add-ons than the officially released version 4.7.

UnRAID currently supports 24 drives in the 5.0-rc versions. I just upgraded to version 5.0-rc12a the other day. The screen shots don't indicate it, but when I stop the array it shows four more slots as being unassigned plus a slot for a cache drive. I've got enough drives to fill the remaining slots, but they're 750GB drives that used to be in the original server and they run much hotter than the newer drives. I'd like to replace the three 750 GB drives I currently have in the array. I've still got just under 4TB of free space available so I'm not desperate for more storage quite yet. I've still got bills from Christmas I'm trying to pay off before spending any more on hard drives. I'd like to eventually upgrade the existing drives to 3TB or larger as I believe the SATA controllers will support up to 4TB drives. I may also consider installing a cache drive since I've got a lot of older drives sitting around taking up space. I was going to see if I could mount the extra internal drive bracket somehow now that the PSU rack has been removed. I'd prefer to reserve the racks for data drives.
post #1309 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

It's not a beta, it's a release candidate, which is essentially a final version waiting to be made official. When it will be officially released is anyone's guess. I've been using it since about version rc8 and it's been extremely stable. It's got a lot more features and add-ons than the officially released version 4.7.

UnRAID currently supports 24 drives in the 5.0-rc versions. I just upgraded to version 5.0-rc12a the other day. The screen shots don't indicate it, but when I stop the array it shows four more slots as being unassigned plus a slot for a cache drive. I've got enough drives to fill the remaining slots, but they're 750GB drives that used to be in the original server and they run much hotter than the newer drives. I'd like to replace the three 750 GB drives I currently have in the array. I've still got just under 4TB of free space available so I'm not desperate for more storage quite yet. I've still got bills from Christmas I'm trying to pay off before spending any more on hard drives. I'd like to eventually upgrade the existing drives to 3TB or larger as I believe the SATA controllers will support up to 4TB drives. I may also consider installing a cache drive since I've got a lot of older drives sitting around taking up space. I was going to see if I could mount the extra internal drive bracket somehow now that the PSU rack has been removed. I'd prefer to reserve the racks for data drives.

That's great then, i'll consider upgrading my version to the rc12a release soon. May finally pop the cash to upgrade to the Pro since I currently have Plus. Regarding the hard drives, according to your screenshots you have some of the WD EARX based drives which I believe supposed to run cooler? I know I should refer to the Limetech forums, but since you're currently working with yours i'd figure it would be easier to ask here.

As for the server motherboard, would it by chance support staggered spinup, since once you install all of the drives it would be quite a power draw when you fire the system up. I honestly don't know what system will be available to me spec-wise once my name on the waiting list comes up but it would be good to know in advance as far as the hardware is concerned to ensure that I can use it right away, though depending on noise level I still may get some fans, or a fan controller like what you mentioned in one of your earlier posts. I got tons of shows (including collecting the CSI Miami DVD season boxsets) waiting to be transferred to the server in the coming months.
post #1310 of 2256
Any of the green drives should run cooler since they generally spin at a lower rpm and are supposed to use less energy. The slower speed is not a factor with a media server since the data can still be transferred at a rate higher than is required to support playback. I like the Samsung drives the best, but unfortunately I don't believe they are still manufactured. The Samsung hard drive operation got bought up by Seagate. The Seagate drives in my server are the 7200.11 models, IIRC, and they run the hottest of the bunch. They now have green drives available that run around 5400-5900 rpm. The Supermicro SATA controllers do support staggered startup. As you watch the monitor screen during startup, each of the controllers poll the drives connected to it. After the first controller displays all drives connected to it the next one is displayed and goes through the same process until all connected drives are spun up and accounted for.
Edited by captain_video - 3/28/13 at 6:23am
post #1311 of 2256
In the interest of further study into cooling vs. noise, I purchased a Norco fan wall from the ebay seller I mentioned previously. The next task was to find three 120mm fans that could provide adequate cooling and maintain a reasonable noise level. I ran across this item on the Newegg site:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835132022

These fans are rated at 103CFM and only 35dBA so I was intrigued. They're also only $10 apiece plus $1.99 shipping. The reviews posted, although a minimal number by most standards, appear to bear out the specs so I ordered three of them. I'll see if I can find my trusty old Radio Shack SPL meter and take some sound measurements of the various installations. Unfortunately, I don't have any way to measure air flow so I'll have to equate noise levels to drive temps. I figure if I set it up and let it run for an hour it should be enough time to get meaningful temperature readings.

With the way Newegg ships items for free or minimal cost these days (i.e., Newegg Eggsaver shipping) it can take up to a week to get any of these items. Apparently they now use a mix of DHL, USPS, and LaserShip as their carriers as well as UPS. Shipment usually involves shipping to a local hub and then passing it off to another carrier, adding 1-3 additional days to the overall shipping time. This means that I won't be able to compile all of the data until next weekend at the earliest. It ticks me off since I use to be able to order from Newegg and get it overnight via their old shipping methods.

I'll post pics of the Norco fan wall installation. Based on what likelinus said about his Norco fan wall installation, I will probably remove the case switch located at the top of the case since I don't use it anyway. This will eliminate the need to modify the fanwall to work around the switch. Chances are the switch is riveted in place and will require some drilling to remove it, but I haven't looked at it all that closely. If I'm lucky it will just be mounted with a couple of screws. I'll also look at the possibility of mounting it towards the rear of the kneewall, making it unnecessary to deal with the switch entirely. It's mostly a matter of determining how much clearance there is between the motherboard and the kneewall and the thickness of the Norco fan wall..
post #1312 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

In the interest of further study into cooling vs. noise, I purchased a Norco fan wall from the ebay seller I mentioned previously. The next task was to find three 120mm fans that could provide adequate cooling and maintain a reasonable noise level. I ran across this item on the Newegg site:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835132022

These fans are rated at 103CFM and only 35dBA so I was intrigued. They're also only $10 apiece plus $1.99 shipping. The reviews posted, although a minimal number by most standards, appear to bear out the specs so I ordered three of them. I'll see if I can find my trusty old Radio Shack SPL meter and take some sound measurements of the various installations. Unfortunately, I don't have any way to measure air flow so I'll have to equate noise levels to drive temps. I figure if I set it up and let it run for an hour it should be enough time to get meaningful temperature readings.

With the way Newegg ships items for free or minimal cost these days (i.e., Newegg Eggsaver shipping) it can take up to a week to get any of these items. Apparently they now use a mix of DHL, USPS, and LaserShip as their carriers as well as UPS. Shipment usually involves shipping to a local hub and then passing it off to another carrier, adding 1-3 additional days to the overall shipping time. This means that I won't be able to compile all of the data until next weekend at the earliest. It ticks me off since I use to be able to order from Newegg and get it overnight via their old shipping methods.

I'll post pics of the Norco fan wall installation. Based on what likelinus said about his Norco fan wall installation, I will probably remove the case switch located at the top of the case since I don't use it anyway. This will eliminate the need to modify the fanwall to work around the switch. Chances are the switch is riveted in place and will require some drilling to remove it, but I haven't looked at it all that closely. If I'm lucky it will just be mounted with a couple of screws. I'll also look at the possibility of mounting it towards the rear of the kneewall, making it unnecessary to deal with the switch entirely. It's mostly a matter of determining how much clearance there is between the motherboard and the kneewall and the thickness of the Norco fan wall..

I'm also running Unraid with this case and noticed increased temps. I'll be interested it what you find out. I'll follow your lead if your successful. Looking at the back pane there doesn't seem to be much room for air to get through. Right now i have a couple of 120mm fans rigged up in front of the drive caddies, not pretty but it works.
post #1313 of 2256
Just a heads up in case anyone is thinking about upgrading the stock CPU. I tried installing a quad core Opteron and the server wouldn't even POST. I figured that perhaps the BIOS was outdated so I downloaded the latest version and used the .exe version to create a bootable self-install floppy. I have a USB floppy drive that I use for just this type of situation. I configured the BIOS to boot from the attached floppy and it installed automatically. The new CPU is now recognized and everything is running smoothly. Not a bad upgrade for only $15.
post #1314 of 2256
Definitely looking forward to seeing pics/reports on the 120mm fan wall. I'm ashamed to say that I have a nearly 6 month old server still sitting in the garage not unboxed yet. Perhaps a summer project!
post #1315 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

It's not a beta, it's a release candidate, which is essentially a final version waiting to be made official. When it will be officially released is anyone's guess. I've been using it since about version rc8 and it's been extremely stable. It's got a lot more features and add-ons than the officially released version 4.7.

UnRAID currently supports 24 drives in the 5.0-rc versions. I just upgraded to version 5.0-rc12a the other day. The screen shots don't indicate it, but when I stop the array it shows four more slots as being unassigned plus a slot for a cache drive. I've got enough drives to fill the remaining slots, but they're 750GB drives that used to be in the original server and they run much hotter than the newer drives. I'd like to replace the three 750 GB drives I currently have in the array. I've still got just under 4TB of free space available so I'm not desperate for more storage quite yet. I've still got bills from Christmas I'm trying to pay off before spending any more on hard drives. I'd like to eventually upgrade the existing drives to 3TB or larger as I believe the SATA controllers will support up to 4TB drives. I may also consider installing a cache drive since I've got a lot of older drives sitting around taking up space. I was going to see if I could mount the extra internal drive bracket somehow now that the PSU rack has been removed. I'd prefer to reserve the racks for data drives.

I finally powered up my current server earlier today after unpacking it (recently moved). I'm still running the older 5.0 beta 14 version which has ran stable for me. Moving to the latest RC release will be somewhat a big jump, but if its pretty stable as you are running it on yours then i'll upgrade mine later tonight (watching the 'Ten Commandments', Easter holiday tradition).
post #1316 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by AVTechMan View Post

I finally powered up my current server earlier today after unpacking it (recently moved). I'm still running the older 5.0 beta 14 version which has ran stable for me. Moving to the latest RC release will be somewhat a big jump, but if its pretty stable as you are running it on yours then i'll upgrade mine later tonight (watching the 'Ten Commandments', Easter holiday tradition).
I don't believe I ever tried any of the version 5.0 betas. I had been running and older version of 4.5 or 4.6 and decided to upgrade to 4.7 when I discovered I had the HPA issue with my Gigabyte motherboard. I ended up replacing the motherboard and decided to move up to version 5.0-rc8. I have had zero issues with any of the 5.0-rc versions. The beauty of unRAID is the simplicity in which you can upgrade it. Just copy over two new files to the flash drive and reboot, although there may be a bit more to do if you're moving up from a beta version. Check the release notes for the 5.0 beta version on the unRAID wiki for upgrade instructions in case you already weren't aware.
post #1317 of 2256
Since only 1 post on here refers to XBMC I'll just ask.

Is this suitable to run XBMC on or no? My laptop has similar specs, low clock dualcore, 4Gb, ram, etc. and I'd assume XBMC would run fine on it. I just have a decent graphics card on my laptop and none on this box, and I don't think I can put a graphics card in it so that kind of worries me. Anyone running XBMC wanna share how it runs on this hardware?
post #1318 of 2256
I guess that would depend on what OS you plan to run on it. The AMD version of the motherboard has two PCI-e slots, but they're x8 slots. Most graphics cards require x16 slots but I have seen some listed on Newegg that only require a x1 slot that are also HDCP compliant. You probably won't be able to play any games on it but it should play videos OK.

Most of us that use XBMC would do so on a different PC since this is a server and not a desktop. I can map shares on the server in unRAID and stream files to my desktop for playback in XBMC. XBMC is more of a client-based program and not a server app.
post #1319 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

I guess that would depend on what OS you plan to run on it. The AMD version of the motherboard has two PCI-e slots, but they're x8 slots. Most graphics cards require x16 slots but I have seen some listed on Newegg that only require a x1 slot that are also HDCP compliant. You probably won't be able to play any games on it but it should play videos OK.

Most of us that use XBMC would do so on a different PC since this is a server and not a desktop. I can map shares on the server in unRAID and stream files to my desktop for playback in XBMC. XBMC is more of a client-based program and not a server app.

I was trying to cut down and the amount of streaming needed to be done. If one box can be server and do XBMC why not? Still extremely attractive deal though. Where can I find more information on this because the first post is cluttered, and the thread lists a number of different mobos/specs so I'm not sure what the actual current things shipping are? If anyone has any recommendations on which of the current things shipping is worth it that'd be great. For only 300 dollars, it's a nice place to store all the HDs I plan on purchasing.
post #1320 of 2256
The info in the first post contains pretty much all the specs on the server. As for using the server with XBMC I'd have to assume you intend to place it somewhere out of sight and sound and run a long cable to your TV. This is not something you'd want sitting in your living room. It's big, it's loud, and gives off a fair amount of heat. Trust me when I say you're going to prefer to stream media from it rather than use it for direct playback.
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