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Discussion Starter #1
To somewhat future-proof myself, I've decided to build one of these things to go along with the htpc I'm going to be setting up.


I found what I think to be a good basic set up. It's as follows:


Components:

CPU: 2.7 GHz AMD Sempron 140

Motherboard: BIOSTAR TA785G3HD

RAM: Kingston 2 GB DDR3 1066 RAM

Case: Antec Three Hundred

PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CMPSU-500CX 500W

Expansion Card: Supermicro Add-on Card AOC-SASLP-MV8

Hard Drive Bay: COOLER MASTER STB-3T4-E3-GP 4-in-3 Device Module Hardisk Cage


Then for harddrives I'll start buying a couple of these (depending on which are a better deal at the time):

2 TB Seagate Barracuda LP

2 TB Samsung Spinpoint F3EG

2 TB WD Green EARS


Couple questions:

1. Does anyone have any experience with that case? A different one was recommended (Cooler Master Centurion 590), but I can't find them in stock at any of the normal places I buy computer stuff. With the hard drive bay I listed that will put me at 10 bays, which I think will be enough (start swapping 2TB HDDs out of 4TB HDDs once the prices drop)

2. Is it ok to pair HDDs of different makes? Also, is it ok to put in HDDs of different sizes (I may be imagining things, but I thought I read somewhere that the HDDs should all be the same size)?

3. Is there any major benefit to going with a Hot Swap vs. Non Hot Swap bay?

4. Am I missing anything?


The hardware side of this seems straight forward. I'm sure I'll have issues / questions once the actual setup gets underway.


Edit: Just noticed that that mobo is sold out. Alternatives?

Edit 2: Maybe this mobo - ASUS M4A785T-M AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
 

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1. Don't have any experience with the Antec 300 case but if you'll be happy with 6 internal drives and 3x5.25 externals I'd say go for it. I've never had a reason to regret using an Antec case for a build.


2. The drives don't have to be identical makes but in unRaid the parity drive has to be the largest as formatted. As for putting in various size drives, one of the nice things about an unRaid system is that you can get going with the drives you have (as long as the parity is the largest) and upgrade as larger drives get cheaper. Migration to larger drives isn't difficult.


3. No as far as I know with unRaid. I've always powered off when swapping/upgrading so it wouldn't have made a difference. If non hot swap is cheaper I'd go that way.


4. Flash drive for the unRaid OS?
 

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I have a couple of builds with the Antec 300 and it's a good case. It has a built in 140mm top fan which is nice for venting. It has space for 2x 120mm (I assume this size) fans in front of the drive cages, but no fans installed. So for this type of usage, I would definitely add some fans in the front to cool the HD's. O


Other than that the case is nice and solid.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpenton
4. Flash drive for the unRaid OS?
You mean just a normal flash drive right (thumb drive, whatever you want to call it...thing thing people carry around on their keychains)?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGalt
You mean just a normal flash drive right (thumb drive, whatever you want to call it...thing thing people carry around on their keychains)?
Yes. 1 GB is sufficient.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It's going to take a little while for me to build up to more than 6 drives. Is there anything wrong with holding off on the Expansion Card until it's needed (i.e. if I were to install it down the road am I going to run into stability issues vs. installing it from the start)
 

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1) nope, but I really like the NORCO case ... although their rack mount setup is goofy... I ended up just putting it on a shelf...

2) regular RAID needs all the drives to be the same size, but unRAID does not.

3) YES!!! its huge!!! true, unraid does not support hot swap as such, but for pure simplicity/ease of drive install, its hard to beat the hot swap bay... not needing to pull the case out of the rack, and open it up to change/add/remove drives = priceless...

4) get a MB with IPMI... I just love IPMI...



for MB's I really like supermicro... I got their little Atom X7SPE board, that thing is great... only like 80W all fired up... much less when the drives are sleeping...

only down sides to the little atom board:

only one PCIE (x4) slot

only 6 SATA ports

so you can only add 1 AOC-SASLP-MV8, for a total 14 (6 on board + 8 AOC) drives...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGalt
It's going to take a little while for me to build up to more than 6 drives. Is there anything wrong with holding off on the Expansion Card until it's needed (i.e. if I were to install it down the road am I going to run into stability issues vs. installing it from the start)
I sure hope not.... because that is exactly what I am currently doing....



oh, FWIW it seems there is some benefit to making the parity drive be the fastest... not huge issue or anything... but one non-green/fast 7200rpm drive shouldn't hurt anything too much...
 

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I have the antec 300 case, and I love it. Small, but works really well for uraid systems. I have 6 drives mounted in mine, and I love the air gaps between the drives for good cooling. If you are only planning on starting with a few drives, hold off on the hotswap bays, as you can fit 6 drives in that case without any.

As for adding the expansion card, that shoudlnt be a problem, so long as you shut it down of course, and remember what the drive order is, ie wich serial is disk1 and so on.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm a bit confused about the parity drive. I understand that it's there for redundancy, so does that mean that it isn't / can't be used as a storage drive? (I'm assuming the answer to this is yes).


So basically, if that's true, then the maximum storage of the server is the total capacity minus the capacity of the parity drive?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGalt /forum/post/19513646


I'm a bit confused about the parity drive. I understand that it's there for redundancy, so does that mean that it isn't / can't be used as a storage drive? (I'm assuming the answer to this is yes).


So basically, if that's true, then the maximum storage of the server is the total capacity minus the capacity of the parity drive?

Yep. That's exactly how it works.
 

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Not sure if you have or not, but I would really suggest reading the FAQ on the Lime Tech website. I did last week and it cleared up a lot of questions I had, plus totally sold me on the whole thing. It has some links in it to postings on their forums that explain parity and other things.


FAQ is at: http://www.lime-technology.com/wiki/index.php?title=FAQ


There's also a Hardware Compatibility section that tells you what motherboards are recommended or known to work. I'd check that out too.


Hardware Compatibility: http://www.lime-technology.com/wiki/..._Compatibility
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpenton /forum/post/19512563


4. Flash drive for the unRaid OS?
Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit /forum/post/19512940


Yes. 1 GB is sufficient.

If you want to run things like uMenu or other AddOns for UnRAID, you're going to need a 2GB flash drive. Also, if you're going to just use the free version for now, a flash drive is not needed. The flash drive is only needed if you are going to purchase a license as it needs to reside on the flash drive.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlounsbury /forum/post/19514151


If you want to run things like uMenu or other AddOns for UnRAID, you're going to need a 2GB flash drive. Also, if you're going to just use the free version for now, a flash drive is not needed. The flash drive is only needed if you are going to purchase a license as it needs to reside on the flash drive.

I ran unRAID plus unMenu and a bunch of other things off a 256MB flash just fine...

for my official licensed setup I went with a 4GB, just because/in case... but you don't 'need' 2GB as such... its just nice to have room to grow...


if you don't have a flash drive, where do the install files go?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've got a bunch of flash drives laying around so it won't be an issue dedicating one of them to this.


Their site is really helpful and I've already read through a good amount of it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlounsbury /forum/post/19514151


If you want to run things like uMenu or other AddOns for UnRAID, you're going to need a 2GB flash drive. Also, if you're going to just use the free version for now, a flash drive is not needed. The flash drive is only needed if you are going to purchase a license as it needs to reside on the flash drive.

I use a 1 GB drive and run unMenu and a script or two. Not even close to full on the drive, but I'm not the type who will run a lot of stuff. It's not a bad idea to go for a larger drive these days though; I'm sure finding a new 1 GB drive to buy isn't easy any more.

OP:

Please read the limetech site to make sure your flash drive isn't one of the few that have compatibility issues.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGalt /forum/post/19513297


It's going to take a little while for me to build up to more than 6 drives. Is there anything wrong with holding off on the Expansion Card until it's needed (i.e. if I were to install it down the road am I going to run into stability issues vs. installing it from the start)

No problems at all doing this; this is what unraid was made/intended for.
 

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Discussion Starter #18

Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit /forum/post/19514312


OP:

Please read the limetech site to make sure your flash drive isn't one of the few that have compatibility issues.

All of my flash drives are sandisk cruzer, so shouldn't be an issue (according to their compatibility list)


You need a dedicated flash drive, right? The one I carry around with me is a 32 GB drive...I know it can be partitioned but I'm guessing that that won't work with this set up.


I know I have some 2GB drives laying around, just have to find them.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Another question that's come to mind (and a quick glance through the FAQ hasn't answered it):


Is it generally better to spread data out over all of your drives (excluding the parity drive) or to fill up one and then move on to the next?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGalt /forum/post/19514541


Another question that's come to mind (and a quick glance through the FAQ hasn't answered it):


Is it generally better to spread data out over all of your drives (excluding the parity drive) or to fill up one and then move on to the next?

There's no right or wrong answer. Some (like me) have all their drives in a single share, and use the high water method of filling which spreads the data out. Others use the Fill Up method, others allocate particular drives to music, or pictures, or what have you. What I would recommend is take a few minutes and plan out how you want to use it. What you want to avoid is having multiple drives spin up when you access something - but if you don't plan (and set split levels appropriately) you may end up having a similar data (like the songs of 1 CD for example) spread across multiple drives. This would cause them to all spin up when you played that music.
 
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