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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would like to share my experience with my first server build hoping it might help some people.


Hardware used:
AMD Athlon II X2 260
Antec NEO ECO 400W
BIOSTAR A880G+
Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner

x4 Link Depot 1.5 ft. SATA II
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB
NORCO RPC-470

x3 SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 HD204UI 2TB

UPDATE (8/20/2011): AirLink101 AGSW501 5-port 10/100/1000Mbps Green Ethernet Switch


Total was $531 including taxes. I picked up my package at a will-call center, very easy and quick.


Choosing the hardware was difficult. I selected this mobo because its supported by unraid (if I ever decide to change from snapraid), has integrated gpu, 2 pci slots, and a pci-e x16 slot. This is enough to support 16 drives! I was looking at 2gb ram which was $15. The 4gb stick was only $13 more so I went with that. Motherboard boot up the first time without any BIOS tweaking. There was a combo deal with the Regor 260 for $104. I plan to do other things with the server so a dual core might come in handy.


Neo Eco 400w or the Corsair 430w....Hmmm, what to buy? They are based on the same seasonic build from what I read so it was a matter of options. The Neo Eco has 1 more sata/molex cable + the cables are longer. I was afraid of the length of the cable but it is more than enough for this case. It doesn't come with an AC cable but I have tons of those.


I didn't know how long the mobo sata cables were so I bought 4 1.5ft sata cables. You get a discount buying more so why not. The motherboard stock sata cables are 20" from end to end.


Free DVD burner with the purchase of the Norco RPC-470 (8/8/2011 ($76.99).

The Norco case is HUGE and comes with 5 80mm fans. The fans plug into a circuit board, then the board plugs into 1 molex. There is one more fan header on the board if you need it. Would have been better if there was 2 so you can connect the 2 optional 120mm front fans. A splitter would work well I think. Inside edges are sharp so be careful, I sliced my finger and it does not feel good. The front fan filter is nice and I believe is washable. I have no idea how to take it out though lol.
Edit: 08/25/2011- Remove one screw on each side of the front panel, filter washes easily.

There is no standoff for the bottom right of my micro-atx board. You can see this in the pictures. As for the noise, it is loud but I have added 2 80mm fans to the rear. Its not hair dryer loud but can be annoying to others. I don't mind the noise as I live in a very busy street. No instruction manual so it was difficult for me to install the hdd. Later I noticed that the hdd rails are different, one for the left side and the other for the right side, DUHHHHHHH. Supports 10 hard drives with 2 pull out trays which slide out easy enough. x3 5.25 bays so you can add another 4 or 5 hard drives.


The Samsung F4 are very popular and there was a coupon going on for $10 off each drive. Easy choice here. The hard drive power cables are very close to the fans when mounted in the highest position, its possible that they touch the fan. I have moved them to the bottom and this is not a problem. When buying more hard drives I will look into a more slim power cable. Look at picture for more info.


Now the software. Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit. I understand I can't use all of my ram but thought this would be more compatible with some of the software I will be using. I don't care if I lose .75gb of ram. Software raid is the best option for me and tried out Flexraid. It was a little difficult to understand at first but was able to sync my first array. IIRC my first sync had 300gb and took ~3hrs to sync. A little longer than I thought it would take. After a few days with Flexraid and was itching to try out snapraid. Erased my parity drive and off I went to download Snapraid. IMO its much easier to setup, just a few commands and editing of the config file and you're off. IIRC, it took 1.5hr to sync 500gb worth of data. Much faster than Flexraid but to be fair, I did not spend very much time with Flexraid. So far I'm sticking with Snapraid. Took a few trial and errors to get Flexraid View working but now works fine with Snapraid


Takes me roughly 15 minutes to sync 70gb of added data. Snapraid reports 100-107MiB (data is only on 1 drive for now).



and now the pictures




Edit: Some numbers if anyone is interested... Will update when I get more info.


Roughly 100MiB read in snapraid for 1 hard drive.

50gb partition for Windows 7 32bit. As of 8/25/2011 all updates installed: 13GB Total used, Windows folder is 9.38GB. Hibernation and system restore disabled.

Edit(8/20/2011):Got myself an Airlink switch for $14 shipped! Works fine I think, watched 15 minutes of a movie streamed to my laptop without any hiccups.
Edit(10/01/2011): Airlink switch works fine, have watched a few movies since then with no problems. Recently bought an spl meter so I will soon test how loud the server fans are.
 

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You weren't exaggerating about the size of that case! I might have to do the same for an upcoming build. I like the cable management and the separation of the drive bays from the mobo.


Have you thought about getting a SATA controller card. That may help with your RAID performance and will greatly increase the capacity to add more HDD's in the future.


e.g. Syba SD-SATA2-4IR PCI SATA II 4x Internal Ports RAID Controller with SIL3124 Chipset
 

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Looks like a great build and Damn without the Hard drives it comes to 303 shipped! Thats a GREAT price for a server!


I may steal this build as well. My only question is how is power consumption. Servers run 24/7 if its sucking up power everyday all day that cant be the best for your power bill and what not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When the time comes I would probably get this
http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?...TA-Add-on-Card

I doubt I would ever use more than 10 hard drives. Pci has a bandwidth of 133MB/s so it would be slow with 4 hard drives(33MB/s per hard drive).


I was thinking of buying a kill-a-watt. The processor underclocks(800mhz) when not being used as do the hard drives(sleep). I imagine power consumption at idle is around 50-75w.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrkazador /forum/post/20822220


When the time comes I would probably get this
http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?...TA-Add-on-Card

I doubt I would ever use more than 10 hard drives. Pci has a bandwidth of 133MB/s so it would be slow with 4 hard drives(33MB/s per hard drive).


I was thinking of buying a kill-a-watt. The processor underclocks(800mhz) when not being used as do the hard drives(sleep). I imagine power consumption at idle is around 50-75w.

This card is 4x PCI Express. that's 2GB/s total (1GB/s each direction). Plentry of speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Quote:
Originally Posted by toymachine2009 /forum/post/20822190


I may steal this build as well. My only question is how is power consumption. Servers run 24/7 if its sucking up power everyday all day that cant be the best for your power bill and what not.

There are ways to do it so they don't eat a ton of power. I built my server with the 45w AMD X4 (I have lots of apps running on my server, the horsepower was necessary!!)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103899


I have my fans on the motherboard controlled header so they only run on high when needed.


I used a Seasonic fanless power supply so I wouldn't be wasting energy like an inefficient, wasteful, cheap power supply.


I used all "green" hard drives. I have not had issues with drive speed, so I consider them a good purchase. I used the Samsungs just as this builder did.
 
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