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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I originally posted this question at the end of the "Organize DVD movies on 2TB media server" thread, but didn't hear back. So I'm creating a new thread.


I’m looking into morphing my current HTPC into a 1.5 TB RAID 5 server. This will give me about 22 hours of HDTV recording storage plus about 260 DVD images (assuming an average ripped size of 5GB). The server is going to live in a nice cool basement, so noise and ambient temperature are not a problem. The plan is to build a new HTPC client machine around the shuttle SB65G2. The server and client will be networked via our home 100Mbs switch.


After some spreadsheeting, I’ve come to the conclusion that the sweet spot for me is to build the server using a RAID 5 IDE card in an existing case. I looked at external SCSI IDE RAID enclosures and the price per gig was just too high.


Using 300GB drives and the Promise RAID SX6000 (the best price/performance card I could find at $206), here’s what I come up with:


Drive size GB: 300

Unit Cost: $299

Num drives: 6

Usable server capacity GB: 1500

SX6000 RAID5 Card: $206

Mounting adaptor: $25

Subtotal: $2,025

Tax: $162

Total: $2,187

Cost per GB: $1


The question I have is can I use my existing Antec SX- 635 case to support the 6 drives plus my other hardware? It’s a mid-tower case with a 350-watt power supply. Other hardware in the box includes:


Soyo Dragon Plus

Athlon 1800+

Radeon LE 32MB

HiPix DTV-200

Sony DDU1621

4 Silencer fans (1 HSF and 3 case fans)

Floppy


I’m pretty sure that I can get all the drives in the case. The existing drive cage supports 3 drives. I can use an adaptor that will squeeze 3 more drives in a 2 X 5.25" bay (leaving room for the DVD drive). And I think I have enough fan coverage for heat.


The main question I have is will my 350-watt PSU be enough to power the additional drives? Is there some sort of formula that I can apply to determine the power requirements?


Thanks in advance for any advice.


Best regards,
 

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I was running an 8 drive linux RAID off a standard 200W ATX power supply without any problems - the hard disks only use about 10watts each nowadays anyway.


You are using a faster CPU than I was, but even with this increase in power everytyhing should be fine. Just make sure those drives stay cool, I have fans blowing air from outside the case straight through the hard drive bays.


By the way, have you considered not using a RAID card and just using linux software RAID? It's free, and even an old 500mhz machine would have more power than any raid card. Don't worry, setup is easy too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for getting back to me Chris.

Quote:
Originally posted by chrisbirkinshaw
I was running an 8 drive linux RAID off a standard 200W ATX power supply without any problems - the hard disks only use about 10watts each nowadays anyway.
That's good to know. I have three drives in the system already. So if adding three more drives only increases the load by 30 watts, I should be fine.

Quote:
You are using a faster CPU than I was, but even with this increase in power everytyhing should be fine. Just make sure those drives stay cool, I have fans blowing air from outside the case straight through the hard drive bays.
The existing three drive bay in my case has place for a fan and I have one there already. But I'm not sure how I'm going to ventilate the other three drives if I mount them with a 2 X 5.25" adaptor. I'll have to think about that.

Quote:
By the way, have you considered not using a RAID card and just using linux software RAID? It's free, and even an old 500mhz machine would have more power than any raid card. Don't worry, setup is easy too.
No offense, but I've found that Linux is only really free if you don't place a value on your personal time. It's just a little too hard for a non-Linux head like me to deal with.


The only additional cost to me for sticking with XP is the RAID card itself, which was only a little more than $200. It's worth it to me to have a box that's familiar and simple to set up and administer.


Also, I plan on keeping the HiPix in the server so that it can record HDTV. I’ll then be able to use the client machine to watch saved HD material from the server, even while it’s recording. Last I checked, the HiPix was not supported under Linux. It’s barely supported under Windows as it is ;-)


Lastly, the Promise card will monitor the RAID status via a nice GUI. It can even e-mail me with RAID status or drive failure problems. I'm sure you can probably configure a Linux box to do this too, but I assume that would take gobs of perl scripting and text file configuration changes.


In any case, thanks again for answering the question.


Best regards,
 

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Way off subject here but here's my 2 cents....


Agree 100% with you Acronce, Linux is not free.... and now the experts are agreeing.... there are about a 100 articles out there in the past month or so talking about the subject. Most have come to the conclusion that for business, that a business case can be made for Linux so it CAN make sense for servers but seldom for workstations.....


Even with a background in UNIX I find it interesting to play with but always use MS Windows for my production work at home and at work.....


For home use, as always its up to the individuals needs and preferences which would work best......
 
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