Help me Build a Super Low Cost 4TB NAS :)

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ProphetVX Offline
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Post: #31
maxinc Wrote:Never use PCI SATA controllers. PCI has limited bus speed and will make your system dead slow once you connect enough drives. Get something with at least one PCI-E 4x slot which can accommodate an additional 8 SATA ports. PCI-E 1x controllers would only give you 2 extra ports.

For 4TB NAS it's pretty much irrelevant, we're not talking about a lot of hdd's here.

I have an ATOM based NAS (D510) running 2 SATA hard drives running off the motherboard and 4 running off a PCI expansion board, totalling 10TB and it runs more than adequately to serve 2xXBMC boxes, 1 WDTV Live and 3 PC's. Having load tested it, I've been able to play HD content on all media players simultaneously, and have sabnzbd downloading at my full speed of around 9MB/sec with ease.

The bottleneck is the network more often than not before read/write speed issues come into play in most home NAS setups. SATA 3 runs at 3Gbit/sec, SATA 2 runs at 1.5Gbit/sec, both significantly outperform a 1Gbit/sec network when you add network overheads and congestion (which would be required to max out the controller cards).

Unless you do some serious heavy lifting with multiple devices simultaneously, the key factor in building a cheap home NAS is the CPU and RAM.
(This post was last modified: 2011-01-20 01:52 by ProphetVX.)
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eskro Offline
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Post: #32
yeah, thats why im looking to buy these probably

[CPU] AMD Sempron 2.7GHz AM3 45W Single-Core ($37 + $0)
[RAM] Kingston 1GB 240-Pin DDR3 1066Mhz ($13 + $10)
[MOBO] BIOSTAR A770E3 AM3 ATX ($60 + $0)
[PSU] CORSAIR CX430 430W ATX12V ($45 + $4 - $20 MIR)
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maxinc Offline
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Post: #33
bmcclure937 Wrote:Good point. I am curious though... is it possible that the SATA controller has onboard circuitry to help with performance. Since they have to know that PCI would be a bottleneck.

Since the CPU is computing the parity in our case, data needs to travel from drives to CPU and when the use the PCI bus, there is only so much available bandwidth. For short reads and writes, there are all sorts of cache mechanisms that may help but for things like parity checks nothing can make the PCI bus work faster.
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eskro Offline
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Post: #34
ok lets hold on for sec,,, my Head is spinning,,, Tongue

#1.
is it that bad to use a PC Case that includes its own PSU?
it could help with keeping things Low Cost...
but since a Server Runs 24/7, i guess,
what exactly why i need a very good PSU right?


#2.
since my Mobo has 6 sata ports by default,
i should select a 6x3.5" internal drive bay Case?
or
a case with at least 2x3.5" internal drive bay + 3x5.25" External Drive Bay + 4-in-3 Module Cage?

thx
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ProphetVX Offline
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Post: #35
eskro Wrote:ok lets hold on for sec,,, my Head is spinning,,, Tongue

#1.
is it that bad to use a PC Case that includes its own PSU?
it could help with keeping things Low Cost...
but since a Server Runs 24/7, i guess,
what exactly why i need a very good PSU right?
Depends on the PSU that comes with the case. Do your research on the PSU though, it'll end up costing you more in the long run if you go a cheaper option and it doesn't have good energy management.


eskro Wrote:#2.
since my Mobo has 6 sata ports by default,
i should select a 6x3.5" internal drive bay Case?
or
a case with at least 2x3.5" internal drive bay + 3x5.25" External Drive Bay + 4-in-3 Module Cage?

thx
Unless you plan on changing hard drives often (which most people don't), a module cage is just a gimmick. It's handy in server setups where frequent backups are made in business environments, but as a media server it's unlikely that you're going to be swapping out drives on a weekly/monthly basis. eSATA gives you the option to backup quickly without pulling apart the box as well.
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maxinc Offline
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Post: #36
ProphetVX Wrote:For 4TB NAS it's pretty much irrelevant, we're not talking about a lot of hdd's here.

For a 4TB NAS he doesn't need an additional controller anyway. A 6 port SATA MB can hold up to 10TB of parity protected data without an additional controller.

My unRAID checks the parity at a rate of 23MB/s with 4 out of 12 drives on the PCI bus and at 72MB/s with all drives on the PCI-E bus. This happens every time I add a new disk or upgrade an existing one or a routine parity check.
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eskro Offline
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Post: #37
then, if i get it right,
since my Mobo has 6 sata ports by default,
i should select a 6x3.5" internal drive bay Case obviously?
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maxinc Offline
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Post: #38
ProphetVX Wrote:Unless you plan on changing hard drives often (which most people don't), a module cage is just a gimmick.

Unless you don't believe that hard drives can fail from overheating, a module cage has the advantage of cooling 4 drives adequately using a silent 120m fan. I'm not taking about the hot swap and ridiculously expensive modules. (see link above)
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maxinc Offline
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Post: #39
@eskro select a case that has enough space to accommodate the amount of hard drives you think will have before you'll be ready to change the case for a bigger one. Also consider cooling.

The cases that Poofy recommended are the best choices for an initial setup and will allow your array to grow comfortably.
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ProphetVX Offline
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Post: #40
maxinc Wrote:Unless you don't believe that hard drives can fail from overheating, a module cage has the advantage of cooling 4 drives adequately using a silent 120m fan. I'm not taking about the hot swap and ridiculously expensive modules. (see link above)

Anyone who puts more than 1 hard drive in a case without a fan directly passing air over the drives is not very diligent in designing a system. Module cages, with the exception of hot-swapping offer nothing more than what a regular case offers.
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eskro Offline
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Post: #41
OK please review this possible NAS KiT

[CPU] AMD Sempron 2.7GHz AM3 45W Single-Core ($37 + $0)
[RAM] Kingston 1GB 240-Pin DDR3 1066Mhz ($13 + $10)
[MOBO] BIOSTAR A770E3 AM3 ATX ($60 + $0)
[PSU] CORSAIR CX430 430W ATX12V ($45 + $4 - $20 MIR)
[CASE] Pixxo CG-8062 ATX ($41 + $10)
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maxinc Offline
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Post: #42
ProphetVX Wrote:Anyone who puts more than 1 hard drive in a case without a fan directly passing air over the drives is not very diligent in designing a system. Module cages, with the exception of hot-swapping offer nothing more than what a regular case offers.

In my initial post, I was discussing density. You can fit more drives into a case with lots of 5.25" than into a regular case with 3.5" bays. And since 5.25" bays don't come with cooling, a module cage is necessary.

But of course, if you only want 6 drives, there's no need for density. That's why I mentioned that planning for the future could be a good idea if you can estimate the amount of growth the array will sustain.
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maxinc Offline
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Post: #43
eskro Wrote:OK please review this possible NAS KiT

[CPU] AMD Sempron 2.7GHz AM3 45W Single-Core ($37 + $0)
[RAM] Kingston 1GB 240-Pin DDR3 1066Mhz ($13 + $10)
[MOBO] BIOSTAR A770E3 AM3 ATX ($60 + $0)
[PSU] CORSAIR CX430 430W ATX12V ($45 + $4 - $20 MIR)
[CASE] Pixxo CG-8062 ATX ($41 + $10)


Looks good. Apart from the fact that I noticed you have 2 power supplies.
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eskro Offline
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Post: #44
yeah well,
since a Server Runs pretty 24/7, i need a very good PSU right?
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Mallet21 Offline
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Post: #45
eskro Wrote:OK please review this possible NAS KiT

[CPU] AMD Sempron 2.7GHz AM3 45W Single-Core ($37 + $0)
[RAM] Kingston 1GB 240-Pin DDR3 1066Mhz ($13 + $10)
[MOBO] BIOSTAR A770E3 AM3 ATX ($60 + $0)
[PSU] CORSAIR CX430 430W ATX12V ($45 + $4 - $20 MIR)
[CASE] Pixxo CG-8062 ATX ($41 + $10)

What O/S will you be using? That particular mobo does not have video support...will you be re-purposing an extra video card to get this system set up?

Otherwise looks like a pretty sweet (and cheap) storage solution.
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