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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:14 am 
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I have recently build a storage cum media server for my personal use and also to consolidate the data lying around in 4-5 different external hard disks. It would house my Personal photos, Personal Family Videos in HD, Movie (HD and others) and Music collection .The primary motivation for building rather than buying was expandibility, upgradability and at least 10TB+ storage in future. The machine would be running for more than 48 hrs on weekends and weekdays I don't see much usage for it :).

Following are the details of the machine:

Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 Mid Tower Cabinet (Fitted with additional 120 mm bottom and 200 mm side panel fan)
Power Supply: Cooler Master Silent Pro 600W
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3P MB
Processor: Intel Core i5-750 Processor (8M Cache, 2.66 GHz)
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper TX3
RAM: 2GB * 3 - 6GB Corsair TR3X6G1333C9 DDR3 1333MHz (Currently using only 4GB)
OS HDD: 500 GB * 2 Western Digital Green HDD WD5000AADS (Configured on RAID 1)
Graphics Card : XFX ATI Radeon HD4670 1GB DDR3
HDD Cage : iStarUSA Hot-Swap Backplane Raid Cage BPU-230SA-BLUE * 2 (Capable of holding 6 drives total)
SATA Controller Card: Highpoint RocketRAID 2300 SATA 4 Port card (Yet to arrive)
Data HDD: 2 * 1 TB Western Digital WD10EARS (in JBOD)
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate (planning to move to WHSv2 (Vail) once it releases)
Notes: I also plan to attach the SANS Tower RAID 4 bay enclosure to expand my storage in near future.

I had a lot of questions around this system so let me start with few here:

1. Currently I read a lot about TLER and the issues associated with that in WD Green drives. Currently I have put 2 500 GB WD Green (model specified above) in RAID1 on my Marvell 6 Gbps SATA controller. They are AHCI enabled and it's a hardware raid. Will I run into issues or it would be alright to use these drives in consumer environments like mine :). Currently I was contemplating of buying WD RE3 drives instead for OS. Currently they are not available in the region I live in. So I am not sure which way to go here. Also whether the choice of Data drives fine?

2. Currently I have not done any overclocking on this system and it is enabled in Turbo mode which as per Gigabyte does some auto overclocking so I see at peak loads my system can go to 2.78 Ghz (BCLKx21). By measuring the temps on the CPU in idle conditions I get 32-35 degree Celsius. The CPU during peak load using Prime95 reaches and saturates at 59-62 degree mark. These are CPU core temperatures. The ambient room temperature was around 27 degrees when I measured these temps (there is no air conditioning in this room). Is this good enough or should I be worried about these temperatures.I have no plans of overclocking the system for now :). Although the Cooler master Hyper 212 plus was my first choice but was not available locally :(.

3. As you can see I made a mistake while buying RAM and ended up buying the triple channel one and hence leaving me with 1 stick unusable. Currently I have put only 2 sticks to use the dual channel appropriately but was wondering how can I use the third. Also if I buy a second set of dual channel memory and put them will they cause issues. I can make sure the timing, voltage etc. matches for them but not too sure whether it will be exact same model though.

4. Since I am using Windows 7 OS I wanted to know what softwares are recommended for monitoring Disk health etc (Prferably freeware). I checked out smartmon tools on Sourceforge and crystal disk info as well. You can share your experience with these softwares. Any other recommendations?

5. Currently the data hosted on the data drive is backed up on a 2 TB NAS separately. But after that I plan to have different HDD in the current machine having duplicates. I could have gone with RAID but then the recovery is painful and having manually data duplicated requires work :). I read about flexRaid and disParity etc. but couldn't get much information on how useful they are. If you could share your experiences it would be of great help. Also if I migrate to Vail this could get addressed by folder duplication.

6. Also currently I am not too sure how to migrate to Vail from Windows 7. Still I have some reading to do. Basically I wasn't sure when I add my data drives to storage pool, will it format it or there is a choice to keep it intact. Incase you have some insights, I will be more than glad to hear your thoughts.

7. I have a few 2.5 and 3.5 External HDD lying around with data which I think I would need to sell because I couldn't see how I can fit them here or get an enclosure which can fit them all in one. I am planning to buy new 1 TB disks and copy all these data into this NAS housed data drives. Any suggestions on re-usability are welcome.

I have done my share of RTFF :) and have read quite a lot of threads. In case some questions are very noob please excuse me. Any other general feedback, critique and creative ideas are most welcome :). I understand these are myriad of questions and one forum is not enough to get answers.

I will post the photos of the build pretty soon.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:14 am 
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Wow! That's a bunch of questions. Suggestion for #6 Install VMserver. http://usingwindowshomeserver.com/2010/ ... l-machine/


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:56 am 
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2.5TB storage
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to start the system looks great with loads of power and expansion later

#1 Vail will run fine on new advance format drives. WHS 1 just doesnt like the new drives for the system drive all others are fine.

#2 I5 is over kill for any server that isnt being used for computing data or transcoding constantly but it will be snappy to log on. The dual core processors run great while streaming and transferring data. So this is what most are using now.

#3 you should be able to just buy a fourth memory chip. the bigger issues is they have to be linked in pairs not sets of 3s . log on to your memory website and see what they say but should be ok. If the first pair works why wouldnt the 2 nd pair. just use pairs.

other could chime in . but looks like your off to a good start.

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EX490 3.0Ghz E6600 3X WD20EARS 1T ST7200.11 ----Esata attached TR5M 2X 2T Samsung F4 2X 2T Baracuda LP 1X 2T WD20EARS
DIY build HAF 912 case Asus M4A88-TD EVO MB 4 gig Ram Phenom II X4 3.2Ghz B55 VelociRaptor 600 3X WD20EARS


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:19 am 
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Had been busy with work lately, so wasn't regular on the forum. Thanks folks for your replies. The Server has been running for some time and is been doing pretty well. At last took the plunge and loaded it up with 8GB RAM which I feel is way too much overkill. But the system is pretty fast and I have started consolidating my data on the drives in the new system. Since I am done with this one :), I am planning to start off on another a very low power consumption downloading rig assembling pretty soon.
@mksE55: Even I am waiting for the Vail to get released but I am not too sure on the migration path which I still need to iron out. i5 is a overkill which I completely agree, I was planning to use it for some on the fly transcoding as well in future.
Next thing is to get the pics of this system and upload them.. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:57 pm 
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anthonynishat, Looks like a great system.

I could argue that your i5-750 is NOT overkill :) Transcoding and ripping sd/bd movies will definetly benifit from this CPU.

Subjectively, I'm not a big fan of "green" drives for your OS. RAID 1 or not. I'm inclined to go with a faster drive as in a WD black (7200 RPM) for speed and arguably reliability. I lurk a great deal but generally this seems to be the flavor.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:25 pm 
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2.5TB storage
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glad to see your up and running. I would try and get a fast of an OS drive as possible like a nice 1T WD or samsung or the likes . alot of diversity with HD. you could do an SSD but some issues of drive cleaning and wear have yet to be answered. definitely get us some pics. your Server sound alot like my main system. HAF 922 with the i5-750 , I am running the hyper master 212 plus and it works great. overclocked to 4.2 it runs 70-73 on prime 95 at clock speed in the 4.0 range its more like 67-69. normal warm room temps. I do run the twin fans on the cooler and this helps 3-4C. I am running 8 gig memory. and I have the 120gig SSD boot drive so its very fast on start and execution of all the programs. I will upload some pics when I get back home. My MSS server is really the main unit and does well with just 2 gig memory and the lowly E6700 processor dual core.

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EX490 3.0Ghz E6600 3X WD20EARS 1T ST7200.11 ----Esata attached TR5M 2X 2T Samsung F4 2X 2T Baracuda LP 1X 2T WD20EARS
DIY build HAF 912 case Asus M4A88-TD EVO MB 4 gig Ram Phenom II X4 3.2Ghz B55 VelociRaptor 600 3X WD20EARS


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:19 pm 
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1TB storage
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is this a good MB with a i5 chip for a server. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128412


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