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Good EX470-like case for WHS 2011 DIY Build
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Author:  Wizard37 [ Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Good EX470-like case for WHS 2011 DIY Build

Has anyone found a good case (ITX?) similar in size to the MediaSmart Server, I'd love to see if I can price out something on NewEgg that will replace my current generation MediaSmart server with at least 4 drives.

Author:  yakuza [ Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Good EX470-like case for WHS 2011 DIY Build

The HP Microserver is a pretty nice box, I've got a review in the works.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6859105905

Author:  ymboc [ Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Good EX470-like case for WHS 2011 DIY Build

Chenbro has an mini-ITX (home)server/htpc case...

Personally, I'd try to find a mATX case with a some 5.25" bays and put one of those supermicro 5in2 (3.5") hotswap (sub)chassis.

mATX components are typically significantly cheaper than their mITX counterparts and depending on the case you can often fit a real/better powersupply and all sorts of other goodies (quad core cpus, video capture cards etc etc) to boot.

Author:  JohnM [ Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Good EX470-like case for WHS 2011 DIY Build

I do like the look of that HP mini server. I almost bought one myself. I was just not in my budget at the time. Also I am not a big fan of AMD these day.

I personally have 3 of the CHENBRO ES34069-BK-180 Mini towers. I absolutely love them for what they are. they are small and quiet. Its dimensions are 10.25 x 6.5 x 10.25

I built 2 of these in Sept of 2009. I was looking at the HP MMS and the Acer WHS back then. They lacked the horsepower to dollar ratio of building my own at the time. I also wanted to run other OS's and have video out for trouble shooting.
I then needed a Large Portable Storage array last summer for a work desktop migration of 50 PC's. I built the 3rd (and ordered the 4th) on their dollar and bought then off them after the project was over, at a discount of course.

Some people complain about the fans and the power supply making noise. I have yet to have the power supply make noise.
The fans are not totally silent, if it is on your desk in a dead quiet room, you will notice it. on a shelf across the room, you wont notice it at all. Especially since I have 3 side by side. I also dont notice it on my desk when my main PC is on. it is considerably louder.

I have 2 configured with Intel boards and Dual-core E8600's. They were built as Quad-core Q9550's and I later swiped the CPU's for other uses. 4gigs of Gskill ram, 1 repurposed laptop 7200RPM OS drive and 4x Samsung 1.5TB F2 LP drives in Raid 5, and an add-on Sata controller for the OS drive and DVD (if i had installed one).

The third one is with a Supermicro Atom D510 board, 4 Gigs of ram, 2.5" 7200RPM OS drives and 4x Samsung F4 2TB LP drives in Raid-5. Since I don't have a DVD reader installed, I routed the 6th Sata to an E-sata port, using a knock-out on the back of the Case. It is like the Supermicro boards are built for this case. 6 Sata, Dual Intel NIC, Raid and IPMI. there are enough headers on the mobo for all the status lights on this case including the 2 front NIC lights. Plus the Supermicro board is a server board, it has all the server OS drivers.

With all three of these server, when doing file copies from server to server. The transfer speed is 99% of the gigabit NIC. I peg it at max with 2008r2 installed.

I started to build a 4th but the cost of the case went up a lot. See here to see what I ended up doing.
I do believe that if you use the supermicro board and the 120watt version you should be perfectly fine if you are using green/LP drives.

If I were to build another low-power bookcase server today. here is what I would order:
CHENBRO ES34169-BK-120 $125
SUPERMICRO MBD-X7SPE-HF-D525-O Proprietary Intel Atom D525 Server Motherboard $225
Crucial Technology Unbuffered Non - ECC DDR3-1066 1.5V 4 GB Memory Kit CT2CP25664BC1339 $44

$394 without drives.
Add a 2.5 drive or SSD.
Add 1-4 3.5" drives.

A few bits of warning:
1. That D525 Mobo is not true ITX. It is about an inch wider next to the PCIe slot. Looking inside the case, that should be fine. It will just start to block the the cable opening for the drives and power. Not enough to be an issue. Also there are 6 mounting holes on the board. you can only screw in 4. Again it is only an inch of flex. unless you gorilla a PCIe card into it. you'll be fine. If you're worried you can buy the true ITX D510.
2. If you have fat fingers or are new to building PC's, this combo will be a challenge. the cabling is is quite a chore. I'll include some photos for an idea of whats to expect.
3. I assume you are not looking for massive horsepower if you're looking into ITX. While board is a stellar performer for my needs, it might not have the horses to say transcode video on the fly.

Attachments:
File comment: Next to a mid tower case for scale.
Today is spring cleaning I happened to have one powered off and opened to blow compressed air through it.

photo1.JPG
photo1.JPG [ 1.75 MiB | Viewed 6937 times ]
File comment: Cable nightmare. This is one of the Intel builds. The Supermicro build is much cleaner inside. Hard drive on top for scale.
photo.JPG
photo.JPG [ 1.66 MiB | Viewed 6935 times ]

Author:  Wizard37 [ Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Good EX470-like case for WHS 2011 DIY Build

Wow everybody this is some great information. I will consider all of these options. I don't typically transcode video on my WHS itself, if I needed to do that I'd probably rather use my HTPC's CPU instead. I'm running 7 machines in my room so I need to keep it lower in power and performance.

Author:  Wizard37 [ Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Good EX470-like case for WHS 2011 DIY Build

That HP Mini Server doesn't seem like it would really fit my needs. It needs a RAM upgrade and I don't think it has a port multiplier (I have a TR4M-B based on this forum's recommendation)

Does that SuperMicro board have it? (I'm checking the 'egg now myself)

Author:  ymboc [ Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Good EX470-like case for WHS 2011 DIY Build

Wizard37 wrote:
Does that SuperMicro board have it? (I'm checking the 'egg now myself)
No it does not... but what it does have is IPMI -- which is like a KVM but over the network -- amazing stuff if you've never worked with it.

Author:  JohnM [ Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Good EX470-like case for WHS 2011 DIY Build

No, the supermicro board does not have Esata (with or without port multiplier support :P ) and the Chenbro case has no expansion slot to put an add-on card into it.

If that is something you need. the supermicro build would cripple the use of the TR4M-B. My intel builds do have port multipliers on them. so maybe another Mobo might be a better option.

As I recall in my research, the HP microserver did not have a portmultiplier in it and the the ram is very expensive for it. I also heard the sata speeds are very poor. closer to sata1 then sata2? maybe Yakuza can confirm this. But, it did have an a free slot for an add on card. PCIe 1x or 4x? I forgot it has been a while. so you put an esata card in there.



EDIT:
if this board has Port multiplier support, this might be a decent build with an i3 chip.

Author:  JohnM [ Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Good EX470-like case for WHS 2011 DIY Build

I just saw this case for the first time. http://linitx.com/viewproduct.php?prodid=12789

it is a little pricey but has the features you need and a pci expansion slot for upgrades like an eSata card for your external array.

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