AT0MAC

AT0MACs mITX low-noise unRAID build log

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Project terminated as of 8th September 2012

 

 

Reasons:

 

 

1) Motherboard faulty, need to send to DOA/RMA

2) My wife got seriously ill and had to give birth to our daughter 5 weeks before time so have spend immense amounts of time taking care of my girls (they are fine now)

3) In my absence from work I got promoted so I now have a better job starting on monday (means less time to build)

4) Because of 1) and 2) we moved our living room furniture around and it is no longer ideal to have a server under the couch, means the chassis is out of the question

5) Because of 2) I have many videos and pictures I can never bring back if I ever loose them, so backup is of uttermost importance =

6) I need a quick durable solution! =

7) Changing the setup, using Linux OS, (therefor thread is terminated from unRAID site) and building a system without mods + run cloud backup for extra security (would not be possible under unRAID)

 

 

 

 

Follow the continues story over at Bit-Tech.

 

 

*********

 

 

 

 

I have for about a month now wanted to build a NAS and finally I have seriously started.

 

 

The past month I have researched a lot about various details, an have to say unRAID users are awesome, you have been so much help!

 

 

My initial idea was something super small, mITX and absolutely silent.

After giving that some thought I found out that super small is a bad idea for future expansions and absolute silent could mean the death to most hardware if not done with enough care.

 

So the idea I have gone with instead is a mATX chassis with a integrated mITX motherboard inside.

 

I want to keep everything fairly pro/high-level because of reliability so it's not going to be a cheap NAS to build. You might ask why I even bother to build one - well, I have had NAS before and they all ended up dead within fairly short time for one reason or the other... I want to see if I can make a better one, in terms of quality.

 

 

 

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The build so far, these pictures will be regular switched out to the newest edition:

 

 

201207091356.jpg

 

201207091350.jpg

 

 

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Shopping list:

 

 

MB: Super Micro X7SPA-HF-D525 (Low power, many expansion possibilities and supports IPMI for perfect headless operation)

 

 

Drive controller: First I thought 6 drives was enough, then it suddenly became possible to add 8 and I needed more SATA ports - choice ended up on a IBM M1015 8port PCI-e card

 

 

RAM: Hynix 2x2GB DDR1333 running at 800MHz (because thats the limit of the MB, have them from my now upgraded Mac)

 

 

Case: Norco RPC-430 old model (because it fits under my sofa and have space for 4 drives + it supports NIC status LEDs in the front!)

 

 

Fans: NoiseBlocker NB-Multiframe 3x M12-S1 & 2x M8-P PWM (to make the air move, but not actual cool, I want it to be super low noise)

 

 

PSU: Seasonic X400 (fanless! 80+ GOLD! and have 33Amp on the 12v rail! AWESOME!!)

 

 

Parity drive: Hitachi 5K3000 3TB version (Hitachi 5K3000 is apparently the most reliable drive at the moment, start with one but will add more if the price is right)

 

 

Cache drive: Hitachi 5K500 500GB SATA300 (had it laying around from an upgraded external G-Drive)

 

 

Data drive(s): Hitachi 3K5000 2TB SATA600 32MB Cache so I can go all Hitachi = high reliability :D

 

 

OS drive: After a long hunt I have gotten two Integral Memory Endurance SLC based 4GB and 8GB SD cards and a Kingston MobileLite G2 card reader with a unique UUID / GUID.

 

 

 

Just to mention, I will drive some of the fans directly off the PSU via a BitFenix molex adapter (just to ensure I don't burn off MB because I plug in too many fans).

I will also mod in two Lian Li EX-332N drive cages to fit 6 data drives in total, but they will be mounted with M12-S1 fans instead of the provided Lian Li fans (to keep the noise level low). The last fan will be mounted at the back of the case in a Lian Li BS03 and blow down on the cache and parity drive below it (see drawings later on to make it give more sense).

Power to the Data drives will come via two of Performance-PCs CleanCable SATA power cables sponsored by Performance-PCs and the SATA cables themselves will be 6x 12" latching SATA III 90' cables and 1x 19" SFF8087 to 4x SATA III, both in the brand Startech.

 

 

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I have to say this is not a super fast build, I don't have enormous amounts of spare time so posts will come as I build along in a slow and steady pace.

 

 

(!) My primary language is NOT English, so please bare over with me if I write things a little strange sometimes - I am a Viking from the tiny in size but mighty in awesomeness - Denmark.

 

 

Lastly a little about me, I have used computers since I was like 6 years old and was playing Commodore 64 with my brother, loading games off casette tapes!

For close to 15 years I have been a PC user, builder and slightly starting to mod - until I a few years ago had enough of Windows Vista and wanted something that just worked - so I switched to Mac and will never go back...

Have now owned a Mac Mini version 2.1 2007 model that I turned to the dark side as the Black Mini, I have had a Mac Mini version 4.1 2010 Server I tuned to be epic fast with two Seagate Momentus XT in RAID0 and 8GB of snappy fast RAM. Lately I have tuned my newest Mac Mini 5.2 2011 model to be one of the fastest on the planet (of it's breed/modeltype) with 8GB DDR1866 and two Intel Series 520 240GB SSDs!

My day job have nothing to do with either PCs or Macs but if I told you more I would have to silence you - for good... ;)

 

 

So for short, thats why I call my self a Mac Mod'er  8)

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Might have to say, the NAS will be used mostly for my ripped BD discs (wich I usually rip in full 1080p unless I am in a hurry so they generally take up 10-20GB per movie.

Also it will host my iTunes library with 20.000+ songs from ripped CDs and bought online + my HD music library with nearly 1.000 hi-res songs.

 

 

I guess trafic will be quite heavy as I usually rip a new BD at least once a month. A new CD also at least a month and listen to music almost everyday on my Mac (and soon also on an iPad).

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Looks very slick.  I like the NB fans - I had not studied those before (I use Noctua myself) but for the same reasons (effective but quiet).  I've also looked at fanless PSUs but have not used one myself yet.  Since you've clearly considered the airflow I suspect it will be fine though.

 

Neat drawings too.  I must look into using Sketchup sometime.

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Looks very slick.

 

 

Thank you :)

Do you have any response to the questions in blue?

 

 

I actually just ordered the Sony USB because my preferred seller on Amazon only had one left, it's an discontinued model (newer Sony's use USB3.0) so had to do something.

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I hope this isn't against the rules but I have an unused GD04 that I could sell you at a bargain price (hopefully you live in the UK). Great design btw.

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I have an unused GD04 that I could sell you at a bargain price (hopefully you live in the UK). Great design btw.

 

 

Thank you for the offer :)

First of all I don't live in UK but in DK (Denmark) so would not be ideal to send it, second - I just changed my mind and ordered a much more awesome case.

 

 

---------

 

 

Just ordered the Norco RPC-430 (old 4x drive model) directly from European Norco distributor Ri-Vier in Netherlands.

 

 

Before you click and check it out, here is a pic:

 

 

430dh.jpg

430in.jpg

 

 

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Why the change?

 

 

The usage of the GD04 space looks so clumsy, I want a more neat look because it ultimately gives a better airflow + easier to swap an eventually faulty drive.

Also I found out (after reading the manual) that the MB I have in mind (but have not bought yet) have NIC LED outputs to show the traffic on the front panel of your case!

Thats absolute neat for a NAS/server! This case supports that feature wich the GD04 did not :D

 

 

And just to say, yes I know there is a newer 6 disc 430 model out now, but until it reaches these shores we will be well into summer and I a) can't wait that long b) dont need 6 drives.

 

 

 

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The Dutch guys waste no time!

10 minutes after I ordered they have already send me a shipping note with tracking number and all!

 

 

 

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Last update for now is that I have decided to start out using a Hitachi 5K500 500GB 2.5" SATA300 drive as cache disc, have it laying around since I upgraded my external G-Drive.

Will mount it in a Intel 2.5 -> 3.5 adapter with some rubber padding between, and then fit it in the 4th drive bay in the new case.

 

 

Now I have to figure out how to send back two of my NB fans + the Scythe adapter and get a pair of 80mm NB fans instead + an extra Lian Li BS-03.

I think I will mount the two Lian Li adapters below the HDD drive cages to blow air in from the front and up into the cages, might have to drill some holes in the drive cage bottom but that's ok.

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Just want to put on the shopping list for later, a MB971SP-B from Icy Dock.

Brand new model so not out yet, also I don't need it for now but could come in handy later as I can place parity drive and cache in the 5.25" slot and add up to two extra data drives!

That means my 4TB NAS could instantly double to 8TB!

...that's a link worth saving

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Thank you for mentioning us AT0MAC.

 

We wish you the best of luck building your NAS!

 

8)

 

 

Thank you so much, I must say your service is top of the line - quick, precise and to the point.

Loved that you could tell exactly on the dot how much space there is for PSU :D (22cm by the way)

 

 

Looking forward to receiving my case.

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I have just canceled the Sony USM4GLX USB drive because I in another thread was made aware of if I want to go real Chuck Norris on this, then I need a SLC based drive!

They are just harder to find than I expected... Can any of you help?

 

 

Remember, it have to have a valid GUID so I can register it for unRAID Plus.

 

 

Also another update, Dell just send me a message that my order of the WD RE4-GP drive have been canceled due to no longer being available?

I am curious to see what the next model will be...

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Todays update:

 

 

After a long hunt I have ordered two Integral Memory Endurance SLC based 4GB SD cards so now all I need is a card reader with a unique UUID / GUID.

 

 

Still I would like some few words on what drive I should order for data and parity, see the first post text in blue what I am considering.

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I have just come home after picking up the Integral SLC SD cards, to my big surprise they look like just rebranded Toshiba cards - so apparently the Toshiba cards I found on eBay and Amazon are truly SLC too.

The vendor I bought it from apparently only had one 4GB card left, but offered me his last 8GB card for the same price as compensation :D

The 8GB card comes preinstalled with a Linux OS made for thin clients or Kiosk systems, wich is exactly what this guy normally sells - I just need to delete it and start from a fresh and boom I have 4 + 8 GB premium SLC at my disposal!

 

 

Also today I received the HUGE box my new chassis comes in, omg...

Have not really told the wife the whole story yet, so when she saw the box she immediately asked who that was for - it's just something for me and she let it pass.

She must be used by now to me receiving packages from all over the world here at home, most of them are for my work but from time to time I get things for my self.

 

 

 

 

Lastly, a question:

 

 

I have found a offer from a local retailer selling WD WD20EARX for $149 over the weekend, normal price here looks to be more like $169.

A Hitachi 5K3000 goes here for $220. Is Hitachi SOO much better or do you have good reliability with the WDs?

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I don't seem to get much response here regarding choosing the right HDDs for my build...

I have been reading a lot of user opinions here in other threads, and even expanded the question over til UK site Bit-Tech were I got really good replies.

 

 

 

After reading reviews most of the weekend and almost getting blind from steering on the screen all day I have decided that Seagate and Samsung do make good drives...

That is after all what my conclusion have been - so tomorrow I am pretty much convinced that I will buy a Samsung Spinpoint F4EG HD204UI 2 TB and a Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB ST320005N4D1AS (the drive they use in their own BlackAmour NAS 400-series).

I would love to have a Hitachi 5K3000, but it is much more pricey at the moment and really really hard to find in stock anywhere - so that will maybe be a later expansion.

 

 

What do you guys think about that?

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I have today ordered a 2TB drive what I believe is a WD20EADS from the only retailer I can find who is still selling those.

I can find many who think that drive was really really good - and also seriously low noise (wich in my case is just as important).

 

 

I have not made up my mind yet if I will use it for parity or data, but Im guessing it will be best to use it for parity (as it's the only EADS I will have) and then have the same type of drives for data (like a pair of Hitachi 5K3000).

If I could just find Hitachi in stock for a good price...

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FINALLY!!!

I found an extremely good deal on a supposedly brand new drive on eBay.co.uk.

-if not brand new the seller allows returns/refund so no worries.

Here in Denmark the 5K3000 HDS5C3020ALA632 normally cost around $195, but there are no Danish retailers who have it in stock until end of May...

I have been looking around in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and UK to see if I could find a better deal at someones shop were they are in stock - only luck I have had is Germany were they go for around $230 (because of the more expensive postage from Germany to Denmark).

I was on the verge to buy it in Germany until I had one last look at eBay.co.uk were I found a guy who have a 100% perfect seller score in 1.610 sales!

...and the best part is he sells this drive for nothing more than $165 including postage to Denmark!

I know it goes for $129.99 in the US, but until it reaches Danish shores that would have become $187 including Danish taxes without even adding the postage fee yet (Newegg don't ship other than in US and I don't see a point in looking up other prices)

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I would use the hitachi over the EADs for parity. the WD's are slower.

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I would use the hitachi over the EADs for parity. the WD's are slower.

 

 

I can't really imagine it would make much of a difference, I am going to use a 500GB cache drive, so as far as I understand it will not write to the other discs until 3am in the night, emptying the cache drive.

When read from the unRAID NAS, the parity is not even in play, just waiting passively for the next write.

 

 

Would love to hear others opinions too :)

(this is after all my first time playing around RAID4 and unRAID)

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I have just canceled the Sony USM4GLX USB drive because I in another thread was made aware of if I want to go real Chuck Norris on this, then I need a SLC based drive!

They are just harder to find than I expected... Can any of you help?

 

 

Remember, it have to have a valid GUID so I can register it for unRAID Plus.

 

 

Also another update, Dell just send me a message that my order of the WD RE4-GP drive have been canceled due to no longer being available?

I am curious to see what the next model will be...

 

Can you send me a link to this thread about SLC based drives?

 

Why is this so important?

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I would use the hitachi over the EADs for parity. the WD's are slower.

 

 

I can't really imagine it would make much of a difference, I am going to use a 500GB cache drive, so as far as I understand it will not write to the other discs until 3am in the night, emptying the cache drive.

When read from the unRAID NAS, the parity is not even in play, just waiting passively for the next write.

 

 

Would love to hear others opinions too :)

(this is after all my first time playing around RAID4 and unRAID)

 

Lifting some of my own text from another thread...

 

If no cache in use, then...

 

If you only have one device sending data to one share on one disk drive in the array, then the parity drive is not a bottleneck.  For each write to the array the data disk and the parity disk must both be read and written to once - so two operations each.  In that case the parity drive brings no great benefit by being faster than the data drive.  However, if you have multiple writes to the array happening to different disk drives in the array, then the parity drive speed has more of an influence since it is doing twice the work of each of the other drives. 

 

If you have a cache, then except in the case where the cache has become full, only the mover will write to the array and in that case there again is only one write data stream, so parity speed can be the same as other drives.

 

As I think you know, the parity drive is not used when reading data except when there is a failed read from a data drive.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Les.

 

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If you have a cache, then except in the case where the cache has become full, only the mover will write to the array and in that case there again is only one write data stream, so parity speed can be the same as other drives.

 

As I think you know, the parity drive is not used when reading data except when there is a failed read from a data drive.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Les.

 

 

So basically you used more words to confirm what I already suspected - that Parity disc quality is not so absolute important when you have a cache disc - it will not hurt my array to use a WD disc as parity and the better Hitachi for data?

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Can you send me a link to this thread about SLC based drives?

 

Why is this so important?

 

 

In case you didn't find the link here in the thread (yes it is nicely hidden) then it is here too.

 

 

SLC is not super important, it's more one of those things that are nice to have.

SLC is a better form of flash memory than the more common MLC, MLC can live for up to around 10.000 read/write cycles were an SLC have 10 longer life - 100.000 read/write cycles. SLC is used mostly in top of the line SSD drives and high end SD cards, very rarely in USB based drives. Mostly used in high-end environments like government or professional server configurations.

 

 

Only reason why I went for it is because SLC is these days extremely rare and because SLC have a hugely larger reliability factor.

I wan't my unRAID to be pretty rock solid (within reason).

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Picked up my first harddrive today, there was something wrong in their ordering system and it had mentioned it as an older drive (WD20EADS), I actually ended up getting the newest WD20EARX with lower power consumption, less heat but also a little bit slower than the older drives...

 

 

Didn't do a good deal here after all, could have bought this drive cheaper other places :( can't win every time...

 

 

 

 

EDIT: Decided to send the WD back for refund... Found a great offer on a Hitachi HDS5C3030ALA630 3TB version of the drive I will use for data - so I go all Hitachi = High reliability Found it for only $222 in Germany incl shipping to Denmark! Cheapest in US is something like $199 before adding import tax and shipping cost, and here in DK they go for around $300.

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If you have a cache, then except in the case where the cache has become full, only the mover will write to the array and in that case there again is only one write data stream, so parity speed can be the same as other drives.

 

As I think you know, the parity drive is not used when reading data except when there is a failed read from a data drive.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Les.

 

 

So basically you used more words to confirm what I already suspected - that Parity disc quality is not so absolute important when you have a cache disc - it will not hurt my array to use a WD disc as parity and the better Hitachi for data?

 

Correct.  Or use the faster drive for cache.  But I see you already planned to swap the WD to Hitachi, so should not now matter.

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Correct.  Or use the faster drive for cache.  But I see you already planned to swap the WD to Hitachi, so should not now matter.

 

 

;D Am really looking forward to receive everything and begin building!

 

 

Just checked with my three suppliers: The 2TB Hitachi data drive should arrive most likely already tomorrow, so should the MB / 80mm fans / card reader - but the 3TB parity Hitachi drive is not yet shipped and maybe it was not in stock after all and will not be shipped untill monday next week :(

Send them a mail to hear what status is.

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