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Old 11-28-2015, 11:30 PM
medwynd medwynd is offline
Sage Aficionado
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 300
New unraid server questions

My original post about whether to build a unified solution or 2 separate boxes can be found here:

The consensus seems to be to build one machine so this is where I am at now with it.

So I have been doing my research for a while on putting together a new machine.

My old setup was a WHS v1 with 3x2TB drives which has since run out of space and is a bit long in the tooth being about 5 yrs old.

I already have replacement drives on the way because I got a good deal on them, 4x3TB WD Reds. This will give me 3 TB more space and one to use as a parity drive. A cache drive will be ordered shortly to run virtual machines on.

I pretty much only plan on serving up media for now with this machine, running Plex to transcode to mobile devices while away from home and run sage or possibly kodi or emby.

I would like to leave plenty of room to grow the setup as well.

Size isn't a huge concern really as I have a large office I can stash this setup in.

If I got mini ITX the most common options seem to be Lian Li PC-Q25B, this gives 5 hot swap bays + 2 additional and runs about 120$ and the SilverStone DS380B that runs about $150.
DS380B -
Q25B -

Another way I can go is to get something like a CoolerMaster HAFX which I could add up to 3 Icy Dock Vortex 4 in 3 cages (only 35 after rebate currently) if I ever needed that much space.
A HAFX would run me only 130 currently after rebate or you could move down to a HAF 922 for 80 after rebate. This would also give me access to a full size motherboard as well.
HAF 922-
Icy Dock Vortex -

I am all over the place on this with people running all sorts of setups. Some using server motherboards some using desktops motherboards.

My own requirements are that I clearly would like enough SATA ports, ECC is more of a nice to have, and vt-d support would be nice as well, low power draw.
I think I might be missing what some of the advantages are of the server motherboards. Is it mostly for the support of ECC RAM? Are there other features I am not considering?

I could use something like an ASRock Z97 Extreme6 which has 10 x SATA 6Gb/s ports, supports LGA1150 chips, and is only 110$ after rebate. I could also add more sata ports in the future if needed.
The con of this motherboard is its 52W power draw when idle.

The sata connectors are:
6 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s Connectors by Intel Z97
2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s Connectors by ASMedia ASM1061
1 x SATA Express 10 Gb/s Connector
1 x M.2_SSD (probably will never be needed in this rig)

ASRock Z97 Extreme6 -

On the server motherboard side the most common seem to be:
ASRock E3C226D2I and the ASRock E3C224D4I-14S.
The con of the E3C224D4I-14S is that it is an extended mini ITX board, the pros are it can support 12 drives, 6 fan controllers, and up to 32GB of ECC ram.

This is entirely dependent on motherboard choice

Power Supply:
Not too much to mention here. Depending on my case I will need to consider an ATX or SFX PSU.
On the SFX side, I like the Silverstone SX500-LG @ $80 after rebate
On the ATX side, I like the Corsair CX500m only 25$ after rebate

SX500 -
CX500 -

So a straight desktop setup will cost me:
$299 after rebates not including RAM and CPU, so say an additional 75$ for 16GB of ram and 200$ for a quad core i5, bringing the total to about 600$, not including the couple hundred I spent on the WD Reds.

Well that about sums up my research so far. If I can get some hardware opinions from those with some more experience, that would be great. I would hate to end up with something only to realize I over looked a feature. Thanks.
Sage on WHS HP MediaSmart Server EX495, 2 x Samsung EcoGreen F3 HD203WI 2TB 5400 RPM drives, HD-HomeRun Dual Tuner, HD-200, HD-300

Last edited by medwynd; 11-28-2015 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:53 AM
medwynd medwynd is offline
Sage Aficionado
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 300
In case anyone was looking for a followup to this, my build is posted in this thread:
Sage on WHS HP MediaSmart Server EX495, 2 x Samsung EcoGreen F3 HD203WI 2TB 5400 RPM drives, HD-HomeRun Dual Tuner, HD-200, HD-300
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