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duelistjp

budget media server build

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Recently got my first job and decided that even before a car I wanted to finally build myself a media server.  As it stands I'm using an ancient pc without even sata ports and it runs lubuntu with unimaginable lag.  Would probably be better of dual purposing one of the several modern desktops we have in the home but parents refuse to support a media or file server for some reason even though they have been very generous overall in terms of computers.  I'm still pretty poor though and want to get a car before too long so I'm on a bit of a budget.  talked my parents into getting fiberoptic in a few months when it is in our area so should have 200mbps down 50 mbps up.  There may be a few program isos and what not in addition to the media but no irreplaceable data on here so to keep cost down i won't have redundancy or backup of the data drives at least at first.  Will just output tree to a txt file once a week and save it on google drive.  It will run Plex, sickrage, couchpotato, transmission, and samba.  The most it should ever deal with is 3 streams rarely, normally 2 or less and generally one of the streams will be playing to a desktop on the local network so it shouldn't need transcoding on that.  Was hoping to get your opinions on the hardware i'm looking at.  Future expandability especially in storage size is important to me but I don't want to add any cards to the mobo to get it for some time. Here are the components i'm looking at although these are not necessarily where i will buy them and may have to make substitutions if price changes before I get them.  What I am most unsure about is the processor. am i likely to need an i5 for the load i'm planning on putting on it in plex.

 

1. case - http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0091IZ1ZG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

2. mobo - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157500

 

3. ram - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231666

 

4. processor - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117447

 

5. system drive - http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KFAGCWK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

6. data drives (will need more later) 2x - http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EHBERSE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

7. psu - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139028

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Not bad.. I personally went with a Kingston V300 120gb ssd because I had no need to install a ton of apps and saves me like 50 buck... I paid 74 locally.. the wd reds are a great idea.. just consider where u buy em I got my 1TB 2.5 from newegg and they are great with RMA.. I will highly stress Backup backup backup..



o and make sure that PSU is big enough for your needs. if you plan on filling out that 15 Bay case... corsair are good from what but that's a huge case. better more watts than not enough...

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Not bad.. I personally went with a Kingston V300 120gb ssd because I had no need to install a ton of apps and saves me like 50 buck... I paid 74 locally.. the wd reds are a great idea.. just consider where u buy em I got my 1TB 2.5 from newegg and they are great with RMA.. I will highly stress Backup backup backup..

 

o and make sure that PSU is big enough for your needs. if you plan on filling out that 15 Bay case... corsair are good from what but that's a huge case. better more watts than not enough...

yeah i'm actually probably going to put an older samsung 120 gb ssd in the server.  gonna buy that for my laptop which has the samsung right now.  just accidentally put that on the list since i had the tab open as it will have to be purchased.  as far as the psu 15 wd reds spinning up at the same time should only be 315 watts according to the 4 tb spec sheet on the 12v line, the cpu should do 54w max, the fans combined should be about 12 watts and i doubt the mobo or the ram will break me but lets say they along with any other components may take take 75 watts.  that's about 450w.  i don't think i'm close to making out any of the individual voltages.  this system has no discrete video card remember.  using the extreme power supply calculator assuming all the drives were 7200(reds are 5900 and the ssds are less) and a couple of reasonable upgrades and assuming 50% capacitor aging and an ungodly number of usb devices drawing power it still requires only 486 watt and recommends 536w.  a 600w corsair seemed like it could do the job.  a more reasonable estimation of what i might do in the next several years had me requiring at most a 400w by their calc.  am i overlooking something?

 

and as far as backup I know I'm being bad but for the vast majority of my stuff that can be gotten again i just run a tree command every week or so and output it to a file which is backed up on google drive.  it'll be a pain but i should be able to get most of it back with some work.  eventually when i have more money may get some of those 8tb seagate drives for $260 and backup to it then put it somewhere on a shelf at my uncle's house.  but till then i have to risk it

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....if you are on a budget, you can save some bucks on the mobo and the RAM.

In that case you probably will add a HBA later for extending drives, but nothing fancy, like a GPU...so a B85 chipset board will do nicely.

 

The i3 you choose definitely has got some headroom but will not drive DDR3 RAM above 1600Mhz.

If you have the money, go for 1600-CL9 instead of standard-CL11.

 

Edit: for the PSU, a 450W PSU will do fine, a 500W PSU is safe, if the unit is a single Rail.

Calculate 2A on 12V for each disk, plus CPU, mobo, RAM and fans...a unit with 36-40A on 12V will do fine.

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well the mobo had plenty of sata ports which i liked was hoping to put off dealing with hbas for a while and i figre now that i can afford hdds i'll probably be expanding the number of hdds pretty quickly. i've never used an hba and am gonna have enough trouble figuring this thing out and how to set up everything and use windows server 2012 r2 which i can get for free from my university.  will consider it though.  are they hard to set up and are they prone to failure.  a quick google seems to have them being related to raid normally.  the memory i actually already got a while back at ~$55 after rebate it was cheaper than the rest i was seeing and figured it would run at the slower speed in this comp without issue. 

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I just installed one of these 120GB SSDs in my Ultrabook and it works great. A lot cheaper than the drive you are looking at.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009GG06GC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

For what it's worth, I don't have an SSD in my server. I have never seen the need for it. 

 

I just bought and installed one of those WD Red drives in my server, but I went with the 5GB. It is just $30 more for another gig. What you'll find is that you run out of space for hard drives really quickly, I recommend going as big as financially makes sense, so that in the end you have fewer hard drives for the same amount of space.

 

I like that case you picked out. I may have to get one of those myself. I'm maxed out in my current case.

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the 4tb i see on sale commonly for about $150-$160.  the 5 tb always seems to be at least $50 more.  and yeah i know I should probably be going with bigger drives.  am thinking of using existing drives around the house for a few months then possibly moving to seagates 8tb if the reviews are good and there don't seem to be huge problems with reliability

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duelistjp, those 8TB seagates are not called "Archive" for nothing. The thing with these is that re-writing a sector may cause more sectors to have to be re-written. That's due to the SMR tech in these. I will get 2 soon but I intend to use those as backup drives, not actual server storage. On the other hand, the data on my server is mostly static anyway so it could well do the job. I'd just hate to have, say, a larger database on those.

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well i thought that once i have 8tb of media i can put it on there.  it'll pretty much be static then as i don't intend to delete older media.  it will of course depend on what i hear over the next couple months.  if i did use it i would be putting new data on the reds and once i'm sure it's good to keep go ahead and offload 8tb at once to a seagate.  this would of course be after a couple full formats and extended self tests on the seagate to verify it is solid

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well i thought that once i have 8tb of media i can put it on there.  it'll pretty much be static then as i don't intend to delete older media.  it will of course depend on what i hear over the next couple months.  if i did use it i would be putting new data on the reds and once i'm sure it's good to keep go ahead and offload 8tb at once to a seagate.  this would of course be after a couple full formats and extended self tests on the seagate to verify it is solid

Indeed. It's a good question if these 8TB Seagate Archive drives are good for NAS/Pool storage.... We shall see soon.

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Not sure it'l' be that soon. WD Greens seemed to do OK but many give out (anecdotal) after about a year when used in a NAS/Server. Endurance is very hard to estimate based on a few months testing (unless they crap out within that period). But they are cheap per TB so you might take two and duplicate. They may fail close to one another but possibly not *that* close. Anyway, for reasonably static data, assuming endurance, these are a good deal ATM IMHO.

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I use greens and touch wood the 10 oldest I have have just reached 3 years 271 days I will replace them with reds when the time comes only 2 have failed on me but they were rma replaced I often wonder if the case/airflow and such plays a part I think it was jaz on here that reported his drives ran happly at 39c in his nas boxes mine tend to hover around 26 to 30c.

 

Also while it's nice to see 8tb drives it does worry me that's a lot of data and a hell of a lot of time to remove\replace if the drives fail a 2tb can take the best part of the day I dread to think how long one of those baby's take.

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Not sure it'l' be that soon. WD Greens seemed to do OK but many give out (anecdotal) after about a year when used in a NAS/Server. Endurance is very hard to estimate based on a few months testing (unless they crap out within that period). But they are cheap per TB so you might take two and duplicate. They may fail close to one another but possibly not *that* close. Anyway, for reasonably static data, assuming endurance, these are a good deal ATM IMHO.

I've had a couple... the newer ones are okay, but the older ones.... all sorts of troubles. Between absolutely horrible performance, to the LCC issue.... Just better to avoid, IMO. You'd be better off with a desktop drive... 

 

But by "soon", I mean that  I really want to get my hands on one and test it out in the pool. ;)

 

I use greens and touch wood the 10 oldest I have have just reached 3 years 271 days I will replace them with reds when the time comes only 2 have failed on me but they were rma replaced I often wonder if the case/airflow and such plays a part I think it was jaz on here that reported his drives ran happly at 39c in his nas boxes mine tend to hover around 26 to 30c.

 

Also while it's nice to see 8tb drives it does worry me that's a lot of data and a hell of a lot of time to remove\replace if the drives fail a 2tb can take the best part of the day I dread to think how long one of those baby's take.

Some of the Greens were fine, some just ... needed to be put out to pasture... 

It was very dependant on model and then random chance.

 

As for temp, ~40C isn't bad. It's when you start getting into the 50C range that you need to worry.

But airflow is definitely important, and it makes a big difference.

That said, my 4U norco runs the drives at about 35-40C most of the time.

 

If you are running green drives, do a search on Google for WDIDLE3, use it to set the park time to 300. It will greatly extend the life of the drive.

 Higher is better, or even just disable. 

Also, as with any firmware modification, make sure your data is backed up elsewhere (or duplicated) as this process could potentially brick the drive (any firmware modification can). 

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I remember on another forum people were asking how the heck one would backup 8TB of data. The obvious answer is, of course with another 8TB HDD LOL. But yeah, that will take quite some time. I'm actually going to use these as backup HDDs for 2 2TB HDDs and perhaps later even 3 2TB HDDs.

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I remember on another forum people were asking how the heck one would backup 8TB of data. The obvious answer is, of course with another 8TB HDD LOL. But yeah, that will take quite some time. I'm actually going to use these as backup HDDs for 2 2TB HDDs and perhaps later even 3 2TB HDDs.

Also, depends on if you're using a block based backup solution or a file based solution.

A file based solution is obvious. You back it up (sync) it to a StableBit DrivePool volume. :)

A block based solution? Get a RAID card. 

 

But to be honest, the 8TB drives are meant to BE the backup drive. They're Archival disks, and designed as such. The "Shingled writes" system imployed by them is great for sequential writes, but supposedly atrocious for random writes.

This is why they're great for Acrhival. They're "write once, and store in a safe" drives.

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well i don't know how you do your backups but for my media i was expecting them to be write once read a couple times.  but yeah agree about them being meant for backup but if you fill the drive then just read from it i think it might work in a nas

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Yes, I would agree. Some random reads/writes it will do reasonable as well I assume. In fact, other than for real databases, I can not think of a situation where the SMR recording would really bite.

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Yes, I would agree. Some random reads/writes it will do reasonable as well I assume. In fact, other than for real databases, I can not think of a situation where the SMR recording would really bite.

defragmentation, operation system disk, databases, cache drives, page file, temp storage, etc. :)

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not missing your other points but he said other than for databases.   :)   I'm hopeful though that a media server will be not so write intensive to be a big deal but i got my 2nd paycheck today so have ordered the parts for this server will try the 8tb in a future expansion perhaps but for now i'm happy.  i had a few more family members say they would want access to the plex server so i went ahead and got an i5-4590.  my father decided that since a few family members wanted access he would pay the difference to upgrade it so it could handle an additional transcode or 2

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Yup, but I figured it was worth repeating, as Databases would be absolutely horrible on the disk.

 

As for a media server/NAS type device, that is the question. Since these drives haven't hit the shelves yet, it's hard to tell how well they'd do. Which is part of why I'm curious. :)

 

 

As for the CPU "upgrade", if you're going to be using Plex a lot, it will definitely make a big difference!

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Ah yes, as an OS drive, it may well do horrible. So that leaves defragmentation and temp storage. But defrag is something that should be doable in the background, suspending in case of real I/O, I guess the FW may also do something while idle, a bit like TRIM on SSDs. E.g. writing new data to clean bundles of tracks and then re-organising when idle. Anyway, one I finally get them I'll see (and tell) how well they do as backup drives.

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I double it does anything like trim. With an SSD, it's fine because it's instant... but for a HDD... that's putting data at risk, in the case of sudden power loss.

 

I suspect that it won't do anything. The big issue here is with how it writes. Reads should be "fine" for the most part.

 

Again, this is speculation, until somebody gets their hands on one.

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Not sure about the data loss argument. That would go for defrag as well.

 

Anyway, first results are in: 1.6TB backup in 5:52:58 which is about 75MB/s. MInd you a virgin backup HDD this was. But, client backups did run in the meantime and skewed the results (clients backups are part of the Server Backup). Also, I am including time for preparing/finalising backup which is not actual I/O time.

 

A clean Server Backup on the other 8TB Seagate ran in 4:40:40, getting to 94MB/s, no client backups in this timeframe.

 

A last clean backup (had re-orged servers by including the two old 2TB Server Backup HDDs and reformatted one of the two 8TB drives) however took 6:11:02, 71MB/s and there was no Client backup running... I wonder whether this ran into SMR already.

 

Does Scanner start on the inside of the drive? It starts reading at about 85MB/s but, being 30% done, it does mostly at 130 MB/s with some short drops to 90MB/s. And the throughput keeps on rising.

 

It also runs warmer than all other drives, it can get to 40C!

 

Edit/Update: With Scanner at 95%, Scanner indicates a performance of, mostly, higher in the 180MB/s. Of course, these are all _reads_. On occasion, it does drop to as low as 40MB/s, which I find a bit strange. Seek Error Rate is at 7861198. Not a rate at all. I wonder whether that is because Scanner can not yet interpret SMART data correctly for this drive yet? Any questions on this drive, feel free to ask and I'll see what I can do.

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