Jump to content
Covecube Inc.
  • 0
iceaura

Time to build a proper server

Question

Well, I've been contemplating this for years but I've only just now come across DrivePool, which is exactly what I've been hoping for! I got a little excited when Windows 8 was released and Storage Spaces looked like what I was after, however I discovered its (unacceptable) flaws after some research, then stumbled upon DrivePool!

 

First, my current system started as a large gaming/CAD workstation and has since ballooned into an always on media server too. Now, I'm really struggling for space and SATA ports (I have installed PCI to SATA adapters, PCI to USB and then to USB to SATA adapters, HDD docks, etc etc). The system runs fairly well and performs fine but I've decided to build a dedicated system with plenty of space, room to expand and lower power consumption.

 

Just for interest, the current system is:

OS: W7 Pro 64

CPU: Core i7 920 with Noctua NH U12P cooler

MOBO: ASUS P6T-Deluxe

GRAPHICS: Dual Radeon HD 5850 (running 4 screens, 3x23", 1x42")

CASE: Silverstone Raven case

RAM: 6GB triple channel RAM

An SSD for the system drive

About 10-12 mech drives ranging from 2 to 4TB - a range of brands and speeds (Seagate, Samsung, Hitachi, WD).

 

I have a 10 Gb switch running to several devices, including PC's, gaming consoles and an IP camera, wireless router (for laptops and mobile phones)

 

I've built a few PC's in the past (including this one) without any issues, but I'm no IT guy - well, nothing formal anyway, just tinkering. The idea of a server has always seemed "too professional" for me, but after some research over the past few days, I reckon I can handle it.

 

I don't like the idea of hardware RAID due to the drive limitations (I have a very multi-cultural collection of drives), which is where DrivePool will fit my needs perfectly.

 

This is my current plan for my build:

OS: W7 Pro 64 (Maybe W8 Pro 64)

MOBO: Asus H97-Plus

GRAPHICS: Use the onboard

CPU: Intel Corei5 4590

RAM: 16GB kit (2x8GB) G.Skill Ares DDR3 1600

CONTROLLER: Highpoint RocketRAID 2740 16ch

CASE: Norco RPC-4224 in a 12RU cabinet

PSU: Thermaltake Toughpower 850W

NETWORK: 24 port managed switch

UPS?

HDD: I've got a spare SSD that I'll use for the system, then transplant my mech drives over onto the controller using breakout cables

 

If I need to add future drives I will add in Highpoint Rocket EJ340 expanders - which I have a question about. Can I just keep daisy chaining EJ340's together? What happens to speed performance?

 

Also, I briefly saw something on a "landing spot" or something, where files are initially copied to an SSD before being re-distributed to the pool. This is an awesome idea and will probably end up taking advantage of this. Is there any way to kind of do the reverse? i.e. select a few files or folders in the pool and "mark" them for the landing zone because I know I will be transferring them to an external drive later or streaming them later?

 

Another question and a reason why I've been hesitant to put up a server; is there any decent "network recycling bin" type software around? I don't like the idea of deleting something over the network and then that file is gone forever.

 

So that is my build plan, what do you guys think? I've done some research, but I really don't want to have made some fundamental mistake, buy the parts and THEN realise I've messed up. Any input is appreciated, also any suggestions on a cheaper solution would be great!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

  • 0

Well, I'm glad that you sound like you're very excited about StableBit DrivePool! We hope it's exactly what you want!

 

Overall, it looks like you have a pretty good idea of what you want, and how to future proof the system!

 

As for hardware, do you plan on running this 24/7?  If so, I would recommend something more "server grade". 

ASRock RACK and SuperMicro make very nice server/workstation boards.  I can list them if you want, but it depends on what you're looking for exactly.  The main advantage here is the quality and ECC memory support (ECC is more stable). and IPMI (allows you to see the system from boot to shutdown, so you can access the BIOS over the network, and to mount ISO's over the network)

However, a lot of these boards don't properly support sleep states, so that's the trade off. 

 

A good one maybe the ASRock RACK E3C224 or ASRock RACK E3C223-4L (dual vs Quad LAN) 

 

As for the CPU, do you plan on just running storage on this system, or plan on doing transcoding (subsonic/madsonic, plex, serviio, emby, or the like)? 
if you're not doing much, then I'd recommend the Core i3 4130T CPU. It's a lower end CPU, but it's also lowered powered. If all you're doing is acting as a file server, then that's probably more than you need. :)

However, by using one of the above boards... you can upgrade to a Xeon E3 or Core i7 CPU very easily, if you need the power.

 

And onto that, I'd definitely recommend ECC memory, but this depends on the motherboard and processor support. It's added system stability, which is never a bad idea. 

 

 

As for the case, the Norco RPC 4224 is a very nice case, and you'll be happy with it.  I'd recommend picking up the 2x 2.5" drive bay tray, so you can mount a SSD for the system drive. (SSDs for the system make the system MUCH more responsive).

 

 

As for the RAID stuff,  I don't think that the Expander you've mentioned allows you to chain the expanders at all.

However, I'd recommend an LSI chipset, as it will work better.  If you don't mind flashing the cards, the IBM ServeRAID M1015 is a decent RAID card, and can be purchased for less than $100 off of sites like ebay.  I actually have a couple of spares of these, flashed already. Or a regular card goes for about $300.  

As for the expanders, if you go with a LSI based card, then I'd recommend something like the Intel RES2SV240 SAS Expander card.  These should allow you to chain them, They can be purchased new for ~$300 each, or for less than $100 on ebay. 

McFaul mentioned a nice HP Expander that has even more ports on them.

 

And with a nice expander card, you wouldn't need a high port RAID card. Just one that supports 2 of the SAS connectors, and a couple of Expanders.  

 

As for throughput, a PCI Express 2.0 8x card supports a throughput of 4GB/s. You can run 34 drives at 120MB/s before bottlenecking the bus.  And you can use multiple controller cards, or use one that uses PCI Express 3.0, which doubles the bus bandwidth. 

 

As for cabling and breakout cables ... the Norco RPC 4224 actually uses SAS connections (the SFF-8087 specifically), so you wouldn't need the breakout cables.  And it makes for some very organized cabling!

 

 

As for power supply, I'd recommend getting a kilowatt PSU, just in case.  But you should absolutely get an 80+ gold or platinum PSU, especially if this is going to run all the time.  

 

And a UPS is a very good idea.  Make sure you get a PFC rated one, if you're getting an Active PFC power supply.  Cyberlink has some good consumer options, that will last 10-20 minutes. The Cyberlink CP1500PFCLCD UPS is a nice one, that I own. It's PFC rated, and actually ran my server for about 20 minutes before initiating a graceful shutdown (we had a power outage recently, actually).

 

 

As for the "landing zone", you want to look at the "SSD Optimizer" balancer. 

https://stablebit.com/DrivePool/Plugins

It writes the files to the SSD drives and then to the archive drives. This can greatly boost write speeds, especially if you're using 10gbps LAN for the server (and you say you're not an IT guy!! I don't have 10gb LAN ... yet). 

 

However, if you're using duplication, you'll want two SSDs.  This is actually part of why I recommended the tray for the Norco case.  That will help out with this.  

 

 

 

As for network recycling bin.... not really.  There are some, but they rely on file system filters, which ... can cause issues.

 

 

 

And a lot of this is based on my own experiencing building a ... well similar server, one piece at a time.  

You can check out my signature for a link of the hardware I'm using.  And "too professional" really depends on what you need and want out of the system.  I use my server for multimedia transcoding, so a beefy CPU is a good thing in my case.  Otherwise, it's a great reference, as I was somebody in a similar situation as yourself.

 

 

 

As for "cheaper" .... don't.  When it comes to your server, spend the money on quality parts. It makes a world of difference, and you'll be happy it did.  

Another huge thing to look at is the warranty of these parts. The longer the warranty, the better. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

At first I only used an AMD 610e in my server (45w TDP quad core, it was a good choice at the time). I was running Windows Home Server v1 (and later upgraded to 2011) to perform some server tasks, back up workstations, etc.

 

Then, I discovered BlueIris surveillance software. OK, the 610e is still keeping up at this point...

 

Then I added Subsonic, Sickbeard, etc. Still keeping up, but really starting to max out the system

 

Then, I discovered I could do things with my TV recordings such as pre-transcode and commercial removal using MCE Buddy.

 

And then I found Plex (I was still on Media Browser 2 at this time). Cool, I can watch my shows on the road!

 

And lately I upgraded to Emby, and I have started playing with Rokus and Amazon Fire TVs, and doing more tablet based stuff. As you can guess, my little 610e is now completely pegged and I'm nowhere near the necessary horsepower required to do all this. So, I bought a server grade motherboard, ECC RAM, Xeon 1246v3 processor, new case, and I repurposed my Green drives and switched out to WD Red drives (longer warranty, no load cycle issues).

 

Point is, Christopher's recommendation of a board you can upgrade is valid. Those of us that have been down this road can attest to many dollars spent retiring substandard hardware, and many hours spent reinstalling or recovering from failures. Start with a low power CPU if you don't plan on doing a bunch of processor intensive stuff. BUT, get a board you can upgrade to a Xeon later so that you don't have to reinvest time or money on the system. 

 

At first you'll kind of tinker around and use it as a server, but a lot of people start realizing what they can do with a system that is on 24/7 and doesn't affect performance at the workstation level, and start adding on, just as I did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Wow, I did not expect the answers to be as long as my question! Thanks a lot for that, I can tell that you guys are passionate about this.

First of all, I meant a 1Gb switch not 10 (oops :rolleyes: ), haha, I don't need anything near that fast.

 

I wasn't planning on transcoding anything, until reading your guys discussions about Plex and Emby. Another great find on this forum! I have tinkered with XBMC (now Kodi) in the past and loved it, but didn't love the fact that I would need to have multiple copies of the metadata or set up an SQL server, then I read the discussion you had regarding using Emby as a backend. Another problem solved. Now, I "probably" won't be transcoding, but it may be a possibility in the future. My funds are limited at the moment (I'm digging into my future house deposit savings to buy this server), so I will be steering clear of server quality components for now (no server board, xeon or ECC RAM for me :( )

 

Also, the server isn't an essential service or anything, I can handle downtime (for now) and it doesn't really need to available 24/7 (although, it usually is). In the future, I will likely upgrade if the need arises.

 

The CPU I chose is a good price point for performance and availability from my local shop (I live in Australia). It's overpowered for a file server (which is the current set up) but as Robbie pointed out, I'm likely to start adding on :D

 

As for the case, I thought that it had SAS connector support, so that's a real bonus (the cost of those breakout cables can add up pretty quickly) and as you said, much better cable management (which I'm a huge fan of). And, thanks, I will get a cage to house a few SSD's - maybe even 4 - 2 in HW RAID 0 for the system (maybe even RAID 1), 2 for the "landing zone".

 

The Highpoint RocketRAID 2740 should be able to use expanders, see here

For the controller, I looked into buying a smaller controller and using expanders, but it works out near the same cost. Also, wouldn't having a larger controller allow better future proofing? IE what happens when you attach more drives via expanders than there are channels on the controller (eg 2 channel controller, then a 16 port expander with 16 drives)? Are they all addressed fine? What is the trade off vs a 16 ch controller with no expanders? Also, I went with that card because I could confirm that it worked fine with DrivePool, passed through SMART data, has compatible expanders and I can source it locally, new.

 

As for PSU and UPS, I'll have to do some more research I think, starting with your recommendations, Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Well, you're very welcome.  And ... well, I like being very verbose with answers. :)

 

 

As for Plex and Emby... well, Plex uses a fork of XBMC for the Plex Home Theater app, IIRC. :) So a lot of the skins and plugins may work (but many need tweaking).

But if you want to use either of these solutions, you'll definitely need to have a good CPU.  Higher resolution uses more CPU cycles, and the more streams you have, the more CPU you need. 
Also, I was actually using XBMC for a long time and using MySQL as a backend (I have it setup for wordpress on my server, so .... might as well). 

 

 

And yeah, the SAS cables are fantastic. And they don't block airflow like all those SATA connections would, either. ;)

 

 

As for the HighPoint card, that will definitely work. However, I'm not sure you can chain the expanders. But if you have enough connectors, then it shouldn't be a problem for a long while (hopefully).  Otherwise, the LSI card and Intel Expander may be much more future proof.  

As for trade off, well, I've used HighPoint in the past, and ... their controllers can be kind of bugging (that may have been my drives though), and I'd rather go with LSI.  But either will work fine.  So if you can find the HighPoint easier, then by all means!

 

 

As for the UPS, since that's an america version, you'd want to find something that works for your outlets. But the higher the VA rating on it, the longer it'll last.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I am rethinking the Highpoint card now, shifting towards an LSI as per your recommendations. I am still not sure what the trade off is between having say a 4 port controller card and 16 port expander, vs just having a 16 port controller card, so I am looking at the following card:

16x PCIe LSI 3WARE 9650SE-16ML

Then, if required, I'd add future expansion cards like the Intel one you mentioned earlier. I'm also starting to rethink the case, although that Norco case is nice (and cheap), I didn't realise how long it was! I'd need a cabinet at least 650mm deep and the only ones that are that deep are 18RU or taller (and 800mm deep). I don't feel I need a cabinet that big and don't want to have to pay for one. I was hoping to get away with one at 12RU and maybe 450 or 600mm deep. To do this, are there any cases where I could get 1 for the hard drives and 1 for the server (basically like taking the Norco 4224 and cutting it in half)? I'm also not a fan of the noise that the case would produce, so in either case, I will most likely be replacing any 80mm fans with 120mm fans.

 

As far as CPU power for streaming, as I say, I probably won't do any but I may get curious in the future, if I need to I'll just upgrade the CPU (and probably MOBO) later on. File serving is my only priority for now.

 

EDIT: Also, I've bumped up the PSU to a Thermaltake PS-TPD-1000MPCGAU-1 Toughpower 1000W 80 Gold PSU Power Supply Unit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Price, mainly.  The 16 port cards tend to be significantly more expensive.   However, either works fine, actually. 

 

And the 16 port card would allow support for significantly more drives with the expanders, so it may be worth going that way for future proofing the system, actually.

 

As for the case, Norco and other companies have 3-4U cases that are much shorter and will fight a full sized card (otherwise, the 4-8 port card and expander would be ... more useful. 

 

Sucn as the RPC-450:

http://www.norcotek.com/item_detail.php?categoryid=1&modelno=RPC-450

Which measures in at  ( W x D x H ) 19" x 21.6" x 7" (483mm x 550mm x 176mm)

And supports full hight cards. Plus plenty of internal drive bays, as well.

 

And for the drives, you may want to look at this:

http://www.norcotek.com/item_detail.php?categoryid=8&modelno=ds-24e#

This case measures in at ( W x D x H ) 19" x 18.9" x 7.0" (483mm x 480mm x 176mm)

In theory, would only need one (4e) external ports, as it supports chaining the enclosures (but more may be better, and you can get the "8 port" SFF-8087 to SFF-8088 brackets to get a bunch of external ports.

http://www.norcotek.com/item_detail.php?categoryid=6&modelno=c-8087-8088f

 

 

So with this information ... you could house a LOT of drives without needing more than the one controller card, actually.

 

 

 

However, as for fans ... you may not be able to swap them out for 120's .... However, I would highly recommend the 80mm noctua fans. They're pretty silent and move a good amount of air still. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

The cost savings don't appear to be too great - that intel expander costs more than that 16 port LSI card I listed ($410 vs $390 AUD). Unless I'm missing something? I know the expander is a 24 port, but you'd still have to buy a controller card and an extra 8087 cable too. So it will roughly be $24 per port with a large controller, $20 per port with a large expander. So over 16 ports, that would be a $64 saving which isn't a lot, considering you'd sacrifice future proofing and case real estate.

 

OK, the RPC-450 is perfect and so would the DS-24E but the cost of that unit is extreme - $2,200 AUD (more than I plan to spend on the entire build!). The 450 is only $180 AUD, the 4224 is $530 AUD. So I would be better off literally buying the 450 and 4224 and cutting the back end off it to fit in the cabinet, lol. The DS-24E does come with the expander and PSU, but still that is far too overpriced. Even the DS-24D (no expander) is still $1,210 AUD - I could buy 2xRPC-4224 for that!

 

OK, at first I was joking, but now I am actually considering buying a 4224 and cutting it down. Either that or I'll just bite the bullet and go with a larger cabinet for the 4224 ($620 for a large one vs $130 for a smaller one I was planning on getting). I could always use the extra space for storage I suppose... or a food warmer :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

As for the Expander card, if the RAID card is cheaper, then go for that by all means!  

Do whatever you feel is best. And the 16 port card sounds like that may be the best for you.

 

 

As for the cases, wow, that's a large markup for the case. But ... that seems to be about right.

Another option is the Norco DS-24D ... the only issue is that it requires six SFF-8088 connectors to hook up all of the drives, as it has no SAS Expander.  That's the main difference actually. 

But still pretty expensive.

 

As for cutting up the 4224, if you're okay with that, then by all means.  If you have to tools, it may be a fun project. 

Though, cutting a section out and welding it back together would be the best option, that way you still have all the mounting points. But that may be difficult. ;)

 

Or it may  be simpler to buy some mounting strips, and build a rack yourself (like out of wood or the like).  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Thanks Chris, appreciate the feedback. I think I'll end up buying the 4224, I may hold off on cutting it down for now as I will be buying a house next year (if I don't end up spending all my deposit on this server ;) ), so I might have the space for a large cabinet then. I may even buy some mounting strips and mount it into a wall or something, depending on the house layout. So for now, I think I'll just use the case like a desktop PC - without a rack system. In the meantime, I'll keep an eye out for some second hand large cabinets that I may be able to pick up for cheap.

 

Now I'm off to research a UPS. I don't really need the uptime, but it would be nice if the system could automatically shut down gracefully in the event of a power cut. How is this usually achieved? Can the UPS send a signal to the server to shutdown once mains have been cut? What brands do you recommend? I'll have a look at the one you mentioned earlier and see if they do models for my country.

 

Also of concern is the power the UPS will draw - I don't want to be paying a whole lot in power just to keep it running (power is expensive in Australia).

 

EDIT: After about an hour of research, looks like the major players are APC, Cyberpower and Eaton. I was hoping to get a rack mounted one, but that limits the range (and increases price), so I think I'll just get a standard tower one. Looking at it, it seems as though the Cyberpower PFC ones are the best for performance and price, so I will probably go with one of those (this agrees with your recommendation earlier). I may go with the slightly smaller 1300VA unit though, as I don't expect (or want) to get that close to drawing the full power from the PSU (1000W), especially at idle (where the system will be at the majority of the time, hence the state where it will most likely experience a blackout).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Yeah, considering how much the expander cases are ... it may be worth working around them.  Building your own expander case (buying the 4224, and some expander cards) may be a lot cheaper in the long run.

 

 

As for the UPS stuff... yeah, the Rackmounted ones get expensive, fast. :(

As for shutdown, it depends. Most of them have a USB connection (you plug the cable into a USB port on the system), and then it shows up as a "USB HID Battery" device.  From there, it's treated ... well, just the way a laptop works.  Power management sees the battery and you can configure stuff that way.  Otherwise, there are usually utilities for these UPS's that will handle all of that for you.

 

 

And as for brands, TrippLite is another major brand as well. Not sure if you have access to it though. 

 

And PFC is definitely the better way to go, but more expensive. It's "true sinewave" as opposed to the "stepped approximation" that the "AVR" ones use. 

 

 

And as for load.... My beast of a server had an estimated runtime of 20 minutes when we had a blackout recently.  So, that's a good amount of time (1500VA). 

 

If you're crazy, you can hack the UPS to use a bunch of deep cycle (marine) batteries to get hours of uptime. I'd consult an electrician for that though. 

 

As for power draw, aside from charging the batteries, it should be minimal.  I think I've see people test it with a Kill-A-Watt meters and it draws maybe 2-5W more than normal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Awesome, well thank you and I think I have everything I need to know hardware-wise now, just got to start gathering components. All up, I am a little over budget, but for what I'm getting I think it's well worth it. No doubt I'll end up spending a bit more (always forget that I need this cable or that adapter plus not being able to actually get some of the parts that I sourced prices for).

 

Now, I've just got to convince my girlfriend that this is more important than a house deposit :rolleyes: . Wish me luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Awesome, well thank you and I think I have everything I need to know hardware-wise now, just got to start gathering components. All up, I am a little over budget, but for what I'm getting I think it's well worth it. No doubt I'll end up spending a bit more (always forget that I need this cable or that adapter plus not being able to actually get some of the parts that I sourced prices for).

 

Now, I've just got to convince my girlfriend that this is more important than a house deposit :rolleyes: . Wish me luck!

Well, I think she'll be happy with the end result, at least. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Yus, I got the (reluctant) "OK" :D . Chris, could you please double-check this LSI card for me:

16x PCIe LSI 3WARE 9650SE-16ML

The price seems too good, I hope I'm not missing anything. This will be the first thing I want to order, since it'll coming from Germany.

 

EDIT: I had another read through the forums and found a thread (which I had read earlier) talking about a similar card, looks like it will do the job fine. So, I've ordered it and the case. I can pick up most of the other bits locally, so I will be mostly waiting on the card. I'll let you know how it all goes. Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Yus, I got the (reluctant) "OK" :D . Chris, could you please double-check this LSI card for me:

16x PCIe LSI 3WARE 9650SE-16ML

The price seems too good, I hope I'm not missing anything. This will be the first thing I want to order, since it'll coming from Germany.

 

EDIT: I had another read through the forums and found a thread (which I had read earlier) talking about a similar card, looks like it will do the job fine. So, I've ordered it and the case. I can pick up most of the other bits locally, so I will be mostly waiting on the card. I'll let you know how it all goes. Cheers

Sorry for the delay here.

 

Yes, that card should work. The LSI specs indicate "single disk" or "Simple disk" I think. And that indicates that it does support passthrough.

 

I'm also really curious about this one:

HP Smart Array P800 16-Ports PCI-E SAS RAID Controller

PDF Spec Sheet

 

It's super cheap (and probably old), but will this do the trick?

 

EDIT: Never mind, I decided to go with the LSI card, as I believe its a really good price for a really good card!

Well, I think the HP card ... while cheaper, doesn't get as much throughput. It's using SATA II, instead of SATA III, so you lose out there. And I think it may be PCI Express 1.x (so ~17 drives at 120MB/s will bottleneck the card). 

 

And yeah, LSI cards are fantastic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I'm going to hijack into this thread! This is a very intriguing process you're going through. I've recently been considering a major upgrade of my system as well. In fact, I recently bought a few more drives, better CPU, and a new controller card. I'm getting to the point now though where I've exceeded the drive capacity of my case, even with drive expanders that give you additional 3.5 drives in place of 5.25. So I'm looking for a cheap server chassis to start my ultimate build in. The 4224 looks like the perfect case, but it's kind of expensive for my income. I'm going to have to save up for awhile. I'm curious where you got yours from. Did you order direct or buy from a retailer?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

"fleabay" is a good source.

 

You'll find them for cheaper on there. And keep an eye out on the best offers.  You can lowball them, and sometimes get a really good deal (as they just want the hardware gone).  Just keep an eye out on the shipping.  Some are "local pickup only" or may charge you $100 for shipping (or more).   Mine costs $55 in shipping, so that should be a good ballpark on what to expect. 

 

Don't forget to look for supermicro, iStar and Chenbro cases as well. These companies sell 4U cases as well. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Lol... why does this have to be local pickup in Texas only?!

http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&id=121713086026&alt=web

Yeah, I was going to link that one, until I saw it.  Probably because the owner doesn't want to be bothered with shipping it. As that can cost a good chunk of money. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I actually sent him an email and he is willing to ship it to me.. cost would probably be like $50 to ship, which is still cheaper than NewEgg's price. I just wish I had some established credit so I could make payments instead of trying to come up with the cash, since I'm broke right now!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I picked up my Norco 4224 for $530 AUD ($386 USD) new from a retailer which is pretty good, shipping was only $25 AUD ($18 USD). I would've liked to pick one up second hand, but there are none around, I was lucky to find one locally.

 

The 80mm fans are noisy has hell, so I knew they would have to go. Apparently you can get plate to replace the 80mm wall to fit 120mm fans but I couldn't find anywhere to buy from. So, I currently have the plate out and am drilling new holes and taking to it with a dremel to add some fan grills. I can fit 3x120mm fans to replace the 4x80mm fans. I've checked the speeds of each option and the CFM actually works out a bit better with the 120's (Coolermaster sickleflow's @2,000rpm, $7 each) and MUCH MUCH quieter. I also removed the rear 2x80mm fans and replaced them with a single 120mm fan - it didn't really fit very well but it will work, the PSU will do a lot of the exhaust anyway. I'll monitor the temperatures, I have a feeling I will have to upgrade the fans in the distant future, when I start filling the drive bays.

 

I have another situation though, I've been searching everywhere and thought this would be more common - can I get a 1RU faceplate with 2x5.25" cutouts? I want to mount a DVD writer and a card reader/USB hub. If I can't find any, I might end up getting a blank face plate and cutting out the slots with a dremel (I'd rather buy a nice laser cut one though).

 

Oh, and the case came with a plate where I can mount SSD's, which is handy. There are holes to allow for 4 of them, I could probably drill more holes and squeeze 6 or 8 on there (if I wanted to). I have 3 SSD's at the moment - 2 for landing zone/duplication and 1 for the system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Well, that's cool!  

 

And yeah, I know what you mean. :(

PayPal may have the option to use credit, IIRC. But I do think you have to qualify for that. :(

 

 

Yeah eBay offers payments of $36/month for that price.  To get it I needed to apply for credit through PayPal.  PayPal also offers their own credit (BillMeLater).  I applied for the credit, but was rejected.  The email I got basically said I have no established credit for evidence that I'm in good standing.  I used to have credit.  Owned a credit card too.  I lost my job though and got in lots of trouble.  Originally they offered me $200 credit.  I spent like $5.00 of it to buy a case of pop.  I lost my job, and couldn't pay them back.  A couple years went by where I wasn't actively looking for job (family issues).  Eventually the credit (with late fees and no-payment fees) exceeded the original $200 and went to nearly $3k.  I called them and begged them to reset it, that this history all shows I only purchased ONE thing.  They were only willing to go half-sees, and a 1 time payment.  I couldn't make that so I let it go.  Eventually it got up to $4k, but I was working.  My first income tax I got after the whole fiasco I negotiated a 1/3 cost and paid the whole thing off.  At that point I was back at square one.  That was like 12 years ago I think.  I'm a little surprised I still have ZERO credit.  How are you supposed to BUILD credit if places run a credit check first and see you have none?  It's a stupid system we live in.  I remember after the fire I went to go buy a new TV.  I tried to get it on store credit, but they refused to offer it to me because of the no-credit history.  The next week I had saved enough to pay for it IN CASH.  They wouldn't take it.  They said I had to pay with a debit card because their till couldn't hold $1,500.  What kind of electronics business that deals with high value merchandise only has tills that hold $200-300?  So at that point I had to open a checking account and wait another 2 weeks or so for my card to come in the mail.  By that time, the TV I was going to get had been sold and they were out, so I had to settle for something I didn't want.  Bunch of jerks.  I had the cash in hand, but they didn't trust me to give me a store credit.  I just wanted the TV sooner, and would have paid it off in a week.  But NO!  They gotta be all stuck up.  :)  I need a car soon too, and I'm going to have to buy it with cash in hand because nobody's gonna give me a car payment plan.  UHG!

 

Anyway, back on topic.  :)  I saw eBay and NewEgg and TigerDirect all sell those 3x120mm fan walls.  I'm definitely going to order one if I get one of those cases and it doesn't come with it.  I have 6 installed in my mid-tower server right now.  They are nice.  I'm gonna do a bit of research though.  I might need to get different fans since these are all mismatched brands.

 

When that eBay guy emailed me back and said he would be happy to ship it at extra cost, I was elated.  But I asked him in another reply if he would be willing to maybe negotiate some form of payment plan, or be willing to hold off selling it till I get the money together.  I told him I have a crappy low paying job and I'm limited in hours I can work because of medical reasons.  I told him I could have the money together probably in 2 weeks.  But I understand if he can't hold out, and wants to just get rid of it quickly.  He hasn't replied back to that question yet.  If he ends up selling it, I may just go with the Norco 4220 from NewEgg.  They're selling it for $329.  But damn, I'd love to get that 4224 for $250 lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I picked up my Norco 4224 for $530 AUD ($386 USD) new from a retailer which is pretty good, shipping was only $25 AUD ($18 USD). I would've liked to pick one up second hand, but there are none around, I was lucky to find one locally.

 

The 80mm fans are noisy has hell, so I knew they would have to go. Apparently you can get plate to replace the 80mm wall to fit 120mm fans but I couldn't find anywhere to buy from. So, I currently have the plate out and am drilling new holes and taking to it with a dremel to add some fan grills. I can fit 3x120mm fans to replace the 4x80mm fans. I've checked the speeds of each option and the CFM actually works out a bit better with the 120's (Coolermaster sickleflow's @2,000rpm, $7 each) and MUCH MUCH quieter. I also removed the rear 2x80mm fans and replaced them with a single 120mm fan - it didn't really fit very well but it will work, the PSU will do a lot of the exhaust anyway. I'll monitor the temperatures, I have a feeling I will have to upgrade the fans in the distant future, when I start filling the drive bays.

 

I have another situation though, I've been searching everywhere and thought this would be more common - can I get a 1RU faceplate with 2x5.25" cutouts? I want to mount a DVD writer and a card reader/USB hub. If I can't find any, I might end up getting a blank face plate and cutting out the slots with a dremel (I'd rather buy a nice laser cut one though).

 

Oh, and the case came with a plate where I can mount SSD's, which is handy. There are holes to allow for 4 of them, I could probably drill more holes and squeeze 6 or 8 on there (if I wanted to). I have 3 SSD's at the moment - 2 for landing zone/duplication and 1 for the system.

While that's not a horrible price for the case, that's a really good catch for Australia. I know you guys get screwed when it comes to availability and prices. 

 

As for the face plates, I don't think so, unfortunately. 

 

 

 

Yeah eBay offers payments of $36/month for that price.  To get it I needed to apply for credit through PayPal.  PayPal also offers their own credit (BillMeLater).  I applied for the credit, but was rejected.  The email I got basically said I have no established credit for evidence that I'm in good standing.  I used to have credit.  Owned a credit card too.  I lost my job though and got in lots of trouble.  Originally they offered me $200 credit.  I spent like $5.00 of it to buy a case of pop.  I lost my job, and couldn't pay them back.  A couple years went by where I wasn't actively looking for job (family issues).  Eventually the credit (with late fees and no-payment fees) exceeded the original $200 and went to nearly $3k.  I called them and begged them to reset it, that this history all shows I only purchased ONE thing.  They were only willing to go half-sees, and a 1 time payment.  I couldn't make that so I let it go.  Eventually it got up to $4k, but I was working.  My first income tax I got after the whole fiasco I negotiated a 1/3 cost and paid the whole thing off.  At that point I was back at square one.  That was like 12 years ago I think.  I'm a little surprised I still have ZERO credit.  How are you supposed to BUILD credit if places run a credit check first and see you have none?  It's a stupid system we live in.  I remember after the fire I went to go buy a new TV.  I tried to get it on store credit, but they refused to offer it to me because of the no-credit history.  The next week I had saved enough to pay for it IN CASH.  They wouldn't take it.  They said I had to pay with a debit card because their till couldn't hold $1,500.  What kind of electronics business that deals with high value merchandise only has tills that hold $200-300?  So at that point I had to open a checking account and wait another 2 weeks or so for my card to come in the mail.  By that time, the TV I was going to get had been sold and they were out, so I had to settle for something I didn't want.  Bunch of jerks.  I had the cash in hand, but they didn't trust me to give me a store credit.  I just wanted the TV sooner, and would have paid it off in a week.  But NO!  They gotta be all stuck up.  :)  I need a car soon too, and I'm going to have to buy it with cash in hand because nobody's gonna give me a car payment plan.  UHG!

 

Anyway, back on topic.  :)  I saw eBay and NewEgg and TigerDirect all sell those 3x120mm fan walls.  I'm definitely going to order one if I get one of those cases and it doesn't come with it.  I have 6 installed in my mid-tower server right now.  They are nice.  I'm gonna do a bit of research though.  I might need to get different fans since these are all mismatched brands.

 

When that eBay guy emailed me back and said he would be happy to ship it at extra cost, I was elated.  But I asked him in another reply if he would be willing to maybe negotiate some form of payment plan, or be willing to hold off selling it till I get the money together.  I told him I have a crappy low paying job and I'm limited in hours I can work because of medical reasons.  I told him I could have the money together probably in 2 weeks.  But I understand if he can't hold out, and wants to just get rid of it quickly.  He hasn't replied back to that question yet.  If he ends up selling it, I may just go with the Norco 4220 from NewEgg.  They're selling it for $329.  But damn, I'd love to get that 4224 for $250 lol.

 

Ouch, I'm very sorry to hear about all of that. And yeah, you can get into trouble very quickly.

As for rebuilding credit, well if you can rent an apartment ... that goes a long way to build your credit up.  That, or prepaid credit cards help, IIRC.  But both basically require a good chunk of money.  

 

As for the store, I'm hoping you talked to a manager. Because they can usually "override" that sort of stuff.  But yeah, that's a lot of BS. :(

 

As for fans, I highly recommend Noctua fans. They're very quiet and move a good amount of air. Otherwise, CoolerMaster fans are fantastic, as well. :)

 

And good luck with the seller! Hopefully everything works out for you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Thanks Chris, looks like I'll be making my own plates then. How about the OS these days? Should I go to Windows 10? Windows 8? My preference is Windows 7 due to familiarity and I think I'd get the Pro version

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...