Jump to content
Covecube Inc.
  • 0
RobFranklin

New build advice for home media/back-up server

Question

Good Day All,

I've been running DrivePool for some time now, and have recently built myself a new main computer for everyday use and gaming, but it's quite power hungry and generates a fair amount of heat. Thus, I've decided to build a separate, dedicated system to run my "server" on, which will include drivepool running over 64-bit windows.

I don't have a major preference on which version of windows to run, and I've go licenses to spare for Windows 7 and Windows 10, are there any real advantages to either for a very basic home server, which shouldn't have to do any real time trans-coding or anything difficult at all, just share the files across the network and be reliable?

As for the Hardware, I'd like it to be as lower power as is physically possible, without running into any significant performance issues. It seems from my use of the software for several years, that even with Network I/O prioritization on, it doesn't use much actual CPU horsepower or memory. So I'm considering one of the ASRock embedded options, but would love some feedback on which would be the minimum necessary to run without cpu issues. I'm leaning towards the J4105, but the N5005 seems like an equally viable option, if possibly overkill for the lack of additional features, if drivepool even needs/supports 4 cores? I'll probably throw a spare 8GB 3200 memory kit in it, which is hugely overkill for these CPUs on speed, but I already have it, and 8GB should be plenty to run the system. Any thoughts on this CPU being enough, or not?

For a SATA controller, as that system would only offer 2xSATA ports, I've found the Ablecon PEX10-SAT which is a 10 port sata host, which uses the ASMedia ASM1062 PCIe sata controller for 2 SATA ports, then a pair of JMicron JMB575 SATA IIII port multipliers to create 10 total SATA ports. Aside from any compatibility issues I'm not aware of, this seems like an ideal option, since drivepool really only writes to 1 drive at a time, and read striping would only be across 2 drives in the system, so I likely won't saturate even a single SATA 3 port with spinning disk drives. I'll have at least one SATA based SSD for the OS and an SSD cache drive for the system running on the integrated controller on the motherboard to give it as much bandwidth as possible. Likely a 960 Evo 512GB or 1TB, or comparable drive, depending on deals on them in the near future. Am I missing any compatibility or other issues in this arrangement?

Drives currently running in Drivepool(for reference)

3x Samsung HD103SI drives 1TB ea, 32mb cache. (Had a 4th for raid 10 at one point, but am down to 3, not bad for 6 year old drives)

1x WD Green 3TB 64mb cache drive, ~3years old, 0 problems to date.

Will be adding 1-2 drives in the near future, hoping to ~double the total drive space available so a pair of 3-4TB drives at most, maybe a pair of 2TB drives depending on $/GB and black friday sales.

 

If you've managed to read all of this and have ANY useful advice on the set-up, I would absolutely appreciate it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

6 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

I ran my WHS2011 (which is basically a SOHO server version of W7) on a Celeron G530, two cores, two threads. It did client backups, file sharing, streaming, a downloading client we'll not discuss and for a short while even ran a small Minecraft server (max 5 users). Yes, 1080p transcoding could be a bit of an issue sometimes. And of course, it did run DP.

As far as DP is concerned, it basically needs nothing, the J4105 seems about as powerful (powerless?) as the G530 accoridng to PassMark but has double the cores so it should be more than fine. The N5005 as well.

Only thing can say is that if you are going to run 5/6 drives, you might as well pick a MB that supports 6 or 8 SATA devices. The case will have to be a decent size anyway, no?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
13 hours ago, Umfriend said:

Only thing can say is that if you are going to run 5/6 drives, you might as well pick a MB that supports 6 or 8 SATA devices. The case will have to be a decent size anyway, no?

It's a good point.  I bought one of each of these for my older tower case to expand past six internal drives.

If you aren't going to invest in a half-height rack+controller+backplane for an external array (or a larger/more expensive tower), it's probably the next best option, price-wise.  And with that many bays you'll have room to expand should you ever add an inexpensive internal controller.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Excellent points folks and I appreciate your responses.

 

I actually have a tower already on hand that I'm going to use which has 11 5.25" bays, so I'm going to get three Rosewill 3x.5.25">4x3.5 bay adapters with 120mm fans to house all the drives. That should be plenty of space to fit all the drives, and give them plenty of room to breathe.

 

On the motherboard front, I would be thrilled to get some more specific input for boards that can handle all the drives, minimum 8 total, and a CPU that is in the same power arena of the previously mentioned parts. I know it'll never run the CPU up to any major load, but idle power draw on a full power desktop part, generall 65W TDP, is still going to be higher than full load on the 15W parts I'm looking at. Maybe that new Athlon 220GE, I believe it's a single CCX part with a tiny iGPU and rated at 35W TDP?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Actually, modern processors draw little when idle so the trade-off between low idle draw and peak performance is way way better than it used to be. And then there is the option of undervolting (which I use for my server running an i7-3770 for years now).

If you are a tinkerer then I would recommend to get a 5.25" to 2.5" adapter as well. Very easy to swap out one boot SSD for the other. Also, there is this one: https://www.icydock.com/goods.php?id=242. It fits five 3.5"in 3 5.25 inch slots but you need the 5.25" slots not to have those gliders for sets of three. I have the tray-variant (stupid mistake) and it works well allthough with 5 HDDs in that space, they tend to run warm IMHO. 4 may be better.

And I was thinking about 5/6 drives. 8 limits your options but then the Ablecon might be good or, and this is a local favorite here, some LSI SAS controller, like the IBM1015 (I have it but designate as a Dell PERC H310).

In any case, this https://www.alternate.nl/ASRock/Z370-Extreme4-socket-1151-moederbord/html/product/1384798?lk=17219 runs 8 HDDs and I think you can use one M.2 slot without surrendering SATA ports. It should run with https://ark.intel.com/products/129948/Intel-Core-i7-8700T-Processor-12M-Cache-up-to-4_00-GHz 35W TDP and with undervolting you'd be way below that. Of course, both the MB and the CPU are way more expensive then you'd actually need :D

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

That's way overkill. I don't need hotswap at all for my drives, so the rosewill that costs less than half as much will allow me to space them out more, and have room for plenty of drives for future expansion. Why would I need to swap out the boot drive?

I think I'll upgrade my main rig from the Ryzen 5 2400G to an 1800X for the extra cores and PCIe lanes, and grab a cheap asrock x370 board with 8 SATA connectors, which should cover me for a while on drives. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×