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698 posts

Ultimate Geek
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# 106329 22-Jul-2012 13:58
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hi all

i have noted that a couple of users here use an unRAID server....

i am currently in the process of trying to spec an unRAID server (tired of adding yet more ext hdds) - however, as other unRAID users may have found its hard to find the parts specified in the various rec builds - esp mbs and raid controllers eg. supermicro - as they are either not sold here, or discontinued


q: what did you go with?

so far i i have come up with this:

cpu: Intel Core i3 2120 Sandy Bridge 3.30GHz
mb: Asrock Z77 Extreme4 Intel Z77
ram: Mushkin Blackline FrostByte 991995 4GB Dimm DDR3-1600
hdd: Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001 3TB 64MB SATA3 (x4)
case: NZXT H2 Classic Silent Mid Tower Chassis Black
psu: Seasonic S12II 620W 80Plus Bronze Power Supply

but i am uncertain about the compatibility of of the proposed mb...

would really appreciate your advice

thanks in advance



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3465 posts

Uber Geek
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  # 659913 22-Jul-2012 14:42
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You can get Supermicro etc. here - you just need to import it or ask others who do nicely =p (wink wink)

I'd suggest the following changes:
Motherboard: Supermicro X9SCM-F
RAM: 4GB DDR-1333 ECC (Supertalent is good value for money)

Case/PSU: If your keen you could get a rack chassis. It costs a bit to bring them in due to their size but you may see something 2nd hand from Compucon or Public Technology on the Supermicro front. Their PSUs are pretty unbeatable. If you are going to go beyond say 6 drives, then it also gives you the opportunity to use SAS expanders.

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Uber Geek
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  # 659914 22-Jul-2012 14:43
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Oh BTW you can buy Supermicro stuff and get it shipped from


698 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 245

  # 659999 22-Jul-2012 18:06
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thanks dude

appreciate the advise / links re supermicro - i reckon that has sorted it for me : )



665 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 660575 23-Jul-2012 19:04
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The Supermicro RAID cards are just re-badged LSI reference cards most of the time, you can get them off ebay along with other brands e.g. IBM etc.

I would have thought Supermicro server boards would be overkill for the home environment. I've got an Intel DQ67SW in my file server and its never misses a beat, Q67 so its got VT-d which is a nice bonus + onboard Intel NIC.

Only benefit of going for an enterprise board would be more PCI-e lanes, dual/quad onboard NIC's or support for ECC (really that paranoid?)

I've you've got the coin it can't be a bad thing, but there might be better ways to spend the money.

665 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 660578 23-Jul-2012 19:09
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Also any reason for the H2 over the Fractal Design Define R3? From whats available on the internet the R3 looks less cheap and plastic, and possibly a bit cheaper if PriceSpy is to be believed.

698 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 661413 25-Jul-2012 07:19
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Hi PANiCnz

Have selected the supermicro based on confirmed compatibility with unRAID

Don't suppose you know if the LSI cards you refer to are confirmed as compatible? And if so a specific model no?

I note the mb you mentioned i.e DQ67SW is available in NZ for $189 which as you say is pretty good value. The 4 sata ports are a shame - as i would need to get a sata expasion card on day one - whereas the 6 ports on the supermicro would allow me to hold off for a little bit longer.

Re the h2 case - this has been selected as i wanted it quiet(ish) and ultimately i wanted to fit as many hdds in as possible - which with a 3to4 cage will allow 12 hdds - whereas the r3 i could get 8 or 10 - small diff i know - but i am keen to maximise the expandability of the server.

All this said I am making this up as I go - as I have never built a server - so I do appreciate the feedback and comments.



PS: Will make sure to report back as I go along, as based on the research I have done unRAID seems perfect as a media server for my needs and possibly others on here too. Ultimately this build should allow 11 x 3TB = 33TB of usable space (+ 3TB for parity) at a pretty much unbeatable price. Time will tell eh? :)

665 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 661416 25-Jul-2012 07:24
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Sorry no idea about unRAID compatibility.

I'm using the DQ67SW with ESXi and Solaris using VT-d to pass through a IBM BR10i.

Really just suggested the DQ67SW because a similar board with the Q67 or Q77 chipsets might be slightly cheaper than boards using the C200 chipset.

Didn't think about the 5.25" bays, good call on the H2.


698 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 678396 28-Aug-2012 21:01
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thought i would post an update for anyone interested.....

basically went with this:

- cpu: intel core i3 3.3ghz
- ram: 4gb mushkin blackline ddr3
- psu: seasonic s12II 620w
- case: nzxt h2 mid tower (9 hdd slots + if use 4 into 3 = 13 total)
- hdds: 6 x 3tb - seagate st3000dm001 (ie. 3tb parity + 15tb data)
- flash for unraid os: generic no name
- unraid licence - pro (good for up to 22 drives - incl 20 data drives)

had it built for me by computer lounge - cheers billy and team

had to spend some time selecting hw that i could be "sure" would work - not sure i needed to worry as much as i did.....

spent a fair bit of time at the lime tech forums and other boards to get familiar with and ready for install

trialled the free unraid license first as a test - ie. 3 hdd license - brought pro license within an hour after seeing how easy it was to use

booted from flashdrive easy enough - once i selected right option in bios ie. no linux knowledge required

web gui is useful (no need for console / monitor beyond initial bootup ie so i could see that it had in fact booted)

installed unmenu for more options

i didn't preclear my drives due to the way i assigned drives first i think - but this is an optional step - hopefully it doesn't bite me in the arse down the road :)

took several days to move data off various sources ie. nas / desktop / usb hdds - 10TB in all

parity sync went sweet

have updated xbmc / spotify etc libraries

shoved it in a wardrobe

running brilliantly - nice and quiet - hdd temps 31-38 C - except for the hdd in the top slot - so i may move this - otherwise the std case/hdd fans seems to be doing the job

i am using it as a large nas serving my media - is great having all of my media in one centralised space

you can do more with it if you want - see the foums/addons

is streaming my media happily incl 40G blu ray rips over cat5e / gig network happily - no stutters - to desktop / htpc (2 x xbmc clients) and mk1xtreamer media streamer (over smb and nfs)

very happy with it and am looking fwd to expanding it when the time comes

recommend it as being worth a look if you are thinking about a media server - esp if you have old hw lying around as you can retask it and use the free licence as a test

ok - enough from me : )

hope this helps someone



2623 posts

Uber Geek
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  # 679497 30-Aug-2012 22:19
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What was the cost, if you don't mind me asking. I'm mulling over options for decent centralised storage at the moment (although I don't have close to 10TB of files yet).

698 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 245

  # 679550 31-Aug-2012 07:10
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@ jimmyh

hw - excl hdds $729 incl gst
sw - pro license (allows up to 22 hdds) $119 USD

bear in mind i went for new hw as my old machine went pop - if it hadn't of i would've tried to retask this instead - this would have saved some $$

i also went for a slightly more exp case for noise reduction / cooling / and max no of hdd slots (13 in total once i add a 4 into 3 cage)

furthermore i chose a more exp psu so that it could handle the 13 hdds in the future

long story short - it can be done much cheaper - almost free if you have old kit lying around.....

i reckon - if you have a spare machine - try the free license to see what you think

cheers and good luck

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