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HTPC/6TB RAID-5 Server Build - Completed


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First of all, I would like to thank all of the folks that responded to my previous thread and helped me get this machine built and running. I would like to especially thank pcdoc and ikon for their help in troubleshooting some issues I had between my SSD and the Highpoint card. In the 16 years I have owned computers, I've built every one but my first, but this was my first build using an SSD and a RAID Array. It was extremely helpful having the support of the folks in this community to get this done. THANK YOU!!!!!


The Components


Purpose and Plan


My wife has been into photography for the last year or so and has really become skilled at it. So much so, that she has started having people ask her to do sessions with their newborns/children. She also does a lot of prop photography for her and other's etsy stores. Up until now, I have been using an external HDD attached to my Cisco router to store movies and music. Our laptop was also slowing down considerably.


I wanted a machine that could serve as a repository for all of this information, serve as a media center in the living room with our laptop, Xbox, tablet and two mobile phones as clients and allow us to move information off of our laptop so I could upgrade the memory and hard drive to an SSD to increase performance.

  • I have everything being stored and accessed on the RAID array in this machine including client user data.
  • I use Acronis to perform image backups of the OS Drives for both this machine and the laptop which are stored on the RAID Array as well.
  • For backups, I use crashplan for the RAID Array(minus movies) and Good Sync to backup critical items on the RAID Array to an external drive for a third backup.









This is the first build I've ever taken pictures of and posted like this, so I hope the pictures I took are sufficient for anyone's curiosity.

Edited by Kaen
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The Case


I loooooooooove this case. It is one of the few cases that are sized like a stereo receiver but shallow enough to fit in any entertainment center without sticking out a bit. It also has plenty of room and airflow to allow for me to have all of these components and maintain extremely low temps under load. I ran Prime95 on this system and never saw the cpu above 36C or the system temp above 28C. Pretty crazy.


The only thing I did change was the case fans. It comes with two 120mm fans that are relatively quiet if you can lower their RPM's, but I wanted to use the PWM feature of my Mobo and these are not compatible. More on that later. Anyway, here are the pics:











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It's a about 3/4" taller than the Silverstone I think. Width and depth are almost identical. I really like the GD05, but I needed the third 3.5" drive for my array. I also like the all aluminum design of the Lian-Li. I wasn't able to edit my reserved post, so more pictures to follow.

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The Build


So here are some pictures with the PSU, Mobo, CPU and Mem installed. I was surprised how roomy this turned out.







And now for the SSD/Bluray cage.







The other reason I went with this case besides drive quantity and size, was that I was able to get a true full size ATX PSU in it(6.3" Long). Alot of these cases that have lots of drives will only allow a 5.9" PSU which limits your selection. These next couple pictures show the clearance between the Bluray Drive and the PSU.






Stock Case Fans




This is where the limitation/choice comes in on this case. This case has a spot on the opposite side of the stock fans to install a 3rd 120mm fan. If you use a full length(6.3") PSU, I've heard you can still put the fan in, but there will be some wedging going on. I did not need this fan as shown by my Prime95 testing and the fact that my replacement fans could cool my entire house if they had to by running full rpm. More to come on that.



Edited by Kaen
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Aftermarket Case Fans


I sort of took a gamble with these fans. These fans are getting rave reviews on newegg for how much air they push while still running quiet. I usually get my fan recommendations from silentpcreview.com, but they come out with roundups so far and in between, I decided to take a gamble on these. I know, not much of a gamble as they're the cheapest thing in my machine, but still.


I wanted to take advantage of the PWM function on my motherboard, so I bought these to do just that knowing they wouldn't run at max rpm probably ever. Even so, these fans are rated between 800 and 1500 rpm, but mine will actually spin up around 350 rpm. They move a ton of air at these speeds. To give you an idea, they're rated 70.5cfm @ 800rpm and 119.8cfm @ 1500rpm. I can attest after using these that I believe those specs. When mine do kick on, the PWM function on my mobo usually has these running between 350rpm and 500rpm. You cannot hear them.....at all. I can hear the cpu fan barely, but not these. I wanted to make sure I wasn't biased and asked my wife to come in the room with her eyes closed. I had the cpu fan stopped and asked if she could hear the PC running and she could not. As soon as I let the cpu fan start up, she said she could then hear a faint fan. These would make great server fans as well with how much air they can move at low speeds and low noise.







Raid Card and First Seagate 3TB 7200 RPM Drive installed.






2nd and 3rd Seagate Drives installed





Tucks away nicely




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That's all I've got. I hope it wasn't disappointing. If anyone has any questions about this build, I am more than willing to try and provide an answer.


The only thing I did notice with this build was I moved my Raid card from the x8 slot to the x16 slot and when I did that, my ATTO scores dropped. As you can see from the first post, I'm getting about 250MB/sec read/write scores on my array. When I had the card in the x8 slot(this was before I started having the INT 13 issue), I was getting 300MB/sec.


I may move it back to see what happens, but right now I'm going to let it be. I can't think of any reason I would need more than 250MB/sec anyway.

Edited by Kaen
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Very Nice! Build!

Photos and Benchmark images look Great!

I'm a Silverstone fan , but that LianLi case is very attractive.

Good Job!

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I may be mistaked, but aren't you supposed to put ram into like colored slots to get them to work at DDR? I might just be having a brain fart, if so excuse me :).

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