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Another WHS 2011 Build...


LegoTechMan
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Hello,

 

I am specing out a 2011 box and would just like some input. I have gone through posts of other peoples builds so there is nothing real special here.

  • CPU - Core i3 2100
  • MB - Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3
  • RAID - Highpoint RocketRAID 2680
  • System HDD - OCZ Agility 3 60GB (need to find the post on how to install 2011 on less than 160GB)
  • Case - Antec Three Hundred Two
  • RAM - 4GB, but undecided on brand
  • PSU - Either Corsiar TX650 or CX500.
  • Storage HDD - 3x WD Caviar Red 2TB

From what I have read so far about the WD Red drives, they seem pretty decent so I am going to give them a shot.

 

I haven't seen the Antec case favored too much, but my v1 is in an Antec Three Hundred and I do like it and the price is good.

 

This is my first RAID setup so I have a few questions. Looking at the 2680 I realize that it is only 3Gb/s, but I don't know if I should really care. I saw a recomendation for the 2720 that seems identical except it supports 6Gb/s. However it is 50% more expensive so I don't know if it is really worth it. I am already pushing my budget with this build.

 

Also, I can't quite tell from the description, but can I set up 2 seperate arrays with the 2680 or do all 8 drives need to be in one array? What I would like to do is to use the WD Red drives (in RAID 5) as my storage for photos, personal videos, etc. I don't want to just mirror a 2 TB drive becuase that won't be big enough. I am already at about 1.5TB of data and I take a LOT of pictures so I need room to grow.

 

Then I would like to use the second array for my DVD's, Blu-Rays and music. I have 9TB of storage in my v1 box (and only about 500GB free) so once I start moving data to the 2011 box, I will free up drives to move over...hopefully enough at a time to create another RAID 5 array.

 

Can I do this with with just the 2680 or do I need to buy 2 "smaller" RAID cards that maybe don't support 8 drives, but are a little less expensive?

 

One last question about RAID, I need addition cables to connect my SATA drives, correct? Can someone point me to the correct ones please!

 

Power supplies...the TX650 looks like a very nice PSU, but do I need that much power or will the CX500 be okay. I know the CX500 isn't quite as efficient, but that doesn't concern me too much.

 

I am not going to mirror the OS drive right now, because I just don't have the budget for it. I thought about just getting another SSD and using the RAID on the MB to mirror it, but I know that is not a recommended way to do it.

 

The total price comes to about $950 with $50 in rebates, which is about my budget. If I could get away from buying 3 WD Red drives I might, but I really want to put them in RAID 5 so I don't really see a choice...

 

Thanks for any input!

John

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Hello,

 

I am specing out a 2011 box and would just like some input. I have gone through posts of other peoples builds so there is nothing real special here.

  • CPU - Core i3 2100
  • MB - Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3
  • RAID - Highpoint RocketRAID 2680
  • System HDD - OCZ Agility 3 60GB (need to find the post on how to install 2011 on less than 160GB)
  • Case - Antec Three Hundred Two
  • RAM - 4GB, but undecided on brand
  • PSU - Either Corsiar TX650 or CX500.
  • Storage HDD - 3x WD Caviar Red 2TB

From what I have read so far about the WD Red drives, they seem pretty decent so I am going to give them a shot.

 

I haven't seen the Antec case favored too much, but my v1 is in an Antec Three Hundred and I do like it and the price is good.

 

This is my first RAID setup so I have a few questions. Looking at the 2680 I realize that it is only 3Gb/s, but I don't know if I should really care. I saw a recomendation for the 2720 that seems identical except it supports 6Gb/s. However it is 50% more expensive so I don't know if it is really worth it. I am already pushing my budget with this build.

 

Also, I can't quite tell from the description, but can I set up 2 seperate arrays with the 2680 or do all 8 drives need to be in one array? What I would like to do is to use the WD Red drives (in RAID 5) as my storage for photos, personal videos, etc. I don't want to just mirror a 2 TB drive becuase that won't be big enough. I am already at about 1.5TB of data and I take a LOT of pictures so I need room to grow.

 

Then I would like to use the second array for my DVD's, Blu-Rays and music. I have 9TB of storage in my v1 box (and only about 500GB free) so once I start moving data to the 2011 box, I will free up drives to move over...hopefully enough at a time to create another RAID 5 array.

 

Can I do this with with just the 2680 or do I need to buy 2 "smaller" RAID cards that maybe don't support 8 drives, but are a little less expensive?

 

One last question about RAID, I need addition cables to connect my SATA drives, correct? Can someone point me to the correct ones please!

 

Power supplies...the TX650 looks like a very nice PSU, but do I need that much power or will the CX500 be okay. I know the CX500 isn't quite as efficient, but that doesn't concern me too much.

 

I am not going to mirror the OS drive right now, because I just don't have the budget for it. I thought about just getting another SSD and using the RAID on the MB to mirror it, but I know that is not a recommended way to do it.

 

The total price comes to about $950 with $50 in rebates, which is about my budget. If I could get away from buying 3 WD Red drives I might, but I really want to put them in RAID 5 so I don't really see a choice...

 

Thanks for any input!

John

 

 

Couple of suggestions, since the caviar reds are 6G, get the 2720 instead of the 2680 the performance is worth it and it will carry you into the future for expansion. Secondly, consider a Micro ATX as an alternative as they are easier to mess with in a mid tower. ATX will work but I always find myself not buy ATX anymore. Just my two cents. The rest looks good. As for your question, yes you can set up as many arrays as want and mix and match. You can have a RAID 5 on three drives, a RAID 1, and a RAID 0 on the same card. As for the cables, yes you need a breakout cable. I would suggest these in lieu of the Highpoint cable as they are better, more flexible, and cheaper. Make sure you get "FORWARD" cables not REVERSE no matter what brand. Reverse will not work going to drives as they are made to go from a sata port to 8087 connector. They look the same but they are different.

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/3WARE-Cable-Multi-lane-Internal-SFF-8087/dp/B000FBYS2U/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1343012852&sr=8-6&keywords=sas+cables

http://www.amazon.com/Multi-lane-Internal-SFF-8087-Serial-Breakou/dp/B000FBT47E/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1343013001&sr=8-2&keywords=3ware+sas+cables

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Ram is going to be the cheapest part of this build (which looks nice by the way) so I would go 8 gig to future proof yourself and remove that potential for bottlenecks due to future expansion

You never know, you might want to run some VMs on that box in the future..

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Thanks pcdoc, I guess I will HAVE to go with the 2720. I looked at so many motherboards and some were ATX and some were Micro ATX so I guess I didn't really notice once I actually settled on one. I will look over my other selections because I agree that the Micro would be better. And thanks for the info on the breakout cable.

 

Renny, that is a good idea about the RAM. I run VM's on my primary desktop sometimes, but it might be nice to put them on the WHS since it is always running! Will have to see where that fits in the budget though...

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Pcdoc, another question...

 

If I just get 2 of the WD Red drives and mirror them for now, when I get a 3rd drive can I just break the mirror and change it to a RAID 5 without losing the data or do the drives get wiped when the array is getting built?

 

Of course only with only 2TB it would easy enough to copy to another drive if I had too.

 

Just trying to work on my budget and since I really don't NEED that much additional storage (however much 3x 2TB is in RAID 5) right now it is an option.

 

Thanks,

John

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With the HighPoint software, you should be able to go from the mirror to the RAID 5 array without causing too much disruption. A backup would be imperative, however.

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(however much 3x 2TB is in RAID 5) right now it is an option.

 

RAID5 is very easy to calculate. Count the total number of drives, subtract 1 (for parity) and multiply by the size of 1 drive. So, in your case, 3x 2TB would be: 3 drives (the total number of drives) - 1 = 2 drives x 2TB (the size of 1 drive) = a total array size of 4TB.

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RAID5 is very easy to calculate. Count the total number of drives, subtract 1 (for parity) and multiply by the size of 1 drive. So, in your case, 3x 2TB would be: 3 drives (the total number of drives) - 1 = 2 drives x 2TB (the size of 1 drive) = a total array size of 4TB.

 

Well, close enough for gov'mint work anyway.

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Guest no-control

Couple of suggestions I would seriously consider.

 

CASE

There's a reason you don't hear a lot of recommendations for antec cases...If you want a decent cheap case the NZXT source cases are going to be hard to beat.

 

MOBO

mATX would allow smaller cases, but more preference than anything. The real question is why the Z68? Is there a feature you're looking to take advantage of? For $88 I would consider a more forward looking board. I just upgraded my VM server to the ASRock H77 pro4, I also used the ASRock H77M for my HTPC but it would make a nice server board as well. Better allocation of cash and these would allow for future ivy bridge upgrades. Any of the H77 boards would be a better choice.

 

CPU

You don't state what you want to do with the server other than the obvious serve files and backup. neither of which are particularly taxing. Consider a Pentium G630. Even transcoding isn't going to buy you much with the i3-2100.

 

RAM

While its all the rage to say RAM's cheap so go big! It's still jsut wasted money if the machine sits at <2GB steady. If you want to over buy get 2x 2GB sticks and call it a day. 8GB isn't going to buy you anything, except maybe 4 more GB of waste.

 

 

PSU

You're going to be hard pressed to ever need a 500-600 w PSU. You would be lucky to ever see 300w TBH. Fortunately the Corsair CX430 fit the bill perfectly. I use them exclusively in all of my rigs and my clients as well. Plenty of power and at $25, dirt cheap.

 

RAID

I'm going to agree with the suggestion of the 2770 only because you have the potential to saturate a SATAII bus during read bursts. In reality the 2680 is enough. If these were high I/o raptors or SSDs the 2770 is a must. If you're going to blow the extra cash I saved you on the above parts. the 2770 is a decent place to spend it.

 

You never really told use how you want to use it so if you're planning on non standard use, you might need some of the higher powered parts. With my spec you could run 2 VM's pretty easily. If you want more than 2 VM's up the RAM to 8gb and go for the i3-2100. I would also highly recommend adding an Intel NIC to keep traffic from the VM's and server separate.

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