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Maximum number of 3.5" hdds in G7?


rtrt
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I currently have 5 in mine plus a 2.5" as boot drive.

 

Thinking about it I'd guess there are 4 restrictions - physical space, psu output, heat generation and sata ports

 

Re space - recently Ive seen the mod where you can squeeze one in behind the HP LED and also a while back where you have a bracket bolting 2 together and placed where the Optical goes. So that would suggest 7. But i have a feeling that way back when I got the micro server, I saw a picture where someone had squeezed 4 drives in the optical bay by mounting them side to side rather than front to back - anyone seen that mod and even better have some pics/a link?

 

Sata ports - if you populate both PCIE slots and use the esata then 10 seems straightforward

 

Power - if you use the lowest power drives - then what do you think the absolute max would be?

 

Heat - not sure what to think here

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IMHO, stacking drives on top of each other like that is a bad idea. After G-shock, heat & vibration are the 2 biggest enemies of HDDs. This arrangement increases both. Just my 2 cents, but I would never do it.

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I’ve seen the bracket where you can bolt two 3.5” drives and install them in the ODD bay area and still be able to squeeze a 2.5” SSD (or maybe two) in the space behind the HP LED – there’s also an Icy Dock that would enable you to put 4 2.5” drives or 6 2.5” drives in the ODD area.

 

I’ve seen the Mod’s where several people have put 4 3.5” drives in the ODD space like the one you found by neilt0 at Lime.  There’s pictures somewhere in the forums on that but I can’t remember where at the moment.  We had a thread on the subject How Many HDDs is Possible With the HP MicroServer – 9? Plus a lot of other useful thread links in MicroServer HardWare Links such as:

 

Storage Options for MicroServer  and Theoretical Question on MicroServer IcyDock Mod……

 

And you’re going to want to check out ShuG’s Modifications for a 15 Drive N40L as well as Stanza’s 14 Drive RackMount MicroServer and a direct link to his OCAU posting here!!  My hat is off to ShuG and Stanza!!  They have some amazing builds!!

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Thanks for the responses both and for all of the links Joe - i'll digest those properly later! Just some quick thoughts from me;

 

I'm probably more inclined to go for squeezing as many 3.5" drives in, as I have quite a few spares lying around that i'd like to make use of, rather than a splurge on 6 or more new 2.5" - fun though that would be!

 

Having said that 3.5" will be more taxing on the PSU, so I guess I might be constrained there. Any thoughts on the PSU limitations - boot up is presumably the max power draw?

 

Re Ikons points around heat and vibration - I won't say I've thought about those in detail, but i did have some initial thoughts.

 

If there's enough room with the 4 drives in the optical bay option, then i was planning to space the bottom 2 from the case and the top 2 from the bottom 2 using some thin rubber spacers. Tbh that was more about noise than anything else, but it'd surely help with vibration too.

 

Re temps - I definitely agree so i'd look to monitor those closely. I have iStat installed already, so would plan to use that and see how it goes with any new drives. I guess i'd be ok if they were consistently under 45 degrees and happy under 40.

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I have six HDD’s and two SSD’s in my N54L running off of an LSI 9211-8i as an HBA in IT mode (eight 6Gb/s SATA ports). I have the two “extra” HDD’s mounted in the ODD bay using a Noiseblocker NB X-Swing HDD Adapter while the SSD’s are vertically stacked against the rear case wall sitting on top of the case fan.

 

At first I was not happy with the temps on the two HDD’s in the ODD bay so I pulled the ODD cover off and the temps were a little lower but not where I wanted them to be. I then added two Noctua 40x10mm NF-A4x10 fans behind the ODD cover blowing to the rear of the case over these two HDD’s and put the ODD cover back on. My HDD temps now are 30⁰- 34⁰ C at idle and 34⁰- 38⁰ C under load. All HDD’s are 4TB Seagate NAS drives.

 

I run NAS4Free embedded booting from a USB stick in the on-board USB port so I don’t lose a SATA port to a boot HDD/SSD. I use the eSATA port for an external 2-bay box for back-ups. I do want one or two more SATA ports for additional SSD’s (as mirrors) and have no room for another HBA as I have an HP RAC in the other slot. I’m going to try the on-board drive controller through the SFF-8087 for one SSD mirror that doesn’t need 6Gb/s ports.

 

I don’t think I am over-taxing the PSU.

Edited by Taffeys
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Taffeys, congrats on those temps ---> they're excellent. I would be very happy to have HDD temps that low in such a nice, small form factor. Is the 40mm fan very noisy? I ask because most 40mm are noisy but Noctua has a rep for being pretty quiet.

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ikon, no the two Noctua 40mm fans are not noisy at all; I can't hear any increase over the stock case fan. I think it's because they are buried up in the case and do not directly pull or push air into or out of the case; they simply keep air flowing over the two HDD's up in the ODD bay. They also come with a LNA (low-noise adapter) which I did not use that lowers the fan speed if you think they are too loud. Noctua fans are usually rather expensive but they move a lot of air quietly. They also have a six year warranty.

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Correct. But noise is all relative. When I was thinking about how to keep those two HDD's cooler I remembered I had an old 5.25 to 3.5 in drive bay cooler/adapter so I pulled it apart and put just the fan carrier plate with two 40mm fans that came with it up there and while they moved a decent amount of air they sounded like little electric model airplane motors. That's when I got the Noctuas and am very pleased with them. I have several PCs and an HTPC that I had changed-over to Noctua's and have been Noctua convert ever since. 

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