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Please help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).

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Modified 8-15-2013
Mini-Me Test-Run Storage Server:
ITEMBRANDMODELPRICESTOREMotherboardSuperMicroX10SAE (ATX form factor)$216===CPUIntelXeon E3-1245V3 (BX80646E31245V3)$289NeweggRAMKingston32GB (4x8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Registered DDR3 1600 Server Memory DRx4 Intel (KVR16R11D4K4/32I)$347NeweggNICIntelNetworking Card Ethernet Server Adapter I340 Quad Port PCI Express Copper 1Gb (E1G44HTBLK)$250NeweggCaseCooler MasterStorm Stryker$169.99NeweggPower Supply======$======OSFreeNASv9.1$0!===Note: HBA Card or SAS expanders or anything like that is not necessary because the motherboard can already support 8 SATA3 drives, and I don't plan on having more than that in this tower.

ITEMBRANDMODELPRICESTOREMotherboardSuperMicro===$======CPU======$======RAM======$======Graphics Card======$======CaseCooler MasterStorm Stryker$169.99NeweggPower Supply======$======OSFreeNASv9.1$0!===HBA cardIBMm1015$110ServerSupplySAS-to-SATA cable (SFF-8087)(N/A)1m, forward breakout cable$10Monoprice*

HARD DRIVEBRANDMODELCAPACITYRPMCACHEINTERFACEQUANTITY#1-4Western DigitalBlack Caviar2TB720032MBSATA 3x4#5-6HGSTDeskstar2TB720064MBSATA 3x2#7-8HGSTDeskstar3TB720064MBSATA 3x2#9-12HGSTDeskstar4TB720064MBSATA 3x4#13HGSTDeskstar2TB720032MBSATA 2x1TOTAL:36TBx13OK, folks, I know I've done this before and I'm doing it again.  But this time I think I'm REALLY going to do it.  I'm going to build my massive (and I do mean that literally, see below) server.  I've collected about a year or two of notes, and while I have not figured everything out yet, a little more back and forth here and I'll be ready to go.

First, here are the related threads so far:

And my first request that built my rock-solid desktop:

--- End quote ---

Eventually, I'll add a table of the parts and everything here.  The primary goal is to hold a lot of drives, over 20 of them.  The rest of the decisions will basically be built around that one.  I didn't want to go through the standard server rack route because the noise that results in cramming all those drives into a tight space.  The other thing I want to accomplish is that I want this to be the only computer in the house (other than laptops and tablets), so it will be in one room, and the rest of the house will be wired with ethernet/etc.  I haven't figured all that out yet, but that's the goal.  In the rooms, I just want monitors and keyboards/mice, but the computing is being done on this machine.

OK, here's what I have so far:
I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with the MASSIVE Caselabs TX10-V case ($800).  I like how people there say it will be the "last case they ever buy".  I like that.  I love the room it offers.

I can't decide on a motherboard yet.  I want a physically large motherboard with lots of PCI slots. But I also want as many USB 3.0 slots as possible, and esata if possible.  I know I have to figure out which of those SAS expander or whatever cards to get because of all the drives (I have lots of notes, just have to sort through them).  But I mention the USB 3.0 and esata because I like those and they seem to be rare.  Also, I probably don't have to worry about this, but recently I experienced problems transferring 4TB drives between computers because one of them required a "intel rapid storage technology" (I'm guessing it was before the large drives were common) and because I didn't have it installed, it sort of corrupted the drive, and I had to do a chkdsk and recover all that stuff.  I don't want to deal with that.  I don't want anything to happen to the drive when I plug it in to stuff.  I've experienced similar issues with a third-party USB 3.0 PCI controller I just got.  I don't like it, it worries me.
Please discuss!  Talking through all these things really helps me.

What do you want the server for?  Other than to hold a lot of drives... there's several different applications that require a lot of space...

I love living vicariously through Superboy when it comes to a new build project!!!! ;D :Thmbsup:

Even if there are limits to the vicarious experience

You might want to consider two servers? One which will have an i7 or dual Xeons (or dual i7s if they're out yet) if you're planning on running a lot of virtual machines. Then the other box would just be set up as a big storage server with a lot of drives. Separating them functionally shouldn't cost much more. And it will sure go a long way towards reducing heat and noise. And there might also be some savings to be realized since a storage server doesn't need the RAM and CPU power that an app server or VM  host should be given. There's cases built just for big NAS boxes that would probably be your best bet for that.

Good article on storage servers here. The biggest one they talk about holds ten drives. But the recommended case for that only runs $150 - so two are probably as inexpensive as getting one big one - and they will likely run cooler too with only 10 drives each. Plus you can always build another if you ever decide you need 30 drives someday.

There's also storage platforms from people like Addonics, Norco, Chenbro-Micom and others. And +1 with Wraith... let's refine the spec a little more before we start hardware shopping.


If the server OS needs to be Windows, go for Windows Server 2012. The management of the combined storage capacity from the hard disks you will be using, is very nice and rather simple. Just as Stoic Joker  :)

Stoic Joker:
We just spun up an HP DL380p awhile back. As configured I've got 16 2.5" drives on two different RAID controllers in a 2U rack unit. Damn thing is insanely fast ... Full install from 1st POST to desktop took ~10min.

Did I mention the dual 8 core Xeons and 64GB of RAM?

eek! battery dieing...


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