Newbie - Media/File Server PC

It has been over 10 years since I built a pretty basic PC and would like to get back into it and start my first build. My PC is going to be used for watching and streaming movies and storing files.

As a file server, I want to set it up with two raids, one that mirrors the other. Each raid will consist of two drive cages with 5x4 TB drives for 40 TB. I know nothing about raids or how to build them so any help would be appreciated.

What I need: I need a case that can hold 4 drive cages plus 2 hidden drives for system use. My budget is flexible but for now I don't have too much money so I would like to go as cheap as possible. I know the drives are the most expensive part and will have to buy those as I go. I want this PC to be really fast so I will need a motherboard with a high BUS speed and lastly if at all possible, I would like the case to be no larger than 30" x 12" x 15" so I can put it in my fireproof file cabinet when I am at work or away from home.

Here are some example pics I found on Google.

http://www.avsite.gr/forum/attachments/aaaa-jpg.29507/
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jR6wPQKsi10/TVrke_bXGaI/AAAAAAAAAJE/nj8-drDDkrc/s1600/norco_action.png
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-AFBo4Z1vQOg/T81FnZHxDzI/AAAAAAAABTs/XRzq299mRms/s1600/Case.png
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cpTFNLFN1Vg/TVrkeu0lCHI/AAAAAAAAAJA/MKm94GTF2Uk/s1600/supermicro_action.png
http://www.extuff.biz/images/my-unraid-server-004.JPG
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wz2H19M-XOY/TVrkeB0vPtI/AAAAAAAAAI8/8m1F_eKMENM/s1600/icydock_action.png
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  1. Comments:-
    1). There is no motherboard with enough ports to host that many hard drives. Most motherboard max out at about 8 ports these days.
    2). You're looking to a SAS host bus adapter OR raid card with a SAS port expander to host so many drives.
    3). I don't know if it's come to fruition but there was the fear of unrecoverable errors in arrays of 12TB or bigger, which would mean the death of aan array if you ever tried to rebuild it.
    4). You're mirrored striped array idea can be brought down by 2 drives failing.
    5). I'd suggest a 12 disc raid 6 array. This can have 2 drives fail and still operate, although after a single drive failing you seriously need to get it replaced.
    6). A 12 disc array takes less space and means you can use a case with 9 optical bays, which are much smaller and easier on the pocket.
  2. I have been looking into unRAID and ZFS and I still want to go with a case that has room for 4 drive cages which will give me 80 TB of total space which is more then enough to divide into 2 arrays with one array mirroring the other.
  3. Will anyone give me advice? What about a server motherboard, don't they support up to 24 drives?
  4. Last bit of advice I will give, start a new thread. You've made it clear you don't want mine.
  5. pauls3743 said:
    Last bit of advice I will give, start a new thread. You've made it clear you don't want mine.


    That is because you suggested I do something completely different from what I WANT to do when all I need is to know how to do what I want to do. I already have the idea, I just need help refining not downsizing it. I posted example pictures of what I want to build so clearly, others have done this before. If your not going to help then maybe others will which I why I feel no need to start another thread.

    Perhaps I can give you some advice. In the future when you go to answer other people questions, you should keep in mind what it is THEY WANT to do instead of making it all about what you would do and then get butthurt and throw a fit when it becomes apparent that your advice was neither helpful nor along the lines of what they had in mind.

    I will say thanks for the info you gave me regarding the SAS host bus adapter and RAID card with the SAS port expander.
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