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Best Low Cost DIY MB-based RAID-5 Server/NAS

Last response: in Storage
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February 14, 2011 3:31:18 AM

I want to build a few (3-5) reliable 10 TB media stores for friends and family (likely standalone network servers, though might also be used for transcoding). Budget is ~1K. OS is w7.

Best I've played with so far are the 6-wide sata3 AMD SB850 based MBs (some less than $100). Add a 1x1 pci card esata + internal sata (for boot drive, reserving all of the SB850 ports for the RAID-5). I can't find an intel motherboard w/ ICHR10R or better supporting 6 or more sata3 - plus Intel's Matrix RAID driver & management package have few of the features of AMD's raidxpert package (?).

Granted, this is all software raid. But with 3c AMD processors at $70 the base system costs less than a hardware raid controller.

Newegg has 2TB disks at $80 (and we’ll likely see the 3tb disks at $130 in less than a year).

So ~ $500 for 10+2 TB, $60 for a 32GB system SSD. $30 for the 1x1 esata+sata pci card (if the mb doesn’t come with a marvel chip doing equivalent – need all the SB850 6ports for the raid5). $460 for AMD SB850 solution (case, ps, mb, cpu, mem). $50 for a 600VA UPS. $100 W7 Home Premium. Call it $1200. Shopping the sales should save 10-20%.

Any other ideas, suggestions? Given this is basically software raid does anyone have a filter-driver for windows that does the equivalent for an arbitrary number of drives (given booting off of them isn’t a requirement there really doesn’t need to be BIOS support)? Am I mistaken about Intel’s raid support? (it appears to me that AMD's RaidXpert has near-enterprise features in terms of online recovery, reconfiguration, scrubbing, logging, reporting alerts, etc.).

If Tom’s is looking for something positive to say about AMD, this (motherboard raid support, both performance and features) would be an interesting (and helpful) review.
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