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Need Help Building a Low Power Wireless NAS

Last response: in Systems
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December 27, 2009 5:54:07 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next month or so
BUDGET RANGE: $300 - 400 ~$600

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Routine wireless backups, video storage for HTPC, sharing files between roommates

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, graphics card, keyboard, mouse

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States

PARTS PREFERENCES: I usually prefer WD for hard drives, but anything else is fine with me.

OVERCLOCKING: No
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: N/A
MONITOR RESOLUTION: N/A

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: So, I'm in need of a wireless NAS, with probably two drives in RAID1 to start out with. In a best case scenario, the system would be expandable to 4 or 6 drives (in RAID1) in the future as the first drive gets filled up. Low power draw is the most important thing here. I've been looking at the Atom platform for its low TDP, but read somewhere that its controller can only support 2 SATA drives max, which may or may not be true. I've also been looking at


Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

for the hard drives, but I heard they're not made for RAID arrays because of the power-saving switching-off feature. Is this true?

Network speeds only need to be fast enough for my HTPC to playback 1080p .mkv's from it. All other operations can be as slow as they have to be. (And both my HTPC and router use wireless-N.)

Anyone's input will be sincerely appreciated, thanks. :) 

Best solution

December 28, 2009 2:02:28 PM

My cart:
--
quantity of item 1


Antec VSK-2000 Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Antec VSK-2000 Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811129069
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

-$10.60 Instant


$49.99
$39.39

select item 2 quantity of item 2


Western Digital Caviar Blue WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822136075
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy



$39.49

select item 3 quantity of item 3


Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5

Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822136317
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy



$169.98
($84.99 each)

select item 4 quantity of item 4


ASUS M4A78LT-M LE AM3 AMD 780L Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

ASUS M4A78LT-M LE AM3 AMD 780L Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813131619
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy



$64.99

select item 5 quantity of item 5


Rosewill RNX-N300X PCI Wireless Adapter

Rosewill RNX-N300X PCI Wireless Adapter - Retail
Item #: N82E16833166051
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

Protect Your Investment (expand for options33-166-051|hide options33-166-051)

Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty Plan

The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info33-166-051.0.18)

* 1 year: $6.99
* 2 year: $11.99

-$10.00 Instant


$39.99
$29.99

select item 6 quantity of item 6


CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
Item #: N82E16817139008
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

-$15.00 Instant
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card17-139-008

$64.99
$49.99

select item 7 quantity of item 7


OCZ Gold Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G10664GK

OCZ Gold Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G10664GK - Retail
Item #: N82E16820227346
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy

-$10.00 Instant


$89.99
$79.99

select item 8 quantity of item 8


AMD Sempron 140 Sargas 2.7GHz Socket AM3 45W Single-Core Processor Model SDX140HBGQBOX

AMD Sempron 140 Sargas 2.7GHz Socket AM3 45W Single-Core Processor Model SDX140HBGQBOX - Retail
Item #: N82E16819103698
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy



$35.99

Subtotal: $509.81
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$400 including 2 1TB drives for a server isn't enough. Especially for energy efficiency which costs more money than regular. If that doesn't include storage, then it's ok. You can use Ubuntu server for OS, but I strongly suggest you get a small drive for OS so that your server software won't slow down while you're file-sharing. I learned my lesson. 80GB-160GB is more than enough. I think the full install takes up ~5GB, depending on the features.

This server won't use more than 100W under load. I'm guessing it's 60W-ish tops and 30W-ish idle. You could disable onboard audio & video and some other unneeded features like IEEE. However, I suggest you leave video on at all times in case you screw up (get locked out) the server, you could log in /boot up rescue with a monitor/tv.

Oh, you don't need a DVD drive which is a waste of electricity & money. You can use USB stick to boot up Ubuntu.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/FromUSBS...

Basically, you boot up the desktop CD on a main rig, create a USB boot drive and boot this up on the server. You only need a monitor & keyboard. Unplug or power off monitor after install. Leave keyboard plugged in.

Another thing is RAID. The mobo RAID is software. It's not as reliable as hardware RAID cards. However, you can use Linux RAID instead of onboard. Just disable onboard RAID in BIOS. If you're doing RAID, it's best to start with as many drives as you plan to have right off the bat. It's a LOT easier to do this at the beginning than in the middle.

https://help.ubuntu.com/9.10/serverguide/C/advanced-ins...
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December 28, 2009 10:03:42 PM

Thanks for the reply. Hope you don't mind me reformatting this a little bit!

p55ibexpeak said:
My cart:
--

Antec VSK-2000 Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811129069
$39.39


Western Digital Caviar Blue WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822136075
$39.49


Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822136317
$169.98 (2 x $84.99 each)


ASUS M4A78LT-M LE AM3 AMD 780L Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813131619
$64.99


Rosewill RNX-N300X PCI Wireless Adapter - Retail
Item #: N82E16833166051
$29.99


CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Power Supply - Retail
Item #: N82E16817139008
$49.99 (before $10.00 Mail-in Rebate)


OCZ Gold Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G10664GK - Retail
Item #: N82E16820227346
$79.99


AMD Sempron 140 Sargas 2.7GHz Socket AM3 45W Single-Core Processor Model SDX140HBGQBOX - Retail
Item #: N82E16819103698
$35.99

Subtotal: $509.81
--

$400 including 2 1TB drives for a server isn't enough. Especially for energy efficiency which costs more money than regular. If that doesn't include storage, then it's ok.


That's including storage... You're right though, I'll raise my budget to ~$600.

p55ibexpeak said:
You can use Ubuntu server for OS, but I strongly suggest you get a small drive for OS so that your server software won't slow down while you're file-sharing.


I forgot to mention I'll be running FreeNAS on this box. Should I still get a quicker drive for the OS? Would a small SSD be overkill?

p55ibexpeak said:
Oh, you don't need a DVD drive which is a waste of electricity & money.


Excellent. :) 

p55ibexpeak said:
If you're doing RAID, it's best to start with as many drives as you plan to have right off the bat. It's a LOT easier to do this at the beginning than in the middle.


Eeeek, I can't afford the number I really want now at ~$90 a pop, so that's out. I guess I'll just have to do it the hard way down the road.

I really like the case and wireless card specifically. And is 4GB RAM necessary for this build, or could I get away with 2?
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December 29, 2009 12:19:49 PM

FreeNAS it is. It's easier than Ubuntu cuz Ubuntu is not tailored for specific application. It's very generic. FreeNAS has USB version. I suspect it's the embedded.

FreeNAS-i386-embedded-0.7.1.4944.img

https://sourceforge.net/projects/freenas/files/

You can go with 2GB RAM, but it costs more the half the price of 4 gigs. The sys req:

*
128Mb of RAM is the minimum for starting the 'full' release. Using advanced features like software RAID 5 or ZFS and enabling lots of functions may need more RAM (512Mb or more).
*
192Mb of RAM is the minimum required for upgrading the 'embedded' release. Using advanced features like software RAID 5 or ZFS and enabling lots of functions may need more RAM (512Mb or more).
*
Using advanced features like software RAID 5 and enabling lots of functions may need more RAM (512Mb or more).
*
For using ZFS, we recommend a minimum of 1 GB RAM and using the FreeNAS release for 64bit processor

Or you can pick up 1 GB RAM and remove the small HDD and try to squeeze in 4 drives for RAID 5 which is the best of both 0 & 1.

Forgot to say the Green drives are fine with servers. It's the low 5400RPM that is not optimal. 7200RPM is the one I use for home servers.
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