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New File Server Build

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January 20, 2010 3:11:31 AM

Hello,

Below is my current home file server build (greatly inspired by http://bitdrop.st0w.com):

* SUPERMICRO MBD-X7SBL-LN2 Motherboard
* Intel Xeon E3110 3.0GHz Dual-Core CPU
* LG 22X DVD±R SATA DVD Burner
* Kingston 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) ECC DRAM
* (4) x Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drives
* Western Digital Caviar SE 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

Which PSU would you recommend?

* Something with lower wattage like the Antec EarthWatts Green EA-430D Green 430W
* Or something with more juice like the CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W

And what are your thoughts on cases? I was thinking maybe the:

* Antec Mini P180 Black Steel MicroATX Mini Tower

Many thanks!

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January 20, 2010 9:00:59 AM
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^ Why not the new Lynnfields ? would not cost a lot higher...but you get better CPU, DDR3 RAM...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for the PSU, if you will be going with more HDDs, then better buy higher wattage...
The Corsair 650TX would be the max IMO...
January 20, 2010 11:54:02 AM

Are you planning on putting those drives in a RAID? I've read interesting things about the Black series and TLER when using in RAID - you may want to read up on the issue just so you know what to expect.

Are ou using the onboard RAID controller on that board? If you are, is there a reason not to go with a board that has the newest Intel controller (ICH10R) - also featured on many desktop boards.

What OS are you going to run on the file server? I've heard that they are not real taxing on RAM, so 4GB may be overkill.

Related resources
January 21, 2010 1:48:35 AM

gkay09 said:
^ Why not the new Lynnfields ? would not cost a lot higher...but you get better CPU, DDR3 RAM...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for the PSU, if you will be going with more HDDs, then better buy higher wattage...
The Corsair 650TX would be the max IMO...


Thanks gkay09,

This setup looks great! A Quad Core with 1333 DDR3 ECC SDRAM would be ideal.

Energy Efficiency:

I was initially going after the SUPERMICRO MBD-X7SBL-LN2 Motherboard because I was hoping to save some cash on the power bill while the box is idling. I definitely want a server motherboard with ECC memory, but I'd like to go semi-green on this project. Although, I admittedly know very little about going green on build projects, so any advice is appreciated.

I've read that DDR3 is more energy efficient (~16%) than DDR2, which is a small plus. Do you have an idea what a 95W Quad Core will idle at vs a 65W Dual Core? And SuperMicro motherboards seem to offer some nice features for managing power consumption, do you know anything about this particular Asus motherboard? I can't seem to find the manual for the ASUS P7F-X motherboard.

Many thanks!
January 21, 2010 2:24:05 AM

huron said:
Are you planning on putting those drives in a RAID? I've read interesting things about the Black series and TLER when using in RAID - you may want to read up on the issue just so you know what to expect.

Are ou using the onboard RAID controller on that board? If you are, is there a reason not to go with a board that has the newest Intel controller (ICH10R) - also featured on many desktop boards.

What OS are you going to run on the file server? I've heard that they are not real taxing on RAM, so 4GB may be overkill.


Thanks for the advice huron,

I am interested in setting up RAID. I have briefly read about the Black series and TLER in the past, that is great advice. Do you happen to know the difference between the Western Digital RE3 WD1002FBYS 1TB vs the Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB? I'm wondering if one has better RAID support, is more power efficient, has a longer average lifetime, etc. or if the RE3 model is Western Digital's B2B edition (i.e. same parts, different label, haha).

I was looking at RAID controllers but got lost in mix. I'm not sure if I'll have problems with "fake RAID"? And I'm not sure what kind of money I should throw down on a RAID card? I'm still debating RAID 1 vs. 5/6.

For the OS I was going to stick with Linux. It's what I'm the most familiar with. Probably Gentoo or Ubuntu. I took a peek at FreeNAS, but it's far too stripped down for my needs. Also FreeBSD seems like a good choice (for ZFS version 11) but I don't have any experience with that OS (although I'm sure it's easy to pick up with Linux / Unix experience).

I'm not sure how much memory I'll need. I figured 2 GB was enough but that at times I may want 4GB? This server will be for FTP, SSH, Apache / Ruby / PHP, Media NAS, torrents, etc. But I will also use it as a sandbox for trying to create hosting slices, virtualization, and trying to improve my server administration skills.
January 21, 2010 2:24:57 AM

^ Here is a Energy efficient flavour of the LGA 1156 board from SUPERMICRO...It should have similar features as that LGA 775 board...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And as for the difference between a 95W and a 65W CPU, wont be much when idling...only when the CPU is at full load, it the difference would be a little higher...and also that 1156 CPU has HT - 8 Logical threads...So the processing power would be very much higher than that 775 Xeon...

And Yes DDR3 would consume less power and would run cooler than the DDR2 RAM...
January 21, 2010 2:47:39 AM

gkay09 said:
^ Here is a Energy efficient flavour of the LGA 1156 board from SUPERMICRO...It should have similar features as that LGA 775 board...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And as for the difference between a 95W and a 65W CPU, wont be much when idling...only when the CPU is at full load, it the difference would be a little higher...and also that 1156 CPU has HT - 8 Logical threads...So the processing power would be very much higher than that 775 Xeon...

And Yes DDR3 would consume less power and would run cooler than the DDR2 RAM...


After I read both of the manuals, I'm definitely going to choose one of the two motherboards you've suggested. Thanks gkay09!
January 22, 2010 2:42:54 PM

The RE3 drives are Raid Edition and are meant for RAID. I have heard of success that others have had with desktop class drives, but have also read numerous problems with WD and TLER.

I'm still debating a RAID card myself - it's hard to want to shell out so much for it, but I know it's an investment.

About RAID 5/6 or 1 - you could also check out 10 - striped and mirrored.
January 29, 2010 2:54:11 AM

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