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NAS hardware Q's / suggestions

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August 28, 2010 6:26:11 PM

I've got about 4 external HD's with dead power adapters, I'm adding 2 more PC's to the house, and in short...I'm just wanting to simplify my (currently ugly) storage situation. As such, I'm looking at building a NAS device for my home.

I'd like something with at LEAST a 4 SATA drive capacity (my current external coung), with 6+ being preferred. This setup will be churning quite a bit with Torrent files, as well as (potentially) a variety DVD ISO's, CAD / CAM files I've created, etc.

I'm planning on going with a full-size case, due to the drive requirements. Aside from that, I'm open. I've got an old HP Pavilion a1140n that I can strip for parts (system specs are here: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&docname=c00389437 , if that's beneficial. If not, I'm not opposed to buying new components.

The HP randomly powers down, and I've not spent the time to try to track the problem. I'm not sure if it's the PS, mboard, etc. I'll consider those components suspect, but I've still got the processor, 4GB of RAM, optical drives, etc available.

I've found MANY "build your own NAS" threads / pages / builds in my searches, but a LOT of these are '08 or earlier. I'm not hardware savvy enough to understand exactly what I'm needing on my own. At this point, I'm simply looking for a parts list recommendation, though additional input is certainly appreciated.
August 28, 2010 9:30:37 PM

I'm not sure you'll be able to salvage much from your HP, maybe the ram.

I suggest this monster for a case It's all aluminum so the heat from all your HDs will be better managed without having to add allot of fans, and your likely to have it forever:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'd look at dual nic cards or motherboards. You can set up the system to use both ports to increase your network speed of this machine significantly over a single line. You may need to get a switch if your using allot of wired devices on your router. This can get pricey particularly if you try to find a mother board with dual NIC and 8 or so SATA ports. These features are usually on "enthusiast" boards which don't have integrated graphics. For that reason you may be better off finding a reasonable motherboard with integrated graphics and 4 or 6 SATA ports and then looking into a dual NIC card ($60 to $160 depending the speed your after) and a SATA card later when you add more hard drives (another $60 to $100 depending on the quality and features of the card).

You'll have to do allot of pricing to find out what will work best for you. It might be more cost effective to by a $200 mother board with dual NIC and 8 SATA connectors and putting in a cheap ($30-$40) video card then getting a $60 mother board and adding $150-$200 worth of PCI cards to it. Also figure in if you can support your RAM and anything else you may be able to reuse. Allot, if not all, of the high end boards tend to get rid of a IDE connector rendering your old optical drive unusable, however optical drives are cheap and picking one up for $35 or less shouldn't be a problem.
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