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Plz suggest a mobo and case for LOTS of storage.

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Last response: in Systems
October 18, 2010 12:18:42 AM


I am building a new PC and I require as much storage as possible.

So plz suggest a mobo which offers maximum number of SATA ports and a case which can hold all those hard drives.

Gaming will be moderate at best so I dont need major cooling or excessive overclocking features. The sole purpose of this PC is to get as much storage as possible without spending too much on other components.


More about : plz suggest mobo case lots storage

October 18, 2010 1:47:58 AM

NORCO RPC-4220 4U Rackmount Server Chassis w/ 20 Hot-Swappable SATA/SAS Drive Bays

You'll need two of these 8x SAS controllers
SUPERMICRO AOC-SASLP-MV8 PCI Express x4 Low Profile SAS SAS RAID Controller

And you'll need a mobo with 2 PCI-e x16 slots at at least x4
ASRock H55M Pro LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Additional suggestions
Intel Pentium G6950 Clarkdale 2.8GHz LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80616G6950

SeaSonic X650 Gold 650W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

That'll give you support for 20HDDs (2x8 via controllers, 1x4 on-board).

You'll also need
1 x SFF-8087 / SAS to SATA Reverse Breakout Cable
4 x SAS cables

and 20 HDDs
October 18, 2010 3:51:17 AM

Thank you.

So if I want to install a graphics card too then I will need a motherboard with 3 pci slots, wont I?

And do you know at what price 3TB drives will be launching?
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October 18, 2010 6:04:08 PM

That CPU/motherboard combination has built-in graphics so you won't need a discrete card -- assuming you are building a file server.

No idea about 3TB drives.
October 18, 2010 6:23:06 PM

There are also mini-SAS controller cards you can buy. I think that Norco case has 5 mini-SAS connectors so you'd need a card with at least 5 ports. They are very expensive.

areca ARC-1280ML-2G PCI Express SATA II (3.0Gb/s) Controller Card
6 x SFF-8087 ports (each port controls 4 SATA devices)

Norco also makes the 4224 case which has 6 mini-SAS connectors and holds 24 HDDs. That would use all the ports in the card above

NORCO RPC-4224 4U Rackmount Server Case with 24 Hot-Swappable SATA/SAS Drive Bays

The Norco also supports redundant power supplies, probably something like this (you'd need to look into it further):

Athena Power AP-RRP4ATX6508 80 PLUS Certified 20+4Pin 500W Mini Redundant Server Power Supply

I don't know if 500W would be enough for that server but from reading the specs that's the kind of server power supply supports by the Norco. It also supports regular ATX power supplies like the one suggested above.
October 19, 2010 11:22:33 PM

Thanks Dougie. You have been really helpful.

Areca also has another controller card which provides 24 SATA connectors and is just a little bit cheaper.

There is also a mini-SAS controller from Highpoint which is considerabely cheaper than areca solution but has just 1GB of cache.

Which of these solutions will you recommend considering the price?
October 20, 2010 2:36:18 AM

I don't have experience with either. It seems to me cards that directly support the SFF-8087 interface would be more advantageous.

As for which mini-SAS card, I think you need to look carefully into compatibility and make sure the drives you plan to use are supported. Besides that, what you plan to do with all this storage should dictate what performance you need.

Cheaper yet is this Highpoint card:

HighPoint RocketRAID 2760 PCI-Express 2.0 x16 SATA / SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) Controller Card