Psuedo-Server board with lots of 6.0gb SATA?

Hey Everyone..

I am thinking of building a budget storage/backup/enterprise anti-virus server along with some light duty file serving. I don't have the budget to go all out with a dual xeon system. Besides, that would be a little overkill for what I am trying to do here.

The idea is to build a machine that can run eight 6.0gb SATA drives in raid 1 configuration plus the system drive. So if I used 2.0TB drives I'd end up with 8.0TB of available space, plus the system drive.

I thought of using a SSD for the system drive, but I really don't think this machine would benefit enough from it to justify the cost.

I've found a few boards that I think can do this but most of them only have 3.0gb SATA ports. Ideally I would be able to run all drives from the mainboard and avoid any additional add-in controller cards since they all seem to be really expensive for good quality product or junk.

The system config I have in mind is something like this:

OS: Windows Server Enterprise 2008 R2
CPU: Sandy Bridge LGA2011 processor - possibly the i7-3930K - would love the 6 cores
Cooler: ????
Motherboard: ????
RAM: 32gb
Drives: 600gb system drive (velociraptor?), 8x WD Caviar Black 7200rpm 2.0TB
Case: 2u rack mount unless it's too small. Then possible 4u but I know that's too big.
Power supply: At least 850watt - not sure yet based on number of connectors I need.
Graphics: Cheapest card I can get unless onboard the motherboard (ideal)
Optical Drive: None

I'm trying to keep this build down around $2500 if possible. The processor, motherboard and drives will eat almost all of my budget.

So I guess to sum up, my ideal mainboard would have integrated graphics, at least 2 integrated gig NIC, and 10 6.0gb sata ports that I could configure for 4x raid 1 with 8 drives. I know I'm probably not going to get all that, but hey, I can dream right? :)

Can a core i7 cpu run in a single cpu server board that's meant for a xeon?

There's a strong possibility the machine may end up with vmware on it and the file server/storage server, backup server and anti-vir server would all be virtual machines.

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  1. Any advice here?

    At this point I think I've narrowed it down to the MSI X79A-GD65(8D)

    Athough this board does not have 2 NIC and not all of the RAID capable ports are 6.0gb, I think it might be a good choice.

    The only thing I am wondering about is if the system can boot from drives connected to the 2 extra SATA ports provided by the ASM1061.

    Anyone have any ideas about that?

  2. Yes, very true. I haven't found any suitable boards that have iGPU.

    I would love to use one of those supermicro boards, but the only one that supports more than 3 RAID 1 arrays is the 3F model which is super expensive. :(

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