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Need Advice on NAS build

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October 21, 2011 10:46:23 PM

Hey folks. Here's the deal.

I'll be getting an SSD for my desktop for the holidays this year (probably 256GB). With a 1TB in there now, and a few other spare parts lying around, I figured a NAS box would be a good build. I'll probably go with FreeNas as the software. I have a mobo and case w/ a PSU. I've got two options in mind for CPU, and need some help on the PSU. I get the low thermal design need, but my question is if something more than a single-core is necessary. As for the PSU, the case comes with a 350W (not much more info than that a.t.m.) Do I need to go for another PSU with better efficiency, or does it not matter? The build list I have for now is below. I would like to stay south the $300 mark.

Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130247
Memory: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148470
Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147010&Tpk=R103a
Storage: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136942, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817993002
CPU: Option 1: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103888 OR
Option 2:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103873 OR
Option 3:http://www.ags-comp.com/products.php?product=AMD-Athlon-II-X3-415E-Energy-Efficient-Rana-2.5-GHz-3x512-KB-L2-Cache-Socket-AM3-45W-Triple%252dCore-Processor-%252d-Retail-AD415EHDGMBOX-%252d%252d-42VY1O003HYC0M699%0A

Thanks.

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October 22, 2011 5:59:59 AM

Proximon said:
You need to tell us what it is you will use it to do. For most applications it's hard to argue with a pre-built.

Like this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I'll be using it for everything eventually. At first it'll be just holding some MSOffice documents and a bunch of photos and pictures. But, my brother is buliding a rig for his computer animation biz and eventually will be storing a lot of stuff there. The horizon on that is about next summer. I haven't decided on it yet, but i may move a number of songs and home movies from CDs and DVDs to this NAS as well. As such, i would prefer a system i've built and can expand at my leisure rather than relying on a pre-built system which will be a large cost to get the needed space for expansion. With the one you've recommended you're alredy talking about the top of my budget once i buy the HDD.
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October 22, 2011 6:03:28 AM

I read a lot about people using Pentium 4's for NAS and linux servers, so any of the 3 processors you mention would probably be OK. I would probably pick the one in the middle of your price range. I intend to build a new linux server for my office soon and I will probably pick a cpu in that general range.
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October 22, 2011 3:19:51 PM

Quote:
cadder

I read a lot about people using Pentium 4's for NAS and linux servers, so any of the 3 processors you mention would probably be OK. I would probably pick the one in the middle of your price range. I intend to build a new linux server for my office soon and I will probably pick a cpu in that general range.


Thanks. I'll probably go with the single core then. It's the cheapest and has the lowest thermal design.

Quote:
JackNaylorPE


I use these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822122069
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822122062
.


Thanks, but unfortunately both bust my budget.

Quote:
Proximon


Well, you don't need a lot of power but you do need a better PSU than comes with that case.

PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817151086

This case comes with 7 HDD bays and a fan:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811146061
.


Thanks on the PSU. I was worried about the efficiency and wasn't sure if it was worth it to buy a new PSU. As for the case, I already have the Rosewill case as part of an old build that never got anywhere, but the case you recommended looks like it could be really nice if the Rosewill causes me any problems.
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October 22, 2011 3:48:21 PM

I'm running a Gigabyte GA-D525TUD with 1GB of RAM for my file/backup server. You don't need a lot of power if all you are doing is moving files around and only have 1-2 users at a time. My build has a 8GB CF to IDE and two WD Caviar Green drives (1.5TB and 2TB) and it draws 31W from the socket at idle. If I had a more efficient PSU (mine is a 250W dell PSU from over 6 years ago) it would probably draw less.

The reason I built one is because with recycling an old case and PSU the total cost came to $141.95 (not including HDDs) and it can handle 4 data drives and more with a PCIe card.

As for the PSU, I'd see if you can find a review on it. So long as it won't explode due to horrible craftsmanship there is no reason you can't use it, since you'll never get anywhere near max load. It might waste a few watts, but the question is if it is worth paying for an upgrade if it takes 10 years to recoup the costs in electricity. For example, my old dell PSU is probably ~60-70% efficient. Considering I draw so little power I'll assume 60%. If I get a PSU that is 80% efficient at 20W (Pico PSU is the only option) then my power draw will drop by 8W, which will save me ~$6/yr. If I spend $50 on a picoPSU and reuse a AC/DC converter it'll take me over 8 years to recoup the costs.
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October 22, 2011 4:08:23 PM

nordlead said:
I'm running a Gigabyte GA-D525TUD with 1GB of RAM for my file/backup server. You don't need a lot of power if all you are doing is moving files around and only have 1-2 users at a time. My build has a 8GB CF to IDE and two WD Caviar Green drives (1.5TB and 2TB) and it draws 31W from the socket at idle. If I had a more efficient PSU (mine is a 250W dell PSU from over 6 years ago) it would probably draw less.

The reason I built one is because with recycling an old case and PSU the total cost came to $141.95 (not including HDDs) and it can handle 4 data drives and more with a PCIe card.

As for the PSU, I'd see if you can find a review on it. So long as it won't explode due to horrible craftsmanship there is no reason you can't use it, since you'll never get anywhere near max load. It might waste a few watts, but the question is if it is worth paying for an upgrade if it takes 10 years to recoup the costs in electricity. For example, my old dell PSU is probably ~60-70% efficient. Considering I draw so little power I'll assume 60%. If I get a PSU that is 80% efficient at 20W (Pico PSU is the only option) then my power draw will drop by 8W, which will save me ~$6/yr. If I spend $50 on a picoPSU and reuse a AC/DC converter it'll take me over 8 years to recoup the costs.


I see your point. With those numbers a new PSU really wouldn't be worht it. I can't seem to find any detailed information on the PSU in that case, so I think I'll think about replacement after running it for a month or two.
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October 22, 2011 7:43:18 PM

A PSU that comes with a case that cheap is not going to be good. Rosewill PSUs are made by different companies... the better ones are OK, but the cheaper lines are very poor.
The model number is not in any database, but if you can get the UL number off the label we might discover the manufacturer.
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October 23, 2011 3:34:46 AM

I'm contemplating recycling some old hardware at work to build a NAS (ubuntu server). I was thinking about putting in a new PSU just so I could choose a good brand and get a PSU that hadn't already run for 8 years. The machine would have new hard drives of course, but I wouldn't want the PSU to die soon.
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October 23, 2011 4:12:57 PM

Proximon said:
A PSU that comes with a case that cheap is not going to be good. Rosewill PSUs are made by different companies... the better ones are OK, but the cheaper lines are very poor.
The model number is not in any database, but if you can get the UL number off the label we might discover the manufacturer.


The following link will take you to the info you're looking for (it's LC-8360BTX in the seventh group down) http://database.ul.com/cgi-bin/XYV/template/LISEXT/1FRAME/showpage.html?name=QQGQ8.E164554&ccnshorttitle=Power+Supplies,+Information+Technology+Equipment+Including+Electrical+Business+Equipment+Certified+for+Canada+-+Component&objid=1075048477&cfgid=1073741824&version=versionless&parent_id=1073992443&sequence=1
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October 23, 2011 9:13:26 PM

All cheap LC Power PSUs are actually made by Huntkey I think. A very low end manufacturer. No data on that specific model, but chances are it's overrated and out of spec.

LC has sold some Andyson and CWT units, but those would have actual marketing names like "Scorpio" and "Archangel".
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October 23, 2011 10:12:46 PM

I know the PSU basically works. I've tested it and it's run previously in a low-power setup powering my water cooling system external to my main case. It only ran about 12 hours a day (max) and held up fine for months until I changed around my setup. As a NAS running 24/7 i just want to know whether efficiency wise it's worth spending $40+ for a new one and only get back pennies on the dollar in the end. Are you sayiing it might blow my system or soemthing like that, or that it's just that inefficient?
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October 24, 2011 11:30:56 AM

The Facts: It is possible for a PSU to blow up taking out all your hardware.

However, this rarely happens. The biggest concern with junk PSUs is when you are running near max load, it can't handle it, and it takes hardware out with it. The second is that the PSU doesn't meet ATX specs. Being outside of specs can fry hardware very fast. I've had many PSUs fail and I've only ever had one possible (but not confirmed) hardware failure due to a PSU. Most of the time they fail without taking out additional hardware.

Since you'll be drawing under 100W, I wouldn't be concerned about the PSU not meeting the wattage rating, since you don't care. What you care about is if it stays within specs. One thing you could easily do is turn it on in the new system and measure the 12v, 5v, and 3.3v at load with a multimeter and see if they are within 10% (it might be 5% but you can poke around jonnyguru.com reviews to find what the spec is)

I'm not going to say you have to buy a new PSU, since I personally would "risk" it. I think most Tom's members are too paranoid and have that 800W gamer machine mentality. However, you should be aware that there is always that risk. As I said before for efficiency, If you already have the hardware it is hardly worth the cost. If you were deciding between two models I'd tell you to buy the more efficient model. To really save energy, set it up to automatically turn off at night and wake up in the morning. My home server used to shut down at midnight and turn on at 7:50, but I was having problems with the shutdown hanging and I haven't gotten around to fixing it.
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October 25, 2011 3:52:56 PM

Alright, i've gone about testing the PSU. Or, I should say I started testing. The fan suddenly stopped spinning and the volts dropped to 0. So, i'm calling it dead. Since the build is under budget I guess buying a new PSU won't hurt too much. Just goes to show that keeping headroom in your budget can be important.
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