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From HTPC to Expandable File Server in the closet!

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August 23, 2012 8:36:18 AM


Hi all, appreciate the suggestions and input! Budget is not much of an issue, but I don't see the point of building a supercomputer thats only going to be hosting video to 2 clients. I'd like the ability to stuff as many drives as possible in the Antec 1200, which I understand is plenty. Green drives are preferable as my power bill during the summer is already upwards of $950!!! :( 

My name's Dane. I am currently running an old HTPC case stuffed with 5 1tb drives software raided using intel Matrix raid software. It is a Q8400 processor and an Asus P5Q-EM mobo with a 64gb Patriot SSD and 5 1tb drives raided Raid 5 in Intel Software Raid. It has a nice modular 600w power supply.. Running Raid 5 so its 4tb total size . It supports my needs but I am running out of space quickly. I now am running an Apple TV2 running XBMC so the server needs to do file server/sabnzb duty now. I recently moved it to the closet and am using WD Live Wire ethernet over powerline to connect. It streams 1080p fine to 2 clients just fine surprisingly.


Time to Upgrade.

I was hoping to retain my cpu/mobo as it serves my needs fine, but the mobo does not support UEFI which puts me in a predicament. If I could get it to work that way I could use my 5 1tb and add 4tb drives as needed. Can I get the P5Q-EM to support 4tb drives or is it better to just upgrade my mobo/cpu? Its been a while since I upgraded...


Antec 1200 for case (add 5 in 3 cages as needed, Norco, Icydock, Supermicro, use SSD in 2.5 slot)

I need a motherboard with lots of SATA ports. I'm an Asus man but am willing to branch out for extra sata ports.

PCI-E card for SAS/Sata expansion

SAS/Sata cables

Need to choose between 4tb Hitachi's or 3tb cost. I'm leaning towards 3tbs...

I appreciate the help guys! I'll be ordering everything through newegg. I'll update the thread with build pix.

My wishlist:
https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...
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August 23, 2012 11:30:46 AM

I have a similar setup and use a P35C-DS3R, which has one 3TB drive in it right now...the key seems to be getting WHS 2011 on it, which can recognise drives greater than the 2.2TB mark. If you went that route, you could keep your existing build.

If you wanted motherboard with a UEFI BIOS, look at the Asus P8P67 Pro...it has 8 SATA ports on the board, as well as plenty of room for SATA add-in cards. A S1155 Celeron or Pentium CPU would do you fine with that.
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August 23, 2012 11:30:53 AM

I have a similar setup and use a P35C-DS3R, which has one 3TB drive in it right now...the key seems to be getting WHS 2011 on it, which can recognise drives greater than the 2.2TB mark. If you went that route, you could keep your existing build.

If you wanted motherboard with a UEFI BIOS, look at the Asus P8P67 Pro...it has 8 SATA ports on the board, as well as plenty of room for SATA add-in cards. A S1155 Celeron or Pentium CPU would do you fine with that.
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August 23, 2012 7:40:33 PM

diellur said:
I have a similar setup and use a P35C-DS3R, which has one 3TB drive in it right now...the key seems to be getting WHS 2011 on it, which can recognise drives greater than the 2.2TB mark. If you went that route, you could keep your existing build.

If you wanted motherboard with a UEFI BIOS, look at the Asus P8P67 Pro...it has 8 SATA ports on the board, as well as plenty of room for SATA add-in cards. A S1155 Celeron or Pentium CPU would do you fine with that.


Interesting, so if I install WHS2011 I should be able to use 4tb drives? I wonder if flexraid would run on top of it.

It sounds as if I may be due for a mobo upgrade/cpu. Shame because the current setup works fine.

Maybe I'll try WHS2011 first and add a 4tb so I can backup my current raid to it. If that works then I will just buy an Antec 1200 and a bunch of 5x3cages...

Thanks for the info.

-D
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August 24, 2012 6:57:06 AM

I'm not sure about RAID; I just use my server as a bunch of disks...they're different sizes etc, and the software RAID options always gave me stutter when streaming to my HTPC. However, WHS 2011 definitely reads my 3TB drive, and since it's over 2.2TB I can't see it having an issue with a 4TB one. If you fancy WHS 2011, then get it first and see how you get on...your current hardware may be absolutely fine. No point in spending more money on hardware if you don't need to.
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