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The Finished Product

Toaster RAID Returns, Better Than Ever

The new Toaster RAID model has:

  • a Jetway NC62 motherboard
  • an AMD Athlon 2.4 GHz dual-core CPU
  • 1 GB of DDR2-800 memory
  • an Nvidia NF-8200 MCP78s chipset
  • an Nvidia video controller with VGA and DVI video ports
  • two Gigabit Ethernet ports with a Realtek RTL-8211B controller
  • two nine-pin serial ports
  • six USB ports with headers for two more

I selected this board for several reasons. Most importantly, it had four SATA ports, which would allow for an implementation of RAID 5. I wanted a high-performance x86 CPU and I read that AMD CPUs perform well running storage servers. Also, I like yellow.

Since this is a headless file server, a high-performance Nvidia video controller and a DVI port were superfluous. The Nvidia chipset appealed to me because it seemed to have a good reputation. The abundant USB and A/V ports serve no real use on a file server, but they came with the board.

I used four Seagate 2.5", 5,400 RPM drives with 320 GB of capacity and 8 MB of cache, for an aggregate native capacity of 1.28 TB. For an additional $45 per drive, I could have used 500 GB hard drives for a capacity of 2 TB. The power supply is an external 12 V, 110 W unit.

The back of the motherboard and a small drive-cage were made from some aluminum "L" brackets. Using the small 2.5" drives, there is easily room for eight to 12 drives.

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