The Finished Product
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.