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Building a WHS 2011 (x64) - Want a double check on the HW I am about to purchase

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I know there are a lot of threads out there, but I wanted to make sure everyone thinks what I am going to purchase will do the job. All I am going to be doing is serving up some files to my PS3, SmartTV, AppleTV via iTunes. I will store some music, I will not be doing any encoding, or if so, it won't be very much at all.

mb - ASrock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3
cpu - Intel Pentium G645
ram - Samsung 16GB DDR3-1600 PC3-12800)
HD 8 x 2TB Green 5400/5900 (is it worth having sata 6 vs 3)?
raid card - Need advise, I want the best card that will support 8 drives for the sub $200 range. (0,1,5,10 please)

The part I need the most help on is picking the RAID card and HD's. I come from a vmWare background, but with that being said I am used to SAS, PERC, etc. never played with WHS, and I don't want to use my G5 any longer at home, it is simply too loud and the drives are too $$ for my needs.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sc4r3d View Post

I know there are a lot of threads out there, but I wanted to make sure everyone thinks what I am going to purchase will do the job. All I am going to be doing is serving up some files to my PS3, SmartTV, AppleTV via iTunes. I will store some music, I will not be doing any encoding, or if so, it won't be very much at all.
mb - ASrock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3
cpu - Intel Pentium G645
ram - Samsung 16GB DDR3-1600 PC3-12800)
HD 8 x 2TB Green 5400/5900 (is it worth having sata 6 vs 3)?
raid card - Need advise, I want the best card that will support 8 drives for the sub $200 range. (0,1,5,10 please)
The part I need the most help on is picking the RAID card and HD's. I come from a vmWare background, but with that being said I am used to SAS, PERC, etc. never played with WHS, and I don't want to use my G5 any longer at home, it is simply too loud and the drives are too $$ for my needs.
Thanks in advance!

So to first clarify something, you say you won't be doing any encoding. Encoding is basically converting a video, such as encoding a 720p blu-ray .MKV rip...to a .avi file. TRANScoding on the other hand, is the process of real time data conversion to another encoder. Not actually change the file, but changing the method that is being streamed. I can tell you that if you are going to be playing MKV files (typical high def blu-ray rips), you will definitely be transcoding to play that media on a PS3 (if using something like Plex, Tversity, PS3MediaServer, Serviio, etc) as well as to your AppleTV.

Now if you will be transcoding, I would recommend at least a dual core with HT, or a quad core. Seeing that you want to put 16GB of RAM (overkill, but RAM is so cheap you might as well), I would bump that CPU up to something a little more powerful. It will definitely increase the life of this box. That G645 will probably work, but I personally would want something a little more powerful (I have a Xeon E3-1220v2 in my storage server).

SATA 2 vs SATA 3 in 5400RPM drives, is not going to yield a difference. It's just the interface, and the disc can only spin so fast. I would recommend the SATA 3 simply because it's newer, and possibly means more power efficient, and quieter.

A raid card, if you are looking for a true hardware raid controller...in the $200 price range, I would be looking at a used Dell PERC 6/i. Can handle 8 drives, and can do Raid 0/1/5/6/10/50/60, and supports a Battery Backup Unit (recommended). PERC 6/i can support up to 16 drives, if used with a SAS Expander, but the card itself has 2 SAS ports (not miniSAS). You can get cables that go to a mSAS (SFF-8087) or a breakout cable that goes to 4 SATA ports, depending on your HDD caddys (hot swap, etc). You would need two of these cables, which will run you $15-25/ea.

WD Green drives will do you just fine, but I would recommend taking a look at Toshiba's new line of drives (DT01ACA) which come in 1.5TB, 2TB, and 3TB. Fairly new, and are basically rebranded Hitachi Deskstars. I love Hitachi, and sad to see the buyout...but Toshiba is now my recommended drive. Good luck with your build!
post #3 of 8
I don't see you running into any issues with that hardware so long as the videos are being served in the format that is supported on the media players. A lot of people get by fine with 5400rpm drives and an Intel Atom processor when it comes to a file server. I would be tempted to get an i5 (or maybe an i7-2600) to drive a media server that does real-time transcoding or that automatically transcodes the files uploaded to the server to the format needed by the media players.
post #4 of 8
eek.gif dat motherboard.... redface.gif

Why do you need such a feature rich board for what you seem to be doing? Not to criticize, it just seems a bit excessive.
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Heisenberg
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post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by coachmark2 View Post

eek.gif dat motherboard.... redface.gif
Why do you need such a feature rich board for what you seem to be doing? Not to criticize, it just seems a bit excessive.

You could buy an mitx board and the RAID controller to run a dual/quad core for streaming. Zotac Z68 even has two Gb LAN ports as standard...

IMHO

dunx

P.S. (Mine :- ) Zotac H55NC-E-wi-fi + i5 655K + 8 Gb + five Tb drives and an SSD ( 'cos I had a spare ! ) 3.7Ghz CPU with H70 cooler, fast enough to encode when needed thumb.gif
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post #6 of 8
Sata 2 vs Sata 3 doesnt really matter. Spindle hard drives cannot keep up with Sata 3 speeds. You will find drives that say they are Sata 3 capable, but this is a marketing gimmick. SSDs take advantage of this, HDDs do not. If its no cost difference, sure, get Sata 3 just for fun, but if it costs more money for Sata 3, don't waste it.

If you are doing RAID 5 across 8 disks, that means you have 14GB of usuable space. Really ask yourself if that much is needed. It very well could be, I would just recommend verifying that if you already have not, especially if you are converting blu rays and such to smaller formats.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tycoonbob View Post

So to first clarify something, you say you won't be doing any encoding. Encoding is basically converting a video, such as encoding a 720p blu-ray .MKV rip...to a .avi file. TRANScoding on the other hand, is the process of real time data conversion to another encoder. Not actually change the file, but changing the method that is being streamed. I can tell you that if you are going to be playing MKV files (typical high def blu-ray rips), you will definitely be transcoding to play that media on a PS3 (if using something like Plex, Tversity, PS3MediaServer, Serviio, etc) as well as to your AppleTV.
Now if you will be transcoding, I would recommend at least a dual core with HT, or a quad core. Seeing that you want to put 16GB of RAM (overkill, but RAM is so cheap you might as well), I would bump that CPU up to something a little more powerful. It will definitely increase the life of this box. That G645 will probably work, but I personally would want something a little more powerful (I have a Xeon E3-1220v2 in my storage server).
SATA 2 vs SATA 3 in 5400RPM drives, is not going to yield a difference. It's just the interface, and the disc can only spin so fast. I would recommend the SATA 3 simply because it's newer, and possibly means more power efficient, and quieter.
A raid card, if you are looking for a true hardware raid controller...in the $200 price range, I would be looking at a used Dell PERC 6/i. Can handle 8 drives, and can do Raid 0/1/5/6/10/50/60, and supports a Battery Backup Unit (recommended). PERC 6/i can support up to 16 drives, if used with a SAS Expander, but the card itself has 2 SAS ports (not miniSAS). You can get cables that go to a mSAS (SFF-8087) or a breakout cable that goes to 4 SATA ports, depending on your HDD caddys (hot swap, etc). You would need two of these cables, which will run you $15-25/ea.
WD Green drives will do you just fine, but I would recommend taking a look at Toshiba's new line of drives (DT01ACA) which come in 1.5TB, 2TB, and 3TB. Fairly new, and are basically rebranded Hitachi Deskstars. I love Hitachi, and sad to see the buyout...but Toshiba is now my recommended drive. Good luck with your build!

Good catch, I had a brain fart with the Transcoding vs. Encoding, lack of sleep installing a few content switches mon-wed has turned my brain into mush biggrin.gif.

You do make perfect, I guess I will be doing a lot more Transcoding than I thought I would be, so it would make more sense to go with a Quad Core. I have been thinking about tossing ESX on this box and running multiple VM's, so I wanted to have the extra memory, and as you pointed out, the cost is virtual nothing these days.

I will look for a Dell PERC 5/6/i card and a battery and just run one, I am very familiar with them (ran some R905's in the past) so it only makes sense to use them in this build.

I am looking into the Toshiba drives today, I am not brand loyal at this point. I love Hitachi drives, I still have a hand full in action to this day, they simply last forever!

Thank you for the information you have provided, that is very helpful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by coachmark2 View Post

eek.gif dat motherboard.... redface.gif
Why do you need such a feature rich board for what you seem to be doing? Not to criticize, it just seems a bit excessive.

I can pick one up for $89.99, I figured if I can get a great board for not a lot of scratch then go for it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2002dunx View Post

You could buy an mitx board and the RAID controller to run a dual/quad core for streaming. Zotac Z68 even has two Gb LAN ports as standard...
IMHO
dunx
P.S. (Mine :- ) Zotac H55NC-E-wi-fi + i5 655K + 8 Gb + five Tb drives and an SSD ( 'cos I had a spare ! ) 3.7Ghz CPU with H70 cooler, fast enough to encode when needed thumb.gif

again, it just came down to have a Micro Center less than 20 minutes from me and there willingness to give stuff away biggrin.gif


Quote:
Originally Posted by yanks8981 View Post

Sata 2 vs Sata 3 doesnt really matter. Spindle hard drives cannot keep up with Sata 3 speeds. You will find drives that say they are Sata 3 capable, but this is a marketing gimmick. SSDs take advantage of this, HDDs do not. If its no cost difference, sure, get Sata 3 just for fun, but if it costs more money for Sata 3, don't waste it.
If you are doing RAID 5 across 8 disks, that means you have 14GB of usuable space. Really ask yourself if that much is needed. It very well could be, I would just recommend verifying that if you already have not, especially if you are converting blu rays and such to smaller formats.

I currently have about 11GB spanned across numerous external/internal HD's. I want to prune all of that stuff down, I am more than positive I have at least 2GB of stuff saved in 2 places, so that will get me down to 9GB. I want to start bringing over some of the BR content, so I will use up the 14GB. When I do, I will upgrade to 3TB drives, but that shouldn't be for at least a year+, hopefully by then HD prices will be back to pre-flood prices or I would just go with 3TB drives now.
Edited by Sc4r3d - 10/12/12 at 9:29am
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Just an Update, I purchased the Dell PERC 6/i card/batt and cables, so I can run 8 drives.

Still up in the air on the CPU/Mobo.
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