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Mercury S3 Extended ITX FreeNAS Server Build - Page 2

post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
My Mercury S3 finally came in perfectly wrapped and in pristine condition. Thanks Jim and Caselabs!

My Mercury S3 FreeNAS build started out great until I realized I had some SERIOUS space constraints. I actually managed to fit EVERYTHING in the case I wanted to but it involved some pretty hard thinking to get everything in. I had to tilt, pry and squeeze everything from the PSU to hard drive cages in this seriously small case. It was necessary to hook the SATA/Power cables to the hard drives before inserting them into the case, there was just no room to work otherwise. I went as far as to disassemble the back half of the case just to slide the motherboard into the space.








Two other things:

Jim, did you guys throw in this little rubber stopper because I had asked about extended mini itx boards? I've never seen this on any other S3.


It would be pretty cool if you guys could figure out a way to pivot these covers so that it would be possible to reach the fan filters without completely disassembling the hard drive cages. Something like this picture. I thought of it while installing the fan and figured it might get you guys thinking biggrin.gif




A bunch of pictures from the build














Uh Oh, Houston, we might have a small space problem!







Edited by Syan48306 - 4/23/14 at 8:41pm
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post #12 of 23
Very interested to hear the outcome of this experiment. I'm building another ESXi host and would like to use this mobo as it's one of the only m-ITX form factors that support 32GB of ECC RAM. That and it has IPMI and an onboard SAS controller. Please let me know if you're able to stuff this in the case. Most mATX cases just have too much empty room in them when used as an ESXi host.

EDIT: Looks like you posted 21 seconds before me thumb.gif
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SedateMe View Post

Very interested to hear the outcome of this experiment. I'm building another ESXi host and would like to use this mobo as it's one of the only m-ITX form factors that support 32GB of ECC RAM. That and it has IPMI and an onboard SAS controller. Please let me know if you're able to stuff this in the case. Most mATX cases just have too much empty room in them when used as an ESXi host.

EDIT: Looks like you posted 21 seconds before me thumb.gif

I did manage to flash the onboard LSI 2308 controller from IR mode to IT mode for FreeNAS but I ended up using a dedicated LSI HBA instead. I had originally wanted to save the onboard controller for an additional 6 hard drives for later expansion but There no way I can add 2 more to the bottom cage. I can only add 2 on the side, maybe 4 if I mod the case.

As you can see, I did manage to cram everything into the case. I actually have a Mercury S5 that's sitting empty in the closet rolleyes.gif so down the line if I were to expand, I'd probably pick up a uATX motherboard and go with that. I'm not going to lie, It was difficult getting stuff into the case. I had to cables into the PSU and onto the hard drives and then essentially build the case around the components because the cages don't allow any room to work. The bottom cage has two empty drive spaces because the cable from the PSU takes up that space coming out of the PSU. Luckily, I only had 6 drives so I didn't need that space. wink.gif
Edited by Syan48306 - 4/23/14 at 8:34pm
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post #14 of 23
A little late to this party... redface.gif Wow you did get a LOT of hardware in there - pretty tight fit though smile.gif I have a similar build in mind for myself for a network server at home, so thanks for the preview wink.gif The rubber bumper is standard on all S3's. It's there to help support the weight of heavy GPU's. The problem with the ITX board design is that it was never intended to be used this way. and there's nothing to anchor the board to keep it from sagging. 250D owners are running into the same problem, so it will be interesting to see how Corsair deals with it (or not).
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post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yeah I did, I was actually originally planning on going for 10 hard drives but luckily I went with just 6 because while I could probably fit two more on the side compartment, I wouldn't be able to get two more in the bottom cage since the PSU cables are stuffed in that empty space. I think if I were to expand my hard drive array, I'd probably opt for a M8 or M10 next time, depending on if I go single or dual xeons. (Not so much the need for processing power but rather the 24 slots of ram.) 24 Terabytes eats up almost all 32GB of ram running ZFS RaidZ2 (Raid 6ish)

You really need to go with a small PSU and an AX760/860 is as small as you can get with a 120mm fan measuring in at 160mm in length. Literally, any longer and it wouldn't have cleared the bottom hard drive cage.

Now with the S3 completed, I turn my attention to the other extreme in size. I'm starting to plan out how to fill up a TH10. Depending on how everything goes, I'd like to get started on that soon. wink.gif
Edited by Syan48306 - 4/27/14 at 6:52pm
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post #16 of 23
Really lovely build Syan. I've been eyeing the same hardware for some time now, and i'm getting ready to build something very similar but in an S5 case.

One question...I know you said 24TB eats up almost all of your 32GB or ram. That kind of worries me as I was planning on using 32GB of ECC RAM with 8 x 4TB WD Red's (32TB total,) also in ZFS RaidZ2 running FreeNAS. I've read that 1GB RAM for every 1TB is a good rule of thumb to use in this setup. Do you think 32GB of ram would be insufficient in my case?
post #17 of 23
NIce build. smile.gif
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post #18 of 23
Really nice, thanks for posting this, I've been thinking about using this board in a freenas build too... did you have any particular reason for using a separate HBA over the onboard ones?
post #19 of 23
Hi, I like what you've done here. I'm starting a FreeNAS build and this post is one of the only search results on overclock.net for FreeNAS build logs. Granted, overclock.net is not really a forum for server builds. I'll come back and post a link to my build log when I get it up.
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazysurfanz View Post

Really nice, thanks for posting this, I've been thinking about using this board in a freenas build too... did you have any particular reason for using a separate HBA over the onboard ones?

It looks like Syan answered this question in the thread above:
Quote:
I did manage to flash the onboard LSI 2308 controller from IR mode to IT mode for FreeNAS but I ended up using a dedicated LSI HBA instead. I had originally wanted to save the onboard controller for an additional 6 hard drives for later expansion ...

Since that ASRock board supports PCIe 3.0 x8, my question is why not go with an HBA card that also supports PCIe 3.0 x8 like the LSI SAS 9207-8i, or the LSI SAS 9300-8i? Was it because of driver compatibility in FreeNAS?
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