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Build

Mini ITX Home Server/HTPC

by Ronin93

9
6 Comments

Details

Date Published

Nov. 1, 2016

Date Built

Sept. 1, 2016

Description

The operating system is Ubuntu Server 16.10, and the main purpose of the build was file server and HTPC usage. The SSD is for the system, and the 3 HDDs are in software RAID5 configuration (with mdadm).

There are lot of things that are running on this little PC:

  • SAMBA for the other computers/media players in the house
  • Transmission for torrent
  • Strongswan VPN for remote access
  • Kodi for media playing
  • Seafile as a private cloud
  • MySQL for the other Kodi clients in the house
  • Apache for self hosted web apps
  • Virtualised Windows Server 2016 for asp.net testing, with IIS and MsSQL

I am very satisfied with the components. The case makes the three 7200RPM HDDs very quiet with the included rubber grommets, and all the parts runs on low temperatures. The CPU is around 40°C, the SSD is around 25°C, and the HDDs are around 33°C. The case fan controller is switched to "MID", and the fans still almost inaudible.

I have calculated the prices from hungarian Forint (incl. VAT) - on the rate 1USD = 277.8HUF

Part Reviews

Memory

Nothing special, but great value/price.

Storage

Not as fast, as a Samsung 850 EVO, but the speed is enough for this build, and it's very cheap.

Storage

Cheapest 3TB HDD. If it lasts long, I will be very pleased.

Storage

Fast and cheap. If it lasts long, I will be very pleased.

Case

Good quality. It has great fans, with fan controller. The rubber grommets absorbs the vibration from the HDDs, so it's very quiet. It can house up to 6 3.5" HDDs, what is very rare in the Mini ITX segment. I have only one problem: on the LOW setting of the fan controller the small fans won't start on boot, you have to manually switch to MID, and back to LOW, if you want to use that setting.

Power Supply

Great quality and very low noise level for the price.

Keyboard

The mouse kills the batteries.

Other

Very low TDP, 4 SATA connectors, decent performance, and low temperatures with passive cooling. Lot of connectors on the back panel - optical SPDIF, HDMI, etc.

Comments Sorted by:

Gooberdad 7 Builds 1 point 13 months ago

I like this.

Thumbs up.

FACUNDO 13 Builds 1 point 13 months ago

Nice and well balanced server. How's that iCPU on your mobo serving you?

Ronin93 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 13 months ago

Thank you! In my case this is the sweet spot in power usage and performance. Most of the time it has around 10-20% load, it only get higher when I use the virtual windows server on it, but it's still strong enough for testing. It's only has one annoying problem, which is related to the newer linux kernels and the Intel C-states: https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=109051

jaredt 1 Build 1 point 13 months ago

I strongly suggest you move to raid 6. Raid 5 is considered dangerous with disks that large. I would highly encourage you do more research to find out why, here's a start:

http://www.zdnet.com/article/why-raid-5-stops-working-in-2009/

Ronin93 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 13 months ago

Thank you, but the raid 6 needs minimum 4 drives, and now I only have three. I am not looking for extreme high availability, and I always make offsite backup for the important data, so for me the raid5 is just enough - in my case the redundancy is just a "nice to have" feature, and the raid5 is the best bang for the buck.

fn230 7 Builds 1 point 13 months ago

Oh nice, a J1900 build. Tiny low powered CPUs like that always appealed to me, but I don't see them too often. Also, upvote for Linux.