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NASty 7.3Tb raidz2 mid-tower storage server

by talby



CPU Clock Rate



Long story short, built this high performance freenas server at the end of the summer after collecting most of the parts over the spring and summer.

The final bits were the microcenter cpu/board combo deal as well as the last 2 toshiba drives... yes I know Toshiba drives... At least they were refurbs, and they are in a raidz2 volume, just in case.

The quad core helps overcome the limits of the on-board realtek network adapter, achieving just over 60MB/s write performance on an unmanaged gig hub while replicating data from my older 6x1Tb NAS, was very pleased to see those numbers.

The MSI board, while not a powerhouse, does have some decent heatsinks on the VRMs (a nice feature over the lesser boards you see in most dual-core cpu/mobo combos)

The xclio case was a steal at the sale price, not sure I would have even got it at the full $60+ price but it has a really cool fan control with touch buttons in the front, you can turn the fans on/off, LEDs on/off and fan high/low speed settings. Came in handy when I was burning in the system (when I took the photos), I had it on high speed and it helped keep the temps down since all the HDDs were running "badblocks -svw" simultaneously off a bootable SLAX usb.

If all works well, this will assimilate my previous two freenas builds - one is already gone, my original celly/p43 w/ 2Gb ddr2 and 6x400G raidz2 is already dissembled and my current 6x1Tb will eventually be sent over to my parents house as my cloud mirror - if they ever ditch cable 'net and get FIOS for the BW caps...

Comments Sorted by:

daes79 2 Builds 4 points 49 months ago

That is a really old graphics card. But then again you dont need graphics card so it doesnt really matter but for real how much did you pay for that

talby submitter 10 Builds 5 points 49 months ago

I had that old thing in an box in my basement c: I actually got it free some time ago off a really old dell workstation, someone added it to get a 2nd monitor I assume.

Norm101 3 Builds 2 points 49 months ago

I have one of those Toshiba drives. And I've had it for a while. Never a moment's problem.

talby submitter 10 Builds 2 points 49 months ago

Good to know, I bought them before reading about the reliability. I do like refurb drives better, they do (or should, at least) go through a better QA than the brand-new drives do. Can't say I ever got a DOA refurb...

theonelonewolf 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

Nice build. I Hope those Toshiba drives hold up for you, I know they can be hit or miss which kind of sucks. That LED on the mobo sure looks bright. O_O +1

talby submitter 10 Builds 2 points 49 months ago

thanks, yea when I powered up for the first time there was absolutely no doubt the motherboard had power lol. Kind if matches the case fans, which is a good coincidence

PickItApart 1 point 49 months ago

What's all the HDD space for?

troller_awesomeness 15 points 49 months ago

Adult entertainment.

talby submitter 10 Builds 4 points 49 months ago

Well everything is HD now, adds up really quick!

[comment deleted by staff]
Rolphy 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

probably a **** tonne of data..

talby submitter 10 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

Since I cut my cord for TV (Fios TV in my case) I try and keep all my DVDs ripped and ready to view or stream, and now that I have a good amount of Blu-Ray disks I try and do the same, they just take up a good amount of space (for example, I ran my 2001 Space Odyssey BR and even with handbrake, it's over 6gb...) I am just under 3Tb used so far...

polarbehr 4 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

I have a small freenas server here at work that host our training videos, just one question.

I dont see a drive that freenas is residing on in the pics, did you just partition it out so that freenas sits in your raid array?

Nice build!

talby submitter 10 Builds 2 points 49 months ago

yes I am using a 4Gb USB stick, specifically this one


was $5 w/ free shipping at the time, forgot that bit in the build :/

Mincading 12 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

You can use a USB stick

polarbehr 4 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

well aware, just dont see one

Mincading 12 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

How do you get such a good write speed? I max out at 11 Mbps.... I just pooled all my drives as one volume, do I need to raid it?

Or gigabit is needed?

talby submitter 10 Builds 2 points 49 months ago

Yes all drives are raidz2, single volume. As far as share protocol, I get the best performance over NFS. Using SMB it drops to about 45MB/s max but a lot depends on the read speed of the drives pushing data, some green drives top out at 20MB/s and get between 10~15MB/s from workstations on the upper floor (connected via a gig switch on a netgear N4500 in AP mode), I assume the distance plays into that factor - will have to get some quality cat6 and see if it improves the uplink to the main gig switch.

Gooberdad 7 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

Wow that is a lot of storage.

talby submitter 10 Builds 3 points 49 months ago

indeed, it is very convenient to have a single place to configure backups & have media streaming - not being tied to a workstation makes it super reliable on its own save the zfs / raidz2 volume.