Description

I decided that my Asus G55VW-DH71 had run Plex 24/7 for long enough, and decided to build my first "from scratch" PC. I got it stuck in my mind that I needed a dual CPU server build to satisfy my wants (my needs are far lower at the moment). For those who are not familiar with Plex, it is a CPU intensive media streaming program with apps on most smart devices (TVs / Android / iOS / Roku / Etc). Although this build is overkill for 2-3 simultaneous 1080p transcoded streams, I built it with streaming 4K content in mind. As this build is designed solely for network streaming I didn't bother installing a graphics card during the initial build, however, I later installed a Gigabyte GTX 1070 Mini ITX OC graphics card for Folding@home.

Although the Silverstone GD08 case fits the SSI-EEB motherboard, it is a very tight fit. Two of the mounting holes do not line up, and I had to cut the thread off the stand-offs to offer level support. Also, the drive cage that comes with the GD08 was hitting CPU2's cooler by about 0.5" and as such I was forced to cut out a section of the 5.25" drive bay. Although I will not be using ODDs, I will lose one of the eight 3.5" slots as a result of this cut.

At the time of the initial build, I installed only 3x 6TB WD Red drives in a RAID 5 configuration, however, the Intel RSTe software allows for drive expansion. As such, I plan to fill the unit with more 6TB WD Red drives as my needs expand (at the moment I have ~10TB of media).

Part Reviews

CPU

Waiting for the V4's to come out was well worth the wait. The price point is almost identical between the V3 and V4 models, but with the V4 you get an additional 2 cores (at a reduced speed), along with support for faster RAM, larger cache, etc.

CPU Cooler

Noctua is known worldwide as the go-to brand for their quality quiet fans, and they do not disappoint with these coolers. The coolers are as compact as you would want for a vertical tower cooler, however, they run silent and perform excellently.

Storage

Absolutely stunning drive! The 950 Pro is extremely fast, and stupid simple to install. The only downside is that you need to hunt for the driver from Samsung to get the full speeds, otherwise the default Windows driver will cut them in half.

Storage

I have purchased several WD Red drives for NAS systems over the past few years and they have never let me down. I can't recommend these highly enough.

Case

The manual states that the GD08 supports an SSI-EEB board if using 60mm fans, however, this is only half true. Although you can physically insert an SSI-EEB board, it is an incredibly tight fit. I dont mean you have almost no space around the board, I mean you have to force the board in place. In addition to the size issue, 2 of the mounting holes do not line up at all, forcing you to either leave them empty or jerry-rigging supports for the board.

When I received my case, I was expecting the 5.25" drive bay external doors to be oddly colored, however, I was not expecting how bad the paint job on the case was. Mine looked as though a grade 5 student was beginning a career as a tagging artist.

Now that I have the case I will use it, however, I don't think I would buy it again.

Power Supply

The fanless operation is the feature that sold me on this model, however, the coil whine is incredibly loud. If you need silent, I would suggest getting a different model or brand. Other than the coil whine the unit runs perfectly, and the cables are neatly bundled but a little on the short side for my liking.

Operating System

I was very sceptical when I decided I would run windows 10 rather than Windows 7 on my build, however, Microsoft's claims of having found the sweet spot between 7 & 8.1 seem to be true. Everything is familiar whether you are coming from 7 or 8.1, and things just seem to work. The downside to Windows 10 is that you need to turn off all the "send my info to Microsoft" features which are turned on by default, forcing you to hunt them down.

The added bonus is that since I had an old mini-PC laying around with a Windows 7 Pro COA on it, I was able to install Windows 10 for free by entering the Windows 7 Product Key during the Windows 10 installation.

Case Fan

These fans are so quiet, I couldn't hear the six of them running in my open case until I put my ear within 6 inches of them. I will never buy anything but Noctua.

Comments

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

Wow! This seem pretty insane for a media server. I don't think this is what SilverStone had in mind when designing that chassis.

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I tried to future proof the system for 4k media.

And actually, they may have! The reason I chose the case is because it was designed for 8 HDD's, could support SSI-EEB boards (technically), and even offers orientation and sizing recommendations in the manual for dual CPU boards.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

how have you tried to future proof for 4k media?

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Well even by today's standards, 16 cores/32 threads is a fair bit of processing power for a home media server.

I am getting ready to release a new build detailing recent upgrades. I currently have 16 threads allocated to Plex for transcoding, and it has never passed 60% usage under a single 4K transcoded stream.

Is there something more specific you had in mind you were looking for?

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

playback of 4k uhd dvds without ripping and drm

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

If you do not rip the Blu-ray (DVD as you call it), then you would just be playing it direct from disk. In this case, a standard 4K Blu-ray player would suffice.

  • 36 months ago
  • 2 points

how do you boot it up without graphics?

  • 36 months ago
  • 3 points

The Z10PE-D8 WS motherboard comes with a VGA cable and plate, which I installed for the initial OS install. After the OS was installed, I installed Chrome's Remote Desktop program which I use to view my system via my phone, tablet, or other PCs which have the program as well. After the Remote Desktop program was installed, I removed the VGA monitor as this system sits on my TV stand.

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

How does it perform? I'm working on porting my media to x265 instead of x264 (~50% storage savings) but it's more intensive to stream. I'm using an Intel i3 and trying to judge just how much "over kill" I need. Oh and yes 4K eventually. Have any thoughts after using it for some time?

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

When playing a transcoded video, I don't see any significant increase in CPU usage. Strictly watching the task manager performance graph, I cannot tell when plex is transcoding a stream.

A word of caution though: if you plan to build with a similar setup to mine, there is very poor airflow in the GD08 regardless of fans. I recently bought a Gigabyte GTX 1070 Mini OC, which I run for Folding@home, and my CPU idle temps are up to 65°C. Knowing what I do now, I would get a different case.

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

Interesting that you find the case runs so hot. I have just finished a build with the GD08 and the temps are pretty good. That said I'm not running a dual CPU setup!

I found having one 80mm fan at the rear as an exhaust had an immediate impact on temps when VR gaming. Perhaps consider a couple of those if you have the space.

Great build BTW!

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

I didn't realize until much later that I forgot to enter my BIOS to change fan speeds. After bumping everything to max speeds the temps got better.

I did add two 80mm fans to the rear a few months ago. They made a small difference in helping to keeps the temps down.

I'm of the opinion that even though I have six 60mm fans in the bottom of the case, they just don't move enough air to properly cool the case when using non-blower GPUs at full load 24/7/365.

Thanks for checking it out!

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice work getting everything into that chassis. Understated and overpowered all at once. Quick question: I'm working on a build using the same motherboard and M.2 SSD combination, and I'll be damned if I can find LED headers on the motherboard for the M.2 SSD (I want to see the M.2 drive activity on the front-side chassis LED). Were you able to do this?

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

I just re-read the manual to review what the HDD LED actually monitors, and it appears to monitor the SATA ports, not the M.2. There is an on board M.2 Status LED, however, that would require some case or board modding to view on the outside of the case.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for getting back to me, mbmumford. I came to the same conclusion. I find having an easily visible HDD LED invaluable, especially in "is my computer frozen?" situations when not having an indicator just leaves you guessing. I might go so far as to get a PCIe M.2 adapter with an LED header... or a glass case supplemented with a little mirror to reflect the on board LED. Cheers!

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build, I'm planning a NAS build using the same case. I have 8 x 3.5" HDD that would need to go in there. I have a few questions regarding your configuration.

  • Do you think 8xHDD would fit with a dual CPU socket config?
  • Would you have needed to cut the 5.25" optical drive cage if the processor sockets were parallel to each other?
  • If the motherboard was ATX, would you have needed to cut anything at all?
  • I see you have 6x60mm fans but do you have enough vent holes underneath for the last 2 at the far right of the case?

Thanks in advance if you're able to provide me any answers.

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! You may get a kick out of the upgrade I have planned for this, I just just ordered the custom rackmount case for it.

As for your concerns: 1) They will fit, if you do not have to modify/cut the 5.25" drive bay, and if you do not have any full size GPUs. I warn you though, that drive tray gets heavy when filled, and the cabling can get atrocious. No GPU does help though. 2) At a guess, no I don't believe I would have. However, it is a really close so it is hard to tell. 3) If it was ATX and dual socket? Yes I'm fairly confident I would still have had to cut. A watercooled CPU might fix this though. 4) This case was designed to accommodate 6x60mm fans, so yes there is enough vent holes. In my opinion, however, the 6x60mm fans do not offer sufficient airflow. This is why I ended up adding 2x80mm fans at the rear.

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Fantastic thanks for your quick answers! I have 4x16GB of ECC ram from an old mac pro 2012 that I want to recycle into a PC server motherboard with a couple of E5 v2. Would make a nice windows server/render node for my needs. That's why I was looking into dual socket. I don't need a big GPU, something low profile will do. I just want to make sure the motherboard I pick will fit into this case. Do you think this will fit?

https://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon/C600/X9DRi-LN4F_.cfm

I ask because there's a good bargain on ebay but if it's too big, I'll have to wait until something else comes along.

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

In my opinion, that board is really outdated. It has only 2x SATA 3.0 ports, the rest are SATA 2.0, and all of the USB ports are 2.0 not 3.0. That being said, if you are doing this on a budget, then keep in mind its shortcomings when you ask it for performance.

Additionally, this board is even bigger than the SSI-EEB board I used. I'm not sure if it will fit at all.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Did you need to update your bios?

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm ashamed to say that I have never updated my BIOS. It has been running version 3204 since I bought it (latest at that time). It was one of those things where if it isn't broke, don't fix it.

However, now with the BIOS fixing CPU microcode vulnerabilities, I do need to update.

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  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

I purchased / installed it after I originally posted this build. I will be sure to get new pictures up soon which show the 1070.