Description

First picture is the starting point.

Already had 12 hard drives, case, PSU, and RAM.

The server was previously an Athlon X2 3600 with 4GB RAM built in 2007. It initially ran WHSv1, but about two years ago, I upgraded it to WHS2011. It was showing its age with regards to speed, but also fans were dying, one of my controller cards finally gave up. I also previously used CoolerMaster's 4in3 cages, but wanted to switch to hot-swap ones.

So, I basically ripped out everything and started over internally. I had been planning on using the old controller card temporarily, so that's why I picked a board with 3xPCI slots, but ended up not going that direction. I also needed a board with an mSATA slot, so that all of my drive bays (now 15 of them) can be used for network storage.

One thing I tried to handle better was also cable management this time around. Even though I know it's not amazing or anything in the new setup, I was TERRIBLE at it before. Still am planning on working on that a little (ran out of cable ties) but it's already a clear improvement from the mess I had beforehand.

I also had a free license of Server 2012r2 from Dreamspark, so not mentioned in the list is that I decided to upgrade to that and install the Essentials role. The drives are also pooled together using DriveBender, which I already was running with the WHS.

Also, I know that the CPU is overkill for just a fileserver (and yet yes, I used an -S variant - wanted lower heat in the server but didn't want to mess with voltages or underclocking either), but part of the problem that lead me to upgrade is sometimes I've needed to remote in from work and run stuff on there and it just couldn't keep up. On top of that, it'll be doing some video transcoding on the fly as well.

Comments

  • 72 months ago
  • 2 points

Should have used a Xeon. You could have gotten the same thing branded as an Xeon for ~$50 cheaper.

E: $90 cheaper http://pcpartpicker.com/part/intel-cpu-bx80637e31230v2

  • 72 months ago
  • 2 points

Haswell power savings. Nuff said. Could have gotten a haswell xeon though.

  • 72 months ago
  • 1 point

It's entirely possible I'm wrong on this, but I thought you needed ECC RAM for a Xeon. I already had the RAM (got it for $75 back in May).

Plus, I honestly never even considered a Xeon. In my mind, I think of that as professional server-level stuff, and for me using this at home (~70% of the time just storing media) I just never would've thought of that as an option. Probably ignorance on my part though. :)

  • 72 months ago
  • 1 point

You don't need ECC Ram for consumer xeon processors. A 4770s is plenty for what you're doing.

  • 72 months ago
  • 0 points

Well those cables are not for the faint of heart. I would like to point you in the direction of everybody's best friend "zip-ties."

  • 72 months ago
  • 0 points

The first picture is the old build, which yes, I'm aware was terrible in that regard.

The second to last picture, of the new build, is still a work in progress on cable management. If you read the text, it says that, and that I ran out of cable ties for now.