Description

My new Home Server to host my VMs and new and larger NAS.

I was running so far, a nice and capable, Synology DS211+ as my home server with two 6TB WD Reds in RAID 1. I was using a very broad assortment of services that Synology can offer and I've grown to love Synology's DSM.

BUT.. time passed and my RAID 1 array got full, so I had to think about, either buying a new fixed Synology box OR build myself a new NAS instead, which would be way easier to expand in the future. My options at that time were either buying a DS 1815+ NAS or buy an ITX box.

So I got my ITX build ready in spreasheet and what do you know... ITX box was alot cheaper than DS 1815+ :D

I was waiting for few months to get monies ready and at the end thought.. why make it just a NAS ? I should move my VMs from my PC to this new server as well. So out went the cheaper, totally legit, motherboard+cpu combo from Supermicro (A1SAi-2550F) and an HBA card and in came the Xeon and ASRock's X99M Extreme4 with enough SATA III ports. I ended up paying ~200€ more than the DS1815+ now, but I get alot more, so I was ok with it.

Requirements for the build:

  • HyperThreaded Xeon with VT-d
  • A motherboard with 6+ SATA III ports
  • ECC memory
  • A case with 6+ 3.5" drive bays
  • Although it is JUST a server, the end result should still look good :)

Since I'm not made of money :D, I ofc chose the cheapest parts, adhering the requirements above.

I went for the ASRock X99M Extreme4 because it has 10 SATA III ports ! 9 when you use an M.2 drive and 8 when you use SATA Express as well. And it's in ITX form, excellent. It looks ok, which is good too.

There is one downside however. The motherboard has dual NICs, but I can use only Qualcomm's, since there's no Intel I218-V drivers for Windows Server 2012/R2.

Xeon E5-2620 v3 was the cheapest HyperThreaded processor that fits in the motherboard's 2011-3 socket and has the bells and whistles to make VM-ing not suck.

Since this processor doesn't come with a stock cooler, I picked Scythe's Katana 4, which after a brief research, seemed like the quietest cooler in pcpartpicker, with a promised range of 7.2 - 31.07 dBA. I'm not going to overclock it and most of the time the load will be minimal, I think, so the sound's going to be on the lower end of that range.

2x Crucial 16GB DDR4 2133MHz CL15 kit was chosen because it was THE cheapest and is ECC. Since 2011-3 Xeon's support memory speeds only up to 1866MHz, these sticks will run at the maximum specified speed, dictated by processor. Information that is missing on ASRocks's spec sheets. They do have all possible consumer level Memory speeds listed, so I asked them to add Xeon information as well. The answer from ASRock Support was: "We will propose your suggestions to our marketing department and discuss in our weekly meeting." We'll see if this will go beyond being empty promises. But, I'll live either way.

Since chosen motherboard has an M.2 slot, I chose Samsung's SM951 128GB Oem stick to be the main driver, having Hypervisor and OS images for VM's on it.

2 6TB WD Reds in my old NAS work(ed) extremely well, although they are quite noisy. So for my next trick, I picked up 4 6TB WD Red Pro's for storage. This will all go to XPEnology VM and I will put them in RAID 10 using Synology's DSM software RAID.

(Edit: Replaced 4 6TB WD Red Pro's with 6 8TB WD Red Pro's.)

I scavenged a Samsung's 840 256GB Pro from my PC, which had VM's on it and the idea is to use it as an SSD Cache drive for XPEnology VM, BUT it may be that I can't do that due to Hyper-V's limitations regarding hardware passthrough :( Hyper-V 2016 should address these issues, we'll see.

Last December my PC's AX650 died and I got a new AX760 from RMA as a replacement. I had already bought EVGA SuperNova 1200 P2 for PC, so the AX760 was waiting to put into use. 760W will be heavily overkilled for this build, but buying a new PSU didn't make any sense. Besides, with lower loads, with the hybrid technology, the fan shouldn't even activate, which is good.

A long long time ago I retired my trusty Sparkle's GeForce 8800GTX :D It had so little value by then that I thought I'd better keep it than sell it for cents. I paid for it alot after all. And what do you know, I needed it !, since chosen motherboard nor processor have iGPU.

(Edit: 8800GTX is replaced my MSI nVidia GeForce 210 1GB (passively cooled). 8800GTX was generating way too much heat and consumed too much power while doing nothing)

And finally... a box to put these parts together. I searched for the smallest ITX case with 6+ 3.5" drives and Fractal Design with it's Node 804 totally fit my needs. With 2 racks of 4 drives each + 2 mounts on case's business side, I get 10 3.5" drive "bays", which is 1 more than my motherboard can handle. And additional 2 SSD trays in the front panel. AND it looks VERY nice, I like this case alot.

Currently I have 1 drive rack full of drives. Samsung 840 Pro SSD Cache drive is mounted in the front panel. M.2 is hidden under the monstrous GPU.

Node 804 comes with 3 120mm fans. It has 1 140mm fan mount as well, so I'm thinking of buying 1 140mm Fractal fan, move back left 120mm fan to the front to pull air on drives and the 140mm would then exhaust it. Currently the back left fan is exhausting pretty cold air and no air is pushed on the drives, so they are a bit warm.

Entire setup's actual cost was 2270€.

Comments

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Jeez man, that 8800GTX was the 980Ti of its day, now its been relegated to the VMing box, imagine some of the guys with their Quad SLI 980Tis in a few years when the 1980Ti is the next big thing with its 6TB of HBM12 VRAM

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

lol :D

That's how stuff, that was the king in one moment is just laying in your just-in-case box, collecting dust, doing nothing. The 8800GTX has been replaced now by a super low-end, the cheapest, MSI GeFroce 210 1GB one (passive). Altough the 8800GTX was idling the whole time, it still made ALOT of heat and no doubt took alot more power.

And so my 8800GTX went back to the box of I-may-need-it-in-the-future.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build. Why do I see everyone mount their PSU upside-down in this case?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks.

It's due to the design of the dual chamber case and the PSU. If I would invert the PSU, the sticker would be right side up, but I want it to blow down, out of the case, not in the case. If you would put the PSU in a normal, single chamber case, the sticker would be right side up. I could remove the sticker, but I'm not going to do it during the guarantee period.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I thought most PSUs the air comes in from the top, and out the back? In this case, you're attempting to draw air in from the bottom of the case. Does the case sit on standoffs to allow air to flow under it and into the PSU?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I would rather take air from outside for PSU. It has sufficient clearance, but as I went to check how it is atm, it turned out the fans are not even spinning :P One good thing about having a heavily OP PSU :D 760W PSU with Zero RPM Mode and the server is only pulling 100W with a slightly higher than average load.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

How is the PSU efficiency at that low of a load?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

No clue. How would I test it ?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Update:

  • I added 4th 120mm FD case fan, now both chambers have intake and exhaust.

  • I removed the fan from Scythe cooler and it works very well. Case fans can handle it.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

hi there, so the motherboard and cpu is work together?

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, see the list for supported CPUs: http://asrock.com/mb/Intel/X99M%20Extreme4/#CPU

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