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 Post subject: Linux Ivy Bridge Home Server - Advice
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:41 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:31 am
Posts: 19
It's been a while since I built a box, so, before I do something expensive and daft...
I'm building a headless 24/7 server box for the home. It will run Fedora Linux and provide a secure Internet gateway, home network services and a MythTV master back-end.

My shopping list so far:
Fractal Design Define Mini
Seasonic G360
ASUS P8H77-M mATX
2x4GB generic DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) XMP CAS 9-9-9-24 1.5V
Intel i5 3450 Ivy Bridge
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev C
120mm PWM CPU fan
Intel CT PRO/1000 PCIe Gbit LAN

Bits I have:
SATA drives, 250G, 500G, 1T
PCI dual tuner DVB-T card
Arctic Silver
USB mini keyboard for configuration
USB memory and USB DVD R/W for installation

Other:
Cash (as ever) is tight, so I'm looking for good value and reliability. Don't mind spending money on things that make a difference, e.g. over-rated heatsink.
Run headless. Administer via SSH. Accessible but in a spare room. Reboot only for kernel updates, around every 2 weeks.
Will run as a router/firewall/proxy between the home Gbit LAN switch and ADSL2+ modem (bridge mode).
Will need to do some MPEG processing etc.
May be used occasionally as a MythTV front-end via HDMI to a TV (USB/CEC bridge for TV remote).
May add a PCIe dual tuner DVB-T2 card later.

Specific questions:
* Anything I forgot?
* Good, quiet PWM CPU fan for the Mega?
* Fractal Design stock fans good enough?
* Good, efficient and reliable DDR3 manufacturer, range?
* Any Linux driver issues with ASUS H77 boards? Looks like there are issues with Gigabyte Atheros LAN support. ASUS use Realtek. Would prefer an Intel board but no Ivy Bridge mATX with HDMI and PCI.
* Comments?

Thanks in advance,
--Dave_G


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Ivy Bridge Home Server - Advice
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:32 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
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Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Hiya.

The only app that will make use of the i5 is your MPEG processing....but, do you care how much time it takes to convert files? If not, you could scale back to an i3-3225, which seems to be the HTPC IVB processor of choice. That'll save you ~$100.

Instead of the $60-70 Prolimatech Megahalems Rev C, how about the Coolermaster Hyper 212+ for $15 and a $10 Scythe PWM fan?

RAM: Go for low profile 1.35V. Lots to choose from now, like Samsung.

Linux specifics: Can't help there other than to point you to Phoronix or the MythTV forum.

The Mini is a nice case.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Ivy Bridge Home Server - Advice
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:40 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:49 pm
Posts: 1188
Location: UK
If cash really is tight, I really would consider whether or not such a system is really neccessary. Not just in terms of capital expense but also electricty usage. As this is for domestic use, what is wrong with the security provided by a basic router? How many systems will connect to this system for each of the services that it will provide? How many people are there in your household? I see this kind of thing as a vanity project.

For the media applications, why not instead have a system for this purpose, in the room where it will be used, switch it on when you need it and switch it off when you're done.

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Silverstone SG03B: E8200, Asus P5E-VM HDMI, 2Gb RAM, Leadtek 9600GT+S1 rev. 2, Samsung 500Gb, Seasonic X-400, 2x Akasa 120mm, Scythe Zipang 2 fanless


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Ivy Bridge Home Server - Advice
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:35 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:56 pm
Posts: 1074
Location: San Jose
Well, to be fair, if you're going to set up a dvr, you really need it to be on all the time to catch tv shows. But in terms of more pertinent information, I recently updated one of my dvrs with a z77 board, and the on board video works well enough for watching shows. Although I am using windows media center, so YMMV.


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Ivy Bridge Home Server - Advice
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:31 am
Posts: 19
Thanks for the comments!

CA_Steve: The i3 3225 looks interesting. Less cash, more GPU and TDP is 55W vs. the 77W for the i5. Should still be faster than my current Core2 Duo for MPEG processing. Reduces cooler requirements too. I'll look in to the Coolmaster... I just love the Prolima mounting system.
I looked at the low-profile, low voltage RAM along the way and it looks expensive and slow from what I can see. I'll think about that.

edh: The new box running 24/7 will allow me to switch my workstation off when I'm not using it. It's an older, hotter box so there [i]should[/i] be an overall reduction in power consumption. I want to get idle power down to ~30W if I can.
The main reasons for the system are a web privacy proxy (privoxy) and MythTV recording scheduling. There are a number of other systems in the home that use the facilities; laptops, Wii, smart TV, smart phones etc. The security provided by a home router may be good but I want much better. It will also provide a number of other Intranet services e.g. web, email collection and redistribution etc. All these services currently run on my workstation so I can't afford to break it too often.

Thanks again,

--Dave_G


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Ivy Bridge Home Server - Advice
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:31 am
Posts: 19
Just an update and a quick review - all the parts have finally arrived and been hastily assembled. My final line-up:

* Lian Li PC-A04
* Seasonic G360
* ASUS P8H77-M mATX
* 8GiB Corsair Vengeance LP White DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) XMP CAS 9-9-9-24 1.35V
* Intel i3 3225 Ivy Bridge
* Noctua NH-9U, one 92mm fan, blowing up, ULN resistor
* Intel CT PRO/1000 PCIe Gbit LAN
* Hitachi DeskStar SATA 250GB (recycled)
* Arctic Silver (from last build)

Nice, compact case but rather light-weight after an Antec SOLO. A little, gentle tab bending gets rid of the rattles. Without optical drives, the bay covers suck unfiltered air. An old Acousti drive bay block fixes that. I'll probably get round to fitting some shrink sleeve covers for the front-panel LED light guides too.

Booting to UEFI screen, wall power was initially 32W on my Prodigit Electronics “Plug-In Power & Energy Monitor” (maplin.co.uk)(240Vac). My Core2Duo workstation pulls ~120W.

After installing Fedora f18 Beta and setting CPU governor to “ondemand” to power consumption is now 25-26W. Impressed!

The only “fly in the ointment” now is that the Seasonic G360 whines when “off”. Probably the converter for stand-by 5V power since the Intel NIC is configured for wake-up-on-LAN. Not too bad, quite high frequency but noticeable on the bench. Can't hear it when installed under the desk and it will be running 24/7.

As for other noise, the main source is the hard disk. The Lian Li isolators are not as effective as the Antec SOLO trays and the Hitachi DeskStar is not the quietest drive around. Might be time to look at SSD, at least for the “boot” drive. Fans are quiet but the Noctua cooler came with four resistor leads and a Y-cable, now gainfully employed, still positive pressure. With 21deg.C ambient the processor cores are at... 26deg.C. The only components that feel anything other than COLD are the inner end of the PSU and the HD. Just a dual DVB PCI card to go in, but that does run hot and there's a lot of configuring to do first.

The ASUS motherboard uses a “super I/O” chip (NCT6779T) that is not yet supported by Linux, so hardware monitoring is just core temperatures at the moment. No volts, no RPM, no Linux fan control or thermal zones. The w83627ehf driver should recognise it but it does not. Driver updates are currently being reviewed but it may take a while before they hit Fedora.

My last MB was a Gigabyte and I likes the 4-second power button feature. Pressing the power button on the ASUS kills the power immediately while on the Gigabyte you have to hold the button for 4 seconds.

In all, I'm happy :D and looking forward to being able to turn my workstation off when not in use.

--Dave_G.


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Ivy Bridge Home Server - Advice
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4434
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Congrats on your build and have fun tweaking it.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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