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 Post subject: Silent/quiet small NAS. Need help with cooling, PSU and case
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:23 am 
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I looked around what cases are available and only two seem to be a choice for me: Cooler Master Elite 110 and Chieftec IX-01B / IX-03B. The Chieftec can hold 1 HDD, the CM 3 HDDs. Chieftec is extremely small, CM is bigger, but I don't think that should be a problem. I want the case to not be a problem when moving to another flat or trying to find a place for it in a small room. Small and light. Both cases allow for good passive cooling, but only CM allows for big fans to be mounted - 1x120 and 2x80 in comparison to 2x50 in Chieftec.

The parts I plan to put inside are:
A 4-core Celeron J or N mini ITX motherboard or one that has Celeron C or 15W AMD APU. Passively cooled. It's unlikely that I'll go for Celeron C or APU.
1/2 x 2GB DDR3L
1x 3.5" Seagate Skyhawk, there's some possibility this will grow to 2 HDDs in the future. Max capacity I would buy currently is 8-10TB.
Maybe an SSD for OS and another HDD in the future, but very unlikely.
Maybe some (2?) fans.

I'm planning to run a network filesystem (has to be able to saturate 1Gb/s and in future 2.5Gb/s or whatever consumer NICs' limits are then), backup and a torrent client on this. There may be dozens of thousands of torrents loaded simultaneously sometimes, I think that's the only risk performance wise, but it seems to me 2000 passmark points and 2-4GB RAM should be plenty. If not I could use a Celeron or Pentium G with Arctic Cooling Passive 12 heatsink which supposedly can cool CPUs with up to 35W TDP.

I'm guessing a picoPSU-120, a Chinese DC-DC (these go even up to 250W for the price of the picoPSU) or a Chieftec DC-DC added to the case (the brick is 85W) should be both cheaper and better for this system than a passive ATX PSU. It will also reduce heat buildup inside the case in passive setting. How much wattage should I be looking for in terms of DC-DC unit's rating?
What sort of wattage should I be looking for? The power bricks that seem to be available in my location and that priced sanely are FSP/Fortron 30W, 48W, 60W and 75W, Seasonic 60W and local Chinese rebrand 84W (I have a similar unit for my monitor and it seems well built, ie. no noise, right weight and size, but it's small and gets hotter considerably more than others, it's either normal for these units and will result in less durability (not a big problem for me) or in reality it's power potential is a bit lower than FSP or HP with the same rating). Bricks with more Watts are extremely expensive and will probably be noticeably noisier. Ideally 60W would be enough as I could buy a good brand for a good money. Which of these will give this machine enough power to survive anything it can go through?

Is it a good idea to cool this fully passively? The only thing I care about is HDDs, anything else can very well have temps near the recommended limits, I don't care, but HDDs' longevity is of importance to me. If not using fans will result in HDD life shortened by a year or more, I don't think I'll do it unless forced to (by fe. having to put the NAS in the bedroom). There's someone running 2xWD RED passively for 3 years in an identical machine without failures here: https://jmtd.net/hardware/phobos/

If not, how do I cool the HDDs well enough and still keep the machine dead silent or close to dead silent? I'm on budget, I won't buy fans that cost as much as a Noctua, even a Scythe/Antec is a bit too expensive if buying more than one. For 50mm fans (in case of Chieftec case) I could buy two Fander Roxo 5015L FRX3-5015L, but I have no clue whether they would help anything with cooling the HDD nor whether they would be quiet enough.
These are the fans I have on hand that could be used and aren't very loud: 1x Lian Li LI121225SL-4 120mm, 2x Arctic Cooling AF9225L 1500RPM 12V (their full diameter is 93mm, 80mm between one screw and the other), 1x Arctic Cooling Arctic Fan Pro TC 1000-2500RPM 12V (80mm full diameter, 67mm from one screw to the other). All are 3pin.
I can buy 3pin resistors and I have a 2.5" fan controller with 3 fan slots Akasa Fan Control Jr.
I use the Lian Li fan and the Akasa fan controller to cool HDDs when connecting them via USB, so I'd prefer to not use them for this unless it's really worth it, then I'd just buy a resistor and a cheap fan or use no fan for this purpose instead.
In Chieftec's case there's also a possibility of attaching a 120/140mm fan to the case with plastic cable ties. Doesn't look great though and increases the size of the case, so it's not as appealing as before.

I will be periodically connecting to this NAS a few other HDDs to check their SMART. If possible I'll take one SATA and one power cable (and one 3pin if a fan is needed) out and hot plug them without turning off the NAS. Otherwise I'll open the case put the HDD in and hot plug or turn off the device, plug the HDD, turn on, turn off again, swap to another one and so on. The last option is not my favorite. Anyway, doing this easily would be an additional pro when choosing a case. This NAS will also do as a troubleshooting unit (things like data recovery, data transfer to a new disk etc.) if something goes wrong with any HDD I have, as I don't have any other computer to which I could attach a 3.5" SATA disk and my USB3-SATA3 cable doesn't allow me to read SMART data.

I build this NAS solely because of noise reasons. I will get rid of it once SSDs are cheap enough to just have this much data in my passively cooled PC. I don't want to pay much for this since I might get rid of it even as soon as in 3 years. I'd ideally just put it in a place I can't hear it from, but I can't warrant I won't end up in place where it causes problems to a roommate or where I have to keep it in my bedroom, so silence has to be thought through.

What do you think and recommend? Sorry for a lot of text, but I tried to describe the situation.


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 Post subject: Re: Silent/quiet small NAS. Need help with cooling, PSU and
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:32 am 
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Case and cooling: I like the CM 110 much more than the Chieftec just for the fan options. You can put a $7 Antec TrueQuiet 140mm in there at <500rpm and won't hear it from more than 3ft away. Or, try one of your existing 120mm's at min rpm. So, yeah, I'm in favor of some low rpm cooling of your HDD.

Power supply: Hopefully some NAS/fileserver builders will speak up..here's my thoughts. Figure..
CPU 6 to 10W
SSD 4W
Mobo ~10W
RAM 2-4W
single 120 or 140mm fan 2W
subtotal: 24-30W stress load

HDD: 7.5W while running, but 1.8A (@12V) typical startup current is ~22W.

Total: ~38W stress load, 52W startup.

If you add a second SSD, and it boots at the same time as the first one, then the start up load is ~ 74W. If it's a hot swap while the system is running, then it's not a stress point.

Power bricks: Look for ones with a V or VI efficiency stamp.

PSU pricing: What are you seeing for brick and pico psu prices? Are they more than a $70 Seasonic Gold Plus 550W? Power efficiency-wise, you'll lose maybe 3 W at idle with the ATX PSU and roughly similar at load.

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 Post subject: Re: Silent/quiet small NAS. Need help with cooling, PSU and
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:16 am 
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I forgot to add that BTRFS or ZFS and encryption will be used on this.

Do you think one Antec 140mm is enough to cool 1-2 HDDs in this case or is it a good idea to use those 80mm slots too? From my experience fe. putting a 80mm fan at 6V directly on the HDD doesn't make the HDD cold to touch, it's still warm, only a 120mm at 6V does make it cold. This is not when stressing it, just browsing it.

How does one set that Antec to less than 500RPM?

The Antec costs $16.5-20.5 here.

I think only the most popular things may be reasonably cheap here, things like Arctic Cooling or Scythe. BeQuiet is popular here too.
There's a local brand producing 3pin 140mm 600RPM fans that cost $6. 8.9dB, 47CFM, 79.9m3/h in specs which is better than Antec, so BS, but my guess is it shouldn't be worse than Arctic Cooling and at the same time cheaper than it. I can also return it if I'm not happy.

How can it be through that a typical startup current of an HDD is ~22W when that Seagate has +12V 0.99A (11.88W) on the sticker? Other HDDs have even less.

Both FSP and Seasonic have efficiency levels V or VI, local Chinese re-brands don't have any ratings, just CE, FC and RoHS.

So you'd recommend a 60W PSU for 1 HDD, 75W for 2 HDDs and 120W for 3 HDDs? That means that if I want to have an option of using all 3 HDD slots as NAS storage available at all times (at startup) I'd have to either buy a lower quality power brick, pay twice more to get FSP 150W which is probably loud too, or buy a fanless ATX PSU.

I found another power brick brand available here for reasonable money. And in 90W ($29) and 120W ($37) versions. It's Inter-Tech, a German brand making cool miniITX cases, but no clue about their PSUs, there's no efficiency level on the sticker, just CE and RoHS, so I'm guessing another Chinese re-brand.

Local Chinese re-brand: $31.5 for 120W, $16.5 for 84W.
FSP: 75W for $33, 150W for $56 (no efficiency level on the sticker).
Seasonic 80W: $52 (efficiency level V).

When I was buying a power brick for my PC (19V), I went for FSP 90W efficiency level VI and paid $34. These 12V bricks are very expensive.

As for picoPSU prices, Chinese ones from AliExpress/Ebay are like $17+. I could get a used picoPSU 120W for a bit more than that.

How much does a fanless Seasonic weight? I found contradicting information. A 400W one is ~1.5kg according to SPCR, while the 460W one is ~3.5kg according to Amazon. I started thinking about one as I could buy a used one for $55 or even a bit less and maybe it's not that heavy and wouldn't produce that much heat to raise HDDs temperatures inside the case meaningfully. They are SS-460FL and SS-400FL. There's also a used fanless Silentmaxx MX-560PEL01 for $30-38 and some cheap Amacrox 400W.
New Seasonic SSR-550FX is $104, used could be get probably for half of that.
Perhaps a semi-fanless PSU would be fanless with this machine (it's still very little power usage).


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 Post subject: Re: Silent/quiet small NAS. Need help with cooling, PSU and
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:12 am 
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As you don't have a location in your profile, I don't know where "here" is :). So, I can just provide part suggestions that are cheaper in the US...

One 140mm will be more than enough. Your system isn't generating much heat, so the case ambient won't be very warm nor will the HDD with even just one slow 140mm fan. Go with a bequiet Silent Wings 3 if they are cheaper in your unknown location and your existing fans aren't quiet enough.

I doubt your motherboard will have any BIOS level fan control. You haven't mentioned the OS. So, at the hardware level, you'd either have to use a fan controller or resistors.

Skyhawk data sheet.

What does the PSU's weight have to do with anything? :)

I would not buy/trust a used PSU.

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 Post subject: Re: Silent/quiet small NAS. Need help with cooling, PSU and
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:29 am 
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It's Poland. Some shops are allegro.pl, morele.net, komputronik.pl, proline.pl, skapiec.pl, ceneo.pl

The OS will be Linux.

I'm asking about the weight of the PSU solely because of mobility concerns, although I don't know if 3kg can make a noticeable discomfort without the unit at hand.

The price of the BeQuiet fan is pretty much the same as Antec's (and even some Noctua). I'll consider both, but of course more options would be appreciated, if there are any.

What is the risk with a used (but good quality) PSU? Computer parts attached to it damaged or just it dying on you earlier, not giving enough power, providing less ideal voltages?


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 Post subject: Re: Silent/quiet small NAS. Need help with cooling, PSU and
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:33 am 
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Location: Vancouver B.C
resistante wrote:
I forgot to add that BTRFS or ZFS and encryption will be used on this.

ZFS works best with ECC RAM and lots of it (1GB per TB of storage), and you'll need a UPS. With encryption you'll need something more than a celeron. What's your budget?

Quote:
1x 3.5" Seagate Skyhawk, there's some possibility this will grow to 2 HDDs in the future.

Personally I don't think it make economical sense to custom build a NAS for 1 or 2 drives when you can get a 2 bay QNAP/Synology for well under US$200.

Don't have any Skyhawks but I have a few 6-8TB Ironwolf, they're fairly loud and I seem to remember seeing Skyhawks not being much quieter in online reviews. HDDs maybe your main source of noise and not fans.

Quote:
I don't want to pay much for this since I might get rid of it even as soon as in 3 years

To do everything you want *properly* is not going to be cheap. The cheapest way to get many of the functionality you want is use a Raspberry Pi as a Torrentbox and a 2 bay QNAP/Synology NAS for storage. I would suggest you look into that, price it out and see if it's worth spending more to build a custom NAS.

Quote:
I will be periodically connecting to this NAS a few other HDDs to check their SMART

DON'T do that! Get a USB dock that is supported by SMART monitoring software. I use SMARTMonTool and a Vantec 2 bay dock (NST-D428S3) for that.


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 Post subject: Re: Silent/quiet small NAS. Need help with cooling, PSU and
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:31 am 
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I'd build by own NAS but...
Why do you need ZFS or BTRFS for? There are more robust alternatives depending on what you want them for.
Likewise people sometimes waste resources on pointless server encryption.
A NAS has little need for a SSD by the way. They're convenient and can be pretty cheap as long as you have a free port. If you need to pay extra for that port though...


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 Post subject: Re: Silent/quiet small NAS. Need help with cooling, PSU and
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:01 am 
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HFat wrote:
Why do you need ZFS or BTRFS for? There are more robust alternatives depending on what you want them for.
Some people are draw toward the self healing and highly resilience design of ZFS, even the high throughput it can deliver. One big drawback for me of ZFS is you need to plan your Zpools, you cant add single drives to the current array, you need to create another, this is not practical for me.

One thing that has been true on all my servers is that they die, for me its way more important that i can draw out what i still have and not be condemn to an array/raid that will not be readable if all things are not working, meaning i lose all my data. For this alone i prefer two setups, Windows + StableBitt and unRaid, neither will be as resilient as ZFS, but i have lived fine post a catastrophes things that i wouldn't say if i were in ZFS.

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 Post subject: Re: Silent/quiet small NAS. Need help with cooling, PSU and
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:39 am 
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mingv7v, encryption is very easy on resources, the performance hit is close to none. On Celeron J, I don't think it would be higher than 10% CPU usage. Celeron G is much faster than Celeron J.

ECC won't prevent data corruption completely if other devices (like the PC you connect to the NAS) that manipulate data don't have it. There's no low-end AMD miniITX board with ECC support yet and server-grade motherboards are either a bit more expensive (not a huge problem, but I'm not sure it's worth it) and supporting only Celeron G (which would need active cooling or heatsink like Arctic Cooling Passive 12) or way too expensive for me. Plus there's no (even extremely expensive) thin mini ITX board that I could put in my PC, nor there are fanless laptops with ECC.

Yes, the HDD is my main concern noise-wise (the sole reason for creating the NAS), but a quiet fan or no fan will still make the situation better in comparison to a loud fan.

Raspberry is too slow for that. Do you really think it can handle dozens of thousands of torrents? Plus it doesn't have SATA and no HDD slot, so it will be a very slow, unreliable Torrentbox, in that case it's better to just do the job on PC. This will in addition be way more expensive (my custom NAS won't be pricier than a QNAP/Synology) and will likely be more error-prone - two things that can break and that require maintenance instead of one.

Why shouldn't I connect HDDs to the NAS to check their SMART? What's your reasoning?
The problem I have with Vantec 2 style docks is that they are vertical and it doesn't seem to stabilize HDDs well enough. I use a horizontal dock because of that. There's also no way of checking whether SMART is supported by a dock other than buying it and checking, I would gladly buy a horizontal SMART-supporting dock (or just a USB-SATA cable).

HFat, I need checksumming, that's the only reason why I want ZFS/BTRFS, but it's a very important one. What are the alternatives? I know of parchives, but that seems like more additional manual work.

Abula, there's BTRFS without this drawback.


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 Post subject: Re: Silent/quiet small NAS. Need help with cooling, PSU and
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:40 am 
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Torrents have checksumming built in. You might need checksumming for other stuff but it'd waste less resources if you didn't use a checksumming file system to hold the data which is included in a torrent anyway.

Connecting a bad drive could in theory damage the hardware you're connecting it to. Certainly it could mess with the computer's response time or even crash software. Likewise connecting a good drive unsafely would involve a small risk. Not that USB to SATA bridges are necessarily safe...


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 Post subject: Re: Silent/quiet small NAS. Need help with cooling, PSU and
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:15 am 
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This is not a torrentbox and those will be just a few percent max of the data on it for the majority of time. I will put there dozens of thousands of them once in a year for a few days/weeks, but that's all the heavy lifting torrent-wise.
It's a NAS. I really want to know whether my other data is correct or contains an error, without this, it will be extremely hard to guarantee that my data is intact and repair it, because I'll always find about it in the worst moment possible, probably with no way of getting the correct file back at that point. If that requires a CPU with a fan or more RAM, so be it, but I'm hoping it won't. I'm planning to use BTRFS/ZFS on my PCs, laptops and cold storage backup disks too. I'm only still unsure whether OS partitions will be using that or not and whether I'll go BTRFS or ZFS.


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 Post subject: Re: Silent/quiet small NAS. Need help with cooling, PSU and
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:44 am 
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My unsubstantiated* opinion is that if is your data matters and you have no way to check it for integrity at a higher level than the filesystem/OS, it's more important to use a server mobo and ECC RAM because checksumming filesystems are only as good as the hardware they run on. And they naturally only correct for some problems.
*here's an anectode: I don't recall ever silently losing data due to a bad drive. I silently lost data due to bad hardware (and possibly bad software) on several occasions but I never lost data when using a properly configured server OS on server hardware.


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 Post subject: Re: Silent/quiet small NAS. Need help with cooling, PSU and
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:49 am 
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Quote:
it's more important to use a server mobo and ECC RAM

How is this going to help if my PC has non-ECC RAM? The correct file is sent to my PC, I edit it, my RAM flips a bit, I save it back to the NAS, NAS reports it as correct even though it has ECC.

I lost data due to bad sectors a lot of times. Finding out what file is correct and what file requires an enormous amount of manual labor.

Edit: This ftp://asrock.cn/Manual/J3160DC-ITX.pdf says "If you install 4 HDDs, please use the 90W DC-in 19V power
adapter." For 2 HDDs they recommend 50W.


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 Post subject: Re: Silent/quiet small NAS. Need help with cooling, PSU and
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:01 am 
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I agree using better hardware on the NAS wouldn't help much (which is why I would recommend higher-level checksumming). But using a checksumming file system would help even less.
I've of course have had bad sectors. Finding what files were affected shouldn't be so hard, unless many files are read and blindly re-written all the time (in which case maybe these special files should be read/written from/to more reliable media). Drives also fail which is more of a problem if you can't/won't backup effectively.

Actual power consumption varies between drives. But 20W per drive seems right as a ballpark for spinup power consumption.


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 Post subject: Re: Silent/quiet small NAS. Need help with cooling, PSU and
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:20 pm 
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Is there a way to do higher-level checksumming for normal files of various type (any type) similarly comfortably (because the set of files constantly changes and is modified, moved etc., think of it as the disk you have in your PC)?


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 Post subject: Re: Silent/quiet small NAS. Need help with cooling, PSU and
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:58 am 
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There's no one-size-fits-all answer. Checksumming filesystems aren't appropriate for any use either.
Some people use version control systems which obviously have many advantages above simple checksumming (and yes, some are especially designed to be used with large binaries). Many backup processes use checksumming or hashing in order to speed up remote backups in particular in addition to the ability to verify backups. And so forth...
If you want actual security as opposed to checking a box in a list, you really have to consider the data you need to protect and how it's processed. There's no point in checksumming every file on your drives every time you access them. Ideally, checksumming would be built in the data processing (like when you add files to a torrent). But sometimes you have no choice but to use a generic data management tool or even roll your own.


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 Post subject: Re: Silent/quiet small NAS. Need help with cooling, PSU and
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:01 am 
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Does anyone have any idea how I can attach this sort of a DC-DC board to Cooler Master Elite 110? http://chieftec.eu/en/psus/external-psu/cdp-120itx.html It's not simply a bigger ATX20pin plug like PicoPSU, but a small board that has to be attached to something in the case.
This would be the most effective external power brick solution as it's reasonably priced, 120W and has efficiency level V. It would let me use 4HDDs with Celeron J or 2HDDs with Celeron G.
Image

Does anyone know at what load do fans start spinning in Corsair, Antec, Fractal Design and Silverstone semi-fanless PSUs? Are they temperature and not load regulated? I have trouble determining whether they would be fanless in my system. My system can ever use max 158W (this is if using 4hdds and Celeron G).
Seasonic just lists that their PSUs spin up at 20-30% load, so it's easy to calculate. But is this accurate? If 20% of 648W is 129W, will it be fanless even if I push that 129W even if I have no fan at all in the system?

Is there any difference between SATA2 and SATA3 when using the disk only through network (good quality gigabit equipment)?

HFat, if you want to know my use case, think of it as simply a disk in your PC, there's everything, lots of modification, it has to be easy, reliable and transparent. Maybe I'm not knowledgeable enough about version control, but I don't see how would this accomplish what I need.


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