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 Post subject: Newbie project: home server (DLNA/Time Machine/DL/etc...)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:44 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:20 pm
Posts: 5
Hi everyone !

My name is Pierre, french guy living in Romania currently.

I've been given an old E2160 based computer that I'd like to recycle into a multi purpose home server: DLNA server for my PS3, iTunes server, Time Machine backup server for my Mac, file server, DL/BT, etc etc, on a Ubuntu distro. The only problem is that this machine is too LOUD !

The main causes are the PSU, an horrible noname stuff with a 60mm fan, and the stock Intel cooler. Therefore the plan is the following :

1. Shut the thing up ! As it's going to run 24/7 I'd like a good and efficient PSU. I was thinking about the Seasonic M12II-430 which has the big advantage of being modular, so no unneeded cables around the case (moreover when it's a simple setup like mine) which give both a better airflow and a better look. The only issue for me is that 430W seems very oversized...

For the CPU cooler I'm style hesitating between a Scythe Samurai ZZ and a Coolermaster Hyper 212. The goal is to run the CPU fanless with only the fan of the PSU and 2 92mm Nexus in the case for the airflow. The CPU will be undervolted in order to keep it cool, I don't need a lot of power.

2. Make it work ! And make it nice... Here will be the phase where I set the thing up with all its services and where I'm going to mod a little the case. Nothing fancy, just a little of black in the inside, a little window, who knows... But I'll also work on reducing the noise while working on the case.

On a software side I'm going to search for web apps that will monitor the system for remote access in order to be able to start tasks/downloads/etc remotely and if possible without needing remote desktop.

3. Be RAIDy. As it'll contain quite a bunch of files (mainly pictures and music) the ultimate step will be to have a RAID 1 setup with two Samsung EcoGreen F4 2 TB drives. But that will be for later.

The goal of all of that is to remain in a "budget" domain. I'm looking for quality and quiet components but at a price that doesn't get delirious. If you guys have some ideas I'm open :) The only issue is the availability of the hardware in Romania, and it's price.

Take care!


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie project: home server (DLNA/Time Machine/DL/etc...
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:35 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
Posts: 2883
Location: ITALY
Reiep wrote:
The main causes are the PSU, an horrible noname stuff with a 60mm fan

If it's actually a 60mm fan, likely an ATX PSU (as the M12 II) won't fit in the case (usually they have at least a 80mm fan). So, are you sure you can use an ATX PSU?

Reiep wrote:
I was thinking about the Seasonic M12II-430

If it fits, mostly depends where the server is placed: if it will be placed above a desk and/or in/near a bedroom, it might turn out not enough quiet, IMO.
However, at first sight a Pico-PSU style unit (with a Fortron 19V brick) seems better suited: more probably that not you won't need more than 150W and these things are deadly silent with reference to a Seasonic M12-II.

Reiep wrote:
The goal is to run the CPU fanless with only the fan of the PSU and 2 92mm Nexus in the case for the airflow. The CPU will be undervolted in order to keep it cool, I don't need a lot of power.

If you go for an ATX PSU (fanned), you won't need to run the CPU fanless: the PSU fan will be louder than the heatsink fan.
If you go for two sub-1000prm 92mm case fans, either you won't need to run the CPU fanless for the same above mentioned reason.
Besides, I don't think you actually need more than an exhaust fan.

About the two option, the CM seems clearly better suited than the ZZ. But does it fit? If your case didn't accept an ATX PSU (see above), I'm afraid you wouldn't have the 160mm needed to accomodate the 212+.

Last but not least, do you already know how to control your fans?

Reiep wrote:
Nothing fancy, just a little of black in the inside, a little window, who knows

Windows are some of the enemies of quietness: beware.

Reiep wrote:
The only issue is the availability of the hardware in Romania, and it's price.

About this aspect I can't help, sorry.

_________________
Regards,
Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie project: home server (DLNA/Time Machine/DL/etc...
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:11 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:53 am
Posts: 1313
Location: CT
Welcome to SPCR !!

What kind of case is it ? Tower or desktop ? For a tower, go with the Coolermaster ; for the desktop, go with the Scythe. As long as you don't run your CPU at full blast all the time, and you have minimum airflow, you'll be fine fanless if you really want fanless (I used to run a E5300 fanless with a samurai-Z). And if you want extra safety, put a slow fan on those heatsinks and you'll never hear it and your temps will never be an issue.

As mentionned by quest_for_silence, don't forget to slow down the fans !

_________________
Main/gamming : Antec Solo|X-650|Asus P5Q-E|Intel Q9550@3.4GHz|HR-01 Plus 120mm Nexus @6V|Corsair 2x2Go XMS2 DHX cas 4 @4-4-4-12|Exhaust Nexus 120mm @9V|Intel X25M G2 160Gb|Samsung 1TB in SQD|2xGigabyte GTS450 OC (@900/1900/3800)|GPU fan 120mm Nexus @6V
HTPC/folder/Storage : Silverstone|E5300 with Samurai-Z|2Go RAM|GTX460@800|2x1To WD EARS|Intel X25M G2 80Go

Fold with SPCR


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie project: home server (DLNA/Time Machine/DL/etc...
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1727
Location: Switzerland
If at all possible, start with md RAID1 right away. If need be, set up a single hard-drive as a RAID1 member. You can then add a second drive and get the redundancy without even rebooting (provided your hardware supports hot-plugging). Even resizing a RAID/LVM partition is fairly straightforward. But turning a regular install into a RAID1 install sounds like trouble (I've never tried).

You could use SSH for remote access. There are web control panels such as webmin but the command-line is so much better! The web stuff is superior for monitoring however (you get graphs).


As to hardware, a budget silent file/BT server is pretty much an Atom unless you want ECC RAM. I don't know what a "DNLA server for a PS3" requires but, if an Atom can't cut it, your old computer might not cut it either (or at least no without yet another upgrade to handle video compression).
Your idea of salvaging a used computer is laudable but consider the price of the parts you're considering and compare that to a the price of a D510MO (motherboard, CPU and fanless heatsink are all included in that price). Some Atom boards take power directly from a brick if you don't want to buy a fanless PSU or a case that comes with one.
If you need some kind of graphical horsepower for your application, you could buy an old-generation Atom/Ion or possibly a dedicated card that handles video compression in hardware.

Consider also how cheap nicer low-power gear is. The Proliant Microserver has a somewhat noisy fan (at stock speeds anyway) but it shouldn't be too hard for you to change it if you're into DIY. You get very low power consumption (lower than a current-gen Atom with integrated graphics according to my UPS), ECC RAM support (claimed, not tested), a slow CPU that still beats Atoms, a halfway decent low-power graphical subsystem, a decent NIC and, last but not least, 4 hotplug bays for 3.5'' hard-drives, all in a well-designed small case. Plus an HP warranty. It would of course cost you more than silencing your old computer but how much better would that be as a server!

I'm all for re-using old gear but only with cheap parts. Or better yet: really cheap, second-hand parts!


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie project: home server (DLNA/Time Machine/DL/etc...
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:20 pm
Posts: 5
quest_for_silence wrote:
Reiep wrote:
The main causes are the PSU, an horrible noname stuff with a 60mm fan

If it's actually a 60mm fan, likely an ATX PSU (as the M12 II) won't fit in the case (usually they have at least a 80mm fan). So, are you sure you can use an ATX PSU?
My bad, it's a 80mm, standard ATX PSU.

quest_for_silence wrote:
Reiep wrote:
I was thinking about the Seasonic M12II-430

If it fits, mostly depends where the server is placed: if it will be placed above a desk and/or in/near a bedroom, it might turn out not enough quiet, IMO.
However, at first sight a Pico-PSU style unit (with a Fortron 19V brick) seems better suited: more probably that not you won't need more than 150W and these things are deadly silent with reference to a Seasonic M12-II.

It'll be in the living room, in a corner on the floor. The ambiant sound should cover some low rotating fans. I've thought of a PicoPSU but will it be enough with the RAID later ?

quest_for_silence wrote:
Reiep wrote:
The goal is to run the CPU fanless with only the fan of the PSU and 2 92mm Nexus in the case for the airflow. The CPU will be undervolted in order to keep it cool, I don't need a lot of power.

If you go for an ATX PSU (fanned), you won't need to run the CPU fanless: the PSU fan will be louder than the heatsink fan.
If you go for two sub-1000prm 92mm case fans, either you won't need to run the CPU fanless for the same above mentioned reason.
Besides, I don't think you actually need more than an exhaust fan.

OK, so let's keep the heatsink fan with 1 exhaust fan.

quest_for_silence wrote:
About the two option, the CM seems clearly better suited than the ZZ. But does it fit? If your case didn't accept an ATX PSU (see above), I'm afraid you wouldn't have the 160mm needed to accomodate the 212+.
The case should be OK. But I'm always afraid of those heavy pieces of metal twisting the MB in a tower...

quest_for_silence wrote:
Last but not least, do you already know how to control your fans?
I was thinking about giving them some fix 7V.

quest_for_silence wrote:
Reiep wrote:
Nothing fancy, just a little of black in the inside, a little window, who knows

Windows are some of the enemies of quietness: beware.
Oh, good to know !

Thanks for your feedback.


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie project: home server (DLNA/Time Machine/DL/etc...
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:20 pm
Posts: 5
frenchie wrote:
Welcome to SPCR !!

What kind of case is it ? Tower or desktop ? For a tower, go with the Coolermaster ; for the desktop, go with the Scythe. As long as you don't run your CPU at full blast all the time, and you have minimum airflow, you'll be fine fanless if you really want fanless (I used to run a E5300 fanless with a samurai-Z). And if you want extra safety, put a slow fan on those heatsinks and you'll never hear it and your temps will never be an issue.

As mentionned by quest_for_silence, don't forget to slow down the fans !

Hi fellow expatriated french ! :mrgreen:

It's a tower, yes. So the Coolermaster (in 7V) seems to get everyone's vote.

Merci !


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie project: home server (DLNA/Time Machine/DL/etc...
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:20 pm
Posts: 5
HFat wrote:
If at all possible, start with md RAID1 right away. If need be, set up a single hard-drive as a RAID1 member. You can then add a second drive and get the redundancy without even rebooting (provided your hardware supports hot-plugging). Even resizing a RAID/LVM partition is fairly straightforward. But turning a regular install into a RAID1 install sounds like trouble (I've never tried).

I didn't know it was possible to configure a 1 drive RAID 1... Well, maybe that's dumb, but I'd prefer to get the 2 drive on the same time, so that they'll be fresh. In the meanwhile I'll use a 500 GB drive.

HFat wrote:
As to hardware, a budget silent file/BT server is pretty much an Atom unless you want ECC RAM. I don't know what a "DNLA server for a PS3" requires but, if an Atom can't cut it, your old computer might not cut it either (or at least no without yet another upgrade to handle video compression).

Well, I don't really agree. Having a DLNA (or UPnP) server means to have to transcode sometimes the videos so that they might be readable by the client (here, the PS3), and it requires CPU horsepower, which the Atom platform lacks unfortunately.

HFat wrote:
Your idea of salvaging a used computer is laudable but consider the price of the parts you're considering and compare that to a the price of a D510MO (motherboard, CPU and fanless heatsink are all included in that price). Some Atom boards take power directly from a brick if you don't want to buy a fanless PSU or a case that comes with one.
If you need some kind of graphical horsepower for your application, you could buy an old-generation Atom/Ion or possibly a dedicated card that handles video compression in hardware.

If I go for a D510MO (which I considered a few months ago) I'll still have to go for the PSU so I'll have to pay more for something that is not as powerful. And will the MoBos with integrated PSU be able to handle the RAID and possible evolutions? I'm afraid not, it' usually sized for a 1 Atom + 1 hard drive + 1 optical drive usage.

HFat wrote:
Consider also how cheap nicer low-power gear is. The Proliant Microserver has a somewhat noisy fan (at stock speeds anyway) but it shouldn't be too hard for you to change it if you're into DIY. You get very low power consumption (lower than a current-gen Atom with integrated graphics according to my UPS), ECC RAM support (claimed, not tested), a slow CPU that still beats Atoms, a halfway decent low-power graphical subsystem, a decent NIC and, last but not least, 4 hotplug bays for 3.5'' hard-drives, all in a well-designed small case. Plus an HP warranty. It would of course cost you more than silencing your old computer but how much better would that be as a server!

That's indeed an interesting one.

HFat wrote:
I'm all for re-using old gear but only with cheap parts. Or better yet: really cheap, second-hand parts!

I agree. But (except for second hand), the cheap parts are usually not quite :(


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie project: home server (DLNA/Time Machine/DL/etc...
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
Posts: 2883
Location: ITALY
Reiep wrote:
My bad, it's a 80mm, standard ATX PSU.

Well, how about a fan swap? You would need just a low speed (1500-1800rpm) 80mm sleeve bearing fan, possibly with a low (about 4V) starting voltage (you might use a ~1000rpm fan if you drive it with an external header).

Reiep wrote:
It'll be in the living room, in a corner on the floor. The ambiant sound should cover some low rotating fans.

During daytime it should be definitely so: at night an M12-II is clearly audible, even if not clearly obtrusive.

Reiep wrote:
I've thought of a PicoPSU but will it be enough with the RAID later ?

It depends of the specific model but definitely it can be more than enough for a pair of 5400rpm green drives.
There are several 120W models which can accept a 19V source, if you can get a Fortron 19V power brick there.

However, before choosing a new PSU, I would try the above mentioned fan swap.

Reiep wrote:
I'm always afraid of those heavy pieces of metal twisting the MB in a tower

I have an Orochi right now in a Mini P180: works flawlessy, but I always unmount it when I move the case.
However, the CM have a very firm and well done screwed mounting, I'm very confident in it.

Reiep wrote:
I was thinking about giving them some fix 7V.

I'm not in favour of a generalized fixed voltage, I would rather an hardware or software control of them.

Good luck for your build!

_________________
Regards,
Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie project: home server (DLNA/Time Machine/DL/etc...
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:20 pm
Posts: 5
Hi Luca,

Thanks for your answers.

I managed to give a further look into the stuff... and that's not so good. It seems the Ethernet adapter is dead (spent all the evening on that one), and that I can't undervolt the CPU or tweak with accuracy the fans from the bios (AMI bios on an Asrock Conroe 1333 MoBo, actually you can't do anything on this one). So I should buy a new MoBo... it's starting to be a lot of new stuffs instead of reusing what I already have. At this point it's maybe better to buy a real NAS and to do not care.

So I think I'm going to go step by step and first try to change the PSU's fan, it's the noisiest part of the PC and by far, then I'll see what to do with the rest.

Thanks everyone for your help.


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