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 Post subject: 24 hard drive bay "near-silent" server build
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 1:12 am
Posts: 25
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Hi guys, thought I'd post a pic up now that I've finally shaved off another few decibels of noise. It really is pretty darn quiet for a 24 bay server build, I haven't seen many silence focused large bay builds yet. Made this back in November 2010 but only just added the fan controller.

I thought I'd post this up and perhaps it will inspire the more skilled members here to take the idea to the extremes :D

The setup is nearly silent when the drives spin down, and whisper quiet while they are spinning, but still has a nice volume of air running from front to back. My observations are from ~1-2m. Its a server you can have in the living room if need be.

So this pics show the front of the 4U case with 24 hard drive bays:
Image

I know you guys have very good DIY skills. I don't :) So the best I've done is taped off parts of the case to cut down on air short circuits, and used 'magical' velcro to attach the SSD and fan controller to the sides of the internal case because the front of the case is covered in hot-swap 3.5" hard drive bays! I've kept it fairly neat so the air can flow front to back un-impeded.

Image

Key specs:
CASE Norco 4224
CPU Core i3 processor (undervolted)
RAM 8 Gb G.Skill RIPJAWS DDR3 1600
STORAGE 3x Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8
HD 5x 2 Tb WD Green, 1x 1 Tb Samsung Spinpoint F3, 1x OCZ Vertex 2 60 Gb (OS drive) (...so far)
OS Windows Server 2008 R2
PSU Corsair AX850
FANS 3x Noctua P12-1300 120mm, 2x Sycthe SFF80C 80mm, 1x Scythe 120mm SFF120D or something, the one on the CPU is a 140mm Noctua
HS Noctua C12P SE14
MOBO Gigabyte P55-UD7
FANCTRL Zalman 6 channel
& featuring VELCRO

About 84W idling, 115W when all drives are spinning (from the wall). I'll just add drives as I need to expand the storage.
I think the base system without the controllers is around 55-60W, the rest of the idle must be the 3x SAS controllers.

The PSU fan doesn't spin up at either of the power points mentioned above.
I've chosen fans that perform better under pressure differentials.
The Supermicro controllers generate quite a lot of heat which is why I put another fan on top of them blowing down onto them. I've made air gaps for the air to escape from that side of the case as well.

Key services it runs:
- Sab, Sickbeard, uTorrent, Teamspeak, Minecraft (sometimes :) ) & FlexRAID

Let me know if you are interested in any more info or pics. EDIT: There are some more pics I posted a few posts below.

EDIT: HD Temps (ambient feels like 16 deg C (kinda cold))
All the WDs are between 31-33 deg C
The Samsung is 29 deg C

This is what it looks like in the room (its just out there):
Image


Last edited by webs0r on Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 24 hard drive bay "near-silent" server build
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:43 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 12:03 am
Posts: 777
Location: Norway
Nice build :)

I'd love to see some more pictures, and some drive temperature stats

Do you foresee any temperature issues when you populate more drive bays?

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 Post subject: Re: 24 hard drive bay "near-silent" server build
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:38 pm
Posts: 298
Location: ontario
i was amazed at your power numbers, until i went back reread how many drives you had installed xD

still an excellent project.

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 Post subject: Re: 24 hard drive bay "near-silent" server build
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:00 am
Posts: 2131
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
fumino wrote:
i was amazed at your power numbers, until i went back reread how many drives you had installed xD

still an excellent project.


Same here...definite double take. Still gets very good draw though...

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Main: Antec 300 (SlipStream @ 800rpm/140mm @ 5v)|Asus M4A88TD-M|Phenom II x4 945 (Mugen2 pass.)|Asus EAH6850|Samsung 830 128GB|Antec TP750
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 Post subject: Re: 24 hard drive bay "near-silent" server build
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 1:12 am
Posts: 25
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Hehehe sorry guys. I probably won't need to have all bays filled for a few years... ;)

On the power topic, one could go even lower than what I've got, provided you make something less expandable.

I think my base mobo + CPU idle was around 55W. I got this motherboard because it supports 2x PCIex8 and 2x PCIex4 slots, which is pretty hard to find out there. All because I was going to stick 3x AOC-SASLP-MV8s in there running at full speed => they're cheap :)

But as it is viewed as a "gaming "motherboard, it has a billion power phases for gaming / overclocking nuts, plus a bunch of stuff I don't need, increasing its power draw.

With a less featured mobo (perhaps micro ATX or mini ITX or something) - you would be giving up expandability but in turn lower the power draw (35W?).
It would be even better if there was a mobo that took one of the Core ultra-low-voltage processors (seen generally in ultraportable notebooks), as then it might come down <20W idle. I would always stay away from the anaemic Atom. The ULV processors are so much better.

If you don't need to potentially power 24 drives, you would just use a picoPSU so that you get high AC/DC efficiencies.

So with these it would be cool if it had 8 SATA ports on it, then you might not need to add anything. => very easily you could get 7-8 drives of storage hooked up and get to play with 16-24TB of storage in nice little units.

Otherwise if the mobo has 1 PCIex16 slot and you can use inbuilt graphics, you could throw in a controller like an ARECA ix and hook up the internal drives to it, plus get an external connection to expand it to additional cases of storage all on a *very* meagre power budget. (of course you have to shell out for the ARECA). or get a SAS HBA controller and expander, but then you need at least 2 PCIe slots.

Its unfortunate that the consumer NAS manufacturers don't go down this path and instead charge huge prices for 4 sata ports with a crappy ATOM in it.
And stick in tiny noisy fans.


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 Post subject: Re: 24 hard drive bay "near-silent" server build
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 1:12 am
Posts: 25
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Some more pics:

These were the original 80mm DELTA fans, including the original 80mm fan plane that came with the case.
These are ferocious little fans. I just played with one, plugging it into the PSU while the system was going and it scared the crap of out me as the air pressure moved it across the surface it was sitting on. The noise was tremendous.
Image

Noctua / Intel stock HS comparison. Different weight classes here, its not a fair fight.
Image

The motherboard originally came with water cooling attachments, which I swapped out for the vertical air heatsink for the northbridge (it is connected to the south and the VRMs). The contact with the northbridge heatspreader is not great.
Image

SSD mounted on the side wall with velcro.
Image


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 Post subject: Re: 24 hard drive bay "near-silent" server build
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 1:12 am
Posts: 25
Location: Melbourne, Australia
This is the intake side of the 120mm fan plan, with the Noctuas soft mounted.
Image

You can see the 3x AOC-SASLP-MV8 here. Something to bear in mind, is they produce a lot of heat. I think this is generally true for both HBA and RAID controllers.
Image


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 Post subject: Re: 24 hard drive bay "near-silent" server build
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:22 am
Posts: 19
webs0r:

I like your build, very clean. I've been considering a nice solid 2U chassis for my planned linux NAS. Do you have a little rack in your living room, or does the case sit flat on a shelf? I only have experience with desktop cases, so I'm not sure how a rack case would look sitting out in the open.

Would you take a picture of it closed up and in place?


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 Post subject: Re: 24 hard drive bay "near-silent" server build
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:20 pm
Posts: 1
Hello, just joined to applaud this build after seeing it while surfing the web. :D (applause!)

Very clean, beautiful layout. Really like the three soft mounted noctuas. Very cool to see a server build on occasion so thanks for sharing!


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 Post subject: Re: 24 hard drive bay "near-silent" server build
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:50 am
Posts: 28
Very, very, cool, I would have went down this path if i had space in my house for a rack.

Instead I got a guy (Spotswood, he is doing a worklog in the modding section of OCAU) in New Hampshire (i'm in Sydney) to build me a cube that takes dual EATX motherboards/PSU's and 24 disks with the aim of it being pretty quiet (watercooled with dual triple120 rads and 12x120mm fans). I wanted to isolate the disks a little bit to cut down on vibration.

--Richard


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 Post subject: Re: 24 hard drive bay "near-silent" server build
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:02 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:53 am
Posts: 1
hi!!!i intend on building something like this but can i ask....i was looking at the areca cards but r expensive...when you use 3 cards like yours do you see all the hdd?!!!i will use all the 24 bays an i need raid for that!!can u reply please.thanks mate


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 Post subject: Re: 24 hard drive bay "near-silent" server build
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:50 am 
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*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2004 11:35 am
Posts: 536
Location: Chicago, Ill., USA
You may already know this, but in case you don't... The Norcro 42xx cases (as opposed to the older 40xx) have, in general, better drive trays. One feature of the newer drive trays is a "vent" that can be opened or closed. For any given tray, if you have a drive in there, make sure the vent is open. If have no drive, make sure the vent is closed (so as to not short-circuit airflow).

I don't have a specific link handy, but this has been discussed a few times over on the ServeTheHome forums (if you're not already participating over there).


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 Post subject: Re: 24 hard drive bay "near-silent" server build
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:18 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2004 6:53 pm
Posts: 1371
How do you run your HDDs? Do you run them as JBOD? Or do you have them in hardware RAID? Software RAID?

I'm probably going to need to update my file server sometime in the next year (or whenever spindle hard drive prices come back to reasonable levels). I'm running windows right now, but I've been thinking of going Linux/ZFS RAID6 route. The Linux side scares me, so I'm torn between another windows build or Linux. Any thoughts?


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