Planning freeNAS build from old components

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sleepygenius
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 8:14 am
Location: New York, USA

Planning freeNAS build from old components

Post by sleepygenius » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:16 pm

Hi, I rarely post here as I can usually find the information that I need on components throughout the site. I am stuck in a bit of a dilemma as to how to go about building a file server based on freeNAS at home. This will be my first freeNAS build btw.
The components I currently have are

1) An old Antec ATX case purchased in 2001/2002 similar to the old SOHO servers but for desktop use.
2) A 300W Antec PSU that came with the case when I purchased it. It only has 20 pins to connect to the motherboard.
3) 1 GB (2 x 512MB) of DDR1 memory
4) 2 GB (2 x 1GB) of DDR2 memory

I am deliberating as to build using a socket 754/939 microATX mobo using the DDR1 memory OR use the DDR2 memory and purchase an AM2+/AM3 mobo. I currently do not have anything else planned out; such as: RAID card, hard drives, and/or hard drive enclosure to accommodate the possible 4-5 hard drives I am going to install in the case. Budget is not of a concern as I am still deciding on the motherboard, cpu, one hard drive, and maybe a PSU if current one deems insufficient for my needs.

Thanks for your help in advance.

Vicotnik
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Posts: 1826
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Location: Sweden

Re: Planning freeNAS build from old components

Post by Vicotnik » Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:25 am

My current file server is a Sempron 140 with the second core unlocked on a Gigabyte 740G motherboard with a 2GB stick of DDR2. Prices from Newegg - $37 for the CPU, something like $55 or less for the motherboard depending on your brand preferences. The 300W 20pin Antec PSU will work fine.

I use four HDDs, mounted in one of these.

Image

I plan to upgrade the server to a more interesting mini-ITX system later on. That will cost a bit more but opens up possibilities for a smaller, more esthetic system. And also lower power consumption.

HFat
Posts: 1753
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Location: Switzerland

Re: Planning freeNAS build from old components

Post by HFat » Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:20 am

Why do you want a RAID card? They're trouble, especially for a cheap setup and there's not much point in having one anyway.

Your RAM is worth very little so it doesn't make a lot of sense to build something around it unless you're hunting for deals on the local used market or something.
There are people who have built AM2 servers because the power consumption of some parts is rather low. See the thread about the Biostar A760G which seems to have ECC support which is nice for servers... but I guess your RAM ain't ECC!

sleepygenius
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 8:14 am
Location: New York, USA

Re: Planning freeNAS build from old components

Post by sleepygenius » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:57 pm

I have these RAM sticks left over from previous builds and I don't want to throw it away. The reason I'm looking for a RAID card is for the server to have some data redundancy. I have about 4-5 GB (and growing) worth music and videos. The server is also for easy access to data without having to look for the right external hard drive if I ever just want anything from them.

I'll thinking of leaning towards an AM2 build for being lower power consumption and more choices in motherboard and components. I will need to search for that motherboard thread as it sounds nice, but my memory isn't ECC. Would ECC be really necessary if I plan to use it as a file server for hosting data?

cordis
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Location: San Jose

Re: Planning freeNAS build from old components

Post by cordis » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:36 pm

I know what HFat means about raid cards. It always sounds like hardware raid will be faster and better at everything, but all my experiences with raid cards have involved waiting hours and hours for the raid to rebuild when a hard drives wanders slightly out of spec. If you're using high reliability raid drives, hardware can be good, but for anything casual using leftover parts, stick with software raid. I'm pretty sure freenas can handle that without any issue.

HFat
Posts: 1753
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Location: Switzerland

Re: Planning freeNAS build from old components

Post by HFat » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:36 pm

You don't need a RAID card to have RAID. If you want a very cheap server that consumes little power (which is possible by buying second-hand parts or even getting them for free), a RAID card is counterproductive.

ECC isn't necessary unless you want a very high degree of saftey. It makes sense to get it when you buy new but not necessarily when you're reusing old parts. But if you look around, sometimes people will practically (or even litterally) give old ECC RAM away because they don't know what to do with it.

sleepygenius
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 8:14 am
Location: New York, USA

Re: Planning freeNAS build from old components

Post by sleepygenius » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:29 am

So, I will be getting an AM2 microATX mobo with support for DDR2. I read somewhere on this site that a 20-pin power supply would work fine since I will almost never need the integrated video aside from setting up the computer. Is that correct?

Or would it better in the long run to get a new PSU? Aside from memory and maybe PSU, everything else that is electrical will be purchased new.

cordis
Posts: 1082
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:56 pm
Location: San Jose

Re: Planning freeNAS build from old components

Post by cordis » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:18 pm

Might want to see if you can find a power adapter cable. Think I have one around someplace, so I'm pretty sure they make them. Your system won't really need a beefier psu, and if it's just a matter of filling out the connecter, an adapter cable might give you a little peace of mind.

speedkar9
Posts: 307
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Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Planning freeNAS build from old components

Post by speedkar9 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:16 pm

Make sure the PSU has a 4-pin CPU power connector. Otherwise you'd need a molex to 4/8 pin CPU power connector.

Since budget isn't an issue, A Regor 245 + a 785G board (5 SATA & RAID) might work,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDeal ... mbo.581300

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