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29.12.2014 admin
I think that if the Jetway has 2-3 sata ports (or you get a card which can do that and put it on the board) and case size isn't a problem, then a Freenas setup might be a fun project to try. That being said, if you hate to tinker around and derive no satisfaction from building something like this, then buying a simple Synology gives you pretty much everything up front. Just something to add - if using FreeNAS you'll want to add as much memory as possible to the board as memory is the key to good performance with the ZFS filingsystem it uses. And somehow, I keep getting this nagging feeling that i need to check the status on the Freenas all the time as I am convinced that it's going to fall over one day and get me into a situation where my poor Linux knowledge will leave me marooned - but that hasn't happened and I see no reason why it should happen any sooner than if it were the Syno. Eloise, they're pretty close - in some cases close enough to be reassuring but different enough to be dangerous.
To the OP: if you are interested in FreeNAS there is a good forum at the FreeNAS website where someone may have used the board you have.
Am not using the virtual vortexbox to do the playing (and I fear what virtualisation might do to sound given virtual audio drivers etc available - but I don't really know).
A custom built NAS server is only for people, who really want to play around with pc stuff.
I have searched the web up and down for information regarding building your own Home NAS Raid 5 System. I have chosen the ThermalTake Lanbox Lite which have 1 fan in front and 2 in the back (+ one optional). I could of course invest in a silent CPU fan, but they are expensive compared to the new Intel Atom Dual Core® Desktop Board D945GCLF2D. The motherboard also have integrated 1000 Mbps LAN, but be aware that the driver is not part of the current version of FreeNas, you will find the solution in this forum. The rest of my system contains a Mac Mini with SABnzbd, PlexApp Media Center and RadioLover. Is there a total drive capacity limit on the Adaptec 2610SA?…could you attach 6 x 1TB drives and RAID 5 them?
Back in 2003, I used to connect my computer on the my old 32′ TV, those huge and heavy TVs, to watch stuff from the internet, at that time, eMule was ruling the p2p community (can’t talk about USENET right?
Early this year, I got a 2TB Lacie Network Space 2, which is a simple NAS Server, and a WD Plus Live. Anyway, my Lacie NAS stopped working, some problem with the file system, but the HD was still working great.
For the hardware, I ended up with a fanless MiniITX motherboard Intel D510MO, which has an Atom processor, Gigabit ethernet (all my home network is Gigabit, so it does make a difference). Power supply, well, just got a regular one, but another good solution would be a tiny power supply, for example the picoPSU.
As the MOBO is fanless, I don’t think it would be a good idea to let it locked in a box somewhere in my apartment, so I decided to build a acrylic case and leave the sides open for air circulation. There is nothing better then Linux for any kind of server, and my distro of choice is UBUNTU, quick to install, easy to configure get it running smooth. For installing it, you could use an USB stick with ubuntu on it, and set to install from the stick, and you are good to go. When UBUNTU was installed, internet started working right away and there was no extra driver needed, just what I like about this distro.
For downloading stuff from the internet, such as my Linux distribution, I like using torrent, the best p2p protocol ever!
For backups, I am using Super Flexible File Synchronizer, and backing up my files via SFTP.
I am not using any RAID to clone my disks because one is 1TB and the other is 2TB, the second reason is that I don’t really need to backup all data on that disks.
Next month I will move to Italy for one semester, and I know I will take many Gigs of pics. So, for backing up my photos via SSH to the NAS, I always want to make an exact copy of the files on my Macbook, so the code below does the job. I like building websites, I usually run websites on my own computer before launching it to the world. Right now I am using proftpd to run all my ftp file transfers (but today I usually just transfer files over SSH).
A good thing to do is to change your default SSH port, it can help on the security of your server. If you have constrained bandwidth, you may set an upper limit for the bitrate of the music streams.
In addition to being a streaming media server, Subsonic works very well as a local jukebox.
On my phone, I am using an App called iSub, you can configure different bit-rates if you are using Wireless or 3G, and it also caches all songs played. Can you explain a little bit in depth on how are you sharing your files from the Ubuntu server, as far as how did you partition your HDD and are you just using straight SAMBA or something else to do the sharing? For sharing files on UBUNTU, I did it via the graphic interface, you just need to right click on the folder you want to share and there is Sharing there. I’m not using RAID on anything, but what I did was create a bash script to RSYNC the files and sync the folders I want to have on both discs. Thanks for this, followed your guide, with a little help from some more specific sites and I now have a great little server running. For adding new drives, I would simply add a new drive, connect the SATA cable and mount it. I am writting a blog post about how to get started with NAS and it could be interesting to know your opinion whether one should buy a NAS out of the box or would it still make sense to build it on your own ?
Attention: This page may not appear properly because JavaScript is disabled on your browser. In this post, I present my choice for Low-power HTPC build 2014, which can function as a HTPC NAS combo. Update (Dec 11, 2015): Here is my updated low-power energy efficient HTPC NAS combo build for 2016. AMD hit a home run with the AMD 5350 2.05Ghz Quad-Core Kabini Processor and this APU is currently one of the best HTPC processors available. While there are many AM1 motherboards, and some of them very inexpensive (like this MSI motherboard for just $30), I went with a slightly more expensive motherboard from ASRock.
To remind again, this HTPC build 2014 was primarily for acting as media center and network attached storage device for both media and personal files.
About AnandAnand is a self-learned computer enthusiast, a part-time blogger, and a Food Scientist by career.
STOP: If you need support to troubleshoot a problem please post it in our Support Forum instead. With 2 HDDs (2×10 Watts), 2 SSD (5 Watts), Processor (25 Watts), and extras (20 Watts). At the beginning I thought I could just replace one or two parts, but then I quickly realized my better option was just to take no prisoners and thrash all the parts that I had except the uATX microtower case and the external USB drives.
When I took the motherboard out of the case of this PC and made it run on my desk I saw that the Intel 865GV Northbridge (circled in red on the next picture) was getting so hot I could cook eggs on it, while the Intel ICH5 Southbridge (circled in yellow) stayed much cooler. Also I noticed that both the CPU fan (circled in green) and the power supply unit (PSU) fan were very noisy and that I had no SATA data connectors, but just IDE (circled in purple). Furthermore, and that confirmed my feeling, the Maxtor HDD (circled in yellow on the next pic) was making a funny clinking noise that I could hear over the sound on the chassis fan sitting next to it (circled in red). In fact, the energy efficiency of a PSU drops significantly at low loads and its efficiency generally peaks at about 50–75% load. As I said before, I decided to keep the three external USB disks that I had for a few years to store my data in three copies.
As you can expect, upgrading to a last generation motherboard was going to bring great change: I was going to definitively say goodbye to the old fashioned blue BIOS I had been so used to see.
Let's start to say that I didn't want to spend any money on the chassis, so I cleaned up the one I had from all the dust and spider webs and decided to buy an ATX motherboard that would fit in it.
As a general information, this motherboard brings great scalability because the LGA 1155 socket accepts any Sandy Bridge processor from the Intel Celeron G440 to the Intel Core i7! For the moment, being my only will to build a low power consumption NAS, I bought this motherboard in conjunction with an Intel Celeron G530 (circled in green), which is still now one of the best low cost microprocessors out there (around 50 bucks on Newegg). To complete this nice configuration, I bought a SSD drive (circled in purple), and, believe me, this means steroids for my PC.
Solid State Drives are to me the most impressive evolution in home computing since ever, even greater than the shift from floppy drives to cd-roms. The disk I choose is a Crucial M4 2,5" 64 GB SSD, whose capacity is more than enough for hosting any Windows operating system and its paging.
I recently discovered that a new kind of PSU existed that fitted my need for a low consumption NAS. When I mounted all the parts I bought together, that's what I got: an Intel G530 (circled in green), running atop of a MSI ATX motherboards with Z68 chipset, with 8GB of DDR3 (circled in red) and a small, fanless, silent PicoPSU (circled in yellow).
In the next picture you can see how I got those four disks (circled in blue) screwed into the case. Now, here's a few pictures of the new MSI Click BIOS II, which I liked very much, especially if compared to the old BIOS you saw before. To be true I also tried to disconnect the CPU fan, which is normally not the best solution. When I turn it up, my NAS, which is installed with Windows 2012 and four drives (1 SSD, 2*3,5" SATA2 and 1*2,5",SATA2), it draws up to 77 watts.
In the next screenshot you can see temperatures and voltages of my NAS build as showed by CPUID Hardware Monitor. If you are curious about the performance of this build, just know that Windows 2012 got installed in less than two minutes (yes, you read well: two minutes! I have tried to be as much clear as possible, but it was a long and interesting topic to write, so forgive if sometimes you find the writing a little messy. While more common today than ever, network-attached storage (NAS) devices aren't quite mainstream yet.
Naturally, that cash buys a purpose-built box which installs fast, runs quiet, sips power and saves space, at least compared to repurposing an old PC, yet the inner DIYer in us is itching to build a NAS. Assembling your own NAS would net more performance as well because you'd be using a Celeron or Pentium over the Atom or other SoCs, while power shouldn't be a concern with Haswell using less than 30 watts at idle. The body of the Silverstone DS380 has been constructed of steel, while only the front door is made of aluminum. The DS380 comes exclusively in black with a brushed aluminum front door that opens to expose the eight 3.5" hot-swappable drive bays. Also behind the door are two audio jacks (not sure why those are needed) and a pair of USB 3.0 ports. The all-important power button is found here along with the reset button, though for a NAS you might not want to plug the reset button in. Oddly the drive cages are broken up by a divider on the third cage from the top -- not a big deal, just not sure why Silverstone did that.
We were bummed to find that the drive cages are not tool-less like those now used by Synology so the user must secure each drive using four screws.
Thankfully the drive cages themselves are easy to remove using the squeeze and pull method, still not nearly as elaborate as what you will find from Synology, QNAP or even Thecus, but they do the job.
Around the back, the case isn't painted but it does have room for a top mounted SFX power supply that also features external ventilation complete with another magnetic dust filter.
Due to an unpublished change in the specifications for the rack, it ended up being only 540mm deep instead of 600mm deep as I had anticipated, restricting my options in terms of hardware it could accommodate. After some research I settled on a Synology DS414, however at the last minute I changed my mind and bought a Synology DS1513+.

I intended to run the NAS as an interim measure for a while until I was ready for a server, but found it had a couple of limitations. The RPC-230 is a nice solid rack mount case which has been able to accommodate the 2 x SSDs and 1 x 3.5” drive I’ve put in it. In order to install the motherboard or change out the case fans (which you will want to do), the whole hard drive shelf has to be removed. The coating to the outside of the case does chip and scratch easily, and you need to be careful with tightening the screws as they are quite soft.
One thing to be aware of is that the case can only accommodate a PSU which has a front-to-back airflow path (ie air is draw from the front of the PSU and exhausted out the back).
Rackmount rails are available for the case but at 20 and 26 inches in length, they are too long for my rack, and kind of defeat the purpose of a short depth case.
CPU: Intel Xeon® Processor E3-1240 v3 – As I was intending to run a VM lab, I wanted a CPU with virtualisation and hyper-threading support. PSU: Zippy 400W PS-5400HG2 – I was pretty much limited to this PSU as I required a front-to-back airflow path (ie air is draw from the front of the PSU and exhausted out the back) as the case had no PSU intake on the bottom. LAN Card: Intel Ethernet Server Adapter I350-T4 – This is a great quad port 1GB LAN adapter. Drive Bay: Themaltake Max 5 Duo SATA HDD Rack – One thing missing from the Norco case was a front USB3 port so that I could easily connect an external drive to the front of the server. Case Fans: 2x Noctua NF-R8 redux-1800 PWM fans – The original case fans supplied with the Norco RPC-230 chassis were extremely loud and could not be connected to motherboard fan headers. SSD: 2 x OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSDs – I had two of these in my main gaming rig in RAID0 and recently upgraded it to a single Samsung EVO 840. HDD: Samsung 500GB – I had this drive left over from an external drive and have installed it as a scratch drive and backup drive for the VMs.
HDD: WD Caviar Green 2TB WD20EZRX – I currently have this drive in my HTPC and will repurpose it into the server for use as a backup drive. The service from TechBuy was great, from the initial enquiries through to the after-sales support. I’ve been gradually installing and configuring the host and guest operating systems over the past few weeks.
VM2 – Windows Server 2012 R2 – This is my main file server and shares the storage LUN from my NAS.
I’m finding that having the AD, DNS and DHCP server within a VM causes issues for me when I restart the host server. I’m planning to set up several other VMs:VM3 – Windows Server 2012R2 – I want to put my Argus TV server on a separate VM so that if there is a problem I can restart the VM without impacting other services. I do have some pictures of the sever and rack with everything installed, and will upload them when I have an opportunity to grab them off my camera. My goal is to provide a guide at some point in the not-too-distant future to setting up something similar. The WD PLUS LIVE is nothing more than a small computer with an operating system to playback videos and music. University’s internet connection will probably be fast, so I will backup everything from there to my NAS Server. Using any modern web browser, you can setup user accounts, Apache, DNS, file sharing and much more. You can use WEBMIN to handle the FTP, or you can follow many tutorials found on the internet.
Although optimized for MP3 streaming, it works for any audio or video format that can stream over HTTP, for instance AAC and OGG. The intuitive web interface, as well as search and index facilities, are optimized for efficient browsing through large media libraries. As it re-sample the music files on-the-fly, I created an user that I use when I’m not home, re-sampling files to 128kbps.
So I don’t need to sync songs with my iphone no more, I just listen to songs on Subsonic and then shuffle them when I on the road. I have a Debian file server with 5 disks in a recycled desktop case, with limitations on HDD slots and airflow. The objective will be to make this home theater PC build function as a media center PC attached to the TV as well as be ON 24×7 working as a network attached storage device. This media center PC will have enough horse power to play HD and ultra HD (4K) videos or decode videos on the fly for a Plex media server. For just about $60, it is a best value processor that offers great graphics and CPU performance while only drawing 25 Watts of power or less.
I needed at least 2 (for SSD and Storage Drive) and preferably more (possibly a Bluray drive or RAID in future?). Having the option to supply power through a laptop brick power adapter takes out the need to have PSU inside the case – less heat generation and less noise). If not possible I suppose I have to use a bigger case with bigger slow moving fans- cooler master elite 110 or else. If you just want to stream media, why don’t you just get a roku or something like that for under $100. I found good explanation of this on Tom's Hardware and in a post by JonnyGuru on Anandtech. Anyhow I wouldn't be probably missing those "CMOS setup utility" or "American Megatrends Inc" more than a few seconds. As I said I decided that I wanted an ATX motherboard, also because I wanted a bit of scalability (which is the main advantage of this motherboard factor over a Mini-ITX).
And the four DDR3 slots accepts up to 32 GB of RAM, which is enough to host a full vSphere lab with a few virtual machines. And it is capable of decoding HD movies, so it is all you need if you want to use it in a HTPC. In fact, even though Intel says that the 500-series variants ending in 'T' have a peak TDP of 35 W, while the others 65 W, the G530 is easily underclocked in just one click from the MSI UEFI BIOS. This disk is told to be dramatically fast and reliable and my MSI motherboard had the required SATA3 interface to get the maximum from it.
As you can see in the next picture, and I was surprised of it, once I plugged the power brick, I discovered that a few watts got continuously wasted in heat even if nothing was plugged on it, which was quite deceiving.
The two white ones are SATA 3 (perfect for my Crucial SSD), while the four black ones are SATA 2 (perfect for my three disassembled USB HDD).
But I was positively surprised to see that, once underclocked, the G530 stayed cool at 65°C-70°C even under the load of OCCTPT or Prime95 without a fan!
Always in ECO mode, I set its multiplier to 16X, which is the min possible value and the speed of the bus to 100 MHz. This is a technology by Intel which allows the operating system to independently lower the frequency of the cores when it is almost idle. The picture shows 74 because I wasn't able to get the peak load with my camera when it hit its maximum. As you can see both the CPU and the disks run at very low temperatures, mainly due to the fact that the basement is pretty cold in winter. Also do not hesitate to share your opinion on this build or to ask questions if you are planning to go the same road. It is in fantastic detail, I will no doubt be reading it many times as I am trying to achieve the same sort of thing.
Although Synology and QNAP have become recognized brands with products ranging from $150 to $3,000, the lower end of that bracket will only get you a sluggish single-bay model and if you want four bays or more -- as most of you likely do -- we're talking north of $500.
Going that route seems like an easy way to save some cash considering a small desktop could be used as a four or eight-bay server, and there is plenty to value in the extra flexibility and expansion of a custom setup. As the cherry on top, open source software such as FreeNAS and enclosures like Silverstone's DS380 should make it less daunting to get started with your homebrewed eight-bay NAS server. While the audio jacks seem useless on this product the USB ports aren't as they can be used to quickly access and share data from external devices. It is easy to look past that quirk, but the drive cages themselves are a bit disappointing.
While that might seem like a minor inconvenience, it gets annoying fast when swapping drives in and out. Whereas we are used to finding one or two exhaust fans, the DS380 has a more advanced setup. My aim was to migrate storage, download services (torrent, sabnzbd, sickbeard, etc), TV Server, Plex and other server duties from my current HTPC to my newly installed rack in the storeroom under my house. Due to the short depth restrictions of my rack I was rather limited to a maximum case depth of 390mm. Setting up users, groups and file sharing was a little bit more painful than I was used to on my HTPC, and the share couldn’t be indexed by windows (I like the ability to search for things relatively quickly). It also had to be able to accommodate an mATX board as I needed to install my existing TV tuner card and a multi-port LAN adapter. It was the only one of three rack mount cases under 390mm deep that I could find available in Australia.
It can easily accommodate 2 x 3.5” drives in the two bays above the mother board tray, although they just clear the stock intel CPU cooler (good cable management is critical to avoid contact with the fan) . They only have holes for 3.5” drives, and then only for the bottom ones and not for the side mounts.
This also involves removing the rack mount ears so that the screws for the shelf can be accessed.
The vast majority of all PSUs now have a perpendicular airflow path (ie air is draw in from the top or bottom of the PSU and exhausted out of the back). As the server was going to be located in a store room under my house I wanted something with remote management and KVM capabilities.
The only other PSU with this airflow configuration I could find in Australia was the Antec 350W Basiq ATX, however it didn’t have an 8-pin CPU motherboard power plug. I wanted to run 2 teamed LAN ports for client access to the server, 2 LAN ports for iSCSI VLAN, and 1 WAN port from my cable modem. While I have built many PCs in the past I was concerned that with the case being so tight everything might not fit together. The rep I dealt with helped to confirm that the components should be compatible prior to ordering, and did his best to price match. I have the three drives in the NAS configured in Synology Hybrid RAID giving me 6TB of storage. I considered running just the core version but find the GUI easier to use during setup and configuration. The network location awareness service on the host OS doesn’t detect the domain when the server boots and configures the teamed NIC as a public LAN. The only issue I have with it is the big bundle of spare cables from the PSU restricting airflow, although there is nothing I can do about it as I have nowhere else to stash the cables. First off, my main PC is now is using the WHS Connector software and has back-ups scheduled on the new WHS.
For his day job, Patrick is a management consultant focused in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley.
As a newbie, would it work ok to have an ESXI running freenas or zfsguru to pool all drives and then access them in WHS 2011 to create shares on them? There reason are the small factor case with room for 5 hard disks, my setup uses IDE-CF Card Reader and 5 Seagate SATA 500GB on a Adaptec 2610SA 6 port SATA (Dell OEM). I don’t care to much about noise, but the heat became a problem since I have the NAS box in my living room where I have my router.
He has no storage, so it should you have to plug a thumb-drive, external hard drive on it or connect to the network, which will give access to shared files over the network, in my case, files are stored at the Network Space 2 connected to the router.

The MOBO has up to seven 2.0 USB and one mini PCI Express, in case I want to add more SATA drives in the future.
So if something goes wrong with my files there, I will still be able to access them from home. You can stream to multiple players simultaneously, for instance to one player in your kitchen and another in your living room. By using transcoder plug-ins, Subsonic supports on-the-fly conversion and streaming of virtually any audio format, including WMA, FLAC, APE, Musepack, WavPack and Shorten.
Since this will be an always-on machine, it was important to have low energy consumption to keep electricity costs low.
Let me remind you that I wanted to stay within the 29 Watts that my previous HTPC build was drawing.
This may even be enough for a Windows 8 HTPC but I would recommend going for 8 GB RAM for Windows builds.
I think that most people that are going to spend $400+ on an htpc expect there to be live tv capablity, which ususally means Windows and maybe a network tuner.
Two months ago, pushed by the desire of getting rid of one the old energy-inefficient computer that I used as a NAS, I started to explore the possibility to upgrade to a newer, faster and more thrifty (in terms of watts) configuration. Till then, they were externally connected to a USB hub equipped with a small PSU to guarantee electric current stability to the whole bunch. In a few word, such a motherboard it's good for a NAS, it's good for a HTPC (it has one HDMI 1.4 port and six audio ports), and it's good for building a virtualization lab! Having bought just one made me loose the Dual Channel functionality until I will buy another one, but I did not care because high-end performance is not what I was aiming to. I'll talk later about the performance of this disk, but know that no upgrade is a real upgrade if you don't get an SSD disk! Simply don't worry if your motherboard has 24-pins connector because the PicoPSU fits perfectly in it leaving the four last pins empty. I tore them open and found inside each of them a standard SATA disk, that is exactly what I expected.
Actually the PicoPSU comes with just one Molex and one SATA connector, so I had to buy a SATA Daisy chain splitter to allow for up to four drives to be powered. In the end, I connected this fan again, just to be safe, but, again, know that if you keep your NAS in a cold place (such as a basement) the Intel G530 can live happily without any active cooling. What is important here is to understand that my 90 watts PicoPSU and its 84 watts external power brick are able to manage that load without flinching!
I don't believe that with an Atom processor or a AMD Fusion I could have been able to do better than that.
I was able to install Adobe Reader in less than a second and PS3 Media Server in less than 3 three seconds. Although this is quite large compared to eight-bay models from QNAP and Synology, keep in mind they feature custom-built motherboards that take up considerably less space.
In the left side of the case there are a pair of 120mm in-take fans covered by a magnetic dust filter. Follow our team for updates featuring event coverage, new product unveilings, watch industry news & more! I also wanted eventually to setup a VM lab, Windows 2012 R2 server, and transfer the router function form my exiting wifi router to a VM on the server.
This left either a Norco RPC-230, RPC-231 or RPC-430 case as the three rackmount options available. Also, the SynoCommunity package repository was down for an unknown time and I couldn’t get the add-on packages I needed. A third drive can be placed in the other middle bay, but in my case it slightly clashes with the USB3 header feeding my front USB3 port. There are no anti-vibration mounts, but the case has been solid enough that this hasn’t been an issue so far. The two 80mm case fans are very noisy and only have molex connectors so can’t be connected to the motherboard fan headers without an adapter. The case doesn’t come with a manual so you need to figure out how to take everything apart and where all of the screws go on your own.
The case has no air intake for the PSU on the bottom or top, as most server cases are designed for front to back airflow. I didn’t fancy having to carry a monitor and keyboard downstairs and work in the cold if I had to access the BIOS or boot options. The Zippy is a quiet and efficient CPU, and from what information I could find online, appears to be a reliable brand. I considered the NF-R8 PWM fans but went with the redux version as they were cheaper and I didn’t need the any of the adaptors or accessories.
While not matching pricing from other sources he was able to offer discounts of between $5-$10 off most items.
The old WHS is still assembled, but it is not powered on at this point, just in case something goes wrong with the current setup. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about basic server building blocks.
It was good while it lasted, but you know, it was huge black box below my TV, bit noisy, but it did the job.
When I bought the WD, I was impressed with the image quality, and how he can play heavy files without any choke.
What i’ve done is, I always sync my files to one folder on the NAS via SFTP, then with RSYNC and Cron, everyday at 3AM, it checks if files are the same, otherwise they sync both HDs. My current HTPC NAS combo is a MSI Wind Nettop PC with Atom 330 dual core, 2 GB or RAM, and 1.5 TB Samsung EcoGreen drive. If I had followed JonnyGuru's suggestion, I should have probably bought a highly efficient 'wide' PicoPSU, where the term 'wide' is used to indicate those PSU that accept a wide input voltage range, but the price to pay was higher than what I planned for. I tested this many times and all of my hard disk drives were able to spin up, so cheers to me.
The reason is that the Crucial M4, having no moving parts, has no need for a temp sensor, just like most of the SSDs out there.
I'll probably publish a little more data about this NAS performance in a future post, so stay tuned! This means that I can keep one LAN port as a management LAN and run a dedicated VLAN with Jumbo Packets enabled the three other ports over iSCSI MPIO back to my server, whereas on the DS414 I would only have one port for my iSCSI VLAN.
However, only the 4xsFF HDD version was available and I wanted to relocate some existing 3.5” drives into the server. I initially mounted my SSDs using just one of the bottom screw holes which was sufficient to hold it. Unfortunately it isn’t modular so the spare cables take up quite a bit of room and do restrict the airflow at the intake slightly. In addition the redux fans are dark grey and blend in with the front of the case compared to the traditional Noctua beige and brown. I was also concerned whether there would be enough room behind the PSU to accommodate the spare cables and the Thermaltake Max 5 Duo. The build was shipped within 7 days of placing an order, despite some parts having to be obtained from their distributors, and was received overnight. I have each of the LUNs on the NAS mounted by the host OS and directed to the relevant VM guest. I also intend to add a RADIUS server for use with my WiFi for WPA2 Enterprise Authentication. In another week or two I will power on the second 4U Chassis that the old WHS currently resides in and turn it into some Direct Attached Storage (DAS) through a HP SAS Expander. I watched the Band of Brothers show recently co-directed by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg in FULL HD 1920?1080 , where files were like 7GB for episode of 50-60 minutes. But in my case, I wanted a HTPC NAS combo and the Mini has option for only one mSATA drive.
I am not so sure about its HTPC, gaming, and 4K playback (applies to amd as well to a certain extent). Secondly, I was only initially purchasing 3 x 3TB HDDs to run in RAID 5, with the intention to add more drives later as my storage needs increase.
The fourth bay in front of the PSU can accommodate a 3.5” drive but the cables will be squashed up against the cables from the PSU.
I found that the drive screws supplied with my case were a slightly different thread to my SSDs.
The red release tabs on the drive bay doors do stand out though and may not fit with you colour scheme.
I figured it was less risk if I let TechBuy build it so if there was a problem then they could simply cancel the order or make changes prior to dispatch.
I’ve teamed one LAN port from each of the onboard and I350-T4 NICs to be the main connection for the server. Another key point is that this will not be a Gaming PC even though it can handle some moderately graphics intensive games.
This will also allow the OS to spindown the HDD during low activity thereby reducing power consumption. This home theatre PC may not blow a hardcore gamer or a pro HTPC builder out of their mind but for an average home user this HTPC build 2014 is great and may even be good for 2015 and later.
Also the height of some of the cases started to become an issue as they took up too much of my rack space. With a 4-bay NAS I could only add a single 3TB drive, if I wanted to increase storage beyond that I would need to start swapping out the 3TB drives for larger drives. As I wasn’t installing a DVD drive in the server I preferred having more internal 3.5” drive bays.
I’ve ended up changing over to a SSD adaptor bracket which can accommodate 2xSSDs in one 3.5” bay.
If I built it myself and found an issue during the build then I risked being stuck with parts I couldn’t use but had already purchased. I’m using one of the LAN ports as a management port, and the remaining three are on my iSCSI VLAN.
With Kodi 14.0 Helix stopping support for CrystalHD cards, I had to find way to upgrade my 4-year old system with a good low budget HTPC build 2014. If you choose to do a RAID, don’t worry the ASRock board has enough SATA ports to allow that. Using a NAS offered less hassle in avoiding a troubleshooting a custom build and learning FlexRAID. With a 5-bay NAS (and using Synology Hybrid RAID) I can add 2 larger capacity drives and gain the full capacity of these drives without swapping out any of the existing drives.
The bracket doesn’t have any bottom screw holes and therefore is sitting loose in the drive tray, This is secure enough for me given that the drive doesn’t spin and the server won’t be getting moved around. It has 4 x PCIe slots, 6xSATA3 ports, 2x 1GB LAN ports, 1 x USB 3 header, 1 x USB2 header, an internal USB2 Type A port which allows you to plug in a USB key or other device, 2 x external USB2 ports and 2 x external USB3 ports.
A small folder was included in the shipment containing all of the spares, manuals and driver discs.
In addition it also offered front mount hot-swap drive bays, which would have been absent on the other available case options.
The build team omitted a couple of case screws and the spare full-height bracket for the LAN card, however they were posted straight away at no cost, and without question when I contacted them.

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Rubric: Small Garden Sheds


  1. Ramiz writes:
    Carry whatever must also decide the width.
  2. ERDAL_23 writes:
    How to tear it down, and bottom at one of the.