CHASSIS

I would like to have a small chassis, ideally a mini-itx box
with at least 6 disks slot..why 6 , because with 6 disks I can have lot’s of solution for disks :

– for begin a RAIDZ1 pool of 3 disks , so I can loose a drive.. and if need more in the future, add a second RAIDZ1 pool with 3 disks
– a RAIDZ1 of 6 disks, so I can loose a drive and have around 5* size of the hard disk for the storage
– a RAIDZ2 of 6 disks, so I can loose 2 drives and have around 4* size of the hard disk for the storage

it need also “my wife agreement” for the design…
==> I found the Lian LI PC-Q25
I hesitate with the Fractal design Node 304
which provide usb in front but I wanted to look for an aluminium case…:)

DISKS

well… I search for big size, low noise, decent speed, be able to run 24/7.
so in 2012, western digital push RED disks, which are targetted for NAS use..
so let’s use their 3 TB model
you can see this review

let’s start with 3 to build a RAIDZ1 pool…

MOTHERBOARD

mini-itx with 6 builtin 6 SATA ports is not widespread..
to my knowledge the only model in 2012 was the ASUS P8H77-I
ASUS is a good brand, and appart the SATA ports, this model provide some virtualization feature so let take it.

CPU

My server is for home use, so few users at same time for file share, I target either an Intel Celeron G860 or an Intel I3-3220, because of TDP of 55W, both provide Intel vt-x technology for hardware virtualization and have GPU integrated…
I don’t want a processor with higher TDP because mini-itx chassis does not offer lots of room for cooling
and a quad core should be too much for my use.
Overclocking is not a requirement for me…it’s power consuming for few more horse power…

I choose the I3, it’s more expensive but have more speed, I will drink less for some time to pay the gap ūüôā

RAM

I don’t need overcloked kit, ZFS like RAM and even if 4GB should be enough , I decide to buy a 2x 8GB kit , so I can deal with some virtualization without changing the hardware..
RAM is not expensive now…

POWER SUPPLY

without a dedicated graphic card and a non overcloked low TDP CPU, with 6 disks, I expect my sytem to be largely under 150W on big load…, so I would need a psu proviing between 200 and 300W max…
I choose this : Seasonic G-Series G-360 – 360W
it seems stable, reliable for 24/7…and very quiet
Be carefull.. there are only 4 SATA and¬†3 MOLEX connectors…so as the LIAN LI PC-Q25 have hotplug backplane for 5 disks with 3 MOLEX, all MOLEX are used!

CPU COOLER (OPTIONAL)

I don’t like intel stock cpu cooler…lots of noise and few efficiency. Due to mini-itx motherboard & chassis compatibility , I take this one Noctua NH-L9i
Noctua is known for good reliability, low noise and efficiency.

To sum up :

  • Asus P8H77-I
  • Seasonic G-Series G-360 – 360W
  • 3 x Western Digital WD Red RD1000M – 3 TB
  • Lian Li PC-Q25
  • G.Skill Kit Extreme3 2 x 8 Go PC10600 ARES CAS9
  • Noctua NH-L9i
  • Intel I3-3220

PRICE¬†¬† when I bough it on 30/11/2012 : 953‚ā¨..

you could save money, probably ¬†around 100‚ā¨ ¬†by buying only 4GB RAM, using intel stock cooler,and using an Celeron processor. note that my target is not to build the cheapest solutionn it’s a balance with¬† cost, quality. I have some money to spend ūüôā

you may say… where the OS will be installed…

short answer : on the disks assigned for the storage…¬† ther are¬†more advantages¬†rather than using¬†an usb stick…:)

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