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 Post subject: Can you sign off on this NAS box before I pull the trigger?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:09 am 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:22 pm
Posts: 190
I'm planning on putting together a NAS box for work. We need it for 2 purposes: one, for the primary "hdd" for a linux cluster that runs FINE/turbo CFD software, as well as general storage for the office (academic setting).

It needs to be very high quality (in terms of fidelty and throughput), as CFD is a very intensive program with a lot of writes and reads with large amounts of data.

That being said, the build I put together I made with what I found from the free NAS guide as well as an old nas guide on the maxpc website, but you'll notice it's a super system, kind of. I feel weird building a system this good (the type you'd kill for at home) as a glorified HDD, but I think I might need something like this to get the performance I want, since I'm not exactly using it just to stream movies over a home server.

Here is the breakdown:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4930K 3.4GHz 6-Core Processor ($579.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: ASRock X79 Extreme11 EATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($606.50 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($288.00 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GT 610 1GB Video Card ($31.56 @ NCIX US)
Wired Network Adapter: Intel EXPI9402PT 10/100/1000 Mbps PCI-Express x4 Network Adapter ($156.15 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master Cosmos II (Black) ATX Full Tower Case ($245.00 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($129.99 @ Microcenter)
Total: $2017.17
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-10-09 13:56 EDT-0400)

I would probably not buy from the places listed and would buy mostly from Microcenter or newegg (or amazon) whenever possible.

Here are my defenses, and tell me if you think I am wrong. I very well may be.

I'm starting off by thinking that I want a huge amount of storage, and will definitely need a large number of HDDs. I will be using at least 8 (4 TB each) to start, and I'd like to add as many as I can. That is the reason I am going with the huge case. It allows for 13 3.5" drives, and I can see using 12.

That is also why I want such a big motherboard- I need at least 12 sata ports.
Further, RAM is apparently a huge deal for NAS- recommended at least 1 GB per TB. I'm starting off with 32GB with the ability to double it (as I have 8 ram slots) down the road. We will probably start off with 8x4=32TB of HDD space, so this worked out well, but I need to be able to move up. 8 Gigs looks like the max ram per stick at this time.

That shoots me into the LGA2011 camp pretty quick. I chose the middle of the line processor. I do not know if I can use the cheaper 4 core, so I would like advice here. I believe that NAS uses a lot of parallel computing, but I don't know if it could possibly saturate this system, so there is one place I might be doing some overkill.

I'm using that exact cooler on my personal build right now, and I like it. I didn't at all enjoy the installation process on it, but it works great and isn't terribly noisy. If someone has a recommendation for something that is super quiet and efficient, I'm open to suggestions. As is, I know this will work well since I have experience with it.

I added a cheap video card so I can boot the thing and see the bios. As a NAS, that is all I need, but unfortunately 2011 doesn't have onboard video. Perhaps I can scrounge around for an old video card so I don't have to buy one? Or any other ideas? It's only 30 bucks, so who cares, but it's a waste of money since I don't need a video card except to see the bios.

The power supply is overkill, but I can defend that, too. I need about 400 watts for this, but I also need a boatload of SATA connections. Only 750 and better PSUs have this feature, so I needed to move up to 750. 850 and 750 are the same price, and the 850 will be less stressed comparatively (so it'll be quieter), so I saw no reason to not get it.

The final piece is the one I understand least- the Intel network adapter. I have no idea if it is any good or not. I read in a guide that Realtek (so onboard, I believe) ethernet is pretty bad, and a NAS system will very quickly saturate the ports (partially because of how the CPU treats the port?? Again, I have no idea). They recommended specifically an Intel branded ethernet card, so I threw one on. Any advice on this would be appreciated.

So what do you think? Any suggestions?

At the same time, any suggestions for a prebuilt machine (drobo?) or a different NAS other than freeNAS? I would be very appreciative of the help.

Thank you!

 Post subject: Re: Can you sign off on this NAS box before I pull the trigg
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:00 am 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:22 pm
Posts: 190
Any advice?
One thing I learned is that I should go for a 10 gigabit ethernet (vs included 1 Gb), since that very well may be a bottleneck in the system. That makes more sense. I will look for a good 10Gb controller for the list.

Does anyone else have any advice, or does this make sense? I happened upon a Dell NAS online, and mine exceeds their specs, but not spectacularly, so I think I am at least on the right track.

As always, thanks for the help!


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