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Plex and FreeNAS

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Kevlaar

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Background: New to FreeNAS, goal is to serve Plex transcoding (1080p) TV and Movies for 1-4 users with a "future proof" server. I've loosely based this build from John Ramsden's Build. I'll likely also use this as a backup location for a few laptops.

Proposed hardware: (mix of Amazon and Newegg links as I found best price between)
For my use case (and to keep the HW costs under $3k), I am not sure a ZIL or L2ARC SSD will provide much boost, so opting not to for now...but am open to suggestions.

On a side note, I noticed the https://smile.amazon.com links did not get the affiliate code added, so switched them to www.

Thanks, in advance, for your time and feedback.
 

Ericloewe

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Case Fan (3 front) - Noctua NF-A15 PWM
Can you fit three of them in that chassis? They may have 140mm mounting holes, but they are larger than standard 140mm fans...

I know it's an older gen, but the desired drive count means I would need a X11SSL-CF or X11SSH-CTF to get into LGA 1151
What's wrong with the X11SSL-CF? Pricing? You can also grab an X11SSM-F and an HBA for the same effect and possibly lower cost.

CPU Fan - Noctua NH-U12S probably overkill, but I prefer not to roast the CPU during multiple transcodes
The 90mm model might be a better choice, since it will cause lower stresses on the motherboard and still be plenty.

Since the X10SL7-F doesn't provide power to SATA DOMs directly, you might want to save cash and grab a cheap 2.5" SSD instead.

SLOG is only useful if you have sync writes.

Definitely not with 16GB of RAM, 32GB is still dubious.
 

Jailer

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Since the X10SL7-F doesn't provide power to SATA DOMs directly, you might want to save cash and grab a cheap 2.5" SSD instead.
Supermicro's SATA DOM's com with a power adapter specifically for the X10 boards that don't have powered SATA sockets.

Having said that I would still go with a cheap SSD as @Ericloewe has suggested as the SATA DOM's are prohibitively expensive.
 

Ericloewe

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Supermicro's SATA DOM's com with a power adapter specifically for the X10 boards that don't have powered SATA sockets.
Right, it's a separate cable that plugs into a small header.

At that point, the full-size SSD isn't much more wiring.
 

DrKK

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I am not sure a ZIL or L2ARC SSD will provide much boost,
In fact, with your configuration, there is a chance a ZIL and/or L2ARC would *REDUCE* performance.
 

Ericloewe

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Well, SLOG can't reduce performance*, but it will lighten wallets for sure.


*Not applicable to stupid things like a 5400RPM HDD SLOG on an all-SSD pool.
 

DrKK

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Well, SLOG can't reduce performance*, but it will lighten wallets for sure.


*Not applicable to stupid things like a 5400RPM HDD SLOG on an all-SSD pool.
L2ARC certainly can.
 

Ericloewe

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L2ARC certainly can.
Oh yes. It's like a stack of TNT. It can be immensely useful in the right situations. In the wrong situations, it just makes people tiptoe around it with extreme care until someone qualified shows up and takes it away.
 

joeschmuck

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The first thing I see when looking at this build is how expensive it is and that the OP wants to buy older hardware. That blows my mind away.

My advice is to purchase a more current motherboard like @Ericloewe suggested the X11SSM-F and then a E3-1230v5 or whatever is on sale, and I'd toss in a cheaper add-on card like what I have, the IOCrest SI-PEX40062 which would give you four more SATA ports, or you could go with an M1015 card flashed to IT mode.

The use of the DOM is just crazy expensive, grab a cheap on-sale SSD.

Use the boxed heatsink/fan that comes with the CPU, it will do fine and won't be a massive weight on the motherboard. If you find out that it doesn't do fine, you can always replace it at a later date.

The hot swap backplanes, while nice to have, they are not cheap either. You could save that money up front because realistically you will only need to remove the hard drives when there is a problem and that should be something like once every 3 to 5 years. You could handle pulling a single power and data cable for the cost savings.
 

Kevlaar

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Thank you for the speedy and helpful criticisms - I really appreciate it.

It seems the consensus is I got lost in the shiny addons and forgot the core. I got tunnel vision on getting a board with enough SATA ports and didn't even consider HBAs.

I am going to head back to the drawing board with all that in mind - newer board and CPU, lose the DOM and other unnecessaries.
 

Kevlaar

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So taking suggestions into consideration, I have revised my potential build. It comes out a little more expensive but I think much more powerful (thanks!):
Once I see how the system performs with 32GB, I can decide whether doubling it makes sense.
 

joeschmuck

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Just a note, you can purchase an M1015 for probably close to the same cost as two of the HBA cards you are looking it and still have 8 ports. Also you could buy a single 8 port SATA HBA for a similar amount. I don't want to suggest that my way is the only way or best way. Hopefully someone else will chime in with some added advice.

The 525GB SSD, you could shave $20 off if you purchase a 480GB drive, but the price is still fair for the 525GB.

So now that I'm digging into this just a bit more I can see that the power supply provides up to 10 SATA power connections. That will be fine for the 10 hard drives you plan but you will need a few Molex to SATA power adapters for any additional SATA power.
 

Kevlaar

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Just a note, you can purchase an M1015 for probably close to the same cost as two of the HBA cards you are looking it and still have 8 ports.
My initial searches put the M1015 in the $110+ range but I was able to find the SI-PEX40062 for a little over $30. I looked to see if I could improve on that selection, but I failed to find a better price per port with decent reviews and throughput. Plus there's the peace of mind knowing someone else has these 2 cards running happily in the same board. :)

You're right that the price per gig is better on the 480 GB drives at the moment, but I like the idea of a little more space and accept the slight premium for the wiggle room.

you will need a few Molex to SATA power adapters for any additional SATA power.
Good point, I'll have to check my parts bins and see if I have any left.
 

joeschmuck

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I'm very happy with my SI-PEX40062 cards but I am defanatiely the minority here using something other than a RAID card flashed to IT mode. I don't mind this either but I just wanted to ensure that you were making an informed decision.

Sounds like you are on your way.
 

Pheran

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I'm not really clear why you are going out of your way to avoid the X11SSL-CF. Yeah, those SATA controllers will save a couple of bucks, but it seems like an unnecessary complication that's not worth the $40.
 

Kevlaar

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Pheran, that's a valid point, but while cost savings played a small factor, I chose not to go with the X11SSL-CF due to the note on the So, you’ve decided to buy a Supermicro X11 board... guide about the SAS controller "(LSI SAS 3008, not yet guaranteed to work well with FreeNAS)".

Knowing that joeschmuck has the SATA controllers I selected already working in a FreeNAS system made for some peace of mind. Until I have more experience with FreeNAS, I wanted to play it more conservatively in HW selection.

As way of update to the thread, I have received the parts listed above, have assembled the system, and am currently running HDD burn in tests (RAM tested successfully).

Thanks again for the feedback and advice!
 

Pheran

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Pheran, that's a valid point, but while cost savings played a small factor, I chose not to go with the X11SSL-CF due to the note on the So, you’ve decided to buy a Supermicro X11 board... guide about the SAS controller "(LSI SAS 3008, not yet guaranteed to work well with FreeNAS)".

I believe you are looking at obsolete information, since the latest Hardware Recommendations Guide states, "The only known-good chip is the SAS 3008." Can anyone confirm or deny?
 

Stux

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Well, I think it's still not as 100% smooth sailing as a 2008. Call it 98%? Which is pretty good.

I would've gone with the 3008, but it is legitimately a little bit less well tested/experienced.
 

Ericloewe

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