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BUILD Thoughts on Plex build

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Wolfeman0101

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This is going to be an upgrade to my current FreeNAS setup which was ultra budget and held up but I want some more storage and more processing for Plex. I will also run SABnzbd, Sick Beard, and some kind of torrenting application on this. I've read so much about RAID-Z vs Z2 and I know the opinion is go Z2 but nothing on here is critical and if I lost it all it would be a pain in the ass to re-rip my DVDs/Blu-rays but not the end of the world. I can save a few hundred bucks going with 6 3TB in RAID-Z as opposed to 6 4TB in RAID-Z2 and end up with about the same usable space.


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i3-4160 3.6GHz Dual-Core Processor ($102.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock E3C224D2I Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($184.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Crucial 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($123.99 @ Adorama)
Storage: Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($111.89 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($111.89 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($111.89 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($111.89 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($111.89 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($111.89 @ OutletPC)
Case: Silverstone DS380B Mini ITX Tower Case ($147.99 @ Directron)
Power Supply: Silverstone 300W 80+ Bronze Certified SFX Power Supply ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1281.29
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-09-24 17:40 EDT-0400
 

SweetAndLow

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using 3tb drive is costing you $71 per TB and using 4TB drives will cost you $62 per TB. And with the raid z2 with 4TB drives you will get 16TB usable and with the raidz1 with 3TB drives you will get 15TB usable. Seems like the 4TB drives in raidz2 will be cheaper and give you more protection.
 

Wolfeman0101

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using 3tb drive is costing you $71 per TB and using 4TB drives will cost you $62 per TB. And with the raid z2 with 4TB drives you will get 16TB usable and with the raidz1 with 3TB drives you will get 15TB usable. Seems like the 4TB drives in raidz2 will be cheaper and give you more protection.
3TB WD Reds are $112 = $37/TB
4TB WD Reds are $149 = $37/TB

Six 3TB in RAID-Z = $44/usable TB (15TB usable)
Six 4TB in RAID-Z2 = $55/usable TB (16TB usable)

Not sure how you did your math or if I'm doing it wrong. I get 1 more TB of storage and pay $220 more dollars for the luxury of 2 parity drives.
 

SweetAndLow

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Include the price of your total build not just the drives. 4TB drives are the sweet spot right now.
 

Nick2253

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If your data really isn't critical, why bother with redundancy at all?

As far as the build goes, the DS380 is a great case, but requires modification in order to not fry your drives. I did everything I could to reduce temps, including buying a bunch of high-speed delta fans, and it just wasn't enough. However, based on a comment in an Amazon review, I went ahead and dremeled a slot in the back of the drive cage. Instant temp drop. I strongly recommend either dremeling or drilling some openings in the back of the drive cage. Let me know if you have any questions about that.
 

Wolfeman0101

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What about the other comp
If your data really isn't critical, why bother with redundancy at all?

As far as the build goes, the DS380 is a great case, but requires modification in order to not fry your drives. I did everything I could to reduce temps, including buying a bunch of high-speed delta fans, and it just wasn't enough. However, based on a comment in an Amazon review, I went ahead and dremeled a slot in the back of the drive cage. Instant temp drop. I strongly recommend either dremeling or drilling some openings in the back of the drive cage. Let me know if you have any questions about that.
It's not critical but it would kinda suck to lose everything hence thinking RAID-Z. Right now I have six 2TB in RAID-Z2 and I'm right at 80% usage. I have crap drives and over 2 years never had a drive fail. Knock on wood.

Where did you drill the holes? How much of a change did it make?
 

Nick2253

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It made a huge change. Before, I was in the 40-45C range for the drives. After, I was under 30. I actually had to undo a bunch of the other changes I made in order to avoid over cooling the drives. :p

For the holes, I basically did the following (see image below). You could probably get away with drilling a couple holes in the top one, and 3-4 holes in the bottom. The issue is that the drives are packed pretty tightly in there, and they have no space to expel the hot air around them.
MnBhTio.png
 

Wolfeman0101

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So you dremeled out that whole section on the top and bottom? That's it?

Also do you think it's worth it to save $40 and go with the Intel Pentium G3420 over the Intel Core i3 4160? I see we have almost the exact same build.
 
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Ericloewe

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Do yourself a favor and get an 80+ Gold PSU.
 

diedrichg

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Ericloewe

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Wolfeman0101

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And somewhat better component choices.


Depends. I'd definitely get an i3-43xx for heavier Plex transcoding, or even a Xeon.
Yeah I think I'll spend the $40 and get the i3-43xx. What do you mean by "And somewhat better component choices."? Just gold is a more solid PSU?
 

Nick2253

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I just dremeled out approximately where I marked. I didn't get rid of the whole section for stability and vibration reasons. After doing it, like I said, I think a couple 1/4" holes would suffice. I don't think you need to remove as much material as I did.

If you're doing 2-3 transcodes, I would at least get the i3.

The gold PSU is overrated. Given the requirements of an SFX PSU, it would take you years to make up the cost of the gold PSU (I'm thinking something like Silverstone ST45SF-G, which is twice as expensive as the bronze). 300W is also more than enough power for your system. The 450W would be unnecessary, and then you'd be farther down the efficiency curve (since you are now at lower utilization), which also mostly negates the benefit of the gold rating.

EDIT: I just did the math on the two PSUs using the data from Jonny Guru (ST30SF and ST45SF-G), and at around a 60W load, the ST30SF is actually more efficient. It's only around 90W where the ST45SF-G becomes more efficient.
 
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Wolfeman0101

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I just dremeled out approximately where I marked. I didn't get rid of the whole section for stability and vibration reasons. After doing it, like I said, I think a couple 1/4" holes would suffice. I don't think you need to remove as much material as I did.

If you're doing 2-3 transcodes, I would at least get the i3.

The gold PSU is overrated. Given the requirements of an SFX PSU, it would take you years to make up the cost of the gold PSU (I'm thinking something like Silverstone ST45SF-G, which is twice as expensive as the bronze). 300W is also more than enough power for your system. The 450W would be unnecessary, and then you'd be farther down the efficiency curve (since you are now at lower utilization), which also mostly negates the benefit of the gold rating.

EDIT: I just did the math on the two PSUs using the data from Jonny Guru (ST30SF and ST45SF-G), and at around a 60W load, the ST30SF is actually more efficient. It's only around 90W where the ST45SF-G becomes more efficient.
Sweet thanks for the math and dremel advice. I'm sticking with the ST30SF.

Have you had any issues with the ASRock E3C224D2I?
 

Nick2253

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The only issues I've had are with the IPMI. Make sure you update both the BIOS and the IPMI firmware when you get the board. After updating, many of my issues went away, but I still discover that I can lock myself out of the IPMI if I try to do too much, too fast. A reboot fixes it, or if I wait a half an hour or so, it seems to come back without problem. If you misclick on something, be patient and let it load; don't try to click on too many things at once. Though I don't think this is just an ASRock issue. I have the same problem with some of my SuperMicro boards.

As far as the actually working of the board is concerned, it's a total champ. No problems whatsoever. The couple cautions I would offer are:
  • Use the Intel ports. Don't be swayed by the sexy Marvell SAS 6Gbps ports: you don't need that speed for spinning platter disks. SATA 3Gbps is more than enough, and the Marvell controllers have problems with FreeNAS
  • Make sure you disable all the unnecessary devices in the BIOS, including the Marvell controller. I've found that disabling the PXE network boot significantly speeds up boot times.
  • I had problems booting my USB stick plugged in to the front headers, but no problems booting off the rear plugs or the onboard plug. When you try to boot your FreeNAS install USB stick, if you have problems, try plugging it in to the back.
  • I can't get the IPMI to work with the FreeNAS GUI, but you really don't need it anyway, so I didn't spend much time troubleshooting it.
That's all that come to mind off the top of my head. If you run in to an issue during install, feel free to shoot me a PM. I'm generally pretty active here throughout the workweek, but not so much on weekends.
 

Wolfeman0101

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Nick2253

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Wolfeman0101

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I got all my components but I can't get it to POST. The E3C224D2I has the 2.10 BIOS so I don't think it's the CPU and I got the CT2KIT102472BD160B RAM which I know others have used. I get no beeps no screen just nothing.
 
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