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ParanoiaComplex
Dec 29, 2004



As far as homebrew file server motherboards go, I'd recommend the Gigabyte P35-DS3R:



Aside from the fact that it has 8 on-board SATA connections, the board itself is awesome. From a couple of reviews:

"Looking at our own experience with the GA-P35-DS3R, there is no way to directly link the stability and overclocking performance with Gigabyte's Ultra Durable 2 design, but there is no denying that the GA-P35-DS3R is one hell of a smooth overclocker. Gigabyte plays right into this scenario, offering power users higher quality components with the Ultra Durable 2 design and universally raising the bar for motherboard components and quality." - hardwarezone.com review

"The board is fantastically stable, surviving the full 24 hours of bit-tech's stress test that includes two lots of Prime 95, IOMeter and FarCry looping. Even when setting the BIOS straight to 3-3-3-9 (after Ctrl+F1, remember), we had no problems from the outset. Given an early revision BIOS, Gigabyte has excelled itself in making it work so well. We only wished this was repeated in every board we look at, especially in the inexpensive varieties boards where less effort is often applied." - bit-tech.net review

It's terribly expensive either. $142.99 at CanadaComputers.com. It will run current and upcoming (45 nm) Intel processors, sports high quality voltage regulation circuitry, the P35 northbridge with the ICH9R southbridge, and solid stability. I bought one after reading reviews and being sold on the fact that I don't have to shell out for a SATA card. Currently it runs an Ubuntu file server with mdadm in RAID-5 but I might experiment with RAID-Z after reading this thread.

Reviews:
xbitlabs.com
bit-tech.net
hardwarezone.com

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ParanoiaComplex
Dec 29, 2004



Posting to let people know about another potential home NAS case with hotswap drive bays:

Enlight SR 506.



I just ordered it for my home NAS setup because I have more than 4 drives and already have a Gigabyte P35-DS3R (= can't use the ES34069). Came to $95 before tax at NCIX, which is a lot better than some of the other hideously expensive Supermicro cases. Hopefully the money wasn't a complete waste on some poo poo quality case. I'll post about it when I get it.

ParanoiaComplex
Dec 29, 2004



(for some reason, Waffleimages only created thumbnails for some of the images, so I'll post whatever did get created as a thumbnail so that bandwidth can be conserved)

Wooo the case finally came!


Click here for the full 461x615 image.


Lets open it up!



Oh. No hotswap.

Maybe behind the black plastic mesh?



Nope.

I probably should have verified that the case itself came with the hotswap bays in it (instead of relying on the picture and product description ), but they're APPARENTLY sold separately: Enlight Hot Swap SATA SAS Hot Swap Module for SR-506 Chassis, $119.00.

Oh well, that's not entirely a dealbreaker. I'll still continue the trip report.


Click here for the full 1024x768 image.



Click here for the full 768x1024 image.


The case is nice and spacey. Its pretty big and not really that heavy. The side of the case took a little persuading to come off, as with any cheap case. The front however was very easy to take off and put on. Those blue sliding things on the side slide up and down to lock the metal HDD mount bay into place, and I imagine they lock the actual hotswap module too. The module wasn't too hard to remove, and seems to lock in well.


Click here for the full 546x752 image.


Even though it doesn't come with the hotswap modules it promised , it does come with one place to mount 4 hard drives:


Click here for the full 678x454 image.



Click here for the full 829x632 image.


Haven't tried it yet and unfortunately have to take a trip away from my apartment for Thanksgiving weekend (in Canada). I'll end up either spending the $120 for the bays or just moving over the Lian Li EX-34 that I already have, and using the 4 HDD mounts in this case for my 3 (crappy) disc RAID 1 "backup" array. (I already back up on DVD and to other servers, don't start this argument about RAID =/= backup :P)

Would I recommend this case? No idea yet because I haven't moved hardware into it. I am kinda mad about the false advertising though (Enlight SR-506 5U Pedestal Server Chassis Black ATX CEB EEB 3X5.25 8 Hotswap HDD Bays No PS). I might talk to NCIX but its my own drat fault that I didn't search for the SATA hotswap module as an accessory. Oh well. It is still less expensive than that Supermicro one that I linked to previously. Its not as cheap as I thought it would be.

ParanoiaComplex
Dec 29, 2004



Doh004, what Operating System and what software runs the RAID?

ParanoiaComplex
Dec 29, 2004



Can the array be assembled?

If so, how long after the array has been assembled does it fail?

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