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Simple Home Server

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Sanford, FL, USA
Processor Intel i5-6600
Motherboard ASRock H170M-ITX
Cooling Cooler Master Geminii S524
Memory G.Skill DDR4-2133 16GB (8GB x 2)
Video Card(s) Gigabyte R9-380X 4GB
Storage Samsung 950 EVO 250GB (mSATA)
Display(s) LG 29UM69G-B 2560x1080 IPS
Case Lian Li PC-Q25
Audio Device(s) Realtek ALC892
Power Supply Seasonic SS-460FL2
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Keyboard Logitech G110
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Today I'd like to share my most recent project. It's no where near as flashy as the visual masterpieces that regularly grace this forum, however, it may be informative as the topic of home server comes up often.

I've been meaning to put together a new home server for quite some time. This will be evident by the CPU choice, an A8-5500 which I purchased years ago. Was on sale for $65 and came with a coupon for EA's upcoming Simcity. Glad I didn't spend any money on that. Total playtime amounts to about 5 hours, but I digress...

Also purchased during this time was the case, a Lian-Li PC-AO4 in silver. It holds seven 3.5" drives natively, along with two 5.25" devices. These pieces sat quietly in the closet until last week when I finally got around to buying a motherboard and hard drive!

Chosen motherboard is the A88X-based ASRock FM2A88M Extreme4+ and initial storage is the HGST Deskstar NAS 4TB. With a rotational speed of 7,200 rpm and vibration sensor it outperforms the Western Digital Red and has a key feature of the Red Pro but at price only a few dollars away from the Red.

The G.Skill DDR3-1866 4GB x 2 I had laying around after upgrading to 8GB x 2 in my main machine. The power supply is standing in for a modular model that I'll purchase in the future. Once there's more drives I'm going to want as few cables in the system as possible. The other drive pictured is a Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB which I was using as a backup before.

So now for backup I'm using Backblaze. For $5/month the software uploads my files in the background to their servers. This keeps storage extremely easy to manage. I might buy another 4TB, or a 6TB, or perhaps even 8TB if the price is right. I'm not tied to a size as each drive is independent.



Yes, I can't wait until I upgrade my connection which will hopefully be soon! 20/2 to 100/10. So far the automatic throttle has worked well, staying unnoticeable when I'm playing a game or uploading.

tl;dr

Specs:
AMD A8-5500 3.2Ghz 65w
ASRock FM2A88M Extreme4+
G.Skill DDR3-1866 4GB x 2
HGST Deskstar NAS 4TB
Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB
Lian-Li PC-A04
Corsair CX430

Idle power draw: 32w

Things I'm doing with it:
- IIS Webserver
- MS SQL Server 2014 Express
- Friends and family Minecraft server
- Shared storage

Future things:
- Add a Blu-Ray
- Add a TV Tuner
- Add more drives as needed of course.
- Get modular power suppy to reduce cables/use custom length cables.
- Use as HTPC (don't have a TV, otherwise would be connected already)
- Once I get a new Sycthe Ninja 4, this box can inherit my Ninja 3 reducing the fan count by 1.

It's been running for 3 weeks now and I'm quite happy with it. Not as imposing as the ATX towers I have around here but still allows a lot of expandability due to the four peripheral slots mATX boards have and the 8 SATA ports of the A88X chipset.



(Not pictured: additional 3 x 3.5" bay, additional front 120mm fan)
 
Joined
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Sanford, FL, USA
Processor Intel i5-6600
Motherboard ASRock H170M-ITX
Cooling Cooler Master Geminii S524
Memory G.Skill DDR4-2133 16GB (8GB x 2)
Video Card(s) Gigabyte R9-380X 4GB
Storage Samsung 950 EVO 250GB (mSATA)
Display(s) LG 29UM69G-B 2560x1080 IPS
Case Lian Li PC-Q25
Audio Device(s) Realtek ALC892
Power Supply Seasonic SS-460FL2
Mouse Logitech G700s
Keyboard Logitech G110
Software Windows 10 Pro
Didn't talk too much about before but I'm quite happy with the Deskstar NAS drive. Always responsive when I want to browse (I believe it doesn't spin-down, need to double-check that) and the machine as a whole handles large transfers at 100MB/s with ease. It's not the 116MB/s I get at work but I'll retest after I switch out some networking equipment.

Speaking of, the main piece I want to replace is a Western Digital MyNet 900. WD came into the home networking scene strong with high-end models... then stopped. Completely. So here I'm left with a router that hasn't been patched in over a year. That was one reason for trying the Deskstar NAS over a Red/Red Pro (payback!). The other was a very positive review over at storagereview.com.

Also, found a pic of the old home servers, two dual Xeon Dell Poweredge servers. We had stopped using them at work so I gave them a home.

Those things put out so much heat and drew so much power that I shut them after about a years of use and started the plan for the server I posted above. Still have the cases are they're tough steel eATX cases which may be used in a project in the future.

 
Last edited:
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Benchmark Scores Not high enough
So you plaing on raid for your storage?
What was your reason for getting a server? mine was getting the stroage disks out of the cabinet.

You have more hours than i have on simcity, not that it matters.
 

Bo$$

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such high power draw!!! I used a AM1 cpu, can pull 100mb/s off the 4tb array (RAID1) and it makes almost 0 noise

what you you use for minecraft for admin access?
 
Joined
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Storage Samsung 950 EVO 250GB (mSATA)
Display(s) LG 29UM69G-B 2560x1080 IPS
Case Lian Li PC-Q25
Audio Device(s) Realtek ALC892
Power Supply Seasonic SS-460FL2
Mouse Logitech G700s
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Software Windows 10 Pro
So you plaing on raid for your storage?
What was your reason for getting a server? mine was getting the stroage disks out of the cabinet.

You have more hours than i have on simcity, not that it matters.

Years ago when I started planning there was going to be RAID but recently decided to run them all independently. I'm not against RAID by any means, in fact there are several arrays here at home and especially at work where RAID+backups is a given. I wanted to keep this box as simple as possible as well as maximum the capacity. It's also an exercise in need vs want because the other factor is money (as always). Had an unexpected monitor failure recently, saving for a new car, and we have a two-room renovation planned.

Your reason is one of my reasons as well. Before the server I was storing data on 8 very old drives between 320GB and 640GB with only a single 2TB drive as backup. As you could probably guess that wasn't enough space to backup everything.

Another was to cancel my GoDaddy virtual server and just host from home. I use to do a lot of small contract programming gigs but I've been contracted at the same place for the last 4 years and they have their own development servers. So hosting from home has became more practical since I mostly just do personal projects now.

Also, no more warning everyone when I need to restart my own machine in case they were watching a movie off a file share or in Minecraft.

Ultimately I'd like to scale down and have all our computers be small ITX boxes with a decent amount of local storage for applications, but have the bulk (movies, music, etc) on the server. My wife's machine is already like this but me and the kids still have ATX towers.

such high power draw!!! I used a AM1 cpu, can pull 100mb/s off the 4tb array (RAID1) and it makes almost 0 noise

what you you use for minecraft for admin access?

I have to put my ear to the case to hear this one as all the fans are speed-controlled by the motherboard. I'll have it transcoding in the future when I rip my DVDs, but by then the stock heatsink will have been replaced.

Nothing really, I just edited the basic server config to the settings we like and white-listed the accounts of friends/family. Every 3 or 4 months we get tired of the map, delete the folder, and restart the server creating a new map to build/explore.



The kids like to be above ground, I'm usually in the caves or building in a mountain.
 
Last edited:

t_ski

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What OS are you using? I missed that if it was listed above.
 

Aquinus

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Joined
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Messages
4,265 (0.85/day)
Location
Sanford, FL, USA
Processor Intel i5-6600
Motherboard ASRock H170M-ITX
Cooling Cooler Master Geminii S524
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Video Card(s) Gigabyte R9-380X 4GB
Storage Samsung 950 EVO 250GB (mSATA)
Display(s) LG 29UM69G-B 2560x1080 IPS
Case Lian Li PC-Q25
Audio Device(s) Realtek ALC892
Power Supply Seasonic SS-460FL2
Mouse Logitech G700s
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Software Windows 10 Pro
Yup, Windows 7.

Last job was all Linux/Apache/MySQL, but at my current gig its 99% Windows Server/IIS/SQL Server 2012. I like to keep up with coming up so I'm playing around with SQL Server 2014.

Backblaze doesn't have a Linux client but if anyone was interested Crashplan does and is also unlimited. I would have gone with them if I had ended up with Linux.
 

t_ski

Former Staff
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Memory 4 x 8GB EVGA SuperSC DDR4-3200
Video Card(s) EVGA 1080 SuperClocked
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Power Supply Corsair AX1200
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Joined
Aug 10, 2007
Messages
4,265 (0.85/day)
Location
Sanford, FL, USA
Processor Intel i5-6600
Motherboard ASRock H170M-ITX
Cooling Cooler Master Geminii S524
Memory G.Skill DDR4-2133 16GB (8GB x 2)
Video Card(s) Gigabyte R9-380X 4GB
Storage Samsung 950 EVO 250GB (mSATA)
Display(s) LG 29UM69G-B 2560x1080 IPS
Case Lian Li PC-Q25
Audio Device(s) Realtek ALC892
Power Supply Seasonic SS-460FL2
Mouse Logitech G700s
Keyboard Logitech G110
Software Windows 10 Pro
Blu-ray drive came in today, an LG BH16NS40. Doing good so far, ripped a DVD easily as well as a Blu-Ray. It's doing a second Blu-Ray as we speak.



It's really a slick looking drive which my poor lighting doesn't do justice, so here's a product shot off the LG site:



The decision came down to this one and a Pioneer model which was also highly rated. Ended up with the LG as I'm far more likely to burn M-Disc than BD-RE DL, which is only difference I saw between the two.

For a slick drive, a slick install. Bought an Okgear 18" Left Angle SATA cable as I knew I'd need one to loop around the back of the motherboard without a twist or blocking a port (note the notch direction of the bottom ports).



 
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