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Thread: Completely silent NAS

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    mush-mushroom b0redom's Avatar
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    Completely silent NAS

    Hi All,
    I have an OpenFiler based NAS. It's currently running on a Fujitsu-Siemens Server - with an E2160 chip in it. The only problem is that it's getting a bit noisy.

    It's loaded up with 5x 750GB drives, but I suspect the problem is the fans - they've started to hum a bit.

    I'm considering replacing the drives with:

    Western Digital Caviar Greens: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/15TB-...ATA-3Gb-s-32MB

    And the PSU with:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/300W-...and-24-Pin-ATX

    And the case with something slightly bigger, maybe:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Asus-...TX-Without-PSU

    The case really makes no difference, as it'll sit in a cupboard under the stairs.

    Can anyone recommend a (preferably fanless) CPU cooler?

    Any other recommendations?

  2. #2
    Admin team peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Completely silent NAS

    I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that for a quiet NAS, an ITX bsed solution with a low power consumption CPU matched with one of the split PSUs (main valtage generator on the case and an external laptop type PSU for the main voltage conversion) is the way to go. The only downsides are that most small ITX cases only have one internal (2.5") bay and so you are forced to use external drives, the internal expansion is limited (but not really a problem on a dedicated NAS) and they are expensive to build.

    Otherwise in your case not sure what to suggest. If it is the coller that is generating the most news, changing the fan (if that is possible may be a solution) but that is quite a powerful machine for a simple NAS - although you didn't say what sort of system it is hanging off! - or if it was doing anything else apart from file serving.
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    Re: Completely silent NAS

    I would have thought any decent aftermarket CPU cooler would do the trick if you have 5 750GB drives spinning within inches of it, it's these that you'll hear. I'd recommend the Xigmatek range, the 120mm version is silent to my ears.

    Out of interest, if it's in a cupboard under the stairs why does it have to be quiet?

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    Re: Completely silent NAS

    Are you sure it's the fans that are humming?
    For me, even a single 7200RPM drive screwed into the drive bays transfers too much vibration into the case (resulting in humming). Two 7200RPM drives running together create worse noise than one because it can develop a kind of cycling of loud/quiet, and given you've got five I would look there first.

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    Re: Completely silent NAS

    I'd get an fan cooled PSU tbh, something half that price will be inaudiable, enermax liberty eco something like that.

    HDD mounting as above.

    And possible case fans if needed.

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    Re: Completely silent NAS

    I'm not sure a fanless solution would be appropriate if your storing it in a cupboard under the stairs, airflow must be restricted, making the temp rocket.
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    Re: Completely silent NAS

    In my experience, completely silent NAS=completely slow NAS. Tried many options a couple of years back (Thecus, etc.) but could not get the performance I wanted. Eventually I built a small 'server/NAS' using an ITX board, with AMD CPU, and a couple of SATA controllers, 120cm fans, and used Gentoo. Reason was, I needed to upload/download big files, often. If you're just streaming audio/video to a single PC, then one of those NAs boxes might be OK. I guess what I'm saying is be careful about performance - its easy to be disappointed. I haven't been tempted back, as yet.

    EDIT - I put all this kit, on rubber isolation mounts, in a modified Lian-Li MATX chassis.

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    Re: Completely silent NAS

    Quote Originally Posted by toolshed View Post
    In my experience, completely silent NAS=completely slow NAS. Tried many options a couple of years back (Thecus, etc.) but could not get the performance I wanted. Eventually I built a small 'server/NAS' using an ITX board, with AMD CPU, and a couple of SATA controllers, 120cm fans, and used Gentoo. Reason was, I needed to upload/download big files, often. If you're just streaming audio/video to a single PC, then one of those NAs boxes might be OK. I guess what I'm saying is be careful about performance - its easy to be disappointed. I haven't been tempted back, as yet.

    EDIT - I put all this kit, on rubber isolation mounts, in a modified Lian-Li MATX chassis.
    I used to run an A64 3000+ Undervolted as NAS. The CPU and motherboard doesn't need a fan, The only noise is from the PSU and the hdds. Running hardware RAID5 gives me 70MB/s over GbE easy. Just want to say it doesn't need to be an ITX board for a good NAS.

    Personally I think ITX boards are overrated. It might be small on its own but after adding all the components, the slightly bigger mATX board doesn't make a difference. And I don't see any ITX cases that will fit massive amount of HDDs. Putting an ITX board in a mATX case sort of defeat the purpose of the case size.
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    mush-mushroom b0redom's Avatar
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    Re: Completely silent NAS

    Well, after a bit of poking around, it seems like one of the VMs on the NAS had hit 100% disk usage in the / filesystem, which was causing the host to run at 99% CPU. Fixed that, and it's dropped to pretty close to silent again.

    Guess I'll stick to what I have for the time being, and maybe swap out the disks to the Western Digital 'green' ones when they come down a little in price and availability gets better.

    Cheers...

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    Jay
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    Re: Completely silent NAS

    I use a mini ITX board fanless, with a SSD for boot (FreeNAS) and allow the disks to spin down. Website etc is run off an SSD and data store is on the disks. That means that when I or anyone accesses the website the disks don't need to spin up. Its silent... nothing moves.
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    Re: Completely silent NAS

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay View Post
    I use a mini ITX board fanless, with a SSD for boot (FreeNAS) and allow the disks to spin down. Website etc is run off an SSD and data store is on the disks. That means that when I or anyone accesses the website the disks don't need to spin up. Its silent... nothing moves.
    I'm looking at building something similar, although I probably won't use SSDs - still a bit expensive! The only problem I can see with itx cases is that the capacity for internal drives is usually limitedto one, so for RAID 1 you have to resort to an ESATA caddy - not a problem technically, but moves away from a small quiet compact unit.
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    Re: Completely silent NAS

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    I'm looking at building something similar, although I probably won't use SSDs - still a bit expensive! The only problem I can see with itx cases is that the capacity for internal drives is usually limitedto one, so for RAID 1 you have to resort to an ESATA caddy - not a problem technically, but moves away from a small quiet compact unit.
    I could probably do the same with my Mini9 + Internal SSD + 2nd SSD (SDHC Card) + A couple of external USB drives. Cost less, take up less space (though more plugs) and easier to build.

    Though what b0redom running is not ONLY a NAS.
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