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Thread: Advice wanted - turn old hardware into a NAS

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    Advice wanted - turn old hardware into a NAS

    Due to a recent system upgrade I am looking at turning the hardware below into a cheap, and preferably low power, NAS and would appreciate any and all advice on the topic

    C2D e6600
    Abit AB9-Pro mobo, has 9 SATA and 1 eSATA on various controllers
    4x1GB DDR2 667
    Old Thermaltake case, plenty of HD space
    Old PSU, 400W I believe

    Need a very cheap PCIe gfx card just to get system access
    Will be grabbing 3+ 1-2TB HD's but plan to run the OS off a pendrive if poss

    Now I do have experience using Ubuntu which I use on my revo HTPC and I'm guessing a linux OS is the best option to keep this going, however I would prefer some form of desktop gui as my skills are not that strong. My primary concerns are;

    How do I make this system as low power as poss, can I drop the e6600 consumption?
    Do I drop 2GB of the 4GB for further savings?
    Is there a good Ubuntu (or other) app that can provide NAS features or do I just take the dive for freenas?

    TIA

    d3fiant

  2. #2
    mush-mushroom b0redom's Avatar
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    Re: Advice wanted - turn old hardware into a NAS

    Openfiler = Linux based NAS.

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    Re: Advice wanted - turn old hardware into a NAS

    Quote Originally Posted by d3fiant View Post
    ... plan to run the OS off a pendrive if poss ...
    I'm not sure how easy it is to run an OS off a pendrive, but it might be worth considering an IDE - CF adapter and a medium sized CF card as an alternative. I'd assume that a NAS-specific linux distro will probably be lightweight enough to fit on a 4GB or 8GB card which can be had for £15 - £20...

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    Re: Advice wanted - turn old hardware into a NAS

    @b0redom - will take a looksy, cheers for the headsup

    @scaryjim - u can run ubuntu from a pendrive which is where I got the idea from, I dont need performance on the OS side as all file movement would happen on some form of raid array on the mobo, prob RAID5, the data wont be irreplacable but want some basic form of protection against a single HD failure
    Last edited by d3fiant; 20-09-2010 at 12:40 PM.

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    Re: Advice wanted - turn old hardware into a NAS

    Low power is your issue.

    Over time it will cost you most than buying a newer machine (probably lower spec though)

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    Re: Advice wanted - turn old hardware into a NAS

    Very tru, I was hoping the 65w for the e6600 would help and its ability to speedstep. The HD's will be the major consumer Im guessing but that is the same no matter what system hosts them.

    Currently I have a rather full 1TB drive connected via eSATA to my Acer Revo 3610 HTPC but need to take the next step in storage. I have looked at a number of embedded and atom based SOHO NAS filers but they are pricey and I do have the above kit lying around

  7. #7
    jim
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    Re: Advice wanted - turn old hardware into a NAS

    If you underclock and undervolt the CPU it should do okay.

    Whilst a lower power system would be fine, and do the job at a lower daily cost, I suspect it would take a very long time to reap the benefits.

    You could probably flog half of the RAM, but it would only net you an extra £20 or so. Might be worth keeping for spare if nothing else.

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    Re: Advice wanted - turn old hardware into a NAS

    yep, the undervolting and underclock is the main purpose of my post here, can't find much info on the best way to do it for my CPU. the 65w for the CPU alone was a worry because my entire Revo HTPC apparently pulls 27W during normnal use so I suppose an external eSATA 3 disk caddy is another option, if they exist

    BTW, would love that WHS atom server u have, if I had the funds thats where I'd be heading
    Last edited by d3fiant; 20-09-2010 at 01:28 PM.

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    Re: Advice wanted - turn old hardware into a NAS

    Just a few figures for you.

    Linkstation pro nas with samsung 1.5tb drive 13watts
    Thecus n2100 with 2x crappy maxtor 250 gig drives 17 watts.

    If you are looking at 65w idle... about £60 a year in electricity
    If you are looking at 13w static... about £12 a year in electricity

  10. #10
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    Re: Advice wanted - turn old hardware into a NAS

    Hexus did a review of your motherboard back in 2006. I've linked to the BIOS page of the review there as, unfortunately, it would appear that the lowest selectable voltage is 1.325v, which doesn't sound very low to me: in fact it sounds decidedly stock. However you might be able to save some juice by reducing the FSB to reduce overall clockspeed. FSB is reducable as low as 133MHz (533MHz FSB) and power consumption does scale with clock speed, so you should be able to save some power that way.

  11. #11
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    Re: Advice wanted - turn old hardware into a NAS

    thanks for the feedback, looks like I may as well just flog the current hardware and save up for a better solution

  12. #12
    jim
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    Re: Advice wanted - turn old hardware into a NAS

    Quote Originally Posted by d3fiant View Post
    BTW, would love that WHS atom server u have, if I had the funds thats where I'd be heading
    It's a lot easier to justify when you've got absolutely no spare components and are starting from fresh, I'll say that much!

    It's fairly expensive for what it is, but it's definitely compact and smart-looking - which is exactly what I needed.

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