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I'm thinking of building another pc


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#1
Denisejm

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Hi,

I need a motherboard that has up to 12 ports on it, even if it has the controller on the motherboard but I haven't been able to find one. I don't want to have to add a controller. Can someone help me out?
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#2
skyhintack

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What kind of motherboard, a server, Intel, AMD...?

With AMD, the max I see is 7, while with Intel the max is 10.

Edited by skyhintack, 14 January 2009 - 08:23 PM.

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#3
Denisejm

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I'm starting with the requirement that the motherboard has a lot of ports for drives, JBOD if possible. I don't have any other requirements.
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#4
Denisejm

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Ok, it might help you to know a lot more info. I use my pc mostly for videos. I have 22 ext hdds and a 1T on the way.
So quality video and sound is important.
Since I don't want to set up a RAID Array, JBOD is important.
I have a mix of SATA, Firewire and USB 2.0 drives but I'm phasing out the USB 2.0 drives and replacing them with SATA II drives when they fail, but I want to take as many of them as I can out of their cases and make them int hdds.
The case that I'm thinking about buying is http://www.outletpc.com/c0733.html
I can't say that money is no object but I'll buy the parts as money becomes available, but I want quality, sturdy and fast parts.
I want at least 2x1G twin sticks of RAM or 4x1G, the fastest that the mobo can take. If it's as slow as DDR PC3200 or less, it's too slow.
I've been reading about quad-core. I'm not sure if that's a quad-core cpu but, if it is, I'd like that.

I want a system that can handle a lot of video traffic and use without crashing and freezing.
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#5
Troy

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Hi Denisejm, I remember reading that epic thread over at WTT... :)

I truly think dsenette was onto something when he mentioned a NAS solution with a RAID 5 implementation. That way, you could set up one or two of these, and have data redundancy - you'd never have to worry about copying over large files again!

Find a setup that makes use of Gigabit ethernet connection to your computer, and it well and truly should be enough transfer bandwidth to enjoy your data movies nice and fast.

What do you think about that idea? It might be a bit expensive to setup, but it will be pretty easy from then on.

Troy

EDIT: I notice the usernames are slightly different... is that your thread?

Edited by Troy, 15 January 2009 - 07:53 AM.

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#6
Denisejm

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I notice the usernames are slightly different... is that your thread?

That's my thread. When I join a forum, there are times that my name is already taken so I have to use something different. I'd prefer to use Denise_M but denisejm has been my name here for quite a while and I'd rather keep it. My threads tend to get long because I have a lot of questions, but I've learned a lot.



DeSenette said

there are such things as NAS devices (Network Attached Storage)....basically a box of hard drives with a network card....you can get these in IMMENSE sizes...like in the terabyte range....which is the storage volume you're needing....

I have a total of approximately 16T in hdds. I don't know if the drives come with the NAS devices, he didn't say, but if they do, it would cost me a small fortune . . . the reason I decided not to go that route. I could set up a RAID Array with some of the drives that I have but there are different files on each drive. My back-up files are on USB 2.0 and Firewire hdds, so I have a miscombobulated organized mess.

Also, I've never seen a computer with a RAID Array set up so I don't know how it would work in my particular circumstances, with 99% videos. I understand how a RAID Array works. If I did set it up (if I had that much money) and didn't like it, I'd be stuck with it.

I was originally thinking about JBOD multi-enclosures, into which I can move my existing externals, but decided to explore building another computer.
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#7
james_8970

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I don't know if the drives come with the NAS devices,

Typically the NAS boxes don't come with hard drives. NAS would definatly be an option here, but as you said it is expensive, but you need to see if it's worth the additional convince. Additionally, I'm not sure what you're plans are here, but building a windows home server might be more convient if you want to install 10+ drives in one location. These boxes (NAS) are typically limited to 2-5 drive configurations and vary in price. Drobo is one of these boxes, but it lacks the capability of attaching the device to a network, unless you shell out another 200$ for the add on, which will work with up to 2 drobo devices.

Unfortunately you won't find a motherboard with 12 SATA ports and that socket, but getting another add on card is a simple installation and cheap. By any chance have you looked into Windows Home Server? It'll configure a variation of software RAID automatically and adjusts as you add drives. I have never used it as I went straight for Windows Server 2008, but based on what I've heard, it's VERY simple to set up. Additionally, Microsoft offers a free 90 day trial.
One other thing that you're going to have to look into is a case. Finding a case that'll fit the amount of drive you want to install isn't by any means cheap. What is your target budget and do you have a spare computer on hand? It can be ancient, it doesn't matter.
James

Edited by james_8970, 26 January 2009 - 04:58 PM.

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#8
Denisejm

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I've been looking at this case http://www.outletpc.com/c0733.html

I found this motherboard last night, but I haven't found a store that sells them. It looks like it might be discontinued.
http://usa.asus.com/...amp;modelmenu=1

If I can't have 10 to 12 int hdds, I would add mult-enclosures that hold 4 or 5 drives in a JBOD configuration for the others. If I could see how a SATA Array works with videos on just one computer, I'd take it under more consideration, but the fear of the unknown here is strong. I don't want to lose files that are on even one ext hdd by accident.

Are NAS boxes the same as multi-enclosures?

I have a SATA 4-port controller card and a two 4-port SATA HUBs, which gives me a total of 10 eSATA ports. I could use one or two of them to make up for the lack of sufficient SATA int hdd bays, and my USB 2.0 ext hdds can be placed in the tower, eliminating a number of ext hdds. Each IDE port could support 2 USB 2.0 ext hdds internally.

My goal is to eliminate as many ext hdds as possible and to build an almost invinsible computer :)
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#9
james_8970

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While the case you listed is a 10 bay case, when you break it down it has four optical drive spaces, two 3.5 external (floppy is the most common, but there are other drives that fit in here) drive spaces and then 4 interior 3.5" drive spaces (used for hard drives). So really, that case can only support 4 hard drives, unless you purchase a 4in3 converter. Basically this converter makes three 5.25" drive bays fit four 3.5" hard drives. I think you're best bet would be to do the following.
CM690 case
Converter
I don't think you're going to get a much better combo for the price then getting these two items. Basically you're going to install the Silverstone converter into the case to give you a total of 9 drives. If you want more, you can buy another converter to get 12 drives, but there will be no additional space for an optical drive.

If I can't have 10 to 12 int hdds, I would add mult-enclosures that hold 4 or 5 drives in a JBOD configuration for the others.

For simplicity, I think buying something similar to a drobo is your best route. It might not be the most cost efficient way, but I think it'll be the easiest. Convenience has it's price :)

If I could see how a SATA Array works with videos on just one computer, I'd take it under more consideration, but the fear of the unknown here is strong. I don't want to lose files that are on even one ext hdd by accident.

If you install windows home server, it does it sets everything up for you automatically, nothing needs to be done on your part. If you have installed windows before, there is really nothing that could go wrong.

Are NAS boxes the same as multi-enclosures?

If by multiple enclosures, you mean multiple external hard drives, then no, NAS boxes are completely different. External hard drives simply store data and act like a single unit, NAS on the other hand makes all the hard drives act as a team. If one of the drives failed, the information would be backed up onto other hard drives and once you added a new hard drive, the array will automatically be rebuilt, the data would be redistrubuted evenly amongst the drives and you would be able to access your data all over again. Basically, it's a file server in a box. I highly suggest you read this wikipedia article to familiarize yourself with NAS.

I suggest you take a look into the drobo.
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822240010

I also suggest looking at this video.


James

Edited by james_8970, 16 January 2009 - 08:55 AM.

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#10
Denisejm

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An external drive bay is not something that I'm familiar with. Would you please explain it to me?

A multi-enclosure is an external storage container for 4 or 5 drives and connect as either SATA or JBOD
http://www.pc-pitsto...es/scsat4eb.asp

A JBOD multi-enclosure would need 4 cables connected to 4 SATA ports. It just compacts the space that separate external hdds use on a shelf. When you look at the picture you can see how I could clean up the mess I have by getting a tower and a mobo that supports as many drives as possible and add 1 or maybe 2 multi-enclosures.

The first attached pictures shows a number of my drives. If you look closely to the forefront of the picture, you'll see 4 external hdds sitting on top of my sub-woofer, 3 standing upright and one lying down up front. The gap on the shelf where the ext hdds are lined up was where one of my recently failed ext hdds sat, but I'm going to check to see if it works in another case. The second picture shows 3 Firewire ext hdds sitting on a shelf underneath my pc desk. It's a real mess and I want to clean it up. External hdds don't last very long either, another reason for wanting internal drives. I've found that it's usually because the cases break (2 out of 3 "failed" drives work in another case) but sometimes the drives fail too.

The converter at the link you posted sounds very good. It'll give me the extra internal bays but I need an optical drive.

I don't like 2 things about the case, though . . . the case has a mesh top. The top of my tower gets very dusty and I can imagine the amount of dust that would get inside the case from the top. I also don't like the ports on the top of the case.

I checked out the link for the drobo and I can't afford it since I have to purchase all the other parts.
.
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Edited by Denisejm, 16 January 2009 - 12:06 AM.

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#11
james_8970

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That's a lot of external hard drives :)

An external drive bay is not something that I'm familiar with. Would you please explain it to me?

By external drive bay, I mean an external hard drive.

I checked out the link for the drobo and I can't afford it since I have to purchase all the other parts.

What parts are you talking about? Aside from the drobo itself, there is nothing that you need to buy.

You could also look into something like this, a far cheaper alternative to NAS, but these lacks the simplicity of a device like a drobo.
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16816111051
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16816111057

I don't like 2 things about the case, though . . . the case has a mesh top. The top of my tower gets very dusty and I can imagine the amount of dust that would get inside the case from the top. I also don't like the ports on the top of the case.

Fair enough, before I go looking around for other cases, I want you to decide what you wish to do here. Building a home server, buying a NAS or purchasing one of the devices similar to the drobo and what I listed above. If you need additional information to decide, feel free to ask. Going the NAS method will be the most expensive, you'd be looking at over a thousands dollars, going with drobo (which is essentially a NAS setup, you just need to buy an additional add on for network capabilities), again, you're looking at over a thousand dollars, building a home server, you're likely to be looking at around 800$, but it'll be the most complex method if you have never built a computer before and then the last option with the multi-enclosure devices that I pointed out in the links above, that will be around 550$.

Lastly, by getting JBOD setup, you're really not going to be gain that much over all the external hard drives that you already have. The only advantages you're going to get is all the drives showing up as a single drive and a cleaner setup. Not really worth 600$ in my personal opinion, but I'll leave that up to you to decide. Finding some kind of rack at walmart would be far cheaper. Lastly, to the best of my knowledge, the drives are going to have to be empty prior to setting up any of the above options.

James

Edited by james_8970, 16 January 2009 - 10:24 AM.

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#12
Denisejm

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In post #9, you said the tower has

two 3.5 external (floppy is the most common, but there are other drives that fit in here) drive spaces

These are the 2 external drives that I questioned. Would it hold another hard drive?


Lastly, by getting JBOD setup, you're really not going to be gain that much over all the external hard drives that you already have. The only advantages you're going to get is all the drives showing up as a single drive and a cleaner setup.

The way that I'm understanding it, the drives that are inside the tower will show up as individual drives, even the ones that are inside the converter. The drives that would be placed inside an external multi-enclosure will also be seen as individual drives because each drive would be connected to it's own SATA port.


Aside from the drobo itself, there is nothing that you need to buy.

In total, I'll need to buy the tower, a motherboard, a converter, a multi-enclosure, a cpu and heatsink/fan and RAM. I have a Corsair 620W psu in my pc right now, which should be powerful enough to use. I don't mind paying more money for the these parts in order to get what I want, up to a certain extent.


The motherboard will need to have a sufficient number of internal SATA and USB 2.0 ports. I was just surfing again and found these motherboards. I don't understand half the technical terms though. This is the reason why I wanted help choosing parts.

http://www.tigerdire...ygtCjCVRqCjCVRq

This site lists a lot of boards that have 6 SATA ports and 6 PATA ports:
http://www.atacom.co...CFQsaHgod-HcGng

I looked through a number of them and they almost all seem to be the same . . . I don't understand a lot of the info given, especially the abbreviations.
.
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EDIT: I just found this case with 12 bays.
http://www.sageitdep...ter-Case/Detail
.
.

Edited by Denisejm, 16 January 2009 - 01:40 PM.

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#13
james_8970

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These are the 2 external drives that I questioned. Would it hold another hard drive?

There might be a converter, but none that I know of, the rails would likely make the space to tight to fit any 3.5" drives (hard drives).

The way that I'm understanding it, the drives that are inside the tower will show up as individual drives, even the ones that are inside the converter. The drives that would be placed inside an external multi-enclosure will also be seen as individual drives because each drive would be connected to it's own SATA port.

Yes, there are methods of doing it inside your case, I was just listing the possibility of doing it outside of your case. Internally, the cards will vary in price, but it would only cost about 100$, assuming you have the necessary ports on your computer.

In total, I'll need to buy the tower, a motherboard, a converter, a multi-enclosure, a cpu and heatsink/fan and RAM. I have a Corsair 620W psu in my pc right now, which should be powerful enough to use. I don't mind paying more money for the these parts in order to get what I want, up to a certain extent.

What leads you to believe this? The drobo will hook up to any PC. If you are stating this because your computer only has USB1.x, upgrading to USB2.0 only costs 10$ and a little bit of time.

I looked through a number of them and they almost all seem to be the same . . . I don't understand a lot of the info given, especially the abbreviations.

Give me the specific words that you don't understand and need clarification, I can explain them to you.

Essentially what it comes down to is that you don't need to build a a new PC, heck, you could pop all your existing components into a new case if you really want everything internal.
James

Edited by james_8970, 16 January 2009 - 01:51 PM.

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#14
Denisejm

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LOL . . . I think we might be coming from two different ways to handle my storage capacity . . . a new build and updating my external hard drive enclosures, combining them into 4 to 12 drive enclosures. When you mentioned the drobo, I thought you meant that I'd have to purchase it along with all the other components for a new build.

If I were to keep my present pc, I think the 4-bay drobo, at $400.00, is too expensive compared to an external 4 drive SATA enclosure w/eSATA connectors for $139.00 http://www.pc-pitsto...es/scsat4eb.asp
I don't have a PCI-e port available for the drobo either for or the other 2 enclosures that you provided a link for.

You did catch my attention when you said

Essentially what it comes down to is that you don't need to build a a new PC, heck, you could pop all your existing components into a new case if you really want everything internal.

I don't understand how this could be possible. My motherboard has only 2 SATA ports. How would I connect the remaining drives that I put in the tower? http://www.asus.com/...n...2=15&l3=260 Is it possible?

Edited by Denisejm, 16 January 2009 - 03:17 PM.

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#15
james_8970

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I was sitting on the bus coming home 30 minutes ago and something dawned on me. How many of these hard drives are IDE? Assuming these drives are older then 1 year, there is a very good chance that you won't be able to do much of anything that we talked about in this thread with many of your drives.

I don't understand how this could be possible. My motherboard has only 2 SATA ports. How would I connect the remaining drives that I put in the tower? http://www.asus.com/...n...2=15&l3=260 Is it possible?

By using this controller card.
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16816110002
Keep in mind, that XP is only supported. There are other controllers, but all of them are cheaper and people seem to have a worse experience with them. Though, I think people are having experiences with them due to RAID configurations, rather then the JBOD configuration you're attempting to build here.

Lastly, that enclosure you keep bringing up will require a additional controller for eSATA. Because you're computer doesn't have any additional SATA heads, you're options are very limited. You need something similar to what I have found below, but considering the negative reviews on the product, I wouldn't recommend purchasing it.
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16815290004

After seeing that board, you might be right, it might be best to build from scratch. Are you willing to do this and how much are you willing to spend?
James

Edited by james_8970, 16 January 2009 - 04:14 PM.

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