Project Plex Expansion

Discussion in 'DIY Server and Workstation Builds' started by custom90gt, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. custom90gt

    custom90gt New Member

    Nov 17, 2016
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    So I've had my Plex/home server up and running for a while now and I've been pretty happy with it. Outside of being reliant on wireless (can't figure out a way to run ethernet to my TVs without a ton of work), I really haven't had any issues with it. Having said that, I'm not a huge subscriber to the if it ain't broke don't fix it thought, I love to tinker. Initially I started out with the smallest case I could go with and still having enough storage. My next case was a Fractal Define R5 which held 8 3.5" drives and thanks to a 2x5.25 to 2.5 bay it also held 8 2.5" drives. So out with the old:

    Old Setup.jpg

    Well I'm finally hitting the point where I'm going to start needing more hard drives so I figured it would be fun to upgrade to something with some future proofing. Enter the Supermicro 846 4U 24 bay case.

    I would love to upgrade my hardware with something like a 3900x and 2080ti but I may have to wait a little bit on that. I was fortunate that my scythe mugen 5 fits in this 4U case! Great cooler for a good price:

    Scythe Mugen 5.jpg

    I wanted to do the test fit first. My next phase was sleeving the power distribution cables and figuring out the fan wall. The fan wall was pretty easy to make with some 90* wood trim that I had and my jigsaw. Not the best looking thing, but it works. I also forgot how much I dislike sleeving stuff, my molex tool broke 1/4 of the way through and using a sim tool was a pain. I also had to add a Corsair Commander Pro to control the fan speeds. This thing was super loud at full blast:


    Case: Supermicro 846
    Backplane: BPN-SAS2-846EL1
    Mobo: Asrock x470 taichi
    CPU: AMD 2700x
    RAM: ADATA 32GB (4x8GB) right now but I ordered some Trident Z Neo 3600mhz for cheap.
    GPU: EVGA RTX 2070 Black
    Power Supplies: 2x Supermicro PWS-920P-SQ 920W Platinum (much quieter than the stock power supplies)
    Fans: stock 80mm San Ace fans in the rear, 3x Noctua NF-F12 iPPC 3000 PWM that I need to create a better mount for
    Drives: 1TB SX8200 NVMe for OS, 8x8TB WD/Hitachi shucked drives, 2x6TB Hitachi SAS, 2x400GB SLC drives for cache/journal drives, a couple 256-512GB SSDs for caching/temp drives.
    SAS controller: LSI 9400-16i thanks to @CaptainPoundSand

    I'm still running storage spaces in Windows 10 on it, one parity setup and one simple expanded as a backup (I also have a couple of 10TB external drives as backups of the backups). I would love to do a ZFS setup, but I like running windows natively as I also use it as a Steam Stream machine:

    Storage Spaces.PNG
    Patrick, Marsh and CaptainPoundSand like this.
  2. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
    Staff Member

    Dec 21, 2010
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    I think many on these forums started with a desktop case and migrated to a server chassis they tried making quiet.
    croakz and custom90gt like this.
  3. PigLover

    PigLover Moderator

    Jan 26, 2011
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    Nice build. Like the fan wall idea, but not a fan of wood inside the case (flammable...). Its kinda nice how the rear exhaust fans tend to align with the back side of th

    Watch your drive temps. You should be OK with those shucked drives - they tend to run pretty cool. The drive cage on the -846 (and most other rackmount chassis) are pretty dense and rely on high static pressure that the Noctua's can't really deliver.

    Again, should be fine. But if your growth starts to include more 7200RPM drives keep closer watch.
    custom90gt likes this.
  4. custom90gt

    custom90gt New Member

    Nov 17, 2016
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    The wood should only be temporary until I can 3d print something, unless there are other ideas out there. Thankfully with it less densly populated the drives run about 27-29C, even with heavy use the highest I've seen is 31C. I do want to build an external fan wall over the drives to push some more air that way. I have a bunch of ML140s that aren't doing anything right now...
  5. Spartacus

    Spartacus Active Member

    May 27, 2019
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    I'm weird I guess then, I actually ended up going the opposite direction, started with rackmount chassis and hated the noise so much even with modification that I reverted back to desktops.
    I went with the Corsair 750D and was able to add additional HDD mounts and a 3x 5.25 to 5x 3.5" supermicro enclosure all in all I can fit 20 drives but only using about half that many slots currently.
    I picked up an cheap antec 900 case for my backup as well, and it's got 3 of those enclosures for a total of 15 drives currently (20 in the end).
    Just couldnt stand the noise of the high rpm delta fans, even the desktops I retro fitted with all noctua I ended up moving in my living room.
    I guess I just like the silence in the end (my desktop is sub 30 db).
    Patrick and custom90gt like this.
  6. custom90gt

    custom90gt New Member

    Nov 17, 2016
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    I am fortunate to have the server in the utility room, however the stock fans were way too loud, I could hear them from anywhere in the basement. My hope is that with the external 3x140mm fan wall I will be able to keep the temps of the drives down while keeping the noise to a minimum.
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