U-NAS 810a Build - XEON E- Pics

Discussion in 'DIY Server and Workstation Builds' started by jingram, Jan 11, 2019 at 11:37 PM.

  1. jingram

    jingram New Member

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    Recently bought an U-NAS 810a, which was running an older Asrock mITX board and an i5-6500. System had 4 x 6TB HGST NAS Drives and Windows Server 2019 on a Samsung 850 EVO. First build was super easy and ran very cool and quiet. Unlike most of the reviews I have read from folks, cable management was a non-issue and I didn't want away with any blood spilt.

    After running for a bit and with the recent launch of the e-2100 series, I got the bug to replace my aging setup with something that could handle h265 decode and serve as a test/dev tool for work, well as doing double duty as my primary NAS, media server, etc. Needed to be quiet, perform well, sit in my little closet under the stairs where everything was home ran in my house. Since the e-2146g was impossible to find in channel, settled on an e-2176g. Chip came quickly, but waited on Supermicro to drop ship the board (X11SCH-LN4F) for nearly a month. In the meantime I collected the rest of the parts for the build, including 2 x Samsung 970 EVO NVMe drives, 2 x 860 EVO 2.5" drives, 2 x 10TB WD shucked Reds, and a Noctua NH-L9i. Memory consisted of 4 x 16GB Micron UDIMMs.

    Finally all of the pieces arrived. I quickly tore down the existing build and was surprised at the size difference between the mITX vs mATX boards. On an intellectual level you know they are sizable different, but its still shocking to see just how small the mITX board is relative to the mATX board.

    First challenge was actually getting the mATX board in the case. As others have stated, it is a VERY tight fit. The board uses ever centimeter of tray space for the board. There is zero margin. Almost immediately, I took a nice chunk of skin off my hand as the sharp edges of the case sliced me. First blood drawn. It was sharp enough I didn't even feel the cut and only noticed after I felt something sticky.

    Due to the layout of the X11SCH-LN4F, cable extensions were necessary, whereas with my old Asrock mITX board they were not. As a result, cable management was more of an issue this time around.

    There were some initial things to figure out around getting to boot to the NVMe drives since I hadn't used a Supermicro board in nearly 20 years (BX Chipset days), but overall it came together pretty well.

    I am a bit disappointed in temps both at idle and under load. The i5-6500 was a 4 core 65W TDP part and this is a 6 Core 85W TDP part running at higher clock speed, but I didn't think I would be running substantially higher temps at both idle and under heavy load (burn-in). With the i5-6500 I was idling at roughly 33c and I am now idling at 48c, which seems high. During BurnIn with Passmark, I topped out at 88C on a 15 test (proc, memory, gpu, disk, network, etc). Nothing throttled and no warnings were hit, but it was much higher than I expected it to be. Heatsink seemed well seated when I put the board in, but might pull it to check. The i5-6500 was averaging high 50s under heavy load and it was running the stock intel heatsink.

    Overall, solid build, and more than robust enough for my projected use cases over the next several years. Love the 2 x NVMe slots on board which don't impact the 8 x onboard SATA ports. Obviously wish the c246 platform supported native 10Gb, but it wasn't a requirement for me. Only downside to this board is that I wish it had an hdmi or displayport bound to the Intel iGPU. Onboard VGA is bound to the Aspeed controller.

    Heed the warning of others though. While I really love the case overall, the build is much easier in the 810a with a mITX board and this case is super tight with an mATX board and will seek to christen itself with some of your blood!

    Pics attached.
     

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  2. Ixian

    Ixian Member

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    Nice write up and thanks for the pics - build pics of 810a's are hard to come by.

    I ultimately skipped getting the 810a due to the main issue you mention - cooling. That little 70mm fan on the side isn't going to do enough, especially with 2 970's in addition to the e-2176g. And as your pics confirm it is easily blocked by cables. Just a weird place to put it. Not saying it won't work, as you obviously found out, and there are others who have put slightly more in it CPU wise, but too close to the edge for my tastes. And if you went the riser route and added cards, like a 10G, you'd have even bigger problems. Glad you got your setup to work.

    I went the Node 804 route myself - bigger, yes, but not that much bigger ("big enough for a good mATX/10 3.5 drive setup" is how I'd put it). Easier to deal with, by far, much much better cooling options, cabling is easier, you can use an ATX power supply, etc. Overall a lot cheaper too.

    Big difference, of course, is it isn't hot swap. However as I've mentioned in another thread, I'm no longer sold on hot-swap being a requirement for this kind of smaller form factor setup. Nice to have, sure, but when you look at the compromises cases like the 810a, or the Silverstone series, etc. force you to make vs. not having it...I went with "not having it". At worst it means I have to schedule 15 minutes of downtime if a drive dies. And it is really easy to replace drives in the 804. Label them (which you should do anyway) and it's a snap; I've done it. I suspect most users at home with this kind of setup could easily work with that.

    As for the 810a, it would be a lot better case if they made it just a bit taller and deeper. About an inch of height and half inch of depth would allow for multiple 80mm intake fans in the front, instead of the 70mm fan on the side, so you could have full front to back airflow and get more of it over the board. The extra height would also allow (if my measurements are right) for low-profile cards to fit vs their current solution of mounting cards sideways with riser cables you have to buy separately - which also make for a very tight, and airflow constricting, fit.

    And the extra room might save additional blood from being spilled :) Wouldn't make for a case that was all that much larger, but a lot easier to work with, cool, and install addons.
     
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  3. jingram

    jingram New Member

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    I looked at the 804, but it wasn’t the right fit for this job. I am interested in the upcoming (if it ever arrives) Silverstone CS381, but this was the right case for me and I still really like it.

    The overall ambient temp in the case is really good and the drives stay cool. The cabling is challenging and does route in front of that upper fan, but it is exhausting hot air and looks worse in the pics than it actually is. Again, ambient is fine in the case.

    For my, the bigger issue is that I came from a 65w TDP part to an 80W and my cooler is still rated at 65W. Wouldnt have thought it would be as big of a deal as it was under full load. I should have picked something like the Cryorig C7 or C7u which are rated at 100W and 115w TDP respectively. Running the benchmark suite to peg full system including processor and iGPU was also full stress. Ran it subsequently with just processor and ram and temps were high 70s.

    As it is, during normal use, including running 5 simultaneous transcodes and a full backup, while doing some encodes, temps never budged above 50c and ambient in case temps were between 29-32c. The proc and iGPU offload just chew through the work too quickly.

    If I swap out the cooler, I’ll update the thread.

    I do agree though, the case would be spectacular with an inch more height and a couple more inches width.
     
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  4. PigLover

    PigLover Moderator

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    You have a lot of cables jammed in front of the side exhaust fan. You'll get a lot more hot air out of the case if you can clean that up a bit. One trick with this case - route the main power cable around the back, behind the disks, and pull it up inside the left side of case. There is just enough room (barely :)). Depending on which PSU you have you might need a 24-pin extender to do this.

    Then, with the fat 24-pin cable out of the way you should be able to clean up the area in front of that fan. It will make a surprising amount of different - thought maybe not enough to make you happy with the temps.
     
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  5. jingram

    jingram New Member

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    There are a fair amount of cables up in that corner by the 70mm fan, but it’s not as bad as it looks in those pics. Again ambient in the case is within normal ranges. I think that the heat sink is just getting saturated quicker than the 70mm and 120mm fans can exhaust the hot air and the NH-L9i isn’t able to transfer heat from the proc fast.

    That being said, I’ll probably do the full tear down if I swap the cooler.
     
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