Anniversary 2.0 - Canadian Style (repost)

As I stuff more drives into Dakota this month, ruining the blissful 150 days of uptime, I thought it a great time to revisit and document the build.

Much appreciation to the folks on Discord for their patient assistance to my neophyte questions.

Completed pic first:

Guts of the machine

Table of costs and specs, screenshot style.

Server started as a winter project to learn more about the tech and to cut down the multiple refurbished lenovo workstations I’d been using. Named in honor of my favored pup who crossed the rainbow bridge some years back. I started it for about as cheaply as I could with what was available at the time. I wouldn’t change much except for patience about pricing.

Since building it, I found a great price on a stack of memory, and 10tb drives have come down a bit.

Future plans include:

  • Fabricating custom sata power runs. 3x runs 5x saa power connectors to simplify cabling
  • Replacing the 80mm and 120mm Rosewill fans
  • Replacing the dynotron R24s jet turbines…maybe Narrow ILM coolers are rare and spendy.
  • Slowly replace the 3TB drives over time. They’re cute, but bite sized.
  • Painting or dipping the case, because bare metal looks so boring

Some general lessons learned.

  • 2x Xeon is definitely more than my use case, however it was a fun build and a good method to learn more about hardware.
  • Prices ebb and flow, unless you absolutely need a machine right now, you could save hundreds.
  • no really, if the ebay auction allows you to offer… do. That advice in the guide will save you quite a bit.
  • 512 vs 520 byte sector sounds scarier than it is. Maybe I lucked out, but formatting to 520 from 512 was easy
  • Crossflashing to IT mode is also easier than it sounds. The ServeTheHome guide is rock solid, and the Discord has a ton of history and searchable discussions.
  • Dynotron R24s are louder than you think. No, really mr “it’ll be in the equipment room” they’re louder than that.
  • People are awesome and helpful Be respectful, listen to the advice of the people who’ve done it many times and helped others before you, and be clear about what your goals are.

I’ve had a really great experience with Arctic coolers for keeping the noise down. I’m on an X8 LGA 1366 platform though, so I don’t know if they’d translate to what you have!

I haven’t gotten very scientific about it, but I’m certain that the majority of the fan noise is via the CPU coolers, which are great at keeping CPU temps low, but were built for a 2U case within a datacenter in mind (I think). I’m genuinely happy with the cooling characteristics of the Dynatron’s, but I’m now keeping my eyes out for a good deal on the narrow ILM Noctuas.

A 5 pack of Arctic 120s are now in hand and ready to go in.