[Group Buy] Array Starter Kit - 4TB SATA edition

[Overview]

I’ve been working together with BitDeals to put together some unique combos.
This one is basically the ultimate NAS storage starter kit!

I’ve been doing some thinking about what the average Unraid user needs to start out with. Obviously, this combo is useful for others too, but most of the community runs Unraid.

This combo will include:

  • LSI SAS HBA
    • Flashable to IT mode
  • 2-8 x 3.5" HDDs
    • Ideally 1 parity drive, rest for data
  • 1 x 2.5" 10K SAS HDD
    • Great for write cache, unpack/landing drive
      It can easily saturate a gigabit uplink, and it doesn’t have a finite lifespan like a SSD.
  • 1 x 2.5" SAS SSD
    • Since your Unraid cache drive is covered with the 10K SAS HDD, this will be used as an unassigned drive for VMs and Docker.

[Details]

Included (free!) with every order is the following:

  • LSI 9211-4i
    • 8/4/20 update - Seller has run out of 4i. Instead they are offering a discounted 8i, for $10.
  • 300GB 10K RPM SAS 2.5" HDD

Additional options to chose from:

  • ADD a LSI 9211-8i
    • LSI 9211-4i still included!
  • 2, 4, 6, or 8 - 4TB SATA HDDs
    • Save more as you buy more!
  • Additional 10K/15K HDDs
  • SAS2/SAS3 SSDs

[Other Info]

Cables

You’ll need some SFF-8087 to SFF-8482 cables to connect your SAS drives, the 2.5" HDD and 2.5" SSD. You need 1 cable for every 4 drives of this type.
For the SATA HDD, you can use cheaper SFF-8087 breakout cables. Again, you need 1 cable for every 4 SATA HDD.

LSI Firmware

Flashing the LSI 9211 to IT mode is super easy. You can follow this guide to do so.

Hard Drive Specs

4TB Toshiba Enterprise SATA HDD

  • 3.5-inch, Form Factor
  • 7200 RPM
  • SATA III 6.0 Gbps
  • Enterprise Grade (Heavy Duty)
  • Advanced Format (AF) 512e Sector Length
  • More info here.

[Recommendations]

  1. I’d recommend picking up the additional LSI 9211-8i. It really opens up your storage capacity, and it’s priced well under normal ebay pricing. With both the -4i and -8i cards, you can attach 12 storage devices.
  2. If you’re using Unraid, consider that you will be using at least 1 HDD for parity. So your usable storage will be (N-1) HDDs worth of space.
  3. Pick up at least 1 spare 2.5" SAS HDD. They are incredibly useful because they are much faster than a regular HDD, and much cheaper than a traditional SSD. You’ll never know when they will come in handy! (They work even better in RAID)
  4. Since you’re offloading your cache duties to a 2.5" HDD, the SSD for your VM/Docker doesn’t need to be as large. 200GB is a perfectly good starting point, 400GB is borderline overkill.
    If you’re using Unraid exclusively for storage, you don’t even need an additional SSD at all!

[Pricing]

  1. [LSI SAS HBA]
    • 9211-4i - $0.00 - INCLUDED ($15.00 value)
    • ADD 9211-8i - $20.00
  2. [4TB SATA HDD]
    • 2 - $95.00 ($47.50 each)
    • 4 - $180.00 ($45.00 each)
    • 6 - $260.00 ($43.33 each)
    • 8 - $330.00 ($41.25 each)
  3. [2.5" SAS HDD]
    Note: Make/model numbers of 2.5" SAS HDDs are not specified due to vast inventory variability. You are guaranteed the capacity and RPM you select.
    • 300GB 10K SAS2 HDD - $0.00 - INCLUDED ($8.00 value)
    • ADD 300GB 10K SAS2 HDD - $5.00
    • ADD 300GB 15K SAS2 HDD - $20.00
    • ADD 600GB 10K SAS2 HDD - $12.00
    • ADD 900GB 10K SAS2 HDD - $20.00
    • ADD 1.2TB 10K SAS2 HDD - $40.00
  4. [2.5" SAS SSD]
    • No SSD - $0.00 - INCLUDED
    • ADD 200GB SAS2 SSD - $30.00
    • ADD 200GB SAS3 SSD - $35.00
    • ADD 400GB SAS3 SSD - $66.00
    • ADD 400GB SAS3 SSD - $70.00

Due to high order volume, orders will ship ASAP in order received - typically within 1 week of order.

[Link]

14 Likes

god help me i just ordered so many of these :peepo:

Do any of these require the ol’ tape trick like the EasyStores? I’m completely new to SAS drives, but I swore I read something on here that certain drives needed them.

1 Like

These are SATA drives, they do not need the 3.3v mod like SAS/shuckable drives.

If you are referring to the SAS 2.5" drives, then yes you will need to 3.3v mod them. It’s easiest to just remove the wire from the power cable.


Remove the 3.3v wire mod
Use this SATA cable - https://amzn.to/2GA1kVz

3 Likes

If I’m getting this and also ordering some of those 3TB SAS drives from the other group buy will I need to do that 3.3v trick in those SAS drives?

Possibly. It’s safest to just remove the 3.3v wire regardless of which drives you have, since there are zero modern drives that the use 3.3v power rail. It’s a relic from the days of the 1.8" spinning drives that were used in the original iPod.

Ok easy enough. Thanks!

I posted this in KS 4.1 forum but didn’t’ get any response so trying again here;
I do have one of the combo units on the NK4.1 and trying to add more HDDs. Got couple of questions:

  • Does the cash size matter for Unraid? 128 vs 256MB?
  • Will they support 12gb SAS drives and if it matters if they are 4Kn?

Thanks

Cache size does not matter IMO.
SAS3 (12Gbps) is backwards compatible with SAS2 (6Gbps), and SAS2 is also forward compatible.

For 4Kn support, you do need the correct SAS HBA.

Thanks I will be using the SAS HBA that is part of the MB on the (one of the combos) so I think that will support 4Kn apparently.

I do not believe that the onboard supports 4Kn.

1 Like

I tried looking into it more but I can’t find any good information on it but from what I have seen 4Kn has been around for sometime and its supported everywhere. It would be good to see if anyone has used 4Kn with that MB or have some document for it!

Well, if you know what controller is onboard, you can reference the list above and compare the controller features to the external cards. Likely, it’s LSI2008 onboard, which means it does not support 4Kn. If it’s something else, then it’s a different story.

Does this Array Starter Kit have an estimated end date or is it a “as supplies last” kind of thing?

As supplies last. It’s less of a group buy and more of a promotion that the seller is running.

Hey I got the array in and starting to get ready to put the build together. Do I need the 8087 to 8482 sas cable for the SAS drives or can I get away with the 8087 to SATA for all the drives? I bought this array with the 2 SATA drives and the other bundle with the 5 SAS drives.

You need the 8482 connector for SAS drives, they won’t work with a standard SATA cable. Since you have a mix of SAS and SATA drives, I would recommend getting the 8482 cables for all of them, since 8482 connectors will fit on both.

Perfect. And then the SATA power plugs into the back of those connectors?

Correct. The 8087-8482 cable just provides the data connection. You still need to plug power into whatever power connection is on the 8482 connector.

1 Like

6 HDD and 1 SSD ordered!
Thank you for the excellent guides and deals!
Can’t wait to install this in my T110 and give the boot to my old qnap :smiley:

1 Like