Following the guide and help from the Discord community, I built the NK 4.1 NAS box.
Took about two weeks for parts to arrive. No DOA parts, fortunately. One week build time; I was a first-timer to Unraid and most everything else. This NK4.1 is purely NAS + Backups.
Parts picked up based on the NK4.0 guide
The grand total was around $600 in parts. There were deals to be had and the end was closer to $500.
|CPU||Xeon E3-1220 V1||Included in 1U|
|RAM||32GB ECC||Included in 1U|
|PSU||EVGA 700 BR, 80+ BRONZE 700W||$45|
|CPU Cooler||Arctic Freezer 12||$24|
|SSD for unRAID Cache||Samsung 860 EVO 1TB||$100|
|SATA Cables||6-pack SATA cable||2x $10|
|SATA Power Splitter Cables||2-pack SATA to 4xSATA power splitter||2x $12|
|Case Fans||Arctic P12 120mm 5 Pack||$28|
|Case Fans||Arctic F8 80mm 5 Pack||$24|
|10gbe||10GB MELLANOX CONNECTX-2 PCI-E 10G SFP+ NETWORK CARD||$25|
|Unraid Flash Drive||SanDisk 16gb Flash||$5|
I put together a spreadsheet tracking the build items, status, etc. Just the first tab is relevant. *Some numbers may not line up as
The build went pretty smooth. I did flash the bios and firmware over IPMI. About 12 hours into running, the motherboard began beeping RAM error codes. An air can to the slots appears to have resolved those and the system has been running fine for almost two weeks.
Running the latest version of Unraid with a half dozen hard drives and a parity drive. I did end up replacing the Pioneer 480GB SSD with a Samsung 860 EVO 1TB that went on sale around Christmas time and I’ve been happy with the increased cache size.
10gb NIC ended up not being that necessary but it will remain for now.
Big thank you to many of the patient Discord folks who spent time answering questions and educating me in the process. Etumos, D4M4EVER, seanho, Mthrboard, and JDM to name a few.
What is left?
- Better cable management including modding the cables to remove slack.
- Complete additional adds of new drives to the Unraid array.
- Mount into cabinet I plan on getting (used, not this link) something like this cabinet to consolidate these things into my office.
Started here with a CPU/MB/RAM combo
I left everything in the old chassis while I added hard drives, Unraid, and did all of the necessary flashing (bios, firmware, LSI controller). Then started into the new case.
Got the basics running with a little cable tie support.
Added in more drives, bit by bit. I had around 8-10TB to migrate over. Based on discussions, I opted to keep things simple and put in a single 12TB and move over half of the data, then added 2 8TB drives for a total array of 3 drives and usable 28T8 to even out the distribution. I then added in a 12TB parity drive. My “build complete” was soon after with those 4 drives in total.
I think I have work to do still on cabling. My power supply wasn’t one of the modular ones so I get all of the cables. I also had added in the 10gb Mellanox single-port NIC card. This box sits in my living room, for now, and that NIC makes a whining noise that is nearly unbearable when being used – it’s gone now [update: I had a bad NIC, eBay seller replaced it and now the 10gb is silent and works great].
I’ve enjoyed this motherboard. Lots of good documentation. I created a google drive of everything I could find/used related to the S5512 motherboard.
Some of my reflections:
- The Chenbro combo was a nice way to get started, knowing all of the core parts worked together. This felt like the right baby step into the next server I’ll build for doing more VM-y stuff.
- Some folks in the Discord community go above and beyond and they’re special.
- eBay is an addiction.
- In the process of building this, I’ve acquired enough parts for almost another server and 2 HP 290 boxes I’ll have fun putting things on.