Demanding project - mini-itx

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Filestore - mini-itx

Aim: Quiet, small and low powered file server using as current components as much as possible.

Situation: I have a Lian Li PC-402A that I currently have my Commell LC-677DC, T2600 and 2x1GB DDR667 memory in. The plan is to use the case as a media storage.
I have a Lian Li EX23 on its way to me now and have 4x 500GB F1's and a 80GB spinpoint read for installation.

Original Plan: The plan was to use an Adaptec PCIEx4 SATA Raid card with 4 ports with the board to provide support for all the hard drives, but the board only supports PCIE1x and 16x. The other option is to use 2x miniPCI cards that provide 2x additional SATA ports on each, but the transfer speeds on these would be incredibly slow.

In order to fit 5x 3.5" drives into this case and for the components not to overheat I'll need to remove the PSU and 40mm fan in the back of the case and cut a hole for a 120mm fan to fit. This would work fine with my current Commell LV-677DC as the board has a 120W power supply built in.

Problems: However it doesn't look like this is going to work due to the fact the raid card won't work and the miniPCI cards aren't fast enough.

Questions:
1. Does anyone know of another way of doing this using the current components?

2. Does anyone know of another mini-itx motherboard that would support 5x SATA (either through the use of PCIEx4, PCI or onboard) that has a built in PSU other than the Commell LV-67B which is too expensive.

3. If no one has an answer for either of these questions, I guess I'll have to look at keeping the crappy PSU included with the case in and look at getting another mini-itx board to use. Ideals (baring in mind I already have a T2600 and the computer will only be used as a file store and download box)?

*Note* I don't really want suggestions for #3 just yet unless there are no other options for the previous 2 questions.

Budget: Negotiable, but ideally I'm not really looking to spend much more than £100 at this point, though if its going to be worth it will go to £300 providing I can get money back from selling other components.
 
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Well I'm going for it anyway.

My EX23 showed up today (unfortunately without its lian li badge, which i wouldn't normally mind, but I think it worked for this case)

Installed all the hard drives. Damn its a heavy little box. They all fit nicely and actually leave quiet a bit of room, with the exception of the CPU heatsink...
I've connected up 3 of the 5 drives and connected the Raid card. It does power on, but I've got no further.

Tomorrow I'll do a proper test and pray that it does recognise the raid card even if it does only run at 1x (doubt it will, but I'm hoping)

Here are some pictures of the build so far:

First views of the case. The bottom left showing how the back will be cut out to fit a 120mm fan, bottom right was taken tonight with the EX23 fitted.
82719977.jpg


Removing of components and installing of motherboard. A very clean looking case with no grumbly finger marks :D. I've taken out the PSU as my Commell has built in power and allows for a 120mm to fit nicely in the back once the stock fan at the back is taken out. I'll be doing this only once I'm sure I can actually get this all to work. Gives you an idea of the amount of space I have to play with.
19923717.jpg


Tonights work - installing the raid card, hard drives and cage. The space looks a lot worse than it is as I've daisy chained cables to get power for tonight, but the pictures do show the depth after the hard drives, with the 120mm fan sitting behind them blowing air across the NB and CPU heatsink (pictured between the cables - blue is CPU).
1013ro.jpg



***BTW is it possible to get the title of a thread changed?***
I chose a bit of a rubbish one. If someone can get a mod to change it to "mini-fileserver" or something that would be great
 
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Soldato
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Surprised no-one mentioned it, but pci-e x4 cards will work normally in pci-e x16 slots. It's just pci-e x16 cards in x4 slots which is tricky.

About all I have to input I'm afraid. Enjoy the build
 
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Yeh I know they should do, but Commell have told me that the slot does not support PCIEx4... which I'm inclinded to believe though I'm still going to try.
 
Caporegime
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Yeh I know they should do, but Commell have told me that the slot does not support PCIEx4... which I'm inclinded to believe though I'm still going to try.

No chance in hell that it won't work. All PCIe is are lanes of serial connected paths. Hence why the covering lanes in none conductive tape works for testing x16 video cards at x8, x4, x2, and x1 speeds.
 
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well thats what I thought, but why would Commell specifically tell me it didn't. Could it be that the PCIEx16 slot only works at 1x speed (don't know if it does) and that they are refering to the fact the transfer speeds won't be anywhere near what they should?

*Note* I like the way I put pictures up and ppl reply :D
 
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