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Posted (edited)

Ok so this is my second time posting in the Linus Forum but I'm looking for feasible solutions for my 128TB home server. I also need to admit I'm not the mastermind behind this project but I need to seek out alternative solutions. I want to be of some help regarding our home server. 

 

So here's what we've got:

We currently have 18 hard drives inside of the server and one outside. It's already inside of a case which only technically holds 15. But with some extra work we were able to get more than 15 in there. 

 

The processor we have is an i7 8700 and the current motherboard was a very specific kind which is currently unavailable and or no longer made. It had a very specific setup which I needed to make the server work. It had one PCI Express 16 at X16 and two PCI Express 16 at X4. The motherboard was fried due to accidental damage and now I'm having a hard time finding a replacement. 

 

The drives are hooked up to the motherboard by two SAS cards. 

 

Honestly the next steps up to make sure this huge server works properly, could start costing thousands of dollars as well as increasing power needed to make it work. These are options which aren't an ideal solution. 

 

Again as I'm not the mastermind behind this project, you may have a ton of additional questions, which I can do my best to answer. I also must tell everyone that I'm NOT tech savvy when it comes to the building of the PC's in our house. I have my gaming PC and I know how to use it, but the server is a whole different ball game for me. But just trying to bounce ideas off of anyone else who may have built something like this or is in the process of building something like this. 

 

Thanks for any and all help!

 

Here are some pictures, although I don't believe they are of much help. The whole thing takes up the entire top of a dresser (just for size comparison.)

 

Thought it would be a good idea to add everything that is in the server. It's a PDF file and has all of our systems. But it's mainly the server we are looking for recommendations for!

 

My Set-Up.pdfIMG_20200527_191704.thumb.jpg.6f8defe0efb593b605bd83c928d2d48f.jpgIMG_20200527_191657.thumb.jpg.98d87efe4841181df072c5107cc5aecf.jpgIMG_20200527_191709.thumb.jpg.5d072aa9010039f005832d1d9d862b69.jpg

Edited by Benny Biscuit
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23 minutes ago, Benny Biscuit said:

Thanks for any and all help!

You have told us absolutely nothing regarding the use for the server, or why a generic motherboard couldn't solve the problem.

Without specific details, you'll get nothing here.

So rise up, all ye lost ones, as one, we'll claw the clouds

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Oops my bad! This is why I welcome all questions regarding the server. I didn't build nor do I maintain it. Please try to be less sarcastic with your reply. I literally contain zero knowledge of our server build, or the three gaming computers within our house. I could probably barely tell you specs. I really just want to be as helpful as possible with the maintenance and finding other solutions for just the sheer size of this thing.

 

Our Server is strictly media, all the movies, TV shows etc. We utilize Plex for all the streaming. And half of the storage is technically redundant in case of a hard drive failure. And I've broached the backup solutions before on this forum. Backing up this much media in a separate place just isn't feasible. We have the download and upload to handle it but somewhere else not so much. 

 

The problem with the motherboard was the specific need of those slots and not being able to find one to meet our needs. The one we had, was no longer available and or possibly discontinued. We need to plug in two SAS cards as well as a video card. And I need a motherboard that can support doing all of this at full speed. I can't have three slots where two of them are wired to the processor and when you use them both at the same time it splits their bandwidth in half.

 

I guess my main question regarding our server is how do you go "up" from here, without spending a fortune. I mean we can always swap out drives for larger ones but the case itself holds no more hard drives. 

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Could you at least tell us what the old board was? That would go a long way to knowing what you were doing before and the capabilities of it.

 

Also for an 8700 CPU there should be many boards that have the PCIe slot configuration you were using, plus SAS cards are x8 physically and electrically as well.

 

Your best option is browsing the Supermicro website for the boards they have for that CPU generation, also FYI the Xeon motherboards with C242 & C246 chipsets support 8700 (Coffee Lake) CPUs. These workstation and server motherboards will be your best option for getting what you need if you want to keep the current CPU, you'll be able to find the boards for sale on ebay at a minimum.

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1 hour ago, Benny Biscuit said:

I can't have three slots where two of them are wired to the processor and when you use them both at the same time it splits their bandwidth in half.

Literally all Coffee Lake generation motherboards do that, there are only 16 lanes on the CPU so on boards with two x16 slots that connect to the CPU (to support SLI/Crossfire) they will run in x8 when both are populated.

 

Edit:

Also pretty much no video cards really suffer from running in 3.0 x8 mode and hard disks don't push much bandwidth so your SAS cards won't be using all of the possible x8 bandwidth, more likely in the x1 to x2 range.

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Essentially, any setup with enough PCIE lanes to support your SAS cards (and any additional PCIE devices) should do the trick.

Available PCIE lanes are determined by the CPU and chipset. HEDT parts generally have more lanes available than standard desktop options. 

There is a good chance that whatever is in your gaming PC will perform exactly the same. 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, leadeater said:

Could you at least tell us what the old board was? That would go a long way to knowing what you were doing before and the capabilities of it.

 

Also for an 8700 CPU there should be many boards that have the PCIe slot configuration you were using, plus SAS cards are x8 physically and electrically as well.

 

Your best option is browsing the Supermicro website for the boards they have for that CPU generation, also FYI the Xeon motherboards with C242 & C246 chipsets support 8700 (Coffee Lake) CPUs. These workstation and server motherboards will be your best option for getting what you need if you want to keep the current CPU, you'll be able to find the boards for sale on ebay at a minimum.

I will get the old motherboard information as soon as I'm off work! Thank you so much for your input so far! This project has been a huge one for the last five years and the techie guy in the house is too proud to browse these forums for advice. Very do it yourself type, after all he went to college for all of this! 

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You're well over thinking this. 

 

Those cards are LSI 9211-8i's. Theyre PCIe 2.0 cards.

That GPU looks like an MSI Armor, but it doesnt have any SLI/Crossfire connectors so its maybe like an RX570 or something....

You don't need anything special as far as PCIe setup to run this configuration. 

 

These would be perfectly supported on a 3rd Gen Intel, let alone 8th Gen. 

Heres the cheapest available new board on Amazon, fantastic board as well: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076PJC11Y

 

Spoiler

Desktop: Ryzen 7 2700x | Aorus X470 Gaming Ultra | EVGA RTX2080 Super | 32GB (4x8GB) Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 3200Mhz | Corsair H105 AIO, NZXT Sentry 3 | Corsair SP120's | 1TB Crucial P1 NVMe, 4TB WD Black | Phanteks Enthoo Pro | Corsair RM650v2 PSU | LG 32" 32GK850G Monitor | Ducky Shine 3 Keyboard, Logitech G502, MicroLab Solo 7C Speakers, Razer Goliathus Extended, X360 Controller | Windows 10 Pro | SteelSeries Siberia 350 Headphones

 

Spoiler

Server 1: Fractal Design Define R6 | Ryzen 3950x | ASRock X570 Taichi | EVGA GTX1070 FTW | 64GB (4x16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX 3000Mhz | Corsair RM650v2 PSU | Fractal S36 Triple AIO | 10 x 8TB HGST Ultrastar He10 (WD Whitelabel) | 500GB Aorus Gen4 NVMe | 2 x 1TB Crucial P1 NVMe | LSI 9211-8i HBA

 

Server 2: Corsair 400R | IcyDock MB998SP & MB455SPF | Seasonic Focus Plus 650w PSU | 2 x Xeon X5650's | 48GB DDR3-ECC | Asus Z8NA-D6C Motherboard | AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 | LSI MegaRAID 9271-8i | RES2SV240 SAS Expander | Samsung 840Evo 120GB | 5 x 8TB Seagate Archives | 10 x 3TB WD Red

 

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5 hours ago, Jarsky said:

You're well over thinking this. 

 

Those cards are LSI 9211-8i's. Theyre PCIe 2.0 cards.

That GPU looks like an MSI Armor, but it doesnt have any SLI/Crossfire connectors so its maybe like an RX570 or something....

You don't need anything special as far as PCIe setup to run this configuration. 

 

These would be perfectly supported on a 3rd Gen Intel, let alone 8th Gen. 

Heres the cheapest available new board on Amazon, fantastic board as well: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076PJC11Y

 

Thank you for that option. Husband says that motherboard just has way more than what we need. But is looking into it!

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16 hours ago, leadeater said:

Could you at least tell us what the old board was? That would go a long way to knowing what you were doing before and the capabilities of it.

 

Also for an 8700 CPU there should be many boards that have the PCIe slot configuration you were using, plus SAS cards are x8 physically and electrically as well.

 

Your best option is browsing the Supermicro website for the boards they have for that CPU generation, also FYI the Xeon motherboards with C242 & C246 chipsets support 8700 (Coffee Lake) CPUs. These workstation and server motherboards will be your best option for getting what you need if you want to keep the current CPU, you'll be able to find the boards for sale on ebay at a minimum.

The old board was a Gigabyte Z390UD. Honestly it worked great for our needs. But is there anything else you might recommend that would work just as well? 

 

We are replacing it with a MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon.

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21 minutes ago, Benny Biscuit said:

We are replacing it with a MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon.

Perfectly fine replacement 👍

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57 minutes ago, leadeater said:

Perfectly fine replacement 👍

Thanks so much!! If you have any additional suggestions, here are the specs for everything in the house! But mainly it's the server that we are looking for recommendations for! My Set-Up.pdf

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19 hours ago, Radium_Angel said:

You have told us absolutely nothing regarding the use for the server, or why a generic motherboard couldn't solve the problem.

Without specific details, you'll get nothing here.

Here are the specs! First column which says Server. My Set-Up.pdf

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