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New build: heat, Realtek, and other worries

Discussion in 'System Hardware' started by Joe90, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. Joe90

    Joe90 New Member

    Thanks Received:
    First post, beware.

    I would be thankful for the group's opinion on my hardware configuration. I would like to run FreeBSD 9 with ZFS booting off a UFS. I'm planning on assembling the machine myself and as a challenge I am trying to build it as small and quiet as I can get it. My two big worries are the Realtek NIC, possible heat issues, space for the cables, and things I am missing.

    The build:

    • A Zotac H67ITX motherboard with a 35W i3 and 8 Gbytes of RAM
    • 3 x 1 TByte Western Digital drives spinning at 5400 rpm for RaidZ
    • 1 Intel 313 mSata 24 GByte SSD drive for the OS on UFS
    • A picoPSU
    • an optical drive
    All this squeezed into a Streacom FC8 box. The case is designed to also handle a PCI board, but I hope to use that space to rig a quiet fan, just to keep things as cool as I can. Besides the parts listed I also need a 3.5 to 2 x 2.5 adapter.

    Why such a tiny box? It sits quite close to my desk and I want something small, quiet, and nice looking on the spot.

    I'm trying to replace my old home server running Centos, but I am more comfortable with BSD, so I thought I replace it with a FreeBSD machine. The home server's main job is to serve two Time Machines for our home computers and do some light server tasks: crawl a small site, transcode some video, run a small wiki, etc. and provide an environment where I can try out new Unix software, which I currently do with Xen virtual machines, but would switch to VirtualBox in the new machine.

    The Streacom is supposed to handle a 65W processor. I estimate that all my components will consume 65W when cranking and maybe 10 when idle. From Googling, I cannot tell if the problems with the Realtek 8111 got resolved or not or even if they were real.

    What do you think?
  2. wblock@

    wblock@ Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

    Thanks Received:
    It's a pretty case. The heat from the hard drives is probably the big concern. The Realtek should work, or can probably be debugged with the help of the freebsd-net mailing list.

    Another approach is to use long cables and put a noisy computer in another room. DVI video goes 25 feet with no problems. The downside is that changing CDs is inconvenient (unless you have an external USB CD drive). The upside is that standard, cheap components can be used.
    Joe90 thanks for this.