• Computer Audiophile Pocket Server C.A.P.S. v4 Cortes


    CAPS v4 Cortes is like no other CAPS server to date. The server isnít designed to connect directly to an audio system via USB or AES/EBU. Cortes is a server in the truest sense of the word. Itís designed to serve music to a single zone or to multiple zones over Ethernet, be a workhorse for all types of file operations such as format conversion or resampling, run network diagnostic tools if needed, and be the most flexible music server in the CAPS stable of designs. Cortes is a Network Attached Storage (NAS) replacement.

    The impetus to design a NAS replacement such as Cortes came from computer audiophiles' changing playback methods with the addition of many more network based players, and my own desire for a more flexible server that enabled me to install almost any piece of software available. Running several network based audio players in my system lead me to realize they are all different and function best with their own special software configurations. One DLNA renderer may work best with MinimServer and another may function best with JRiver Media Center. Using a traditional NAS limited my options to A) Installing MinimServer by jumping through a ring of fire while wearing a gasoline soaked suit (NAS units without the MinimServer package require a difficult installation), B) Using the built-in NAS DLNA media server application that likely doesnít support gapless playback, DoP over Ethernet, any has terrible library browsing capabilities, or C) Install JRiver Media Center on a PC and map a drive from the PC to the NAS to serve up the music stored on the NAS. There are other scenarios and possible installation configurations, but this description should get my point across. As much as NAS vendors would like their products to appear as solutions for all media storage needs, NAS drives have serious limitations that can be overcome with a different solution. Thus, I designed Cortes.

    Cortes, just like any other computer isnít perfect and suffers from itís own limitations. For example, the Windows operating system is often seen as unstable, buggy, and less secure than its competitors. Fortunately, Iíve been running a Cortes server for months and havenít run into any of the commonly perceived issues associated with the operating system. Windows can be a surprisingly stable OS when used as a network server setup like Cortes. Another limitation of the Windows OS is the requirement for more powerful hardware than a typical Linux based NAS. I like to flip this around to suggest that users of Cortes will actually prefer the increased horsepower as opposed to traditional NAS drives with ARM or Atom based processors and less memory than the new iPhone 6.

    This added horsepower may seem like a waste of resources if all the server does is share music over Ethernet. If thatís all this server did I would agree the horsepower is unneeded. However, over the course of the last decade Iíve used my NAS drives to do much more than serve music. For example, creating 24 bit / 176.4 kHz PCM versions of all my DSD material required me to use JRiver Media Center running on my PC to pull the files over the network, convert the DSD to PCM, and copy the files back to the NAS. This is so inefficient and time consuming. Using a Cortes server the DSD and PCM music remains on the same drive on the local PC. This uses the power of the Cortes CPU, the greater RAM capacity, the faster hard drives, and the blazing fast hardware RAID controller. Another area where Cortesí added horsepower is terrific is analyzing a music library and making mass changes to metadata. Using Cortes and JRiver I selected my entire 50,000+ track library and instructed JRiver to analyze the dynamic range on every track. Sure the entire process took a while, but thereís no way I would have even attempted this using a traditional NAS system. I also like to include a bit more information in the title of my albums than the simple album name. This enables me to determine if Iím selecting the PCM, DSD, high resolution, or a specific master of an album before even tapping it on my iPad. Once I had my entire DSD library in a high resolution PCM format (I also kept the original DSD content) I selected all the new tracks and had JRiver Media Center append the suffix ďPCM from DSDĒ to every trackís album title. Using all the Cortes horsepower the whole process was done in the blink of an eye.

    The flexibility to install nearly any application on the Cortes server canít be overestimated. This is great for both consumers and application developers. For example, MinimServer currently has 18 different versions available for installation. The need for all these versions stems from different software and hardware requirements of NAS units and desktop computers. Even with 18 versions there are NAS units such as those from Thecus that MinimServer doesnít support. Software and hardware fragmentation is a problem that hurts everybody. I've been running my Cortes server for months with JRMC, MinimServer, Devialet AIR, TIDAL, Sonos, Logitech Media Server, Twonky, and UPnP Tools without a single issue. Not only are these applications installed and running, but the installation and configuration of them was simple. Cortes makes NAS software configuration seem quite archaic. Running JRiver Media Center on Cortes not only enables use of all its UPnP/DLNA capabilities, but also enables the user to manage his library with ease. Too many people think that switching to a network based player will relieve them of the need for a computer because the music will flow form a NAS. However, without a good music management application such as JRMC the user is stuck with bad metadata or possibly no metadata. Plus, thereís nothing better than running JRMC on the actual computer that stores the music, i.e. Cortes.

    In addition to music related applications I recommend installing apps like Developer Tools for UPnP. Included in this suite of tools is a program called Device Spy. This program lists every UPnP device on oneís network and is capable of probing all the devices and listing their capabilities. This app is very helpful if one is having issues with a UPnP server, renderer, or control point. During Cortes testing I had an issue where the server couldnít find all the renderers on my network. i was unsure if this was an issue with JRiver Media Center or the renderer or something else entirely. I opened Device Spy and saw the same issues that I saw through JRMC. This enabled me to rule out JRMC and focus more on the server itself. I made several configuration changes, each time using Device Spy to rescan my network. The problem was related to bonding two network cards into one large aggregated virtual device. Once I disabled link aggregation, Device Spy listed all the UPnP devices immediately.

    The Cortes motherboard, a SuperMicro X10SL7-F ($243), is much more of a server class component with a longer life span than previous CAPS servers and popular desktop computers. This board has many great features that suit a NAS replacement perfectly. The X10SL7-F supports Intelģ Xeonģ E3-1200 v3 processors that are much more geared toward data crunching than the Core i7 series of CPUs that have integrated video for multimedia playback. Thus, I selected the Intel Xeon E3-1241 v3 (BX80646E31241V3) ($273) as the Central Processing Unit (CPU) for Cortes. Both this CPU and the motherboard also support ECC or error correcting code memory. This type of RAM detects and corrects common types of data corruption. Cortes features 16GB of Crucial (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Unbuffered DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Server Memory (CT2KIT102472BD160B) ($358) Random Access Memory (RAM). The SuperMicro X10SL7-F board supports up through 32GB of RAM should one wish to increase from the specified 16GB. The board also features Dual Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports via Intel i210AT. These port support link aggregation to increase throughput to 2GB full duplex if needed, although I experienced some DLNA related issues when enabling this NIC bonding feature. Storage options on the X10SL7-F board are perfect for a NAS replacement. The board offers 2x SATA (6Gbps), 4x SATA (3Gbps), and 8x SAS2 (6Gbps) via LSI 2308 hardware RAID controller. Such a configuration enables the OS to reside on a 6Gbps SSD on one, more average, controller and all the music data to reside on the LSI 2308 server class hardware controller. The Cortes server features a single Samsung 850 Pro 128GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-7KE128BW) SSD ($130) for the operating system and two Seagate Desktop HDD 6TB 6Gb/s 128MB Cache 3.5-Inch HDD (STBD6000100) ($300 ea.) for the music. The 6TB drives are configured as a RAID1 / mirroring set. Thus, if one drive fails no data is lost and no backup needs to be restored. A new drive must be put in place, but no further configuration or data restoration is required. Should one wish to backup his music inside the same chassis itís possible to install up to four hard drives on the 3Gbps controller enabling a fairly quick and easy data backup. There are more secure ways to backup, but this way is pretty easy and even recommended more than the unbacked up method most people use. Another fairly good method of backup with the Cortes server is an external drive via the X10SL7-Fís USB 3.0 ports. The last piece of the X10SL7-F motherboard that I absolutely love is the integrated Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) 2.0 with KVM and dedicated LAN port. This interface enables the user to connect to the server via web browser and access it as if the user was physically at the server with a keyboard, monitor, and mouse. The IPMI even enables the user to connect to the server when the power is off, get into the BIOS, and restart the server if the operating system hangs. Itís a great feature for the Cortes server because this server is likely to sit in a back room somewhere out of easy reach. My Cortes server resides in another room and without any keyboard, monitor, or mouse connected.

    The computer case I selected is the Corsair Graphite Series 600T ($160). During my research phase I tried smaller cases, but always had issues squeezing the components into the case. I found no purpose for using the smaller cases and settled on this mid-sized Corsair case thatís very easy to populate and looks half-way decent in person. The power supply I selected is the Corsair Professional Series 760 Watt Digital ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Platinum AX760i ($185). Itís my current belief that the power supply of a network server has no baring on sound quality of a network based music player unless the PSU is feeding garbage back into the power line that isnít isolated form the audio components. I like the Corsair AX760i because of its DSP controlled monitoring and performance. This PSU makes on-the-fly adjustments for tight voltage regulation, 80 PLUS Platinum efficiency, and stable power. One additional component I added to the design is a Corsair Hydro Series Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler H80i ($86). I like these coolers because, like the PSU, they enabled performance monitoring and adjustments via an application. The H80i is liquid cooled, fan-assisted, but never needs any maintenance associated with other liquid cooling solutions.

    Like all CAPS v4 computers, Cortes runs on Windows 8.1 Professional 64-bit. I use the professional version because I connect to the server recently with Windowsí built-in Remote Desktop capability. It works great and doesnít require an additional third party application for remote control of the actual server. The UPnP server I use most often on Cortes is JRiver Media Center because of its all encompassing capabilities and its great integration with JRemote for iOS.

    This combination of hardware and software make Cortes as stable as a Linux based NAS, but endlessly more flexible. As always, my component selections arenít the only selections that will make a successful server. Members of the CA Community are encouraged to use Cortes as a platform from which to experiment. Users not needing 6TB of drive space can obviously scale back on the cost of hard drives. Please be careful when purchasing memory, as I went through a couple different memory models that made the server un-bootable. Those readers seeking a complete solution should be pretty happy with Cortes just as itís designed. I encourage members of the community to post questions, concerns, and comments below.



    A Note About Sponsorship

    Before going further I'd like to thank JRiver for sponsoring the entire CAPS v4 project. Researching and purchasing all the parts for CAPS servers takes time and money. In the past I spent over $10,000 just trying different motherboards, memory, SSDs, cases, etcÖ This time around I thought it would be prudent and a win-win for everybody if I obtained sponsorship for CAPS v4. I sought sponsorship from a handful of companies and before the "ink" on the email was dry JRiver stepped up to sponsor the whole project. This sponsorship enabled me to take the CAPS project further in a shorter period of time than I would have been able to on my own. The bottom line is that members of the CA Community benefitted from this sponsorship. Without this benefit to the entire Community I wouldn't have sought sponsorship. Period. Also, JRiver had no input on the design of the servers' hardware or software. Prior to contacting JRiver I had already decided what playback applications would be used for the CAPS v4 project. I also didn't let JRiver know this software decision, thus avoiding any semblance of impropriety. Again, thanks to JRiver for supporting CAPS v4 and the CA Community.




    Links

    Motherboard: SuperMicro X10SL7-F
    Case: Corsair Graphite Series 600T
    CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1241 v3 (BX80646E31241V3)
    RAM: Crucial (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Unbuffered DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Server Memory (CT2KIT102472BD160B)
    SSD: Samsung 850 Pro 128GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-7KE128BW)
    HDD: Seagate Desktop HDD 6TB 6Gb/s 128MB Cache 3.5-Inch HDD (STBD6000100)
    PSU: Corsair Professional Series 760 Watt Digital ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Platinum AX760i
    CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler H80i
    Tools: UPnP Developer Tools
    Music App: JRiver Media Center
    Comments 115 Comments
    1. Audio_ELF's Avatar
      Audio_ELF -
      Sorry but this is really disappointing ...

      Just an advert for a bunch of randomly chosen components.

      "The 6TB drives are configured as a RAID1 / mirroring set." How? How about some step by step instructions on how you built and configured it all?

      How about some details on how you setup J.River?

      Sorry Chris ... I'm really disappointed in this as the first of the CAPSv4 articles.
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Quote Originally Posted by Audio_ELF View Post
      Sorry but this is really disappointing ...

      Just an advert for a bunch of randomly chosen components.

      "The 6TB drives are configured as a RAID1 / mirroring set." How? How about some step by step instructions on how you built and configured it all?

      How about some details on how you setup J.River?

      Sorry Chris ... I'm really disappointed in this as the first of the CAPSv4 articles.
      This is far from an advertisement for "a bunch of randomly chosen components." i wish I kept logs of all the research hours and purchased components that didn't make the final build.

      CAPS isn't about a step by step how-to for everything related to the concept. This article would have been about 10,000 words and bored most of the readers if that was the case.

      I think if you were really interested in how I configured the RAID1 set you would have asked the question rather than rip me for an article you don't like.

      Please accept a full refund of your $0 purchase price for reading the article. i can't refund the time you'll never get back.
    1. Audio_ELF's Avatar
      Audio_ELF -
      Sorry Chris but in the past your CAPS articles have been much more informative (IMO) and component choices more justified. This feels more like "trust me I'm an expert".

      I should have said this "appears to be just an advert for a bunch of randomly chosen components".

      There are dozens of companies who would but together these components if I asked for a "Windows Server" ... what makes your suggestions special? There is nothing specifically audio based except you adding J.River to it.

      Just my opinion of course and I won't charge you a cent for it, nor all the help and assistance that I've given your 100s of readers without which you wouldn't have a website.
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Quote Originally Posted by Audio_ELF View Post
      Sorry Chris but in the past your CAPS articles have been much more informative (IMO) and component choices more justified. This feels more like "trust me I'm an expert".

      I should have said this "appears to be just an advert for a bunch of randomly chosen components".

      There are dozens of companies who would but together these components if I asked for a "Windows Server" ... what makes your suggestions special? There is nothing specifically audio based except you adding J.River to it.

      Just my opinion of course and I won't charge you a cent for it, nor all the help and assistance that I've given your 100s of readers without which you wouldn't have a website.
      Perhaps you misunderstood the reason for the Cortes server? It's a true server, not an audio-grade anything. Sending audio over Ethernet doesn't require anything specific for audio playback other than the right application(s). If people want to add a linear PSU, low latency RAM, or anything else they are free to do so. I just don't think it will matter. Something tells me that if I would have added those parts you would be all over me suggesting they aren't needed. Oh well. It's hard to justify components that don't need justification beyond what I've said in the article.

      This is a server that I use every day and I assumed others would be interested in a NAS replacement as well.
    1. joelha's Avatar
      joelha -
      Audio_Elf,
      One of the the differences between what you offer the readers of this site and the help Chris offers, is that Chris offers his services without an attitude.
      Something to consider.
      Chris, I happen to think that these pieces you post, as I've told you before, are the best part of your site and I'm grateful for them.
      I will happily pay the exorbitant price of "free" to continue to benefit from all your time and effort.
      Thanks a lot for that.
      Joel
    1. firedog's Avatar
      firedog -
      Elf - being a little harsh, I think. But I do think Chris should have given us a bit more detail.
      Chris, a few questions:

      1. Sorry for being dense, but I'm not sure I understood the general idea. This is intended to replace/be instead of a NAS AND what we usually think of as an audio PC (such as a CAPS3)? In other words, serves, processes, and plays back your music over the network to a network audio device (streamer) so you theoretically don't need another PC or server in the playback chain, even if doing lots of processing on the audio, e.g. on the fly upsampling? Or am I missing out on the idea entirely?

      2) Noise. How loud is it? CAN in be put in the same room as the audio system without disturbing listening?

      3) Cost/assembly. No individual or total parts costs are listed by the links at the bottom. Sure I can slowly work through the description and figure it out, but seems like it would be helpful to have a price listed by each component and a total cost at the bottom.

      4) Recommendation for someone to build it. Not everyone wants to/can build their own. Especially since this type of computer is different than the PCs many are familiar with.

      Thanks, though. I think this is a fascinating idea - a server with power to do whatever audio related task we might want.
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Quote Originally Posted by firedog View Post
      Elf - being a little harsh, I think. But I do think Chris should have given us a bit more detail.
      Chris, a few questions:

      1. Sorry for being dense, but I'm not sure I understood the general idea. This is intended to replace/be instead of a NAS AND what we usually think of as an audio PC (such as a CAPS3)? In other words, serves, processes, and plays back your music over the network to a network audio device (streamer) so you theoretically don't need another PC or server in the playback chain, even if doing lots of processing on the audio, e.g. on the fly upsampling? Or am I missing out on the idea entirely?

      2) Noise. How loud is it? CAN in be put in the same room as the audio system without disturbing listening?

      3) Cost/assembly. No individual or total parts costs are listed by the links at the bottom. Sure I can slowly work through the description and figure it out, but seems like it would be helpful to have a price listed by each component and a total cost at the bottom.

      4) Recommendation for someone to build it. Not everyone wants to/can build their own. Especially since this type of computer is different than the PCs many are familiar with.

      Thanks, though. I think this is a fascinating idea - a server with power to do whatever audio related task we might want.
      Hi firedog - Great questions and the type of questions that will help all the readers.

      1. This is intended to be a NAS replacement only. However, it's the most flexible and in my opinion best "NAS" for our purposes you can get. I use it every day and have stopped using my Synology, QNAP, and Thecus NAS drives. Yes, if sending audio to a network streamer / renderer you don't need another PC for anything.

      2. It's too noisy for placement in the audio room, but fortunately there is no need to have this server anywhere near the listener or audio system.

      3. Good point. I believe I spent about $2,200 on this server.

      4. I believe Small Green Computer will build these, but I haven't received confirmation.


      Thanks again for the good questions.
    1. Audio_ELF's Avatar
      Audio_ELF -
      Quote Originally Posted by The Computer Audiophile View Post
      Perhaps you misunderstood the reason for the Cortes server? It's a true server, not an audio-grade anything. Sending audio over Ethernet doesn't require anything specific for audio playback other than the right application(s).
      [snip]
      Oh well. It's hard to justify components that don't need justification beyond what I've said in the article.
      Then why would someone spend this money on just a bunch of components rather than buying an off the shelf Dell server (for example)?

      The only real advantage in any of your chosen components (that I can see) is the IPMI on the motherboard.

      I would however have thought that the big advantage of this over a standard NAS would be the ability to have inbuilt ripping. You also mention Backup in passing ... would not some recommendations of proper backup software not also be a good idea if you are creating a server.

      No I didn't misunderstand the reason for the Cortes server ... but perhaps I missed the reason for the CAPS articles. Perhaps (in this case) a tutorial how to turn a general server into a music specific server was what I was expecting. In fact perhaps I was generally expecting these articles to be more tutorials than "just a list of components" as I put it before.
    1. beetlemania's Avatar
      beetlemania -
      Quote Originally Posted by Audio_ELF View Post
      nor all the help and assistance that I've given your 100s of readers without which you wouldn't have a website.
      Wait, Chris is endebted to YOU for the success of his website? Is that what you're saying?
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Quote Originally Posted by Audio_ELF View Post
      Then why would someone spend this money on just a bunch of components rather than buying an off the shelf Dell server (for example)?

      The only real advantage in any of your chosen components (that I can see) is the IPMI on the motherboard.

      I would however have thought that the big advantage of this over a standard NAS would be the ability to have inbuilt ripping. You also mention Backup in passing ... would not some recommendations of proper backup software not also be a good idea if you are creating a server.

      No I didn't misunderstand the reason for the Cortes server ... but perhaps I missed the reason for the CAPS articles. Perhaps (in this case) a tutorial how to turn a general server into a music specific server was what I was expecting. In fact perhaps I was generally expecting these articles to be more tutorials than "just a list of components" as I put it before.
      Eloise - 99% of the people who read CA have no idea what to even order at Dell. CAPS is but one formula or one platform from which to expand or contract. Your knowledge may be way advanced compared to the average CA reader, but I can't write articles directed specifically at you or the 1% of CA readers in your knowledge bracket.
    1. Audio_ELF's Avatar
      Audio_ELF -
      Quote Originally Posted by joelha View Post
      One of the the differences between what you offer the readers of this site and the help Chris offers, is that Chris offers his services without an attitude.
      Sorry you're right there was a bit of "attitude" to my response to Chris's first reply to me ... but actually Chris has a LOT of attitude in his "Please accept a full refund of your $0 purchase price for reading the article. i can't refund the time you'll never get back."

      He asked for comments saying "I encourage members of the community to post questions, concerns, and comments below." yet obviously didn't like my comments.

      For example ... his statement "The X10SL7-F supports Intelģ Xeonģ E3-1200 v3 processors that are much more geared toward data crunching than the Core i7 series of CPUs that have integrated video for multimedia playback. Thus, I selected the Intel Xeon E3-1241 v3 (BX80646E31241V3) ($273) as the Central Processing Unit (CPU) for Cortes." while true is somewhat abstract. Perhaps if he had something solid like "compared with the i7 series of CPUs the Xeon allowed faster processing of DSD files to DSD" that would have been more useful (if true).
    1. Audio_ELF's Avatar
      Audio_ELF -
      Quote Originally Posted by beetlemania View Post
      Wait, Chris is endebted to YOU for the success of his website? Is that what you're saying?
      No, he is indebted to everyone who contributes! And he started with the cost attitude!!!
    1. joelha's Avatar
      joelha -
      Audio_ELF,
      Your attitude was demonstrated in response to what I consider to be a gift from Chris to the rest of us who frequent his site.
      Chris' attitude was a response to your ingratitude for his article.
      If you want a different kind of response from Chris, you might reconsider your tone.
      Joel
    1. Audio_ELF's Avatar
      Audio_ELF -
      Quote Originally Posted by The Computer Audiophile View Post
      Eloise - 99% of the people who read CA have no idea what to even order at Dell. CAPS is but one formula or one platform from which to expand or contract. Your knowledge may be way advanced compared to the average CA reader, but I can't write articles directed specifically at you or the 1% of CA readers in your knowledge bracket.
      That sounds a strange response (to me) Chris ... if people don't know what to buy at Dell (or another manufacturer) how would they know how to build the CAPS.

      I'm saying that your article is not really written to people who are looking to build a UPnP server / NAS as you have no details about how things are configured etc.

      It is (as I say) a list of components in the abstract. Maybe you have tried 100s of components and these are the best ... but it is just a list of components. At a hardware level yes it is a NAS replacement; but (to my thinking) what makes a NAS a NAS is about the configuration of the software.

      For example ... once someone has put everything in the case, do they have to configure the RAID before installing Windows, or is the RAID configured inside Windows? Yes people should read the manual, but the manuals are often confusing and in deep technical details and you say you are writing for people who are not technical.

      As I say maybe I have assumed wrongly about the purpose of the CAPS articles - I thought they were somewhat tutorials for people but it appears not as someone who cannot build and configure a computer already have no real chance of learning anything new.
    1. Audio_ELF's Avatar
      Audio_ELF -
      Quote Originally Posted by joelha View Post
      Your attitude was demonstrated in response to what I consider to be a gift from Chris to the rest of us who frequent his site.
      Chris' attitude was a response to your ingratitude for his article.
      If you want a different kind of response from Chris, you might reconsider your tone.
      As I say I thought Chris was writing somewhat a tutorial how to build a Cortes server. Instead all I read was a list of components that Chris has used to build HIS Cortes without (to my reading) any guidance how people can replicate it unless they are already experts in configuring Windows and J.River.
    1. Markhh2's Avatar
      Markhh2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by The Computer Audiophile View Post
      Hi firedog - Great questions and the type of questions that will help all the readers.

      1. This is intended to be a NAS replacement only. However, it's the most flexible and in my opinion best "NAS" for our purposes you can get. I use it every day and have stopped using my Synology, QNAP, and Thecus NAS drives. Yes, if sending audio to a network streamer / renderer you don't need another PC for anything.

      2. It's too noisy for placement in the audio room, but fortunately there is no need to have this server anywhere near the listener or audio system.

      3. Good point. I believe I spent about $2,200 on this server.

      4. I believe Small Green Computer will build these, but I haven't received confirmation.


      Thanks again for the good questions.
      I worked out a BOM with a price of $1775 sourced from either newegg or Amazon Prime including Windows Pro full edition and Jriver. I did drop the hard drives down from 6gb to 4gb to get that price.

      I also noticed that Corsair makes a "quiet" version of the CPU cooler which I also includeded in my BOM. Chris, did you use all 3 fans provided with graphite case?
    1. Antoine's Avatar
      Antoine -
      The general idea is a good one but I've noticed often that people with some IT affinity are already running something like this (or something way better, more purposed to pure NAS usage with ZFS or FreeNAS for example) and the average Joe can't be bothered, they much rather buy an off the shelve pre-configured NAS without any maintenance required.

      I threw my slow and annoying QNap TS-210 NAS out of the window a long time ago and have been running a similar setup (functionality wise) for years. Currently I'm using a "re-purposed" old Intel i3/H77 chipset (with built-in RAID support)/8GB RAM/128 GB SSD OS/2x3TB HDD RAID 1 setup as a NAS (Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit) and put this inside a cheap case but with a high quality, efficient Seasonic G Series 360W low ripple, low noise PSU.

      It's of course not anywhere near my music listening system (different room). Besides for storage I also use it as a mail server, AirVideo video transcoding server, SickBeard/Couch Potato download server. It completely outperforms all low/mid end NAS models, for example I get to enjoy 120MB/s network copying out of the box, simple and cheap.

      The parts for this Cortes machine are way, WAY overpowered IMO for a home NAS.
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Quote Originally Posted by Markhh2 View Post
      I worked out a BOM with a price of $1775 sourced from either newegg or Amazon Prime including Windows Pro full edition and Jriver. I did drop the hard drives down from 6gb to 4gb to get that price.

      I also noticed that Corsair makes a "quiet" version of the CPU cooler which I also includeded in my BOM. Chris, did you use all 3 fans provided with graphite case?
      Hi Markhh2 - Very cool that the price is much lower than when I purchased the components. I used all the fans because I wasn't concerned about noise (the noise isn't really that bad however).
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Quote Originally Posted by Antoine View Post
      The general idea is a good one but I've noticed often that people with some IT affinity are already running something like this (or something way better, more purposed to pure NAS usage with ZFS or FreeNAS for example) and the average Joe can't be bothered, they much rather buy an off the shelve pre-configured NAS without any maintenance required.

      I threw my slow and annoying QNap TS-210 NAS out of the window a long time ago and have been running a similar setup (functionality wise) for years. Currently I'm using a "re-purposed" old Intel i3/H77 chipset (with built-in RAID support)/8GB RAM/128 GB SSD OS/2x3TB HDD RAID 1 setup as a NAS (Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit) and put this inside a cheap case but with a high quality, efficient Seasonic G Series 360W low ripple, low noise PSU.

      It's of course not anywhere near my music listening system (different room). Besides for storage I also use it as a mail server, AirVideo video transcoding server, SickBeard/Couch Potato download server. It completely outperforms all low/mid end NAS models, for example I get to enjoy 120MB/s network copying out of the box, simple and cheap.

      The parts for this Cortes machine are way, WAY overpowered IMO for a home NAS.
      Hi Antoine - Thanks for the comments.
    1. Antoine's Avatar
      Antoine -
      Also: Let me google that for you
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