Project Mini Monster: My mini server :)

Tahoe916

Gawd
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
623
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So I've been toying with the idea to get a W2K8 R2 server up and running to use for study and as a File/VPN/NAS/IIS/Exchange server....ha.

I finally bit the bullet and spent a grand total of $221 on this beast!

C2D Celeron E3300 2.5GHz (undervolted)
4GB DDR2 800MHz (undervolted)
Zotac Geforce 9300-G-E ITX WiFi
2x500GB WD HDs in RAID1
200w POS PSU
Lian Li Q07 case

Man, this mighty mini is amazing! I just ordered a Kill-a-watt to see what I'm actually pulling at idle, but it can't be much. I have Server2008R2 running on it, its setup as a FTP, IIS7, NAS, Virtual machine running OpenVPN server vhd, etc. and its dead silent and wicked fast for what it is and what I spent. So impressed with Zotac and Lian Li, what a great ITX combo.

This isnt a special build by any means, just a great all round setup.

I do have a couple questions: Anyone know what the safest, lowest speed I should shoot for on the Geforce IGP? I want to conserve as much power as possible as this will run 24/7/365.

Also, anyone with this case, or have a recommendation for a low height, highly effcient cooler? Right now the MCP is 50c and the CPU is 32c, CPU is great, but it's doing nothing for the MCP and it pushes against the NB HS, which is part of the high temps. It was 80c at idle before I noticed the stock HSF was really pushing on the NB HS, so I reorientated it to not be so bad and it dropped to 50, but it's still too hot for my taste.


On to the pics!

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Read a lot of complaints about the IO shield not fitting and the fit and finish of pieces not being that good, well, I can tell you I'm either lucky or they don't know their ass from a hot swap bay cause this is definately a Lian Li case. I've got a PC75B PlusII, Rocket-Fish (Lian Li) Server Tower and just got rid of a V1200B, its just as nicely built as all of those.

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So funny story about the name, I had this Dell 200w PSU forever, wondering why I never threw it away, until yesterday when I got the wild hair up my ass to go buy this stuff at MicroCenter, glad I held on to it! Super quiet, all the rails are actually very stable, and it doesnt have a lot of leads, so it wasnt hard to fit. But it was ugly as sin, kept staring at me with that kill yourself grey color peeking out the mesh side panel. So I ghetto modded it with some Monster Energy dirtbike graphic packs haha.

I'm actually quite impressed how it turned out. Totally ghetto, totally what I was looking for :p

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Stupid fan is pushing on the NB :(
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Left the SATA like that so I can add a RAID card or TV tuner later.
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Next to the 24" and 37" LCDs.
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Yup, so that's my latest geekgasm. Love playing with this thing, Server 2008 R2 is pretty sick too, wow it has come a long way since NT! Haha.
 

GlowingBurrito

Weaksauce
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
89
Cool little server. I just ordered the same case today for my own itx build. Case looks pretty easy to work in.
 

Tahoe916

Gawd
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
623
It's great to work with!

You can fit 2x3.5" HD's and a 2.5"HD without modding anything if you leave the Optical drive out...I never need one anymore anyways, just do everything over the network. Fun to hook it all up in such a tight place.
 

Wipeout

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 12, 2002
Messages
271
Bookmarked. I'm dying to build a server in this form factor. Does the Celery have VT-x support?
 

TeeJay88

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
453
yeah that case is housing my server too, pain in the ass to work in but damn does it look good.
 

Tahoe916

Gawd
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
623
Bookmarked. I'm dying to build a server in this form factor. Does the Celery have VT-x support?

The Celery's are back! Intel finally didnt neuter them as much. The E3300 is a Wolfdale, 45nm core, with all the extra instructions included, (VT-x, x64, etc.) and great voltages.

It has 1MB cache instead of the normal. That's pretty much the only downside, being 2.5GHz, and $39.99 @Microcenter, I can deal with that down side haha.

I'm running OpenVPN server in the HyperVisor, great setup.
 

cyberkost

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
Messages
8,778
Well yeah ... getting a decent cooler into this case may be a challenge. A couple of things I've considered are:
1. Scythe Big Shuriken: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185129 (64 mm high) ...
2. Corsair H50 with the rad slapped onto the front panel (which will need a blow hole cut out): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835181010
I'm not sure if any of these two are realistic fits, but intend to look into these further. There are also variants with reversing (and independently controlling) the PSU fan ...
 

Tahoe916

Gawd
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
623
I thought about watercooling, but seeing as its going to be on 24/7/365, I want it as low power as possible.

I ordered that Gelid cooler. Read some good things about it with this mobo. It directs air straight to the NB/Vid card which is good cause that baby is the hotest spot in the system.

Ill let you know how it turns out.
 

Tahoe916

Gawd
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
623
Yea I have a 2x80mm Rad and a DD TDX waterblock sitting around and I am getting an itchy trigger finger on buying as small a pump as possible and just doing it. It would be easy to do I think.
 

cyberkost

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
Messages
8,778
I don't have a mobo with CPU to make the exact measurements ... just the case itself. It seems that the distance between the bottom of the mobo and the PSU is 81mm. I'd like to assume that the thickness of the mobo, socket and the CPU leaves me 70mm of vertical space (would be awesome if you could check) to squeeze the CPU cooler into. Scythe Big Shuriken is 58mm tall (most spec sheets say 64mm, but a couple of places online + a newegg.com reviewer who measured the actual thing say 58mm). 58mm will fit, heck, it may even fit with that 12x120x120 fan that comes with Big Shuriken ... potentially creating a kind of duct to the PSU fan. The only thing is that the Scythe fan will need to be flipped such that it pulls air away from the socket, as opposed to preferred "push air onto socket" orientation, such that it works together with the PSU fan ... or maybe the Scythe fan is not needed at all and the PSU fan will do the job ... if one can disconnect it from the PSU fan control and make spin at 1000-1200RPM whenever the system is on ...
Corsair H50 -- while the block/pump (55mm tall) may fit, radiator and fan may not fit on the front (assuming one makes a blow hole there) .. unless one uses an extra short PSU of some kind
Decisions-decisions ...
 
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Tahoe916

Gawd
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Jan 11, 2007
Messages
623
Decisions indeed, I would measure it myself, but its almost impossible with everything in there. I'm taking it apart to add some more parts, Ill try measuring then and let you know.
 

sneeker

n00b
Joined
Sep 3, 2008
Messages
49
I love it... And Hate it at the same time, as Ive just upgraded my pc, and Im now considering bulding one of these with a Atom 330, 2gb ram, 2 1tb samsung greens in the same case...

Actually, Can you squeeze 2hdd's in the case along with a dvd? Seems to only list 1x 3.5" bay on the website where I buy most of my stuff from.

So tempting.
 
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cyberkost

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
Messages
8,778
PC-Q07 is designed to accommodate 1x2.5" and 1x3.5" HDD at the bottom. At the top you cannot add anything if you insist on using full size optical drive. If you go for an external optical drive, you can add at least one, but possibly two 3.5" HDDs using smth. like this: http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=23379. What I think of doing is using a slim internal optical drive in conjunction with Lian-Li EX-533, which can house one 3.5" or two 2.5" HDDs in addition to the optical drive. I'm going for a 4 disk RAID10 (two 2.5" HDDs at the bottom and two 2.5" HDDs at the top). Two things that stop me are:
1. Ugly (imo, of course) USB port on EX-533 that simply does not belong there
2. Lack of availability online (perhaps, b/c it's a relatively new item from Lian-Li)
 

cyberkost

[H]F Junkie
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Nov 25, 2008
Messages
8,778
Decisions indeed, I would measure it myself, but its almost impossible with everything in there. I'm taking it apart to add some more parts, Ill try measuring then and let you know.

One, somewhat heretic thought occurred to me yesterday as I was spinning the case in my hands and looking at the Lian-Li accessories flyer that they put in the shipping box: use this Lian-Li bracket, that would allow your PSU to be inserted only a little more than half way. Utilizing PE-01 the gap between the front panel and the PSU is not 40mm, but more like 100mm, which would allow for a Corsair H50 radiator and 120x120x25 fan to fit comfortably ... the downside, of course, is that there is a PE-01 sticking out in the back and a blowhole on the front (for Corsair's rad)
 
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Tahoe916

Gawd
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
623
That' actually a damn good idea, you'd have enough room for the rad up front easily then. Damn you, I was almost content with just rocking it air cooled. You just flipped that upside down haha.
 

Tahoe916

Gawd
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Jan 11, 2007
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623
If you find an EX-553 anywhere, let me know, I would really like to get one!
 

ReVRiN

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 10, 2000
Messages
1,636
Wow o wow! Very impressed... that is exactly the footprint I was looking for. And Server 2008 is awesome. Now to convince the wife for my new purchases.
 

Tahoe916

Gawd
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
623
Thanks! So happy with this little guy. Just got my Kill-a-watt today, so Ill see how much power its slurping and post here.
 

Tahoe916

Gawd
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
623
After a full 2 days of usage, the kill-a-watt is telling me this server is going to cost me $36 a year to run 24/7/365.

Happy Happy joy joy.
 
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