Mod of the Month - October 2008

Written by Brett Thomas

October 31, 2008 | 07:36

Tags: #cygnus #dominator #lord-of-the-rings #month #motm #terabyte

Companies: #ac-ryan #mod

5th gen. eVolution

by grevaeg
Worklog


There are certain things which are truly near and dear to my heart. As a 'Nix convert, I've grown to love the server environment. All access at all times to my data is just one of those things I've come to expect. Of course, being a digital media lover, that data can be pretty demanding. And as a home theatre lover, well - let's just say that I need my space. My personal home server runs over 2TB of functional storage in a RAID5 array, streaming my video (even HD) to my PS3.

I thought it was pretty cool, and a lot of space for the home user.

Forumite grevaeg apparently thought differently. 5th gen. eVolution isn't just about serving, it's about storage, and lots of it. Twenty terabytes worth. Yep, you read that right - 20TB in multiple RAID5 arrays. All in a nice, cool and quiet(-ish, remember, there are 40 drives!). Along with this beast of a storage setup are two high-end gaming rigs built into the same case, and a nice little Atom-based mini-ITX to power the front display.

Overkill much? Naaaaah. Let's take a look...

Mod of the Month - October 2008 5th gen. eVolution by grevaeg Mod of the Month - October 2008 5th gen. eVolution by grevaeg
What do you do with a bunch of cut square aluminium rods? Put them together, of course! Grevaeg even thought ahead to use putty on the corners to really give a perfectly level finish. Once that was done, it was on to creating the space inside...

Mod of the Month - October 2008 5th gen. eVolution by grevaeg Mod of the Month - October 2008 5th gen. eVolution by grevaeg
Next up was to get that area some power in the form of two 1200W PSUs. And, of course, what kind of rig would this be if it wasn't watercooled?

Mod of the Month - October 2008 5th gen. eVolution by grevaeg Mod of the Month - October 2008 5th gen. eVolution by grevaeg
The heat exchange for the CPU and graphics would be handled outside of the main body of the case in an upper box., where the radiator was wrapped with mesh (to help position it, given its fans, and readied for work. It was soon joined by the mini-ITX Atom motherboard and LCD display.

Mod of the Month - October 2008 5th gen. eVolution by grevaeg Mod of the Month - October 2008 5th gen. eVolution by grevaeg
The upper box was then given its shell in the form of black aluminium. A window was added to show off the upper assembly.

Mod of the Month - October 2008 5th gen. eVolution by grevaeg Mod of the Month - October 2008 5th gen. eVolution by grevaeg
Wiith the top done, it was time to start working on the bottom - grevaeg prepped and painted the mesh over the HDD rack and gave the area its own set of mammoth fannage. Granted, that was as much a requirement as good thinking - 40 drives takes a LOT of heat dissipation!

As you can see, the case is already pretty near wrapped up - which means it's about time to get drooling over some serious server hardware via all those RAID cards he'll be needing. The total system has the ability to run a whopping 56(!!!) drives simultaneously - likely with enough power draw to black out a city block. But hey, that's what it's here for, right?

If you're anywhere near as impressed with this ridiculous functional excess, make sure to check out the worklog.

Oh, and while you're on your way there, make sure to take a stop by our forums to vote for 5th gen. eVolution by grevaeg as the bit-tech Mod of the Month for October!
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