• Activity
  • Votes
  • Comments
  • New
  • All activity
  • Showing only topics with the tag "hardware". Back to normal view
    1. Synology NAS Recommendations & Questions

      Hey everyone! Sorry if this is a long post, but I've done my research and I would like to make a few questions. I've decided that I would like to buy a NAS mainly to storage all of my documents,...

      Hey everyone!

      Sorry if this is a long post, but I've done my research and I would like to make a few questions.

      I've decided that I would like to buy a NAS mainly to storage all of my documents, photos and videos, so that, I can access them from multiple devices and also use it to upload important documents to Backblaze B2. Then, I've actually discovered that I can install a few Docker containers and I could use it as a media server (Jellyfin) and serve the content to my Apple TV (neat!).

      I considered a QNAP (better hardware for the price) but everyone recommends Synology instead (because of the stronger security and better overall software), but to be honest, I'm not sure what should I get.

      My budget would be to buy a NAS (without counting the disks) below €1000. Ideally, €500-600 but I don't mind stretching to the €700 mark, if it is really worth it.

      Spoiler alert: I think, it should be the DS920+ (4-bay) or the DS1520+ (5-bay). I think a NAS above 4-bay is better for future-proofing.

      Looking here in Germany at price comparators, I could buy the DS920+ for €663 and the DS1520+ for €750. But these prices seem to be at an all-time high :(


      Questions & Assumptions:

      0. I'm not sure if the price difference of about €100 is worth the premium to get the 5-bay model. There are only two differences between these two models: The 5-bay has one extra slot, and it has 4x 1 Gbe LAN ports instead of 2x 1 Gbe. All the rest is the same. What is your opinion?

      1. I've read that if you run a few containers (~10) it consumes quite a bit of RAM (~3 Gb), so it should be ideal to have at least 8 Gb. This is the reason I've said that I think I can only choose the DS920+ or DS1520+. Looking at official Synology resellers, these models, seem to come already with 8 Gb, and they are within my budget. Is my research wrong?

      2. These two models, have an encryption engine. I think this is necessary to encrypt my files before sending them to Backblaze, or?

      3. A lot of people seem to say to simply pick Synology's hybrid RAID setup called SHR-1 or SHR-2. I would go the easy way here and pick one of those two. Would you think that is a bad idea, and it is better to pick a specific (standard) RAID? I've read about the long long long RAID rebuild that could happen in some situations, and picking the "right" RAID could decrease the rebuild in days (or weeks!!!!).

      4. In case, I choose a NAS model with Nvme cache slots, most people say it is not worth it to use if you are not running Virtual Machines and the SSD’s "burn" really fast. I have no interest on VMs.

      5. Most people say to pick an Enterprise (Server) HDD instead of a NAS HDD mainly because price is similar in some cases and Enterprise has longer life and warranty. I should also pick a CMR HDD which is helium filled. 5400 rpm would be preferable to 7200 rpm because of the noise. Sadly, all Enterprise HDD's and most of NAS HDD's are 7200 rpm. Is the noise difference that big? The NAS will be in our living room.

      6. Is 8 TB still the best cost per Terabyte?

      7. I was extremely sad to hear that the Hitachi hard drive division was bought by WD. I've had lots of misfortune with WD drives (and let's not forget the debacle with the SMR and CMR drives) and I would prefer not to give money to them, but, nevertheless, I'm still tempted to buy the Ultrastar drives that belonged to Hitachi. Does anyone know if WD kept the components, manufacturing processes, staff, etc., that made these brilliant disks?

      8. Following the HDD topic, what is your experience with Seagate or Toshiba drives?

      9. These two NAS models have the same Intel Celeron CPU, which supports hardware transcoding. To be honest, I don't know in which cases would that happen. It seems if I use Infuse on the Apple TV it would never transcode (and instead direct play) because Infuse would do the transcoding in software. Should I take in account that hardware transcoding is a must-have or a nice-to-have?

      10. Would you recommend having a CCTV system connected to the NAS? Should I dedicate one entire HDD just for the NVR system? Would a standalone NVR device be better?

      11. My last question is: Should I just wait for the new model of the DS920+ or DS1520+? The 20 means it was launched in 2020 (in Summer specifically) and it seems Synology refreshes the model every two years., that means, a new model would be available in Summer this year. Most people say it is not worth the wait because Synology is very conservative in its model updates/refreshes. People are saying that a better CPU will be of course available (do I even need that for my use cases?) and probably upgrade the 1 Gbe LAN ports to 2.5 Gbe or 10 Gbe (10 Gbe I really doubt it). I've read that a 4K stream does not fill a 1 Gbe bandwidth, and you could theoretically have three 4K streams in a single 1 Gbe connection. If all else fails, I could just do a link aggregation of the two ports to be 2 Gbe, or?

      12. Anything I'm forgetting? Should I be careful with something in particular?


      I know I should buy a UPS too, but I think I'll create a separate post regarding this topic because I would also want a recommendation regarding a UPS for my other devices.

      I know that I could actually build my own NAS and use Unraid for the OS. Furthermore, I'm just at a time in my life with too much on my plate (baby and small child) and having something that just works is preferable. When they are older and more independent, I'll have more time to investigate this option :)

      Again, sorry for the long post. Thank you everyone!

      9 votes
    2. Has anyone with a WD NAS formatted drives for another system?

      This is a total longshot. I moved away from a WD My Cloud EX4100 w/ 3x WD Reds to a new box. I bought two more drives for the new one to make the move easier. After the move I took the drives out...

      This is a total longshot. I moved away from a WD My Cloud EX4100 w/ 3x WD Reds to a new box. I bought two more drives for the new one to make the move easier.

      After the move I took the drives out to format them only to find that each 4TB drive shows a partition of 1.8TB on any other system (diskpart with W10 LTSC, Disk Utility MacOS, and GParted with Ubuntu.) Inside the EX4100 the drives show their full capacity.. and I just don't get it.

      I reached out to their support, but I don't expect much of a response.

      Anybody have any idea why the heck this could be happening? This seems crazy. I don't mind buying more drives, but it seems like a waste when I've got 12TB just sitting there.

      7 votes
    3. Would this be alright for a NAS?

      Right now I've got a shitty WD EX4100 and everything was sort of running along nicely with docker and all, but today it rebooted and decided that it didn't want to do anything with docker anymore....

      Right now I've got a shitty WD EX4100 and everything was sort of running along nicely with docker and all, but today it rebooted and decided that it didn't want to do anything with docker anymore. I got the thing before I got into Linux and its time to move on.

      Someone locally is selling the following for $250CAD

      • Quad core Celeron @ 2Ghz
      • 8GB RAM
      • Fractal Node 304 case
      • 2x WD 2TB Red 3.5" hard drives
      • 120GB Kingston SSD
      • 700 watt semi-modular power supply

      All I run are the following:

      • nzbget
      • sonarr
      • qbittorrent (but I'll switch to a better one)
      • serve up content to my HTPC (running Kodi, so no transcoding or anything)

      I don't need the drives that come with it. I'll be putting in 4x 4TB WD Reds. Right now the box is running Open Media Vault 6, so I'll give that a swing, otherwise it'll just be Ubuntu server.

      How does this sound? I'm not opposed to spending some money on a new NAS, I just want something simple that I don't have to fuck around with too much.


      I ended up going with the HP Proliant

      OS: Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS x86_64
      Host: ProLiant ML310e Gen8
      Kernel: 5.11.0-43-generic
      CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 V2 (8) @ 3.700GHz
      GPU: 01:00.1 Matrox Electronics Systems Ltd. MGA G200EH
      Memory: 32GB
      

      It's pretty good so far. Thanks everybody!

      8 votes
    4. Does anyone know anything about the computers used in vehicles?

      The reason why I ask is thus. I've used personal computers almost my entire life and it seems that, on average, every three years there's a problem that arises. Furthermore, these problems must be...

      The reason why I ask is thus. I've used personal computers almost my entire life and it seems that, on average, every three years there's a problem that arises. Furthermore, these problems must be troubleshot in order for the computer to return to regular operations.

      So, I purchased a brand new (at the time) 2008 Toyota Prius 13 years ago. It has had one recall to replace a few parts since then. However, there has been absolutely zero technical/computer problems. I find this astounding compared to personal computers.

      What types of computers are used in a vehicle like mine and why are they so robust?

      12 votes
    5. Does reformatting an ext4 partition fix bad sectors, and what are they anyway?

      My Linux desktop is having a bit of difficulty with bad sectors. Lately I've had to boot into recovery and run an fsck a few times to try to fix a problem where the OS drops into read-only mode at...

      My Linux desktop is having a bit of difficulty with bad sectors. Lately I've had to boot into recovery and run an fsck a few times to try to fix a problem where the OS drops into read-only mode at the drop of a hat. Today I tried copying some files from one directory to another and got the following error message:
      cp: error reading "foo/bar": Input/output error

      I've just booted into a live USB and run fsck /dev/sda1 -c and it fixed a load of bad sectors, but the above error message is still happening.

      A bit of googling tells me that this is down to bad sectors on the SSD, and I'm not really sure what that means. Is anybody able to enlighten me? And as a follow-up question, would reformatting the hard drive resolve the problem, or are there any other things I can try to fix it?

      9 votes
    6. Choosing a new printer

      I'm thinking about getting a new printer. My needs are basically to print out textual documents 2-3 times per month from macOS. I don't need to print photos. I will not buy an inkjet because of...

      I'm thinking about getting a new printer. My needs are basically to print out textual documents 2-3 times per month from macOS. I don't need to print photos. I will not buy an inkjet because of the outrageous price of the ink. I would like to have fax support (my spouse sees a lot of doctors and they still use fax machines a lot, and we're not comfortable sending personal medical info via a fax service on the web), and it would be nice if we could also scan documents. So I'm thinking a multi-function device.

      We currently have a Brother 7840W MFC with print, fax, copy, and scan. It's over 10 years old (maybe 15?) and I dislike it. It's been slowly losing functionality over the past 5+ years. The WiFi went out, but I was able to connect it via wired ethernet to a computer and share it from there. The drivers insist that there's a paper jam, but there isn't and it prints just fine (but sounds like some of the internal mechanical components are going to die any day now.) The UI of the printer is awful. I recall having to use the phone pad to enter my WiFi password, and it was like texting on a Motorola StarTAC. (Like if you want the letter "C" press the number "2" three times, etc.) The drivers and related software don't work like normal macOS software. (Disclosure: I also once wrote a scanner driver for Brother and it was horrible, but they shipped it, so I'm not real comfortable putting their software on my computer. But that was 25 years ago, so maybe they're better now?)

      I've heard horrible things about the drivers and software of most other major printer makers - HP, Epson, Lexmark, etc. I'm guessing what I'm looking for doesn't exist, but I just want a multi-function device in as small a package as is reasonable, and with a UI on the device and software that doesn't suck and that won't die on me in < 5 years. Does such a thing exist?

      17 votes
    7. My new Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build

      EDIT: Since a few people now have not realized how old this topic is before making a comment, see above date ↑. :) My old PC's CPU (i7 930) started to critically fail after 8+ years of being...

      EDIT: Since a few people now have not realized how old this topic is before making a comment, see above date ↑. :)

      My old PC's CPU (i7 930) started to critically fail after 8+ years of being overclocked from 2.8 to 4.0 GHz, so I decided to build a new one based on the Ultra-Compact Mini-ITX Gaming PC Build from TechBuyersGuru.

      I went with Mini-ITX this time since my old PC was in a huge Antec P193 tower which weighs 16.4kg (36.2lbs) before components and so was a giant PITA to move around. The new Sugo SG13 case is roughly 1/7th the volume and initial weight so is much more convenient to move (but not build!).

      p.s. I was unsure whether to post this 'buildapc' style content in ~tech or ~comp.... thoughts?


      PCPartPicker Part List
      Parts labeled incompatible are not... see "Notes" below in Build Process section.
      Salvaged from old PC:
      GPU   -     $0 - EVGA - GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Superclocked ACX 2.0+ Video Card
      SSD   -     $0 - Samsung - 850 Pro Series 1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive
      SSD   -     $0 - Samsung - 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
      HDD   -     $0 - Hitachi - Deskstar NAS 4TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive

      New Components:
      Case -   $72 - Silverstone - Sugo SG13B-Q Mini ITX Tower Case
      Mobo - $190 - Gigabyte - Z370N WIFI Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard
      CPU   - $325 - Intel - Core i5-8600K 3.6GHz 6-Core Processor
      Cool - $114 - Silverstone - NT06-PRO 74.0 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
      RAM   - $220 - Corsair - Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 Memory
      PSU   - $175 - Silverstone - 600W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular SFX Power Supply
      M.2   - $143 - Crucial - MX500 500GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive
      M.2   - $143 - Crucial - MX500 500GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive

      Total:  $1382 (CAD)


      Build Process w/ Pictures:

      TL;DR - Behold my new Battlestation, IN ALL HER GLORY!!!

      After saying goodbye to my old, heavy, oversized, Antec P193 case...
      Unboxing the new one, which is almost the same volume as my UPS!...
      And prepping all the new PC components for a photo op...
      I began the arduous process assembling my new computer.

      Everything went fairly smoothly to start. I installed the RAM, M.2 Drives, CPU and CPU Cooler before mounting the motherboard to the case, as instructed in the build guide. The CPU Cooler was a PITA to attach but that's no surprise as they always are.

      Note: These "incompatible" parts listed on PCPartsPicker actually do fit together as the build guide said they would. However the RAM and CPU cooler fan are actually touching and I barely managed to squeeze them in together, so the build guide probably isn't lying when it said that particular low-profile RAM might be the only one that actually works with the cooler.

      I then mounted the motherboard to the case and began slowly plugging everything else in. This was a particularly slow and frustrating process as I have pretty large hands and everything was incredibly tiny, in incredibly cramped positions, and required more finesse to get in place than I could muster with my fingers alone. As a result I wound up using long needle-nose pliers, including some bent-angle ones, to get most everything plugged in.

      This is when I ran into my first major problem though... and one that was not mentioned in the build guide at all. The Case's front panel USB cable wouldn't fit in the motherboard with the CPU cooler fan in place. After trying fruitlessly to get the cable plugged in for 30min I finally gave up and decided to solve the issue the old fashioned way and it plugged in just fine afterwards. (Thanks for saving my ass yet again, Mr. Dremel!)

      The other potential issue was due to the CPU cooler and case mounted PSU, which aren't supposed to work together, but once again as the build guide suggested they actually do... with a whopping 3mm clearance between them! At this point I also decided to swap out some of the ribbon power cables that came with the new PSU for some spare braided ones I had from another build since they are much nicer looking and allow for better airflow.

      Note: The other supposed incompatibility listed on PCPartPicker is due to the fact that the case only officially supports 3x 2.5" drives or 1x 3.5" with 1x 2.5" but that's easy enough to get around, as explained below.

      I also decided to cram an extra SSD under the front case fan, secured with double sided tape to the properly mounted SSD on the case floor panel. It worked just fine and allowed me to get my 3.5" 4TB HDD properly mounted on the underside of the top plate. Linus Tech Tips, in his similar Sugo SG13 build, even managed to squeeze 2 more SSDs above the PSU using double sided tape as well, so I guess that even leaves me with some room to expand my storage later. ;)

      The rest of the build assembly process went relatively smoothly and once everything was hooked up, in position and plugged in, it booted straight into windows 10 (which was still on my old 1TB SSD). The moment when a new PC build gets past the POST is always a huge relief, however that momentary relief soon turned to dread as I quickly noticed a pretty big problem; The machine couldn't detect one of my new M.2 SATA drives.

      After several hours of frustrated tinkering and much googling I finally found out the reason why, cursing PCPartPicker for not warning me and face-palming pretty hard for not having read the motherboard specs more carefully. It turns out that the Z370N motherboard actually only supports 1x M.2 SATA drive and the second M.2 slot is NVMe only. I had apparently just wasted $140+ on an M.2 SATA drive I couldn't use and my plans to configure them both in RAID 0 was shattered. But that's honestly not the worst part... in order to get the useless M.2 drive back out I had to basically FULLY DISASSEMBLE my entire build again since the NVMe M.2 slot is located on the bottom of the motherboard!

      Despite the serious temptation to just leave it in there even though I couldn't use it, I wound up going through with the disassembly purely because I had a pretty good idea for how to actually make use of that second M.2 SATA drive based on something I saw on Linus Tech Tips a few months ago. So rather than leaving it in there or even returning it, after ordering myself the necessary enclosure I now have myself a pretty nice DIY 500GB Thumb drive. ;)

      So several hours later after completely taking apart my new build, removing the bottom mounted M.2 SATA drive, and fully reassembling my build once again, I booted it up, it got past the POST and into Windows 10 again. I then reactivated Win 10 on the new hardware configuration (which was surprisingly painless compared to how it used to be where you needed to actually phone Microsoft) and then began the process of installing Linux Mint on the M.2 SATA drive I still had remaining.

      Conclusion:
      After several days of going at it now, I am finally done and my new computer is fully assembled, functional and ready to use. As always with building computers it was a bit scary, a bit painful, and more than a bit frustrating but ultimately well worth it. I couldn't be happier with the results and can't wait to overclock this bad boy when I get the chance!

      36 votes
    8. Would it be bad to mount a macbook pro upside down on a VESA tray?

      I've got a smaller desk with two monitor arms -- one with a monitor (left side, different system) and one with a VESA mounted tray for my macbook pro (late 2013 15".) I'm going to be adding a...

      I've got a smaller desk with two monitor arms -- one with a monitor (left side, different system) and one with a VESA mounted tray for my macbook pro (late 2013 15".)

      I'm going to be adding a 1440p monitor from the macbook pro, but I'm short on desk space. Instead of having the laptop on the tray normally, if I lay it lid down with the laptop portion up, the laptop base could sit behind the new monitor with the screen coming out the bottom -- perfect for static applications like VSCode, iTerm2, etc.

      Here's a mock up. The thicker outline represents the macbook pro screen.

      Can anybody foresee any issues with this configuration?

      6 votes
    9. What's your dream laptop for running *nix?

      What's your dream laptop for running *nix? I'm currently using a Lenovo Thinkpad T410s, and it's getting ready to die. I think it's a great machine, but every computer eventually dies. It runs...

      What's your dream laptop for running *nix?

      I'm currently using a Lenovo Thinkpad T410s, and it's getting ready to die. I think it's a great machine, but every computer eventually dies. It runs Debian 8 (Jessie), but it can't handle 9 (Stretch) without overheating. On top of that, I need to use the proprietary drivers! My computer got dropped on the floor today (not my fault!), and it got me thinking that maybe it's time to start shopping for a new laptop.

      What are your ideas about what a good laptop for *nix OS's? Any recommendations? What should I look for? What should I avoid?

      I love having a SSD HDD, and playing with different distros, but I'd like to avoid the headache I've had with the propitiatory Intel drivers. I like to have control of my hardware, but still use the latest software. If a Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone could match the performance of a laptop then I'd seriously consider using one.

      26 votes