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Building a Chenbro (ES34069) Home Server RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I hear great things about the Chenbro ES34069 case, looks great to me, and would like to build a brand new home server with it.

    I have the WHS software and I've some experience building PC's previously (some time ago). However, I am not sure what parts to get for this case, nowadays? I don't seem to be able to find any information anywhere useful to help me identify what quality parts to get for it.

     

    Has anyone built a WHS with this case yet?, or can help me select some high quality parts essential for building and installing this WHS?

     

    So far, all I've heard is that the Jetway J7F2 series motherboard is compatible, and someone has used a Promise SATA SATA150 TX4 controller. If those are decent, then I think all else I need are: the fans, the PSU and CPU with fan. Would you agree? and am I missing anything else necessary?

     

    Of course I can get disks and memory off the shelf at any BestBuy.

     

    p.s. Please consider that I will need to somehow acomadate a head (monitor and keyboard) for installing the software I assume, and then after install remove the head off it later.

    What would I need there then? Can I get away with something simple without investing in a new video card?

     

    much appreciated,

    (I hope others looking at this case may get some value from this thread too).

    Monday, February 4, 2008 1:34 AM

All replies

  • My preferance would be a VIA SN18000G. It seems to be a better value for WHS than the Jetway or MSI boards when you considure the cost of adding a CPU.

    Monday, February 4, 2008 3:54 AM

  • If you can find a mini-itx board with 4xsata II ports you can do without the controller.  Make sure whatever board you get has onboard graphics.  Note the case doesn't have any PCI expansion ports, any card mounted onto the motherboard will not have a bracket.

    It's a neat case, but it is pricey when compared to a standard atx case that can do more.
    Monday, February 4, 2008 5:36 AM
  • The Chenbro case is designed to accept a (small) PCI card; there's a riser and a bracket replacement available as optional accessories. But it would be better to find a board that has 4 SATA connectors, like the Via EPIA SN.
    Monday, February 4, 2008 4:44 PM
    Moderator
  •  Ken Warren wrote:
    The Chenbro case is designed to accept a (small) PCI card; there's a riser and a bracket replacement available as optional accessories. But it would be better to find a board that has 4 SATA connectors, like the Via EPIA SN.

     

    What PCI device would I need the PCI bracket for?

    Monday, February 4, 2008 5:59 PM
  • Any idea on a good PSU for it?

    Monday, February 4, 2008 6:05 PM
  • If, for example, you chose a motherboard with only two SATA connectors, you would need to add a PCI SATA card. You could use the PCI bracket for that. As for power supplies, it comes with an external power brick. You should go to the Chenbro site and read up on the case.
    Monday, February 4, 2008 6:47 PM
    Moderator
  •  Ken Warren wrote:
    If, for example, you chose a motherboard with only two SATA connectors, you would need to add a PCI SATA card. You could use the PCI bracket for that. As for power supplies, it comes with an external power brick. You should go to the Chenbro site and read up on the case.

     

    Thanks Ken,

     

    Just went through the Chenbro manuals to figure out what else I need for the case.

    Looks like it comes with a Power Board (internal) and external transformer, so no need for a seperate PSU.

     

    I looks like, if I can get the VIA EPIA SN10000EG Mini ITX motherboard it would be fanless using the VIA 1.0GHz CPU, has 2 SATA II connectors and onboard VGA.

    Then I need some DDR2 memory, 2.5" system disk and n SATA storage disks.

    slim optical CDROM drive, and it looks like I have a complete unit

     

    Am I missing anything else required or desirable to get running?

    Monday, February 4, 2008 7:15 PM
  • That's 4x SATA on that MB, not two. And you can get the case over here for less, if you like. I haven't done business with them, so I can't say how trustworthy they are.

    As for the other components, omit the internal 2.5" drive. 80 GB is tiny for a WHS system drive, the biggest available laptop drive is only 320 GB and ridiculously expensive for the price, and laptop drives are slow. (You may find you must install on an IDE drive due to chipset compatibility issues, however. In that case, use a 320 GB drive.) I would omit the slim optical device as well; just wire up a regular DVD-ROM for the installation then disconnect it. Omitting the internal slim DVD also lets you use any memory you like; you've got a clearance problem on one slot if you have a drive installed there.

    Consider upgrading to the SN18000 instead of the SN10000. It's not fanless, but will give better performance, and costs only a few dollars more. Consider buying most of your parts (i.e. drives and memory) from NewEgg or another cheap source; you can get your drives there for $20 to $30 less per drive. Consider sinking some of your savings into 2 GB of memory, instead of 1 GB.

    Before you commit to this configuration, do some searches in the forums and read up on Via chipset installation issues.
    Monday, February 4, 2008 9:00 PM
    Moderator
  • I built my server with the Chenbro and am using a KI690-AM2  Albatron board from here which has 4 SATA ports You can add this low power 45W AM2 CPU, install 2 gigs and include a slim drive with no clearance issues.  However I recommend buying two right angled sata cables to help clear under the slim drive should you choose to add one, although they are not absolutly necessary. Use the CPU cooler that comes with the case, it's fairly quite and with the 45W AM2, you will not need alot of air flow.  Just for kicks I loaded Vista first to see what the expierience index would report which rated a 5.8, not bad.  It's a great little case, enjoy!

     

    Sean

    Monday, February 4, 2008 10:56 PM
  • smk,

    Ihave tried the link for the PS you mentioned it takes me to a processor at Newegg.  Very inteested in the idea of an onboard PS and slim drive.  Please provide additional info.  I am in the process of specing out a system to build.

     

    Here is where I am at today, if anyone sees anything that I can improve on or problems with the approach please let me know.

     

    Item

    Model

    Cost

    Source

    Case

    Chenbro ES34069

    169.40

    http://www.grassrootscomputers.com

    Mother Board

    Via EPIA SN.

    268.00

    http://www.logicsupply.com/products/sn18000g

    Hard Drives

    (3)Seagate 500 GB

    90.00

    http://www.geeks.com/

    Memory

    2G-DDR2 533/667 DIMM

    120.00

    http://www.memorylabs.net/meforse.html

     

    I just sent back an retail system that had problems from the first day.  Really like the idea of a home server, so I guess I will build the replacement.

     

    Ken, you have been a great resource, thanks.

    Monday, April 7, 2008 11:51 PM
  • Just my opinion, but you are spending way too much money just to get to your small form factor system. It's a nice looking case, but ...

     

    Here are my thoughts (for what it's worth):

     

    Case - very overpriced. Paying for removable drives which in a WHS system seems odd as you are only pulling drives out in case of a hard drive failure. Depending on where this is going to go, I would look at some of the small form factor cases that take a micro ATX board.

     

    Motherboard - hopefully the $268 includes the processor, otherwise wow, is that expensive. For my system I chose a micro ATX with on board graphics / 1GB ethernet / 4 sata connectors. Of course, my original MB has the dreaded nVidia driver issues, so now I'm switching to a newer AMD 740G chipset MB with 6 SATA connectors -- lots of future growth mode. MB is $50 from newegg after rebate; add a low power (45W AMD chip) and you will be all set.

     

    Hard drives, depending on your ultimate storage needs, consider two 1TB drives. Get one of the low power green drives two. Power savings of two versus three drives will pay off over time, plus you have growth room.

     

    Memory - 2GB is overkill unless you are running exotic apps on WHS box. It doesn't take a lot of memory to serve up files. I went with 1GB on WHS and it has been fine. Also, your memory price is very expensive. Do you have a Fry's near you? Memory is always on sale.

     

    You don't mention power, but find an efficient power supply. I went with the Seasonics -- they are highly regarded.

     

    FYI, my 3TB WHS runs about 48 watts idle, and 68 watts under load. This is measured with a Kill-A-Watt meter. I went as low power as I can because where I am the next KWH is about $0.25 when all the fees and taxes are added in.

    Wednesday, April 9, 2008 6:04 PM
  •  

    Here's a review: http://www.wegotserved.co.uk/2008/03/29/hands-on-chenbro-es34069-home-server-chassis/

     

    Hugely expensive. Just go for a decent micro-ATX case and motherboard.

    Thursday, April 10, 2008 8:16 PM
  • It looks like a great case and I also intend to put one together but I'm going to use the Intel 945GCLF2 Dual Core Atom M.B. in mine. I'm actually typing this post from one of these flea power computers using this M.B. running Windows 7 and its a nifty little performer!! The advantage over some of the other MITX mother boards is that the Intel board will accept 2gb of ram and it's CPU is dual core... Others may be too but definately not in this price range, this M.B. is cheap! WHS is somewhat memory hungry and I feel that the dual core and the 2gb of memory may make for an improved micro-server over the more expensive VIA alternative. The down side of the Intel board is it's video department but it should proove more than adaquate for a server's needs. There is also one PCI socket to operate a RAID board. The raid board does not have to be mounted to it's metal tab in this Chenbro case, there are other ways to secure em... cable ties work well.  I'm not thrilled about the power brick supply on the Chenbro but I guess thats the price we have to pay to keep things small.

     

    BTW: I have been running WHS on a Dell 2850 and its been flawless since the Powerpack upgrade

     

    Mark

    Sunday, January 25, 2009 4:44 AM
  •  Great posts. I am currently using a hp mss - which is pretty good, but I hate not having control and want something I can attach a monitor to. I love the form factor and so want to build something around the Chenbro ES34069 - I know it is a lot and there are cheaper cases, but this is neat and I already have so much pc stuff in my house, I need something that is small. Anyway, maybe you guys can help - here is what I am thinking for the build:

    MB - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121358
    Intel BOXDQ45EK LGA 775 Intel Q45 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard - Retail

    CPU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116072
    Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail

    RAM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231121
    G.SKILL 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory

    DVD - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118017
    Sony Optiarc Black 2MB Cache SATA Slim 8X DVD±R Burner - OEM

    along with the Chenbro ES34069 case

    should work out just under $500

    What do you guys think? Will those components work together? Any suggestions or help would be really appreciated.

    I know I can get MB with onboard cpu - but I prefer to have the option of changing it if necessary.
    Monday, February 2, 2009 7:47 PM
  • Hi Cerem,

    Have you taken a look at the following MBs:
    1. Asus P5E-VM DO Socket 775 Motherboard, Intel Q35 Chipset, Supports Intel Quad-Core CPUs, Dual DDR2 1066, SATA 3.0Gb/s RAID, PCI-E, RoHS Compliant, w/ PCIe Gigabit LAN, 1394a, 8ch HD Audio

    Ref. link at Asus

    2. Asus P5E-VM HDMI LGA 775 Intel G35 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

    Ref. link at Asus


    Thursday, February 5, 2009 8:51 PM
  • Thanks for the response. Those look like some good choices - I really like that fact that they have 6 sata connections. That will really help. I am going to read up on those some more, but I think that is the way to go for sure. 
    Friday, February 6, 2009 4:57 PM
  • Don't bother. They're Micro ATX boards, and the Chenbro case requires a mini-ITX board.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, February 6, 2009 6:25 PM
    Moderator
  • Hello Ken

    Yeah am I read up on them, I realized the same thing, it is a pity, as all those sata connectors would be nice.

    What do you think of my configuration above, do you think that would work. I do have some experience with building a pc, but just want to make sure I am not missing something.

    Any advise would be appreciated.
    Friday, February 6, 2009 6:32 PM
  • I don't know. I don't have that case, or that motherboard. There will be clearance problems, and I think the rear port gasket is required to be a 1U fitting for that case, though.

    I would suggest you check out the product documentation for both. The Intel board will have extensive documentation on the Intel web site, and the Chenbro case is found here on the Chenbro web site.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, February 6, 2009 6:58 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for that. I really like this case, however I am having second thoughts on whether it is the best way to go. This case really seems to reduce the options available. Anyway, as I said thanks for the info.
    Friday, February 6, 2009 7:18 PM
  •  Although the micro size stuff looks cool, can save some money long term with utilities I rather build a system with a full ATX tower and keep adding drives. Depends on your needs really. Great discussion on the many possiblities of WHS.
    PACS Technical Support Engineer
    Saturday, February 7, 2009 7:54 PM
  • I'm building a WHS system using the Chenbro ES34069 case, Jetway JNC81-LF motherboard, AMD Athlon X2 4850e 45W CPU, Highpoint RocketRaid 1740 SATA II controller card, and two WD Green 1TB hard drives. The system drive will be a WD 250GB IDE notebook hard drive and have a Panasonic CW-8124-B Slimline Slot-loading CD/DVD drive, using a slimline CD to 40 pin IDE adapter.

    The motherboard has 4 SATA II ports but I prefer to use the RocketRaid controller so as to use the available activity LEDs on the front of the case. The motherboard also has two eSATA ports on the back for future expansion. I've also purchased the available WiFi daughterboard and two small antennas.

    The CPU should run cool using the supplied (with case) CPU heat sink and fan.

    I've put this list of materials using the pictures supplied with the latest Chenbro ES34069 case User's Manual. The installation instruction show the Jetway JNC81-LF motherboard and the HighPoint RocketRaid 1740 controller card being assembled into the case.

    I purchased the Chenbro case with PCI riser, power spliter cable, Chenbro 4-in-1 card reader (SD/Mini-SD/MMC/MCS) adapter, Panasonic CW-8124-B slimline CD/DVD drive, and CD to 40 pin IDE adapter from Logic Supply. $335.00

    The other pieces I picked up from NewEgg:
    Jetway JNC81-LF Motherboard $160
    HighPoint RocketRaid 1740 SATA II Controller Card $115
    AMD Athlon X2 4850e, 2.5GHz Socket AM2 45W Dual-Core Processor ADH4850DOBOX $56
    Corsair 4GB (2X2GB) 200-pin DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 800 (PC6400) Laptop Memory VS4GSDSKIT800D2 $50
    Western Digital Scorpio WD2500BEVE 250GB 5400 RPM ATA-6 Notebook Hard Drive $85
    StarTech IDE4044 2.5" to 3.5" IDE Hard Drive Cable Adapter $17
    Two Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drives $220
    Microsoft Windows Home Server 32 Bit 1 Pack (Power Pack 1) OEM $95

    Yes, it's not cheap, but having a HP MediaSmart Server in the home for several months and using it to wirelessly stream itunes movies to an Apple TV, I have experienced its' (MSS) limitations. Even with both the RAM and CPU upgrade the MSS will lockup and/or stutter. I'm looking for something with a little more processing power. With this Chenbro/Jetway setup I might even eliminate the Apple TV and use the HDMI port out the back of the motherboard and connect directly to the HDTV.
    Sunday, February 15, 2009 2:43 PM
  • jdfrench3 said:

    I'm building a WHS system using the Chenbro ES34069 case, Jetway JNC81-LF motherboard, AMD Athlon X2 4850e 45W CPU, Highpoint RocketRaid 1740 SATA II controller card, and two WD Green 1TB hard drives. The system drive will be a WD 250GB IDE notebook hard drive and have a Panasonic CW-8124-B Slimline Slot-loading CD/DVD drive, using a slimline CD to 40 pin IDE adapter.

    The motherboard has 4 SATA II ports but I prefer to use the RocketRaid controller so as to use the available activity LEDs on the front of the case. The motherboard also has two eSATA ports on the back for future expansion. I've also purchased the available WiFi daughterboard and two small antennas.

    The CPU should run cool using the supplied (with case) CPU heat sink and fan.

    I've put this list of materials using the pictures supplied with the latest Chenbro ES34069 case User's Manual. The installation instruction show the Jetway JNC81-LF motherboard and the HighPoint RocketRaid 1740 controller card being assembled into the case.

    I purchased the Chenbro case with PCI riser, power spliter cable, Chenbro 4-in-1 card reader (SD/Mini-SD/MMC/MCS) adapter, Panasonic CW-8124-B slimline CD/DVD drive, and CD to 40 pin IDE adapter from Logic Supply. $335.00

    The other pieces I picked up from NewEgg:
    Jetway JNC81-LF Motherboard $160
    HighPoint RocketRaid 1740 SATA II Controller Card $115
    AMD Athlon X2 4850e, 2.5GHz Socket AM2 45W Dual-Core Processor ADH4850DOBOX $56
    Corsair 4GB (2X2GB) 200-pin DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 800 (PC6400) Laptop Memory VS4GSDSKIT800D2 $50
    Western Digital Scorpio WD2500BEVE 250GB 5400 RPM ATA-6 Notebook Hard Drive $85
    StarTech IDE4044 2.5" to 3.5" IDE Hard Drive Cable Adapter $17
    Two Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drives $220
    Microsoft Windows Home Server 32 Bit 1 Pack (Power Pack 1) OEM $95

    Yes, it's not cheap, but having a HP MediaSmart Server in the home for several months and using it to wirelessly stream itunes movies to an Apple TV, I have experienced its' (MSS) limitations. Even with both the RAM and CPU upgrade the MSS will lockup and/or stutter. I'm looking for something with a little more processing power. With this Chenbro/Jetway setup I might even eliminate the Apple TV and use the HDMI port out the back of the motherboard and connect directly to the HDTV.

    FYI, using the server as a workstation to play videos directly to your TV is unsupported (and, depending on the drivers available for the video card, may not even work).

    Sunday, February 15, 2009 5:34 PM
    Moderator
  • Hello jdfrench3

    Thanks for the description. Let me know how that build goes. I wanted to build with that case, but I am sort of on the fence now, due to the high cost of all the components. I am really trying to keep to a $500 budget and the chenbro case makes that impossible, however it is still the best looking case out there. Anyway let me know how it goes, I would be very interested in hearing about your progress....

    good luck
    Monday, February 16, 2009 3:29 PM
  • hi,

    i am building whs using the ES34069, am using the dual core atom, 2gig ram and 3 western dig green power 1tb hard drives also slim dvd for ripping. want i cant seem to work out is where the front connectors go! there are fail and hard drive light but where do i connect them on the mother board or on the hard drive boards? can anyone help?


    thanks

    ben
    Friday, February 20, 2009 12:32 AM
  • Consult your motherboard manual, and the installation instructions for the case. They're your best source of information for this question. However, you may find that your motherboard doesn't have support for all the case lights.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, February 20, 2009 1:41 PM
    Moderator
  • jdfrench3 said:

    ...
    Yes, it's not cheap, but having a HP MediaSmart Server in the home for several months and using it to wirelessly stream itunes movies to an Apple TV, I have experienced its' (MSS) limitations. Even with both the RAM and CPU upgrade the MSS will lockup and/or stutter. I'm looking for something with a little more processing power. With this Chenbro/Jetway setup I might even eliminate the Apple TV and use the HDMI port out the back of the motherboard and connect directly to the HDTV.

    kariya21 said:
    FYI, using the server as a workstation to play videos directly to your TV is unsupported (and, depending on the drivers available for the video card, may not even work).

    Hi dfrench3, I really like your idea. I'd also like to build myself a PC that can function as NAS and HTPC do. If it can support us with NAS function and streaming multimedia to TV, it's really great - saving money, space, and make our HTPC system nicer and neater than anything else. But the point is that we should spend time to find the right stuff (such as video card, wireless NIC, drivers etc.) that can support or live "peacefully" with WHS. Please let me know what your result is.
    Thanks

    Sunday, February 22, 2009 4:30 PM