Posts by esbeeb

    Knowing where to order those things really helps. Thanks, @ryecoaaron! ^^

    My first computer was in an AT case, not an ATX case, and now I'm sort of wishing I hadn't gotten rid of it for recycling. That case had at least 3 5.25" bays, plus a 3.5" bay for the floppy drive. That case would be nice for this sort of thing.

    Rant: ATX cases are so cavernous these days, with really overpowered power supplies. How do you even use 750 watts inside a case these days? With giant numbers of RGB LEDs?

    OK, I came up with a one-size fits all solution, which might be useful in the case that @tkaiser describes, where you want a way to somehow try to force (if possible) the heatsink on the underside of the NAS ARM board against the metal case.

    This idea tries to use cable ties, sort of like how you secure a tarp over a tent while camping; with a rope on each corner of the tarp, through the grommet-holes, then stake the other ends of the ropes into the ground, pulling the tarp fairly tight over the tent, so it won't flap in the wind.


    Note, perhaps multiple cable ties might need to be chained together, if they aren't long enough. And boosting the ARM board up, say, 1cm or so with copper shims (as @tkaiser suggests above) might be needed to create more of a "tent lump", so there is more forcefulness against the ATX case metal, once the cable ties are tightened enough.

    I think what you're saying is mount an SBC inside of a normal PC case.

    If you were gonna try something like this... I think something like this would be smarter...…54186080&s=gateway&sr=8-2
    Make the "stem" small enough to fit the mounting holes on the SBC.. then use some double sided tape on the underside of the base and you can mount the SBC anywhere you want.

    Or you could just cut some small squares plate, drill a hole and then thread in some of the standard brass or plastic standoffs (if you use the brass, make sure it doesn't touch the metal case underneath the plate).. Mount the SBC to the standoffs, sticky tape the plate to the case anywhere you want.

    These are all great ideas, thanks. I hope the adhesive on those Yootop mounts is nice and strong, and won't just pop off again in 6 months or a year.

    I've had good success in the past with hobby glue as well (from a hobby glue gun, you know those cheap, small thermal glue guns that you plug in.) If one made little puddles of glue in the four corners where the ARM board screw holes go, then let the puddles firm up, then do it again, making smaller puddles on top of the first puddles, and so on, you can make your own crude standoffs, then finally glue the board to the standoffs themselves at the right height so the heatsink touches the metal case. That might be simplest of all. Just reheat the glue again later, with the tip of the hot glue gun, and it re-melts again, and you can twist the ARM board back off the mounts again.

    The really interesting ARM boards for the NAS use case show a design detail that helps improving the CPU's heat dissipation: they have the SoC on the lower PCB side so the best way to combine an old PC case and such a board is using the case as giant heatsink. You just need a good thermal pad or a copper shim and some thermal grease to interconnect the SoC on the ARM board with the enclosure. No need for an inefficient heatsink or heatsink+fan inside the enclosure.

    Might not look great but why bother? It's inside the enclosure and you can/should hide the enclosure anyway (disks make noise too).

    Ok, then how does this idea sound? It combines a little of what was said above. It's some plastic sort of in the shape of a picture frame, being hollow in the middle. There are 4 diagonal plastic "arms" emanating out from all corners, which reach out to the ATX screw holes, so it can be affixed to the ATX case. There are also 4 diagonal plastic arms going inward at the four corners of the picture frame as well. These reach in to the four corners of the ARM board. They have a height well chosen so as to help hold the heatsink-on-the-underside of the NAS-friendly ARM board against the ATX's metal case, for heat dissipation.

    I'll draw a crude diagram:

    I searched the Thingiverse to no avail. Are there any 3D printing enthusiasts out there?

    Many of us have an old PC with an ATX case in the closet or garage. Then we drool over some new ARM board and buy it, which oftentimes has no case. What if a 3D-printable adapter plate was available (as an STL file) on Thingiverse, which, when printed, is the size of a normal ATX motherboard, (having mounting holes in all the normal places), then it also has holes (possibly raised a bit, in a standoff-like way) in carefully chosen places that correspond to the mounting holes for many of the common ARM boards out there (which are not the size of a standard Raspberry Pi)?

    This would let you easily mount any ARM board (or even maybe 2 or 3 ARM boards) in an ATX case. This adapter plate would be the thing between the ARM board(s), and the ATX mounting holes (for an ATX motherboard) in the ATX case.

    I have no 3D printer myself, and am a total non-expert in 3D CAD design. I have no clue where to start, and I'm in Linux.

    @TechnoDadLife, you said you were going to have your NUC's "backed up to the web". Can you say more about that? How will you do that? Rsync?

    I too find the NUC's interesting, but the 1 internal 2.5" SATA bay is kind of limiting for affordably putting some bulk storage in there (say, above 2 or 4 TB). (Dear Intel, how about a few more 2.5" bays in a NUC that's a little taller?)

    In a few years, when SSD's get somewhat cheaper, then I could probably get by (for a personal NAS) with just a NUC having an M2 drive for the OS, then a 2.5" SSD for the bulk storage, say with 2 or 3 TB. I make a point of habitually saving few videos, and not being an "archivist" of anything and everything slightly interesting that comes my way.

    @KM0201 said "I'm not sure how calibre would be difficult for a Pi to manage".

    The main window of Calibre might be decently performant on a Raspberry Pi, but when you actually open an eBook to read it, that built-in eBook reading app that comes with Calibre is dog-slow. Opening larger ebooks (with thousands of pages and many footnotes), or (gasp) scanned or large pdf's with lots of graphics will be a nightmare, and I have tried it. Calibre's ebook reading app is written in python, and seems to be very poorly optimized for performance at this time.

    There is a Much faster eBook reader called "fbreader", and Calibre can be configured to open fbreader as the eBook reading app instead, using a Calibre plugin, whose name I forget. But good luck installing fbreader alongside calibre in the same docker container.

    On a Raspberry Pi, I say proceed straight to fbreader for ebooks, even though the ability to organize larger libraries is way better in Calibre. Calibre + fbreader might work on a Raspberry Pi if they are not in a Docker container.

    following boards are NOTseverly bottlenecked by design (USB2 attached storage or crappy SATA implementation):

    • NanoPi M4
    • NanoPi NEO4
    • NanoPC-T4
    • Espressobin
    • Rock64
    • Renegade
    • ODROID XU4/HC1/HC2

    (I have/had all of them in my lab, tested them and optimized NAS settings on a per 'board family' basis). ARM boards that are not listed there since not enough relevance or currently WiP but also as fast or faster as any Gigabit equipped x86 box:

    • Clearfog Base/Pro
    • the yet not available ClearFog ITX outperforming even all 10GbE x86 NAS boxes
    • Helios4
    • MacchiatoBin
    • Any RK3399 board mentioned here
    • countless others

    OK then, I retract my claim. It wasn't fair of me to paint all ARM boards with such a broad brush stroke.

    To get this nicely summarized list above was worth having you spazz out at me.

    Now that I've recently got my first taste of Docker (I tested out a Zulip Docker container), I'm getting gravitated back to x86, as the most choice in Docker images these days are on x86. Having said that, I still commend all the efforts made in the ARM world, such as Armbian and OMV on Armbian.

    @TechnoDadLife said "I prefer x86 because everything I want to do runs on it already.". I strongly agree, and want to further commend your choice in phrasing, which didn't come across as any sort of personal attack.

    @TechnoDadLife, I love your YouTube channel. I have a special request.

    I see you have several OMV servers, both ARM and PC. Would you be willing to do an OMV SMB transfer performance comparison between ARM and PC (between your best ARM board, hopefully not a Raspberry Pi, and that 6-ish year old Lenovo ThinkServer)?

    I'd love to see how fast you can upload 2GB of tiny files (ebooks and accompanying metadata files, from a Calibre Library folder) over SMB into both of these, using an all-GbE connection. Then an upload of a single 2GB file into both servers. The 2GB of tiny files is the "torture test", and the one 2GB file would be the "best case scenario" test. I'd like to see the MB/sec average, for all these 4 cases.

    I'd like to get a sense from you, if you can spare the time, of how realistic my claim was that "You'll also probably get a very noticeable increase in disk and network performance, over an ARM-based NAS. Like say an extra 10-80 MB/sec, over GbE (just a rough estimate based on my own experiences)."

    As you describe it it seems you need a pretty beefy x86-64 NAS. I think calibre is the clincher.

    I agree. Calibre is important to me as well. I've tried out the Calibre-web thing, and I don't really like it. I would far rather use the full-blown, normal Calibre from a Docker container. The way it's usable from within a web-browser (over the network) is awesome.

    Thanks so much for the video on how to set that up, BTW, @TechnoDadLife. :)

    I say 1 big powerful server (and use docker as much as possible to run several containers). I suggest a desktop workstation (as in tower case) but not rack-mountable, as they are too loud.

    Armbian on ARM isn't as mature (to put it gently) as stock Debian on a PC. All it takes is a few ARM-specific bugs and annoyances (of which I've personally experienced several), and you'll be wishing you had just gone with a plain-Jane PC, and not incurred all the hassle. That's where I'm at today.

    To me, spending roughly $250 US more to go with a new, decent, budget PC build (instead of ARM) is well worth it, to avoid several or even dozens of hours of extra futzing about on ARM-specific problems. You'll also probably get a very noticeable increase in disk and network performance, over an ARM-based NAS. Like say an extra 10-80 MB/sec, over GbE (just a rough estimate based on my own experiences).

    My time is worth something. For those who enjoy the extra tinkering and problem solving, by all means, don't let me stop you.

    For those who would point out that the ARM boards consume lower power, I say actually do some math, comparing the power consumption of both, considering what you are paying your power company per kilowatt hour. I think you'll probably find that power is so cheap (in most cases, for anyone living on-grid), that it hardly even matters, over several years, from a sheerly economic viewpoint. Those who want to make an environmental statement, are of course welcome to pick the lower power choice.

    OK, I tried uploading 2GB of ebooks (2029 files in 756 folders) to my Nano Pi Neo2, just to compare.

    The upload happened through all-GbE, and I tried two different GbE dongles on my laptop (An Anker AH212, and a TP-Link UE300).

    I uploaded using rsync, into a SATA drive connected to a USB port on the NanoPi (the SATA drive was in a SATA enclosure, with a JMS578 chip). Both dongles had almost the exact same speed: 19.3MB/sec for the TP-Link, and 19.1 MB/sec for the Anker.