Take a look at our
ThinkPads.com HOME PAGE
For those who might want to contribute to the blog, start here: Editors Alley Topic
Then contact Bill with a Private Message

[X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

X230-X280, X390 Series
Post Reply
Message
Author
bgravato
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:06 am
Location: Aveiro, Portugal

[X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#1 Post by bgravato » Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:40 am

X230 has a 6-port SATA controller, so I was just wondering if it's possible somehow to connect more than one HDD directly to SATA.

I'm trying to build a low-power NAS (running Linux) and I have a working X230 motherboard collecting dust that I'd love to reuse for this purpose.

I'd like to connect two 3.5" HDD drives in (software) RAID-1 (linux mdadm).

I know they need to be powered externally, that's not a problem.

As for data connection... One can be connected to the internal SATA port, but what about the second one?
From what I googled so far, my options seem to be:
- docking station with ultrabay slim
- docking station with eSATA port
- ExpressCard to eSATA adapter
- SATA port multiplier connected to internal SATA port (is it supported?)
- SATA to mSATA adapter connected to internal mSATA port
- USB 3.0

My concerns are how reliable those connection are and how it can hit performance.
The disks I'll be using are 2 WD Red 4TB.

So here is my breakdown of each option:

docking station
I'd guess this is probably the option that is most reliable and that offers best performance... Though might be the most expensive, since I don't own a docking station.
I wonder if there's a simpler way of connecting to SATA through the docking station port, since I don't need all the other ports (VGA, USB, etc), but I couldn't find anything on that matter so far...

ExpressCard
I've never used an eSATA ExpressCard, so not sure what to expect... but I guess the major con will probably be on performance...

SATA to mSATA adapter
No experience with this either, but I'd expect it to be reliable and fast (yes the mSATA port is SATA II only, but that shouldn't be limiting for an HDD).
On the other hand it conflicts with my idea of putting the OS on a mSATA SSD and will force me to run the OS from an USB pen (not ideal).

Port multiplier
Not sure if SATA port multiplier is supported by this board
Even if it is, this article suggests it might not be the safest option:
https://www.zdnet.com/article/are-sata- ... iers-safe/

USB
Not reliable, so I'd prefer to stay away from it.

Any thoughts and suggestions are most welcome!

Thanks in advance.

dr_st
Admin
Admin
Posts: 8805
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:20 am
Location: Israel

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#2 Post by dr_st » Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:57 pm

bgravato wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:40 am
- docking station with ultrabay slim
- docking station with eSATA port
Yes.
bgravato wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:40 am
I'd guess this is probably the option that is most reliable and that offers best performance...
Yes.
bgravato wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:40 am
Though might be the most expensive, since I don't own a docking station.
You can find them remarkably cheap sometimes. This one seems like it might be a winner. Or this one, since you are apparently in Portugal.

Search eBay for Ultrabase Series 3 (you will also need the hard drive caddy, bought separately) or for "Mini Dock Plus eSATA" (not all of them are with eSATA, so be specific).
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), T490 (20N3), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

bgravato
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:06 am
Location: Aveiro, Portugal

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#3 Post by bgravato » Sun Jun 14, 2020 6:16 pm

dr_st wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:57 pm
You can find them remarkably cheap sometimes. This one seems like it might be a winner. Or this one, since you are apparently in Portugal.

Search eBay for Ultrabase Series 3 (you will also need the hard drive caddy, bought separately) or for "Mini Dock Plus eSATA" (not all of them are with eSATA, so be specific).
Thank you for the quick reply.

The USB 3.0 version seem to be more popular on ebay, but I found a few eSATA version as well, specially on the German ebay.
I think I can get one in the 30-35 EUR price range (including shipping), which is not bad.

Krissharm
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:03 am
Location: BIRMINGHAM, UK

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#4 Post by Krissharm » Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:01 am

Had exactly the same idea. Seems a good use of the board.
How are you powering your 3.5 drives?
X230 IPS 16GB RAM, 1TB Samsung (x220 chassis, keyboard & palmrest) SSD MX18 Linux
X201s 8GB RAM, Samsung SSD MX18 Linux x200s screen

bgravato
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:06 am
Location: Aveiro, Portugal

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#5 Post by bgravato » Mon Jun 15, 2020 2:21 pm

Krissharm wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:01 am
Had exactly the same idea. Seems a good use of the board.
How are you powering your 3.5 drives?
I haven't decided yet... but I also need a power supply for the x230, so one option is to get a PSU (and some regulators) that can power everything (20V for the board/dock and 12V/5V for the HDDs).

I'll need to put the disks somewhere... so I could get an old PC case with a normal PC power supply (I should have some old ones still working, though their fans tend to be annoyingly noisy).

The alternative would be finding some HDD enclosure/dock with eSATA and its own power supply. I actually just remembered that I have a very old DLink NAS that I no longer use... Maybe I can somehow reuse it for this... though it mighty be too much work for just a simple thing...

What did you have in mind?
Last edited by bgravato on Tue Jun 16, 2020 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Krissharm
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:03 am
Location: BIRMINGHAM, UK

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#6 Post by Krissharm » Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:43 am

The old PC case is a good idea. I only had the thoughts of power for the laptop, then power for enclosures for the HDD's but that seems a bit messy.
X230 IPS 16GB RAM, 1TB Samsung (x220 chassis, keyboard & palmrest) SSD MX18 Linux
X201s 8GB RAM, Samsung SSD MX18 Linux x200s screen

bgravato
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:06 am
Location: Aveiro, Portugal

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#7 Post by bgravato » Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:40 pm

For anyone interested here's my first attempt at a low power home NAS server built from a x230.
This is just a temporary setup, just to verify that it works (and it does!).

Image

Gear:
- (bottom-half of a) x230 laptop
- Dock station (with eSATA connector) + 90W power brick (not in picture)
- WD Red 4TB connected with SATA/eSATA cable to the dock station
- WD Red 4TB connected with male SATA/female SATA cable to internal SATA
- Old HDD IDE-USB enclosure with external power supply (PSU not in picture) used to power both HDDs
- SO (OpenMediaVault) installed on mSATA SSD (internal mSATA connector)
- Gigabit Ethernet

Total power consumption from the socket:
- cpu idle and HDDs sleeping: 13W
- cpu idle and HDDs spinning but idle: 18.5W
- cpu low load and HDDs busy: 21-29W
- cpu heavy load and HDDs busy: 39-44W

It's not a raspberry pi, but I think it's very good power consumption, specially when idle (most of the time).

For final setup I will likely power the HDDs from another source (and probably save 2-3W extra from a more efficient PSU).
Put everything fixed with screws inside of a case (probably an old ATX PC case).
I might replace the x230 90W PSU with a 65W version of it

.

Krissharm
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:03 am
Location: BIRMINGHAM, UK

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#8 Post by Krissharm » Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:52 am

This looks like a decent setup.
How did you figure out the power consumption?
I have a different doc with no esata... that is a helpful addition! And creative on the power brick for the HDD that is the sticking point, they need 12v so a bit more complex.
the 65watt for the x230 should be more than ample as you are powering the hdd externally, but I would guess that wont change the power consumption as they only draw what they need.
X230 IPS 16GB RAM, 1TB Samsung (x220 chassis, keyboard & palmrest) SSD MX18 Linux
X201s 8GB RAM, Samsung SSD MX18 Linux x200s screen

bgravato
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:06 am
Location: Aveiro, Portugal

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#9 Post by bgravato » Thu Aug 20, 2020 6:43 pm

I measure the power consumption with a power meter on the AC plug, like this one:
Image

Meanwhile I've put everything inside an old full-tower ATX case and I had to replace the power supply for the HDDs, because the one on the previous photo was having some issues. I'm temporarily using a (very old) ATX PSU, which bumped the power consumption up by 10W or so.
Image

Ideally I'd like to power the HDDs from the Lenovo's power brick, but that will require some more hacking (to convert 20V to 12V/5V). Alternatively I may use the power brick from my previous (now retired) NAS (a D-Link DNS 323), which already has 12V and 5V outputs, I just need to make an adapter to a molex connector.

I ended up using the 90W power brick and kept the 65W one for using with my full-working x230, since it's lighter and smaller.
And you are correct, there's no significant difference in power consumption.

I also want to add 1 or 2 fans to the case (before I close it) to keep it cool inside. I will probably power the fan(s) from one of the many USB ports on the dock and let it run continuously.

schen
Moderator Emeritus
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 1554
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004 11:01 am
Location: Terrell, Texas

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#10 Post by schen » Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:10 am

This is very nice work. I've seen my brother so something similar using a Mini-ITX board with notebook spec parts and notebook drives for a low powered system. A few years ago I ran a system out of an A31 in a dock giving me 3 drivebays. I used CentOS as the operating system. It worked just fine but using PATA drives were a limitation!
Family Daily Drivers- T430s, T450s
Work- Sadly, the ThinkPads have gone away...... and replaced by HP ProDesk SFF drone machines :( Projects- T540p
Historic Retired ThinkPads- Z61m (Titanium), X20, A31p, 701c, 760XD, WorkPad C505

TRS-80
Sophomore Member
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:00 pm
Location: Eastern, USA
Contact:

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#11 Post by TRS-80 » Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:38 am

bgravato wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:40 pm
Total power consumption from the socket:
- cpu idle and HDDs sleeping: 13W
- cpu idle and HDDs spinning but idle: 18.5W
- cpu low load and HDDs busy: 21-29W
- cpu heavy load and HDDs busy: 39-44W
You know, personally I have moved to Single Board Computers (SBC) for this sort of thing, mostly because of extremely low power use (well also Intel IME shenanigans, or their AMD equivalents) but this is actually not crazy far away from what you will get with an SBC, once you add the HDDs (which actually use a fair bit of power in their own right). Plus you are re-using stuff. So, well done! :thumbs-UP:
bgravato wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:40 pm
It's not a raspberry pi
RPi are one of the most over-rated devices out there. There are a lot of problems with them, but if you try and discuss any of those things on their forums, you will be banned. :lol: Leading to total blind fanboy-ism. Not saying you are doing that, as they are very popular and commonly mentioned.

In fact, many people are not even aware that there are so many more interesting choices for Single Board Computers nowadays.

Full disclosure: I am involved (on and off) with the Armbian project. But that's because I think it is (very!) important to have a nice diversity of well supported (and much more open) devices, as opposed to one company dominating the market (with completely locked down devices, to boot).

Cheers,
TRS-80
All good things are Wild and Free.

What is free software and why is it so important for society?

(2021) Actively on the lookout for for 15" T60 FlexView / Hydis LED displays and parts, for my own usage. Kindly PM me your demands if you are willing to part with anything. :D

Omineca
Sophomore Member
Posts: 200
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:40 pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#12 Post by Omineca » Wed Feb 03, 2021 3:40 pm

TRS-80 wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:38 am
RPi are one of the most over-rated devices out there. There are a lot of problems with them, but if you try and discuss any of those things on their forums, you will be banned.
Agreed. I use a Raspberry Pi Zero W for a gopher / gemini / caldav / cardav server, but you have to have some kind of regular backup solution, because a single power outage -- or any incomplete shutdown -- is likely to corrupt your SD card.

I don't want to bash the Pi, because it does a nice job at about 1W. But I feel safer with my old X120e as a low-power server.
Home: L440 | R500 | X120e
Work: Yoga 260

atagunov
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 638
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:11 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#13 Post by atagunov » Wed Feb 03, 2021 6:13 pm

bgravato wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:40 am
X230 has a 6-port SATA controller
So even internal SATA + docking station eSATA + mSATA makes only 3
Does it mean 3 more are accessible to somebody willing to use a soldering gun? %)

I should get a spare X220 board/bottom to play later this year..
X220, 2 *T520

TRS-80
Sophomore Member
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:00 pm
Location: Eastern, USA
Contact:

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#14 Post by TRS-80 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 9:37 am

Omineca wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 3:40 pm
gopher / gemini
Cool!

I finally settled on Sourcehut not too long ago, as a git forge to host my little hobby projects. There is this (IMO) really cool resurgence of "small web" and other interesting projects going on over there (e.g., Plan9, etc.).

It's only a matter of time until I set up my own Gemini site, I suppose.
All good things are Wild and Free.

What is free software and why is it so important for society?

(2021) Actively on the lookout for for 15" T60 FlexView / Hydis LED displays and parts, for my own usage. Kindly PM me your demands if you are willing to part with anything. :D

Omineca
Sophomore Member
Posts: 200
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:40 pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#15 Post by Omineca » Fri Feb 05, 2021 10:12 am

TRS-80 wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 9:37 am
Omineca wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 3:40 pm
gopher / gemini
It's only a matter of time until I set up my own Gemini site, I suppose.
OT, but I'm visiblink over at gopher://zaibatsu.circumlunar.space and there are links to my own server there. I quite enjoy reading other peoples phlogs and gemlogs. It's a lot like the pre-web2.0 days, when many people had personal web pages.

I really like the server setup here! Great idea. I did a similar thing by shoving a bunch of small components into an old hard drive enclosure. The re-use of old cases is a great way to reduce visual clutter, and of course, you can make use of the case LEDs, ports, etc.
Home: L440 | R500 | X120e
Work: Yoga 260

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2820
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#16 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri Feb 05, 2021 8:58 pm

atagunov wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 6:13 pm
So even internal SATA + docking station eSATA + mSATA makes only 3
Does it mean 3 more are accessible to somebody willing to use a soldering gun? %)

I should get a spare X220 board/bottom to play later this year..
Just because the chipset on the X230 has 6 SATA ports doesn't mean they're accessible. I remember a similar discussion regarding the X61, until it turned out that the signal pins for the unused ports were routed to ground. This meant that in order to liberate the SATA ports, one had to desolder the ICH8M southbridge chip and somehow solder thin wires onto the SATA pins and isolate them from the ground solder pad on the system board.

The theoretical solution was to use a double-sided PCB between the southbridge and the system board, breaking out the extra SATA ports while acting as a passthrough for the rest. It was deemed unfeasible back then, and IMO even more so on the X230.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

bgravato
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:06 am
Location: Aveiro, Portugal

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#17 Post by bgravato » Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:42 pm

axur-delmeria wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 8:58 pm
atagunov wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 6:13 pm
So even internal SATA + docking station eSATA + mSATA makes only 3
Does it mean 3 more are accessible to somebody willing to use a soldering gun? %)

I should get a spare X220 board/bottom to play later this year..
Just because the chipset on the X230 has 6 SATA ports doesn't mean they're accessible. I remember a similar discussion regarding the X61, until it turned out that the signal pins for the unused ports were routed to ground. This meant that in order to liberate the SATA ports, one had to desolder the ICH8M southbridge chip and somehow solder thin wires onto the SATA pins and isolate them from the ground solder pad on the system board.

The theoretical solution was to use a double-sided PCB between the southbridge and the system board, breaking out the extra SATA ports while acting as a passthrough for the rest. It was deemed unfeasible back then, and IMO even more so on the X230.
Yes, I don't think you'll have much luck even with a soldering gun... the only thing you could get access to would be the SATA line going to the dock, so you could access that without using a dock... Other than that it's probably not possible in a sane way :)

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2820
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#18 Post by axur-delmeria » Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:18 pm

bgravato wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:42 pm
Yes, I don't think you'll have much luck even with a soldering gun... the only thing you could get access to would be the SATA line going to the dock, so you could access that without using a dock... Other than that it's probably not possible in a sane way :)
Another complication is the fact that the HM77 chipset on the X230 mounts to the CPU heatsink, so the interposer board would need to be very thin--otherwise it would be too tall and cause the heatsink to not lie flat against the processor. The only material that comes to mind is a flex cable like the X60's LCD cable.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

bgravato
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:06 am
Location: Aveiro, Portugal

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#19 Post by bgravato » Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:35 pm

TRS-80 wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:38 am
bgravato wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:40 pm
Total power consumption from the socket:
- cpu idle and HDDs sleeping: 13W
- cpu idle and HDDs spinning but idle: 18.5W
- cpu low load and HDDs busy: 21-29W
- cpu heavy load and HDDs busy: 39-44W
You know, personally I have moved to Single Board Computers (SBC) for this sort of thing, mostly because of extremely low power use (well also Intel IME shenanigans, or their AMD equivalents) but this is actually not crazy far away from what you will get with an SBC, once you add the HDDs (which actually use a fair bit of power in their own right). Plus you are re-using stuff. So, well done! :thumbs-UP:
Yes I was initially thinking about buying a mini-ITX SBC (something like an ASRock J5005-ITX), but then I'd probably end up buying a case, PSU, fans, etc... This x230 board was collecting dust so I thought I'd give it some use and it was a fun project to execute.

Meanwhile I disable the LVDS (software disabled by passing a parameter to the linux kernel on boot) and I was able to lower a bit more the power consumption. I don't remember exactly how much... maybe 1W or 2W. Which I might have "wasted" by connecting a fan to generate some very mild airflow in the case... I used a 12V fan I had in my spare parts collection and connected it to one of the USB ports on the dock (powered by 5V only it runs slow and quietly). Oh and for the wiring I used an old USB to micro-USB cable which had the micro-USB connector damaged... So just another hack that cost me $0 and helped reduce my pile of spare/damaged parts :)

I'm still wasting too much electricity on the PSU for the HDDs (old ATX PSU), but I've ordered some buck converters and I'll try to use them to get 12V from the thinkpad PSU to power the HDDs.

With the disks sleeping and the CPU idle I'll be under 15W and that's good enough. Running it 24/7 that's about 20€ of electricity by the end of the year... With an arm-based SBC I could maybe cut that in half, but for just 10€ it's not worth it... Like you said Pi's have their own quirks...
TRS-80 wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:38 am
RPi are one of the most over-rated devices out there. There are a lot of problems with them, but if you try and discuss any of those things on their forums, you will be banned. :lol: Leading to total blind fanboy-ism. Not saying you are doing that, as they are very popular and commonly mentioned.

In fact, many people are not even aware that there are so many more interesting choices for Single Board Computers nowadays.
I totally agree! It's been on my wish list for quite some time to buy an arm-based SBC, not just for the low power, but mostly for the GPIO and etc... A lot of fun stuff to do with it. I don't have the time for that now though, so I've been postponing it for a while...
I've seen quite some interesting ones from Pine64, OrangePi, NanoPi, etc... Though I might end up getting a RaspberryPi just because it's what's easier to find on this part of the world and ordering something from outside of Europe will probably mean a lot extra costs in shipping and taxes... but I'll search and see what's available when I finally get some more free time to play with it.

I'm a 20+ years Debian user, so armbian sounds like a good choice for the OS :) It won't be my first time playing with debian derivatives on small SBCs... nearly 20 years ago I was messing around with debian-embedded (EDIT: I think it was actually called emdebian) on a (small) x86-based SBC (I no longer remember which one).

TRS-80
Sophomore Member
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:00 pm
Location: Eastern, USA
Contact:

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#20 Post by TRS-80 » Thu Mar 04, 2021 2:26 pm

bgravato wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:35 pm
I'll search and see what's available when I finally get some more free time to play with it.

I'm a 20+ years Debian user, so armbian sounds like a good choice for the OS :) It won't be my first time playing with debian derivatives on small SBCs... nearly 20 years ago I was messing around with debian-embedded (EDIT: I think it was actually called emdebian) on a (small) x86-based SBC (I no longer remember which one).
Wow. Cool! Way before my time, though (at least, playing with SBC I mean)... :D

One of only "problems" with Armbian, is that there is a bewildering array of hardware available. Almost too much choice. But not all boards are created equal, of course. There are definitely some stand outs (and some duds). So whenever you reach that point, I recommend making a forum thread over there, you will usually find a few people (often including myself) who have by now played with some number of different boards and can make some recommendations, depending on whatever you are trying to do.

For instance, I am gathering parts to build a NAS currently, based on a ROCKPro64 which is based on RK3399 (which will blow the doors off an RPi) and has a standard PCIe x4 right on the board, which makes adding a standard SATA adapter board very straightforward. But there are all manner of boards suited more towards networking stuff, or this or that, or even just very inexpensive boards for basic things, tinkering or learning, just so many boards...

The other main problem with RPi is the locked down bootloader of course; Broadcom being famously hostile towards F/LOSS for about as long as I can remember. I am not a fan of them, or their hardware. The fact that the RPi have somehow managed to become synonymous with "SBC" really drives me batty. :D

Circling back to power consumption, I was just recently discussing this (at Pine64 forums) where I in fact referenced Helios64 power consumption. If you follow the link you will see that those numbers are not far from what is being discussed here (particularly in case of Helios64).

EDIT: Well, in fact, looking closer now you are actually beating them (at least in idle). But in fairness the Helios64 has (5) 3.5" HDD attached, compared to your two. But you have still done very well, I think. Congrats! :thumbs-UP:
All good things are Wild and Free.

What is free software and why is it so important for society?

(2021) Actively on the lookout for for 15" T60 FlexView / Hydis LED displays and parts, for my own usage. Kindly PM me your demands if you are willing to part with anything. :D

bgravato
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:06 am
Location: Aveiro, Portugal

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#21 Post by bgravato » Thu Mar 04, 2021 3:42 pm

TRS-80 wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 2:26 pm
For instance, I am gathering parts to build a NAS currently, based on a ROCKPro64 which is based on RK3399 (which will blow the doors off an RPi) and has a standard PCIe x4 right on the board, which makes adding a standard SATA adapter board very straightforward. But there are all manner of boards suited more towards networking stuff, or this or that, or even just very inexpensive boards for basic things, tinkering or learning, just so many boards...
Yes, RK3399 is definitely more powerful than the RPi's CPU and seems like a popular choice for many SBC in the market.
Seems like successors RK3566 and RK3588 are starting to come out now... Have you had the chance to try any of those? There's not much info or "real world" benchmarks I could find about them, but the scarce info I found seemed to suggest there was a big leap in performance compared to the RK3399. I'm wondering if that's true and also curious how much that will reflect in the price...
TRS-80 wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 2:26 pm
Circling back to power consumption, I was just recently discussing this (at Pine64 forums) where I in fact referenced Helios64 power consumption. If you follow the link you will see that those numbers are not far from what is being discussed here (particularly in case of Helios64).
I considered the Helios64 at the time, but it was a bit too expensive (even more considering shipping and customs duties) and expected delivery time was too far in the future. It does look like a great option for a NAS though.
TRS-80 wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 2:26 pm
EDIT: Well, in fact, looking closer now you are actually beating them (at least in idle). But in fairness the Helios64 has (5) 3.5" HDD attached, compared to your two. But you have still done very well, I think. Congrats! :thumbs-UP:
Most x86 SBC's or mini-PCs are usually quite good in power consumption when idle... I have two mini-PC's: an Gigabyte Brix (i3-5010U CPU) and a recently bought Intel NUC (i5-8259U). I don't remember the power mesures for the Brix, but the NUC does pretty well when idle... with 2x8GB RAM modules and 1 NVMe M.2 SSD, running linux, usually measures between 2W and 9W when idle... Which I find quite good for a 28W TDP CPU. Of course when I put the CPU and GPU to 100% load it goes up to 70W.

The efficiency of the power supply converting the 230V AC to 19V also plays an important role... For example, I have a pair of speakers, which were measuring over 10W on the wall. I just replaced the power supply with the one from the Brix for testing and it went down to 2.5W with no noticeable extra noise on the sound... So.. yeah... it doesn't really matter much if the system itself it very power efficient if then the power supply just wastes 3x more energy doing nothing...

I'd like to replace all the power supplies I have under the desk with a single and efficient industrial 24V PSU to power all the devices that run on DC... Unfortunately IT gear doesn't follow a standard in terms of voltage... So I'd need a farm of buck converters to be able to supply everything from the same PSU :(

bgravato
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:06 am
Location: Aveiro, Portugal

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#22 Post by bgravato » Thu Mar 04, 2021 9:28 pm

The recent posts here just got me thinking about it and I decided to measure again the power consumption on my x230-based NAS...

These were measured on the wall socket and do not include the 2 HDDs which are being powered from another power source.

So, just to recapitulate... this is what's being measured:
  • 90W Lenovo power supply
  • docking station w/ eSATA (I don't remember the model number)
  • x230 (with i5-3210M CPU) "bottoms" (mobo on the bottom casing with no keyboard, no touchpad, no screen, no wifi/BT/etc cards)
  • mSATA Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
  • 1x RAM module 8GB 1.5V (I think the brand is OWC, but not sure)
  • 1x 12V-rated fan powered from one of the dock's USB ports (5V)
  • 1x USB cable connected to the UPS (I doubt it will drain any relevant current)
  • internal LVDS disabled in the kernel booting parameters (*) (see note below)
  • running OMV (Open Media Vault) with kernel 5.10.13
  • no battery connected (all the power coming in through the dock)
(*) EDIT: I was convinced that (in the past, when I last tested this) power consumption lowered when I disabled LVDS, but I just tested it again (I was curious to see what was the difference in numbers) and now I couldn't see any difference between having LVDS enabled or disabled in the kernel options... So it either was coincidence (that I saw some power drop) when I tested it before or maybe older kernels handled this differently...

These are the power consumption measurements:
  • X230 shutdown: 1.0 W
  • System up and running, but mostly idle: 8.0-8.5 W (occasionally reaching 9.0 W)
  • Stressing the CPU to 100%: 26.4 W
So this is actually a bit lower than what I remembered, so I was quite happy with these numbers.
The HDDs' specs state they consume 4.8W each while reading/writing, 3.1W idle and 0.4W in standby/sleep.
I will measure the HDD's later once I manage to power them from a more power-efficient power source than the one I'm using now (which IIRC draws 10W by itself without any load).

I could probably lower it a tiny bit more if I replaced the RAM module with a 1.35V one, but that would probably be a very marginal gain...

@TRS-80, not bad for an 9 year old x86 system, is it? ;)
Last edited by bgravato on Thu Mar 04, 2021 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2820
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#23 Post by axur-delmeria » Thu Mar 04, 2021 9:49 pm

Right now I'm testing my X61 as a makeshift NAS. Makeshift, since it's just a regular Debian install running an NFS server. Over WiFi. :lol:

I don't have a power meter to monitor its consumption though. Might pull out the X60sF with the 5.5w Core Solo from the closet if I want lower power draw.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

bgravato
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:06 am
Location: Aveiro, Portugal

Re: [X230] best way to connect two 3.5" HDD to build a NAS?

#24 Post by bgravato » Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:40 am

axur-delmeria wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 9:49 pm
Right now I'm testing my X61 as a makeshift NAS. Makeshift, since it's just a regular Debian install running an NFS server. Over WiFi. :lol:
I pondered going regular Debian with samba for my NAS, but in the end I opted for OMV, since it's basically a debian and some tweaks and a nice web interface that helps speeding up configuration and maintenance of a few things such as samba shares and etc...
I'm also experimenting with cockpit (backports version), mostly to create and manage some VMs on the same machine. I originally tried to install proxmox along with OMV, but there were some dependencies conflicts, so I ended up going for cockpit instead. Not as advanced and feature full as proxmox, but development-wise it has been quite active and it's improving quickly.

For a simple NFS server, X61 sounds like more than enough :)

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “ThinkPad X230-X280 / X390 Series”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: olex126 and 9 guests