No optical drive wouldnt work for me 273, but makes sense in a lot of ways. If you want to get the maximum number of SATA drives into the system, and dont need a optical drive on a regular basis, its worth trying.
Originally Posted by SaintDanBert
I have a not-so-small collection of external drives. Most are in the 500 GB range. There are a couple of 1 TB drives as well. These are "archives" of documents [50%] (I'm a teacher & writer.), photos[30%] and music[10%] ... and some programs that I've written. I'd like to ditch the tiny boxes and get my archives online to the new workstation-server.
I've not thought out the details of NAS-available versus available-thru-workstation-server file services. I know that NAS enclosures are available, but I'd like to find an external local-attached drive enclosure before I take that decision.
Why bother with an external enclosure?
I dont know how many old external HDDs you have, but assuming that you've got 2 x 1TB + 4 x 500GB, that is only 4TB. You can get a 4TB single drive easily.
Even if you had far more externals, and didnt want to get a 4TB internal for whatever reason, you can still have 3-5 2-3TB drives for 6-15TB.
You wont need a huge case to fit 3 to 5 HDDs, + a SSD. Many mid-ATX cases will take 6 or more 3.5'' drives and also have space for 5.25'' optical (etc.) drives.
The only 'issue' with 5 HDDs + a SSD is that with most motherobards, you only get 6 SATA ports. Boards with more SATA ports are normally using soem nasty addon SATA controller which generally have pretty nasty performance. This is another reason why you should ignore 'top hardware' lists....a lot of places will rate a system with a whole heap of junk you dont need or want as 'higher end' than other boards simply because its 'got more boxes ticked'.
*edit- you can even get miniITX cases that will take 5+ HDDs-
I dont know what distro you are thinking of using, if its something fairly current I'd probably go for a LGA 1150 'haswell' system over a LGA 1155 'ivy bridge' or 'sandy bridge' system.