Building my ZFS-Fileserver

After a good amount of time I have come up with my preferred hardware setup for my fileserver. I have a couple of old harddrives laying around so I won’t need them. I also don’t want to build in a CD-ROM drive permanently. I will use an external one for setup.

The German PC Builder site of Alternate is very good and has some nice checks built-in to prevent an incompatible setup. I looked always for the cheapest components.


AMD Sempron64 LE-1250 Boxed, OPGA, “Sparta”

with bundled cooling system. Although it’s single-core it can run in 64-Bit mode and should not get too warm.

30,99 €


Zalman ZM360B-APS

With 4 S-ATA power connectors.

49,99 €


Sharkoon Rebel9 Economy-Edition

Plenty of space for 9 external 5.25″ drives in a midi sized tower(200 mm x 435 mm x 486 mm).

41,99 €

Case cooling

Arctic-Cooling AF8025 PWM

(3,99 x 2) 7,98 €


Asrock N61P-S

It has 4 S-ATA connectors on a NVIDIA nForce6. The build-in LAN is only 100-MBit, but I want to connect the fileserver via PowerLAN so that should be enough. Although it is not listed on Sun’s Solaris hardware compatibility list I try my luck with it.

36,49 €


Crucial DIMM 2 GB DDR2-667

The single-core CPU can only handle this type of RAM, but I guess that will be sufficient.

19,79 €


That’s it for the bare system.

187,14 €

From the site:



9 thoughts on “Building my ZFS-Fileserver

  1. I’m thinking of using the Asrock N61P-S for a Linux file server (ClarkConnect 4.3) as well. I wonder if it worked for you with Sun’s Solaris or if you tried an other distribution or small business server?

    I also wonder if I could down-clock the cpu so it won’t need a fan and can be passively cooled? Did you try this perhaps? I’m thinking on placing the system below the house so noise isn’t a issue, but dust and spiderwebs are. The less moveable parts (fans) the better 🙂

    Nice thing of the Asrock is it has a serial port, so an UPS can be connected using usb or serial.

    • Solaris was my first choice especially because of ZFS.

      Passive cooling would be nice but I am planning to place it next to our freezer which is not quiet so that is not so important.

  2. Pingback: Low power-consuming fileserver barebone « Agile Developer, Berlin, Germany

  3. Searching a bit further I discovered ClarkConnect 4.2 and onwards support the nForce 430 chipset so I gave it a try. If it wouldn’t work I’d push the system to my dad 🙂

    I bought:
    Asrock, N61P-S, GeForce 6150SE, DDR2, m-ATX, PCI-E, VGA [EUR 42,00]
    AMD, Athlon 64 LE-1640, Box, 512 kb, AM2, 2600 MHz [EUR 38,50]
    Kingston, 2 GB, 2x 1 GB, PC-5300, 667 MHz, CL5, DDR2, kit [EUR 22,50]
    X-Gear, Laque XLQ480K, 400W, Middle Tower, zwart, ATX [EUR 39,00]
    Total: 142 euros

    Fortunately it works like a charm. It’s a quick replacement for a PII system that died on me two weekends ago. I just added the two harddrives from the old system to the new one. ClarkConnect detected the change in the hardware.

    It consumes about 50W. It has not been doint par/unrar yet… so I have to check on that. In the future I wish to look at the power consumption. I’m thinking of fiddling with underclocking/undervolting and perhaps an other power supply. But so far so good!

  4. Did you have any trouble getting your fileserver up and running? I’m considering a similar build based on the Asrock N61P-S, but as you mentioned, it’s not on Sun’s Solaris hardware compatibility list.

    • I have not built it yet, still have to think it over thoroughly. I will write another post as soon as I have built it.

  5. How is it going with this project? I am considering replacing my old PC at home with a setup like yours. From which online shop did you get those prices?

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