Suitable temp-disc for my dirt cheap server (2x E5-2680v1 8c/16t)

I have this cheap SuperMicro 1U server that i picked up for 200$

2x E5-2680 v1 8c/16t
Motherboard: 8CX9DRI-LN4F+

To make this my secondary budget-plotter i need to add some fast temp-storage, I have 2 ideas:

Alt.1 - Premium choice
Asus Hyper M.2 X16 (motherboard supports PCIe Bifurcation)

  • 4x 1TB NVME in a striped array
    Total price for 4TB: ~ 600$

Note: For this card to work proper your motherboard needs support for PCIe Bifurcation, where you set the x16 slot you’re using into 4 x4 slots (x4x4x4x4). This lets the motherboard talk to the card as if it was four separate x4 PCI-e cards. If your board doesn’t have this feature, you only get the one of the four SSDs working.

Alt.2 - Budget choice
Use the build in RAID-controller
4 x Patriot P210 1TB 2.5" SSD (SATA3 2.5, 520MBS/430MBS) 600TBW?
Total price for 4TB: ~ 360$

Any other ideas? I like to utilize all the 16 cores / 32 threads - but also to keep this build “most bang for my bucks”


Conventional wisdom here is you should use NVMe disks.

I don’t recall anyone doing a head-to-head comparison of NVMe vs SATA SSDs in plotting, but you would at the very least be scratching against the SATA bandwidth cap with 4 plots/disk or more. I would expect you to blow past it, too.

Put in a few of these M.2 to PCIe cards, you have plenty of PCIe slots, with a bit of airflow they’ll be nicely cooled too!

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Sure that mainboard has 4x sata3?
Specs say only 2x, rest is SATA2

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You are correct, there are only 2x SATA3. I could however solve this with a cheap HBA card (25$).

So Alt.2 would cripple my cpu’s? Even running 4xSATA3 on a HBA card?

Regarding Alt.1 i could pick up the following:
4x Kingston A2000 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD (PCIe 3.0 x4, 2200/2000MB/s, 600TBW) - Total 360$
4x NVME to PCI-E adapters - Total 20$

It looks like a real nice setup, how loud are the fans on the micro? Did you get 3.5" bays? I like the upgradeability options.

So i went for option #1, still waiting for the NVME drives to arrive, hopefully today.

4x WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD M.2 1TB - Total 440$
4x NVME to PCI-E adapters - Total 20$

I think it will be a quite cost-effective setup if i get i tuned. I plan to run it in my garage so the noice is not a problem, since i want to keep it cost effective, i dont want to spend to much on silent components (like fans, cooler etc). I did not get any 3,5 bays, put in a USB3 card and will attach a few 14TB external discs, using this as a plotter only.

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