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Build Advice: NAS/Home Server: Plex Media Server and more

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May 13, 2013 1:47:22 AM

Hi, I am currently in the market for a new NAS/Home Server.

My original plan was to buy the new Synology DS1513+ but after they revealed the specs of the new model, it still has the same CPU as last years model. And the price is on the extremely high side aswell around ($1490 Singapore Dollars).

I've been reading around and I guess a good solution for me would be to go for a DIY solution. I still haven't decided which OS/File Format to go with (FreeNas, Windows, OSX, linux (ubuntu)). I just want to tie down which hardware would be powerful enough to be able to stream/transcode 2-3 full HD 1080p streams to client players via Plex Media Server or something of the sort.

The server will be headless but I need to be able to plug in a monitor just incase i have any network issues. I want to run the server 24/7 and be able to set it up so that my family who will be using it to watch movies etc will have almost no issues with having to deal with the back end administration of the server (so far with my old synology I haven't had any issues).

So far this is what I have decided to get.. (prices below in USD)

CPU - Intel Core i3-3225 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 55W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 - $144

MoBo - ASUS P8H77-I LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard - $109

Case - Fractal Design Node 304 FD-CA-NODE-304-BL Black Aluminum / Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case - $89

RAM - CORSAIR 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory Model CMV8GX3M2A1333C9 -$52

PSU - Athena Power AP-MFATX40 400W Mini ITX 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - $78

HDDs - Western Digital Red WD30EFRX 3TB IntelliPower RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - $150 each ($754 for 5)

Total Cost is around $476(USD) DISKLESS and $1231 (USD) with 5x3TB WD Reds.

How will these components fair in a 24/7 environment? Will the CPU get extremely hot with the stock cooler in such a small case? Also will the CPU manage to transcode multiple HD streams to different clients over a gigabit network?


In terms of Operating Systems, I am tempted to just go with plain on Win7 just because it will be a lot easier for me to manage. On the other hand I have no idea how to set up win7 as a NAS. I have heard good things about ubuntu (server or desktop?) and other NAS based OS's such as FreeNAS. My basic requirements are as follows

- Cross Platform (windows, mac, linux)
- Mobile Support (android, iOS)
- Able to run Plex Media Server (or some other similar alternative which can stream to roku's/apple TVs/R-pi's)
- Enough documentation online so that I can learn how to set-up/troubleshoot myself
- reliable in a 24/7 low maintenance environment!
- I plan on doing other things with the NAS aswell in the future, maybe experiment with some cloud storage functionality and so on....so any bonus features would be a plus.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post! Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


May 14, 2013 2:00:12 AM

So far this is what I plan on going with, any feedback? I know it may be a bit overkill but if i'm going to be spending so much already, I rather spend 100-150 more on the CPU/RAM and get a more powerful and future proof system.

Are there any places where I can save on cash like the PSU/mobo?


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Asus P8H77-I Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($99.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Kingston Black 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($122.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Fractal Design Node 304 Mini ITX Tower Case ($79.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: SeaSonic G 550W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1432.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-14 04:58 EDT-0400)
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May 16, 2013 9:46:25 AM

anyone have any advice?
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May 16, 2013 9:46:26 AM

anyone have any advice?
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Best solution

May 16, 2013 9:53:59 AM

It looks like a solid build. One thing you might consider is if you aren't overclocking, and want a strong CPU, you could go with the E3-1230 V2. It has the performance of the i7-3820, but for a lot less money. It also uses less power and you get 8 threads for multi-tasking.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Have you considered a RAID controller? It might be worth doing RAID 5 so you at least have some data security.

As far as software choices, you may want to post in that forum to get more feedback since this is primarily for hardware selection.
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August 28, 2013 3:36:28 PM

Transmaniacon said:
It looks like a solid build. One thing you might consider is if you aren't overclocking, and want a strong CPU, you could go with the E3-1230 V2. It has the performance of the i7-3820, but for a lot less money. It also uses less power and you get 8 threads for multi-tasking.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Have you considered a RAID controller? It might be worth doing RAID 5 so you at least have some data security.

As far as software choices, you may want to post in that forum to get more feedback since this is primarily for hardware selection.


That motherboard has an Intel Raid controller on it. It can do RAID 5

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August 31, 2013 4:58:02 PM

But RAID 5 on motherboard is not really recommended. Since it requires a lot of calculation, RAID 5 without dedicated RAID controller (such those on RAID card) will be very slow.
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