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Build Q's on ZFS RAID-Z FreeNAS/FreeBSD server

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November 1, 2010 5:02:17 PM

I've been throwing ideas around on the best way to put together my new HTPC and home file system setup.

I'm starting to lean towards building a FreeNAS/FreeBSD box to put on my network and using a more simple head for the HTPC rather than doing an all-in-one server/HTPC combo like originally planned.

For the FreeNAS/FreeBSD box, everything I've read is really leaning me towards using ZFS with a RAIDZ or RAIDZ2 setup.

I realize that I should use a 64-bit CPU, and it sounds like the atom chips aren't the best choice so I think I'll go with AMD.

Here's what I'm thinking for a mobo: ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO. $80 and has DDR3, onboard GPU for setup, 5 Sata ports, 2 PCI-e x16 ports (1 @ x16 and 1 @ x4) which allows for easy addition of SATA cards down the road for expansion.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

What sort or processing power do I need? Will this cut it? AMD Athlon II X2 210e Regor 2.6GHz? The TDP is only 45w. Any better options for the CPU or is this a good choice? Energy efficiency is important, but I don't want to sacrifice lots of performance. It would be great to come as close as I can to maxing out the Gigabit LAN.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For memory I really don't know how much I need or what type I should get. Will I get a benefit with ECC memory? Is that even supported with this board and CPU? Does the memory clock speed make much of a difference in a FreeNAS box? Any reccomendations?

For HDDs, I'm planning on using the Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB HD204UI's. I can get them for $90 @ Newegg right now and have read good things about using these drives for RAID.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

What do you all think of these components for this purpose? Does ZFS RAIDZ seem like a smart choice for a home NAS for all of the home media?

Can I ever expand the pools in RAIDZ, or should I always build them in blocks? How many max drives go in for each parity drive in RAIDZ? is it 5 total (4 + 1 parity), or is it 4 total (3 + 1 parity)?

Thanks! I'm new to this and appreciate the help.
June 3, 2011 12:14:55 AM

Out of curiosity (yes, I know, resurrecting an ages-old thread - but I found this while Googling a VERY similar topic), what did you end up doing with this? I'm thinking about doing something that's exceedingly similar...
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