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Wanting to build a NAS

Last response: in Systems
September 11, 2009 8:30:52 PM

I wanted some advice on my first NAS project. I will be using WHS (I have a free copy) and I recently purchased the Modtek Alien X case ( and In addition to the standard 120MM fan, I added an additional 120MM fan for the front and 80MM for side mounting, I wanted to be sure that the box stayed cool. There is enough room for 6 3.5" internal drives.

Where my questions are:
1) I need an ATX motherboard, I figured to get one with 6 SATA connections - can anyone recommend one?
2) I know there have reports of WHS stuttering on some of the Gigabyte boards, can anyone confirm?
3) When looking at what HDD to buy (I want to start with 1 TB) I know that speed is important but what other specs should I look at when evaluating drives?
4) I will be connecting this server to a Linksys Wireless Router (but thru wired ports). Should I buy a separate Gigabit Ethernet card to improve performance?

Thanks in advance for anyone's input. I will keep this thread up to date as my project continues.

More about : wanting build nas

September 11, 2009 8:41:41 PM

1. Budget (for CPU/Motherboard and everything else)?

2. How much space (total)?

3. Is quick data access important?

4. RAID?

September 11, 2009 8:45:42 PM

Sorry for not including this information earlier:
Budget for CPU/MOBO: I would like to keep it under $150 if possible

Total Space: I want to start off with 1 TB and add on as I need to

Quick Data Access: Well I want to store my media files (audio and video) on the NAS, so I would say access speed important.

RAID: s far as I was reading with NAS, WHS doesn't support RAID and it has it's own disk extender (but again just from what I read so far)
Related resources
September 11, 2009 10:10:24 PM

Hard to go past an e5200 and a G31 chipset mb , especially if low power consumption is important
Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz $70

GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX $53

But none of the G31/ g41 mb's have 6 SATA ports [ they have 4] , and none of the cheaper models have RAID capability
This mb has 6 sata ports , but still no RAID
ASRock G43Twins-FullHD LGA 775 Intel G43 $75

September 12, 2009 12:19:40 AM

^+1. Good build.

@OP: The $150 for just the board and CPU are fine. It won't cut it if you MUST get 6 SATA ports. HOWEVER, you CAN add in a PCI/PCIe RAID card. Perhaps around $200-240 for a good NAS with 6 SATA ports,etc.
September 12, 2009 2:10:44 AM

Shadow and Outlander - thanks for the input. It will definitely help me.

Outlander - You mentioned the GA-G31M-ES2L MOBO, it's a Micro ATX and the specs for my case say just ATX, can I use the Micro?
September 12, 2009 2:29:59 AM

kevinjd said:
Shadow and Outlander - thanks for the input. It will definitely help me.

Outlander - You mentioned the GA-G31M-ES2L MOBO, it's a Micro ATX and the specs for my case say just ATX, can I use the Micro?

Yes a m-ATX mb fits an ATX case. It just leaves a bit of space unused .

I was going to say b4 that if you use a RAID array then its safer to use a pci-e raid controller card , but they are not cheap .

I guess you could simply instruct WHS to make a copy on the other hard drives in the case . Once a day , sequential back up . So if there is a hard drive failure then you havent lost much if anything

September 12, 2009 2:39:03 AM

OK. I saw some ppl tout the Atom processor for the DIY NAS, what is your opinion on them?

Also I will be having 3 fans in the box, and I noticed that the two mb mentioned in this thread have support for 2, how do most ppl add fans and get power to them?
September 12, 2009 3:20:07 AM

most case fans have 4 pin molex connectors that plug straight in to the power supply .

Atom is very low power single core processor . If the NAS is just storage then maybe it would be OK , but Atom powered netbooks have trouble playing video so I wonder if an atom powered NAS can stream video .
You'd definitely want to check that with the people who are using them .

A while back Toms had an e7200 on a G31 mb and it was drawing 70 watts . The e5200 will be a little bit less than the e7200 since the architectures are fundamentally the same , and the clock speeds similar . Since its a dual core it will handle multiple loads much better
September 15, 2009 11:46:34 PM

Here are the components that I have bought or have selected to buy. Let me know any thoughts that you may on my build. Thanks again for everyone's helpful posts.

Modtek Alien X case ( including:
* 120mm front fan
* 120mm rear fan
* 80mm side case fan
* 400 W - Power Supply came with the case - Will this be enough to handle everything in build?

$74.99 - ASRock G43Twins-FullHD LGA 775 Intel G43 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard ( - Picked this because it balanced features and future growth, supports DD2 and DDR3

$82.50 - Intel Pentium E6300 Wolfdale 2.8GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail - Picked this anticipating WHS goes to 64 bit

$72.99 - Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model CT2KIT25664BA1067 -


$30 - Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600JS 160GB SATA Hard Disk - Just wanted a small drive for OS

Data - Still deciding on between these, leaning toward WD, any thoughts? Starting off with just 1 TB but have room for 4-5 TB more
84.99 - Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive ( - check zipzoomfly

79.99 - SAMSUNG EcoGreen F2 HD103SI 1TB 5400 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive (

79.99 - Seagate Barracuda LP ST31000520AS 1TB 5900 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive (