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DIY NAS Build - Help/Advice Appreciated!

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February 26, 2013 12:01:13 AM

Hey all,

I have been looking at getting a NAS for my media storage and streaming purposes for ages but have never really been able to find the right mix of power and price from the pre-built ones from Synology or QNAP.

Because of this, I've decided to move forward with my own DIY build and am planning on using FreeNAS as my OS choice, loaded onto USB. I have really struggled to find the right combination of parts to ensure all my needs were met. My priority was low power (hence the Ivy Bridge), cool and quiet but also powerful enough to stream multiple 720 or 1080p files to different boxes around my house simultaneously. I was debating waiting just a few more months for Haswell but patience isn't really my strong suit and while the rumored lower energy and cooler 20nm may be nice, I don't think it would justify my few extra dollars and 3 more months of waiting (am I wrong?). The big thing seems to be higher performance (upwards of 15% over Sandy/Ivy I've heard?) which is of no real need for my situation so I don't know if the wait is worth it?

See the parts below with a little explanation as to why which may help justify them (all prices in CDN):

ASUS P8H77-I mITX LGA1155 H77 DDR3 1PCI-E16 SATA3 DVI HDMI D-Sub USB3.0 Motherboard - $99.99 - This board has a total of 6 SATA ports (4 x 3G/b and 2 x 6G/b) which saves me from needing a seperate controller to connect more drives at a later date

Patriot Intel Extreme Masters 8GB 2X4GB PC3-12800 DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24 1.5V Dual Channel Memory Kit - $44.99 - Great price on some decent RAM for this type of build. No specific reason other than it was a great deal. Any reasons this may not be compatible?

Intel Core i3 3225 Dual Core Hyperthreading Processor LGA1155 3.3GHZ Ivy Bridge 3MB Retail Box - $134.99 - Okay so the OC thing might never happen but I have a hard time passing on the idea of being able to for an extra $15 bucks. I just wanna know that I have that option if necessary a few years down the road to squeeze every last ounce from this thing before it gets retired. I was htinking AMD originally but try finidng a mITX board for an AMD processor with what I need that hasn't been discontinued?

Kingston DT111/8GB 8GB USB 3.0 DataTraveler 111 USB Flash Drive - $9.99 - Wanted a fresh, quick drive to toss FreeNAS on and be able to forget about. That's all.

Bitfenix Prodigy mITX Mini-ITX Tower Case Midnight Black 1X5.25EXT 5X3.5INT No PS Top USB3.0 Audio - $79.99 but being price matched for $69.99 - The perfect case for my needs. Size, features and style are all dead on.

Western Digital Red 3TB SATA3 64MB Cache 3.5in Internal Hard Disk Drive HDD - $157.99 x's 2 = $315.98 - I've heard plenty of great things regarding these. Im going to start with two now and grab another two eventually. Any issues with doing them at seperate times using FreeNAS with zfs?

TOTAL (less PSU but including shipping) = $705.35

I am still not sure on a PSU as I have heard plenty of people struggle with 150 or 160mm PSU and almost all of my preferred brands and the ones I'd like o have are that size. Any suggestions?

Well that about does it! Any input on this would be very much helpful as this is my first mITX build any the only time I've ever considered a build outside of gaming.

Thanks!!!
February 26, 2013 12:11:24 AM

you dont need much power. a ivy or sandy bridge 1155 chip would be overkill if its a basic home storage system

this should be enough
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ram
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=74758&promoid=1321

hard drives, but cheaper
http://www.adorama.com/WD30EFRX.html?utm_term=Other&utm...

psu
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=63238&promoid=1257

case. more suited for your rig
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=75056&promoid=1302


just get a regular usb drive. i have their dt111 and it isnt much faster than a standard usb2. in fact, lexar usb2 drives are much faster


if you want a better network card, this intel nic is pretty good
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 26, 2013 1:21:26 AM

Thanks for the reply!

I looked at that Mobo a few times over but after reading numerous reviews for similar uses and people stating that is was just "not powerful enough" I decided against it. I don't think that on-board CPU is really the way I wanna go on this.

That RAM was a close second for me but the deal on mine up here in CDN is better I think.

The case I'm torn about. Initially the Fractal case you linked to was the one I was going to go with, but the build quality is a little more "cheap" apparently according to reviews. Any reason you'd suggest that one for this build in terms of major differences?


TheBigTroll said:
you dont need much power. a ivy or sandy bridge 1155 chip would be overkill if its a basic home storage system

this should be enough
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ram
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=74758&promoid=1321

hard drives, but cheaper
http://www.adorama.com/WD30EFRX.html?utm_term=Other&utm...

psu
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=63238&promoid=1257

case. more suited for your rig
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=75056&promoid=1302


just get a regular usb drive. i have their dt111 and it isnt much faster than a standard usb2. in fact, lexar usb2 drives are much faster


if you want a better network card, this intel nic is pretty good
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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February 26, 2013 9:44:28 AM
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February 26, 2013 12:02:57 PM

Thanks for the reply again TBT! I figured that putting all my purchases in CDN$ was enough to hint at the fact I'm Canadian :D  My bad.

Okay so I like the Fractal case but doing a little more research I've noticed that lots of people use a Lian Li case called the PC-Q25B and seem to love it. It seems to be one of the only ones with "Hot Swabbable" drives. My question then I guess becomes, is this possible or necessary given my situation? I'm not using a RAID controller in this build so does the mobo SATA ports allow for this? And my understanding of Hot Swapping is that you can remove a dead drive from a RAID array while the system is on and have it rebuild? However with FreeNAS I'm using zfs....is this even necessary with this?

The price is much higher on the Lian Li (I'm assuming because of this feature) but I may not even need it which would likely lead me to buy the Fractal case you suggested. Any help on this?

Thanks!


TheBigTroll said:
should have said you were canadian

ram costs more
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=74756&vpn=PVI38G160C9K&ma...

hard drive is the same
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=70854&vpn=ST1500DM003&man...

psu is a tad cheaper
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=63238

fractal cases are all solid for the money
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=75056&vpn=FD%2DCA%2DN...

if you really think its not powerful enough (it is), get this
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=16950BD1914&v...

CPU
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=16950BD2156&v...
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February 26, 2013 4:00:45 PM

the price is higher for lian li cases as they are made of aluminum instead of steel. i personally perfer steel as i like the reassuring weight

hot swap just means that you can take drives out of the system easier. the drive trays come right out with the drive. personally not very useful
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February 26, 2013 10:08:23 PM

Best answer selected by RDonk.
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