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DIY NAS Build Recommendation


I'm look for some assistance for a build guide of a DIY NAS that meets these Major requirements:

  • 4 drive bay case (mobo 4+ sata) with small foot print. Something like the "U-NAS NSC-410"
  • Utilize FreeNAS to host the storage with it's main function as a Plex Media Server
  • Plex Media Server must have enough resources to transcode x2 1080p streams at high bitrates (most items will be Direct Play)
  • Cost <=$500 (not including storage) on case, psu, mobo, cpu, etc.

with perhaps some bonuses Minor Requirements if possible:

  • Newish I/O (USB 3.0, HDMI, etc.)
  • Gigabit Ethernet Port
  • Hot Swap HDD bay
  • Low power consumption
  • Remotely power on/off

Any recommendations?

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You probably mean <500$ (less than 500$) if i understood you correctly.


I'm currently not going to look for specific component but i can give some advice - practically all of the newer motherboards with intel  x270 / x370 chipsets come with a hdmi, usb 3.0. so that won't be an issue (i'm not considering ryzen here just because it doesn't have native graphics output and requires a dedicated GPU). Regarding low power consumption, there isn't really much to do here unless you buy server grade low consumption hardware, because the power consumption will be really low either way, unless you go with unreasonable powerful hardware, which also probably won't draw that much power considering it won't be under full load. Just make sure you don't go way too overkill and consider spending a bit more on a platinum high quality PSU. Remote power off can be done with numerous programs, and remote power on can be achieved with WOL on practically all motherboards with a wired LAN connection. Check your motherboards manual before buying it to see if it supports WOL just in case.

Don't forget to quote when replying to me

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Good advice above.


Plus, I would consider whether you actually NEED hot swap bays, unless you need them they can be expensive and I wouldn't imagine you'd be swapping drives that often. I can't see why anyone would NEED hot-swap on a NAS, but I haven't used every NAS software so could be wrong.

I just bought an LSI HBA card, that I am loving... I now have 8 sata connections for HDDs from the 8087 connectors on that card, plus I still have the 6 ports on the mobo free too if I need them. The card was £43, and has a few benefits other than making less cable mess with the breakout cables.. I should now be able to pass through the drives to freenas VM in ESXi.. when I get some time that is.

I would personally go for a case/chassis with more room for expandability that having hotswap bays.. you will appreciate that when your drives are filling the case, when you then may have to either buy a bigger case anyway, or buy bigger HDDs and re-configure your server/NAS. I have an 8 bay node 804, with currently 3 drives at 4TB each... but will exapand it soon to 5 drives so I can use raid z1 (freenas raid 5 basically) with redundancy... then after that I shall still have some room to expand whcih might last me another few years hopefully.

Please quote my post, or put @paddy-stone if you want me to respond to you.

  • PCs:- 
  • Main PC build  https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/list/2K6Q7X
  • ASUS x53e  - i7 2670QM / Sony BD writer x8 / Win 10, Elemetary OS, Ubuntu/ Samsung 830 SSD
  • Lenovo G50 - 8Gb RAM - Samsung 860 Evo 250GB SSD - DVD writer
  • Displays:-
  • Philips 55 OLED 754 model
  • Panasonic 55" 4k TV
  • LG 29" Ultrawide
  • Philips 24" 1080p monitor as backup
  • Storage/NAS/Servers:-
  • ESXI/test build  https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/list/4wyR9G
  • Main Server https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/list/3Qftyk
  • Backup server - HP Proliant Gen 8 4 bay NAS running FreeNAS ZFS striped 3x3TiB WD reds
  • HP ProLiant G6 Server SE316M1 Twin Hex Core Intel Xeon E5645 2.40GHz 48GB RAM
  • Gaming/Tablets etc:-
  • Xbox One S 500GB + 2TB HDD
  • PS4
  • Nvidia Shield TV
  • Xiaomi/Pocafone F2 pro 8GB/256GB
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4


  • Unused Hardware currently :-
  • 4670K MSI mobo 16GB ram
  • i7 6700K  b250 mobo
  • Zotac GTX 1060 6GB Amp! edition
  • Zotac GTX 1050 mini



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