Advice on first time NAS build

Hello, everyone. I’ve been scouring this forum for ideas and learning so much. I think I’ve nailed down my build. I am hoping to receive feedback on advice on what parts I am planning on using.

For starters, I am using an old computer I built as the base. Those parts will be as follows:

CPU: i5-4690k

Motherboard: MSI Z97A Gaming ATX

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8gb)

Here are the parts that I am planning on purchasing. Most of the parts have in some way or another been recommended, at least in the past.

HBA: 9207-8i -h310

SSD - Unraid files and cache: Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 SSD 1TB

Cache HDD: Toshiba MBF2600RC 600GB 10k rpm SAS drive

Storage: HGST HUH728080AL4200 8TB 7200 RPM 128MB Cache SAS 12Gb/s 3.5in Drive
Four total, one parity

Case: Cooler Master N400

PSU: EVGA 500 W1

Cables: CABLEDECONN Mini SAS 36 SFF-8087 to (4) SFF-8482 Connectors with SATA Power 1m

Case fans: ARCTIC P12, pack of 5

As mentioned under the SSD, I am planning on using Unraid as an OS. Use case is media server (jellyfin) and personal storage. Is there anything I am missing or any tweaks that might improve the system? Thanks!

Why’d you duplicate your previous post

I posted this one first. However, when I saw that it was pending review, I decided to post under the main 5.0 thread to hopefully get a faster response. I can delete this post if needed/possible.

I use Emby, which shares history with Jellyfin, so they should be similar. The i5-4690k doesn’t have QuickSync, so you will not have a good experience with transcoding with your media server. And I mean just one user watching 1080 video. Hell, I had playback issues with my ancient rips of Schoolhouse Rocks and they were 360p resolution but an outdated codec. I had audio sync and stuttering playback issues on smart TV’s. Firestick, phones, Nvidia Shield, and AppleTV had no issues because they have better codec support than smart TV’s.

Unless all of your clients are PC or dedicated streaming boxes, I would seriously consider upgrading your CPU and motherboard to at least a 7th gen Intel. QuickSync was introduced in the 6th gen, but it was “meh”.

I ended up getting an 8th gen and it has worked flawlessly with an average concurrent user count of 4 people spread out over 3 states. The reason I make that distinction is because if you are streaming over the internet, you might considered setting the bitrate lower for your movies (music should be fine) to compensate for the end users possible lower bandwidth. That will also involve transcoding. I understand the desire to use what you have, but there will be headaches!

I have zero experience with Unraid. It just doesn’t feel right to me to require a USB stick. And now that it is moving to a subscription model, that put’s it firmly in the “hell no and I hope they fail and go under” category. I ended up just using Ubuntu server with Webmin because I am not smart enough to figure out dockers which is what TrueNAS and Openmediaserver user for Emby/Jellyfin.

Unraid is perfectly fine. We don’t know the pricing of the new structure yet but it will likely still be worth it for the flexibility it offers and ease of use. It is stored on a USB drive but reads into memory at boot, so it’s relatively low wear on the drive anyway.

Note that hardware transcoding will also require a Plex Pass buy in.

@marriedman Thank you for your input. This is exactly the sort of information I was hoping to receive. I was on the fence about stepping up to an 8th gen cpu but you have convinced me to go ahead and pull the trigger on newer equipment. Like you mentioned, I would like to avoid future headaches.

I do not plan to share my server at this time over the internet but I appreciate the heads up on potential issues and solutions!

I was hesitant about Unraid since the announcement to a subscription model but I still think it will be the best for my use case. Time will tell if I made a mistake. Maybe I do want to experience future headaches…

@stuffwhy why would I need to pay for plex pass if I’m not using Plex? I thought jellyfin supports hardware transcoding (acceleration)?

Sorry yeah I just see transcode and I assume Plex. Ignore that.

You are quite welcome for the info. Anything to save someone from wasting their time and the headaches.

Now to share some of my ignorance. If you start off with Unraid, or any of the device/appliance type OS’es, I have no idea if the RAID array you create will be able to migrate to a new OS down the road. Seriously, I’m not throwing shade towards Unraid, TrueNAS, nor OMS - I honestly don’t know how that works. So before you get heavily invested with filling up your new server with media, you might want to look into that. Backing up and migrating 22TB of media took me DAYS.

I also want to clarify that I am not opposed to software developers making money. I bought the lifetime license for Emby because I truly love it and it was easily worth the ~$100 because for the most part, it just works. I will say though, if Jellyfin was in the LG app repository for my TV, I would have gone that route just because of the full open source nature of the software.