[Build Complete] HP ML310e Gen 8 (NAS Killer 4.0) + HP-290

Bit of a chronicle–started 6 months ago as a complete noob looking to set up Plex for myself + a few family members. Up until last week I ran Unraid on an HP-290 with one 4TB HDD. On a whim I bought this deal for an HP ML310e Gen 8 Proliant server and migrated to the recommended two-box system with the ML310e running Unraid and the HP 290 as a dedicated transcoder running Plex on baremetal.

Some thoughts on the ML310e: this thing is insanely user-friendly. It is essentially a NAS–completely plug-and-play, literally no cabling or assembly required. There are essentially four steps required from the box to get it up and running with Unraid:

  • Place hard drives into drive caddies and insert them into the drive cage. You need to order the caddies separately; the server comes with blanks.
  • Plug in Unraid flash drive (there’s an internal slot for it right on the motherboard)
  • Add an SSD for cache (all you need is one SATA data cable)
  • Change boot order in BIOS to launch from USB

There’s some additional BIOS stuff that I didn’t mess with that runs during boot–I’m sure more experienced users will have use for that functionality. I ignore it and it launches Unraid after about a minute.


Front with all drives mounted (removing bezel requires key):

Drive caddy (empty):

Drive caddy (with drive):

Drive blank (server came with 3 of these):

Access panel (turn thumb screw and key to remove):

Internals (with the air baffle):

Internals (no air baffle):

Back panel:

Motherboard Closeup (note the convenient USB port for Unraid drive):

Back of drive cage:


SSD (note the power cable coming off the optical drive already had a spare ending; all I needed to add was the yellow SATA data cable):


Don’t talk to me or my son ever again:


NAS Killer:

Type Part Price
Prebuilt HP ML310e Gen 8 $170
SSD Samsung EVO 850 - 250GB Already had
Drive Caddies HP 3.5" LFF SAS & SATA HDD/SSD Smart Carrier Hard Drive Caddy/Tray $30
SATA Cable Relper-Lineso 6 Pack 18 Inches SATA III 6.0 Gbps Data Cable with Locking Latch $8
Total $208

Transcode box:

Type Part Price
Prebuilt HP-290 $140
RAM Crucial 8GB Single DDR4 2666 MT/s (PC4-21300) SR x8 DIMM 288-Pin Memory - CT8G4DFS8266 $34
SSD Samsung PM981 M.2 PCIE 256GB $40
SSD Heat Sink MHQJRH M.2 2280 SSD heatsink, Double-Sided Heat Sink $10
Total $224

Drives: 4x HGST 4TB HDDs @$50 each: $200

Total: $600

Thanks again JDM for all of your help!!

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Love it.

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Question: if I stuck a GPU (e.g. 1060) in the server, would it be enough with the E3-1230V2 for some Unraid remote gaming? I don’t need to run Cyberpunk but it would be nice to run most games on medium.

Yeah, it would!