Building 1st NAS/Plex server

Hello all,

I want to set up a NAS for 4 purposes:

  1. Act as a media server (currently using plex on my primary PC) for my household
  2. Seed long term torrents that I don’t have space for on my seedbox. I would like this to run through a VPN while the rest of the NAS bypasses VPN (I think this can be done with dockers)
  3. easily move files between the various computers on my network
  4. Backup data for my computers

I have built computers before but never built a NAS or media server. I am also still learning on the software side, not sure what I am going to run there yet. I already have (2) 14 TB WD easy store hard drives that I got from BB on sale that I am going to shuck. I am likely going to buy a 3rd for parity when they go on sale again later this month. The rest of the build I need to buy.

Can I do better then this with around a $500 budget (flexible but would prefer to stay around there).

Part Name Price
CPU AMD Ryzen 3 3200G 3.6 GHz Quad-Core Processor $99.00
MB MSI X470 GAMING PLUS MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard $120.99
RAM G.SKILL Aegis 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3000 $59.00
SSD Samsung 860 Evo 500 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $53.99
Case Fractal Design Define R5 ATX Mid Tower Case $123.99
PSU SeaSonic S12III 650 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $49.99

Thanks for any feedback.

Edit: I am also open to buying used or prebuilt and upgrading if that gets me a more powerful NAS for the same price

IMO, you’re spending way too much on a server for what you want to do.
I’d skip the Ryzen, expensive mobo + DDR4, and for a NAS Killer 4.1 instead.
You should be able to shrink it down to sub $200 for the combo of those 3 parts.

You can also find better prices on SSDs besides the 860 evo.

Your PSU looks good.

In fact, someone is working on a very similar build right now -

Ok, did a bunch more reading, so here is what I am looking at:

HP 290 for $147 from the ebay link for plex server/transcoding with quicksync
Nas Killer 4.1 for just NAS and seeding files with VPN using one of the combos

Sound better then original plan of trying to create the all in one box?

That looks pretty good! That’s my recommendation for most people.

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Should end up being a lot cheaper, too! Start putting a parts list together in google sheets and copy/paste it here (just copy the table, the forum will auto format for you).

We can help you pick parts!

Thanks. Here is what I have so far based on reading about similar builds and looking around.

NAS & seeding with VPN Docker
Part Name Price Location
Combo Chenbro NR12000 1U 1x 8m QUAD CORE E3-1230v2 3.3GHz 16GB RAM $157.00 Ebay
Case Cooler Master N400 NSE-400-KKN2 Mid-Tower $60.00 Amazon
MB Tyan S5512WGM2NR-B-CGN Included N/a
CPU INTEL XEON QUAD CORE E3-1240 3.3GHz Included N/a
CPU Cooler Thermaltake Gravity i2 $12.00 Amazon
RAM 16 GB DDR3 ECC UDImm 2x8 GB Included N/a
SDD SAMSUNG 860 EVO Series 2.5" 500GB SATA III $54.00 Newegg
PSU EVGA 500 W1 $49.00 Newegg
HP 290 for Plex/Transcoding
Part Name Price Location
Prebuilt HP 290-p0043w Slim Celeron G4900 3.1GHz $147.00 Ebay
Case HP Tower Included N/A
MB Pavilion Slimline 290-p0043w Included N/A
CPU Celeron G4900 3.1GHz Included N/A
RAM Add Included N/A
SSD SAMSUNG 860 EVO Series 2.5" 500GB SATA III $54.00 Newegg
HDD 500 GB HDD Included N/A
PSU Unclear but included Included N/A
All In HP290 + NAS combo $533.00

Am I missing anything or can do better with any of the parts? Also, it is unclear to me if I need a SSD for cache on my NAS in addition to the SSD for the OS. I would appreciate some advice there.

As a reminder, I will have 3 or 4 shuckable 14 TB WD eastore HD for the NAS.

Or I can get the Cooler Master 350 elite which includes a 500 PSU for $82, would knock another 30 off the build assuming no issues with everything else I have outlined.


Circling back to see if there is any final feedback/changes before I make the purchases.


Sorry, been a little busy - I’ll take a look at this a bit later today.

No problem, thanks.

Elite 350 is sold out now so back to original Cooler Master N400 + PSU plan as originally outlined in the table. So I guess the remaining questions are:

Is there a better SSD for NAS OS and do I need a SSD or cache on my NAS? I am a little confused on the the difference between that and the SSD for the OS.

I would highly recommend a NVMe for your HP 290 instead of the regular SATA SSD. It should increase your cost at all. Check out this one. You can use the same SSD for your cache drive if you want for your Unraid build.

This power supply is 80+ bronze rated and the same price. I’d go for that instead.

Thank you, everything is on the way over the next 2 weeks.

On the software side I am a little unclear how to proceed. Do I install unraid on the NAS machine I am going to build and install Unbuntu desktop on the HP 290?