Core 500 built - Newbie looking for feedback :)!

Hi everyone,

Im looking to build an SFF UnRaid server for the following purposes:

  • Plex server (max 2 people streaming at the same time. Ability to handle 4k)
  • Homebridge with a couple of devices
  • get into Usenet (Sonarr, radarr, etc)
  • Use as Time Machine backup location for two different users
  • Run Windows in a VM for normal office use

I was thinking to run the VMs and Unraid itself off a dedicated NVME M2 SSD and have another SATA SSD as UnRaid cache. Then have three 3,5” HDDs for data (one parity disk and two storage disks).

Here is my planned config:

  • Fractal Design Core 500 Mini ITX Case
  • Core i5-12400
  • Noctua NH-L9i-17xx
  • ASRock B660M-ITX/ac
  • 32GB RAM: 2x Kingston ValueRAM 16 GB DDR4-2666 CL19 Memory
  • WD Blue SN570 1 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 3.0 X4 NVME SSD
  • Samsung 870 Evo 1 TB 2.5" SSD
  • 3x Seagate IronWolf NAS 4 TB 3.5" 5400 RPM HDD
  • Power Supply: be quiet! Pure Power 11 400 W 80+ Gold Certified ATX Power Supply

Completely new to Unraid and server builds so any advice would be fantastic! Trying to keep energy usage to a minimum as well.

Thanks everyone!

Nice case!

That’s a lot of processor for the tasks you have in mind. You’ll definitely be future proof or a long while.

Even if you do for a large data pool (RAID 0 I think) you will only have a usuable 10TB volume. Even with strictly 1080p video files, you can fill that relatively quickly with Usenet and Plex. I personally use Emby and I have a 14TB array and I have 3.3TB left on it within 2 years. I have only one 4K video, tons 1080 & 720 movies/shows, and lots of standard resolution TV shows.

I am a server build newbie myself, so take anything I say with a grain of salt. I find your built impressive. I wouldn’t use Plex nor Unraid. Emby is a single life time payment that doesn’t require phoning home to use your own media. (If Jellfin had a LG app at the time, I would have gone that route.) I have a penchant for Linux free and open source model, so I am going to try OpenMediaVault if I ever get my build finished.

I hope someone else chimes in, I’d like to hear their opinion as well.

I don’t know I’d build an ITX sized device as my main NAS product let alone a do all server. I didn’t look it up but will that case hold those drives and have enough air flow? I’m a fan of letting it breathe well especially with 4 spinning drives (I use 4). Outside of that - lots of processor and extra there so I don’t know if it will be power savy - especially if you have it doing all your downloading and it runs video service with transcoding.

Meanwhile I use Jellyfin - but my viewing devices are roku items. I’m using 4 drives and mine are 7200 RPM jobs. Go hard drive or Rhino technology usually has some decent stock on refub drives with warranty. I got some 6 tb drives for 59 dollars each yes they are used and so far so good - I have a hot spare sitting in case.

software side - are you thinking you’ll run proxmox or like - then VM unraid and then vm windows and vm some server items - that’s a bit much IMO. and I don’t know if unraid plays well though a vm - I don’t use it but I looked into it alot. Unraid like Truenas or Openmediavault is meant to run as the bare OS and wants to.

Unraid and Truenas and some others use containers or Kubernetes or other containment software homes. and Truenas Scale their new version supports vm’s internal. that’s what I’m using now is truenas scale. I also at one time tried using Proxmox with truenas core on vm - and a VM for linux server and setup docker continers etc. it works ok but is a bit of a annoyance - there are auto setup utilites out there now like the proxmox helper scripts and etc.

Next thing - the win vm on the server. I would suggest that downloading and running the other services is enough of a normal duty that you’d be better served sticking with another machine to do your office/home work. I use an older laptop myself. As you might find it’s working on downloads and running the other services all the time. you have the processor for it mostly - but it’s going to be partialy used for that while you might want to use high processing for your office work. So I wouldn’t bother mixing the 2. and I say that having thought the same thing when I first started my project thinking I would buy a higher power more cores processor to accomodate - not really worth it in the long run.

I made multiple posts as I tend to get long strings.

So I would consider doing something a bit different, but I hear getting stuff in EU is difficult today. but I would look for a refurbished workstation machine. This is what I did and it was very cost effective. HP Z420 workstation with an 8 core xeon processor and 32gb of ecc ram (no you don’t have to use ECC ram) was some $200 shipped to me a year ago. refurbished workstation. Tested and ran out of the box. to that I added my 4 drives, replaced 3 fans (kept the old ones just in case), some cables, and a bay adapter to more easily hold my drives. I use 2 SATA SSD’s (becasue I had them and no M.2. 128gb is the main OS for TrueNAS Scale, and a 256 is the application drive. no cache drive needed so far.

It runs radarr, sonarr, syncthing, lidar, readarr, Jackett, OMada (Tp link netowrking tool), Open Hab, and who knows what else later. One nice thing with more drives - you get more read performance, write doesn’t help - but read grows alot which is nice. It downloads off one - 1gb line, and it feeds my home network with link aggregation on 2, 1gb lines. (no not really needed) and I use it thought a seedbox for downloading.

ON the downloads - one thing to setup when you get to it. be picky about what you download. IE TV shows don’t all have to be in 4k, letalone 1080p. I get some on purpose in 720, and some in 1080. Movies I get in 4K depending on what it is or if it’s soemthing I’d keep. Example John Wick 3 - 4K, something wifey wants probably 1080p - as it will end up getting deleted one day or never watched again.

etc. saves on space. Kids cartoons - most are 720 but the high end CGI stuff I go ahead and get in 1080.

Good Luck and hope this helps some.