Dedicated Storage NAS Build - Looking for advice!

Howdy Howdy, potentially naïve builder here that is putting together first NAS.

I have put together many PC’s in past, and ran linux servers among other things, but this is the first project that will really be seeing long term benefits rather than just to play with.

This will be servicing a household, feeding into a old PC I use for recording, and as a Plex server(Not many users, but could grow). As well as my main station that I use at times for video editing and programming.

The goal of this build is to:

  1. Provide strong local speeds with a 10gb card and a SSD to take advantage of the speed and stay saturated.

  2. Provide at least 10tb of protected storage.

  3. Be readily upgradable if need be (I am expecting potential problems with upgrading ram when it is a ddr3 mobo and max 32gb, is it worth going for newer architecture?)

  4. Relatively quiet, at least enough that sticking it a little bit aways in a closet will not be a nuisance


  1. Will 32gb ram be prohibitive?(as mentioned above)

  2. I am planning on buying a renewed pair of 16TB Seagate Exos, I have heard recommendations about buying from different batches, and am wondering about any experiences with renewed drives on amazon

  3. With 2 drives to start with, do I need to mirror? I plan on using TrueNAS, and hope that if I ever outgrow what looks to be 16TB with this current build, they will have a feature too grow array

  4. Are the part specs in the right place, or is there any advice about the build!


Type Name Specs Price (Combined)
CPU Intel Core i5-4670 3.4 GHz 30$
MOBO Asus Z97-A 100$
MEM TEAMGROUP Elite DDR3-1600 4x8 32GB 74$
Boot/Cache SK Hynix Gold P31 M.2 NVME 1TB 107$
Storage Seagate Exos X16 2x16TB 396$
Case Fractal Design Define R5 140$
Network adaptor Intel X520​-DA2 Oracl​e 10 gb/s 2 of these 100$

Thank you for any advice you can give! warnings, ideas, or otherwise <3

Don’t forget to include the price of transceivers, fiber, and switch if you don’t already have these in your home.

Planning on just running the 10GB between my main PC and the NAS, and it is looking like those adapters are a little more complicated than I first thought! I still would like to learn about them and implement them, but will do more research to find the best solution for me. On the top of that list is what you said; transceivers, and fiber(possibly cat 6a?, but I am not seeing a great reason to use it).

Thanks for the help! that would have slipped under the radar.

why only 2 drives. with speed though sata connection I would do something else.

I used 4, 6tb drives with a ZFS pool and I have 15 TB or so of available storage and 1 drive loss safety. the reason I went that route was ZFS comes highly recommended and the multi drive read speed over sata is very fast. write speed is not helped much but read speed is.

Meanwhile my OS and Applications are on SSD’s and my machine doesn’t have NVME option but it’s fast enough.

I would imagine with UNRAID even using 4 smaller drives with a parity option would also provide a read speed improvement.

I run jellyfin on the same box and it works pretty well, my base is a HP workstation as I got it very reasonable vs buying parts to assemble last summer. HP Z420 workstation. I have 8 cores though and no hardware transcoding - but I think I’m going to offload Jellyfin to a different machine for that.

Then put Home Assistant and perhaps something else on the NAS.

I chose 2 drives because the 16TB format looked convenient. I feel more comfortable with those(though, I am not above being convinced otherwise), and they would be big enough that by the time I need to increase storage which will not be soon, I am hoping it would be possible to grow the array to 3+ drives. And to me, I enjoy the idea of adding another large disk rather than multiple smaller ones where case space may become a issue.

But I do get where getting smaller shucked or more recommended disks is coming from, looks maybe 30% cheaper.

I like your points on read speed, and with more thinking on it, it does seem pretty reasonable to go with multiple smaller drives for the benefit. As far as write speed, my current understanding is that I can use a SSD(will be using a adapter for PCIe Gen3x4) as a ZFS ZIL, and have NVME speeds for write, that will diffuse into the slow storage. My part list was also misleading in that, because I have a couple extra 250gb m.2, and will use one as boot.

Honestly, a little spooked of some of the cheaper enterprise disks I see on Ebay, but they are affordable, and will give a better look at the ones linked in the guide.

Thanks for your input! I think I will approach which disks I choose differently now.

Now looking at 6x6TB Seagate Exos, coincidently cheaper. From what it looks like, setting it up in Raidz2.

so I don’t buy spinners off ebay unless it’s some other ebay store front. I use which does have an ebay and a newegg front that I know of.

but I buy right off their page - usually same or better deal and more selection.

in my case I used hitachi deskstar 7200 enterprise drives at 6tb. I don’t see the need for more than 1 parity as I figure I’m most often be near the machine and I keep a hot spare (ordered 5) such that if there was an issue I’d have the drive exchanged right quick. Also anything uber critical here will end up with backup of the backup of the backup process in 2 locations.

OS or OS’s for the device is probably where you will have alot of choice and opinion. If only wanting to run it as a NAS with little to no extraa - which I would suggest with that processor. Then TrueNAS Core is probably the best option.

If you up the processor capability to go with that ram, and want to run other applications on the server then choices grow alot.