First Build - NK 6 Questions

I’m looking to build my first NAS and will likely follow the NK 6 guide. I had a couple of questions:

  1. I noticed the CPUs didn’t have any Xeon/ECC-supported recommended options. If I wanted to go with the upgrade motherboard, (Supermicro X11SCA-F ATX), are there any good recs for an ECC-capable CPU to pair with it?

  2. Is (1) a dumb question? Should I stick with one of the recommended CPUs for the potential option of QSV in the future (not something I see a need for atm, but I’m a noob and don’t know what I don’t know).

  3. I already have a 12u rack to support my DL360 g9 for other projects. Is there a decent rack-mounted case with reasonable power draw so I can keep everything together on the rack?

Thanks! This site is so great

You probably don’t need ECC
You can probably get away with a cheaper board too

What do you want the server to do for you?

Cases don’t draw power. The system does.

Hi and welcome to Serverbuilds!

Which CPUs Support ECC

To answer your question directly any Xeon, Core i3, Celeron, or Pentium from Intels 8th / 9th gen will support ECC so long as they are on a motherboard with a C246 Chipset like the Supermicro X11SCA.

If you are sure you want ECC you will probably want to go with an i3 like the i3-8100, i3-9100, i3-8300, or i3-9300 unless you need more compute and more cores in which case you will need a Xeon which tend to be very expensive in the 8th / 9th Gen Coffee Lake flavor.

Do you need ECC

You probably don’t need ECC for your home media server; and this is coming from someone who really likes ECC. I would certainly consider it a Nice-to-Have but given how expensive C246 motherboards, ECC RAM, and Xeons are its probably not worth the cost. You will save a lot by just getting a consumer motherboard, regular RAM, and an i3 or i5 CPU.

That said any 8th / 9th gen Intel CPU that has an iGPU from the cheapest Celeron to the most expensive Xeon will have about the same QSV performance. The sweet spot is typically an i3 or i5 giving you the best bang for your buck. The only CPUs that won’t work are the “F” CPUs which don’t have a iGPU at all.

Rackmount Case

The case doesn’t really factor into power draw that, as Stuffwhy pointed out, is going to be a result of the components you put in the case. In general the NK 6.0 builds tend to be pretty power efficient.

There isn’t really a good value rack mount case to recommendation currently due to pricing. The previous go-to was the Rosewill RSV-L4500U. It is still available but these days it is usually over $200 and before it was more like $120 and would go on sale for under $100. You may need to look for a deal on something used.


The main use case for the server is long-term storage of data I don’t want to lose, but don’t need regular access to. For example, raw footage for old video projects and important family events, phone backups, photo storage. I’d like to have at least 30 TB usable space (giving me plenty of room to grow) with the ability to lose one or preferably two drives without losing data. I was planning on a raidz1 or raidz2 but could easily be convinced if there’s something better I should do.

I think you’re probably right that I probably don’t need ECC, and yeah I realized after posting that the case ↔ power association was pretty dumb, and the components are what matter.

Any additional guidance, specific recs or further questions given that info?

Thank you for this very informative reply, Ian!

Bummer about the cases. I could go with a non-rack-mounted case, I just figured the set up would be much cleaner as I have tons of empty space in the rack. I’ll keep a lookout for a used case on ebay.

Ok, I’m pretty much convinced I don’t need ECC. Any reason to get an ECC-capable motherboard like the X11SCA just to have the upgrade ability in the future? (I think it may actually be cheaper than I can find the X11SCQ based on my preliminary search.) I’m guessing just a waste of money since by then I may want to do a full upgrade of all the parts anyway.