[Guide] NAS Killer 5.0


[NAS KILLER 5.0 BUILD GUIDE]

[JOIN THE DISCORD]


1. Objective

Update the NAS Killer line of builds to iteration 5.0. Moving on to socket 1150, we should be able to see better performance and power usage, with only a slight increase in cost compared to the NAS Killer 4.0.

This guide will feature not only Xeon processors, but also consumer Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors.


Table of Contents (clickable links)

  1. Objective
    • Table of Contents
  2. Motherboards
    • Consumer Motherboards
    • Server & Workstation Motherboards
  3. CPU Options
  4. RAM Options
  5. Cache Options
    • SSD
    • Fast HDD
  6. HDD Options
  7. Cases/Chassis
  8. Power Supplies
  9. CPU Coolers
  10. Other Parts
  11. —UNFINISHED SECTIONS BELOW—
  12. Prebuilt LGA1150 Options
  13. Sample Builds
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2. Motherboards (LGA 1150)

Please carefully evaluate CPU and RAM support / requirements from the manufacturer’s spec page. Each motherboard will be different. This is not an exhaustive list of motherboards, just a handful of selections by the serverbuilds.net team. Feel free to use another make or model should you find a good deal or already have one on hand.

Review checklist:

  • CPU support (Xeon / Core / Pentium, etc.)
  • RAM support (ECC / non-ECC, etc.)
  • Form factor (ATX / Micro-ATX / Mini-ITX, etc.)
  • Onboard SATA controller and number of ports
  • Onboard NICs
  • Display output ports and requirements (iGPU), if any.
  • Heatsink mounting method (fixed backplate?)

Consumer Motherboards

Brand (specs) Model (link) CPU RAM Form Factor PCIe SATA NIC IPMI Other Expected Price
ASRock B85 PRO4 Core i3/i5/i7 Non-ECC UDIMM ONLY ATX 4 2xSATA3 4xSATA4 1 NO $54.98
ASUS H81I-PLUS Core i3/i5/i7 Non-ECC UDIMM ONLY Mini-ITX 1 2xSATA3 1 NO $39.00
ASUS H81M-A Core i3/i5/i7 Non-ECC UDIMM ONLY Micro-ATX 3 2xSATA3 2xSATA3 1 NO $30.00
ASUS H81M-C Core i3/i5/i7 Non-ECC UDIMM ONLY Micro-ATX 3 2xSATA3 2xSATA3 1 NO 1xPCI $48.00
ASUS H81M-K Core i3/i5/i7 Non-ECC UDIMM ONLY Micro-ATX 3 2xSATA3 2xSATA3 1 NO $55.00
ASUS B85M-G Core i3/i5/i7 Non-ECC UDIMM ONLY Micro-ATX 3 4xSATA3 2xSATA2 1 NO $70.00
ASUS Z97-A Core i3/i5/i7 Non-ECC UDIMM ONLY ATX 4 6xSATA3 1 NO M.2 NVMe $130.00
ECS H81H3-TI4 Core i3/i5/i7 Non-ECC SODIMM ONLY Mini-ITX 0 1xSATA3, 1xSATA 2 1 NO MSATA $59.00
Gigabyte GA-H81M-S1 Core i3/i5/i7 Non-ECC UDIMM ONLY Micro-ATX 3 1 NO $47.99
iBase MI981AF Core i3/i5/i7 Non-ECC SODIMM ONLY Mini-ITX 1 4xSATA 3 2 NO MSATA $39.95

Server & Workstation Motherboards

Brand (specs) Model (link) CPU RAM Form Factor PCIe SATA NIC IPMI Other Expected Price
Supermicro X10SLM-F Xeon, Core i3 ECC UDIMM ONLY Micro-ATX 3 4xSATA3 2xSATA2 2 YES SATA DOM $85.00
Supermicro X10SLM±F Xeon, Core i3/i5/i7 ECC UDIMM ONLY Micro-ATX 3 4xSATA3 2xSATA2 2 YES SATA DOM $95.00
Supermicro X10SLM±LN4F Xeon, Core i3 ECC UDIMM ONLY Micro-ATX 2 4xSATA3 2xSATA2 2 YES SATA DOM $130.00
Supermicro X10SLV Core i3/i5/i7 Non-ECC UDIMM ONLY Mini-ITX 1 2xSATA3 2xSATA2 2 NO SODIMM $120.00
Supermicro X10SLV-Q Core i3/i5/i7 Non-ECC UDIMM ONLY Mini-ITX 1 4xSATA3 2 NO SODIMM $195.00
Supermicro X10SLQ-L Core i3/i5/i7 Non-ECC UDIMM ONLY Micro-ATX 3 5xSATA3 2 NO $60.00
Supermicro X10SLQ Core i3/i5/i7 Non-ECC UDIMM ONLY Micro-ATX 3 5xSATA3, 1xMSATA 2 NO LTE SIM $97.00
Supermicro X10SLL-S Xeon, Core i3 ECC UDIMM ONLY Micro-ATX 2 2xSATA3 2xSATA3 2 NO SATA DOM $110.00
Supermicro X10SLL-SF Xeon, Core i3 ECC UDIMM ONLY Micro-ATX 2 2xSATA3 2xSATA2 2 YES SATA DOM $175.00
Supermicro X10SLL-F Xeon, Core i3 ECC UDIMM ONLY Micro-ATX 3 2xSATA3 4xSATA3 2 YES SATA DOM $182.00
Supermicro X10SLL±F Xeon, Core i3 ECC UDIMM ONLY Micro-ATX 3 2xSATA3 4xSATA4 2 YES SATA DOM $191.00
Supermicro X10SLH-F Xeon, Core i3 ECC UDIMM ONLY Micro-ATX 3 6xSATA3 2 YES SATA DOM $207.00
Supermicro X10SLA-F Xeon, Core i3 ECC UDIMM ONLY ATX 2 2xSATA3 4xSATA3 2 YES 5xPCI, SATA DOM $270.00
Supermicro X10SL7-F Xeon, Core i3 ECC UDIMM ONLY Micro-ATX 2 2xSATA3 4xSATA3 2 YES LSI 2308, 8xSAS2 $270.00
Supermicro X10SAT Xeon, Core i3/i5/i7 ECC/Non-ECC UDIMM ONLY ATX 6 8xSATA3 2 NO SATA DOM $240.00
Supermicro X10SAE Xeon, Core i3/i5/i7 ECC/Non-ECC UDIMM ONLY ATX 5 8xSATA3 2 NO SATA DOM $248.00
Supermicro C7Z87 Core i3/i5/i7 Non-ECC UDIMM ONLY ATX 5 8xSATA3 2 NO $114.00
Supermicro C7Z87-OCE Core i3/i5/i7 Non-ECC UDIMM ONLY ATX 6 8xSATA3 2 NO $200.00
Supermicro C7Z97-OCE Core i3/i5/i7 Non-ECC UDIMM ONLY ATX 6 6xSATA3 2 NO M.2 NVMe $260.00
ASRock Rack C226M WS Xeon, Core i3/i5/i7 ECC/Non-ECC UDIMM ONLY Micro-ATX 3 6xSATA3 2 NO $165.00
ASRock Rack C226 WS Xeon, Core i3/i5/i7 ECC/Non-ECC UDIMM ONLY ATX 6 10xSATA3 2 NO 1xPCI $137.00
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3. CPU Options (click for full CPU sheet)

As stated in the motherboard section, make sure to find out which CPUs are compatible with your motherboard. The top half of the table are Core i3, i5, and i7 CPUs, and the bottom half are Xeon CPUs.

Please note: All consumer CPUs have an iGPU, while only some Xeon models have an iGPU. Keep this in mind when picking your CPU.

Model Code Cores/Threads Max Freq. TDP Passmark (multi) Price (link)
Pentium G3240 SR1NB 2C/2T 3.2GHz 53 3251 $8.00
i3-4330TE SR180 2C/4T 2.4GHz 34 3680 $23.95
i3-4330T SR1NK 2C/4T 3.0GHz 35 4546 $26.99
i5-4670 SR14A 4C/4T 3.8GHz 84 7780 $48.00
i7-5775C SR2AG 4C/8T 3.7GHz 65 10837 $99.99
Xeon E3-1225 V3 SR1KX 4C/4T 3.6GHz 84 7238 $38.95
Xeon E3-1230L V3 SR158 4C/8T 2.8GHz 25 7231 $60.00
Xeon E3-1280 V3 SR150 4C/8T 4.0GHz 82 9841 $98.00
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4. RAM Options

Type Model (link) Speed Capacity Price/GB Expected Price
NON-ECC PC3-10600U 1333MHz 2x4GB = 8GB $3.25/GB $26.00
NON-ECC PC3-12800U 1600MHz 2x4GB = 8GB $3.25/GB $26.00
NON-ECC PC3-12800U 1600MHz 2x8GB = 16GB $2.50/GB $40.00
NON-ECC PC3-12800U 1600MHz 4x4GB = 16GB $2.50/GB $40.00
NON-ECC PC3-12800U 1600MHz 4x8GB = 32GB $3.13/GB $100.00
ECC UDIMM PC3-10600E 1333MHz 2x4GB = 8GB $3.13/GB $25.00
ECC UDIMM PC3-12800E 1600MHz 2x4GB = 8GB $5.00/GB $40.00
ECC UDIMM PC3-10600E 1333MHz 2x8GB = 16GB $3.75/GB $60.00
ECC UDIMM PC3-12800E 1600MHz 2x8GB = 16GB $5.00/GB $80.00
ECC UDIMM PC3-10600E 1333MHz 4x4GB = 16GB $4.06/GB $65.00
ECC UDIMM PC3-12800E 1600MHz 4x4GB = 16GB $5.63/GB $90.00
ECC UDIMM PC3-10600E 1333MHz 4x8GB = 32GB $4.38/GB $140.00
ECC UDIMM PC3-12800E 1600MHz 4x8GB = 32GB $5.25/GB $168.00
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5. Cache Options

Overview

Unraid is going to be the most common choice for OS. In that case, it makes sense to have a decent size SSD to store your appdata and to be used as a write cache. This improves file transfer speed to your server immensely. Typically these files will be moved off of the cache drive and onto the array daily (at minimum), so keep that in mind when selecting a size. Smaller SSDs can be used as “unassigned” drives, which are neither part of the array or part of the cache. Unassigned drives can be used as VM data stores, file unpacking drives, or whatever you want really.

With the current Unraid beta release (v6.9.0-rc2 as of writing), you can have multiple cache pools that can be assigned to different shares. Personally, I take advantage of this by using RAID1 15k RPM HDDs for my large file ingest. It can easily write at over gigabit speeds with large video files, but it not as fast as a SSD for smaller files. In that case, I use my SSD cache. Offloading unpacking and large file ingest to a hard drive cache will greatly extend your SSD’s life span.

SSD Options

Brand Model (link) Capacaity Interface Price/TB Expected Price
Intel SSD DC P3600 1.2TB U.2 NVMe $103.30/TB $123.97
Intel SSD DC P3605 1.6TB PCIe 3.0x4 NVMe $103.71/TB $165.95
Intel SSD DC P4500 2TB U.2 NVMe $99.50/TB $199.00
ADATA SU720 1TB 2.5" SATA $89.99/TB $89.99
ADATA SU720 500GB 2.5" SATA $99.98/TB $49.99
Sun/Oracle F80 7069200 4x200GB PCIe 2.0x8 $125.00/TB $100.00

Fast HDD options

Check out the list in the forum post below. Fast 2.5" SAS HDDs are available for less than $10/300GB or $18/900GB.

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6. HDD Options

SATA drives (shuckable)

These hard drives are external consumer HDDs removed from their outer shell. Inside is a normal enterprise-grade 3.5" HDD. Western Digital is the king of the shuckable drive market right now, offering high capacity drives at low prices.

Reference the topic below to track shuckable drive prices.

SAS Drives

If you’re using SAS drives, you must connect them to a SAS controller. SATA drives can be used with your motherboard’s onboard SATA OR a SAS controller.

Take a look at the forum post below for more information on SAS controllers.

Pricing

Always, always, always make use of the “best offer” option on ebay. Especially if you’re buying multiple. Some sellers also have quantity discounts built into the listings, but those are not shown in the table below.

Brand Model (link) Capacaity Spindle RPM Cache Interface Price/TB Expected Price
Seagate ST32000444SS 2TB 7200 16MB SAS $9.50/TB $18.99
HGST/Hitachi HUS723030ALS640 3TB 7200 64MB SAS $7.98/TB $23.95
Seagate ST33000650SS 3TB 7200 64MB SAS $8.33/TB $25.00
HGST/Hitachi HUS724040ALS640 4TB 7200 64MB SAS $11.25/TB $44.99
HGST/Hitachi HUS726060AL5210 6TB 7200 128MB SAS $11.50/TB $69.00
Seagate ST6000NM0034 6TB 7200 128MB SAS $12.50/TB $75.00
HGST/Hitachi HUH728080AL4205 8TB 7200 128MB SAS $13.63/TB $109.00
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7. Cases / Chassis

Tower Cases

Brand Case (link) Fits 3.5" (Native + Non-native) Expected Price
Cooler Master N400 <= ATX 8 + 2 $60.00
Cooler Master Elite 350 (with PSU) <= ATX 6 + 4 $85.00
Fractal Design Node 804 <= mATX 10 $110.00
Fractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX 6 $90.00
Silverstone DS380B DTX, Mini-ITX 8 hotswap $189.00

Rackmount Chassis

Brand Case (link) Fits 3.5" (Native + Non-native) Expected Price
Rosewill RSV-L4500 All 15 $149.00
Rosewill RSV-R4100 All 6 + 2 $99.00
Rosewill RSV-R4000 All 8 + 3 $100.00
Rosewill RSV-L4000 All 8 + 3 $117.00
Rosewill RSV-L4412 All 12 hotswap $250.00
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8. Power Supplies

Below are a list of affordable power supplies readily available on Amazon. I would highly recommend looking at power supplies on EVGA’s B-Stock Wednesday sale first. Of all the parts featured in the guide, the PSU matters the least. If you find a good deal and it’s 400W or more, I’d go with that instead.

Brand Model (link) Expected Price
Cooler Master MasterWatt 550 semi-fanless $75.00
Cooler Master Elite V3 600W $64.00
EVGA 500 W1 $48.00
EVGA 750 N1 $63.00
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9. CPU Coolers

Check out the thread below for heatsink options.

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10. Other Parts

For the internal SAS HBAs and Warp Drive/Flash Accelerator cards, you may need a full height bracket. Good thing is that they are really cheap ($1), bad thing is that they may take a week or two to arrive.

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Thanks for the updated guide. I’m kinda running a NAS 4.0 build with a i7-3770 CPU now. Learned alot from your posts.

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What great timing! I was just thinking about turning my old PC into a server, and it just so happens to be a LGA1150! My question is this:

Is it worth it to get a new mobo that supports ECC and IPMI?

My consumer grade mobo is the ASrock Z97 Extreme 6. And while it comes with the very good benefit of being free to me, I’m nervous about running a ZFS pool without ECC, or the hassle of hooking up KVM for maintenance or troubleshooting. (If I stick with this I may get the Pi KVM I’ve been hearing about.)

In either case, I think I will buy a new set of 4x 8Gb of RAM, since the 2x 8Gb I have now will be moving to another machine.

Also, I don’t see it listed here, probably because it’s not worth the price to a new buyer, but is there any reason why I shouldn’t use my i7-4790K in this build?

Oh, and my intentions are for running Proxmox for a few VMs. The usual Home Assistant, Plex Server, Docker stack, and possibly a Mastodon server.

Thanks!

If you have a working setup, no, it’s definitely not worth it.

Have you considered Unraid? You don’t need ECC.

Awesome to hear. And with Non-ECC going for less than ECC on ebay, that’s more good news.

I’ve considered Unraid, and I’ll consider it again, but I’ve been running a little FreeNAS (OK fine, TrueNAS) box for years on that old explody mobo (C2550D4I), and I’ve got a NUC running Proxmox now. I figured this could get me down to 1 box to do both. I bet Unraid would be a simpler setup.

It definitely would. It’s a hypervisor with an awesome storage setup, it also has a nice GUI for docker if you want to get into that. I moved from FreeNAS to unraid a couple of years ago, and I have zero plans to change back. FreeNAS has a place, but not in the home IMO.

I’ve got an old Lenovo ThinkStation E30 Mini Tower with an intel Xeon E3-1220 I’m looking to turn into a NAS

Did some research and it looks like it can handle a Xeon E3-1225 V3

Is it worth the upgrade?

According to this your Lenovo can only handle V1 CPUs, but probably V2 if there is an updated BIOS available. Definitely not V3, as that’s a different socket.

Can you confirm the specific model?

Damn, well alright.

It’s a CTO 7783

Now I’m wondering if I should just gut it use the case and get a secondhand mobo. Whatcha think?

I appreciate your guides and help!

It’s a prebuilt, which means you will run into various issues with part compatibility, stemming from motherboard size, PSU pinout, etc.

I’d either use it, or ditch it. You can always add a DAS if you just need more storage. Your Lenovo is NAS Killer 4.0 level anyway, so it’s not exactly bad.