[Guide] NAS Killer 6.0 - DDR4 is finally cheap

I just realized that I ordered this “Engineteh.” I will let this forum know what arrives, ~3 weeks. Tried to cancel, but it’s already shipped

I see in their picture that they covered up the spot where “SuperMicro” is supposed to be on the board, so I have a feeling I just bought a generic board.

Thank you to everyone who has replied. Its taken a bit for me to get back to this because I’m been super busy this week. Your feedback has been noted and I have lined up some options for cases below. I was hoping to go with the recommended case but I’m afraid its prohibitively expensive to get down here. $126.89 + $162.31 to ship it from the US is really more than I want to pay.

I have included some options below, which are a bit of a more acceptable price point and will hopefully still work.

Heatsink. I am (hopefully) splitting the difference here and planning to go with one of the alternatives I suggested. If the style of the original heatsink was a bit inefficient I’ll try to go with the better design. One of my alternate suggestions looks pretty similar so I’ll go with that.

RAM. Yeah, I can see what you mean, these were not great options. I’m taking another run at the issue and have assembled some options below. I guess if it all falls apart I can just stick with my original pick - it may be ECC where it doesn’t have to be but the price is ok and I really don’t want to spend the rest of my life trying to track down the perfect RAM. My understanding from what I’ve read is that ECC isn’t going to be a problem, its just not going to be a feature that can be used without a compatible CPU and motherboard. I’m happy to be corrected on this though.

Unraid. Ok Ian, you’ve convinced me. I’ll get the most basic licence and hope they offer discounted upgrades in the future.

Searchcar, its nice to come across a fellow Aussie. If you have any tips please share them! If you have any suggestions for other places I should look at to source my parts or just other parts in general I’d be happy to hear them.


HEATSINK: Thermalright Assassin Spirit 120 V2 PLUS CPU Air Cooler,1500RPM Speed,4 Heat Pipes, TL-C12C V2×2 PWM Quiet Fans CPU Cooler With S-FDB Bearing, for AMD AM4 AM5/Intel 1700/1150/1151/1200,17XX PC Cooling $30.69

1. Cooler Master MasterBox MB311L ARGB Airflow Micro-ATX Tower with Dual ARGB Fans, Fine Mesh Front Panel, Mesh Intake Vents, Tempered Glass Side Panel & ARGB Lighting System $109
2. Antec NX200M NX Series Mid Tower M-ATX Computer Gaming Case, White $78.77
3. Thermaltake S200 Mesh ARGB Tempered Glass Mid Tower Case Black Edition, CA-1X2-00M1WN-00 $100.79
4. Thermaltake CA-1J5-00M1WN-00 Versa H26 Tempered Glass Mid-Tower Chassis, Black $101

1. Patriot Viper Steel RGB DDR4 32GB (1 x 32GB) 3200MHz Module $87
2. G.Skill Aegis DDR4 3200MHz RAM, 32GB(2x16GB) $109.53
3. Silicon Power DDR4 32GB 3200MHz (PC4-25600) CL22 UDIMM 288-Pin Desktop Computer Memory, SU032GBLFU320X02AB $112.77
4. Silicon Power XPOWER Zenith DDR4 32GB (16GB x 2) Dual Channel Kit 3200MHz PC4-25600 CL16 1.35V 288-Pin UDIMM Gaming Desktop Computer RAM Memory SP032GXLZU320BDC $119.99
5. G.Skill Ripjaws V 32GB (2X 16GB) DDR4 3600MHz Memory - Black $125.46

I’d be really happy to hear any thoughts you have. I really appreciate all the feedback I’ve already received. Thank you for taking the time to help out someone who doesn’t really know what they’re doing.

Hi and welcome to Serverbuilds!

That mix of drives is tough. You probably don’t really want to sacrifice all 14TB of the largest drive to the parity gods. Plus in that case you would first need to move all the data off it onto the other drives.

You could use the 6TB as parity for the 3x 4TB drives and add the 14TB as a separate cache drive, the downside though is that leaves the whole 14TB without any parity protection.

If your budget will allow it I would pick up 1 more 14+ TB SATA drive to use as a parity drive and then you are set. You can just add all 5 existing drives to your array as data drives and you don’t even need to move the data that is already on the 14TB drive. It will be parity protected and you can start filling up the other drives with new data.

I’m not sure what is going on with the Chinese sellers and the “Engineteh” motherboards. As far as I can tell they are SuperMicro motherboards and will presumably run official SuperMicro firmware.

Not sure why you would want to omit the #1 most trusted brand name in server components and replace it with something no one has ever heard of and would never search for. Maybe SuperMicro is cracking down on 3rd party resellers somehow? Maybe these are SuperMicro boards that fell off the back of a boat?

In any case please report back when you get the board. I am curious if there is anything different about these.

Looks like you are making some progress here.

I am wondering if Amazon is just not a great source for computer components in Australia? Prices seem somewhat high, but then again that is probably mostly just currency conversion.

Have you checked out Ebay? There are a lot of seller, mostly in China, that have good prices and offer free worldwide shipping. AliExpress might also be worth checking out, although in my experience it is the same sellers as on Ebay selling at the same prices. Maybe @searchcar has some recommendations for sources of computer components Down Under.

That is an excellent heatsink for the price. If possible see if you can get the non-plus version at a lower price. It is the same heatsink but with 1 fan instead of 2. I don’t think the 2nd fan does much for performance. That said the difference is price is often less than the cost of a 120mm fan on its own so if you need an extra one the plus version could be a good deal.

Remind me what motherboard you are using? Several of those cases will only fit Micro-ATX motherboards. Another issue is that they all seem to only fit 2 3.5 hard drives which is probably not going to cut it for a NAS. Probably the most important spec you are looking for in a case is 3.5" drive capacity.

It sounds like the Cooler Master N400 is not an options where you are. How about Fractal? My personal favorite NAS tower case is the Fractal Define R5. It holds 8 3.5" drives and has additional 5.25" bays that can be re-purposed to hold more drives. Other Fractal Define versions have similar drive capacities.

Are there sources for older cheap used computers locally? Older cases tended to have more 3.5" drive bays and people often want to get rid of older hardware. Maybe you could find something cheap just for the case?

The 1) Patriot Viper 32GB Dimm will work just fine and it is the cheapest option in your list for 32GB. Again still seems a bit expensive, but that is probably just AUS vs US dollars.

I would say that for a home server ECC is certainly nice to have, but not strictly necessary. It requires a more server oriented motherboard which is typically more expensive. I have a C246 motherboard and I do use ECC memory, but really the main reason I chose the motherboard was IPMI support. Since I had the C246 motherboard I went ahead and also got ECC RAM.

The chances of memory errors corrupting your data are fairly low. Typically memory errors either do nothing or just crash your OS before it has the chance to write anything to disk. The stakes get higher if you are using ZFS which does a lot of work in memory so is more sensitive to memory errors and a faulty DIMM can do some serious damage.

There is often a bit of a miss-conception about what ECC is protecting you from. A lot of the time it seems like folks assume it is protecting you from existential threats like cosmic rays from space or something flipping bits in your ram and corrupting your data. While it will handle those types of situations, that is extremely rare. Most of the time ECC memory works exactly like Non-ECC memory. The primary purpose of ECC RAM is to protect your data from itself when it starts to fail.

The main difference between ECC and Non ECC RAM is that when the DIMM starts to fail the ECC memory fails gracefully. It corrects the single bit errors and it fills your error logs with messages so you know the DIMM is failing and you can replace it early on before it dies completely. Non ECC memory just fails silently and you only find out down the line when it starts to die completely and causes system errors, crashes, and potentially data corruption.

TLDR: ECC is nice to have, but it is not a replacement for a robust backup system. You should first and foremost back up your important data.

I think I am making a bit of progress. I have more or less stuck with the place each part was linked from in the guide, stuff from ebay, I’ve tried to find on ebay, and stuff from amazon is mostly from amazon (though I think I did try to find the amazon stuff on ebay… It was a week ago and there were an awful lot of internet tabs…).

I will have a look on aliexpress and see if that yields anything helpful.

Heatsink - yeah, they have a non plus version which will save a whole $3.06 AUD! That’s $2.01 USD! So if you think it would work better with the two fans I think my budget can extend the extra 3 bucks to get the second fan.

I’m still looking at the case stuff based on your feedback. The fractal case looks pretty cool but it is once again a case for several hundred dollars with a similar import cost. What I have been doing is looking at facebook to see if there is anything on market place (and I will have to check gumtree too).
The very strong maybe facebook options I’ve found so far are these:
Cool master pc case $100 AUD ($65.81 USD)
Old gaming pc tower case. Gigabyte thermalake $50 AUD ($32.90 UDS)
Deep cool cc560 pc case $50 AUD ($32.90 UDS)

I will marinate in this case issue and see what I come up with. Is the main thing I’m looking for is the number of 3.5" drives it will take?

I have made up a little spreadsheet with the current proposed build (no links though because I couldn’t see how you could make a table on the forum) and it includes US conversion for the price.

I do have another question. The original build has 2 cache drives, one SSD and one HDD. Is it significantly better to have 2? Should I just start out with one and then I could add the second later? If I just go with one is it better to have an SSD or a HDD. I feel like it should be SSD because they are faster but I’m not sure…

Reach out to the seller of Old gaming pc tower case and see if he will sell you the Fractal case bottom right in the images with all 4 cases. Otherwise it looks like that Thermaltake case has sleds for 5 3.5" drives and you can convert the 5.25" bays into more storage if needed.

You probably don’t need an HDD cache drive, go ahead and use all your HDDs for your main array. Use SSDs for cache drives.

If your budget accommodates it is nice to have 2 identical SSD cache drives. That way you can run them in Raid 1 and you won’t lose all your cached data container and VM data if your SSD cache drive fails for some reason.

Hey Ian, yeah, the odd drive mix is what was annoying to me as well… Here’s what I was thinking to do since I am not really familiar with unraid:

buy 2 used drives from rhino (do you recommend mixing sas and sata drives)? it looks like 12tb is a better deal than 14. for a raid5 (sacrificing 2tb) and then building a separate hodgepodge with the 3x4 and 1x6 but if I’m reading what you’re saying correctly, unraid can figure out the data protection for me by building a pool out of 2x14+3x4+1x6?

although this means i’m going to need some kind of sata or sas adapter to get more ports since my total drive count is going to be up to 8 (6 data drives and 2 cache drives)

regarding caching, if I don’t really care about burning out SSDs, could I just cache using multiple SSDs? tia!

Hi Ian,

I was hoping to post the latest version of the parts list but it seems the forum is very finicky about links. I will figure something out when I have the time but for now, you might need to ctrl + F to find the links I’ve included in earlier posts…

So here is the minimally linked version of the post, this is my… third time trying to post.

I have been in touch with the seller of the fractal case and I missed out on that one :frowning:

However, I have looking around a bit more and I have found the fractal case available for $189 ($124 USD) which does seem pretty expensive but talking with a friend who is a bit more home build savvy than I am pointed out that if you look for 8 bay cases on several Australian sites you will find them going for $50 to hundreds of dollars more. So I think in the interest of keeping things simple I will just purchase a new fractal case. Now that I know what I’m looking for I could maybe wait things out and find one online for a good price second hand but that could take months…

Now the RAM - I’ve looked at half a dozen sites and haven’t found anything that is really cheaper than that one from my last post.

So that said this is what I’m looking at at the moment:

CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-8500T Processor 9M Cache, up to 3.50 GHz SR3XD $73.50

MOTHERBOARD: Gigabyte GA-B360M-DS3H Motherboard 1151 Supports 9th Gen USB 3.1 DDR4 PCIe Gen3 $101.07

RAM: Patriot Viper Steel RGB DDR4 32GB (1 x 32GB) 3200MHz Module $87

HEATSINK: Thermalright Assassin Spirit 120 V2 CPU Air Cooler,4 Heat Pipes CPU Cooler, 120mm PWM Quiet Fan with 1500RPM, Desktop CPU Cooling, Computer Heatsink Cooler, for AMD:AM4/AM5&Intel 1700/1150/1151/1200 $27.90

HDD STORAGE: 4 x WD Ultrastar HC550 16TB 3.5″ Enterprise SATA HDD WUH721816ALE6L4 Used $929 total for all 4

SSD STORAGE: Lexar NS100 1TB 2.5″ SATA III SSD LNS100-1TRB $89.99

CASE: Fractal Design Define R5 Black ATX Case, No PSU, USB 3.0 $189

PSU - POWER SUPPLY UNIT: HP Delta Electronics 475W Power Supply Unit PSU DPS-475CB 450937-001 452554-001 $35

USB FOR OS: SanDisk 64GB Cruzer Glide USB 3.0 Flash Drive SDCZ600-064G-B35 $8.92


I’ve included bellow the table with the USD conversion.

Looking at it all it does seem to be a bit more than I was hoping to spend. Though its not beyond what I can afford.

Heh, glad to see you spec’ing my mobo. I’ve had it for a number of years and am a big fan of it. as per usual, cost for storage is the real killer when it comes to pricing.

as i mentioned above, on a price/tb ratio, 12tb drives seems to be the sweet spot. it may be worth your while to explore what the prices on 12tb drives might be for australia vs 16tb. i would also question the need for a 1tb ssd cache, you may find that 500gb might be enough to yield some more savings for you. but ultimately, if you’re going to be using this system for any stretch of time, the per year cost is not going to be too big of a difference since it is still within affordability for you.

Unraid does use RAID for the main array, hence UN-raid. The Unraid main array is JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) Typically 1 drive is dedicated to Parity and all the other disks hold data. The data disks are just regular drives. You can add and remove them from the array whenever you like and you can remove a disk from the array and plug them into another box and read the data.

You don’t get the performance of RAID; when you read or write data you only access the 1 disk that is holding that specific data, however a single disk can easily saturate a 1Gps network link and in a home server environment throughput performance is not typically an issue. If you are using a 10Gbps network and want more performance you will likely want to use an SSD cache.

when The Parity disk has to be as large or larger than any of the data disks in your array. That is why with your current setup you would need to move all the data of the disk onto the other drives so it can supply parity.

When I said the 14TB drive could be a cache drive that is just because in Unraid anything that is not part of the main Array is called a “Cache Pool”. You can still just use it for long term storage and not as actual Cache, the only issue is that it won’t have parity protection of the main Array.

Normally I would recommend you get SATA drives and plug them into your motherboard. If you are out of SATA ports you can either get a 6 SATA NVME adapter to add 6 more ports, or you can get an HBA. If you are getting an HBA that supports SAS then you can get either SAS or SATA drives and it is fine to mix and match them.

Hello , I am a total newbie when it comes to building a computer, I have never done that . While researching about NAS and building my own NAS I landed on the forum here. My question here is after I order parts what resources should I look at before I start assembling the hardware. I am really excited and motivated to complete this , appreciate your help with this.

Your build is looking good.

Much of your expense is drives, I usually don’t include them in the budget when pricing out a NAS since the price can very wildly depending on the capacity and model of drive you chose. If you buy an off-the-shelf NAS it doesn’t come with disks so consider that when comparing price. Without the drives a big chunk of your expense is the case, but cases are just expensive in general these days and you can re-use it in the future. All in all I think you are at a very reasonable price point.

Fractal Case
The Fractal case is a premium case; it runs around $125 USD new here in the US so that seems about right. You could potentially save some money with a cheaper case but if you can afford it is worth it IMHO. It has 8 drive bays, 2 2.5" ssd sleds on the back as well as additional capacity options from the 5.25" bays, fits 140mm fans in front, Lots of room to work in, good cable management, Quiet. I think it is worth while to spend a bit more on a nice case since you can keep using the same case from build to build. I have been using mine for 8 years now and at least 3 builds and have been happy with it. It is a large tower case though so make sure you have somewhere to put it.

That RAM should be fine, I think the expectation here is around $50 USD for 32 GB of RAM.

SSD Cache Drive
This is certainly not necessary but I like to get 2 cache drives so I can set them up in RAID 1 so that I don’t lose my cached data (Container App Data, VM Data, System Data, etc) in the event one of the SSD’s fails. Just a thought In case you needed help driving your budget even further.

That would max out your SATA ports, but you have an M.2 slot on that board. If in the future you want to add more drive you can pick up a 6 SATA port to M.2 adapter to get up to 12 SATA ports.

I’m not really familiar with the Delta PSUs, I know that some folks have run into issues where certain models are non-standard sizes and might not fit in some cases. Not sure if that is an issue with the Fractal case, but maybe someone on here can chime in about the specific model of Delta PSU in your list and let us know if it is a standard ATX size or not.

Hi and welcome to Server Builds!

I would check out Youtube. There are lots of build videos on there with guides and walkthroughs on assembling PCs. They are mostly catering to gamers, but a NAS is basically the same as a gaming PC but with more 3.5" Drives and no GPU.

1 Like

Hi Ian,

Yeah, I am aware that people generally count the price of drives separely. In this case I figured that what was important to me what what I’m spending on the whole project.

An update on the case situation:
I found a case on marketplace and the seller is willing to give it to me for free. The thing that I’m having a hard time with is that it only has 3 drive bays. Now I don’t know how easy it is to just add more drive bays or if this means I’m committed to a Max of 3 drives. Which would be less than ideal.

Here is the listing: Redirecting...

It’s a fractal case so I was hoping it would be one of the 8 Bay ones but it was not to be. When I messaged the seller to find out how many bays there were he mentioned he had another case which he thought had 8 bays but when he checked it didn’t. This second case is an Antec.

Anyway, since they are free I guess I may as well get them and check them out. Unless anything indicates it’s a waste of time…

I guess I’m not totally running out buying a new fractal case, but if I can get something serviceable for less that’s good, and I can invest in a case upgrade later if I want to.

That looks like the same case to me, although Fractal makes a lot of cases. You can probably purchase replacement drive sleds / mounting brackets from Fractal.

Also doesn’t need to be a Fractal case, anything with enough drive capacity at a good price should work.

Got it. Yeah, I’m not really looking to saturate the network, just looking for a bit of data redundancy with the parity drive. As far as caching, I guess I was just misinterpreting what that means in unraid terms but I’m also not really understanding what the use case is for the cache since the array is JBOD.

And picking up on your comments to @Glacest, just for my education, unraid would run on a USB and all of its associated data (container/vm/system/etc) is stored on two SSDs (which is set up to be mirrored by unraid) and then there’s the storage pool where data is stored with ideally a parity drive for protection. And the parity drive always has to be as large or larger than the largest drive in the array itself. And as far as licensing goes, any drive that unraid manages, other than the USB that it’s running off of, counts towards the drive total.

Thanks very much for the education!

Hi all

I know this was a while ago but just an FYI that my ASUS PRIME B560-PLUS Intel LGA 1200 mobo only supports two m2 devices on gen11 CPUs. Only found this info after building system and reviewing manual. Not sure if this is a wider issue or specific to this mobo.

Which slots and which cpu