Help me make a media Unraid NAS out of an old gaming pc and SAS drives


I want to repurpose an old gaming pc that I have and use it as a Unraid NAS dedicated entirely to media (the whole *arr thing along with Plex / Jellyfin / Kodi and something to stream my music).

I’ve built other NASes in the past, but what is mostly holding me back right now is that I want to use SAS drives ( I got a bunch of them practically for free a few months ago) and that I need a rackmounted case, and I still dont understand enough about what I need for my SAS drives even after some research.

This is the list of hardware that I have available from the gaming pc:

What is
Mobo Asus Crosshair VI Hero ATX
CPU Ryzen 2700X
Ram 16GB 3200 GSkill TridentZ
GPU Zotac 980TI
PSU Corsair CXM 750W

I am not including the CPU cooler because its an 280mm AIO and I realize it most likely wont work well in a rack case. Im planing on getting a Noctua cooler that can fit in the case.

Now, I have 10 3.5" 6TB SAS drives that I Want to use in this build, with the option to expand in the future with more/bigger drives.

I really need to use a rackmounted case as I have space in my rack and no other convenient place to put a normal desk case. 4U is fine, but would prefer 2U if it does not limit my expandability in the future.

Do you have recommendations for what I need to get to make this come true?

I am located in USA and have a budget of around $700 USD (im basing this on some Supermicro stuff I saw on ebay)


All you need for sas is an open pci-e slot and aSAS HBA (LSI or adaptec link to guide) + expander if you need to expand even more.

It looks like I cant edit my previous reply because it has not been aproved yet.
But it looks like I can buy something like this Supermicro CSE-836BE1C-R1K03B SAS3 12Gb/s 16x 3.5" 3U Rackmount Server Chassis, as it says “16-port 3U SAS3 12Gbps single-expander backplane, support up to 16x 3.5-inch SAS3/SATA3 HDD/SSD” in the specifications.

I think I can connect a SAS HBA PCI-E card to this extender backpane with some sort of sas to sas cable?

Thanks for your reply, I still have a little confusion.
I get that I need a LSI adapter like this one, I have one of this in my TrueNAS box that uses SATA drives only.
But what do you mean expander? When I look on ebay for “sas expander” I get stuff like this
but i dont quite understand how they come together and I feel like I am missing a piece of hardware

A backplane is usually also an expander. Your hba will connect to that. Also SAS is backwards compatible to SATA so mixed drives won’t be an issue.

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Thanks, I think I will be gettint that then!