I'd like some feedback on my NK build

Hi all!

I’m looking to put together a NAS.

My use case is pretty simple: to have a place to centrally store tv shows/movies and other stuff instead of over multiple computers and external drives. I currently have about 8tb and looking to grow.

I’d also like it to be reasonably quiet as it will be in the loungeroom.

After having a read through this forum (and a few others) I thought it would be good to set up Plex. For this purpose, I picked up a used HP Prodesk 600 G4, so the Plex side of things is taken care of.

Here’s what I have so far, based on pricing and availability (I’m in Australia so access to parts sucks. The price of everything sucks even more) :

Case: Fractal Node 804.
Motherboard: X9SCM-F.
CPU: Xeon E3 1230 v2.
RAM: ECC - 4x4gb ddr3 10600E or 12800E
Power Supply: be quiet! U9
CPU cooler: CM Hyper 212

OS: Unraid

I’ll get some WD shuckables (at least 6tb, probably a 10 or 12tb for the parity drive) and an SSD for cache when they all go on sale.

Total cost of about AUD $650-$700, before drives. Definitely cheaper than a Synology/QNAP, and a lot better! I would like to get it a bit cheaper if possible so I may downgrade a few parts or hold out for a better deal.

A few questions on my decisions:

  • RAM: Is 16gb overkill?

  • PSU: Would 400w be enough, or is it better to go the 500w?

  • Cooler: Ugh. The Cooler Master Hyper 212 looks great, but its height is 158mm. The motherboard specs say the cooler should be max 160mm. I expect that this is way too close and I need to look at something else? Other options would be the TT i2 (from US), Noctua NH-L9i (local), CM i71C RGB (local). I was hoping to avoid RGB but that i71C is pretty cheap…

So, do these parts look good? I can’t see any problems, but please let me know if something doesn’t look right.

And finally some additional questions:

  • Do I need a SAS controller? I won’t be getting SAS drives. When I eventually start getting towards the 10 drives, will SATA splitter cables do the job?
  • Do I need additional case fans, or will the ones on the Node 804 be sufficient, for both cooling and quietness? Arctic fans seem the best but aren’t available in Australia so I’d have to order those, most likely from the UK. Noctua is too expensive
  • In addition to Plex, I’d like to add a few extras like Sonarr and Radarr. Do I put these on the NAS or on the Plex computer?

Thanks for your help!

I have my NAS in a Node 804, using the X9SCL, 1270v2 and I used the CM i71C RGB. I was also worried about the height issue. There is a switch that you can turn off the RGB so don’t let that stop you. I’ve been using the existing case fans and the i71C without any heat issues and it’s been running for about 8 months now. I have a faster processor so you should be fine with the 1230v2.

I’m currently running 9 dockers, all the usual suspects with 16gb of ECC ram and my memory utilization is 24%. Personally I would just go with 16gb, but I understand costs, so I would suspect if I only had 8gb it would be 50% utilized.

I’m not too familiar with power supplies, so I can only tell you what I’m using. 630w power supply. I’m also running all my systems on a Cyberpower 1500 ups backup.

I’m running a SAS controller because from what I remembered the motherboard controllers sucked, and everyone was recommending the SAS controller for ease of use when adding disks down the road. I have a cable that breakouts out the SAS port to 4 SATA.

I’m using the HP290 for Plex and that’s all it does. It’s running Ubuntu and Plex nothing more. All my other stuff is in dockers on the NAS along with my media. So delugevpn, radarr, sonarr, sabnzbd, tautulli, krusader, ombi, jackett, letsencrypt, etc. I’m supporting about 30 friends, all remote, and have had no issues.

A couple tips, the Node 804 hard drive cages do not mount up properly with shucked drives. I could only get 2 mount points at the top to match up so the drives swing. Another member posted that you can contact fractal and they will send you free adapters for these drives. I did contact them and I’m waiting for them to be shipped. I just had to create a support ticket and upload my proof of purchase from amazon (not sure how that works with you being in Australia, but it’s worth a shot). If you’re using any SSDs they need to run on a true SATA controller and not off the SATA cable from the SAS. It will degrade the SSD over time due to the SAS controllers not using the TRIM functionality.

FYI, Here is a link to my build.

Thanks for the feedback! I had read your build before, I’ve read so many I get them confused.

I have most of the setup worked out, going to pull the trigger in the next couple of days. Should hopefully have all the parts early December

  • I’d go for 2x8GB sticks that way you can add 2x8GB more later for maximum capacity.
    16GB isn’t overkill, it’s a good starting point.
  • I’d opt for the 500W if it’s not too much more expensive, but either should be fine.
  • Look at this list of CPU coolers.
    [Official] CPU Heatsink Recommendations

  • You don’t need a SAS controller, but it gives you the flexibility to run both SAS and SATA drives. SATA splitter cables do not exist.
  • We recommend Arctic fans, specifically the P12 PWM PST 5 pack. IIRC the Node 804 only comes with 2 fans by default. The 5 pack will be plenty.
  • NAS handles any and all file storage duties! Plex transcoder is just for Plex.