My Almost NK5.0 Build Thread

So, my build predates NAS Killer 5.0, but it’s similar enough that I thought I would share it with the community. Built her back in 2010 as an AMD Phenom II 945 machine and then updated in 2015 with the current Intel chip & board. Over time, she evolved into a NAS. Sheer luck, I suppose, that she ended up in line with the recommendations to build a NAS Killer 5.0

The rig is used as a NAS (duh!), a Plex Media Server and runs all of the *darrs, Tautulli, SabNZBd, Deluge, etc. She also has the ability to transcode with a 1650 Super installed. Next time I upgrade CPU & motherboard, she’ll switch over to QuickSync transcoding.

Following the structure of the official NAS Killer 5.0 guide, here are the components:

  • Motherboard (LGA 1150): ASRock H97M Pro4
  • CPU: Intel i5-4690 (Haswell / 4th generation)
  • RAM: Corsair XMS3 (CMX8GX3M2A1333C9) 16 GB (4x4 GB) DDR3-1333
  • Cache Drive: SK Hynix Gold S31 SATA SSD 500 GB (currently not in use, purchased in anticipation of migration from Windows 10 Pro to UnRAID)
  • HDDs: 8x shucked WD HDDs ranging from 4 TB - 14 TB, recently ordered 2x 12 TB WD/HGST He12 drives from Plan on makin all future HDD purchases from them. Also have 2x SATA SSDs in addition to the cache drive (128 GB currently serving as Windows OS drive & 1 TB currently serving as Plex data drive)
  • Case: Cooler Master 690. Natively supports 5x 3.5" drives and has 5x 5.25" bays which I use with 3.5 to 5.25 adapters for more HDD storage
  • PSU: Antec EarthWatts 650 which is 10+ years old. Have a Corsair RMx 750W on order which is fully modular and should help clean up the interior and further improve airflow (although my temps are pretty great already)
  • CPU Cooler: Corsair H50 AIO
  • Other Parts: Fans - 5x 120mm, HBA - LSI 9211-8i + HP 487738 SAS expander + PCIe x1 to 16x mining riser (to power the SAS expander). Cables - SATA cables, SFF-8087 to 4x SATA forward breakout cables, SFF-8087 to 4x SFF-8482 w SATA power, SFF-8087 to SFF-8087 cables

If you’re on the Discord, you’ll have likely seen that I’m having trouble getting the rig to recognize my LSI 9211-8i. I’ve narrowed it down to a faulty card or an incompatible motherboard. In the process of getting a refund or exchange for the HBA card so I can try a different card. If the second HBA card doesn’t get recognized, I plan on replacing my motherboard.

Feel free to ask any questions or share any criticism

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It’s much more likely the card is defective than the motherboard is incompatible.

I agree and this is definitely my hope. Thanks, JDM

Issue was a faulty HBA. Got the new one in yesterday and it was recognized immediately. Proceeded to flash FW 20 IT mode and the card works great. Added in the HP SAS expander and was able to upgrade that firmware to 2.10 (which I understand can do 3 gb/s SATA while older firmwares were only 1.5 gb/s SATA).

I also recently added a 3x5.25 to 5x3.5 cage recently and the IcyDock part you’ll see in the top slot. It’s pretty nifty and holds a 3.5 HDD and 2x SSDs.


I forgot to mention in the original post that this rig has a 1650 Super (MSI Gaming X card) since the rig functions as my plex server too and the GPU is used for transcoding.

OS is still currently Windows 10 Pro. Once my two 12 TB drives from bitdeals come in, I’ll begin migration over to unraid

Just so you know, you can only transcode 2 streams with windows and that card.

Yes, but I’m using the patched driver to unlock unlimited transcodes.

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Swapped out the original Corsair fan on the AIO cooler for push/pull Arctic P12 PWM PST CO fans. Also replaced the front fan and the fan on the drive cage with the same fans, Arctic P12 PWM PST CO. Overall temps are better and the whole rig is quieter. That Corsair fan was definitely the loudest in the whole server.

The top exhaust fans are Corsair AF120 silent edition that I purchased years ago. They’re fine, no reason to replace yet.


Arctic fans to the rescue again!

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I wanted to share a couple of updates as my build continues to evolve. Since I setup a separate QuickSync Plex box (HP Prodesk 400 G4), I no longer needed the 1650 Super GPU in my NAS. This freed up a PCIe slot, so I removed the mining riser and shifted the HBA & SAS Expander into the two PCIe x16 slots my motherboard has.

I also added another one of those IcyDock dual 2.5" + single 3.5" adapter for 5.25" bay. I think they’re pretty nifty and a good use of space. They fit two SSDs and a 3.5" HDD. Great for an old case like mine which doesn’t have any dedicated 2.5" mounting points.

Internals are a bit cleaner now. Pics below.

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Looking good!

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I also forgot to mention other minor changes:

  • Swapped Core i5-4690 CPU for Xeon E3-1276 v3
  • Swapped 16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 RAM for 32GB SK Hynix DDR3 RAM