NAS K4.0/OTiS First Time Builder - Please provide feedback

Hi all,

as the title implies I’m new to the NAS/Server side of things. I’m looking to replace my NAS/Plex box that failed during my recent move (WD PR4100). I’ve built my own pc’s before, but never anything along these lines, I’m also new to linux/UNRAID, but happy to learn. From reading through the forums and posts I came up with the following and would like feedback on if it would fit my use case and all the parts compatible or if you would recommend alternatives.

Use case:
I want everything to be able to fit into 1 tower case or multiple small form factor options that can hide in a largish TV/Entertainment stand, I have the Fractal Design Define R5 currently and it seems like a good option.

  • NAS storage - movies, photos, misc files, and documents. Room to grow here I have 6-10 TB of data currently (maybe less with some current drive failures).
  • Plex - 5+ 1080P transcoded streams. Most users will be offsite, as will I during work travels when quarantine is lifted. Any 4K will be direct and only within my home separated from others.
  • Cloud - cloud access nextcloud sometime in the near future, for me and family.
  • Minecraft Realm - I’d like to experiment with hosting a minecraft realm with my new server.
  • VM - maybe 1-2 for other recommended things or for me to learn (as I’m new).

I’m willing to put a little more time, effort, money into things now to make sure the system runs smoothly, and continuously with few to no issues outside of operator error aka me.

This is what I have put together and jumping on the NAS starter Array, pricing through amazon etc as a worst-case scenario. I will look at eBay and evga b sales etc.

Part Details Price Notes
Case/Chasis Fractal Designs - Define R5 (Swapping from my gaming PC) $0.00 Replacing R5 w/meshify C for gaming PC
case parts Additional HDD Cages $0.00 working out plan currently on WTB channel
CPU Intel i5-9400 $149.99
CPU Cooling Arctic Alpine 12 $11.99 Should I go with a freezer version?
Motherboard Asus Prime Z390-P $134.99 Any suggestions on a decent alternative? Z390-P ~$100 on ebay
RAM OLOy 32GB DDR4 2666 MHz $59.99 red color is cheaper right now
Storage Array Starter Kit - Group Buy $0.00
1.2 TB 10K SAS HDD $40.00 Cache Drive
8x 4TB SATA Toshiba MG04ACA400N $330.00 Storage (# Parity)
HBA 9211-8i $20.00 Controller Card
HBA 9211-4i (included in group buy) $0.00 Controller Card
200 GB SSD SAS2 Drive - Samsung SM1625 $30.00 VM/Docker Drive
OS Unraid - Pro $129.00
Fans Artic P12 5 Pack $30.99 if needed
Powersupply Thermaltake Smart 500W 80+ White $50.99 Will look at EVGA B Sale
SATA Cables 2 Pack SATA Breakout Cables $14.99
SAS SFF Cables SFF-8087 to SFF-8482 Cables $14.69
Total $1,017.62
Storage Spares 300 GB 10K SAS HDD (included in group buy) $0.00 Part of Array Starter Kit - Group Buy
2x 2TB WD Reds $0.00 I have an additional 2, but they are potentially failed and not repairable.
1x 8TB WD Element $0.00 Not shucked, using as USB back up for now

I also have the following questions:

  • How many parity drives would you recommend w/UNraid?
  • What do you recommend as RAID set up? My last NAS was RAID 5, but IDK if i want to go back that route after my recent failures.
  • Should I get an M2 NVME SSD for Plex metadata or is the SAS drive or SAS SSD fine?
  • What am I missing any little parts, cables, etc, do you have any suggestions or things to change?

Thank you in advance for all the help so far it’s been great finding this community!



I am relatively new to this forum and I don’t have much experience with the hardware side of things yet. As such, I will leave it to more knowledgeable members than myself to comment on your hardware setup.

I do have some understanding about how RAID works so I might be able to answer some of your questions.

To answer your first question about how many parity drives you need. The number of parity drives determines how many drives can fail in the array before the data on the array becomes unrecoverable. So basically more parity drives should provide better protection against data loss if you have drive(s) fail.

To answer your second question. From what I understand, Unraid doesn’t use the standard RAID setups (ex. RAID 0/1/5/6/10/50/60) like FreeNAS and other NAS operating systems but instead uses a different system that accomplishes a similar outcome.

So, as a practical example, I believe that using 1 parity drive in Unraid would be equivalent to RAID 5 and would protect against 1 drive failing. Likewise, using 2 parity drives would be equivalent to RAID 6 and would protect against 2 drives failing. The one major benefit of using Unraid instead of something like FreeNAS with a RAID 5 array, is that it is far simpler to add more parity drives later if you decide you want more protection.

I hope that helps

thanks for the feedback I appreciate it! That makes more sense with what I’ve been reading on unraid then.