Thanks JDM for the awesome forum. I’ve learned a bunch since I found your site a few months ago.
I’ve read many of the guides, and I think all the posts on 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, and 5.0. I also purchased a HP290 a while ago. I have an old desktop (8-10 years old) that I’m considering using as a NAS and would like feedback about how this might compare to a 4.0/4.1 build. Is my current hardware sufficient, or should I consider upgrading the motherboard, CPU, and RAM? I plan on using unRAID.
My needs are:
Simple file storage
PLEX on the HP290
Possibly 1 Windows VM, although it’s not really necessary
Fractal Design Define R5
OCZ 600SXS2 80 Plus
ASRock 990FX Extreme4 (8-SATA Ports)
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T (Six-Core Passmark v9 Score 5152)
For simple file serving, the processing power is sufficient. However, it will be a pretty power-hungry system between that Phenom II and the addition of a GPU.
I was in a similar spot, considering of repurposing my old gaming PC as a NAS. I decided it was better to go with a NK4.1 build for more efficiency and performance. One of the nice things about Unraid though is that it is pretty hardware agnostic: if you want to start with what you have you can decide to upgrade MoBo/CPU/RAM and not have too much trouble (unlike with say, Windows, where that is a major ordeal).
I agree with skuzuker. Make your goals clear - if NAS is all you want, you dont need much of a cpu. But your idle power is important as most of the time this thing will be doing absolutely nothing. On my primary server, i have a total of 14 spinners and an i3-2120, with an idle power usage of 40-50 W. Sounds good but it is on 24/7. if your idle power is 100W or 150W, that is a lot of waste. Depending on your power costs, it may make sense to purchase other used equipment, such as in 4.0 or 5.0 which uses low power processors. I just built a new server using the 25 W E3-1230L v3 for a total of about $320 in new hardware. That’s a NK 5.0.
You might also think about future HDD additions - how much storage would you like to have. You will be limited by the sata connectors on the board, and your pci slots. its easy and not very expensive to add an HBA card, but make sure your system supports it. The nice thing about the NAS killer threads is the guidance given on what parts will be needed to work with each other.
Im just giving you information, mate. Good luck with it. Unraid can be a bit of a disease, it’s infectious.
OOps, i somehow missed your interest in PLEX. Transcoding requires some power, and VM’s require cores. I know nothing about amd, unfortunately. but i would suggest that to run plex and the VM at the same time, you will want to be sure your system is overpowered enough to do either task easily. IIRC plex requires something like 2000 passmark to transcode a single 1080p thread. That is the end of my understanding on plex
Thank you both for the replies. I agree about the power usage as this PC runs at ~120W idle. I can’t ditch the GPU because the motherboard doesn’t have integrated video. This is helpful, thanks, and confirms what I already suspected about power usage. I will run PLEX on the HP290. I’ll start looking for used, low power hardware.