First off, prices in here are AUD.
So I went through the Nas Killer 4.0 option in Australia – Australia is quite different market to the USA and the primary driver for that is due to at times astronomical shipping fees which are then compounded with AUD/USD exchange rates. In Australia, the instances of local organisations that are dismantling servers isn’t remotely the same scale to the USA, so turning to the Asian ebay market is a real requirement.
There are certain ways to make savings, but at the end of the day, I came to the realisation that cheap access to things like the Supermicro 300 bay server chassis is difficult at a reasonable price: Sometimes, buying new is the only option, and sometimes buying multiples (eg. 32gb of ram) for redundant parts is the smart option.
I was coming from an ageing 4bay qnap, and my primary goal was to have a cost effective means for multiple opportunities of future drive expansion, quiet fans, ECC memory and redundancy of parts.
Enter the Nas Killer 4.0 parts list, a locally sourced new PSU and Case, and a lot of additional purchasing.
More or less, if you buy from international sellers, there’s bugger all return policy as the return cost and lack of ever getting a response becomes a genuine factor.
Looking at the above list, obviously I had opted for some cost blowouts.
Motherboard (sourced from USA):
I purchased a single, brand new, X9-SCM-F mobo from ebay USA and it was DOA. This is effectively a write off of us$120. The cost to send back and have a return would have been absolutely cost prohibitive (mobo cost us$50, shipping was us$60, return us$60 etc) so I ended up purchasing 2 more used motherboards again with shipping of us$70 for about $100 usd (or combined totaly of just under aud$300). These worked. There’s a lot to be said for buying used parts.
CPU (sourced locally):
Sourced locally, but only because it was price + shipping competitive – remember that CPUs weigh nothing so purchasing from the Asian market was a real possibility. 8000 passmarks is enough to handle 5 plex streams and a few transcodes at the same time (plex isn’t always transcoding).
RAM (sourced from HK seller):
With the RAM I purchased used ECC 32gb - 32gb because there’s redundancy in having 4 sticks.
Case (sourced locally):
The Silverstone RM400 is the legitimate alternative to the Rosewill cases mentioned throughout this site.
HBA card (sourced from china Seller)
Just get one in IT mode. I got a Dell 310 because it was cheaper. I will be purchasing a second shortly.
PSU (sourced locally):
I went for silent under no load.
UPS (sourced locally):
On gumtree I picked up 2x entry level UPS for $40, one with a good battery. These batteries are au$70 to replace so there’s no real worries.
The rest are what I’d call “shitbits” which can be sourced from anywhere but I went with the recommendations on this site and used amazon.
Australian Amazon Prime members regularly have a “ship to Australia at no cost” option for USA parts, which is quite handy. For ~$10/mo inclusive of prime video, its worth becoming a member. I did see this for the rosewill cases at one point but had already purchased my Silverstone RM400 case.
Ebay Plus trials are 1 month long, so it may be worth investigating this if you’re buying parts on ebay as it can reduce the cost of shipping dramatically and you may find you can get a few 5-10% discounts here and there.
Also, as mentioned, take advantage of the make an offer option in ebay. I saved $10-20 here and there.
For the HDDs I’ve begun to slowly expand with WD 10tb drives from Amazon (and kapton tape). It works well.
Looking at the big picture, I now have a potentially 15 bay rackmount NAS that runs VMs for ~$1k , and I could have had it for $600 if the original motherboard worked and I went with the cheaper cooling and case options. I am running unraid, one vm for linux scripting, one for plex, and about 10 network monitoring and media related docker containers. This machine is 8500 passmarks and 32gb ram, a qnap (or other comparatively costed synology) wouldn’t even touch the sides with passmarks – around 2000 and 2gb. So it’s plenty capable.
If I didn’t stumble on this site a while back, I’d be far worse off
Hope this helps people.