NAS Killer 4.1 Combo Build

Getting started on my first NAS Unraid build based on a variant of one of the 4.1 Combos. The main objective will be Plex media storage to be accessed by a HTPC and an Apple TV on the same network within my home. After a lot of reading and head scratching, I’ve decided to get started with the following:

Type Part Price
Combo Motherboard/CPU/RAM (Combo 4 • 16GB Option) $157.00 OBO ($150)
Case Fractal Design • Define 7 $189.37
Motherboard Tyan S5512WGM2NR Included
CPU Intel Xeon E3-1230v2 Included
SAS Controller LSI SAS2008 onboard Included
CPU Cooler Arctic Freezer 12 $20.00 Ebay
SDD Pioneer APS-SL3N-480 $46.00
HDD 2 x WD 12TB Elements (Shuckables) $372.32 (Prime Day 2020)
PSU EVGA 500 BR, 80+ BRONZE 500W $40.97
Total ----- $818.66

Shoutout to @JDM_WAAAT for compiling all of these useful resources and for inspiring me to build something fun and potentially useful. I’ll keep a build log here as the parts roll in and will gladly take any advice on options as I go.


The Alpine 12 will not work with that motherboard. Look at the link below and look for heatsinks that have 115X backplate compatibility “YES”.

Thanks for catching that before I purchased! I guess I’ll opt for the Thermaltake Gravity i2 unless you have another suggestion. I was hoping to go with an Arctic Freezer option but they all seem to be going for north of $35 these days.

Hm, the i2 is OK but it’s a little loud.

Perhaps ask around on the discord and see if anyone has a spare arctic?

The first batch of hardware has arrived: 2 x WD Elements 12TB External drives, scored on Prime Day. Ready to be shucked.


Fully subscribed to this thread and watching for more updates!

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Shucking in progress.
Checked the drive out first with CrystalDiskInfo:


Also scored an Arctic Freezer 12 NOB on ebay for $20 today so now I get to wait for the packages to arrive.


More parts rolling in:

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FedEx driver wasn’t as excited as I was with the large heavy box today!

Well packaged!

What have I gotten myself into? :sweat_smile:

Not nearly as loud as I imagined on first boot up but a new case and some updated fans should definitely help.


I plugged in a monitor, keyboard, and ethernet cable and fired it up.

So far so good! The two WD drives showed up fine under the SATA menu so I didn’t have to deal with any 3.3v pin shenanigans, thankfully.

I plugged in a SanDisk 16GB Cruzer Fit USB Flash Drive into my HTPC and ran the Unraid USB Creator.

Once the Creator did its thing I popped the flash drive into one of the two ports on the motherboard.

After booting up again, I was prompted to install Unraid. From there I was able to unplug the monitor and keyboard and check out the Unraid dashboard from a web browser on my desktop machine.

This video was super helpful for getting through the initial setup:

Before assigning drives I decided to get sidetracked by Plugins:

And then finally get to the business of preclearing the drives:

It’s gonna take awhile…


Gotta be thorough. Hopefully done by tomorrow.

Ebay score. $20 NOB, which made me a little skeptical but I think I lucked out and it looks great.

Guess I’ll get find out when I get it installed, which won’t happen until I get around to actually buying a case.

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Temporary digs. Case is on the way.

Now that’s what I call progress!

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Even though I’m transferring all of this into a case I kinda want a rack now…

Case arrived. Time to bring all of the things together.

This thing is pretty fancy but I’m gonna have to look at it every day so I felt justified in the expense.
I feel like I’ve gone nearly full circle, starting with beige PC cases in days of yore, through the grey and black windowed RGB things of the early aughts and now to solid white. I’m excited to transfer my ebay finds to this thing.


Just as I was getting ready to transfer the media from my HTPC to the Unraid setup the source drive seemed to sense its impending irrelevance and decided to start failing. Copying files from the drive was no longer working so I gave myself a crash course in ddrescue to clone the disk and hopefully save my media library. I swapped out the Unraid thumb drive with a Knoppix Live boot usb, plugged in the failing drive alongside a brand new hdd of the same size and jumped into the not at all intimidating Linux environment. I started up the cloning process and hoped for the best. After about four days of doing its thing and making some interesting noises, I was rewarded with my media successfully rescued. Phew!
Props to this article for educating me:


That’s a realllly pretty case.

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It’s coming apart:

It’s going together:

Power supply arrived from the EVGA B-stock store. More assembly.