New and Looking for Some NAS Advice

I have an Acer Aspire T Desktop (TC-865-NESelecti5) with Intel Core i5-8400 2.80GHz Processor (8th Gen), 8GB DDR4 Memory, 300W Power Supply. I have one internal 10TB hard drive (WD shucked) that I periodically back up with a second 10TB external. I’m almost out of space so I bought two 14TB Western Digital externals from best buy this week.

I use the computer as my main personal computer and as a Plex server, it’s on 24/7 due to Plex. I recently started reading about NAS setups and stumbled upon ServerBuilds. I realize I can follow the NAS Killer V4.1 guide and build a dedicated NAS and run Plex off that, I read all 214 comments yesterday and am pretty confident I could put it all together. But I’m trying to determine if I should (1) build an NAS, (2) continue the same way I’ve been, or (3) if I should I convert my current computer into an NAS (if possible).

And what’s making it hard for me to decide is my lack of knowledge of Virtual Machines. I keep seeing VMs mentioned in the NAS 4.1 Killer comments but I don’t follow.

I would prefer to have an automated way to protect my data and don’t necessarily need one to one back up anymore (everyone seems to be happy with security of Raid parity). If I were to buy a another 10TB drive I would own three total and could set them up in a raid setup. If one is used for parity that would still leave me with 20TB of space which is double what I have now, it should protect my media from drive failures, and one more 10TB drive is cheaper than keeping the two 14TB I just purchased ($440).

  1. Am I in over my head, if all I need is a daily Windows 10 computer and Plex, should I just swap out my current internal 10TB hard drive with a new 14TB hard drive and continue as is (periodically backing up my data on another external 14TB drive, which I hate doing)?

  2. If I stay with my current setup could I just setup three 10TB hard drives in a Raid array internally on my current PC running Windows 10? (I don’t see anyone doing this lol, so I’m guessing it’s not possible or a bad idea).

  3. Or should I convert my current PC to a NAS (if possible)?

  4. If it’s not a bad idea, I would like one “unit” to do everything for me (e.g., NAS and Windows 10). If I convert my PC to an NAS (or build a brand new one), to utilize Windows 10 do I have to access Windows 10 through a VM?

Sorry about the lengthy post, thank you to anyone who took the time read and help.

Personally, I wouldn’t run RAID on a Windows machine I use regularly.

NAS software (TrueNAS, Xpenology) is designed for NAS. They have some add-ons that let you do additional VM or Docker stuff too. I would consider a second machine with the 3x10tb, keep the 14tb as cold storage backups