New NAS from scratch

Hello guys,

First of all, thanks a lot for all the guides and post on this site, it has been very valuable.
My sole objective here will be to have a Plex Server accessible from my home and maybe from 3-4 persons outside.
The only experience I have is in building gaming computers which is far easier than building a NAS; therefore, I am asking for your help to check my set-up. I’m pretty sure I did lot of mistakes.


  • I’m also unsure whether I need an HBA (still don’t understand what is it for) or Ethernet card.
  • Thermal paste is needed I guess ?
  • Do I really need the fans on the top of the heatskink ?
  • It was my understanding that the NVMe could be smaller because it would be mainly used for the cache. Could someone confirm and elaborate please.
  • I also added the flash drive as it seemed to be the right thing to do

CPU options

I also found those CPU for a similar or cheaper price:

  • Intel Celeron G4900 3,10 GHz double cœur SR3W4
  • Processeur Intel® Core™ i3-8100 4 core Coffee Lake 3.60GHZ i3 8100 z370 z390

I will start looking for SSD and RAM on second hands.


Hey there,
It’s great to hear that you’ve found the resources helpful! Let’s go through your setup and address your questions:

It’s fantastic to hear that you’ve found the resources helpful! Let’s walk through your setup and tackle your questions:

Component Selection:

  • CPU: The Intel Core i5-7400 seems like a solid choice for running Plex and handling NAS tasks, especially at that price point.
  • Motherboard: The ASUS PRIME B450M-A should provide good compatibility and features for your needs.
  • RAM: The Lexar THOR RAM DDR4 16GB Kit should offer plenty of memory for Plex and other applications.
  • Heatsink and Fans: The ARCTIC P14 PWM and P12 PWM PST should help keep your system cool. Whether you need top fans on the heatsink depends on your case’s airflow; they can aid in heat dissipation.
  • SSD: Having both NVMe and SATA SSDs is a smart move. The NVMe SSD can indeed be smaller as it will mainly be used for caching and fast access to frequently used data.
  • Case and PSU: The Mars Gaming case and PSU seem suitable for your needs, just ensure the PSU has enough SATA connectors for your drives.
  • Flash Drive: Using a flash drive for the OS is a common practice and a good choice.


  • HBA and Ethernet Card: Unless you plan to use many hard drives, you likely won’t need an HBA. An Ethernet card isn’t necessary unless you require extra network ports or specific features not provided by your motherboard.
  • Thermal Paste: Yes, you’ll need thermal paste for the CPU heatsink installation.
  • Fans on Heatsink: If your case has good airflow, you may not need the top fans on the heatsink.
  • NVMe Size: You’re right; a smaller NVMe SSD for caching purposes should suffice.

CPU Options:

  • Stick with the Intel Core i5-7400 if you can get it for a good price. It offers better performance compared to the Celeron G4900 and should handle Plex transcoding more efficiently than the i3-8100.


Your setup looks well-planned, and your component choices seem solid. Just double-check compatibility between your components, particularly the CPU and motherboard. Best of luck with your NAS build, and feel free to reach out if you have any more questions along the way!

Hey man,

Thanks for your help!

It seems that the motherboard and the CPU weren’t compatible.
So I think I’ll be going with the ASUS PRIME B660M-K D4 for 85€

EDIT : might also not be compatible as this motherboard starts with 12th gen CPU.

Do you already have the i5-7400 CPU? If not I would go for the i3-8100 or i3-8300.

I would expect the 8th Gen i3 to perform about the same both in general and specifically for transcoding as the 7th gen i5 due to minor generational improvements and a small speed bump. The difference will likely be unnoticeable in either direction.

I’m not sure where you are located but it looks like in the US you can get the i3-8100 for $20 - $30 so you could be saving a bit on the processor for the same performance and the i3-8100 additionaly benefits from a newer platform.

The biggest advantage of the i3-8100 over the i5-7400 is that it is at the very low end of next generation platform (motherboard chipset / socket and higher speed DDR4 RAM) meaning that down the road you could upgrade to a higher end 8th gen or 9th gen CPU without needing to buy a new motherboard and possibly RAM.

In any case if you do end up going with the i5-7400 make sure to chose a motherbard that supports DDR4 RAM since that will have a bigger performance impact over DDR3 than the CPU choice.

Looks like you have already figured it out, but the motherboard you linked is an AMD board. If you do go with the i3-8100 check out the NK 6.0 build for some possible motherboard options, although any LGA 1511 V2 (Intel 8th / 9th gen) motherboard should work. Just make sure it has enough SATA ports available or you will need to get an add-on HBA as well to fit all your drives.

Hey Ian,

Thanks for you help !

No I didn’t buy the CPU yet, I’m still searching for the best possible duo motherboard / CPU.
I found some good second hands options for B365M-C / B360M DS3H and i5 9400 / i5 8400.
I’m just concerned about buying second hands even from professionnals. They admitted that they do not test all the components nor the ports.

I’m located in France so I have less options at a higher price :upside_down_face:

Is there any reason to always go with the LGA 1151 ? Is it only for the price ?
I also saw some 1700 second hands.

No there is no reason to stick with LGA 1151 if the prices in your country are not a good value.

In the US used LGA 1151 is currently the sweet spot where low prices for used components meets decent performance. However I have heard from others on these forums that outside of the US prices for used components are not as good, to the extent that used parts cost almost as much as buying current generation new.

If prices for LGA 1700 is almost the same as LGA 1151 in your country then you should go with the newer components.

That said I would not shy away form pre-owned parts. In particular there are many Chinese sellers on Ebay and Ali Express that sell used components at low prices with free world-wide shipping. I have never seen a used CPU that had any issues. I have occasionally bought a used motherboard or RAM from ebay that is broken and maybe I have just been lucky but in those cases the seller has always been willing to refund or replace the broken part. Of course your millage may vary.