New to Server Builds - Parts and Function Check

I’ve been combing through this forum for 2 months and figuring out what I want to do with my build. My current need is a HTPC/NAS/Plex server to share remotely with family(3 connections max at a time). I’ve been running my in home Plex through my main gaming PC in the other bedroom, but I don’t always have it running, so I have to go to the other room and turn on. I was throwing around the idea of an HTPC build in the living room(small form factor), but opted to combine HTPC/NAS/Plex etc into a single larger tower. I would like to be able to use this build to “safely” play around with VMs/Dockers etc and learn the software by being hands on. I would also like the build to be relatively quiet and relatively low power, BUT enough headroom to not limit future expansion/learning/development. I expect this hobby and interest to further expand :smiley: The following is my proposed build to date:

MOBO - Gigabyte MW50-SV0 LGA 2011-3 → Gifted/Owned
CPU - Intel Xeon E5-2650L V3 1.8GHz 9.6GHz LGA 2011-v3 30MB → eBay $65
CPU Cooler - Noctua NH-D9Dx i4 3U → Already owned
RAM - 4x 4GB DDR4 ECC → Gifted from friend
PSU - EVGA 500 BQ, 80+ BRONZE 500W, Semi Modular → Already owned
SSD - Crucial MX500 2.5" 500GB SATA III 3D NAND → $70.99
HDD - 2x Seagate IronWolf 4TB NAS Hard Drive 5900 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" → $101/ea
CASE - Thermaltake Chaser A71 Full-Tower → Already owned

I liked the idea of the 2650L for low TDP and a higher end passmark score and since I had the motherboard already the two paired nicely. The motherboard also apparently has 12 SATA III ports, so I figure I can further expand into the HDD’s and available bays in the tower. Does everything look good for a beginner? Will I need to buy a RAID card to help protect my data? Anything else you suggest to consider to wrap up this build? I will leave the setup and software questions for a later post once this setup is confirmed “good enough”. Any and all recommendations welcome. Thank you all!

I have the 2650L v2 and love them. And if you already have the v3 mobo, and ram then I would say looks good as those are the 2 barriers to 2011-v3. You wont likely be able to amass huge amounts of ram without breaking the bank, but you have what you need.

I would plan on more hard drives for a nas because you are going to want decent parity and not lose too much of the space.

Thank you! Yes, I failed to mention that I definitely plan to increase HDD drives. Currently limited by $$$, but I figured I can add drives a couple at a time with UnRaid, right? Hope to get 8-10 HDDs out of this setup eventually.

I guess this leads into my next set of questions…I’m trying to grasp the concepts of SAS/HBA and Raid cards as it applies to me building this setup. I’m not sure what the difference is and what suits my needs. Although most of my data will be audio/video, I do want to protect it and back it up. What is the best way for a beginner to do this?

Well if you are going to add drives, why are you going with 2 4tb drives for $101/ea instead of say 6 used 4tb drives whish is about the same price. Or go for a couple of the 8TB drives for $130 ish by shucking. You are going to need one drive (largest for parity) so with 2 drives you will only have 4tb usable. If you have 6 drives you can parity 1 or 2 of them and still have plenty availble. And the parity will protect you against one of the drives failing.

You’re totally right on the drives. Put the order in today, maxed out the 6 drive bays at 3TB each, saving $50+. Also ordered the recommended LSI SAS 9210-8i RAID controller card. Thank you for pointing that out :man_facepalming:

Well, as it is, I realized that my 2650L v3 selection(based on the mobo I already had) does not have QuickSync. So does that mean 1080p transcoding from outside my network won’t work?

Not at all. Just means they will be software. Those processors will be able to handle tons of 1080p transcodes. Your initial build said 3 connections max which this will handle without breaking a sweat with plenty of horsepower left over to run VMs etc.

Those 3 1080p streams would be outside of my household, using software transcoding will still net good quality video?

Software will provide the best quality, although I have never really noticed impact from hardware encoding like some have. It takes more CPU power, but much less than you are packing.

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Awesome! Well nearly have all the parts already anyways, so will give it a spin and report how things go. Will probably be asking about software recommendations and configuring sometime soon. Thanks Raize1 and the rest of the community.

12 posts were split to a new topic: Plex troubleshooting with new build

moved response to the new topic. TY