NK4.0 Check List -- Request Review

Hi Everyone!

I’ve spent the last few months reading ServerBuilds.net + lots of Reddit stuff and here we are. Some quick background:

I have a Mac Mini 2012 (M2012) that is primarily a torrent server (listed this on Craigslist today, though, to help fund the NK4.0). The M2012 then is Thunderbolt bridged to a M2018 that runs Plex Media Server + backups (Arq+Duplicacy) + quite a few other services. The M2018 has a 4-bay mediasonic USB 3.0 DAS with a 12TB, 2x 8TB, and a 2TB SSD. JBOD. I have another mediasonic 4 bay with a similar setup that is plugged in. Alas, it’s time for an upgrade and reboot on all of this junk. I had a lot of fun learning about a lot of things with my Frankenstein.

My goal for the NK4.0 is to run my qBittorent client and unRAID OS. I may install a Docker container for backup, but the best backup tool I have found is Arq and it supports NAS so I may let that keep running on my M2018 that I’m keeping.

As far as drives on hand, here’s what I got:

  • 3x 12TB EasyStores WD White Labels
  • 2x 8TB WD Red
  • 1x 4TB WD Red
  • 2x 2TB Samsung EVO 860 SSD
  • 1x 1TB Samsung EVO 860 SSD

I was planning on using the 2 Samsung 2TBs as dual-cache for unRAID and then a 12TB for parity with the remainder of hard drives in the cluster. The 1 TB SSD I plan on using for a swap drive / unassigned drive for qBittorent.

Today (12-2-2019) in the Discord channel I became inspired enough to finally act. I purchased this “Chenbro NR12000 1U 1x 8m QUAD CORE E3-1220 3.1GHz 32GB RAM NO HDD” via


for $193 shipped (did the OBO thing for a discount).

Here’s my parts list. I’d love feedback.

Type Part Cost
Case Rosewill RSV-L4500 $120
Motherboard S5512WGM2NR-B-CGN $193
CPU Xeon E3-1220 V1 Included in 1U
RAM 32GB ECC Included in 1U
PSU EVGA 700 BR, 80+ BRONZE 700W $45
CPU Cooler Arctic Freezer 12 $24
SSD for unRAID Cache Pioneer 3D NAND Internal SSD 480 GB $45
SATA Cables 6-pack SATA cable 2x $10
SATA Power Splitter Cables 2-pack SATA to 4xSATA power splitter 2x $12
Case Fans Arctic P12 120mm 5 Pack $28
Case Fans Arctic F8 80mm 5 Pack $24
10gbe 10GB MELLANOX CONNECTX-2 PCI-E 10G SFP+ NETWORK CARD $25

Nothing I say is set in stone. Critque away. This is just what I’ve got and have been planning. I’m here because I want to learn and adapt.

Thanks JDM and Etumos so far!

Looking at, for fans, getting the suggested 5-pack 120MM:

And then looking the 80MM 5-pack of

Alright, I’ve selected the case fans. And I have upgraded to the Arctic Freezer 12 from the Gravity. I looked at the 34 CO but it seems like a lot and is a bit more expensive. Unless I hear otherwise, planning on the Freezer 12.

I still have to figure out the ethernet stuff. I may start with gbit for now and rewrite some of my scripts to reduce the need to transfer heavy files over the network. So that can wait.

I want to add in USB 3 / USB-C, as well, if anyone has suggestions on good cards for that.

The P80 are a good choice. Glad you went with those.

For USB-C you can get cheap cards if you want the connectivity, but if you want the bandwidth check these out…

This one may work too, but it’s not as well tested.

Thanks. Switched out for the 4 port USB-C. Worth the money IMHO.

@JDM_WAAAT with this build, let’s say in the future I want to run plex off of it or do more VMs, all of the parts would be reusable except for the MOBO/CPU correct? I think I can swap in a dual xeon board or an i7 board, etc. I guess I could also drop in a cheap video card for transcoding, too, as an alterante (if just for Plex). I know there’s another entire thread on transcodes. I guess I’m just wanting to make sure I’ve found good parts I can reuse for when I want to invest another ~$200 into better CPU/MOBO.

This is a good NAS that will last you a long time.

You can add an external QuickSync box later to expand your Plex server’s capabilities.
You could also add more external servers in the future if you need to expand past this one, and just use this one for network storage.

Really, the options are nearly endless!

@JDM_WAAAT do you have suggestions on how to build / test the server once all parts arrive? I was not sure if I should try getting everything running in the existing server chassis or build it on the desk and then once its running pop it all into the new 4500.