Small and Stealthy Quicksync NAS

Small & Stealthy 10th Gen Quicksync NAS

This was my first NAS build and experience with unraid, I have always built my own gaming PCs but nothing of this nature. My initial requirements were small and quiet. I knew I wanted to start a plex media server and begin my collection, so when I came across the Quicksync/Hardware Transcoding forum here I knew that was the way I wanted to go.

The Parts:

Component Model Current Price
CPU i5-10400 $179.99
MOBO Asus ROG Strix B460I $145.58
RAM G.Skill Ripjaws 2x8GB (3200Mhz - CL16) $57.99
PSU Fractal Ion SFX 500G $100.00
CASE Fractal Node 304 $86.98
Total $570.54
  • CPU: I originally planned for the i3-10100 but when I got to microcenter they had a deal for the 10400 so I couldn’t pass up the performance. It has exceeded my expectations, it runs cool and powerful. I have not had a task it cant do yet.

  • MOBO: You probably don’t need to spend as much as I did here but it was what was available at the time of the build. It has 2 m.2 slots and 4 SATA ports. If you want to fill all 6 drive slots in the node you may need to add a sata expansion card later on. The nic on this mobo will require unraid 6.9.0-beta

  • RAM: Nothing special, it works. 16GB is what I wanted to be able to transcode from the ram.

  • PSU: All I can say here is please do yourself a favor and get a modular PSU being able to get rid of the cables I did not need made managing the build a lot easier. The node 304 can fit a full ATX power supply but I went with an SFX for some extra room.

  • Case: What an incredible case, 6 HDD in a mini itx desktop case?! I have had no problem keeping everything cool while staying quiet in this case. If you plan on using the DC fans it come with a built in fan controller. Also at the cost of airflow there is a way to mount 2x2.5 drives in between the existing hard drive cages.


Use Drive What I Paid
Cache SSD Inland Premium 512GB NVME $64.98
Array 3x WD Elements 12TB (Shucked) $524.97
Total $589.95
  • SSD: I went with this SSD because it was what they had when I was at microcenter and the TBW looked average or above. There are many great options for an SSD cache. I am using the heatsink that came with the motherboard and so far so great.

  • HDD: I waited for these to hit their lowest price before I picked up 2 of them originally and I just this week added in a third. Shucking was easy with a bit of youtube and I saved a tremendous amount of money not buying normal drives. (You will need to do 3.3v wire mod)

Additional Parts:

If you wait for deals on the parts I listed or similar ones you could have the system without drives for as low as $550 and if you wait for deals on drives you could have the whole 36TB system for around $1000. Not to mention I got all brand new hardware, the used market could probably save you a chunk as well. Also if you didn’t need 12TB drives you could save by going to some smaller drives. With Black Friday coming up here in a month now is a great time to watch for deals to build this system.

For a beginner this was a fantastic build and its already exceeding what I expected out of it. The only tricky thing was getting adjusting to building in such a small form factor. Its has transcoded many 1080p and 4k streams at the same time and hasn’t struggled while also housing all my personal files. Future upgrades include adding another SSD and adding some VMs to the machine (New to me)

If you have any questions about the system or are interested in building a similar one and need help feel free to reach out to me here or on discord: williamvg333#0333


Very nice write-up! Thank you for sharing.

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Indeed! Great detail for those wanting to replicate your success in this form factor.

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Great Build! Thanks for the Detailed Write-up!

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