Starting to come together - First build parts list

After reading for days on opinions and other peoples experience, I have finally started my personal NAS build that will be a dedicated emby server. I tried using a ultra small desktop (ThinkCentre M720q) as a server and using SMB mounts for the library, but it was noticeably slower to start playback and skip chapters.

Like so many others, I found the hardest part was where to start? Do I get a case first or a processor and build around it? Well the answer turned out to be, “Whatever deal presents itself first” I lucked into the following:

  • Motherboard - ASROCK H310CM-HDV LGA 1151 Micro ATX - $56
  • Case - Fractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX - $120
    • I found this case on Facebook and it included the following:
      • PSU - Cooler Master V850 SFX PSU
      • Fans - 2 x Noctua NF-A9 14 92mm
      • CPU Cooler - ID-COOLING SE-914-XT

The case was a major score. The only thing wrong with it is that it is missing 2 of the rubber pads/feet. I think I can live with that!
Right now I am waiting on a processor auction to end. I’m hoping to get the following:

  • Intel Core i5-8500T

After that, it’s just a matter of RAM, storage, and an OS. I orginally thought just a linux install, but now I am wondering if a dedicated OS is a better idea.

Thoughts, opinions, and critiques welcome!

Won the CPU auction and found some good prices on RAM and a NVMe. So now I am up to $315 total invested. I will most likely go forward with the build and install openmediavault then emby. I’ll have to wait until a few more paychecks pass before I can start buying the hard drives.

Price Breakdown:
Motherboard - $56.00 USD

Case - $120.00
Fractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX

  • PSU - $0.00 - Cooler Master V850 SFX
  • Fans (x2) - $0.00 - Noctua NF-A9 14 92mm
  • CPU Cooler - $0.00 - ID-COOLING SE-914-XT
  • Metric shit ton of cables - $0.00

CPU - $63.12
Intel Core i5-8500T

RAM - $54.40
2 x Samsung M393A2K43BB1-CTD 16GB DDR4 2666MHz ECC

SSD - $21.50
PNY CS1030 250GB M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 Internal Solid State Drive

The case is obviously the best find of the lot since it came with so much already; but I am still happy with the price of everything else. I just priced a Synology DS920+ at around $700 without storage! Just like JDM_WAAT said - This build should absolutely steamroll any off the shelf NAS.

Not that anyone is following this thread - but just in case it comes up in a search I thought it best to mention it.

The Fractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX case & ASROCK H310CM-HDV LGA 1151 Micro ATX motherboard are not compatible. It was mentioned that they were in fact compatible elsewhere, but the power supply mount is in the way.

Elsewhere here? Or another site?

Here on the Mini Itx Synology Killer (First Build) Post 2 thread.

I am in no way laying blame on anyone, I should have trusted the manufacturers spec sheet and FAQ. I just wanted to make sure no one else makes the same mistake.

I suspect it was a mistake as mATX will definitely not fit ITX. I have that same case. It’s a great thing to build in if a bit tight.

I’m sorry you experienced it though. Two years old and a one off thread rather than something active.

In my naivete I took JDM’s word as gospel since he is far more knowledgeable than I. On my motorcycle forums, I have found the vets to know many things that vendors or manufacturers will not admit.

If you look closely at this motherboard, it’s neither Micro-ATX or Mini-ITX. It’s Mini-DTX.


Can you show how the PSU is in the way? Pictures would be extremely helpful.

Oh crap! The Overlord himself chimes in! lol, Now I am nervous.
Top view looking in from the rear:

Power supply side of the case looking in:

Rear view of case:

Opposite side view looking in.

I really wanted this board to work/fit because your post made it sound like it was one that you would use personally, and you know your stuff far better than I. I ended up finding a really good deal on a combo Asus Prime h310i-plus w/backplate, another i5 8400 (not a 8400T like I already have), 16GB RAM, & 250GB Samsung SSD - all shipped for $118. That’s enough for me to start building something else with what I already have.

JDM, did the pictures clarify what I was talking about?

Finally got enough parts and some help from the forum that I was ready to test power this thing. Hooked up the power, mouse & keyboard, monitor, and a live USB of linux. Plugged it in and flipped the switch!

Nothing. Dang it. So I ordered a power supply tester after testing my connections.

Build a server they said. It’ll be fun they said…

Some pictures of the build would be helpful. You’re also now learning about Rule 0. (Always test a build outside the case)

For other new or returning builders, here is the tester I bought:

My tester came today and verified my fears. The PSU PG value was 110. While technically from what I have read, 100 - 500 is considered still good, the tester would not stop beeping and flashing the PG value.

You would think that some of the tear down and rebuild experience from motorcycles would carry over, but nope! Though now learned I don’t think I will be forgetting that lesson anytime soon though!

Cooler Master says they will not do a warranty claim for the PSU even though it’s manufacture date is 2023-06-15. It’s not even a year old yet, but I can’t find the receipt and they are not required to honor the warranty without it.

So now I am on shopping for another PSU. I like the idea of modular since I only need a 2 or 3 cables instead of that huge bundle in my little Node 304. I’m thinking 500W will be plenty for my build.

Anyone have a favorite PSU brand?

EVGA is good. Also I doubt the manufacturer date is in the future

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Oops, yeah that should have been 2022-06-15.

I remember on the NAS Killer post JDM mentioned EVGA has a Mid Week sale that starts at midnight PST (3am my time) Hopefully it will have something for me. Thanks for chiming in faultline!

the problem may be something else besides the power supply. I try to keep a spare power supply in my life though because it is a common failure point and good for a test bench.

other basic possibilities (besides defective motherboard)

main ATX power connector to board
at 12v power to cpu
front panel switch on case properly connected to motherboard (I actually have a separate ATX power switch and led cable I had bought back when I was trying to put a computer in a diaper box)
PSU off/on switch set to on.
cpu in socket with right alignment
cpu fan plugged in to cpufan socket
ram installed. start with one stick

the motherboard might have some diagnostic led’s if it’s getting power? if you have a speaker plug that in too for beep codes.

that’s what I can think of.

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Thanks for the extra things to worry about! I hadn’t considered a bad motherboard. Unfortunately, I have no other power supplies to test. I am waiting for the EVGA mid week sale in hopes of finding a deal that won’t completely anger my wife with my spending.

Right now I have the power supply out of the case, so there is nothing attached to the motherboard. The internal fan is not spinning and the power supply tester is beeping and showing the PG value to be too low.

My motherboard does have a tiny speaker, but since no power was getting to it the board, no LED’s nor sounds were coming out. So while it sounds weird, lets hope just just a bad power supply.

Making progress, but still have some issues. I have the PSU installed and the 24 pin connector to the motherboard. I also have the 4 pin CPU connector. And lastly there is a tiny little speaker plugged in for any beep codes. Nothing else plugged into the motherboard. I have an one RAM stick, an HDMI & USB keyboard plugged in to see if it POST.

The CPU fan comes on but the board won’t POST. Monitor stays black. I tried a DSUB monitor and same results. What are my next steps?

edit - almost forgot, I have the m.2 NVMe drive plugged in as well.

Pictures perhaps?