Supermicro MicroATX UNRAID build


Breaking away from QNAP and SYNOLOGY.

Its been a decade since I built my last server, I’m dusty and busy with babies…so excuse me, doing my best to explain myself

Have been playing with UNRAID and TRUENAS Scale, i like them both so not sure the long term solution for myself, want to be able to use both for a while until I am sure. Going to start with UNRAID.

I have a decent budget, I want to go micro atx.


VM Windows

VM Linux

Plex with hardware encoding

Containers: Homebridge, PiHole

Backups and long term data storage

Considering Components:


4x WD 8TB WD80EFZZ (CMR in case I end up with ZFS)

2x Western Digital 1TB WD Red SN700 NVMe Internal Solid State Drive SSD for NAS Devices - Gen3 PCIe, M.2 2280, Up to 3,430 MB/s - WDS100T1R0C

NVME Controller: Dual M.2 PCIe SSD Adapter Card - x8 / x16 Dual NVMe or AHCI M.2 SSD to PCI Express 3.0 - M.2 NGFF PCIe (M-Key) Compatible - Supports 2242, 2260, 2280 - JBOD - Mac & PC (PEX8M2E2) - i will connect 2 NVME above, the seem to be of the correct generation?

Please help me understand about bifurcation support. The mobo has a single slot for NVME. I could use that for a small one as a boot drive without mirror, okay. But then I want dual NVME as cache, and this card… it says my mobo does not needs bifurcation? Maybe a different card or is this one optimal? Sorry, my knowledge in this spot is limited.

Mobo: Supermicro X12STH-LN4F Motherboard

Seems that this MOBO supports Quicksync

CPU: Intel Xeon E-2378G

The iGPU support is listed, don’t want to assume anything. Am I missing something that would prevent Plex for being able to access that GPU support? Specs show Quicksync support.

Processor Graphics ‡ Intel® UHD Graphics P750
Graphics Base Frequency 350 MHz
Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency 1.30 GHz
Graphics Video Max Memory 64 GB
Execution Units 32
4K Support Yes at 60Hz
Max Resolution (HDMI)‡ 4096 x 2160 @60 Hz
Max Resolution (DP)‡ 5120 x 3200 @ 60 Hz
Max Resolution (eDP - Integrated Flat Panel)‡ 5120 x 3200 @ 60 Hz
DirectX* Support 12.1
OpenGL* Support 4.5
Intel® Quick Sync Video Yes
Intel® InTru™ 3D Technology Yes
Intel® Clear Video HD Technology Yes
Intel® Clear Video Technology Yes

of Displays Supported ‡ 1

Device ID 4C9A

Cooler: Noctua Suggestions?

Motherboard has DOM support, good option for mirror boot in TrueNAS

Any issues with the Intel® C256 controller for 8 SATA3 (6 Gbps) ports? (UNRAID / TRUENAS)

Memory, ill go with ECC that compatible with my board, 32 to 64GB

PSU: Wide open to suggestions here. Mobo supports 12v… 20m on google, i came up with CORSAIR SF750:

Case: Still shopping around…

Fractal Design Node 304, old but popular still? (seems that its not that thermally optimal?) Great form factor… want something like this but plenty of cooling… maybe 304 and with Noctua fans?

SilverStone Technology Ultra Compact Mini-ITX Computer Case with Mesh Front Panel Black (SST-SG13B-USA)

Appreciate all your comments and wish all of you a happy holiday season

You will save money building an older server (NK5) and a separate QSV box. Your motherboard alone is almost $500.

Also, the suggested cases are both ITX while the board is mATX - that motherboard will not fit in those cases.

The node 804 is an mATX case

1 Like

Firstly, thank you so much for the assistance regarding the case.

I realize I could buy lesser hardware, but I am away from the location its in for long periods of time and

  1. I need hardware I know I can trust and will run for a decade if cared well for
  2. Hardware that I can easily repurpose at some point, Supermicro has MS Server support

With 1 or 2 streams at one time, the QSV can be done of the single box for now?

So aside from my expensive hardware, is there anything else that wouldn’t work?

In no particular order:

  1. NVMe drives: If you aren’t going to use all your PCIe slots, and can dedicate two of the three slots to NVMe drives, you can buy two inexpensive single drive “carrier”/adapter cards and put one NVMe drive in each PCIe slot. As with everything, there’s cheap cards that do this as well as higher quality ones. But even the higher quality ones are generally only $10-20 (US). Because they have no expensive switching technology, and only serve to remap a single NVMe drive’s M.2 edge-connector to the PCIe slot, they are generally reliable and inexpensive. This will save you around $200 over the StarTech card (which has a pretty expensive PLX switching chip in it). You can still put a third drive in the motherboard’s M.2 connector. In fact, if you aren’t going to use any of the PCIe slots for other cards (i.e. network), you can put an NVMe drive in each PCIe slot plus one in the onboard m.2. That way you can have a mirrored boot plus a second mirror for VMs or whatever. My home NAS is all SSD. 3 of them are m.2 NVMe drives in single drive PCIe adapters.

  2. UHD P750 can easily do 2 streams, even 4K ones. In fact, it can handle more without issue, but as you incease the stream count performance will go down. Intel QSV has really improved with each generation. So, along with your reliability concerns, improved QSV is a point in favor of newer generation hardware.

  3. Noctua Cooler: get the largest one with the biggest fans that fits your chassis. Most boxes that do what you describe are idling or at low power most of the time. QSV and serving a stream, for example, doesn’t use much power at all. The same for browsing etc. in a VM. A large cooler with bigger fans will be almost silent most of the time and can more easily transfer heat when you occasionally ramp things up. Older Supermicro Motherboards sometimes had issues with Noctua fans (my X10SRH-CF and various X9 for example): fan control would momentarily think the fan went down 0 RPM and push all the fans to 100% for a few seconds to compensate. But, I think that isn’t an issue anymore? Maybe someone here knows for sure.

  4. Power supply: SF750 is a good PSU. But, once you look for a MATX case that will fit your motherboard, you’ll find that most take regular ATX and not SFX supplies. Again, since the box will be at idle a lot of the time, you may want to get a PSU that has a partial Zero RPM feature.

You don’t need a NVME at a boot drive for unRaid as it boots off a USB drive. I have mine internal.

You mention running a couple of VMs but no additional video cards. This means they will be using vnc virtual cards under unRaid and they will not be able to do any real graphics type applications. They will not be able to share your on-board (IGPU) as far as I know.