Would this server work for NAS?

Hi all. Thanks for the great guide. I was set to build one of these but then I ran across a server available for $100 on Craigslist:

Lenovo x3250 M5
Xeon e3 1271 v3 @3.6
480 watt power supply
Supports up to 8 drives (uses an i8 card?)

Needs hard drives. All things considered, does this seem like it would work for what would pretty much just be a NAS? I have another server that will be my Plex and VM playground, but I need a good way to share all of the media, thus this potential NAS server. Am I overlooking anything or should this work just fine? Or would I be better off just doing the 5.0 build?

I’d have a few questions but on the surface I would think it would work out.

  1. does it boot up
  2. what form factor drives does it eat (I didn’t look it up)
  3. does it have a raid card or hba of some form and what is the connection path for the drives.

From there I would consider it might need a new fan and might need a new or additional NIC. but again on the surface that should work for something.

I mean 100 dollars for a functional base is pretty good these days if it’s in good nick.

I built my setup off a HP workstation so far so good.

OH and I would want to run atleast 16gb of ram, or more. I have 48 in mine at the moment.

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This is going to be a 1U server and it will hold 8 laptop size 2.5” drives, not full size 3.5” drives. The raid controller is I believe based on the LSI SAS2004 but check the docs or ask the seller to confirm. I don’t know this particular chassis but expect it to be loud with the fans.

$100 is a fair deal for what it is, you can probably Frankenstein an external enclosure for larger 3.5” drives (and maybe a different controller?) but overall I wouldn’t buy it for a home NAS build.

if the chassis doesn’t eat 3.5 drives then avoid it.

I thought about doing it for a while but getting a decent 2.5 drive for cost is hard and if you decide to roll Sata SSD’s then cheap as they’ve gotten it’s still spendy per TB

If you can pull cables to the HBA out of the box - and make a HD box that might work but gee it’s alot of extra.

Check out getting something like a HP Z420 or other like workstation machine from one of these refurbisher places. I got mine for 220 last year - 8 core Xeon, 32 gb of ram DDR 3 EEC, and a free SSD was in it when I got it. win win. the case has space and eats 3.5inch drives and expansion cards enough for my needs - and cheaper than be building out a box from scratch, and I was going to reuse a case and PSU that I have. I forgot which generation is which so you might want to look for a Z440 or newer box. there are dell workstations too but I normally have bad luck with crooked E.

Refurb server boxes apparently are very loud due to small higher speed fans.

Thanks, @Napalm. Those HP workstations have been showing up in my eBay searches. How many drives are you able to get into yours?

The z440 has a bit of a limitation in the case. but it’s newer hardware.

My Z420 I have 4 spinners and 2 SSD’s. THe 4 spinners are in a 3- 3.5 to 2-5.25 bay converter that has a fan - I got it out of amazon. The 4th spinner is in a existing 3.5 that is in the chassis - where it has 3 in side. and the 2 ssd’s are in one of the other 3.5 bays doubled up.

I could put the same drives in the z440 chassis if I wanted to.

The 420 however has an open 3 bay 5.25 opening that you could also put a 4 3.5 to 3 - 5.25 converted - and stil put 3 more 3.5’s below that. PLENTY OF ROOM. and if you just wanted to there is open space below that yet but nothing to attach to.

The Z440 can’t do that without metal work mod - which is sad. There is another 2 sizes larger of workstation but I think they are too much.