Mid-range NAS/Homeserver Build #1

I’ve done a few builds now that outline HTPCs and want to touch on the back-end of everything. Read through to look at the first HomeMediaTech NAS Build. 

A NAS (Network attached storage) or Homeserver is going to be the center of your network (so to speak). In my home, this holds everyones music, tv, movies, pictures, pc backups, and also runs many services like Plex, Subsonic, etc. I’ve outlined why I love my home server here. A NAS can do many things and it should. You want it to archive you data but also make your day to day lives easier. Follow along as we build the first HomeMediaTech NAS.

Looking for a HTPC to pair this with? Take a look at the HomeMediaTech Budget HTPC Builds. I give you a blueprint to building your own!

This will eventually materialize into a real NAS. I’ll be showing you how to build and install the OS, which in this case will probably be unRAID. Not only do I post these builds up but I actually build and use them! Alright let’s get down to it.

Case
Lian Li PC-Q25B

 

 

 

 

Lian Li PC-Q25B$126.99

This case is small but Lian Li has managed to somehow allow you to fit up to 7 or 8 3.5″ drives. That’s intense. They’re not hot-swappable but that isn’t needed for a budget home NAS. The quality of Lian Li exceeds that of almost every other case maker so there should be no issues here.

Motherboard
ASUS H87I-PLUS

 

 

 

 

ASUS H87I-PLUS$97.99

The Asus H87I-Plus checks all the boxes for something I need. I wanted 2 RAM slots, plenty of SATA ports, Gbit Lan, USB 3, internal USB 3 header, and HDMI if I need it down the road. The PCI Express port can be used for a storage expansion card down the line if needed as well. I’m also a fan of their BIOS, I really like the graphical BIOS they have.

CPU
Intel Core i3-4150 Haswell

 

 

 

 

Intel Core i3-4150 Haswell$119.99

Some would say the i3 is overkill and I should have gone with a Celeron, but I have some valid points! In this use case I will be doing more than just the basic file-serving. Since I plan on using unRAID, I’d like to use the docker functionality and use things like Plex, MySQL, and other services. The extra oomph from the processor will help with transcoding and just general snappiness with the NAS.

RAM
Crucial 4GB Kit (2x2GB) DDR3

 

 

 

 

Crucial 4GB Kit (2x2GB) DDR3 $43

I’ll be honest, just choose any cheap 4GB kit (2x2GB) you can find. You may want to bump up to an 8GB kit but I’m going to see how the 4GB set works first.

Power Supply
SILVERSTONE ST45SF

 

 

 

 

Silverstone 450W SFX Form Factor (ST45SF)$70.61

This was a little bit of a gamble going with the SFX form factor, but Silverstone includes a conversion plate. I got this thinking that the smaller form factor will allow for just that much more room within the case. From what I’ve seen space is very tight and doing this I’m hoping will help.

Hard drives
WD WD30EFRX 3TB

 

 

 

 

WD Red 3TB WD30EFRX (x3) – $121.99 ea ($365.97)

I’ve had major issues with Seagate recently (3 drives failing within 1 year of use) so I’m going to be avoiding them for a bit. Heard a lot of great things about the WD Reds so I’m going with them. They have a great warranty and great service so I’m looking forward to using them. Hopefully I don’t have to use the warranty!

Total: $458.58 (With Hard Drives: $824.55)

Coming in just under $450 for the base NAS is very nice. You’ll have a hard time coming up with a pre-built NAS that has 8 bays and have the option to upgrade parts down the road. Plus now we’ll be able to run our OS of choice. Like I mentioned I’m going to give unRAID a try and see how that works.

Re-cap

[table colalign=”left|left|right”]
Type,Item,Price
Case,Lian Li PC-Q25B,$126.99
Motherboard,ASUS H87I-PLUS,$97.99
CPU,Intel Core i3-4150 Haswell,$119.99
RAM,Crucial 4GB Kit (2x2GB) DDR3,$43
Power Supply,Silverstone 450W SFX Form Factor (ST45SF),$70.61
Hard Drives,WD Red 3TB WD30EFRX (x3),$121.99 ea ($365.97)
,,Total: $458.58 (With Hard Drives: $824.55)[/table]

You’re missing an OS drive!

Yes, I know. I’m going to be looking into options. It looks like right now my best route is to get an 8GB USB drive and an internal header to female USB port adapter. This way the USB drive isn’t sticking out and can hide nicely internally. If I were to put Linux or Windows on this, I would get a 64GB or so SSD and run that as the OS drive.

I will be posting the build log and information on how you can run this as your own NAS at home.

Stay tuned!

Alex


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