Want to build a low powered NAS. What to look for?

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thadragun
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Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:34 pm

Want to build a low powered NAS. What to look for?

Post by thadragun » Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:29 am

So for a REALLY long time I've wanted to build my own nas to replace my Qnap which is too slow and not enough storage space. I know I wont get the same low power consumption as my qnap, but I still want to go as low as I can without sacrificing speed.
I tried figuring out parts myself but its just really confusing. Now I usually just search through google "low powered nas" and try to find builds that other people are making. Tech advances so fast tho that when I find a build someone made some of its parts are normally disco or dated.. as well usually no idea approx power it uses. So it doesn't really help my part choosing. (for example, Vicotnik's build says Idle 24W which I would be really happy with but it uses Intel DH77DF, and thats discontinued)

Not 100% sure what OS I'll use. Probably freenas since that's what I see people talking about the most. I wanted at least 4 drives with room to expand. Size of case and noise is no concern.

When picking parts how do I calculate or guesstimate what power consumption will be? Approx 5 watts/drive is all I know.

What should I look for when picking a motherboard? I see CPUs say TDP, and I thought that would tell me power consumption then I read that figure doesnt.

For Power supply should I be grabbing a picoPSU for low power use, or are they just mainly used when space is a concern? Really the only nas builds Ive seen that use a picoPSU are in this forum. But builds in here are also lower powered then most Ive seen too. For regular power supplies I always thought before that higher watt means more power consumption, but I would need to look for rating value instead, right? 90 plus GOLD being the most energy efficient?

This is one "low power - moderate cost" build I just found today that on found FreeNAS that people say looks good.

- Supermicro X9SCL-F-O motherboard
- Intel Core i3 3220T 35W CPU
- 2x Crucial 8GB 240-pin DDR3 1600 ECC Unbuffered SDRAM (PC 12800)
- 6x Western Digital Red 2TB NAS hard drives WD20EFRX (already owned)
- SeaSonic SSR-360GP 360W ATX12V v2.31 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Active PFC Power Supply

Then someone suggested
Supermicro X10SLM+-F with G3220 or G3240 cpu instead

Can anyone offer build suggestions, or guide me on what to look for? sorry for being a huge noob about all this it just seems like im going around in circles. Only thing I know for sure right now is Im going to be buying Red WD drives, just havent decided how many yet.

Any comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

MoJo
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Re: Want to build a low powered NAS. What to look for?

Post by MoJo » Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:13 am

http://world3.net

Abula
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Re: Want to build a low powered NAS. What to look for?

Post by Abula » Sun Aug 17, 2014 7:09 am

Most important thing is what do you plan to do with the server before chosing hardware, for example you running VM? a pure MediaServer? a Backup Server for clients? will it transcode?
thadragun wrote:So for a REALLY long time I've wanted to build my own nas to replace my Qnap which is too slow and not enough storage space. I know I wont get the same low power consumption as my qnap, but I still want to go as low as I can without sacrificing speed.
Have you considered the higher end of QNAP? its ok to want to build your own, if its for budget or even for the hobby of doing it, but if you are happy into how QNAP works, then i would suggest to stay with them. I had a very hard choice when i build my server, as i did test Synology (i still own a DS111) and to me it was amazing, easy to setup, did all the things i needed, except transcoding and the space was limited, this two reasons were the main things that made me do my own server, but i still have regrets, so think about this before you commit into a new OS. Test it before, FreeNas is free, so you can even do a new partition on a pc and test it before you buy all the new hardware.
When picking parts how do I calculate or guesstimate what power consumption will be? Approx 5 watts/drive is all I know.
Expect around 10-20W for a efficient motherboard and if the cpu can be downlock by the OS, like windows (not sure FreeNAS), around 10-15W for a HBA/Raid card, around 5W for 5400rpm on idle, USB devices can increase a little depending on what you are connecting, my server usually is headless and nothing aside form the network is connected to it, i usually control it via Remote Desktop, i think freenas manages via a webpage (not sure though).
Vicotnik's build says Idle 24W which I would be really happy with but it uses Intel DH77DF, and thats discontinued
His board doesnt support ECC, is more a consumer level motherboard, so here is up to you. There are some motherboards still in the market in case you want an intel and dont care about ecc (i do recommend it),
Intel Boxed Desktop Board DB85FL Micro ATX DDR3 1600 LGA 1150 Motherboard
Intel Boxed Desktop Board DH87RL Micro ATX DDR3 1600 LGA 1150 Motherboard

But the important thing you need to decide is weather you need a Server class motherboard, some of them have tons of features that you might or not use like IPMI, some of this features do increase power consumption, so research first what you need for your server.
GameMi - Intel i9 9900K + Gigabyte Z390 AM + Asus RTX2080Ti Strix | MiniMi - Intel i7 8700K + ASRock Z370ITX + MSI RTX2080Ti
StreaMi - Intel i9 7940X + AsRock X299 Taichi + Asus GTX1080Ti Strix | WorkMi - AMD 1950X + AsRock X399 Taichi + MSI GTX1080
ServeMi - Intel Xeon E3-1230 + Supermicro X9SCM-F + 144TB | StoreMi - Intel Xeon E3 1240v5 + Supermicro X11SSM-F + 42TB | CamMi - Intel i7 4770K + MSI H81i + Blue Iris

Vicotnik
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Re: Want to build a low powered NAS. What to look for?

Post by Vicotnik » Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:43 am

thadragun wrote:(for example, Vicotnik's build says Idle 24W which I would be really happy with but it uses Intel DH77DF, and thats discontinued)
That's with only one of four HDDs spinning, and desktop hardware as Abula says. Also with a picoPSU that I don't really recommend for a multi HDD system. It's been working for years, but I do regular backups. ;)
Main: ASRock B85M-ITX | i3-4330 | 16GB DDR3 | Intel 730 240GB | HDPLEX H1-S | picoPSU | No moving parts | Idle 13.9W
HTPC: ASRock J4105-ITX | 4GB DDR4 | Intel 535 120GB | picoPSU | No moving parts
Gaming: Intel DH77EB | i5-3570K | GTX 1060 6GB | 16GB DDR3 | TJ08-E | RM750X
Server: ASRock N3150-ITX | ~30TB | G-360 | Idle ~25W

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