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Build ideas - budget upgrade

spg900ny

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2012
Messages
27
Hi,

I currently have a FreeNAS 11.2-U8 system running on a Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H with an AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 3.0Mhz with 12GB non-ECC RAM. I'm running four pools - two mirrored 4TB pools (old drives), a mirrored 8TB pool (new drives), and a single 4TB pool/disk (old drive) for stuff I don't worry about losing.

The system has been upgraded and kind of scraped together over the years and is definitely not optimized. I'm maxed out of SATA ports and memory in particular, and as I've gotten more and more into Plex, the box is pretty much mostly a Plex server these days with some file serving on the side. To that end, I'd like to build a new FreeNAS box with the following goals, migrating all the data from one to the other:
  1. Consolidate/organize storage to three pools - a 10TB mirror, an 8TB mirror, and a 4TB throwaway - allowing free SATA ports for inevitable drive replacements - can I import the drives in a fresh FreeNAS and then migrate the data off of them into another pool?
  2. Upgrade to 32GB ECC memory
  3. Start with new, clean FreeNAS
  4. Start with new, clean Plex
  5. Get more Plex transcoding horsepower with the Xeon
After reading some of the suggestions in other threads, and trying to stick to a budget of around $500 before adding the two new 10TB drives, I'm looking at something like this, and I'm open to suggestions because it's been a long time since I put this together or followed hardware:
  • Intel Xeon E3-1285L V4 3.4Ghz SR2B1 LGA1150 65W (~$139)
  • Crucial CT102472BD160B DDR3-1600 ECC 32GB (~$150)
  • Supermicro X10SAE (~$70)
  • Phanteks AMP Series 650W 80PLUS Gold ATX (Seasonic Focus Plus Gold PSU) ~$100
  • Some ATX case
Thanks!
 

ThreeDee

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
506
welp .. when I see "wanna build a budget build" .. I gotta chime in with my setup in sig ..

Takes DDR3 ECC RDIMM's which are a lot cheaper then UDIMM's .. 4 x 16GB for ~$120
quad channel memory which is comparable to dual channel DDR4 stuff..
slot for M.2 NVMe SSD for a boot drive. (~$20 for a 128GB'r off of ebay)
LGA 2011 E5-2695 v2 lower single core score, but higher overall score w/12 cores - 24 threads
Average CPU Mark
rating

13382
~$120
x79T variants can be had for ~$80
You'd need another ~$10 for a GPU and ~$15 for an Intel NIC (Realtek onboard NIC.. at least on mine anyways)
Plus a decent heatsink/fan .. case with good air flow to keep all your drives cool .. HBA card (~$25) possibly down the road if you run more than 6 drives


anyways, not on the recommended hardware list .. but it's been solid for me since I set it up 6? ..or so months ago ..I have about 40 some odd friends/family that have access to my plex and have up to 8 users streaming at a time .. I initially bought the motherboard and an 8core/16thread CPU with 4 x 8GB ECC DDR3 RDIMM's for $125 used .. sold the RAM for $45'ish and got the 4 x 16GB sticks for $70 .. and paid about $100 for the new CPU .. but prices have gone up since then.
 

spg900ny

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2012
Messages
27
welp .. when I see "wanna build a budget build" .. I gotta chime in with my setup in sig ..
Hmmm. Pretty close to what I'm looking for! Thank you!

Do you use the Quadro 400 for transcoding? Or just brute CPU? And for the LSI card - you use TrueNAS built-in RAIDZ?
 
Last edited:

ChrisRJ

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2020
Messages
307
When DDR3 is an option for you due to price, you could look out for a Supermicro X9 board. I have a couple of them and am quite happy. The remote console via IPMI is crappy (it needs Java) but I only need that very occasionally, so I can live with it.
 

spg900ny

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2012
Messages
27
When DDR3 is an option for you due to price, you could look out for a Supermicro X9 board. I have a couple of them and am quite happy. The remote console via IPMI is crappy (it needs Java) but I only need that very occasionally, so I can live with it.
Yeah, I deal with the Java IPMI thing at work lol. I don't have remote access on my current MB, so not really necessary. The X9 boards seem pretty inexpensive, even new... I love having options. :) Thanks!
 

ThreeDee

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
506
Hmmm. Pretty close to what I'm looking for! Thank you!

Do you use the Quadro 400 for transcoding? Or just brute CPU? And for the LSI card - you use TrueNAS built-in RAIDZ?
just throw a lot of cores at it ..when needed .. I don't think hardware transcoding with Nvidia is supported yet in TrueNAS.
.. and you let TrueNAS do all the raid stuff hence why the card is flashed to IT mode so TrueNAS has direct access to the drives
 

spg900ny

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2012
Messages
27
just throw a lot of cores at it ..when needed .. I don't think hardware transcoding with Nvidia is supported yet in TrueNAS.
.. and you let TrueNAS do all the raid stuff hence why the card is flashed to IT mode so TrueNAS has direct access to the drives
Got it. I didn't know just a CPU could chew through several Plex streams at once. I will just have to make sure to have a different category for 4K movies I think. Thank you for the recommendations!
 

spg900ny

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2012
Messages
27
When DDR3 is an option for you due to price, you could look out for a Supermicro X9 board.
Decided to go this route. Just picked up an X9SRi-F and four 8GB DIMMs from A-Tech. Not sure I got the right processor. The Supermicro site says up to 12 cores, but other sites say up to 8 cores. I got an E5-2697 v2. Guess I'll find out.
 
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pschatz100

Neophyte Sage
Joined
Mar 30, 2014
Messages
1,062
Whether or not you even need to transcode video from Plex depends upon your playback devices. Late model smart TV's, Roku's, Firesticks, etc., can decode most video content natively, which means that your Plex server should be serving files most of the time (Direct streaming.) As for transcoding 4K content, I would forget it. Your new processor might be powerful enough to transode one 4K stream, but even if you do you will lose all the benefits of 4K in the first place. You would be better off encoding two versions of the video: one for 4K direct playback and the other for lower res playback. Check discussion on the Plex forums.

I think you should consider a four drive RaidZ2 pool rather than two mirrored vdevs to make your pool. For your use case, you don't need the better performance of mirrored drives. With a four drive RaidZ2, you can lose any two drives before data is compromised while with mirrored vdevs, if you lose both drives in a mirror then you lose the entire pool. For basic file serving a RaidZ2 pool will be more resilient.
 

spg900ny

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2012
Messages
27
Whether or not you even need to transcode video from Plex depends upon your playback devices.
I have a few family members on old devices, and some are mobile, so I want to allow them options. I do tell them to choose direct playback where they can. I'm not planning on transcoding 4K. I plan to have a separate share for those and only enable it for myself and anyone else who has the proper equipment for that.

I think you should consider a four drive RaidZ2 pool rather than two mirrored vdevs to make your pool. For your use case, you don't need the better performance of mirrored drives. With a four drive RaidZ2, you can lose any two drives before data is compromised while with mirrored vdevs, if you lose both drives in a mirror then you lose the entire pool. For basic file serving a RaidZ2 pool will be more resilient.
I do the mirrored drives not for performance, but because I'm cheap (can't afford more than two of the biggest drives I want - in this case, I just got two 14TB drives), and I want another copy of the files readily available in case of failure. I'm knocking on wood, but so far I've had plenty of notice for my bad drives (I replace at the first uncorrectable error) and I've never had two fail at once. Hopefully that continues. Part of putting together the new NAS includes finally getting my backups configured, and going with ECC memory at long last.
 

spg900ny

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2012
Messages
27
For anyone interested in building something along the same lines, here's what I ended up with. I ended up raising my budget by $225. I could have recycled my old power supply and case, and that would have kept me around the original $500 budget, but I figured it would be easier to build the new machine complete alongside the old one to give me more time to move things over. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.

All prices are pre-tax and pre-shipping, but most included shipping. B&H Photo also has this cool thing where they pay the tax for you if you use their card.
  • Supermicro X9SRi-F ($129.99 - eBay)
  • Supermicro X9SRi I/O Shield ($7.69 - eBay)
  • ATech 32GB (8x4) PC3-12800 DDR3 ECC REG RAM ($119.96 - eBay)
  • Intel Xeon E5-2697 v2 2.70GHz DR19H 12-Core LGA2011 CPU ($129.99 - eBay)
  • Intel Xeon Thermal Solutions BXSTS200C CPU fan ($45.00 - eBay)
  • Pearstone 18" SATA cables x4 for storage drives ($19.56 - B&H Photo)
  • SeaSonic FOCUS GX 650W 80 Plus Gold Modular ATX PS ($104.99 - B&H Photo)
  • BENEFEI SATA Cables x2 for mirrored boot SSD's ($9.38 - Amazon)
  • Phanteks Enthoo Pro Full Tower Chassis ($99.99 - Amazon)
  • Phanteks SSD Bracket ($8.99 - Amazon)
  • Kingston 120GB A400 SATA 2.5" SSD x2 for boot pool ($49.98 - Amazon)
  • WD Easystore 14TB x2 - worked without pin hack - ($439.98 - Best Buy)
Total was $725.52 without the 14TB hard drives, $1165.50 including. I wasn't going to get 14TB drives, but Best Buy had a $90 off sale on them ($180 off total).

Finished putting it all together today. Everything started up perfectly the first time, and TrueNAS is installed. Now the difficult bit begins - re-organizing / consolidating some of my shares and moving all the data over, then bringing over the two 8TB reds from my old system (which I will disassemble and sell components from when it's all done).

Again, thanks for the suggestions!
 
Last edited:

ChrisRJ

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2020
Messages
307
@spg900ny , thanks for the update. Not too many people "bother" to report back with something like this :smile:
 

spg900ny

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2012
Messages
27
Totally glad to help! Hope someone else finds it useful down the road! Thank you again for your suggestions. The X9 seems to have been the perfect board to build this around. Cheers.
 
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