First build: Supermicro X11SSL-F / X11SSM-F


May 14, 2019
Hi guys, this is my first build so jumping in the deep end here. If you could please help me out with feedback on my proposed build that would be much appreciated, especially for advice on which motherboard to go with, cheers.

Main use will be as a simple file server for a home office and for storing personal photos.

Motherboard: Supermicro X11SSL-F or X11SSM-F
Undecided between these two motherboards but leaning towards M-F

CPU: Intel Kaby Lake Pentium G4560 3.5GHz (BX80677G4560)

Case / PSU: Supermicro CSE-731i-403B with 400W power supply

RAM: 1 x Crucial CT16G4WFD8266 16GB DDR4 2666MT/s UDIMM with ECC

OS Boot drive: Crucial BX500 120GB SSD

Storage: 2 x 3TB WD Red

Thanks very much!


May 8, 2019
Just keep in mind ZFS loves RAM. I like to put as much in as possible (can afford) right from the start, can save you headaches in the long run.
I'm assuming with 2 drives you're going to mirror them, right? Because if you stripe them you have no redundancy and you'll need to "backup, destroy, rebuild, restore" in the future if you add more disks.

Above is just my opinion, others may (will) have different and perhaps better.


Mar 20, 2017
@newby69 For a simple file server, 16GB is enough. Easy to add more memory if it ever proves necessary. Your chosen case limits you to a total of four HDDS. Logically you only need the six SATA ports on the X11SSL-F if you never intend to use more than 4 HDDS. If the price difference is not great the X11SSM offers two extra SATA ports which you may , or may not, need in the future. If you chose the X11SSL-F now, and later wanted to use more HDDS in another case, then you would only need to add a HBA to do that. Time to look in your crystal ball?
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May 13, 2019
I'd better get 2x8Gb or 2x16Gb RAM to work in dual channel mode. X11SSH motherboard has IPMI controller (if you ever need it) and m2 for system storage (you can save your HDD bay and no need to use USB sticks). RAIDz config for storage is better for future expansion.
Oct 18, 2018
I'd better get 2x8Gb or 2x16Gb RAM to work in dual channel mode
Generally I think folks try to go with the largest DIMMs the board will support. This allows you to add more memory later by just adding DIMMs without having to replace ones you already have. If all you can afford is a single 16GB DIMM to start I think you'd be better off with a single 16GB module now and add a second later.

X11SSH motherboard has IPMI controller (if you ever need it)
The X11SSM-F, X11SSL-F, and X11SSH-F all have IPMI, :).

X11SSH motherboard has . . . m2 for system storage (you can save your HDD bay and no need to use USB sticks)
Ordinarily I'd argue for going with more PCIe slots and avoiding M.2 so you can add HBAs, 10Gb NICs etc later and either skip the M.2 port entirely or use it for a SLOG device. I'd argue that you can save space with SATA DOMs and HBAs solve all of your SATA port limitations.

However, if you're certain that you're really only interested in using this as a basic NAS I think any of the three boards mentioned would be fine. They all have 2 8xPCIe3.0 slots for an HBA and NIC if you ever wanted one and at least 1 2x slot in case you ever wanted to add an expander for even more drives.

Storage: 2 x 3TB WD Red
Keep in mind that if you mirror these drives, which you probably want to do, you'll have 3TB maximum available space. Considering that you don't want to go above ~80% of your maximum available space you end up with ~2.4TB effective usable space. You can always add additional 2-drive, mirrored vdevs to your pool later to grow your storage.

Case / PSU: Supermicro CSE-731i-403B with 400W power supply
Is space a concern with the case?

Looks a great start to a basic first build. Also, you may already know this but just in case you haven't considered it, any level of redundancy in a FreeNAS box is not a substitute for a backup. Consider too that if you keep your backups at your house, even in a "fireproof safe", all of your data is susceptible to loss if something catastrophic happens. Whether you keep backups on-site, off-site, both, or neither is up to you of course and likely depends on how important the data is to you, your budget, and your risk tolerance.


Jul 1, 2017
I'd better get 2x8Gb or 2x16Gb RAM to work in dual channel mode....

Honestly, I don't think dual channel RAM makes any difference in a "general use NAS." I strongly prefer density over dual channel. Whatever makes it easiest (and cheapest!) to add more RAM later on.

I own the X11SSH and I love it. It's had a near-24/7 uptime since July 2017. I finally decided to update the IPMI firmware less than a week ago, and the iKVM finally uses HTML5 instead of the terrible Java interface. I actually didn't know much about NVME at the time. It was only recently that I realized I had a vacant m.2 slot. I am thinking of using it just for jails. The Plex interface can get quite slow when it comes to loading metadata for all my media.

Check my sig for my build.