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BUILD Hardware for running FreeNAS/Plex Media Server.

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Nitemare15

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Sep 29, 2014
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I need a mediaserver/NAS that needs to be low heat, and preferably low power. It also needs to be small in stature, preferably. I will be turning it off at night and while I'm at work so it won't be working 100% of the time. I want 3TB of mirrored storage. I've already decided on 2 x WD Red 3TB drives in RAID 1. It will be running Plex Media Server. It needs to be able to transcode 1080p h264 (MKV container) video very well, mostly just one stream at a time, however sometime it will need to be able to transcode two 1080p streams in tandem. It will be connected to a Gigabit R7000 Nighthawk. I do not want to spend more than $600 (I'm willing to go a bit above this if necessary and would make the build better) for everything including the storage. Which leaves me about $400 to build the main system.

So I did some tinkering on PC Part Picker. Here is what I've come up with so far. I'm not sure if it's overkill or what to be honest. I'd like to get it down in price a bit if possible.

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/Nitemare15/saved/6dTZxr

CPU Intel Core i3-4150 3.5GHz Dual-Core $119.99
Motherboard Asus H97I-PLUS Mini ITX LGA1150 $109.99
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 $44.99
Storage Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM $121.99
Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM $121.99
Case Fractal Design Node 304 Mini ITX Tower $97.98
Power Supply Corsair 430W ATX12V $44.99

So to sum it up, I'll be running FreeNAS, and then Plex Media Server. I don't know if I'll be needing more RAM and processing power for what I'm trying to do. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Ericloewe

Not-very-passive-but-aggressive
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Feb 15, 2014
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Let me point out the following issues:

First, the elephant in the room: No server hardware and no ECC. This has real risks. You'll find that if something goes wrong, the first answer in the forum will be "Get proper hardware that's known to work" or "You just lost everything to a RAM issue.
Hell, a proper server motherboard would be only slightly more expensive than that board, if you go microATX. The Supermicro X10SLL-F is probably the cheapest option that's still usable. The CPU already supports ECC, so that's not an issue.

4GB of RAM is not enough, as amply documented. The very minimum is 8GB. Plex is something of a resource hog, so 16GB is the smallest amount you can expect to get away with. ECC won't be much more expensive, at these capacities (it might even be cheaper!).

The i3 might have some trouble with two simultaneous transcoded streams, but someone with more Plex experience will have to elaborate. One stream is most likely fine.

http://forums.freenas.org/index.php?threads/hardware-recommendations-read-this-first.23069/
 

pschatz100

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Mar 30, 2014
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1,136
Core i3 will be fine with two streams.
 

Nitemare15

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Sep 29, 2014
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Eh. I'm not finding ECC Registered RAM for any less than like... almost $130 for a single stick of 8GB, 2 sticks would run me almost $300. There is no way I can afford that. Am I doing something wrong here? ECC RAM is FAR more expensive than regular RAM from what I can tell.
 

mjws00

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Jul 25, 2014
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Here is a popular crucial option. There are some a little more some a little less Crucial 8GB unbuffered ECC.

You need a motherboard that supports ecc as well. Not really any point going half way. The cheapest supermicro isn't much more than the one you picked. Check out @joeshmuck 's AMD build if it is only about the money. Truth is it is far less hassle to just work from the hardware sticky list. We've been debating hardware choices for years and if it were possible to do it better and cheaper we'd be doing it.

Good luck.
 

Ericloewe

Not-very-passive-but-aggressive
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Eh. I'm not finding ECC Registered RAM for any less than like... almost $130 for a single stick of 8GB, 2 sticks would run me almost $300. There is no way I can afford that. Am I doing something wrong here? ECC RAM is FAR more expensive than regular RAM from what I can tell.

That's because you do not want Registered RAM!

Nobody said anything about Registered RAM. All LGA 1150 systems take Unbuffered RAM only.

This is a popular option for the X10SLL-F.
 
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