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NAS build - ASROCK J4205-ITX

tomsk

Neophyte
Joined
Feb 8, 2019
Messages
8
Hello, I would like to build my own NAS, I never used FreeNAS before, but I have some experience with Linux.

I would like to ask you if this hardware is enough for my needs:
  • Motherboard: ASROCK J4205-ITX or ASRock J5005-ITX (You can recommend me better motherboard with better CPU, which supports ECC)
  • CPU: Intel® Pentium® Processor J4205 or J5005
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR3 (CPU supports max. 8 GB of RAM)
  • SSD: ADATA Ultimate SU650 SSD 120 GB (for OS - FreeNAS)
  • HDD: 2x WD RED 2TB (I would like to mirror it)
  • Case: Cooler Master Elite 110
  • PSU: Corsair VS350 (I know it is overkill, but it has some security features)

  • Connectivity: LAN 1 Gbit

My use case (for home, max. 3 connected users):
  • File storage
  • Torrent client
  • FTP
  • Streaming movies (to PC, TV or Mobile)
  • Maybe some small mail server

I don't know how powerful is that CPU for my use case, and how high CPU requirements FreeNAS has. I know that CPU like Atom C2750 is much better, but it is like 2-3x more expensive and I don't know if it wouldn't overkill for my use case. It is quite sad, that ASROCK J4205-ITX has limitation to only 8 GB of RAM and it doesn't support ECC :( , which is minimum, but I read, that it is like 1 GB of RAM for every 1 TB of storage space, and I don't think, that I will ever have more than 8 TB of storage :) And if I will, then I will buy new computer :)


Thank you
 
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Evertb1

Neophyte Sage
Joined
May 31, 2016
Messages
613
Hello, I would like to build my own NAS, I never used FreeNAS before, but I have some experience with Linux.

I would like to ask you if this hardware is enough for my needs:
  • Motherboard: ASROCK J4205-ITX (You can recommend me better motherboard with better CPU, which supports ECC)
  • CPU: Intel® Pentium® Processor J4205
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR3 (CPU supports max. 8 GB of RAM)
  • SSD: ADATA Ultimate SU650 SSD 120 GB (for OS - FreeNAS)
  • HDD: 2x WD RED 2TB (I would like to mirror it)
  • Case: Cooler Master Elite 110
  • PSU: Corsair VS350 (I know it is overkill, but it has some security features)

  • Connectivity: LAN 1 Gbit

My use case (for home, max. 3 connected users):
  • File storage
  • Torrent client
  • FTP
  • Streaming movies (to PC, TV or Mobile)
  • Maybe some small mail server

I don't know how powerful is that CPU for my use case, and how high CPU requirements FreeNAS has. I know that CPU like Atom C2750 is much better, but it is like 2-3x more expensive and I don't know if it wouldn't overkill for my use case. It is quite sad, that ASROCK J4205-ITX has limitation to only 8 GB of RAM and it doesn't support ECC :( , which is minimum, but I read, that it is like 1 GB of RAM for every 1 TB of storage space, and I don't think, that I will ever have more than 8 TB of storage :) And if I will, then I will buy new computer :)


Thank you
I don't want to be nasty about it but you already discovered yourself that this configuration is not suitable for FreeNAS. That motherboard offers almost none of the hardware requirements. A lot of those requirements are there because of the ZFS file system. Choosing for FreeNAS is choosing for ZFS. And to make things worse there is the memory limitation. Understand that 8 GB is the minimum for FreeNAS. That combined with that CPU will not give you a satisfying experience with things like streaming Video. Nobody wil stop you if you build this and run FreeNAS on it but it is not advisable and I think it will lead to dissapointment.

Afterburner: A couple of years ago a friend of mine was in the same situation. He had the need of a DIY NAS but had not much of a budget. At the end I build a system for him with a motherboard with integrated APU (Dual Core AMD Zacate) and installed OMV on it. It runs to his satisfaction for his modest needs. We are not on the forum to point to other systems but sometimes you just need to make it work somehow.
 
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tomsk

Neophyte
Joined
Feb 8, 2019
Messages
8
Thank you for answer, so can you recommend me any other motherboard and CPU? CPU should have TDP around +-25W (less better) and price for motherboard and CPU should be around +-150€.

As I said it should handle at 3 connected users.
 

Evertb1

Neophyte Sage
Joined
May 31, 2016
Messages
613
Thank you for answer, so can you recommend me any other motherboard and CPU? CPU should have TDP around +-25W (less better) and price for motherboard and CPU should be around +-150€.

As I said it should handle at 3 connected users.
That will be hard if not impossible.

To begin with you need a fairly powerfull CPU if you want to be able to maintain 3 video streams simultaneously. If you use Plex for example the general guideline is that you need a 2000 PassMark score for each 1080p stream. A bit less for 720p and much more for 4K.

Also your motherboard and CPU should support ECC memory (and you need to buy ECC memory) and that brings you in the world of server grade motherboards. New you will find nothing within your budget and you will even have a hard time finding it used (it's not impossible).

Last but not least your wish to have a very low TDP (for what TDP is worth): There is a direct relation between the processing power of a CPU and its power consumption. At this point in time I doubt there is a CPU out there that offers enough computing power for you and stay within you 25 TDP limit.
 
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Evertb1

Neophyte Sage
Joined
May 31, 2016
Messages
613
Thank you for answer, so can you recommend me any other motherboard and CPU? CPU should have TDP around +-25W (less better) and price for motherboard and CPU should be around +-150€.

As I said it should handle at 3 connected users.
An example of a CPU with a low TDP is the Intel i3-4130-T. It has a passmark score of 4142 (not enough for 3 1080p streams) and it still has a TDP of 35w. I had one running in my FreeNAS server but really it was not a good buy. Less computing power then the standard i3-4130, more expensive and with an equal workload it used almost the same power as a "normal" CPU.
 

Yorick

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Nov 4, 2018
Messages
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What’s your budget here? For a budget FreeNAS build, a Dell T30 is a nice starter. Add two USB 2 sticks, a couple of drives, and you’re set.

2017 Newest Dell PowerEdge T30 Tower Server System| Intel Xeon E3-1225 v5 3.3GHz Quad Core| 8GB RAM | 1TB HDD| DVD RW | No Opera https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0722J7NNX/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_WQExCbHZS2NQ7

380 new or 300 used.

Sell the 1TB drive and the DVD :). Get a little money back.

Can be upgraded with more RAM down the line.

If this is way outside your range, then yeah, you’d have to either save up or look elsewhere.

I’d love to hear whether there’s a better option. From reading the forums for a couple of months, it seems 300 for an entry level FreeNAS system without drives is as low as it’ll get, even when considering second-hand components from eBay: As long as the criteria are “uses ECC” and “can handle up to 4 streams”.
 

tomsk

Neophyte
Joined
Feb 8, 2019
Messages
8
By video stream I meant no PLEX, but play movie from network drive. So let's say that I will raise my TDP limit to around 50W.

My budget for whole NAS (without drives), is around 300€ - 400€.

I found combination of MSI H310I PRO with Intel Pentium Gold G5400, what is your opinion?
 
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Evertb1

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Joined
May 31, 2016
Messages
613
By video stream I meant no PLEX, but play movie from network drive. So let's say that I will raise my TDP limit to around 50W.

My budget for whole NAS (without drives), is around 300€ - 400€.
Not impossible I think. Your best bet is to find a (used) small business server like @Yorick mentioned. Buying new will be a bit hard with your budget but second hand is a good possibility. Of course I know nothing of the market in your part of Europe but I think that even in Slovakia e-bay and Amazon can be your friends. Also don't be afraid of second hand servers. They have a good endurance if they are from e reputed brand.

By the way: the TDP of a CPU is not all that important. If you find a fairly modern CPU, it wil be modest in power consumption in relation to the work load it gets. No CPU is running 100% all the time. So it's not a bad thing to keep an eye on that TDP but it should not be a showstopper if it has a TDP of say 75w.
 

tomsk

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Feb 8, 2019
Messages
8
Thanks, but I would like to build my system by myself :) because I like building PCs too :) Yes I know that for example TDP of Intel Pentium Gold G5400 is around 50W, but is there any way to determine what is TDP at no load? Idle?
 

Evertb1

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Messages
613
Thanks, but I would like to build my system by myself :) because I like building PCs too :) Yes I know that for example TDP of Intel Pentium Gold G5400 is around 50W, but is there any way to determine what is TDP at no load? Idle?
That will be around 1.7 w. It's average consumption during use will be around 25 w. I have those figures from a Dutch technical site.
 

tomsk

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Feb 8, 2019
Messages
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Thanks, and what is your opinion of Intel Pentium Gold G5400? Can you share that dutch technical site? :)
 

Yorick

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While I'm waiting for this PC to do things and for the giggles, here's a build idea with older components from eBay. uATX is a lot cheaper to build for than mITX - at least as far as I know, easier to find components.

X10SLM+-F or similar, $90 https://www.ebay.com/itm/Supermicro...therboard-LGA-1150-Micro-ATX-I-O/273573769438
Pentium G3220, $11 https://www.ebay.com/itm/INTEL-PENT...f:g:HD0AAOSw18BcW4Pr:rk:3:pf:1&frcectupt=true
Cooler for it, $24. There will be better options, someone please pipe up https://www.amazon.com/Connector-Al...rds=socket+1150+cooler&qid=1549664402&sr=8-22
8GB of DDR3 ECC Unbuffered (!), $50 https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fr...LH_TitleDesc=0&_osacat=0&_odkw=DDR3+1333+eccv
Thermaltake V21, $56 https://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-...micro+atx&qid=1549664640&s=Electronics&sr=1-8
Couldn't find your PSU outside eBay, here's a Seasonic alternative. $50 https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151229&Description=seasonic 450w&cm_re=seasonic_450w-_-17-151-229-_-Product
Boot from two USB 2 sticks, $15: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00812F7O8/ref=twister_B00JO6RO8C?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
Alternatively, Intel SSD 320 40GB off eBay, also $15

Total: USD 296

Plus two drives, WD Red, $30 to $50 each on eBay, another 60 to 100

Just squeaking in under budget - in the US. In Europe, you might now be over budget. Also less powerful than the Dell T30. Dollar for dollar, these SMB servers can't be beat. I get the thrill of building yourself, though.
 
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Evertb1

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Just squeaking in under budget - in the US. In Europe, you might now be over budget.
Yes we amost always need a bigger budget in Europe then in the US. Locally SuperMicro motherboards are sparse secondhand and most of the time more expensive. And buying from an US provider wil end up with very high postal costs.

And I still prefer to boot from a single SSD above two USB sticks:).
 

Yorick

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And I still prefer to boot from a single SSD above two USB sticks:).
Hence: Alternatively, Intel SSD 320 40GB off eBay, also $15

I prefer an SSD, as well.
 

Yorick

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I found combination of MSI H310I PRO with Intel Pentium Gold G5400, what is your opinion?
Perfectly fine performance-wise, see https://m.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?id=3248

As long as the data you have on there is backed up elsewhere, which it should be anyway, I think that'll be fine. Not having ECC RAM increases the risk of failure, but no more than any consumer PC.
 

tomsk

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Feb 8, 2019
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Perfectly fine performance-wise, see https://m.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?id=3248

As long as the data you have on there is backed up elsewhere, which it should be anyway, I think that'll be fine. Not having ECC RAM increases the risk of failure, but no more than any consumer PC.
I just read that ECC RAM is like "must have" for FreeNAS, because you can get evil RAM and you can lost all data. So as far as I know that CPU supports ECC RAM and I can buy 8 GB ECC RAM for like 90 €, but I didn't find some cheap mini-ITX motherboard which supports ECC yet.
 

Yorick

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You can definitely lose all data. With or without ECC, a backup is the only way to protect against that.

Evil RAM is mostly a myth, I am convinced. One of the co-creators of ZFS states that ZFS is no more susceptible to RAM errors than any other file system. That said, yes, you can lose all data.
See also http://www.openoid.net/will-zfs-and-non-ecc-ram-kill-your-data/

It’s generally true that building small is more expensive. I’m assuming that’s an economy of scale thing. uATX is getting fairly common; mITX seems more niche.

You could look outside the Intel ecosystem. A Ryzen CPU (but not APU) supports ECC, if coupled with a board with decent firmware. That’d mean an AsRock mITX board. These don’t have BMC, so you’d need to add a low-profile graphics card, they go for 30-40 bucks.
 

ullbeking

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Jun 9, 2017
Messages
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An example of a CPU with a low TDP is the Intel i3-4130-T.
I thought that the "-T" on the end was misleading in total power usage, if not interpreted correctly. The power used by a CPU is not constant, and if I understand correctly if various around around the stated TDP as some kind of point of central tendency. All the "-T" does is cut off the topmost power usage bracket, which you probably won't be seeing that often anyway (and if you are continually maxing out your CPU maybe it's time to upgrade?). In other words, I don't think there's much difference in practice between, say, an i3-4130 and an i3-4130-T.

Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong and point me to that properly written and researched document that explains what TDP really means?
 

Evertb1

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I don't think there's much difference in practice between, say, an i3-4130 and an i3-4130-T.
I already stated that. The T version has a low TDP (35 W). But in practice it makes hardly a difference.
 
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