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Unsure about PCI Raid Card

DasGoG

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
27
Hello!
First time posting and I have read as much as I could before posting here but am a little confused.
I inherited an unfinished hardware list from a friend;
SAMSUNG 970 EVO Plus SSD 250GB - M.2
MSI B550M PRO-VDH WiFi ProSeries Motherboard (AMD AM4
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3200MHz
AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core.


I had 5xSeagate IronWolf 4TB NAS Internal Hard Drive HDD.

I was wanting to put this together and install FreeNAS on it and wanted to run (FN) Software RAID with all 5 drives but the MB only he 4 ports. Is there a recommended PCIE SATA RAID Card add on I should get? I’ve looked them up but became overwhelmed.
Is this hardware, though maybe overkill, supportive of a FreeNAS server?
just for movies really.

thank you for any help people!
 

DasGoG

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
27
I was torn between:

LSI 6Gbps SAS HBA 9240-8I IT Mode ZFS FreeNAS unRAID + 2*SFF-8087 SATA US
or
I/O Crest 8 Port SATA III Non-RAID PCI-e x4 Controller Card Supports FreeNAS and ZFS RAID

My MB says PCIe 4.0
 

sretalla

Wizened Sage
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
3,922
Is there a recommended PCIE SATA RAID Card add on I should get?
Read this:


Then, when you're certain that you don't want a RAID card, look for the right HBA card for your needs. (point 3 in the above mentions the right kinds you might look for)

Also, consider your choice of platform.... AMD make good stuff for general compute and gaming, but there's not a lot of good news stories from people out there running TrueNAS on Ryzen (but I do see plenty of complaints about needing to disable BIOS settings and so-on to get stable operations... so if you go that way, look for those)

Intel CPUs are the most tested and supported (by this forum), so take it as an input into your decision.

The drives you list are fine.
 

DasGoG

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
27
Read this:


Then, when you're certain that you don't want a RAID card, look for the right HBA card for your needs. (point 3 in the above mentions the right kinds you might look for)

Also, consider your choice of platform.... AMD make good stuff for general compute and gaming, but there's not a lot of good news stories from people out there running TrueNAS on Ryzen (but I do see plenty of complaints about needing to disable BIOS settings and so-on to get stable operations... so if you go that way, look for those)

Intel CPUs are the most tested and supported (by this forum), so take it as an input into your decision.

The drives you list are fine.
Thank you for the info.

Unfortunately I do not have any $$ to go any other way than the Ryzen/AMD path so I can only hope I am one of the lucky ones. As far as the HBA I see the link and am reading it but I am not a PC person, but I can enjoy NAS and streaming, so I am just debating on not using the 5th drive and just using the 4 onboard.
It just confuses me.. Stupid I know
 

Etorix

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
177
Consider buying second hand motherboard and CPU. A NAS does not need the last technology to run on, so you could save here, get a motherboard with more than four ports and avoid a HBA altogether. Extra savings ahead if you go back enough to use DDR3!

Your list is both overkill (too new, no need for WiFi) and insufficient (ECC RAM is recommended).
 

DasGoG

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
27
The next time around I will indeed go the Intel CPU/ ECC Memory and MB w/ the correct amount of SATA ports for me. All of this hardware was a friend of mine and he had to sell it and so I grabbed it all for a good price, knowing it was a Gaming setup, but was hoping to use it for FreeNAS.
I completely understand what you say about the things I have wrong but until I DO get $$ will this not serve as a Home NAS I can watch a 4k movie o at night?
Will the Memory I have and the Ryzen really make that not happen??
 

jgreco

Resident Grinch
Moderator
Joined
May 29, 2011
Messages
13,526
The Ryzen is probably okay. The Realtek, Marvell, and/or other off-brand accessory chips that are on the mainboard may cause trouble for you, and Ryzen's relative immaturity may also cause some other issues. It's just less of a sure thing.
 

Etorix

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
177
I understood you had the drives but thought the rest was just a list.
If you have all the hardware, then go with it. It won't be a TrueNAS build by the textbook but it should work. It's just a pity that you're stuck on a motherboard with useless features such as Wi-Fi but too few SATA ports.

You have not exposed your storage needs, and ZFS has no "Software RAID". If you expect to add more drives, then a HBA card is needed; any LSI-based card flashed to IT mode will do—a PCIe 4.0 slot can take a PCIe 3.0 card. Otherwise I would suggest to use only four drives and keep the fifth as cold spare.
 

DasGoG

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
27
I appreciate all of the feedback.
I have no issue in the future changing MB's I am definitely not in stone on it but until then it is what I have to use.
My NAS needs are 99% streaming my 4K movies to my TV and 1% Network storage for various things.
 

DasGoG

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
27
Hello

So after doing my “research” and all of that I have hit a post.
So this MB has 1 4.0/3.0 PCI-E Combo slot and 2 PCI-E 1.0 slots.
After looking around I see that the add on storage card (the one with the upgrade bios image to support FreeNAS) will take the place of the 4.0/3.0 PCI-E. Soooo where does the video card go?!. My CPU will not allow the utilization of the onboard (MB) video. Can I get a simple PCI-E x1 video card just to set it up, all my deciding etc will be done on the nVidia shield so I don’t need a great card. Or do I put a video card in, install Truenas on the M.2, set up network then take video card out and out add on SATA card in and configure the 5 drives via GUI?

Sorry, I’m really trying to read up on this but I don’t see any other in same situation, no video card.
Im learning!be patient with me 8)
 

Etorix

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
177
That's why server boards have a BMC to provide one basic VGA output and remote administration through IPMI. :wink:

Adapting a video card on one x1 slot would probably involve extra hardware. In your case, I would put a video card in the x16 slot just to install TrueNAS, then take it off and install the HBA card. At this point everything should be plug and play and all setup is done through the Web interface.
 
Last edited:

pschatz100

Neophyte Sage
Joined
Mar 30, 2014
Messages
1,062
You can buy a video card for the x1 slot. No problem there. There are low end and inexpensive cards that will work just fine. You do not need a strong graphics card for a NAS.

I would disable all the motherboard features you will not be using: sound, wifi, advanced USB features, and power management. They will not be supported and might actually cause problems - especially the power management. Gaming boards have some advanced power management features that are not necessary for a NAS, and cause problems with FreeBSD, the underlying OS for TrueNAS.

You might have an issue with the Realtek network interface. If you do, you can replace it with an Intel-based network card. They are not expensive.

That I/O Crest 8 Port SATA III Non-RAID controller card might work, but you will be better off purchasing a recommended HBA. They are not much more expensive and they have good support here in the forum.

In summary... this would be an interesting build, but I suspect it is not a good project for someone new to building systems. FreeBSD and TrueNAS are rather picky about hardware support. If you have the patience and are willing to learn then go for it. If not, I would suggest that one of the Linux based NAS systems might be a better choice.
 

DasGoG

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
27
You can buy a video card for the x1 slot. No problem there. There are low end and inexpensive cards that will work just fine. You do not need a strong graphics card for a NAS.

I would disable all the motherboard features you will not be using: sound, wifi, advanced USB features, and power management. They will not be supported and might actually cause problems - especially the power management. Gaming boards have some advanced power management features that are not necessary for a NAS, and cause problems with FreeBSD, the underlying OS for TrueNAS.

You might have an issue with the Realtek network interface. If you do, you can replace it with an Intel-based network card. They are not expensive.

That I/O Crest 8 Port SATA III Non-RAID controller card might work, but you will be better off purchasing a recommended HBA. They are not much more expensive and they have good support here in the forum.

In summary... this would be an interesting build, but I suspect it is not a good project for someone new to building systems. FreeBSD and TrueNAS are rather picky about hardware support. If you have the patience and are willing to learn then go for it. If not, I would suggest that one of the Linux based NAS systems might be a better choice.
Hello and sorry for the delay. For experienced sake I went along with my current setup and have TrueNAS set up w/ QBT and SMB and other subnets can communicate with it etc. In regards to the video situation, my MB will not allow video card on PCE-E x1 so I either have to get a CPU w/ onboard video to utilize the MB HDMI or buy a cheap video card and not use the SATA Addon card and use 4 drives instead of the 5. Also, my MB will not boot into TrueNAS (well past bios) without a video card.
It is what it is but I am learning.
 

joeschmuck

Old Man
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May 28, 2011
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9,039
I/O Crest 8 Port SATA III Non-RAID PCI-e x4 Controller Card Supports FreeNAS and ZFS RAID
I'd have to look into this specific controller on this card but I have used one I/O Crest PCI-e card with great luck and I'd recommend it again, and if someone has specifically tested this card out, then you have something to stand on, plus you do not have to flash them with any firmware, they just work. Now for the possible downside... It's a x4 PCI-e connection for 8 drives. This means that there could be a bottleneck if you MUST have the top end throughput. Do you need that? Most do not for a home system.

Please understand that the I/O Crest is not a favorite of the forum but some of us have used them and the only time I've heard a complaint was when someone bought one with a chipset that was not supported. If you want a proven device from I/O Crest, the IOCREST/Syba SI-PEX40062 PCIe card is based on the Marvell 88SE9235. It's a 4 port card (I ran two of these in one system).
 

jgreco

Resident Grinch
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May 29, 2011
Messages
13,526
Generally, there are Marvell chipsets that just work and those that just don't. I sorta tracked this at one point because I had gotten AsRockRack to send me an eval unit of their 1U 12 drive storage server that used two DIFFERENT Marvell controllers, one of which was somewhat problematic at the time.
 

pschatz100

Neophyte Sage
Joined
Mar 30, 2014
Messages
1,062
If you cannot boot without a video card, there might be a setting in the motherboard bios that you can change to allow it. If you have to use a graphics card in the main x16 slot, then you can try using a pci x1 sata card in one of the x1 slots. PCI x1 Gen3 is fast enough to support one or two spinning disks.

There is a Syba SY-PEX40039 card that ought to work - it uses a Marvell chipset and supports two drives.
 

DasGoG

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
27
Unfortunately I sort of want to utilize a "faster" PCIE addon card simply because I will indeed be moving large data from my existing NAS to and fro to this TrueNAS as well as wanting to utilize all 5 drives (20 TB 16 usable RAID 5). I understand the situation I am in, want my cake and eat it too and that is fine. For now I will sacrifice the 5th drive and get a lame GPU so I can use onboard 4 SATA ports.
Next time around I will be buying a server mb, ecc ram, 6+ sata ports and an Intel CPU/GPU capable instead of my friends leftovers.
 

Etorix

Member
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Dec 30, 2020
Messages
177
Hard lesson, but the leftovers are not that bad… If you can afford to just replace the motherboard by a Ryzen server board (e.g. an ASRockRack X570D4U/X470D4U/B550D4U, all with basic video from an AST2500 BMC) the other components will do. ECC RAM would be nice, but is not as badly necessary as SATA ports.
 

DasGoG

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
27
Well I can indeed work on saving up for the MB.. Thank you for the information.
 

DasGoG

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
27
Hard lesson, but the leftovers are not that bad… If you can afford to just replace the motherboard by a Ryzen server board (e.g. an ASRockRack X570D4U/X470D4U/B550D4U, all with basic video from an AST2500 BMC) the other components will do. ECC RAM would be nice, but is not as badly necessary as SATA ports.

So after looking at the ASRock Rack X470D4U it does indeed look like it can support my [current] AMD Ryzen 5 3600, my 5 x SATA 6gbs HD's and my memory. As you say ECC is definitely a nice safety net but my goal is the SATA and in the future I can swap out to ECC.
Now I am still a bit fuzzy over the AST2500 BMC...Is that generic built in video meaning I do not need GPU on Ryzen?
 
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