Upcoming build

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Mirty

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Hi all!

A generous friend just gave me his hardly-used Supermicro X11SSH-F board, along with 16GB of ECC RAM, and a 3GHz Quad core Xeon CPU.

He thought I wanted to build a mid level gaming machine for my kid, but ROFL -- those specs!!! I just have to build a NAS with this gear and make him proud! lol

I've ordered a Node 804 case, have 8x4TB drives ready to chuck in (some new ones, and some from an old NAS4Free build), have an overkill PSU (AX1200), and a good enough video card (R9 280X).

Now comes my noobish questions:

I want to use this box as not only a NAS, but as a media server; as in, I'd like to plug the box into my amp/projector directly, rather than use it for storage only and have another machine (my PS3) plugged into display, though I'd still like to use the PS3 remote with the new box if that's possible.

(1) Is FreeNAS best for this? I know I'm speaking to a biased crowd (maybe), but for those who know, would a different setup work more efficiently than what I'm thinking?

(2) The NGFF M.2 on this board, after a little research, is proving to be a pain in the butt. It's expensive and not that common. I've read that FreeNAS 11 can chew through USB drives, so wanted to go the M.2 route, but now I'm not so sure. Would just using USB be best? Or maybe attach a USB3 SSD be better?

Thanks for any help you can offer!
 

Stux

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Certainly best for a NAS With those specs.

Forget about the graphics card. You have a basic VGA adapter built in with the IPMI on that board

I’d use Plex server and plex client instead.
 

danb35

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I'd like to plug the box into my amp/projector directly,
Not possible with FreeNAS--at least, not without a lot of hacking that would likely be broken in the next update. Plex works quite well, even with a Raspberry Pi as a client machine, though.
 

Jailer

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Sounds like the foundation for a great build. Set up Plex in a jail and use your PS3 as the client hooked to your A/V receiver and display.
 

garm

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Ya if you want a dual purpose rig you need to go down the ESXi road. Don’t do that for your first build. As the others have said, set up a jail with plex and stream to something. Personally I like Apple TVs as clients.
 

danb35

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Personally I like Apple TVs as clients.
Kind of pricey for just a Plex client. A Roku is half the cost or less, and a Raspberry Pi is half the cost of that.
 

Stux

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Many smart TVs have plex available these days.
 

Jailer

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He already has a PS3 and there is a Plex app available for it. Make use of what you have available before spending any more money than you have to.
 

Mirty

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Thanks very much for the comments guys. Looks like FreeNAS + jailed PLEX and PS3/RasPi will be in order. Case arrived 10 minutes ago, so the build can now slowly commence.

It's a shame there is no easy way to use the box to directly serve up video, and avoid a Plex client. I have no idea what ESXi even is, so will research that out of curiosity.

I'm still somewhat concerned with frying boot USB drives. Has this issue been resolved? (I see many comments here and there about it, but they might have been from a few months back).

USB SSD or twin USB dongles? hmmm...
 

danb35

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I'm still somewhat concerned with frying boot USB drives. Has this issue been resolved?
No, because the issue is that USB sticks are uniformly garbage. But the consequences of a failed boot device are minimal. Install to a new device, upload a current backup of your config file, and go on your way.
USB SSD or twin USB dongles?
SATA SSD?
 

Mirty

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No, because the issue is that USB sticks are uniformly garbage. But the consequences of a failed boot device are minimal. Install to a new device, upload a current backup of your config file, and go on your way.

SATA SSD?

Yeah, like a SATA SSD in a USB3 enclosure. What do you think? (ultimately I'd like to use the m.2 but $$$)
 

Jailer

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It's a shame there is no easy way to use the box to directly serve up video, and avoid a Plex client.
Once you get Plex set up and add a couple of cheap clients to your all TV's you'll understand why it's so popular.
 

danb35

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Yeah, like a SATA SSD in a USB3 enclosure. What do you think?
No, I was suggesting just a SATA SSD. Simple, cheap, works. But I've seen a couple of other people suggest USB SSDs before. Can't speak from experience myself, though.
 

Mirty

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No, I was suggesting just a SATA SSD. Simple, cheap, works. But I've seen a couple of other people suggest USB SSDs before. Can't speak from experience myself, though.

Ahh, okay. Gotchya. I was trying to avoid using up SATA ports, which I probably should have mentioned (hence either USB or m.2 for booting). I suppose I could always get a expansion card for more drives though.
 

Stux

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Yeah, like a SATA SSD in a USB3 enclosure. What do you think? (ultimately I'd like to use the m.2 but $$$)

16GB optane m2s are surprisingly affordable
 

Evertb1

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No, because the issue is that USB sticks are uniformly garbage. But the consequences of a failed boot device are minimal. Install to a new device, upload a current backup of your config file, and go on your way.

SATA SSD?
I moved away from USB sticks as boot device some time ago because I lost three of them due to corruption. Every time after a FreeNAS update. But I am not so sure those USB sticks are actually garbage. They are of a good brand (Sandisk) and I have all of them in use again after cleaning them with Diskpart and reformatting them. They all work great now for general use, but I never will use them again as boot device for FreeNAS. Maybe it's just something in FreeNAS or in the update procedure that got them corrupt. Anyway it doesn't bother me because an SSD works great and it is just a small part of the over-all cost of my build.
 
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