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HTPCNAS Plex server box

by Kamifushou



Date Published

April 3, 2016

Date Built

March 19, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

3.2 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

21.0° C


My goal of the whole project was to build a NAS for back up and a plex server Htpc all in one to unify all my media and rip all eve/blurays I had that didn't come with a digital copy.

I wanted a nice small form factor case to minimize size on my media shelf. I was also hoping to use a noctua nh-d15 cooler that I have lying around. The node 304 was compatible and had a unusually high slots for hdds for the size. Unfortunately once I started on the build it was obvious I couldn't use the larger CPU cooler with the amount of storage I wanted so I had to get the smaller noctua but slapped on a spare 140 mm fan I also had unused.

I went with i5 skylake for power needed for max transcoding and reduced power usage; got a great price for the 6500. Choice in motherboard was very limited since I needed the LGA 1151 socket and enough raid ready sata ports to max hdds if I wanted to. It's a great mother board and does give the option to overclock if I wanted to but I'm not atm. Also can potentially get a pcie m2 boot drive if I ever want to max out the hdds in the system.

For a boot drive I just took my old ocz from my main rig that is my smallest ssd. I decided upon the hgst drives for most reliability based on the backblaze data. At least the 4tb drives are definitely the best, unfortunately there is less data on the 6 tb but given the limited space I needs bigger drives. I put the 4 that drives in raid 1 for document and photo backup and security while the 6tb drives are in raid 0.

Putting it all together wasn't bad but cable management got tight but manageable. I did borrow from great ideas here in pcpartpicker builds between the front mount of ssd and electrical tape to hold up the fan cables going to the built in controller on the left side. I did ultimately decide to flip the stock fan orientation to max air flow onto the drives. I think it might make it more positive pressure too but not sure about that. I did add a rear dust filter though unfortunately it will be annoying to clean with the need to remove fans completely to get at (it's screwed onto the rear intake). Would love people's opinion if the reverse air flow is better or not

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

Great cooler that's amazingly quiet. The fractal fans are the noisiest in my build. You can attach a normal noctua 140 mm to it - it does stretch the clip but very secure.


Great motherboard and allows for 6 sata raid. Rough that the m.2 drive is on the back of the case doesn't have a cut out there. i can't comment on the overclocking ability since I haven't tried it yet


Tiny but holds a ton of storage and solidly built. Also lets you tear it down to bare shell to build in


Light yet solidly built. The keys are a bit mushy but not too bad- clearly not for gaming. The touch pad is decent but gesture capability limited. Still haven't found a third party software to expand this. Not a big deal since most times I remote in to control most of the functions of my NAS Htpc I use it on

Comments Sorted by:

build.a.pc 1 point 36 months ago

Nice build, description, and reviews! FYI: LGA 1151 is the socket, not the chipset. Z170 is the chipset. +1!

Kamifushou submitter 3 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

oo thanks fixed

rck1984 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

+1 for getting that big air-cooler tower in that tiny case, i know how difficult it can be to build in such tiny cases.

FACUNDO 13 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

Nice server!


vitexo 5 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

You might want to change your case fans direction. they are all pulling air into the case. You should have 2 front one for intake and the large one on the back for exhaust. This will improve your airflow and temps

Overall, nice build and solid part choice! +1

Kamifushou submitter 3 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

Actually if you notice the front fans that on stock are facing as intake I reversed so they are now exhaust - if you read the description I reversed all of them so intake through the rear exhaust in the front. I think one of the pics I accidentally had one of the cpu cooler fans the wrong way which I fixed otherwise they all point towards the front. Whether that improves airflow through the hdds or not I am not sure. I did it intentionally and have a dust filter added to the rear too. Thanks though!

vitexo 5 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

Based on your pics you have an intake in rear and an exhaust in the front. Usually its the opposite.


This is your build and if it makes you happy, thats all it matters:)

Kamifushou submitter 3 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

I discussed it in the description. I chose it that way with the huge fans on my cooler in the back fan. Thought it might make a better airflow that way and positive air pressure. I'm testing to see ultimately if it reduces dust build up. Temps seem fine either way

yanksno1 1 point 29 months ago

How's the CPU for plex transcoding (how many streams/quality can you get)? Really nice build!

Kamifushou submitter 3 Builds 1 point 29 months ago

Thanks! I never tested how many streams I get since I'm pretty much the only person who ends up streaming it. Over wifi easily get the full quality of bluray rips. Still depends more on my connection more than the cpu though