For quite some time I've been wanting to build a simple home NAS for backing up important data and to use as a Steam game files cache. Well, I finally got around to building one.

Was on a fairly tight budget, so I had to make due with some parts I had bought some time ago and hadn't used yet. Hence the Z170 board with a G4400. ;)

The 3x 2TB HDDs are setup in RAID5 with approx 3.5TB total storage capacity. I did this because I wanted stability and redundancy. I've had HDDs fail in the past and lost data because of it. With RAID5, if one of those drives fails, I can simply replace it and not loose any data. It's not a crazy amount of storage, but again, it's what I could afford and to be honest; it's plenty for what I need.

Why did I spend $50 on fans? because I want the system to stay cool and I wanted high-quality ball-bearing fans that will not fail with long-term use.

The PSU is overkill, yes. But it has lots of SATA power connectors for future expansion. I plan to add a 2nd RAID5 array in a year or so, depending on how much of the first array is used up over time. This is also a decent quality PSU that is still like brand-new condition and was barely used when I got it, despite it's age.

4GB ram seems to be enough thus far. I haven't seen it capped out yet (most I saw was 3GB usage). I'm not using this NAS for virtualization or anything fancy, so it's good enough for now.

The motherboard I had lying around and has the RAID support I needed. The G4400 was cheap and does the job just fine.

FreeNAS is pretty awesome software. I haven't had much experience with servers and networks, but their software and documentation is fairly easy to understand if you take your time. ;)

The case is the coolest thing about this build, IMO. Bought it for next to nothing a couple years ago and have been itching to build something in it. It was the perfect fit. It's old-school, yet still hold modern components and has such a nice understated and sleek lines. Was surprised to find it has a removable dust filter in the front intake as well. Nice job, Antec!

Anyways, there you have it. Nothing special, but I'm proud of it and it should serve me well for the next few years. :)

Thanks for looking. Cheers.

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  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Contemplating between building either one of these bad bois or go with a Synology 2-bay. I love the build, especially when it has a specific purpose to it. Looks clean too! +1

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks. I had looked into other solutions like pre-built NAS units, but when I considered the cost, it was just too much for my budget. I had a number of these parts lying around and that were well-suited for it, so that's the route I took. I also wanted to learn how to setup a NAS from the software side as well, hence my choice to go DIY.

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Those old school Antec cases are seriously awesome and I need to find one in good condition to do a sleeper PC build in. +1

Oh yeah, what's the benefit of using it as a Steam game files cache?

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks, yeah, they don't make 'em like they used to. :) I have pretty slow internet where we live (12mbps down/2 up) and limited storage on my gaming system. So if I want to install a new game, or re-install a game I had previously uninstalled, it takes forever to download. It takes over 2 full days to download a 50GB game, for example. So by downloading and storing the games on this NAS, I can re-install them much faster in the future and not have to re-download. ;) It also makes it easier and faster to install the same games on another PC in the house.

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