Description

Wow, I really procrastinated on posting this build log... This thing has been done for like 2 months...

ANYWAY, The purpose of this build was to make a reasonably priced home media "server". I understand that this includes no real server grade parts, and it is a poor mans imitation at best, but she gets the job done!

This machine sits in my living room, so quiet was a must... It runs FreeNAS as the OS, and provides Windows and Mac (for my wife) file shares in addition to running a PLEX media server. This has been an incredible piece of hardware to incorporate into my house! My wife now has a place to do backups, I have all the storage I could want, and our PLEX library currently holds about 800 movies and 100 TV shows... Goodbye Netflix!

Overall I've been very happy with the performance of this machine, and the individual pieces of hardware that went in to it. That being said, here are some of my thoughts on the build...

  • CPU

I got this G3258 on sale for about $40, I bought it immediately and it sat around for about 4 months until I found a project for it! Performance has been great, and I've had no issue running two simultaneous 1080p streams within the house. For the price it's hard to beat. In its current role I won't gain much from overclocking it, but maybe if I find myself bored...

  • Cooler

Much easier to install the second time around, now that I know what I'm doing. Still a real pain in the ***, though it keeps temps. at very respectable levels.

  • RAM

Good looking, good performance. Wish I could have gone with an ECC build for FreeNAS but the prices would have put me way over budget. I went big on the RAM for when I decide to increase my storage pool, FreeNAS recommends 1GB/TB storage in the system.

  • Case

I actually enjoy the R4 more than its newer counterpart, the R5. Roomy enough for good cable management, and great airflow, but still maintains the Fractal reputation for quiet cases. I can't hear anything more than the gentle whir of air from my couch.

  • PSU

EVGA PSUs have not steered me wrong so far, and have become my go-to for power supplies. They include a great set of features for a very reasonable price point.

  • Storage

6 WD Red 3TB 5400RPM HDDs... Sweet jesus that's a beautiful amount of storage. These drives come with a great warranty from WD and I had no issues on arrival with the drives. They have the S/N stickered on the leading edge of the drives so that you can easily find faulting drives just by looking in the case, I appreciate that feature very much. They are quiet, and run fairly cool for HDDs.

  • FreeNAS

I know this isn't really part of my "build" but damn is this great software and I want to write about it... This was my first experience with FreeNAS and I'm upset that I didn't use it earlier on something. The software is easy to use with the built in wizards but provides endless customization with the advanced options, or CLI. The amount of automation is unreal; This machine checks the drives periodically for SMART errors and sends me an Email if anything is amiss, it is integrated with my UPS to auto-shutdown if needed, and I've never felt my data was in a safer place. Right now I'm running this in RAID-Z2 which means I can lose 2 drives and all my data will still be in-tact, this leaves me with about 12TB usable storage.

Overall I'm in love with my new media server, and my only regret is that I wish I could have gone with more server grade components.

Part Reviews

CPU

It doesn't get better bang for your buck than this. I wouldn't recommend this to gaming enthusiasts due to the 2-core set up, but for everyday computing or light server work this is a the golden spot.

Motherboard

A solid MoBo with an abundance of SATA connectors and a decent UEFI. Color scheme is not great... No really specific gripes with this board other than MSI makes better and I'm giving this three stars in comparison to their Gaming series boards.

Storage

Quiet, cool, low vibration. Very solid drives over-all with a great WD warranty to back them.

Power Supply

Very good PSU, plugs can be a bit of a pain to line up sometimes.

Comments

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

I love freeNAS. Its made our home server so easy to use. The jail's are easy to setup and it utilizes hardware really well. Good to see a cool NAS build once in awhile among gaming rigs!

+1

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm guessing all of those drives are in a RAID array. If so, which one?

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

RAID-Z2, similar to raid 6

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Ok, because I was thinking of maybe making a NAS or something, and wanted to know what I should be using. Would you recommend RAID 5?

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

depend of what u will stock on ur Nas after yes raid 5 it's very usefull when u have 4-5 disk of the same size and u don't want lose the data and not afraid of losing 25-25% of total size

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

They are, this uses RAID Z2 (RAID 6). Allows for 2 drive failures without any data loss.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Why not Emby :(

Nice build btw!

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

I've heard good things about Emby, but I don't think it has a FreeNAS plugin, does it?

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes there is.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice server! +1

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome cable management!

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Those hard drives need all the airflow they can get!

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Hope this build serves you well... Very bad jk lol

+1

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks!

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

You're welcome

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

This is very cool, makes me wanna build a media server with plenty of safe storage too!

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

It's definitely been an awesome experience, and into a new realm that I wasn't familiar with.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

I think that this will hold your files.

XD

Upvoted

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Indeed it will, I suspect i'll be upgrading the storage in the future though...

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

What do you mean?

I think that you have enough.

XD