Qnap or Synology NAS vs custom build server

Qnap or Synology NAS vs custom build server

Firstly, I watch your YouTube channel all the time and think it’s great!

I’m in a bit of a bind and I’m hoping you can advise me on this.

I currently have a VERY loud old JBOD living in the wardrobe in my bedroom, hooked up to a Mac mini running PLEX.

I’ve recently installed a network cabinet/rack in a cupboard in my dining room (only place I could put it) and run cat7 throughout the house myself.

I would like to retire the JBOD and install a rackmounted 1u or 2u unit to store media on so I can sleep without the sound of fans running! 😅

But… All the options for rackmounted NAS are really expensive. I’d ideally like 4 LAN ports for LAG to facilitate seamless streaming to multiple devices via Plex. The only Synology’s I’ve seen that support this are around the £1000 mark and I’d ideally like to spend a quarter of that comfortably and half that if I really have to!

I was considering the Synology rs816 but it seems it’s no longer available and there’s doesn’t seem to be either a decent second hand market or a sale of these at a reduced price once new models become available.

I’m wondering, if it’s more economical to by better quality components, a 1u or 2u rackmount chassis, an AMD Ryzen 7 1800X, 128gb of RAM, 1tb internal SSD (which are pretty cheap now) etc. and build a custom server/NAS?

Wouldn’t I end up with a much better system than a NAS purchased for the equivalent cost?


If you build your own server, most certainly the performance / price will be comparably much lower. The negatives about custom made system is warranty. With Qnap or Synology etc. warranty covers all components. In customer made system you would need to keep receipts for every single component if it fails.
The other biggest negative is software. You can use FreeNAS opensource software, but you will lack a lot of functionality and support as well as software updates you would get from well know NAS brands.
But if you have a time and passion you can build your own system, there is nothing wrong with it.

I hope this helps.


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