(UPDATED) Best CPU+Motherboard Combo for Your M-ITX NAS Build – ECC, PCIe Gen 5, 4×4 NVMe and More

CPU and Motherboard Bundles to Build a DiY NAS (UPDATED)

It’s fair to say that the DIY NAS construction journey has seen remarkable simplification over the past ten years. With a variety of custom cases hitting the market, designed to help you create a streamlined personal cloud, and the advent of bundled compact ITX motherboards that streamline the assembly, crafting your own NAS is more accessible than ever. Nonetheless, it’s not entirely plug-and-play; while assembling the hardware has become more straightforward, selecting compatible components remains a technical challenge, often mired in jargon. For those looking to build a NAS tailored to specific needs, whether it’s high performance, media hosting with Plex, business applications, or personal use, I have a few CPU and motherboard pairings to suggest. These combinations are chosen with different user priorities in mind, ensuring that your build-your-own NAS project aligns with your intended use.

In a rush? Let’s Cut to the chase!

If you’re in a rush and simply want to know about the best CPU and motherboard combo to build your best DIY NAS system, below, you can find direct links to each of these bundles that can be purchased predominantly on AliExpress, but some of these options are also available on retailers such as Amazon and Newegg. If you were going to shop at these retailers anyway, why not use the links below as it will ensure that we act as comparers could earn a small fee from these shops. It allows us to keep doing what we do.

 

Here are ALL the Motherboard+CPU Combos that we cover in this article:

  • (The Best) i3-N305 M-ITX BoardCheck AliExpress ($289-349 with Memory) HERE and Amazon HERE
  • (x4 m.2 @ Gen 4×4) The Minisforum AR900i CPU + M-ITX Motherboard Combo ($399) Amazon HERE
  • (Best for PLEX) Erying 13th Gen i9 Combo 14C / 20T $459  HERE
  • (Gen 5 M-ITX) MINISFORUM BD770i ITX Motherboard $489 (AliExpress) HERE and $399 (Amazon) HERE
  • (Plex Alternative #1) Erying 12th Gen I9 Combo 14C / 20T $389 HERE
  • (ECC M-ITX Combo) CWWK 8-Bay / 9-Bay Board AMD-7735HS/7840HS/8845HS/7940HS $489 (AliExpress) HERE
  • (Plex Alternative #2) Erying 11th Gen i7 8C / 16T = $262  HERE
  • (Best Storage) X99 Motherboard + 32GB RAM = $158 HERE or E5-2680 V.4 CPU + 32GB RAM = $176  HERE
  • (Best Value) Intel N6005 + Motherboard = $229 HERE
  • (Best Value EXTRA) Intel N6005 + Motherboard + 8GB RAM + 128GB SSD = $275 HERE
  • AMAZON – Intel N6005 + Motherboard = $169 HERE

ECC CPU+Motherboard M-ITX Combo – The CWWK 8-Bay / 9-Bay Board AMD-7735HS/7840HS/8845HS/7940HS

Spec Highlights4x AMD MobileRyzen Options, SODIMM DDR5 Slots×2, ECC Supported, 2×M.2 2280 4×2 SSD Slots, PCIe 4×8 connector ×1 (x16 Physical), SFF-8643 x2 Connectors for SATA III, 4x 2.5GbE, USB 4 (20Gbs Limits) , Internal USB 2.0  $489 on AliExpress and Check on Amazon

The combination of the AMD “Zen 4” architecture Ryzen™ 5/7/9 series processors with the Minisforum motherboard offers a high-performance platform that is particularly suitable for building a Network Attached Storage (NAS) server. The Mini-ITX form factor of the motherboard, compatible with 1700 series CPU coolers, ensures that it can fit into compact NAS cases while providing adequate cooling for the powerful processors housed within. In the realm of NAS servers, storage options and connectivity are key. The motherboard’s two M.2 NVMe (PCIe 4.0 x2) slots are ideal for high-speed storage drives that can handle intense read and write operations typical in a NAS environment. The inclusion of 2 * SFF-8643 sockets, which support up to four connections each and a total of 9 SATA 3.0, is an advanced feature that provides flexibility and scalability for storage expansion. This is particularly beneficial for NAS setups where large storage pools and redundancy (such as RAID configurations) are important.

Network connectivity is another critical aspect of NAS servers, and this motherboard delivers with its 4 * Intel i226-V 2.5G RJ45 UDE network ports, allowing for high-speed data transfer and network redundancy or link aggregation if required. However, the lack of 10GbE port might limit the network throughput if higher speeds are needed, in which case the PCIe Gen 5×16 slot could be employed for an additional network interface card, although this might be considered an inefficient use of this high-bandwidth expansion slot. Lastly, the wide array of USB ports, including USB3.2 Gen2 Type-C with a 20Gbps rate and additional USB3.2 and USB2.0 ports, adds to the versatility of this motherboard. The built-in set of USB3.2 pin sockets also allow for further expansion and connectivity options, essential for a NAS that may need to accommodate a variety of peripherals or provide additional data transfer interfaces.

Feature Category Specifications
Processor Support Equipped with AMD “Zen 4” architecture Ryzen™ 5/7/9 series high-performance processors
Form Factor 17×17 standard Mini-ITX form factor compatible with 1700 series CPU coolers
Expansion Slots 1 PCI-E x16 slot PCIe 4.0 x8 signal supports expansion of graphics card/network card, etc.
Storage 2 * M.2 NVMe (PCIe 4.0 x2) slots 2280 size
SATA Support 2 * SFF-8643 sockets support one to four via cable and support 9 SATA 3.0
Memory Dual-channel SO-DIMM DDR5 slot supports 5600MHz backward compatibility by default<br>Dual-channel SO-DIMM DDR5 slot supports server-grade ECC notebook strip
Networking 4 * Intel i226-V 2.5G RJ45 UDE network ports support AllinOne and other applications
Video Output HDMI+DP+Type-C triple display output supports 4K@60Hz
USB Ports 3 * USB3.2+1 Type-C (USB4) interface 20Gbps rate<br>Built-in set of USB3.2 pin sockets can be connected to the panel through connecting cables<br>Built-in two USB2.0 sockets support U disk encryption and other applications and partial system boot

Given these specifications, the Minisforum motherboard with an AMD Ryzen processor is well-equipped for a NAS server build, offering a balance of processing power, high-speed storage capabilities, and robust connectivity options.

Where to Buy the CWWK 8-Bay / 9-Bay Board AMD-7735HS/7840HS/8845HS/7940HS Motherboard Combo:
  • Check AliExpress ($489 with Memory) HERE
  • Check Amazon HERE

Best Gen 5 CPU+Motherboard Combo – MINISFORUM BD770i ITX Motherboard

Spec Highlights – BD770i-AMD Ryzen 7 7745HX, 8 Cores/16 Threads (5.1 GHz) OR BD790i-AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX, 16 Cores/32 Threads (up to 5.4 GHz), SODIMM DDR5 Slots×2 Max 64GB, 2×M.2 2280 PCIe5.0 SSD Slots, PCIe 5.0 X16 connector, 1x 2.5GbE and Lack of SATA! $489 on AliExpress and $399 on Amazon

The Minisforum BD770i and BD790i motherboard and CPU combo represents a cutting-edge solution for enthusiasts and professionals seeking powerful performance in a small footprint. With the BD770i featuring the AMD Ryzen™ 7 7745HX and the BD790i equipped with the AMD Ryzen™ 9 7945HX, these systems offer unparalleled processing power that caters to a wide range of demanding tasks, from advanced computational workloads to intensive multitasking scenarios. The AMD Radeon™ 610M GPU, integrated into both models, while not designed for high-end gaming, capably supports everyday graphics needs, including casual gaming, video streaming, and content creation, making this combo a versatile choice for various computing needs.

The inclusion of PCIe 5.0 support stands out as a significant advantage, offering double the bandwidth of its predecessor, PCIe 4.0. This enhancement ensures that users can take advantage of the fastest available SSDs and expansion cards, dramatically reducing load times and facilitating quicker data access. This forward-thinking feature ensures that the system is prepared to handle future technological advancements, making it a wise investment for tech enthusiasts looking to stay ahead of the curve. However, it’s important to note the absence of traditional SATA ports, which means users with SATA drives will need to consider alternatives such as SATA M.2 adapters or adding a PCIe card to accommodate these devices. This requirement might necessitate additional planning and investment for those who wish to integrate existing storage solutions into their new setup.

Specification BD770i BD790i
Processor AMD Ryzen™ 7 7745HX, 8 Cores/16 Threads<br>(32M Cache, up to 5.1 GHz) AMD Ryzen™ 9 7945HX, 16 Cores/32 Threads<br>(64M Cache, up to 5.4 GHz)
GPU AMD Radeon™ 610M AMD Radeon™ 610M
Memory DDR5 Dual channel<br>(SODIMM Slots×2, up to 5200 MT/s, Max 64GB) DDR5 Dual channel<br>(SODIMM Slots×2, up to 5200 MT/s, Max 64GB)
Storage 2×M.2 2280 PCIe5.0 SSD Slots 2×M.2 2280 PCIe5.0 SSD Slots
Expansion Slot PCIe 5.0 X16 connector ×1 PCIe 5.0 X16 connector ×1
Wireless Connectivity M.2 2230 Key E Slot M.2 2230 Key E Slot
Video Output HDMI2.0 ×1<br>DisplayPort1.4 ×1<br>USB-C ×1 HDMI2.0 ×1<br>DisplayPort1.4 ×1<br>USB-C ×1
Audio Output HDMI2.0 ×1<br>DisplayPort1.4 ×1<br>USB-C ×1<br>Line Out ×1 HDMI2.0 ×1<br>DisplayPort1.4 ×1<br>USB-C ×1<br>Line Out ×1
Ethernet RJ45 2.5G Ethernet Port×1 RJ45 2.5G Ethernet Port×1
USB Ports USB3.2 Gen2 Type-C Port ×1 (Alt DP)<br>USB3.2 Gen1 Type-A Port ×2<br>USB2.0 Type-A Port ×2 USB3.2 Gen2 Type-C Port ×1 (Alt DP)<br>USB3.2 Gen1 Type-A Port ×2<br>USB2.0 Type-A Port ×2
I/O Ports 4-pin CPU Fan header ×1<br>4-pin System Fan header ×2<br>4-pin SSD Fan header ×1<br>USB 3.2 Gen 1 header ×1<br>Front Panel Audio header ×1<br>System Panel header ×1 4-pin CPU Fan header ×1<br>4-pin System Fan header ×2<br>4-pin SSD Fan header ×1<br>USB 3.2 Gen 1 header ×1<br>Front Panel Audio header ×1<br>System Panel header ×1
Form Factor Mini-ITX Form Factor (170x170x1.6mm) Mini-ITX Form Factor (170x170x1.6mm)

A notable constraint in this powerful combo is the provision of a single RJ45 2.5G Ethernet port. While this port offers a solid network connection suitable for most applications, users with specialized networking needs or those looking to expand their network connectivity may find this limitation challenging. The necessity to potentially use the high-speed PCIe 5.0 slot for a network interface card upgrade, just to augment networking capabilities, could be seen as an inefficient use of this high-bandwidth resource. This situation highlights a trade-off between the advanced PCIe support and the flexibility in networking expansion, prompting users to carefully consider their priorities when planning their system configuration.

Despite these considerations, the overall package offered by the Minisforum BD770i and BD790i is compelling. The combination of cutting-edge CPU performance, robust PCIe 5.0 support, and a variety of connectivity options, including USB 3.2 ports and multiple video outputs, provides a solid foundation for a high-performance, compact computing solution. #

Furthermore, the support for up to 64GB of DDR5 memory and the inclusion of two M.2 2280 PCIe 5.0 SSD slots offer ample room for memory and storage expansion, enhancing the system’s capability to handle future needs. This blend of high-end features, coupled with the Mini-ITX form factor’s space efficiency, makes the BD770i and BD790i an attractive option for users seeking a powerful, yet manageable, computing platform.

 

Where to Buy the MINISFORUM BD770i ITX Motherboard Combo:
  • Check AliExpress ($489 with Memory) HERE
  • Check Amazon ($399) HERE

 


Best CPU+ Motherboard for a Premium Feature but Low Power Consumption NAS – The i3-N305 M-ITX Board

Spec Highlights – i3-N305, 4x Intel i226-V 2.5G Nics, 2x M.2 NVMe. 6x SATA, 1*DDR5 SODIMM, HDMI2.0 + DP – $289 on AliExpress

Currently, the “build your own” favorite across many forums, the new Intel N305 processor, an 8-core, eight-thread i3 processor, comes pre-installed on a Mini-ITX board. It not only provides a remarkably low 7-watt TDP when needed but also offers significant scalability in terms of both clock speed and power efficiency. The $289 N305 version of the CPU and Motherboard combo presents a practical and economical choice for commercial use (making it the perfect upgrade/alternative to the Topton N6005 / N5105 that was so popular last year for first time NAS DiY’ers). It is equipped with the Intel® Core™ i3-N305 Processor, which is a part of the Alder Lake-N series. This processor boasts eight cores and eight threads, with a max turbo frequency of 3.80 GHz, offering ample computing power for everyday tasks and certain commercial applications. The processor is fabricated using Intel 7 lithography technology, which is indicative of its advanced and efficient design.

Memory support on this combination is versatile, with the motherboard supporting a SO-DIMM DDR5 memory slot, compatible with frequencies of 4800/5200/5600MHz. Although the processor supports a maximum memory size of 16 GB, which is a consideration to keep in mind, the motherboard can handle up to 32 GB, potentially allowing for future upgrades if the board’s capacity is indeed supported by later CPU models or firmware updates.

The integrated graphics, Intel® UHD Graphics with 32 Execution Units, can dynamically operate at up to 1.25 GHz and support 4K content at 60Hz, making it suitable for high-definition displays and basic graphical tasks. Here’s the specification of the $289 N305 version of the CPU+Motherboard combo:

Specification Detail
Model Number NAS-N100-N305
Processor Brand Intel
Processor Models Intel® Alder Lake-N i3-N305 (up to 3.8 GHz)
Type MINI PC / PC Stick
Origin Mainland China
Brand Name YSJMNPC
Use Commercial
Memory – Support notebook DDR5 technology
– 1 SO-DIMM DDR5 slot
– Compatible with 4800/5200/5600MHz
– Max capacity: 32GB
Storage – 6 x SATA3.0 6Gb/s interface
– 2 x M.2 NVMe 2280
Graphics Card Integrated Card (depending on processor model)
Network Card 4 x Intel i226-V 2.5G RJ45 network port
I/O Panel – 2 x USB 2.0
– 1 x USB 3.0
– 1 x Type-C (2.0 rate)
– 1 x HDMI
– 1 x DP
– 4 x RJ45 2.5G network port
– 1 x AUDIO 3.5mm interface
Motherboard Features – Matte black PCB
– Moisture-free fiber 8-layer circuit
– Full protection (USB, audio, network)
TDP 9-15W
Structure MINI-ITX (17.0cm x 17.0cm)
Capacitor Design All solid capacitor
Expansion Slots 1 PCIe x1 (shared with 2nd M.2)
Onboard Interface – F_PANEL pin
– TPM pin (compatible with ASUS TPM module)
– USB2.0 pin
– CPU_FAN 4-pin (temperature control)
– SYS_FAN 4-pin (temperature control)
– 24+4 ATX power interface
Cooling – Compatible with 115X radiators
– Silent temperature-controlled radiator
– Support for two high-performance radiators

In terms of connectivity, the combo is well-equipped with a variety of interfaces, including multiple USB ports with different standards, HDMI 2.1, and DisplayPort 1.4 for video output, and an Intel i226-V 2.5G RJ45 network port for fast wired internet connections.

The inclusion of PCIe lanes and M.2 slots provides additional expansion capabilities, allowing for further customization and the addition of peripherals or storage solutions. The motherboard’s MINI-ITX form factor makes it a compact solution that can fit into small cases, suitable for workspaces with limited room. EASILY the easiest choice of all the NAS Mobo+CPU options on this list, as one of the newest, lowest in price – yet impressively powerful, despite its lower TDP.

Where to Buy the i3-N305 CPU + M-ITX Motherboard Combo:
  • Check AliExpress ($289-349 with Memory) HERE
  • Check Amazon HERE

Best CPU+ Motherboard+ Memory Combo for a Business File Server – The X99 Motherboard Kit (ITX)

Spec Highlights – Business X99 Motherboard Combo ITX LGA2011, C612 for NAS Router+File Server, 6×2.5GbE I226, 10xSATA, 1x M.2 (OS), 14Core / 28 Thread Intel Xeon E5-V3 V4- $176 on AliExpress

This combination is ideal for business users needing power and scalability. The X99 motherboard with an older Xeon CPU balances performance, connectivity, and storage expansion. It supports 10 SATA drives and a M.2 NVMe slot, alongside 15 gigabits of network bandwidth across six 2.5G Ethernet ports. The NAS CPU+Memory combo anchored by the Intel Xeon E5-2680 v4 is a robust solution for a NAS file server. The CPU’s 14 cores and 28 threads are engineered for multitasking and can efficiently manage the demands of multiple simultaneous data transactions, which is a common requirement in NAS setups. The motherboard’s ten SATA ports and an M.2 NVMe slot offer versatile and ample storage options, facilitating both high-capacity and high-speed data storage solutions. This combination of CPU power and storage flexibility makes it an excellent choice for a NAS system.

owever, the Intel Xeon E5-2680 v4 processor’s launch date in Q1’16 might give pause to some users considering the latest advancements in processor technology. While newer CPUs may offer improved power efficiency and the benefit of ongoing support from Intel, the E5-2680 v4 still holds its ground as a reliable workhorse. Its architecture, although not the newest, delivers steadfast performance which, alongside its competitive pricing, presents an exceptional value proposition for budget-conscious setups or where cutting-edge efficiency is not the primary concern.

Specification Details
Processor Intel Xeon E5-2680 v4, 14 cores, up to 3.30 GHz Turbo
Chipset Intel C612
Memory Support 2x DDR4 DIMM slots, up to 64 GB, supports ECC
Storage Options 1x M.2 NVMe, 10x SATA Ports
Expansion 1x PCIe 3.0 x16
Network 6x Intel i226 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet
Power Supply ATX 24 Pin + 8 Pin
Video Output VGA
RAID Support RAID 0/1/5/10
Form Factor Mini-ITX, CEB
Socket Type LGA 2011-3
Launch Date 2013
LAN Speed Up to 2500Mbps
Audio 2.1 Channels

In essence, for organizations or users seeking a cost-effective yet powerful NAS solution, this CPU and motherboard combo remains compelling. The Intel Xeon E5-2680 v4, despite its age, is a testament to enduring performance in server environments. Users leveraging this processor for a NAS will find it to be a cost-effective solution that capably handles storage demands, making it an excellent value for its price point. To explore more about this processor’s capabilities and see how it might fit into your NAS plans, you can visit the Intel specifications page.

Where to Buy the X99 ITX Motherboard Combo in 3 Configs Here:
  • Check AliExpress:
  • X99 Motherboard +  E5-2680 V.4 CPU = $129  HERE
  • X99 Motherboard + 32GB RAM = $158 HERE
  • X99 Motherboard +  E5-2680 V.4 CPU + 32GB RAM = $176  HERE


Best CPU+ Motherboard for High Speed M.2 NVMe Slots + PLEX – The Erying 13900HK CPU+Mobo Combo

Spec Highlights – ERYING DIY ITX Desktop Motherboard Set with Onboard 14 Core / 20 Thread CPU i9-13900HK, 3x M.2 NVMe (Gen 4 and Gen 3), PCIe 4×8 Slot, 2.5G+1G Port, USB-C, DDR5 Memory $419 on AliExpress

Designed for NAS builders focusing on media servers or intensive computing tasks. The Erying i9 combo, equipped with a 13th Gen Intel Core processor and a Mini-ITX motherboard, features three M.2 NVMe slots and is optimized for graphic-intensive operations. It’s ideal for Plex servers and virtualization.

The Intel Core i9-13900HK processor bundled with this motherboard is a top-tier choice for a NAS setup, especially for a Plex Media Server. Its high-speed multi-core performance, reaching up to 5.40 GHz with Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology, is ideal for on-the-fly transcoding, ensuring seamless media streaming across devices. This is particularly beneficial for users who require their NAS to handle high-resolution video transcoding, a task that the i9-13900HK can manage with ease due to its robust processing capabilities and advanced integrated graphics.

The motherboard’s triple M.2 NVMe slots are a game-changer for NAS configurations, offering not just ample storage potential but also blistering data access speeds. NVMe technology excels in high-demand scenarios, such as multiple simultaneous accesses to the NAS, which is common in VM / Container environments. Users can leverage these slots to set up a RAID configuration, allowing for either performance enhancement through striping or data redundancy for added security.

 

Moreover, the Intel Core i9-13900HK comes with Intel’s UHD Graphics, which supports 4K resolution at 60Hz over HDMI and DisplayPort outputs. This graphical prowess, in combination with the processor’s ability to support fast memory, adds to the NAS’s capability as a potent media server that can handle 4K content playback and transcoding without breaking a sweat.

Specification Detail
Processor 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900HK, up to 5.40 GHz
Graphics Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Memory Support DDR5, 2 slots, up to 96GB
Storage Options 3x M.2 slots (NVMe), 2x SATA 3 Ports
Expansion Slots 1x PCIe 4.0 x4, 1x PCIe 4.0 x8
Network 2x Onboard RJ45, WiFi
Audio 5.1 Channels
Back I/O Ports 2x USB 3.2/3.1 Gen 1, DisplayPort, 4x USB 2.0, HDMI 2.0, 3x Audio Jacks
USB Support USB 2.0, USB 3.0
RAID Support No
Form Factor Mini-ITX
Chipset Intel Others
Socket Type Onboard CPU
Brand Name ERYING
Origin Mainland China
Certifications RoHS, FCC, CE

Finally, while this CPU+Motherboard combo is positioned as an advanced solution for NAS setups, its high-end specifications suggest that it is overqualified for just storage purposes. The presence of the latest connectivity options, robust I/O support, and high-bandwidth LAN ports make it well-suited for a variety of other intensive applications, including gaming, content creation, and design. This versatility ensures that the investment in such a setup can be justified across multiple use cases beyond a typical NAS. For detailed processor specifications and capabilities, further information can be explored on Intel’s official product specifications page.

Bottom Line, there are going to be users who are looking at how expensive ‘turnkey’ NAS solutions can cost, then see what just the hardware parts would cost in a DiY alternative. For example, below is the cost of a fully specced out QNAP Intel Core build vs the cost fo JUST the CPU and Motherboard in the Erying board:

Needless to say, this is not a completely fair comparison. The QNAP includes all the building, the software, the PSU, cables, case, testing and all under a single warranty. Still, it IS food for thought for those that are happy to build their own NAS and save some $$$s.

Where to Buy the Erying Intel Mobo Combo (3 Versions):
  • Check AliExpress:
  • Erying 13th Gen i9 Combo 14C / 20T $459  HERE
  • Erying 12th Gen I9 Combo 14C / 20T $389 HERE
  • Erying 11th Gen i7 8C / 16T = $262  HERE

C = Cores , T = Threads


Best POWER + Storage CPU+Motherboard M-ITX Combo – The Intel 13th Gen The Minisforum AR900i (4x M.2 4×4 and 5×16 PCIe)

Spec HighlightsIntel® Core™ i9-13900HX Processor, 24 C/32 T (36M Cache, up to 5.4 GHz) Intel® UHD Graphics for 13th Gen Intel® Processors, SODIMM DDR5 Slots×2, up to 5600 MT/s, Max 64GB, 4×M.2 2280 PCIe4.0 x4, SSD Slots PCIe 5.0 X16 connector, 1x 2.5GbE and Lack of SATA AGAIN!   Check on AliExpress and $399 on Amazon

The Minisforum AR900i motherboard, in combination with the potent Intel® Core™ i9-13900HX CPU, forms a formidable base for power users. The AR900i is a Mobile Desktop (MoDT) motherboard that leverages the might of the 13th Gen Intel® flagship CPU, providing an exceptional 24 cores and 32 threads for heavy multitasking and demanding applications. Notably, the four M.2 2280 PCIe4.0 SSD slots are designed for rapid storage with RAID capabilities, reflecting a setup intended for high-speed operations and data security. The motherboard’s inclusion of SFF-8643 connectors represents an innovative shift away from static SATA ports, offering a dynamic and scalable solution for storage expansion. This approach is particularly beneficial for custom builds that require a neat cable management system and the flexibility to adjust storage configurations with ease. The PCIe 5.0 X16 slot on this motherboard is a forward-thinking feature, catering to the latest and most powerful GPUs and ensuring that the system is ready for the next generation of graphics and expansion cards.

However, it’s important to consider the networking capabilities of the AR900i. With only a single RJ45 2.5G Ethernet port, users who need enhanced networking may have to invest in a PCIe 5.0 compatible NIC, potentially sacrificing the valuable high-speed slot that could be used for other high-performance components. This choice underscores the need to balance the motherboard’s impressive storage and expansion capabilities with networking needs. The AR900i represents Minisforum’s dedication to compact, high-performance computing solutions. With support for triple-screen displays up to 8K, built-in AX210 wireless card for WiFi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.3, this motherboard offers comprehensive connectivity options for a variety of uses, from gaming to professional creative workstations.

Specification Category Details
Processor Intel® Core™ i9-13900HX, 24 Cores/32 Threads (36M Cache, up to 5.4 GHz)
GPU Intel® UHD Graphics for 13th Gen Intel® Processors
Chipset Intel® HM770 Chipset
Memory DDR5 Dual channel (SODIMM Slots×2, up to 5600 MT/s, Max 64GB)
Storage 4×M.2 2280 PCIe4.0 SSD Slots
Expansion Slot PCIe 5.0 X16 connector ×1
Wireless Connectivity M.2 2230 Key E Slot
Video Output HDMI2.0 ×1, DisplayPort1.4 ×1, USB-C ×1
Audio Output HDMI2.0 ×1, DisplayPort1.4 ×1, USB-C ×1, Line Out ×1
Ethernet RJ45 2.5G Ethernet Port×1
USB Ports USB3.2 Gen2 Type-C Port ×1 (Alt DP), USB3.2 Gen2 Type-A Port ×2, USB2.0 Type-A Port ×2
I/O Ports 4-pin CPU Fan header ×1, 4-pin System Fan header ×2, 4-pin SSD Fan header ×1, USB 3.2 Gen 2 header ×1, Front Panel Audio header ×1, System Panel header ×1
Form Factor Mini-ITX Form Factor (170x170mm)

The Intel® Core i9-13900HX processor, with its 24 cores and 32 threads, is a powerhouse suitable for a DIY NAS setup geared towards enthusiasts and professionals requiring robust performance for tasks such as media transcoding, file serving, and hosting complex databases. The processor’s 36M cache and peak speeds of up to 5.4 GHz ensure that multiple operations can be handled efficiently, supporting a smooth and responsive network storage experience. The addition of Intel UHD Graphics for 13th Gen Intel® Processors also allows for hardware-accelerated video encoding and decoding, which can be a significant advantage for a NAS serving as a media server. In terms of memory, the system’s support for DDR5 dual-channel RAM, with speeds up to 5600 MT/s and a maximum capacity of 64GB, provides ample bandwidth and storage for running a NAS operating system along with any additional services. This is particularly important for a NAS that may be handling simultaneous data-intensive tasks. The four M.2 2280 PCIe4.0 SSD slots offer high-speed storage options, ideal for caching or fast data access needs, enhancing the overall performance and speed of the NAS.

The connectivity options of this setup are also noteworthy. The motherboard’s Mini-ITX form factor is well-suited for NAS builds, where space efficiency is often a priority. The inclusion of a PCIe 5.0 X16 expansion slot allows for additional upgrades, such as adding a dedicated network interface card for improved network throughput or additional storage controllers if the four M.2 slots are insufficient. The onboard 2.5G Ethernet port provides a faster-than-gigabit connection, beneficial for transferring large files over the network. With a comprehensive range of I/O ports, including USB3.2 Gen2 and USB-C, the system can accommodate a variety of peripherals and external drives, making it a versatile choice for a DIY NAS setup.

 

Where to Buy the Intel 13th Gen i9 The Minisforum AR900i CPU + M-ITX Motherboard Combo:
  • Check AliExpress ($289-349 with Memory) HERE
  • Check Amazon ($399 NOW) HERE

 

 



Best Cheap CPU+MoBo+SSD+RAM Combo – The Topton N6005 CPU+Mobo Combo

Spec Highlights – Topton NAS Motherboard N6005, 4x Intel i226-V 2.5G Nics, Dual M.2 NVMe, Six SATA3.0, 2*DDR4 SODIMM, HDMI2.0, Mini ITX / M-ITX- $261 on AliExpress ($399 for 32GB DDR4 RAM and 1TB M.2 NVMe Included – see image below)

The Topton N6005 combo offers excellent value, combining an Intel Pentium N6005 processor, motherboard, 16GB RAM, and an NVMe OS SSD. Its popularity stems from its low cost and high performance, suitable for a variety of DIY NAS builds.

Component Specification
CPU Integrated Jasper Lake Intel Celeron N6005
RAM 2x SO-DIMM DDR4 slots, up to 64GB (2400/2666/2933MHz)
Storage 2x M.2 NVMe 2280 slots (PCIe 3.0 x1), 6x SATA 3.0 ports
Network 4x Intel i226-V 2.5Gbps network interfaces
Form Factor Mini-ITX (17.0 cm x 17.0 cm)
System Support Microsoft® Windows 10/11 64-bit, Linux
Main Characteristics – Matte Black PCB
– High-density moisture-proof fiber circuit board
– Full protection (USB, audio source, network interface)
GPU Integrated Intel UHD Graphics (24EUs for N5105, 32EUs for N6005)
IO Ports 2x USB 3.0, 4x USB 2.0, 1x HDMI, 1x DP
LAN 4x RJ-45 2.5G NET
Additional Features – Auto power-on, Wake-On-LAN, PXE support
Structure Solid Capacitor Design

Priced at $261 on AliExpress, and $399 when bundled with 32GB DDR4 RAM and a 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD, the Topton N6005 motherboard combo stands out for its affordability. This price point makes it an accessible entry for enthusiasts and professionals alike who are looking to build a high-performance NAS without incurring exorbitant costs. The inclusion of substantial RAM and fast NVMe storage in the bundle further adds to the value, offering what one might need for a robust NAS setup at a price that challenges many competitors in the market.

The CPU, an Intel Celeron N6005, is a Jasper Lake processor that strikes a balance between efficiency and capability. With a base frequency of 2.0 GHz and a burst frequency of up to 2.9 GHz across its four cores, it’s engineered to handle the multitasking demands of a NAS system. The 10W TDP reflects a design optimized for low power consumption, making it an economical choice for 24/7 operation, a critical consideration for NAS systems which are expected to be always on.

On the storage front, the Topton N6005 shines with two M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 x1 2280 slots for high-speed data transfer and six SATA3 6Gb/s ports for ample storage capacity. This allows users to install fast NVMe drives for the operating system and frequently accessed files, while the SATA ports can host larger hard drives for bulk storage. Such a combination is perfect for a NAS system, providing quick access to data and large storage pools for backup, media libraries, or network file sharing. If you are considering the Topton N6005 CPU+Motherboard combination for PLEX Media Server, I made a dedicated video on this using this CPU/Mobo in the Jobsno N2 NAS Case below, testing 4K Multimedia:

The Topton N6005 has garnered popularity among NAS builders for several reasons. It offers a mini-ITX form factor, which is ideal for compact builds, and includes four 2.5Gbps Intel i226-V network interfaces, enhancing its functionality as a home or small office server. Additionally, the CPU’s support for up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM means it can handle more demanding NAS tasks, such as running virtual machines or hosting databases. These features, coupled with its energy efficiency and expandability, make the Topton N6005 a sought-after component for building versatile and powerful NAS systems.

Where to Buy the TopTon N6005 Motherboard
  • Check AliExpress:
  • Intel N6005 + Motherboard = $229 HERE
  • Intel N6005 + Motherboard + 8GB RAM + 128GB SSD = $275 HERE
  • Intel N6005 + Motherboard + 32GB RAM + 1TB SSD = $399 HERE
  • AMAZON – Intel N6005 + Motherboard = $169 HERE


Disclaimer – The Jonsbo N1, N2 and N3 are STILL the Best NAS Enclosures

Jonsbo’s range of NAS enclosures stands out as an industry benchmark for those keen on custom desktop NAS builds. These enclosures seamlessly blend aesthetics with functionality, showcasing a meticulous design ethos that addresses both the visual and technical demands of modern users. The build quality is exceptional, employing high-grade materials that not only ensure durability but also aid in efficient heat dissipation, a critical factor for continuous NAS operations. Furthermore, Jonsbo has consistently demonstrated a forward-thinking approach by incorporating features that cater to future expansion and adaptability. Their user-friendly design ensures easy installation and maintenance, making them a preferred choice for both novices and seasoned builders. Backed by positive user reviews and a reputation for reliability, Jonsbo NAS enclosures are, without a doubt, one of the best investments for those aiming to craft a high-performance, custom desktop NAS system.

Jonsbo N1 5/6 Bay

Price (9/23) $96

Jonsbo N2 5/6 Bay

Price (9/23) $89

Jonsbo N3 5/6 Bay

Price (9/23) $92


Recommended Add-ons and Extras to Remember for Your DiY NAS Build

Building a NAS involves more than just the CPU and motherboard; enclosures, memory, PSUs, and other accessories are essential. Future guides will detail these components, alongside recommendations for smaller, crucial accessories to enhance your DIY NAS server’s functionality.

 

M.2-to-6xSATA Adapter ($10-15) – HERE on AliExpress or HERE on Amazon.com

PCie Card to Add 4x M.2 to Your Mobo $20-50 (Check Lane/Speed of Mobo and Compatibility First) – HERE on AliExpress or HERE on Amazon.com

Compatible CPU Cooler (CPU Dependant)  $25-50- HERE on AliExpress or HERE on Amazon.com

SATA Fan Out Cable – HERE on AliExpress or HERE on Amazon.com


Here is our article on the BEST (and worst) NAS Enclosures and Cases you can find on AliExpress for your DiY NAS Build. Click the banner below to read the article, alternatively, you can watch the detailed video HERE. Alternatively, you can watch a video on the best and worst NAS enclosures on Amazon here instead.


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      505 thoughts on “(UPDATED) Best CPU+Motherboard Combo for Your M-ITX NAS Build – ECC, PCIe Gen 5, 4×4 NVMe and More

      1. And here I sit trying to decide whether to build a NAS using a mini ITX mobo or get my Cisco UCS C240 M4 with 12 10TB SAS drives running. The Cisco is kind of big and noisy though and a bit of a power hog. It has two 1200W power supplies. Lol
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      2. I’m new to this stuff, what kind of case would you guys use for say 4, 6 or even 10 drives? I like that inserted mobo with 2016 cpu, my drives aren’t that new but i’d love to rock 2.5gbit
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      3. Listen (I know you can hear me, just an expression)! I am at the crossroads between buyng the cwwk 9 sata board or the minisforum AR 900i for my Jonsbo N3 case. I am not a graphics monster kind of guy, but with the minisforum, I will use the PciE slot for an LSE controller, but with the cwwk it can handle drives from the board (leaving the PciE slot open. I don’t know who will read this, but GIVE ME your assessment. It will be a NAS and maybe turn into a VM machine of some type (windows, linus etc.) with 32GB DDR5. OK so nobody knows me, and I don’t know you (except the NASCompares guy). Let me know… almost time to buy..
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      4. Those connectors for front panel are standard front panel connectors. They’re not on your motherboard because you bought a cheap ITX one.
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      5. If ECC doesn’t matter and the used market is something you’re comfortable with – there are now many H110 ITX and Q170 ITX boards. Some are even coming with external 12V or 19V PSUs (HP 7.4mm barrel jack), like the Asus Q170T.

        A Pentium G4560 or i3 7100 would be dirt cheap to use with them. They’re limited to 4 SATA slots (or in case of regular ITX, however many your HBA can support) and having access to 7th gen means the HD 630 will do hardware transcodes for 4k DV/HDR content with no problem if you need it. In fact, QuickSync means you get better performance than from Nvidia or AMD by a long shot.

        Now the only way I’d ever consider this is for an ultra budget NAS that’s also space constrained (so Optiplex or similar is not an option) – but you can do a full build for under $200 guaranteed.
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      6. Wow. another great video. Thanks so much for all the excellent content. I’ve been gearing up to replace my old Dell PowerEdge r510 12-HDD server. It’s such a noise generator and power hog. I wonder if you could maybe do a video that focuses on daisy-chaining servers for more space. I don’t want to manage multiple Unraid instances. What I’d like to do is set up one server and then attach multiple SANs as my library grows.
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      7. Thaks a lot for this! It made building my N2 NAS a breeze. Different motherboard, different power supply, but this video is an excellent resource in any case.
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      8. Do you know where can I buy a a 4x 3.5″ tray with integrated sata backplane to build my own case around?
        Something not to expensive but functional.
        Buying one of these retal nases to break it apart is expensive and kinda stupid 😀
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      9. Great experiments! May I ask What’s the power consumption of this DIY NAS? Also if we don’t mind put the power block into the case, can I use my old pc regular power block to power up this DIY NAS? Many thanks!
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      10. Another interesting summary.

        Have you verified the sata throughout on the N305 board, or Indeed the N100 version? Someone recently did some heavy testing on the BKHD green N100 version and oddly the sata controller was tied in at pcie2x1 speeds. Which is a bit mad since the cpu is pci3x9. Any thoughts?
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      11. ‘This is some Tron-level Logan’s Run-style casing…’ too funny. I don’t do any NAS but am a hardware fanatic but I would tune in just for the entertainment value. Keep ’em coming.
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      12. In the days of lore, way back, when Drobo first appeared and later all the little NAS boxen were born; I decided that they were too expensive and way under-powered. Then I found a way to build my own home lab NAS, one where I could host containers as well as serve shares, etc. This predates Unraid and TrueNAS. Many pros were building rackmount 4U servers but then came along some very well suited m-ITX server boards. Supermicro, Asrock, Gigabyte, etc. The first build utilized Joyent’s fork of OpenSolaris and their base image called SmartOS, providing ZFS, Zones, networking, etc. in a private cloud. Then Linux became capable of the same (Joyent was bought by Samsung and development slowed). I switched to Ubuntu Server with LXD to manage native containers and VM’s and Microk8s for Kubernetes. I was even able to import my zpool. But now I am thinking I may switch to TrueNAS Scale and build a 3rd generation NAS with a Jonsbo NAS case. Newer m-ITX boards have come a long way. The advent of those M.2 PCIe SATA adapters, will free up the 16x PCIe slot allowing for dual 10GbE network card. Ultimately, home builds can be built for less but if you put a bit more power into the build, you get a lot more out of it. However, you will end up being more expensive but your NAS will be more of a home lab server.
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      13. Why did I end up here? I was searching for nail extensions on AliExpress and WTF.. here I am…. I understand nothing about what you’re talking about, however thumbs up and you have a new subscriber ????
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      14. I have the same NAS case, and I’m curious about your hard drives’ behavior. Mine are always active and noisy, even when not in use. Do you experience the same issue with your setup?
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      15. If you’re willing to look at MicroATX boards, and I would due to the availability of the relatively inexpensive Fractal Node 804 case (mATX, 10 3.5″ bays), you open up a world of possibilities. For instance the ASRock B550M Steel Legend, with 2.5GBe, 6xSATA, and 2xfull length M.2 slots (and 1x short M.2 slot for a Wi-Fi card). If all you want is mirrored flash storage, get 2 M.2 drives, and one 2.5″ SATA to boot from, and get a small/cheap case like the Fractal Core 1000 (#notspon).
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      16. What we truly need is cost effective NAS cases! Everything on the market is crazy expensive. The 4 bay case for mITX motherboards are a minimum $80 and anything for mATX, you are looking at $200.
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      17. I really like rackchoice. They have a lot of very different and cool options at a very affordable price. Jonsbo is also a great option, but they tend not to fit my tastes (i personally find many of their cases ugly.) Silverstone probably makes the best consumer rack cases, but their pricing on those is not the best. You’ll be paying something like 250-500 for the case and then 400 for two hotswap backplanes, etc. I have had my eye on the CS280, to be honest. I already have their sugo 14 I think this would be a cute additional device primarily targeted at mass storage 🙂 …

        We are probably also going to use it for DHCP and I will probably be running a few web-servers as well. Seems like the perfect case to do it in, it seems new though — yours is the first video I could find even mentioning it, no reviews… I would love to see the inside lol. Silverstone is horrid with pictures — something actually, rackchoice, is good about lol.

        Edit: I also wanted to share this beauty:
        https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-RM43-320-RS-rackmount-SST-RM43-320-RS/dp/B09T93LDJ6/ref=sr_1_6?crid=1E3CPJF0GKS38&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.nNS2-GRjbrnf-JmIHtVyF3158zLmtb_psBn3pbkk8KkrirPakJZ2imw_BlvFKEu5OxNjHN3_KRZq0lQiXZa2AqyAkKvUXUjdvcX29V0XvAdjVn1Uidw9jV8daT5mqfPMYWg1bgHwLdKC7b_ZzpPdNHD4auhZqxpTXIFykmqZkGpz-zgxUCBkeKIhMqVK04hjQVOBlSPs4cmMasZCJF-two9z-TKB0NaVtBSqH-5zI4w.a-wne0X21Pzm7uB642eoi7uTrR4bnuv_YIfjRO2GunY&dib_tag=se&keywords=silverstone+4u+60pc&qid=1709110303&sprefix=silverstone+4u+60pc%2Caps%2C123&sr=8-6&ufe=app_do%3Aamzn1.fos.2b70bf2b-6730-4ccf-ab97-eb60747b8daf

        Imagine. THE DRIVE BAYS. But seriously, how does Silverstone expect to sell this with NO pictures of the inside?
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      18. How about a dedicated video about m.2->sata cards, whats a multiplier, which ones are good and you can use them reliabilty, stress test disks on them, power consumption added compared to LSI hba cards would not be bad either. Just an idea. As I see lot of comments shooting these down as unfit for the NAS job.
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      19. Would you make an episode about what’s better? UnRAID or TrueNAS? What gives more possibilities? What is updated more often? And what, in general, will be a better solution?
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      20. How about the R5-5650G for £130 new on eBay w/ cooler, with ASRock or Gigabyte A520i/ac for £105, Amazon? It’s only GbE, but supports ECC (and some other enterprise-y stuff from the Ryzen Pro) for a lot less than the CWWK board. The R5-4600G is currently £82 on Amazon too, which seems like a deal. (I haven’t actually built it, I’m using a Pi 4)
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      21. thers one issue thats not being spoken of and that the shipping and tax for those importing from outside the USA, prime example the RackChoice 12 bay M-ATX chassis you showed off may be a good price at $369.00 but once the $115 shipping and tax gets added on top its no longer competitive with simply buying a reconditioned enterpise unit that in a good chunk of situations will still include the mainboard and PSU.
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      22. Sorry, I went through but I didn’t see one with 6+ SATA, 10GigE in a single port, and a pair of NVME sockets. Is that an unrealistic spec to be looking for? I don’t mind which form factor the motherboard has.
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      23. One thing that needs to be said about Minisforum and their boards is that being a smaller chinese manufacturer, their BIOS and firmware support is absolutely dreadful… Also many of the bios options are labeled wrong or translated incorrectly. If some sort of vulnerability or fault is discovered year or two down the line you’re out of luck!
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      24. My Next Upgrade for my NAS Homeserver is most likely a Minisforum MS-01 together with a QNAP TL-D1600S (comes with PCIe-Card and Cables). But the i3 N305 Boards looks really good too
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      25. I have a Rosewill RSV-L4500U NAS chassis.

        It’s a proper case with room to grow with 15 drive bays. I don’t understand why you pretend here that there’s nothing out there that will take a bunch of drives and still support ATX boards. It’s not like the chassis is incredibly expensive either.
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      26. Hi, You‘ve mentioned a high power consumption for the CWWK board. Can you maybe provide exact numbers for that, unable to find anything online unfortunately. Did you also test ECC in the CWWK? Thanks!
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      27. Not spending $300+ without 10GbE. What’s next? A 20 port 2.5GbE board? Do these manufacturers not understand that there is MORE than just 2.5?
        Nonetheless, thanks for the video!
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      28. PCpartpicker really sucks for picking out mobos with ECC support, because since AMD has no official support on their AM4/AM5 boards, they just filter EVERYTHING. That makes the site useless for finding AMD ECC boards that aren’t server-grade, so I just ditch it completely. Skinflint is infintely better for finding mobos

        Great video though, thanks a lot for the mention of the AMD mobo + cpu combo that has ECC. It looks really good
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      29. Great video, thank you. What would you recommend/can you do a build for a £2k budget for 4K transcoding and VMs NAS with ECC RAMs? I am thinking of a 4-6 bay and really don’t want to go with Synology or QNAP as I don’t like being restricted and under the mercy of their abrupt hardware and software policies. Thank you and keep up the great work.
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      30. the AMD 7840HS does NOT Support ECC.
        Only the AMD Ryzen PRO 7840HS supports ECC! Which is probably not used by this Board from cwwk.
        So the Board probably only supports On-Die ECC which is a default from DDR5 but no MultiBit ECC.
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      31. I’m looking for something a wee bit different from a traditional NAS.

        I’m looking for a box with the specs to run AI models at decent speeds that fits within the physical footprint of a traditional home NAS.

        Currently I’m running them on my home PC (128GB RAM, Core i5 12600K, NVME drives all around) and it’s performing quite well along the lines of ChatGPT but with it being hosted entirely at home. For AI the two big factors are 1) Dedicated GPU and 2) buttloads of RAM with the minimum being 128GB.
        My main model takes up around 72GB of RAM because the entire model loads itself into RAM for speed and then uses the GPU to process queries.

        Folks won’t believe it now, but at-home AI will be a thing in the future. Why? Because every single one of the publicly-available online models are neutered beyond belief to “comply” with local laws in pretty much every country on the planet.
        Uncensored/unrestricted AI models are not but those are really only available to folks like me with the tech to run them in our own homelabs.
        As they grow in popularity, more folks are going to be looking at dedicated mini PCs/servers so they can run 24/7 without requiring use of the user’s own PC.

        And they’re going to grow in popularity because it only takes about 15-30 minutes to set an AI up complete with an web-based interface, depending on your ISP speed.
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      32. 0:18: ???? Exploring additional motherboard and CPU combos for DIY NAS builds based on viewer suggestions.
        3:19: ⚙️ High-performance processor with efficient power consumption and solid build quality.
        6:37: ???? High-performance AMD motherboard with impressive features and reasonable price point.
        9:37: ???? Impressive storage capability and build quality of AMD Ryzen CPU + motherboard combo for NAS builds.
        12:56: ???? High-performance motherboard with impressive storage capabilities and fan-assisted heatsink.
        16:19: ???? Newer TopTon n100 series boards offer improved M2 MVB and PCIe upgrade slot compatibility.
        19:24: ???? New motherboard with ECC support offers power efficiency, while pre-attached CPU mobo combos vary in power consumption.

        Timestamps by Tammy AI
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      33. I would suggest anyone really want AIO go with Xeon D1581 board, 16 cores 32 threads, 32 PCIE lanes(gen 3), support ECC, newer ones even have 2.5G or 10G on board, downside of course it’s an old CPU, 65W TDP.

        If you want a low power NAS build but N100 or N305 is just cutting too much, you can go with Pentium 8505, 4 e-core, 1 p-core, 6 thread, 20 PCIE lanes, about 10W highier than N100, but enough power to do your basic NAS things, some boards have 2.5G nic, 2 full speed X4 nvme, some sata port and even 1 PCIE X 1 slot, but this one is a bit new and rare right now, you may need to wait for Q3 or Q4 2024 to see them show up in your country.
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      34. I’m trying to figure out what cpu and ram combo would be required for a 8 * 12tb disk nas that would be used for nfs share to a jellyfin server hosted on a separate system
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      35. I was convinced I was originally going to go a custom build but with the f4-424 pro hitting almost all the boxes for what I was trying to get out of the custom it didn’t make sense to put in the time that was going to be required. The video before this and this one haven’t made me regret my decision at all.
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      36. hi, for the CWWK amd board, i saw it has a hard drive power supply holder. Does this mean I dont need to connect the HDD power cable to the PSU and can just use the board to supply the power to all 9 HDD? Anyone has tested it?
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      37. minisforum ar900i can’t recognize any sata adapter, whether it’s by pcie slot or m.2 to sata. One other person also reported sata not recognized on raid card installed.
        Also tired of these vendors sending out the highest power consuming cpu’s with these boards. Where’s the low power, fast storage boards?
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      38. Going by my own experiences the only advice I can give to those considering the motherboards linked in the video description is this: *read the reviews*. While there are many complaints, by far the biggest culprit seems to be with BIOS issues that cause many headaches. A lot of this stuff is simply junk. Sometimes it’s fun to play with junky hardware but building your NAS around these motherboards might not be the best idea. Just my 2c.
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      39. Great video as always! One test I would love to see in the future is a mini-ITX nAS DYI build with a MB as the MSI MPG Z790I EDGE since that one has 3xm.2 slots and 4xS-ATA ports paired with a i5-13500T or i7-13700T CPU. The low powered edition CPU (35w TDP) is almost always left out on the other tech reviewers. In my mind this would be the perfect match? A full CPU with all the features and cores/threads but with a low frequency to keep the power and heat as low as possible.
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      40. I hope minisforum makes a AR900i version that has the 14900HX CPU, performance wise its 1 to 1 with the desktop 13900K at around 100 watts less. the Serpent canyon 12th gen nuc enthusiast might be a good choice as well, barebones it sells for $650 but it has an A770M graphics card built in, if you buy a 64 GB of Ram kit and a pcie 4.0 NVME it uses 20 watts at idle, pretty good for an all flash media server or something
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      41. Would really appreciate a video on bigger atx boards for something like a 24 bay nas? I have an older dual Xeon board that’s getting slow. E5 2470 v2, and I use just about every pcie slot on it, HBAs, 10gb, video card for transcoding, etc.
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      42. Hi again, so cool that you included the minisforum motherboards.
        I can image it’s very hard to make a list of motherboards like this because everybody’s usecase is different.
        For me the BD770i is perfect.
        Yes there is only 1x 2.5gb nic but thats fine because all my switches 2.5gb so i dont need anything faster than this speed.
        I picked the lower board because this is already way overpowered for my needs and the 790i consumes more power.
        The 55w tdp is just a (max) number, the server idles most of the time and thats way lower (23w in my case).
        The reason AMD boards were left behind for a long time must be native Plex support for the AMD igpu. Plex now natively supports AMD igpu transcoding and it does it like a champ out of the box. When i transcode a 4k movie on this board the cpu usuage goes from 1-2% to 3-4% and powerusage from 23w to 26w, thats really low.
        I build this system with powerusage in mind but i wanted to have the ability to (if i wanted) put a gaming vm in there maybe to stream games to one of my nvidia shield.
        At the moment i only use this unraid server for Plex, Radarr, Sonarr, Sabnzb, pihole, home assistant, twingate and it handles it like a champ.
        Good video keep it up!

        PS: I wanted to add, my previous itx motherboard in my nas server is a Topton N100 4c/4t and it used 1w less idle compared to the Minisforum mobo. The N100 is nice and could handle most of my needs but didn’t offer any more processing power playroom. Since the power usage (in idle) is almost identical I opted for the mobile powerhouse cpu
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      43. BD770i is really nice board – my idea is to do it in this way: I took one of m.2 slots put there m.2 to pci express adapter and to that 2 port 25G nic (Intel E810-XXVAM2 can use pci 4.0 so 4 lanes should be enough). Another m.2 + pci x16 slot as it support x4x4x4x4 mode will be utilized by nvme drives. So in final I can have 5 disk nvme NAS capable of 50Gb transfers.
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      44. I used a motherboard pulled out of a lenovo ThinkCentre M73 SFF. It has an Intel Dual-Core i3-4130 3.4GHz processor, 8GB ram and works great for Unraid used as a backup server. Cost $25 USD.
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      45. Totally not related but I’d be curious on how that N305 board would fare as a TV box?

        I’m still looking for the perfect replacement for my nvidia shield, but it’s just too damn good compared to the alternatives, yet it’s so old and lacking development
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      46. Could someone please let me know if there’s some manual available for the i3-N305 board? In particular, I’d like to know the specifications of the CPU fan (type (fixed or variable RPM), size, voltage). Thank you.
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      47. I went with a G ryzen and a b550m VC from msi-only new part- board has 2xnvme pcie3x4-this cuz the G ryzen-, 8 EIGHT sata ports by the way sata and nvme can all work at same time, a couple pcie slots for any future whatevers. Now for my use case, 1G lan is more than enough, Id say but still have them pcie slots justin! 6x hdds now and an os ssd, no cache drive, dont think ill need it, at least not now, and i read that most ssds will have not a good time being cache, since their lifetime is on the amount written. Wanted to get one of them X99 setups though, but this was quicker and less power, all on an old PC case with hdd mounting spaces with a couple extra fans thrown in there
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      48. What about this new board from CWWK? (can’t seem to add the link)
        It is AMD based with no intel transcoding support but it has alot more power (dedicated GPU)compared to the N305, more storage connectivity upto 9 sata ports, ECC memory support with the 7940HS CPU and even an pcie slot for future 10gb upgrade. Will this board be the endgame for DIY builders or am I missing something?
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      49. If you haven’t a problem with second hand things. I have picked up an i5 8500t with an Asus z390 ATX mobo with Asus hyper M.2 card, 64GB ddr 4 2666, ATX Gold powersupply all in an old case with lots of 3.5 and 2.5 inch bays. Still have a lot of PCIE and Sata ports free for the future. Power draw <40W. All for around €200, storage not included
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      50. While I see the appeal of MOBO+CPU options, I think the lack of serviceability makes them simply not worth it. I recently bought a 4650G because of the ECC support and okay CPU performance (and because it was dirt cheap, $110). Just slot it into any AM4 Gigabyte/ASUS board and UDIMM ECC is fully supported for a total of $200 MOBO+CPU. Still thinking about if I should do an ITX build with Jonsbo N1 or an ATX building with a Define R7.
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      51. Another great video! Thanks!
        Is it possible to build an efficient PC on one of these motherboards in which the raid array will be managed like a NAS and will have most of its functions? I don’t have typical network needs because I work alone on video editing, but I care about data security. I was thinking about a PC with two NVMe drives and a 4-6 HDD array.
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      52. The n305 board sharing the pcie late between the m.2 and the 3.0×1 slot was the reason the went with the n100 green board. Those lanes are not shared. Of course, after I ordered it, About a month ago Topton released a new version of the n305 board that does not share this lane.
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      53. i highly recommend a used Server with a Xeon 26xx, 26xxv2, or 26xxv3. Can pick them up with CPU + Ram for 80 to 150 bucks, and some come with 10G Lan and more SAS/SATA then one needs.
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      54. The N-series of Intel chips, especially not of the 8-core variant, are pretty weak, so if you plan to use them with dockerised apps, not so good… Intel’s i* H-series and now Ultras are the way to go for efficiency and because they have iGPUs with well supported hardware accelerated transcoding for the media serving use-cases – some apps/platforms may require extra cost for supporting Nvidia or AMD encoders – they make good basis for such builds. Newer gen may also be seated in TB3/TB4 enabled board, so device extension is quite possible…
        However, one could venture experiments with Epyc Siena. Why? Most boards for Siena come with 2 or 4 NICs, 2 of which often are RJ45 ports, with the other 2 for SFP28, so up to 52Gbps trunked output… enough to feed a quadruple of 10Gbps clients. Of course, those optical ports need connecting to a good switch. MikroTik has one with 16 SFP28 ports, if I recall correctly. SFP28 ports and transceivers can work at 10Gbps speed, basically being supported in SFP+ cages… Then, those Siena boards can be paired with Siena chips… starting from an 8 core 16 thread units you can scale now or in the future, depending on workloads, up to 64 core 128 thread design of Zen 4c chips, granted running at the efficiency oriented part of the bell curve. Add to that DDR5 RDIMMs support and 6 to 8 slots of those, and you can start small, then bump your platform as needed or as promos happen… Same for the storage and extensions… MCIO or slimSAS ports on boards are great for cable routing, after all most boards support splitting of signals into 4x or 8x SATA or SAS devices. Still, with a couple of MCIOs, you can easily use one or two split to cover spinning rust devices and still have some for bifurcation for NVMe U.2 drives to get better speed out of the NAS. Why is that a great thing? If you ever wanted to do a SATA SSD NAS, you’d be looking into 4TB+ models. Currently, at those capacities, SATA devices cost roughly the same as many cheaper enterprise PCIe3 or PCIe4, often around $20 of difference… for max throughput and iops nearly 5 times higher than the average SATA units… Once those U.2/U.3 drives drop in prices for high capacities, they may become defacto first choice even for homelab and NAS uses. Then, having a board that can easily already support those devices would be great and far easier to sell the idea to your spouses, so the wife-approval factor may be a benefit here as well.
        So building NAS on your own you need to differentiate between those with minimal usage scenarios needing something as efficient as possible and those willing to have a platform they can expand in the future per the needs or promos…
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      55. While Synology seems to be taking forever to upgrade to gen 12 processors, I am more and more looking with interest the Supermicro SuperWorkstation 531A-IL for a solid unRAiD build. What do you think?
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      56. I just finished up my nas upgrade with an Minisforum BD770i. The AMD Ryzen 7 7745HX (8c/16t) is a beast. In Unraid system idle it uses only 23w since it’s a mobile chip. I used an m.2 nvme to 6x sata adapter and it works like a charm. Since Plex natively supports amd igpu’s this mobo is a champ at transcoding. I highly recommend this motherboard.
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      57. Greetings and thank you for the video! I enjoy your channel.

        Looking forward to your video on NAS with ECC memory. I bought a *used* Lenovo P520 that included 128gb ecc memory and a 2135 XEON for $300 US. The internals are fantastic. The power – ouch – it has a 900 Watt power supply. I bought 6 *used* 10TB HDD and 2 1TB NVMe drives. I’ve installed TrueNAS Scale just to play around with it (I’m an old pro on building PCs but a newbie on building NAS and VMs). Wish me luck…and any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
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      58. Hey, I have been really struggling to find a NAS to upgrade to. I want to run mostly 4k HDR HEVC content. I play it mostly on my LG G1. And I don’t understand HEVC thing, some of that content doesn’t run when I play it on the TV off my Plex Server ( currently using a Synology 216+). I have watched quite a few videos but I still can’t make an educated purchase.
        Can point me to a product? I really want good performance in a small box. A small pc sounds like a good choice but I kind of prefer a NAS, somethign that runs at home 24/7.
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      59. N100-N305 MB+CPU are crap. If you Seriously need more and faster PCIE lanes, or if you need more than 16 GB ADRESSABLE, not just recognized RAM. (By the way only single chanel) this combo is not the best.
        I Strongly recommand the combo MB + CPU from CWWK => AMD-7840HS/8845HS/7940HS – 9 SATA/8-BAY/9-BAY NAS – USB4 – 4 NETWORK 2.5G – PCIE X16 ITX MOTHERBOARD:
        I dont put links, i don’t why, but my comments won’t show up. Soo i try without link.
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      60. Thanks for the great info. 
        I have just built my home made NAS based on this tutorial with Unraid and it is spinning away happily on my table.
        I deviated slightly by going with the Node 304 case which I purchased locally from eBuyer for £74 delivered and the same board with 4 GB memory and the 128 GB NVME from Amazon for £151. With the saving I also added a 10 Gbe PCI card from Ali Express for £71 and a Hisource 4 port 2.5 Gbe + 2 10 Gbe uplink ports for for £29 from Ali Express
        I have to admit that getting the 10 Gbe link working with Unraid (!***!) was a bit stressful, but everything now works as it should.
        Onwards and upwards and thanks again.
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      61. why is everyone so obsessed about ITX mobos?
        they lack PCIe and SATA connectivity, RAM expansion, space for bigger (silent) cpu cooler,
        if I weren’t using my X99-S desktop workstation as main PC, I’d simply make it a NAS build, since also the case (Fractal Define R5) supports 8 HDD bays already…
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      62. Just yesterday I finished building & setting up my first NAS. Went with Gigabyte B550i Aorus Pro paired with Ryzen 7 PRO 4750G, 2x 32 gb ECC, 4x Exos 18X and SN850X, built in Node 304. I think it’s quite well balanced home NAS for 2.5 Gbit network.
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      63. Anyone up for a challenge?

        Mini-ITX, Intel, >=11th Gen Intel CPU with 2x Media Engines, IPMI, IOMMU, 5x SATA, 1x NVMe, 1x PCIe x16, 1x >= GigLAN, 1x Monitor-Port, >=2x USB, (ECC support)

        Any experience with these NVMe to SATA adapters?
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      64. Since ECC is one of the most important things in a NAS if you value data integrity (which most NAS builders do), maybe you could bring out more prominently which ones support ECC and which ones don’t?
        And for a list of “best NAS CPU+mobos for NAS” there’s very little ECC support among the suggested alternatives.
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      65. I think as soon as you review an item the aliexpress stores use this as an opportunity to start increasing prices. Sometimes they just up their shipping costs to give the illusion of a cheaper product. ???? Or am I just being cynical.
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      66. I would say that a SuperMicro X14QEH+ mainboard with 4 Intel Xeon Scalable 5th gen Platinum 8593Q processors. This way you have 17 MCIO PCIe 5.0 x8 connectors and room for 24 NVMe PCIe 5.0 SSD’s at full speed. +2 NVMe PCI 3.0 x4 ports for slower speeds. That Mobo will certainly fully saturate 400GBps networks. It’s a cheap ass solution for if you want to replace a NetApp MetroCluster. Especially when compared to the best NAS/SAN solution in the world, the FAS9500.

        I don’t get why you would call consumer goods, the best motherboard CPU/Combo’s while there are so much better Enterprise solutions.
        with your solutions it is even hard to saturate a normal 10/40 GBps connection. As soon as more then 40 users connect to your storage solutions, you will run into bottlenecks.
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      67. The problem is these boards are not built to last. I have an alderlake n305 mini itx diy router like these and it just stopped working. It never reached temps above 80 degrees Fahrenheit and ram and name test fine outside of motherboard. Dealing with topton customer service has been an ordeal the past two months trying to RMA.
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      68. I have an idea for building a Gen 4 TrueNAS.
        Biostar b550m MX/E, already indicates it supports bifurcation and its good price where im at. Bifurcation cause i plan to use a 4x nvme adapter.
        My old Ryzen 3600. Relatively power efficient, at first i had the idea for an Epyc build, but that idles close to 100W.
        ECC unbuffered memory can also be used here.
        Also have a RX6400 when i need to use a gpu, as this will be a TrueNAS machine i probably wont need a gpu much.
        I will probably buy two 40gbe mellinox connect x3 and some DAS cables.
        Would need to think of something for an efficient small psu, i like sfx ones, but most of them have bad efficency at low wattage.
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      69. Is there any sense in getting the 13900H? Will all that power be utilized? Why not just go and buy the 12800H, even though there is a performance drop of 25,000 passmark vs. 29,400 passmark. The number of PCI-E lanes is the same – 28. Also, DDR4 is cheaper than DDR5.
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      70. I stay away from n series (n100,n305) chips. They don’t support hyperthreading (all “E” cores), don’t have good single core performance, and only provide 9 lanes of pcie gen 3. Makes it very difficult to build a NAS with SATA, NVME, and 10 gig networking without something getting starved for pcie lanes
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      71. I bought the Aoostar R7 on the back of your review so would be interested to see what you do with it. So far mine is running Unraid and I am seeing some interesting behaviour. Works, mostly 🙂
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      72. Thank you so much for this detailed video. I used it for my own Jonsbo N2 build and it was so helpful with the step-by-step instructions and guidance on the gotchas. It saved me so much time to pre-plan. Excellent video!
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      73. Hey, as this vid is 4 months old, I just wanted to ask if the mobo is holding out good? I’ve been considering it myself, just wondering if theres anything you found out later that someone looking to buy one may want to know before making a decision. Cheers for the good vid ????
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      74. HI, Great vid! I must have watched this a few times now, and am currently building my own. Currently unable to track down the pdf for the header pin layout. Did you ever add the link in for that?
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      75. This video is really well done. I have been trying to give an answer to this question for four years now. The problem is summarized at the end of the video. My time costs much more than what I save by building it myself “from scratch”. But on the other hand I am too stingy , and I like to build things myself. Frustration.
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      76. The “weird” 19″ enclosures are just about 300 to 350 mm deep. That allows the user to put them in a network rack which has typical depth of about 400 to 450 mm. Not everybody has the space to install a server rack which is usually 800mm to 1000mm deep.
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      77. The price of the shipping from Aliexpress not only varies, but can make or break your budget so it should definitely not be left out. For example here are the prices as of Nov 2023:
        Jonsbo N2 (Aliexpress): $93 + $97 shipping to the US = $190
        Jonsbo N2 (Amazon): $150
        Jonsbo N2 (Newegg): $140

        Jonsbo N3 (Aliexpress): $117 + $99 shipping = $216
        Jonsbo N3 (Amazon): $170
        Jonsbo N3 (Newegg): $162

        As you can see, if you are in the US it’s a no-brainer to buy the case from Amazon/Newegg as Aliexpress offers an inferior shipping experience.
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      78. Honestly it’s like they are trying to make a bad design (and they are insultingly expensive), in my opinion a nas good for most personal use’s doesn’t have to be a very powerful machine, you have to take in account power usage (electricity cost’s money) and noise as it most likely going to work near people. The motherboard should be placed preferably on top for good heat dissipation with an air vent or option 2 on the side and top vent, in both cases with enough room for a beefy cooler (to reduce fan usage and noise) . Jonsbo n3 is good but they just had to insult us with not having a top vent and some decent hdd bays also the price so high and your getting so little especially considering that the users are going for this option precisely because they don’t want to spend to much money and the build quality could be better !
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      79. I love the Jonsbo N2 and N3 builds but if you’re running RAID-6 you really want a minimum of 8 x 3.5″ drives not just 5. Are there any good NAS cases for this?
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      80. Just a couple notes on this as I have the same case. First if you did NOT use the angled sata cables on the backplane they won’t warranty the case. Second I found a flat dual molex adapter that saved me even more room. Between the angled sata cables (same slim blue your using with 90 degree one end), and the molex adapter I was able to replace that loud inefficient 15mm fan with the standard 25mm one. Also replaced those grates on both side with basic wire grills. Both those things got me better air flow as well as less noise.
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      81. Not all rack chassis need many hard disks. Perhaps people use it with proxmox, Linux server etc. Some need short depth chassis. That is why there are some strange solutions.????
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      82. Hi there! Has anyone used one of those china boards a little longer? Can they be trusted the data to throw at them in the long run? What is your opinion?
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      83. i’m a bit disappointed, your title said you were gonna build a NAS, but you just assembled a NAS :/ (i was expecting electronic component tinkering, not computer parts tinkering…)
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      84. I have just built a TopTon board (Same version) with a Jonsbo case. One note is you can actually fit that board out with 64Gb Mem so Truenas has plenty of spare capacity. I also spec’d out a lot better power supply just for the peace of mind. Wish you had done this review earlier as I would have gone with the case you had.
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      85. Looking forward to your N3 build with the i9 mobo – I am planning a very similar build and would love your feedback on the setup (power draw, performance, etc).
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      86. I’m a little confused… Did you show the correct extra parts (Re: video ~35:00)? Of the four parts shown, it seems that I would need (1) of the parts shown (top & bottom right side parts), but nothing from the left top/bottom parts. Additionally, if I select either top or bottom right side parts then I now have (2) 20-pin connectors (one from the front panel USB and one from the adapter (top/bottom right side parts)) which now need to go to a 20-pin + 20-pin splitter (not shown on your display of parts). Unfortunately, my Topton MoBo has not arrived yet so I can’t reference what is there in order to understand what’s what with all the parts you showed. Can you provide any more clarity to this? Thank you so much and thanks, again, for making this very informative video!!!!
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      87. Investing that much time and effort probably isn’t worth it unless you have time to waste or very specific possibly high-end applications.
        Also, you may want to got get a more current ITX board + CPU for more performance and RAM in this case.
        Honestly for a simple setup like that it probably is better connecting something like a TerraMaster D5-300C or ORICO-NS500RC3 to a Raspberry Pi.
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      88. I dont think you save so much time going turn key as you have to learn the software. Easiest is take an old machine, install Nas software learn how it fits in your life. Then upgrade hardware later. As a person whos built many computers, the hardware part wasnt the issue. Learning the Truenas/Proxmox/Unraid interface probably didnt take longer than the Synology interface. Now I have a machine which can grow cheaply if needed.
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      89. Those front USB connectors are standard, USB3 and USB3.1 for the Type A and Type C connector respectively, and are found on most modern motherboards. That Topton board is made as cheaply as possible, so it only has basic USB2 connectors, which is why they wouldn’t fit.
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      90. Totally a great replacement for another orange channel. You explain everything that you had to go through and other options to tackle those issues. Great vid! It s subscribe for me bud!
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      91. I really can’t get my head around all these new cases and how cheap they’re finally getting. It used to be just getting the drive base or like over $100 and now you can almost get them for nothing which is really nice.

        One thing that causes me pause and a bit of caution is that when you’re using these kinds of cases they usually don’t have status LEDs up front which can be a problem when you have a lot of drives and you need to swap them out.

        preferably, I would love to see the comeback of a LCD in front of the actual drive itself That would be wonderful Let me tell you. Wouldn’t really cost too much to do either and they make those really many displays and that would be really cool to put one of those on the front of it.

        I still think it’s a better idea to go with a professional solution as in something from the server market that is no longer the top of the line anymore but will fit your needs perfectly.

        and with the way that they come configured it’s really easy to manage as well once you understand the hardware software scenario.

        The only bummer is they really do take a bit of power a bit of weight and they’re kind of large but in order for them to have the amount of data redundancy that you need this is kind of required.
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      92. 34:29 I see where the 3.1 connector is different, but what’s with the 2.x? Also the ali link for Topton doesn’t seem to come with ram or ssd anymore?
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      93. according to Topton, the pin headers on their motherboards (N5xxx and N6xxx) is only USB 2.0, were you able to confirm/deny it? The blue ports on the mobo however are indeed 3.x
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      94. i might be the only one hear but i really enjoyed this video i like looking at different nas / server cases i guess my dream is to make a custom case that does it all so more ideas the better 🙂 Thanks for sharing the video with us????????????JP
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      95. The 1U case doesn’t seem to be marketed towards NAS use. Bet it would be nice as a PC case for those who rack mount their PC’s and can get by with a 1U. It seems to even support 2 slot GPU’s.
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      96. So, do you have the full sata bandwidth available on this system ? If you’d put sata ssd for example, would you be limited by the pcie lanes of the celeron ?
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      97. Jonsbo N3 would be so great if it would would support microATX. MiniITX in an 8 bay case is borderline stupid because there are no miniITX boards with 8xSATA ports.
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      98. If you are talking high quality 4K and up streams then the most important things you need to consider are your client devices and your network bandwidth. Ideally you want a client device that can play the content natively (no server transcoding required) and then you want a wired/wireless network that can deliver bandwidth required. I test with the Jellyfish 100-400 Mbps clips and, oddly enough, John Wick 3 4K. I had to upgrade my 5 year old Apple TV 4K to the current gen Apple TV 4K to get JW 3 4K to play smoothly (no transcoding on my Plex server). As far as laptops/desktops go, for whatever reason, the Plex client performs better, and requires less client hardware resources, on Intel/Apple Silicon based Macs when compared to my i7/i9/5800X3D Windows based PCs/laptop.

        I downloaded many of the 8K examples that the author is using. The Uzbekistan 8K VP9 clip can extremely hard on client hardware. On my PC it pushes my 2080 Ti to 75% usage. The Uzbekistan 8K played horribly on my AMD GPU equipped PC (GPU under-utilized) while the LG 8K and all 4K plays fine on the AMD GPU). My M1 Max equipped MacBook Pro plays it without breaking a sweat (via 750 Mbps wi-fi). It stutters on my current generation Apple TV 4K. The LG 8K 60fps HDR NATURE clip plays like butter on all my client apps/devices. The bitrate for these 8K examples is not particularly high so bandwidth is not an issue. 

        While it is interesting to experiment with 8K video I recommend that users stick with the Jellyfish videos https://www.larmoire.info/jellyfish/ for bandwidth testing and use client apps/devices that play content natively on local networks. The point of playing content natively (no server transcoding) is that it allows us to use cheaper server hardware and buy good client devices. That being said, if you stream your content outside of your local network then yes, hardware transcoding on the server is a fact of life. If at all possible keep your Plex server separate from your NAS. The NAS will last far longer just as a file server.

        My Plex server is running in an 8 core VM on a repurposed Threadripper 1950X build running ESXi 8.0.0. It has plenty of raw CPU power to transcode when I need it to. I don’t even need a GPU to assist with transcoding (although I am tempted to see if I can get an old GTX 1080 to work). The media files are hosted on a NAS via a 10 gigabit wired network. The only thing the NAS does is file serve and manage backups to another NAS. I did this because the NAS was pricey and I knew I would keep it for a long time. Far longer than the CPU would last if I used it as a Plex server. The VM server will continue to get my hand-me-down gaming PC parts.
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      99. Noticeably absent in the DIY Enclosure / NAS market? Any kind of small case for SSDs only. Everything out there is just absolutely GIGANTIC. If you want to have an all-flash NAS that sits unobtrusively on the corner of your desk? Out of luck. Want to have a desktop-sized NAS? Here’s 3.2 million options to choose from. Frustrating as all get-out.
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      100. nice build – got myself the N6005 Version of the Topton board for more computing headroom – like more docker containers and VM under unraid – runs like a charm
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      101. For the N3 it would be good to see say a Ryzen 5950G Pro with ECC for one of the builds as I’d like to see how that config fares. I think it would only be $50-100 more than the N5105 build while running circles around it. I’m just curious how it fares with transcoding tests.
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      102. A NAS has two main jobs. Serve files and manage backups. Everything else should be on another, more capable, server. All on a 10 Gbit (or greater) network.
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      103. your antiquated selection is crap in 2023.
        Fractal Design Node 804 – Black
        MSI PRO B550M-VC WiFi ProSeries Motherboard
        Ryzen 7 5700G 8-core, 16-Thread Processor
        Thermalright AXP120-X67 WHITE ARGB Low Profile CPU Air Cooler
        Corsair VENGEANCE LPX DDR4 RAM 32GB (2x16GB) 3200MHz
        WD_BLUE SN570 1TB M.2 2280 PCIe Gen3
        IBM M5015 Array Card, Megaraid 9260-8i SATA/SAS Controller RAID 6G PCI-E x8
        INTEL Original X540-T2 Ethernet Converged Network Adaptor X540T2BLK
        8×3.5 drives, + 8x 2.5 drives & small cage
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      104. Congratulations on the 100K it is quite an accomplishment. Brilliant video. Fantastic presentation. I have a big unraid system featuring a Xeon E3 with 16 bays. but I do EVERTHIING on this. I have never regretted building my own NAS.
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      105. Interesting that you show the book “Using SANs and NAS” by Curtis W. Preston alongside some of your cases there, especially the AUDHEID. I was a technical reviewer of that book, and I’ve been friends with Curtis ever since. He’s done more recent books that you might also want to check out.
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      106. 13:32 – I have the case and my mates have it too. it’s really a nice case to have 🙂
        it’s 8-bay with 1u PSU, 6-bay with SFX, and 4-bay with ATX. I don’t think you can get the top glass panel anymore. the wood panel is an actual wood panel, which you can replace it with a widescreen.
        It has a single USB port on the side but the cable is not included.
        The official case name is “Warhead Treasure”. Pro version also exists which fits ATX motherboard and SFX PSU – still 8-bay which is great because you don’t have to deal with the PSU noise.
        There’s no manual so you’ll have to figure it out yourself.
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      107. Define “better”!

        One of the slower builds I have seen but for next time:

        Step number ONE:
        Test 100% of the components BEFORE cramming them into the case!
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      108. Beautiful build, nicely done, and I love the “on the cheap” side of things (so much, must be the Scottish in me ????) Makes me want to do this rather than get another Synology. I have the skills, but Synology just made things so “easy” that I got lazy. Thanks for the video and congrats on 100K! Here’s to the next 900K ????
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      109. I’m new to the whole NAS environment but from my short experience it seems we are in a transition period where the most efficient systems uses 4-8 Mechanical hard drives and 1 or 2 M2 SSDs acting as a cache.

        However, it seems we are moving towards all SSD systems.

        I’d like to find a NAS enclosure that switches the ratio to favor the M2 drives but still uses mechanical HDs.

        Something that has maybe 10-12 M2 bays and 6-8 mechanical HD bays.

        Have you seen anything like that out there?
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      110. Hello, could you please tell me if it makes sense to build a NAS with 2.5″ SSD SATA drives? I’m particularly interested in RAID 6, which would require a case that can accommodate a motherboard and 6 drives. I understand that there are solutions like the DS620slim, but it only has 2GB of RAM (600€), and I would like to be able to run virtual machines and similar tasks alongside the NAS. Alternatively, are there any adapters from 3.5″ to 2.5″ that would allow me to use the Jonsbo N3 case?
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      111. WTF the Jonsbo N2 price is double what you paid for, and I’m in continental Europe so if anything I should pay less than you! that’s insane, the price doubled in a month…
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      112. Great video! Amazon is a lot easier to deal with than Ali express.
        Would be great if you could do a video on replacement/ upgrade boards for qnap and Synology, when they get too old and slow, or have a mobo/backbone failure (a known for qnap systems)
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      113. I want a case that can hold 8 x 2.5″ SSDs. I have a VM server that has a NAS VM with the 8 SSDs that need a place to mount them. A mini JBOD NAS like enclosure would be perfect. The regular NAS enclosures are all so big, since they are built for Rust HDs.
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      114. Wonderful! I would love it if you could review the NSC-410, it is a very interesting case in my opinion. Maybe you can compare it to the Jonsbo N2?
        Thank you for informative and entertaining content as always.
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      115. You missed the popular though a bit old Fractal Design Node 304. Yes it’s not a hot swappable case, but a small case for 6 bays, ATX PSU, ITX motherboard for less than 100€
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      116. @NASCompares Can you test ds923+ with four sata ssd in raid5 and 10 gigabit card? I wonder if it will be possible to achieve a stable 1200 Mbps in SMB or iSCSI?
        Will the processor handle it? Also, is an nvme cache needed for this build, a lot of things to figure out. Should be interesting.
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      117. I’ve been looking for a bit and I can’t find any NAS cases from Chenming, only some rackmount servers. Did they abandon the computer case and small NAS type case market? Anybody know anything about this? They used to be the goto supplier when you wanted to build small servers with hot swap capability. They also had a huge selection of 5.25″ drop in HDD cages and such. But now i can’t find anything.

        Now InWin used to be decent quality at decent price. I remember that they had the first case with a slide out MB tray that I saw. This was back in the AT age, or more specifically the Baby AT formfactor, so predating ATX. They have chassis with 4 or 8 hot swappable HDD bays. Now I haven’t used them, but I’m guessing that they are still of decent quality. And if you need larger then they have a quite nice range of rackmount cases, as well as drop in HDD bays. Only problem is it’s hard to find decent cases with a lot of 5.25″ bays today. It seems every manufacturer has stopped producing those to instead make more RGB puke loaded cases with less airflow and huge glass panels.

        If it sounds as if I don’t like this trend then that’s not very observant. I hate it!
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      118. Looks like U-Nas is on the fritz. With next nothing in stock, and nothing on the list of incoming it doesn’t look good. Add that the Chinese company doesn’t seem to be in business I would be careful about them.

        As for the products, I actually kind of liked what they showed, even if the site is incredibly brief. However like I said I kind of doubt they will be in business in a year if nothing changes quickly.

        Now their Rackmount equipment looks like it’s either rebranded Supermicro chassis or they managed to buy the exact same chassis from whoever Supermicro buy theirs. If so the chassis are very nice, but they didn’t have any prices on any of them. They are either not available or you will have to ask for quotes. Supermicro is probably more expensive, but you know you can get support and spare parts.

        Now if you want to look at a manufacturer that had good quality, decent prices, and a huge selection of rackmount storage and server chassis I suggest you visit www.aicpc.com
        AIC is a Taiwanese company and has rackmount chassis from 1U short servers to 4U dual Xeon servers with 102 hot swap 3.5″ SAS drives. In addition they sell storage chassis and empty chassis so you can build your own server solutions.
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      119. I need a NAS to store all the movies and picture which are currently on several PC’s and Lap-Tops in use by the family. I’m just not sure if I build or buy, I only want a 4 bay. Building might be more fun, but I have no real clue. Building a PC is no issue, but picking NAS parts is difficult, so thanks for all your recent videos.
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      120. I think Chenbro is the OEM for Antec. They make some strong cases. I do missionary work at a medical clinic in the 3rd world. They are in the middle of nowhere but their medical clinic is fully electronic. When a new PC has to get there by jeep and/or donkey I use Antec/Chenbro.
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      121. I built my DIY NAS using an 8-bay Nas case ( 16:00 ) and mATX FUJITSU D3417-B21 GS2 + Core i5-7500T, but I’m going to replace CPU with a Xeon e3-12xx (v5 or v6 ) to use ECC memory.
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      122. I built one from used parts on eBay, for the magic price of about £187, 10 SAS 2tb drives i picked up for 80 quid, Dell H200 perc 24 quid( needed firmware changing to LSI SAS 9210-8i ), the motherboard (FM2 with 8gb of DDR 3 and 500w PSU) came to together from what someone was tipping, 64gb SSD OS disk i picked up for around 7 quid, eBay again, the only build that was new was the Mini SAS 36Pin SFF-8088 to 4 x 29Pin SFF-8482 SATA Power Cable 0.5m 20 quid, 2 x Molex to 4 SATA power cable 10 quid and a new ATX case from Amazon for around 30 quid, i manage to pick up 6 BEQUIET 120mm fans for 16 quid, i used TrueNas 12 at the time, now been updated to version13, it runs as my SMB and plex server, its on a 1Gb Lan of which i can use nearly all of the bandwidth maintaining 110MB all the time download(single user at a time), at the end of the day, i really enjoyed building it, it was fun, Im planning on building more, good stuff
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      123. I can afford to buy a branded NAS, but I prefer to go through similar to what you see in this video, not because I want to appear tech savvy, but because of the drinking involved during and after the build. I especially relish the heavy drinking involved when it fails and I have no one to blame but myself. Cheers!
        ????????
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      124. I have a 1u 1bay chassis as a router running opnsense. It doesn’t need a ton of storage so I have a couple of 128gb m.2s in raid 1 and a 1tb ssd in the bay for logging. Sure, I don’t use it as a NAS, but not everything in a rack needs dense storage
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      125. Thks Robbie buts;
        ??Why not just get a 4/6/8/10bay external HDD enclosure & attach it inexpensive small/micro computer (nuc, stick, mini, etc) or maybe a fancy-pants wifi router??
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      126. So I have an enclosed rack that is short depth(stupid idea on my part), about 375mm depth max for any case. In it my Home Assistant box is just a Intel N95 based cpu mini pc sitting on a shelf in it. I want to keep it simple, but may replace it at one point with another small, energy efficient device build. So something like that 1U may be perfect because it wont need a ton of space since I have a NAS. What I would like to find is a short depth 4-5U rack mountabe with full size ATX board capability and 4-12 drive hot swap.
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      127. Oh man, only found out about the n3 the other day, looks like ill be changing my n1 for that, there is also a low profile rtx 4060 out now, i just wish 20tb drives were cheaper ????
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      128. If you want to run an SSD at network speeds you’ll need a 10Gbs NIC – probably a PCIE card. If you want multiple SSDs you’ll need to balance your NIC and carrier SSD card (if you’re not using sata SSDs). Probably at least two PCIEx8 slots on the motherboard or multiple x4 if you’re doing individual nvme drives. I’m not sure SATA ports are good for much beyond your video library and backups. You could RAID SATA SSDs, but I’d be concerned about that as a future-proof strategy, given how nvme seems to be the direction.
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      129. I like the enclosure at 18:56. I would put a passive pcie slot cover sas internal to external adapter in there and run 8 sas drives in a raidz2. Or I could get 2 anclosures. To populate a 16e sas card. Sas also allows 10 meter cables so I could put it away from my desk and ears.
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      130. I looked around and ended going with the antec p101 silent atx case. 8x hdd bays (more if you use the 5.25, plus 2 ssd mounts. Good ventilation and sound proofing plus full atx support for expansion
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      131. The only thing I understood from the video is that the only manufacturer for home use is Jonsbo.And this is very unfortunate because there is room for improvement in Jonsbo.
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      132. That 14:24 case is literally the worst type of case. You can still use 8 bay but you can’t use ATX in it. If you want to use ATX PSU, you need to remove 2/4bay HDD from that case to put it.

        Here’s the video about that case:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPaDCiyY3Kw&t=964s
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      133. The first removable hard drive bays I build into my system was when I build a 486 with IDE drives. It rocked ????byes I am old and so are removable drives
        I wouldn’t buy a 4 drive for 3×5,25 just get a 5 drive for the same space.
        The only case I would buy is 6×2,5 and as silent as possible. PCIe slot(s) is a must.
        But I would need 3… ceph cluster yay ????
        You want a cheap rackmount case for your storage? Go second hand. Loads of cheap ex datacenter stuf.
        Also nice.. asrock sp3 mini itx board. It has 2x10g and 6xu2. And sp3 processors are cheap..
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      134. One thing to keep in mind when checking rackmount chassis, is depth. I have a 18U rack with about 23” depth, and really need to be careful because most chassis are larger than my rack.
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      135. Really enjoyed this video! Recently this has become a new hobby for me – looking for new NAS cases on Ali 🙂
        I own the one at 9:04. Has a full height slot which is nice, but only 80mm fan + motherboard is a nightmare to fit it. In hindsight, I think the best case in this form factor is the U-NAS NSC-410. 4 hotswap bays, 120mm fan and support for an ITX motherboard that mounts on the side (which is much easier than cramming it at the bottom), only downside is the price.
        I also own a 6 bay NAS chassis sold under the brands Yufu and Auriga. It’s not the most compact, but it does support MicroATX motherboards with full height PCIe as well as a standard ATX PSU. This one was not featured in this video, but I think it is a really good case for home labs because it looks nice + easily expandable with standard components.
        Cheers!
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      136. I’ve always been of the DIY persuasion when it comes to my NAS.

        I recently rebuilt my NAS using an Antec VSK4000E-U3 case and a Rosewill RSV-SATA-Cage-34. Both parts cost me just under $130 USD. Popped in a m-ATX board, Ryzen 4600G 6-core CPU, and 16GB of RAM. The case is large enough to fit an ATX board, if I wanted to. This new setup is so much nicer to service than the old Antec Nine Hundred case I was using.

        Is it a bit ugly? Maybe. You decide. Video of the rebuild is on my channel.
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      137. the most puzzling decision is having a 1U PSU even for the 8+ bay NAS. Yes it is technically a PSU and you can technically get even 1000w PSUs in that form factor but it’s far from the best and cheapest when you start going above 300w, which is what you probably need for 8 drive spinup loads
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      138. Would you consider doing a DIY compact SSD NAS?

        What I have in mind at this point:

        – M.2 to 6x SATA adapters
        or M.2 NGFF 4x cards + pcie 4x to multiple SATA ports
        – 5.25″ to 6x 2.5″ drive trays
        – an external DVD duplicator case with 2/3/4 5.25″ front bays
        – a few SATA power-cable splitters and SATA data cables
        – high capacity SATA SSD’s (like the Samsung QVO 8GB)

        Biggest question mark still is the mobo, maybe a single board like the latest Lattepanda Sigma ?

        Would love your take on this.
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      139. You mentioned about the screen option on so many of the cases but seem to have missed the screen option on the Treasure 8 bay. You even put a picture of the black version with the screen turned off. I have been eyeing this one up for a while but pulled the trigger on the Jonsbo N3 earlier this week. Maybe once I have the Jonsbo build done I will pick one up. Granted I know the screens not an official option but when on ali …
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      140. 23:49 that is not a NAS chassis it is a regular server chassis, it is perfect for an ITX router board (the one with 4 2.5gb ports, or any ITX board actually), I’m thinking getting one of those, 26:23 I got the 8 bay 500mm deep version a month ago and the quality is excellent, got that version because you can fit a regular ATX PSU and a mATX board inside (kind of, I had to flip the fan bracket and fans to fit an Asrock B450m Pro4 R2.0 ) and the length is perfect for my 9U networking rack (650mm deep, usable 550mm), shipping to Mexico was expensive (3466 Mexican pesos, around £165) but understandable, the box it came in is massive and it is very heavy, also it was delivered by FeDex so no complains there, if you want some pictures of my chassis I’ll be happy to send them
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      141. Very useful because I keep having the nagging doubt that there must be something out there that could be scrapped together to do “Docker for Data Science” by day and backup by night. I am just afraid that a Celeron with 16 Gig RAM max won’t cut it for the by day Python/PostgreSQL workloads — even for a single user setup run from a laptop. I am hopeful that the NAS manufacturers will soon introduce something with a little more CPU and RAM. Otherwise I am creating a Frankenstein Apple Mini connected to a NAS perhaps via its own Ethernet or USB 3.2.
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      142. if i wanted stuff from ali express, id goto amazon.
        really, i dont trust it anyway, and its damn near the same stock. when it comes to electronics
        the 1/3U “server” chasis are most likely be ideal for only the server itself with a 16+ bay mounted next to it. if i had the choice, this honestly is how i want to build out. but im poor, and can only afford a boring box. the 4U is shallow, and better for homelab setups.
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      143. i’m not particularly certain about those “ex-chia” cases, as you called them, in terms of how the drives are mounted. there’s no backplane in those things, and i don’t think there is any sort of mechanism to secure the drives, so, i think the case is gonna become a giant speaker
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      144. I just bought a Terramaster F4-423 for $350 including European VAT. With an accumulation of discount coupons and coins like you need to buy on Ali. Looks more cost effective than some of these chassis.
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      145. The hanging drive configuration predates Chia mining by a decade or so. It’s simply the most compact storage you can create for rackmounts and when you pay for each U in a data center they pay for themselves pretty quickly. Though I’ve never heard the term Hanging drive before. These systems absolutely need to have good integration with the HBA or RAID controller used so it is easy to identify the individual drives. There’s few things worse than realizing you just pulled the wrong drive when swapping out a dead drive. So individual signaling LED for each drive is a must have.

        The 1U one drive chassis is not intended as a NAS or storage server, obviously. They are usually used as application servers where they have one discrete machine for each server instead of using virtual servers. It’s old school thinking but still often used for it’s simplicity and because they are cheap. But they do eat the rack units! Some times you see them mounted two at a time in a rack with one on the front and one on the back. When doing that it’s important that the fans are blowing the right direction, which is front to back for the one in front and back to front for the one in the back. Getting a PSU with an inverted fan can be a problem.

        There’s also possible to mount some of these rear wards in the rack, that is at the back it will look as if you have a long full size 1U chassis mounted. Then all fans can be mounted in the “normal” direction.

        This doubles up the capacity per Unit in the rack, but can be a bit tricky to maintain.

        Finally you have blade server variants where you have two to four blades in a 1U rack, each with their own dedicated 3½” drive. Again they are sometime able to be mounted in a front / back config, so up to 8 blades per 1U. But again they are not intended to act as NAS or storage servers.
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      146. I think the big difference with those “weird” rackmount cases, is that they prioritize short depth. They are wider than they are deep.

        This could be very useful! I considered rack mount for my last build but the depth of most cases makes in impractical in my apartment. Think about the ikea “lack rack” style builds.
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      147. I found Centaurus-NAS/AIO from aliexpress it has 8×3.5bay +4×2.5 internal bay. further can install upto normal atx and sfx psu it looks cool but expensive can you check it?
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      148. I got the same mobo (justo with the intel N6005)… there’s an internal USB port… just sayin its safer tu put the usb in ther so no one “accidentally ” pulls it out… huge mistake I made with going with a pico PSU… changed it to a 400w… no working fine… thank you for your videos! ther really helped deciding what to get!… went also with unraid
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      149. “Best Jonsbo N2 Build for Under/Around £250”
        You need a maths lesson, parts included in this comes to around £300 not £250 (based on your pricing shown)
        Also pricing is a lot higher than you stated form the sources you stated, and you use both £ and $ which is confusing /constructive criticism use one or the other
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      150. 49:16 Well I personally usually chek that 127 other things in the BIOS to make sure I don’t have to reinstall the whole system just because I changed something like SecureBoot only after I installed the OS. 🙂
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      151. Hey – nice job here. There is also the value of the learning that is in depth – you can also upgrade individual components to go with as you need. The cost of upgrading a turn key is quite a bit larger – you have about the same 2x factor I think. Interesting – worth the hour invested to watch here!
        And congratulations!
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      152. It is a lot more work to set up your own but it is so much more powerful and cheaper. There is no comparison really. I used a retired PC and bought a multibay drive caddy.
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      153. I just built one for my friend, N6005 + 16 RAM + H6 case + 1 TB NVME SSD + 250W PSU + Unraid Plus, and spent nearly £330.

        Of course, I was building this while in China, so the shipping cost is way lower, but spent another £25 mailing it to UK.
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      154. Hey, I’ve been looking for an alternative to my NAS as mine is currently my old gamingpc, which is complete overkill and higher than ideal power consumption.

        Can I as, why this wouldn’t be good to use with TrueNAS at it seemingly fits their hardware requirements.

        I’m a bit new to all this, so please excuse me if this is a dumb question.
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      155. I *loved* this build video. So much detail, great explanation, and it is clearly a done with love for this topic. I’d be interested in a similar build video if you can find a low-cost build with drive trays rather than those off rubber-pull attachments.
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      156. It’s not just about the time spent. It’s about how much your data is worth. If you’re not thinking about things like patrol reads and notifications on disk failures. Rebuild processes for the array. Those types of things… you can end up with bit rot or data loss when not noticing hardware failures.
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      157. It’s so weird to me that JONSBO is a brand of NAS now, when fifteen years ago JONSBO was a line of table lamps at IKEA. (Rather nice ones, too!)

        (Unlike a lot of other IKEA product names, JONSBO does not appear to be a Swedish placename, but there was a 20th Century Norwegian artist named Kåre Mikkelsen Jonsborg so maybe that’s the etymology idk)
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      158. When i go shopping for the sheep build on Amazon i get the following prices:
        case Jonsbo N2 = €225
        N5105 Motherboard 8MB RAM/ 128GB NVMe=€221.93
        SATA cable = €14
        etc,
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      159. Pretty Nice Video of this build! But the most important question i have is how high is the power consumption ? Is it the same like the Qnap / Synology or is the power consumption much higher because Qnap / Synology did some optimization of their used components ?
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      160. “Sorry Captain Planet” you had a few clever comments. I have a Synology DS213 that I now realize is 10 years old but it’s all I need with 2 1TB WD Red drives in hybrid. If I had the need I’d be into building my own.
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      161. New to your channel. NASCompares and you’ve never built a NAS from scratch before?! You can build one better than any QNAP, Synology, etc. for less. As for the USB connectors from the case. They match EXACTLY what they are since one is USB 3.0 and the other is USB-C 3.2. There is nothing non-standard about them. The issue is your motherboard only has USB 2.0.
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      162. There was no throughput test results ???? Cited MB comprises 1 SATA shared by 5 interfaces. That’s the main drawback for this NAS. Or is it meant to be for the first DIY device?
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      163. Brilliant video! This is the best tutorial and guide I’ve seen for building a fully-functional, do-it-yourself NAS. I especially appreciated the step-by-step details, and your objective, brand and device-specific recommendations, evaluations, and critiques of each of the components. The Unraid solution allowing the use of such an enormous variety and size of SATA disk drives is likewise amazing. You have motivated me to take this on myself. Thank you! Now subscribed.
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      164. Been down both paths for 20+ years. If I want to impress my peers I build my own servers. If I want to impress my family get a Synology. Played with Unraid to make hardware pass through setups with Windows XP/98 systems and 3DFX and Creative EAX cards and its an ongoing project, fraught with many many issues. They are fun projects, but you will get to the stage that other hobbies call you and a Synology is the way to go. After all, we don’t live forever and the kids will inherit them, so they need something less IT knowledge base intensive.
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      165. I’ve been looking to upgrade my Synology to a DS423+ or similar, that’s what brought me here.
        But, from what I could see, this build is just not worth the cost or hassle when I can get a pre-built unit with Synology’s DSM that is basically plug and play. Great if you want to build your own system for the hell of it, but personally I just can’t justify the time.
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      166. One recomendation I would make is using a way better power supply like an FSP or Sparkle to enhance the reliability and stability of the build (start with a good foundation) and to turn the power supply around so the vents allow the power supply to suck in cool air and the rear to exit the heat. Most newer motherboard do use the USB3 connectors provided by Jonsbo. The rest of the video is great. Congratulations to your subscriptions! Dr. Dave
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      167. Hmm way less money then i thought. Built my own stuff sense my early teens but never looked in to NAS. Now days whit all the data we have on our hands this might be a good time to start my first NAS project. Grats on 100k and thanks for the info.
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      168. What a fantastic guide! I THANK YOU!
        I’ve assembled PC last time probably 35 years ago – not many things have changed since then I can see.
        Btw why did you go with 5105 rather than 6005? No big price difference there…

        You have kept the t-shirt but you have changed the watch between the recordings – even 2 times !!! 😉
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      169. No, thank you for the fantastic video. Hope you hit 200k soon you guys deserve it. Really appreciate the thorough details My one tip would be to invest in a build mat for that poor old scratched table, helps dampen noise, stops things rolling, can be anti static or have a brand logo.
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      170. Could you provide a download link for N5105 motherboard technical layout pdf? I’m curious about the details of the various headers on the mobo you used in the build.
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      171. Congrats on 100k! This was an interesting video… I look forward to seeing you put it through it’s paces. It’s a shame that the Jonesbo case only holds five 3.5″ drives, though… if it at least held the full 6 that motherboard and cable supported, it might be more of a contender for my next upgrade dollars, once my 4-bay Synology is no longer adequate. (Doesn’t seem worth the money to upgrade and add only a single drive)
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      172. Congratulations on 100K I have been interested in building my own NAS and have been watching your channel for some time now. Tons of information you guys are doing a great job!
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