Return to

DIY NAS / Server

Hi all,
Just joined this forum. First post here. I need your suggestions and recommendations to build a machine to rip and store my BD’s, DVD’s and audio CD’s. The second purchase for this machine is to store photo’s from 2 iphones and back up laptop PC’s. We have a Dell XPS13 and 2 very old MacBook Core 2 Duo. Currently, I am using separate external HDD for backing up the laptops.

First off, a bit of background. This will be my 3rd build. So I am a real novice. The first one was an AMD Opteron 170 / DFI Landparty Expert / 2 GB DDR1. This one lasted 9 years. Second and current PC is an Intel i5-3570K / Asus P8Z77V-Deluxe / 16 GB DDR3. I triple boot MX-19, Archlabs and Windows 10 on separate SSD’s. There is also a 3TB Western Digital Red for storage. This one is going on 7 years strong and counting.

To date, I purchased 2-8TB Western Digital Element external HDD. I plan to schuck them for the new PC. I also have 2 power supplies in my possession. A Seasonic X Series 460 fanless and an Antec Neo HE430 which I pulled from my first build.

What do I do for the CPU / motherboard? Seems like AMD Ryzen is the better bang for the buck currently. Is it very time consuming to rip the BD’s and DVD’s? Should I built 2 boxes? One to house the stored data and one to do general computer stuff. I do not game if that matters with your suggestions. I do not mind spending around $1500 for this build.

Thanks and I look forward to yours recommendations.

1 Like

Riping Media in the us is illegall (bypassing drm is the issue)

Ryzen is much better suited for your task than Intel, especially if you don’t do gaming (specifically high framerate gaming), which you said was a non issue. More cores generally is better. There’s no real harm in doing “general computer stuff” on the box that’s doing the ripping assuming you have the space ram for that (web browsers eat ram)

On the note about legality,

We are assuming that you are doing this for purely academic research though I’m sure though as we don’t help people with anything illegal here.

So is speeding :smiley:

OP: if this is purely a NAS/server box, i’d be looking for the cheapest 6-8 core Ryzen AM4 CPU you can find and a B450 board to put it in.

For your use case, the performance difference between Ryzen 1000 series and 2000 will be minimal, and IMHO 3000 series will be overkill, but if you can snag a 3600 cheap enough it may be worth it. But then you’ll have to make sure either the b450 board has the required bios, or get an x570 board which will up the cost.

I’d look for a 2600/2700 personally.

However, if ripping is going to be less frequent, and file STORAGE is its main job, a 2200G or 2400G will mean you can get away without needing to buy a video card, you’ll just be dropped to 4 cores instead of 6. Which sounds a bit low in 2020, but we did 4 cores as the “mid-high end mainstream” for the past 10 years so its not too bad.

And ripping media you’re likely to be optical storage speed limited to some degree anyway.

1 Like

Yes, although it depends on the size of your collection. 30-50 disks can be gone through without that much pain, 1000 disks is going to take forever and ever. It also depends if you are ripping to an ISO, or ripping+transcoding to h.264 or something. Ripping to ISO is limited by how fast your optical and hard drives are. Transcoding speed is normally limited by CPU.

Yeah… and if you’re doing both, i’d suggest the best workflow would be… rip a heap of DVD/CD media to .ISOs (so you can sit and play disk jockey in one sitting for a bit while doing something else) and batch them up to convert to some other media type (over night or whatever).

I say this partially joking but maybe you need one of these? image

and a board that has 20 sata ports and space for 20 dvd/blu-ray/cd rw drives?

USB hubs plus external drives



1 Like

We all start somewhere. Welcome to the forum.

Politely i’d suggest this is not the best place to start designing your solution. As others have said, performance will be basically the same for NAS duties, if not overkill.

I’d suggest answering these questions first:

  1. Do you want a NAS. This means an always on server-like device that can be accessed by all your laptops and desktops, and maybe able to transcode media; or

  2. Do you want a powerful PC to ‘create secondary backups’ of ‘treasured home memories’ for later storage and streaming either on the same device or somewhere else.

If you want both then maybe two systems is the right answer. Your NAS could actually be an off the shelf Synology or qnap solution etc. For your use case this would probably work better as they are easier to setup and maintain over 3-5 years. Get a bare bones one and you can use your existing drives. Key thing is to balance capacity and resilience (ie, RAID).

If you want a project, you could learn how to use FreeNAS and roll your own server.

If you separate the server part, for your desktop blueray ripping system, you now don’t need masses of hard disks in the desktop making it tidier, smaller and more flexible. You could even save yourself $1000 and keep using the 3570k. It is still a beast if you are not gaming. It will rip disks just fine and the speed is limited by the BD drive, not the CPU. Transcode time is CPU bound but you can batch these as others have said.

Your post doesn’t discuss your data strategy. Your shucked hard drives can be added to a RAID array and you can create a storage pool. This can add redundancy (I’d recommend at least one disk). Don’t underestimate the cost of spare disks. Your $1500 could easily be spent on drives.

If your collection is large then you may need a lot of disks or a few large ones. Budget for backups, make sure you over provision the size of the pool as expanding later can be difficult, and steel yourself for one or more disks dying unexpectedly.

Good luck


Thanks kdb424 for sharing the article. I honestly did not know that I could not rip my own BD’s and DVD’s. My intent was not to break any laws but just wanted to watch these movies elsewhere in the house. Currently, my htpc is located in the basement. I suppose that I could buy a couple more BD players but that would defeat the purpose of storing the movies in one central location. How do people do this? Do they rip and then claim that the process was for education and research?

Thanks thro. My original intent was to have my movies, audio CD’s, and other data files stored on the NAS/server. Now that I found out that I am not legally allowed to rip my own disks, a good portion of the legal data can most likely be stored on my current 7 year old htpc with the 4 core i5-3570K / 16GB.

I have 10 BD’s, 25 DVD’s, 75 audio CD’s and small handful of home movies and data files that I wanted to store in a central location. I was torn between building 2 boxes. If I want to be legal, then the NAS is out of the question unless I want to claim doing academic research. I would probably still build a new Ryzen PC just in case the htpc goes belly up. I am leaning towards an x570 board and at least 8 cores. Best regards.


To shed some light here. Copying physical media for the purpose of personal backup is perfectly legal and OK to do. Bypassing DRM protection to do so is not. What you choose to do in your own home is none of our business here however discussing how to best go about bypassing DRM is a topic not for this forum unfortunately. The rest of it you are freely allowed to discuss.

If you want to rip DVDs and CDs, you can for the most part as those didnt include DRM protection. For CDs I like to use abcde.

Thank you Airstripone for your detail answers to my rookie questions. Hope that I did not offend anyone here for my design questions. I did not know where else to go to ask said questions.

BlockquoteDo you want a NAS> Blockquote
Initial answer was yes but if I am doing these illegally, then I am not sure that I want to go ahead with the NAS. I heard of Synology and Qnap but I am concerned about their proprietary parts, i.e. power supplies and such. Also, it is more fun to go DIY.

BlockquoteDo you want a powerful PC> Blockquote
Yes, for I have the itch to build a new PC

BlockquoteYour post doesn’t discuss your data strategy> Blockquote

I am afraid I lost you there. Do you mean that I need to store the data in a second location in additional to the RAID array?

Moreover, thanks for suggesting using my current i5-3570k. I will certainly consider going that route. If I do that, I will need to pull out some of the existing hdd’s for I am running out of sata ports. Plus, I am out of hdd’s space in my current htpc case.

As noted in my reply to others, my collection is not large. 10 BD’s, 25 DVD’s, 75 audio CD’s, small handful of home movies and data files. I already bought 2-8TB Western Digital Elements external hdd to start the array. Hope that should do it for now. I saw in other posts where they use UNRAID. Is this a good option for me since I can add more drives as I go. Best regards.

BlockquoteTo shed some light here. Copying physical media for the purpose of personal backup is perfectly legal

Thanks for the clarification. I will not discuss ripping DRM materials ever again on this forum. Also, thanks for the attached abcde link.

You can just highlight text you want to quote and a quote button should pop up. Clicking it will add the quote to your open post.

Not a problem. You can give abcde a config file and it will automatically rip CDs any time you insert one into the drive. Its pretty slick for automation.

You are most welcome. There is no such thing as a silly question. Better to ask before you spend money.

Totally agree, DIY is great fun, however if you are not confident there is no shame is going for the easy option. I won’t comment on the content copying rules as they are different per country. However if you do choose to create a media hosting NAS for content you legitimately own and for personal use, then you need to start by planning how you will store and access your data. This is known as a data strategy, and it will help you decide what hardware you need.

I could spend all day describing various data strategies, so here is the short version.

  1. How many people /devices will access your data. If it is just your HTPC then you may not need a NAS, but you may want to do some consolidation of the data onto the existing drives. If you want to share it around the house, or onto other devices like tablets or phones, then setting up a NAS and running Kodi, Plex or Emby can give you a lot of options. This also let’s you move the drives away from your TV and improve your living room experience.

  2. how important is the data. We always talk about backups and redundancy because NAS systems tend to be the only place L1 readers store data, but if the data is just copies of stuff you have on your main PC or on the original media (like CDs), then wasting money on Unraid and parity drives may be unnecessary. If your main priority is space, just plug all your drives into a JBOD array (Google it) and be happy. Plex etc can index multiple drives so you won’t be impacted. If your data is precious though, for example home videos of your kids / pets, then you may want to start looking at redundancy. I won’t talk about the various Raid or parity options here.

  3. will your data be growing in size and at what rate. If it is always going to be the same then don’t waste money on Unraid. If you expect to add more disks in the future and want one big drive pool, then Unraid is an option. I am a big advocate though of “leave it alone if it is working” and would not add drives to an existing pool that could break something. You can always add a second pool and split your data.

Reading back I think you want to build a NAS with media sharing capability. The best option would be to get a cheap low power CPU and motherboard, a case with good cooling and plenty of drive cages, move all your existing drives there and install either Unraid or something like open media vault.

Consider making a pc part picker list and asking for comments when you are ready.

Thanks again for your very detail explanation. I am learning a lot from all the L1 forum members. I don’t mind building. This will be my 3rd build because the first two has been so reliable. I leave them on 24-7. I update regularly and hence will have to reboot with the new patches. I don’t mind spending a bit more for quality because I think they last longer than trying to skimp on parts. Best regards.

Thanks. That was the trick. Best regards.

1 Like

The whole ripping vs. DMCA thing is a bit… i’d argue “fair use”. I get that the forum doesn’t want to be in hot water for warez but… considering the OP owns the originals…

Not quite right…

DVDs use CSS content scrambling, so they do include protection, it was just broken like ~20 years ago.

Then again, is it “circumventing” a protection mechanism if you are using a key you obtained? (Because IIRC that’s what DeCSS did).

Technically, playing a DVD with VLC is is legally borderline(!) - assuming you accept the DMCA laws as legitimate:

Some CDs also try and implement copy-protection - but THAT is a lot rarer, and mostly takes the form of malware they install into your (Windows) PC to enable playing but prevent copying…