They have some bare-bone servers with real nice mini-itx boards in them, like the new Denverton Atom. NAS and router in one. But tend to be on the expensive side, probably overkill for home use.
Cheaper all-in-one would probably be the HP Proliant Microserver gen 8. The new Gen launched recently, so maybe you can find a gen 8 for cheap on firesale. It is compact, quiet and has dual gigabit lan.
Now when I’m checking, I’m finding the latest Proliant Microserver for kinda cheap as bare-bone. The model is “HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Entry” (AMD Opterson X3000). I wonder how easy it is to swap the odd with a sdd.
Edit: Ah, top bay on the Gen 10 is either a DVD-RW or a SATA SSD. Nice.
We run linux on them. Setting the disk controller into AHCI mode did the trick. I remember getting some power cable adapters to get sata-power to the top slot (for a SSD OS drive), that is intended for a ODD and doesn’t have ordinary sata power. It was solved with off the shelf adapters though, nothing special.
Here’s a budget build it yourself parts list I just threw together to get the ideas flowing. Its under $300 before buying drives and the case/motherboard and power supply will handle 6 drives and not take up much room if that’s important to you. It also meets the minimum requirements for Free NAS if you are considering that.
Other alternatives for NAS would be unRaid which I like and of course roll it yourself with Linux
You could even get a GPU and do GPU passthrough with this build, but it would likely sacrifice a couple of drives to make room for the GPU.
Find a Gen8 HP micro server as they seem to be the favourite version of them and then you can either install Xpenology or the actual Synology NAS OS which has recently been hacked to install on non-Synology NAS hardware. I’m running an old Core 2 Quad system with that to host files, stream Plex and capture 2 security cameras.
Just to add QNAP and Synology are two of the more popular NAS manufacturers. QNAP tend to be more upgradeable with RAM options but both are good either way there’s just so many models on offer it gets confusing!
There’s some good tutorials on doing this like the one below.
Type of offer I can get on the HP Genx servers inthe UK. The Gen8 servers have iLO which is a way to remotely access the server without touching the OS running on it. I use this at work almost daily on 100+ servers