First NAS

I'm looking to get a NAS I'm most likely going to use freeNAS my budget is about $400-$500 AUD. I want at least 2 TB of safe storage. I was looking at an i3 but it doesn't really fit my budget. I am going to be using this daily for media and games. 100MBPS+ would be nice.

Using Gigabit ethernet ~100MB/s should easily be doable, so any board with Gigabit ethernet should work for you. Also, I think that an i3 might be overkill if your minimum is 2TB of safe storage.

2TB for starting ill probably upgrade in next 6 months of having the NAS

If you're planning on upgrading in 6 months, then it might be a better idea to save up some money and start off with a better NAS. I don't know your financial situation so this might not be an option for you, but if it is I think you should consider it.

Most likely not an option but I might be able to.

But to get back to the build itself, I assume that with "safe" storage you mean that the storage has redundancy (using RAID or ZFS or something similar), right?

yes I was looking at ZFS. I also want to use plex

Plex does make things more complicated, as far as I know plex uses quite some computing power.

ye thats why I was looking at the i3

Only if it has to transcode stuff.

As your planning to use plex it is best you plan ahead, rather than waste money.

I'm running a xeon 1260L (45wTDP 4c/8t IGP) on a ASrock Z77 with 16gb of ram. 2nd hand gear {CPU & motherboard} is always an option. I recently picked up a i5 2400 & a Asus z68 deluxe for just under $100 AUD all up.

how did you get the mobo and CPU so cheap?

I might get a NAS soon and this is what I have came up with.
What do you all think?

Why those parts? Just price? Any specific reason? Or just as a starting point?
And what software do you wanna use?

Just a starting point I might want to run some jails in it (FreeNAS). I'm just getting a reference from some of the tek syndicate videos about the parts.

You can use the J1900 board I posted in the PFsense box topic:

But you nee an HBA card in the future because it only has 2 sata ports. But it is an great option, you can run up to 16 GB of RAM, so for FreeNAS best practices:
- 8 GB Base Memory
- 1-1,5 GB per TB of RAW storage

So best case 8 TB or worst case 5TB with safe ZFS storage. But if would save up and create the full machine upfrond, instead of buying more storage after the fact. Because of the beast called volume extension... Dont like that one, but still doable if you plan carefully.

Two points I forgot to mention, it has NO ECC support. But has an IPMI controller.

Well im just going to use the j1900 for pfsense then ill get a secondary pc (probably with an i3) for free NAS. I need a lot of power since I will have multiple people using it at once, and I plan to use plex.

If you can go with an Xeon for the ECC memory support. And as of now for my goto cheap and powerfull server is the HP Proliant ML110 G6 with the Intel Xeon X3450 CPU. And you can run the machine in AHCI modus to bypass the buildin controller. And it has 6 sata ports and 4 standard bays for 3,5 inch drives.

Although it may not be a highly supported choice by most of the users on this forum, I feel like it would be the cheapest...

Buy a used LGA 1366 workstation, such as an HP Z400 or Dell T3500. Xeon, supports ECC, built-in raid functionality. They can be had for like $200 CAD because of their age (around 6ish), however, depending on the CPU inside, can have identical, or even better multi-threaded performance compared to a modern i3/i5/17.

If you will mainly use single-threaded performance, yeah, they aren't the best...

The reason i'm recommending this is because I bought a used HP Z400, some used HDD's (enterprise grade), a bit more ram, for around $350 CAD, and now have a really nicely speced server, with over 3TB of redundant storage, and performs as well as a i3 6100 in multi-threaded tasks.

I might just a new xeon and spend the extra $200