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Freenas setup, which boards support ECC Ram B460 or B550?

Hello everybody I hope all of you are doing well, I’m considering building my own NAS with Freenas instead of upgrading my Synology DS218+ since my drives 2x8tb Iron Wolf drives in Raid 1 are nearly full (600gb left). I already had a 2x8gb 3200mhz CL16 Vengeace LPX kit laying around and was looking at an i3 10100k and B460 board till it clicked to me that I would be better with ECC Ram for obvious reasons. I then started searching for boards that support it, my question is which board and processor should I go with? I wanted the i3 because it has a 3.6ghz base frequency and I was considering an MSI MPG B460I Gaming Edge WiFi Mini-ITX Motherboard but I don’t think it will support ECC Ram. The other option would be a B550 board with a Ryzen 3600 but I don’t need the amount of cores for this NAS and I was confused on which board to go with, the 3400G is not available new here in Australia anymore and I want to shop locally. The only other processor that is available is the 1600AF and 2600 I would prefer the 1600AF to stay in my budget but I would have preferred the iGPU on the i3 so I didn’t have to use a dedicated GPU but I do have an RX550 to use if I went 1600AF. I’m also considering 2x or 3x WD WD141KRYZ 14TB Gold drives in Raid 1, my goal is data backup with this machine. I also have 2x Aquantia 10G cards one for the NAS and the other for my main machine, I’m fine with slower transfer times on my other machines. I know some AMD boards support ECC but I’m not sure if all of them do. My data is very important to me so if using ECC will help protect whats written to the drive then ECC it must be. I’ve had some errors already with some media files not playing properly on my main system, it sucks:( Thanks to everyone that reply to this thread I appreciate it. This will be my first Freenas build ever.

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Key for ECC support is the proc: only AMD supports ECC on consumer-grade hardware ATM. This will change with DDR5 RAM, when that’s released some time, as the specs mandate ECC usage.

If iGPU is important enough for you, consider buying a AMD 4000 series mobile APU. This has the benefit of a lower TDP as well as newer arch (Zen 2 over Zen 1 and Zen 1+)


Thanks for the reply Mate I appreciate it. I can get a 2400G from a store here, I would have wanted the 3400G but its not available. So all B450 boards support ECC?

I’ve seen conflicting reports on ECC.

e.g. that one has to use a right CPU on the right board, specifically Ryzen Pro CPUs with integrated graphics on a board that spells out support for those CPUs gets you ECC. You also get ECC if you use a CPU w/o integrated graphics, but you don’t get ECC on a 3200G (integrated graphics, non Pro).

Something about the motherboard firmware needing to initialize the CPU correctly.

Btw, if you haven’t already, you may want to consider:

Various $15 usb3 uasp enclosures to which you can attach RK3328 based Friendly Elec NanoPi neo3 . And instead of running drives in mirror, you can run them as single disks connected to network over gigabit, and back things up incrementally between the drives. This is not as reliable as a mirror / metadata is single homed, but it’s simple and cheap and a gateway to ceph and similar things that are very very reliable and robust and efficient and fast (basically add more disk hosts for more bandwidth).

Since you have some time till you run out of space I’m mentioning these alternatives as options to explore.

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That is not… entirely accurate.
A lot of the i3 and Celeron, even some Pentiums have official ECC support. Atoms also typically have ECC support, but none of them are socketable to my knowledge. All of those however are perfectly adequate for most NAS uses. That is also why those are being used in a lot of ready-to-buy NASes like Synology (even the model he is using right now…) and QNAP.
There are no Socket 1200 CPUs in that category right now, but for a NAS it shouldn’t be that big of a deal to just go 1151v2 instead.

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I can’t believe I forgot there is no ECC support on APU’s… My bad. Thanks for the reply. I would prefer to build my own NAS with Freenas but thanks for the recommendation.

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According to the link you posted the 10100E supports ECC which is not available at my local stores sadly… Neither are the 1151 chips. I was thinking maybe a 1600AF on an MSI B450I GAMING PLUS AC ITX board with 2x8gb ECC. What’s your thoughts? Thanks for the reply.

1600 AF is the 12nm variant right? Should be completely fine, if not even a bit overkill depending what you’re wanting out of that NAS. 6C/12T in a NAS is beefy so you can probably even run some small VMs/Containers with no major issues.
As for the board, it depends a bit on the case you are going for. Personally I wouldn’t be going ITX if it can be avoided because it really limits your expansion options due to limited board space. And ITX also tends to be a little more expensive compared to their mATX counterparts.

Also keep in mind that while ECC will probably™ work just fine on that particular board, it is not advertised as actively supporting ECC so there is no way to know if it a) actually will and b) will support it in the future. Personally I would look at a board that actively advertises ECC support because then you can be sure to receive support (and with that I also mean the support team if something doesn’t work). Asrock has a fairly good assortment of boards that advertise ECC, and I think also a couple Gigabyte boards. Not sure about the rest.
edit: to clarify, this board advertises ECC support for the DIMMs, but in non-ECC mode:

  • Supports non-ECC UDIMM memory
  • Supports ECC UDIMM memory (non-ECC mode)

Meaning ECC DIMMs will work, but they don’t support error reporting to the OS.

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Ok so according to a thread on Asus forums the Asus Strix B450-F supports ECC and it works but again its not available here new anymore… 1600AF is the 12nm variant yes, its basically a 2600. Its $189AUD and available, only reason why I considered it.

Confirmed working list:

-ROG Crosshair VI & above [ Yes ] confirmed to support ECC*

-ROG Strix B450-F -E -I [ Yes ]

-Prime X470-Pro & higher [ Yes ] confirmed to support ECC*

So options are limited because none of these boards are available new here. What’s my other options… :frowning: I’m going to do some more research on which B550 boards might support ECC and have it actually working.

Ok so I’ve decided to not use ECC and just go with the GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD4 and 2600k I have laying around here, it has 2x Sata 6gb for 2x 14tb Drives. I have 4x 4gb 1333mhz Ram to go with it, I’ll be running Raid 1. Freenas requires 1gb of Ram per TB so since I’ll be using Raid 1 which means a total of 14tb will 16gb be enough?

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1GB per TB is a rule of thumb, there is nothing that really requires it. Otherwise Petabyte storage servers would be difficult to do :wink:
But either way yes it will be enough.


Thanks, my Synology only has 2gb with 2x 8tb but I thought I would ask just to be sure. Thanks for the help mate.

Synology doesn’t operate with the same Filesystem, hence the difference. FreeNAS (well, TrueNAS now…) use ZFS by default. The 1GB per TB rule is something it inherited from ZFS because ZFS historically loves RAM. Someone correct me if I’m wrong but from what I know that is mostly for caching and when using File Deduplication, much of which can also be mitigated by using an SSD for caching now, which of course when ZFS was developed was not a thing.

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Yeah, that’s my understanding also. If you’ve got more it’ll use more as a cache, but 16 or even 8GB for lighter use cases should be fine.

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For a small NAS btrfs will work fine too. And it’s slightly lighter on ram. (Not to mention easier to expand)

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Its just me that will be using it, its mainly for a Steam cache and my data to which I have around 7.5tb worth of data plus around 2tb of Games that I have installed. So in the TrueNas settings I can set up an SSD cache drive? Sorry I’ve never used TrueNas. I have a Crucial BX500 1tb laying around will that be enough as a cache drive? Is it worth using a Cache drive? I might even go to 2x 16tb Drives Raid 1 since I won’t be spending on a board and processor, might as well just build something that will last me years. I have a budget of $2000AUD the 16tb Iron Wolf Pro drives are going to cost me $829 each plus a PSU. Thanks again I appreciate your time all of you.

You can compute this stuff (ROI things).

For a NAS, your drives will be most of the cost.

8T/12T/16T/18T drives all cost about the same per byte.

Things become expensive when you consider expansions / throwing small drives away (or worse - keeping them) because they don’t fit the arrays anymore.

How are your Linux skills - are you comfortable around ssh and/or willing to learn?

If you’re building a NAS system you plan on using for the next 5-10 years (with luck - upgrading to 10G/40G and adding another 5-8 disks in addition to initial 2-3)… You may want to do things yourself - install a regular server os. Do the partitioning and cache setup and so on, in such a way where you’re not locked into a particular configuration.

3-2-1 … 3 copies of important data, 2 different media, 1 remote.

Steam caches and so on, are replenishable and not important data. How much important data do you have?

Again, upgrading storage is hard, used and abused HDDs aren’t worth anything on the open market, plan to not have to do it at home unless every 2-3 years in such a way where you can reuse the drives.

If it were me, I’d run a btrfs mirror on Debian with a pair of 16T drives, 50% full on start, and when 80% full, I’d add another 16T drive (still 2 copies/mirror), I’d then plan to add a 4th 16T drive and look into more complex raid setup.
This is based on my experience where I got stuck with ZFS and ended up having to build another similar NAS to rescue my data years ago. Now i have two crappy NAS-es at home and a bunch of 4T-5T drives instead of one shiny nice NAS.

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The extent of my Linux skills I messed around with Ubuntu a few times but I’m willing to learn. I have one 10G card here I got with an Asus Zenith board its an Aquantia. btrfs mirror on Debian? I have just over 7tb of Data not including my Steam cache. Thanks for your advice, I will go the way you recommended.

Am I allowed to ask what happened? Because I want to switch from BTRFS to ZFS and I don’t see expandability to be a problem (if you use mirrors) as you can just expand your array with 2 new drives. Yes, you can’t switch RAID Level with zfs unfortunately. But since RAID 5/6 shall not be used with BTRFS due to the write hole issue, I don’t see that much of a benefit here. Or am I missing sth?

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Was that a question? (BTRFS mirror on debian?) If yes, it’s pretty simple you probably just have to install btrfs-progs (or btrfs-tools) and then create the array by running mkfs.btrfs -m RAID1 -d RAID1 /dev/disk-by-id/$(Your disk information here) /dev/disk-by-id/$(Your second disk)

You can either use the full drive /dev/sda for example or create a partition that spans the whole size of the drive (/dev/sda1). BTRFS doesn’t care.
If you do just run gdisk /dev/sda, press o , then y and the n for new partition, hit enter a couple times so that it’ll create the biggest partition possible. If you’re back in the main menu hit w and y to write it to disk. Remember to do it on the right disk… :wink:

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