NAS: Do I go for older server gear or newer normal gear?

Hello everyone,

I have at home, an ASrock rack E3C224-4L with a core i3 4370, 16Gb of DDR3 ecc and all the enterprise grade goodies like IPMI and an ASrock A320M Pro4, an a8 9600 and 2x16Gb of ECC DDR4 2133 which lacks IPMI, SGPIO and stuff.

I’m planning on building a new NAS with 8 drive bays and as I don’t have much budget at this time, I’m really hesitating to use one or the other as I can’t really afford getting anything better (I would dream of an embedded EPYC cpu at some point).

My other stuff for the new server are: Intel af-da 10gb NIC, Fantec 208 2U server chassis with a seasonic 500w PSU and at this time 6x3Tb of mixed Seagate and WD hard drives.

Thank you in advance for your advises:slightly_smiling_face:

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My FreeNas box is built with commodity hardware and is super solid. i3-6300, 16 GB ECC RAM, 5x4TB HGST Desktar Nas Drives (maybe these aren’t so commodity but whatevs). I built it about a year and a half ago and I am having no issues with it.

With that being said, you may be able to get used hardware for cheaper. It just depends on the deal. You also need to make sure you don’t get a powerhog that is already 5-6 years old.

all of this. just use something newer as you’ll save a ton on power.

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I hesitate saying this because you could technically find like a one year old server on ebay that’s low power, high core count, makes your bed for you, etc. But the odds of that are very low. I say keep an eye out for unicorn deals like that, but plan on building your own…

we’re litterally about talking a computer which shares harddrive space to a network. Question is, do you really need more?, if i were you, id stick a 10gb nic into your existing solution, add the extra harddrives, and enjoy.
Do you really need a EPYC cpu in order to handle the data traffic to store on your home network?.
personally i use a small 4 core celeron system(intel nuc, proberly 80 years old architechture), with a 6tb harddrive attached to it, and 8gb ram, and it still gives me a good 40mb/s+ when sharing my network harddrive running zfs etc etc. but that is all it is, just a network share, i dont game from it, all i do is playback some movies, and install some games.
again question is, do you really need a EPYC 64 core to share your home local files? or would maybe a fx 8350 be enough, again it is a home network.
And is your use case really that you need 10gb/s or rather 1Gb/s to watch a ripped dvd, or install game X.


I suggest Commodity. There is a reason those companies are shedding those systems like they are diseased. They are power hungry. The only reason I have against used servers is that they are noisy.

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Yep, I made the mistake of buying a R510 for the same price I could have bought a new B350 system for.

Unless OP lives somewhere with free or extremely cheap power, I’d recommend strongly against getting old server hardware.

My R510 pulls about 180W at idle and nearly 400 at full load.

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depending on the network traffic on your home network what you have is good!
network performance is better served with quality network hardware, ( fibre-optic nic). will give you outstanding communication speed between the nodes on the network and hubs
but that could be limit to the speed of the network cards installed in the pc’s.
overall there will be some improvement but not as much as all fibre network.
if all your nodes and servers are equipped with fibre optic nic you will see phenomenal performance with no network noise

Seems fine my Nas with 10gbe, e3 1275l, 32gb ecc ram, 8x3tb drives is plenty for home uses

All I can say is that I will try to decommission my xeon E5 2670 c602 platform. It pulls 120W idle 24/7. So keep in mind if the power bill is high where you are. Also less HDD more efficient obviously.

I have a tangential question to this. Is ECC memory a must for a NAS?

No but highly recommend

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I wouldn’t say highly.

It’s definitely a value-add, but it’s not like you’re going to run into problems if you don’t use it. Especially with new-age storage solutions like ZFS.

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If your building storage with redudancy clearly you value the data so adding more layers of protection is highly recommend but not required. That’s my logic
Usually ecc isn’t that much more experience so highly is my level


I just have my old i5 3570 laying around, I thought maybe finding a miniATX MB and and small case could be a way to go. :wink:

8TB HDDs are expensive tho lol

Go for it. Don’t spend another $400 just to get ECC.

No they arent.

These have 256MB cache, 7200rpm drives that are basically white-label HGST enterprise.

Looks around sees 2x8tb drives sitting around


our definition of expensive might differ :wink:

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Right, I didn’t mean they weren’t expensive, but the price per TB is down quite a bit.

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I would roll with the hardware you already have. There is no added cost in doing so. If it meets your needs, keep it. If it does not, then it is time to build a new server.

Power savings in a situation like yours, where you already own hardware, is a almost a non-issue. If you buy new hardware based purely on power savings, you will rarely make up the cost of that hardware versus repurposed hardware.

The i3 should already support ECC, if you decide that you want it. ECC is NOT needed unless you are dealing with absolutely mission critical data, even on ZFS. Recommended? Sure, but not required.