Need hardware advice for getting started with a DIY unraid NAS


looking to build a NAS to replace a QNAP TVS-873. it’s great but i need something with some CPU power and nVME storage. the NAS will have 2 volumes:
Pool1: 4x 3.84TB Sandisk Skyhawk U.2 SSDs
Pool2: 4x 12tb WD Red

Pool1 will have have apps running off of it some times.

other NAS specs:
AsRock X399M Tachi motherboard
Threadripper 1920X (will upgrade if the project works out well)

here are my questions:
-do i need a dedicated OS volume? i have some WD Blue 500GB nVME SSDs i can use for that.

-how much RAM do i need?

thanks in advance!

Yes but a usb flash drive is sufficient to run it. If you have a pair of SSDs then feel free to use them.

As much as you can afford. Depends on your VM setup and containers etc. Given the mobo I’d aim for 32GB minimum

if i want to move the OS files from the USB drive to an SSD, do i just copy/paste all the contents of the USB drive to the SSD?

i was thinking about creating a raid1 volume and dumping the OS on to there.

It may not be bootable if you just Copy / Paste. You can clone the drive image (for example using the Gnome Disks utility and restore the copy to the SSD array. However you may be better off doing a backup of the unraid config files then doing a clean install and restore your config.

There’s no information here to really answer your questions.

What OS are you going to use?

What file system are you planning on using?

Are you going to virtualize?

You said you need some CPU power but then you list TR, so you’ve gone to the complete opposite end of the spectrum from what your qnap was running. You must have plans for this nas beyond what you’ve said or you like spending money.


i will have at least one VM with a lightweight distro of linux, probably Lubuntu, for some basic tasks. it will run a unifi controller, DVR software, backup of remote NAS drives. all of these things are currently done by my QNAP, which is running an AMD 4c/8t APU. the only issue with the QNAP is when jobs overlap, everything slows down to a crawl. i have to stop working off of it until it’s finished with its’ tasks.

the main reason above all for going with this CPU is PCE-E lanes. i want to use nVME drives that require PCI -E lanes. right now i have 3x 3.84TB nVME drives, but will probably drop in another 3 if everything works well. also needed the PCI-E lanes for my dual 10Gbe NIC

the nVME volume is for me to work on while the spinning rust will back up the nvme volume as well as do all the other tasks mentioned above.

thanks for the help. i haven’t been able to reply because i was in bed with coronavirus for over a week.

in any case, right now i’m still waiting for my spinning rust. should be here tomorrow

i’m abandoning unraid. i just realized i can’t create multiple storage pools in unraid. synology and qnap can do it, silly of me to assume unraid can too.

just picked up HighPoint SSD7120, going back to the old faithful; raid5.

Each disk is its own storage pool in unraid

Not sure why you think you need multiple pools? Also, you don’t need NVMe drives in your NAS, even if you have 10GBe.