Need to upgrade my FreeNAS system in order for it to work properly

Current hardware

Component Product
Motherboard Intel Intel® Server Board S1200KP
CPU Intel Xeon E3-1265L v2
RAM 2x8GB Samsung DDR3 M391B1G73AH0-CH9
RAID SAS/SATA controller IBM Serveraid M1015
HDD 4x4TB Seagate NAS ST4000VN000
4x4TB Western Digital Red NAS WD40EFRX
1x128GB Samsung 850 Pro (for caching)
Chassi U-NAS NSC-800


  • Running FreeNAS as OS
  • 1 HDD drive is dedicated for parity
  • Using the Samsung SSD as a cache mostly for Plex


I have been running this system for quite some time now. But I’ve been experiencing issues with my ZFS pool due to the recommended rule of having 1GB ram per 1TB disk space. Hence I am looking for an upgrade path.


  • A Xeon CPU with at least 8 cores
  • An miniITX mobo that supports 64/128GBs of RAM
  • Fast DDR3/DDR4 ECC RAM
  • Do I need a better RAID controller?

Why so much RAM?

The primary use case of this server is to run Plex and do transcoding of videos quickly on the fly. I also wish to use this as a lab server (I work as a programmer) to be able to spin up new VMs, dropbox containers or BSD jails quickly in order to try out new and exciting frameworks, libraries and programming languages. I would also love to use this for my own side projects instead of having to use Amazon ECS or pay for a VPS somewhere.

I also want to be as losely coupled to services like Dropbox or Google Drive so running self hosted solutions for services like this is something I’m looking into.

As for budget I’m not really sure, the main issue itself seems to be the chassi and that I am limited to miniITX mobos. I would like to keep it around 1500 USD, but I am willing to go up to 2000-2500 USD if the benefits are worth it.

What’s the issue… Just slow?

The ZFS pool have died twice, and when fixed it’s been running slowly.

You have a copy of the errors you got before?

No unfortunately I do not have the errors I’ve gotten before anymore. At this moment the system is corrupt and I do not currently have the time nor the energy to fix it in its current state. Working 10-12 hours a day drains you. Hopefully the hectic sprints will eventually slow down a bit.

My option is therefore to buy newer generation hardware that can support my needs and disk capacity.

So do you just have one raidz1 vdev with 8 disks in it (one parity)?

Yes that’s correct.