pfSense, FreeNAS ⇔ spare 6700K setup, new hardware: Which for which?

Hi all,

Finally decided to make the transition from a CompUSA-level router and NAS to a custom setup as a way to learn more about networking and be more privacy-conscious.

I’ve read that it’s best not to combine the firewall and NAS into one box, so I’ll be building separate setups for each. I also have a spare 6700K setup to use (Z170 Pro Gaming, 16gb RAM).

My questions are:

  1. Should I use the 6700K setup for pfSense or FreeNAS? I get the impression that it’s overkill for both and if I use it for one, I can buy something both cheaper and smaller for the other. If it makes any difference, I’m also hoping to be able to stream video from the NAS to my TV eventually. This will be for my home network, so I don’t envision more than 10 people (20 devices or so?) being connected simultaneously.

  2. Are there any ATX cases you’d recommend for the 6700K/Z170? The system currently houses a GTX 970, but I’ll be stripping it out and relying on onboard video because I want to minimize size and power requirements.

Thank you!

The 6700k is absolute overkill for routing, and if you just use your nas to serve files it’s overkill for that too, however it’s NOT overkill if you want to do something like transcode video for streaming which freenas will do via Plex. I think your goal of 10 streams might be a little lofty actually if you assume 10 transcodes. You’re going to need more than a 6700k to do that kind of work.

As far as cases go. As many drive bays as cheap as you can get it. It’s personal preference. I wouldn’t buy anything unless you’re sure what you have is inadequate.