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Questions about NAS requirements

Hello everyone, I’m a bit of a n00b who’s trying to get into building a NAS because it seems both fun and useful. However, due to my low budget constraints (being a college student and all) I have some questions as to the hardware that I need for a NAS to function in a stable manner.

MY PLAN:

  • FreeNAS with ZFS over multiple drives
  • Buy cheap components as internals and spend more on the drives and chasis

My questions are as follows (and are mostly about ECC):

  1. Do I really need ECC memory? I could save a ton by just using regular.
  2. Which motherboards support ECC? I have found varrying responces as to weather ECC actually runs in ECC mode on ASRock MBs and now I am confused.
  3. What is the difference between Buffered and Unbuffered ECC and should I care?
  4. Should I just ditch the whole idea of building one from scratch and go with a used computer/NAS for the base instead (If so, where are good places to look)?

Thanks a ton,
Kyle

Guys, beware! This might be CCGLyle trying to trick us.:shushing_face:


You don’t need ECC but since the health check of the filesystem is based on stuff in RAM it is one more layer of safety. ECC DDR4 is more expensive, yes. DDR3 though can be had for very little money. Personally I like ECC memory in anything ZFS.

YES, you should care. They are electrically different from each other, so buffered (that’s not a thing anymore, registered is kind of the new buffered) memory will only work with server boards and CPUs. On the Intel side it’s not even enough to get a Xeon, it has to be on the higher end platform. Unbuffered ECC is fine on the 115X Intel sockets and AM4 if board / chipset and processor can deal with it.

I have a feeling what platform you want to go with but I#ll throw that ball back to you. :slight_smile:

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Whether ECC is worth it to you depends on what you’re planning on doing with that NAS. If you’re using as a mass storage for movies/TV, steam library, and bulk storage for non-essential stuff then I’d say it’s not necessary. If its for fun with like old enterprise gear (DDR3), then it’ll be cheaper that other RAM

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Haha… :zipper_mouth_face:


Great! thanks for the info.

NEW PLAN:

  • Un-buffered ECC (Hopefully moderately priced)
  • Cheap AM4 MB with ECC support
  • FreeNAS with ZFS

Still though… If the MB lists ECC compatability, does that mean that the ECC will run with the error checking?

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It means it will not refuse to work with ECC memory, you’ll have to check functionality yourself. On AM4 I can say that Asus and ASRock boards support ECC and linux confirms multibit-error-correction. (boards tested: ASRock X470 Taichi Ultimate and AB350 ITX fatality gaming wifi something, Asus A320M-K and Prime X370 Pro)

One exception: The APUs. 200GE, 2200G, 3000G (probably), those are not supporting ECC on any board as far as I know.

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Ok, thanks much. I think I have more of an idea of where to go.

Actually, what exactly do you wanna do with your NAS? Just storage? Or also VMs / plex and so on? Because for just storage if you wanna go cheap, maybe a haswell Xeon machine might be a better option.