Steam games and VirtualBox VMs on a NAS?

Hey everyone,

I was just curious to see if anyone runs their steam games off a NAS and if so, what the performance is like. Obviously it's slower than running it locally, network speed and other factors come into play as well, I was really just curious to see how much slower and if it can be viable. Same goes for running virtual machines through VirtualBox.

Running these from a NAS would allow me to share the libraries between my different computers without having to have a host computer turned on for game stream. No separate libraries either, so less disk space being used.

It was really just a thought I had in my head that I was curious about.


This would heavely depend on your network situation at home. If you've got wired Gb ethernet everywhere it might be doable. The loadtimes would defenitly be longer than from any hd though. With storage so cheap i think it isn't worth the trouble.

It works, but load times aren't great and there can be some weird stuttering issues particularly with video on load screens. It shouldn't effect FPS though. I do something similar except I install games to VHDs (One VHD per game) and then keep it on the computer while playing and transfer it to the NAS when I'm done. You could do the same thing with just the steam library and copy the game folder to the machine when you want to play it, I just use the VHDs as a container for simplicity.

May want to edit your post NES is Nintendo Entertainment System.

If it is a self built NAS using Linux as the OS, you can use either KVM or Xen. Pass through a GPU and use steam in home streaming to the VM.

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I came here expecting a heavily modded NES, and was disappointed

But ya you can run VMs under FreeNAS, so as long as your CPU is beefy enough and you do a GPU passthrough you should be set


Edit the name please! I wanted to see an NES with an FX 8350 and like 16 gigabytes of RAM lol you could build it with fx8350 and more ram

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Performance would depend on how much you are willing to spend on your NAS and network setup. If put together a home network with 10gb capability and had a small SSD array in your NAS for games, you would probably have fewer issues with latency or load times. Just depends on how deep your pockets are.

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Funny enough I actually did mod an NES to use as an HTPC. (probably where the autocrorrect came from on my phone). It has an i3 4330 cpu and 4GB of RAM. Can't remember if I made a post on Tek Syndicate's forum about it or not. I probably should.

As for the NAS, the VHD idea looks good. I'm running gigabit between me and the NAS. It is actually just an old Q6600 build running Proxmox and OMV. I may set up a HDD on it to test it. Kind of wanted to see if there were any red flags right off the bad.

I actually did build a NES HTPC, so I suppose the post isn't completely wrong haha. I should post it in the builds section when I get some time.

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The only issues you'll have are performance, and even then it's not THAT bad. VHDs are handy for things which won't let you install to a network share (not sure if steam does or not) as you can just mount the VHD but have it stored on the NAS and the computer will see it as a local disk.

That is so convoluted I don't see the point in spending so much on a NAS if you're using it for active storage (files you use frequently). Why not just buy a proper motherboard and more HDDs/SSDs? It's way cheaper and faster.

You can also play from a networked Windows work PC just fine on 100mbps ethernet, and you get slightly longer load times, no big deal.

Because you can have multiple GPUs capible streaming multiple clinets. The clinets could be cheap SOCs. If you have kids or others living in your house this is a pretty viable option. One expensive box and a few thin clinets instead of multiple gaming rigs.