TrueNAS Hardware Configuration Assistance pls

Hi everyone, part-time lurker, 2nd-time poster.

I currently have built a home server using my old X-299 gaming PC with the following specs.

Motherboard - EVGA FTW-K X-299 (E-ATX)
CPU - Intel i9 7900X @ 4.2Ghz
RAM - 64Gb G.Skill @ 3200Mhz
Storage - 2x M.2 SSD (1x 512Gb & 1x 1Tb)
8x SATA 16Tb Seagate EXOS X16 (found these cheap, so I grabbed them!)
OS - Windows Server 2019
Chassis - 4RU Rosewill RSV-L4412U rackmount case with 12 hot swap 3.5" & 2.5" SATA/SAS bays
LAN - 2x 10Gb PCIE NIC
PSU - Seasonic PRIME PX-850 Platinum 850W

So after reading a few forums from here to TrueNAS and watching some relevant YouTube channels (finding reputable creators can be a challenge at times) I’ve decided that I wish to give TrueNAS a good hard crack for my home server needs.
I’ll be primarily using it for PLEX and as a file server for any photo and video editing (in small doses). My initial thoughts are to use the SSD’s I have for the ‘Jails’ and OS for TrueNAS and the spinning drives for the 30 or so Tb’s of video I have for my PLEX needs.

I currently have never used an OS like TrueNAS, and have only had experience with NAS’s via my two Netgear ReadyNAS’s (ReadyNAS 626X (6 bay in RAID 5) & ReadyNAS 312 (2 bay in RAID0, cuz I wasn’t worried about redundancy)).

My thoughts on the spinning platters are to set them up in essentially a RAID10 setup (two mirrors striped using the RAIDz model). I found a speed calculator that gave this setup with 8 disks a solid 1333Mb/s performance with 64Tb capacity. (happy to be corrected if I stuffed this up). Use of the SSD’s for the TrueNAS OS, any Jails that I need (PLEX, and perhaps a torrent client).

I also have 4x 2.5" 2Tb SSDs that I could re-purpose as an extra storage pool, along with an M.2 Expander card for 4x M.2 SSD’s as well in the spare PCIe slot i have. These would be connected via my PCIe RAID card, HighPoint RocketRAID 840A, currently in use with Server 2019. My household is locally on a 10Gbe ethernet network, with a 1 Gigabit connection from my ISP.

Any creative/constructive criticisms are welcome. Whilst I do know a bit, I don’t profess to know everything and am seeking a ‘sanity check’ on my intentions. Keen to get my geek on with this as I am completely new to this but enjoy learning and implementing new computing hardware and services.

Thanks for your time

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for a starter it looks like an excellent part list and an excellent plan, I would go with Truenas Scale (Linux Debian Based, in RC state) instead of Core (Freebsd based).
You would be a little bit on the bleeding edge, but you would insta-gain docker containers and kvm virtualization (as opposed to rancher/bhyve on freebsd) …

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Thanks for your input MadMatt, being new to the whole issue I really appreciate your ideas. Cheers.
I’ll try to get an update of where I’m up to with this in the coming weeks. Currently been ordered to ‘work from home’ here in Australia (military member), so this may present an opportunity to give me time to get it up and running.

Thanks again.

TrueNAS and hardware RAID don’t play well together. ZFS needs direct access to the disks to work correctly. You should use an HBA card for your drives.

I would not bother with RAID-10. The reduction in capacity and fault tolerance is not worth it. TrueNAS uses any available free RAM as ZFS cache. Your jails will be plenty fast with RAID-Z storage pool(s).


hey guys, after few months of sourcing cheap parts i also managed to acquire these components:

CPU: i3-10100F
RAM: 16gb G.skill aegis (x2 8gb)
MOB: MSI H410-i
BOOT DR: 250gb Kingston m.2 (k2000)
GPU: Pny Nvidia P400
PSU: Kolink 700w 80+gold

  • 2x 4TB seagate Ironwolf NAS
  • 1x 2TB seagate Barracuda (from an Apple Time machine)

My use cases:

  • backing up macbooks and mac mini time machines
  • saving files to to network drive (from ipad, iphone, macs)
  • plex media server
  • doesn’t have to be running 24/7

I tried out OpenMediaVault which works fine, and i might switch back if my hardware doesn’t go well with truenas.

any feedback would be greatly appreciated. :slight_smile:

Only way to find out is to get the ISO and do the install. You only create the zfs pool after everything is running, so there is no risk to the data on the drives from just the installation (well, except for the boot drive which obviously gets wiped).

The P400 seems kind of odd, but without iGPU you gotta take what you got I guess. An iGPU is more optimal for a NAS because of power consumption. If you’re sure your configuration is set and everything is working, you can try to remove the GPU to save power and use it somewhere more in need of graphics :wink:

Problem is that 2x4TB +1x2TB configuration. Not optimal for ZFS. I recommend making a mirror out of the 2x 4TB and call it a day. A pool consisting entirely of mirror(s) also lets you increase the pool with another mirror very easily. So if you get two new HDDs (2x6TB or whatever), you can just plug them in and your pool has more space left without any tweaking and shuffling around.

Theoretically speaking there is the option of making a RAIDZ1 out of all 3 drives. It only uses 2TB from that 4TB drives so half of the capacity is wasted. You end up with 4TB usable space too, but RAIDZ is slower. Your call.

Getting only 4 out of 10 TB is troubling, but higher than 40-50% storage efficiency while still having some degree of redundandy(=protection) only comes by having more drives of equal size.

With that remaining 2TB drive…you could create a second pool with the single disk. If you want data protection features, set copies=2, leaving you with a 1TB pool with all ZFS features but without protection from drive failure. I’d call this a desperate wild west approach to deal with that last HDD. Far from being elegant, but works.

Thanks for the feedback, really helpful! :slight_smile:

I bought it for €40 after realizing that the €40 i3-10100F doesn’t have igpu, on OpenMediaVault I utilized it to do the plex transcoding.

I think I’ll use the 1x2TB to store PlexMedia library since I own the Dvds,.

Again, thanks for feedback, I will definitely get proper server hardware at the end of the year, just needed to start moving away from iCloud since my kids are starting filling it with photos and videos.

For storage needs, that PC is fine. Obvious upgrades could be drives, 2.5-10GBit NIC to increase bandwidth or improve pool performance with more memory/cache.

TrueNAS has quite a bit of applications available, so besides PLEX, you may find more features (applications, VMs) useful that might need more horsepower. But basic TrueNAS doesn’t need much.

Definitely turn on compression. LZ4 is basically free real estate.

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Just wanted to comeback here and share my experience with the Non-server grade parts I posted above.

I ran TrueNAS scale on it for 5months, first 4months were great but on the 5th month, I often have had Disk Errors, Degraded status on my primary pool I assume that this is attributed to the non-ECC ram.

I’ve upgraded to a new hardware which I think are cheap (relative to where I live):

€ 280 (tax included)

  • Lenovo P510 workstation (came with Xeon E5-1603 v4 + 16gb 2400 ECC lenovo branded but the chips are Hynix)
  • SK Hynix SATA SSD 256gb for boot drive
  • 650w Gold PSU

€ 65 (tax included, AliExpress)

  • Xeon E5-2650 v4
  • 16gb SK Hynix 16gb 2400 ECC

Kept all the drives and added a 4TB Ironwolf which I use as a Spare because of the issues I’ve had from the previous hardware.

Everything is going great so far, super happy with it. Thanks to everyone in this thread!

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Looking good. I’ve not got ECC RAM on my servers. I think all ECC does is save ZFS from having to correct those errors. Obviously good but not vital.

I did have errors but it’s been things like power splitters to run more drives, dodgy drives and overheating. Drives should be kept below 45C or they have errors, which stop happening once the drive is cooled down a bit. Good thing about ZFS is all errors are fixable and none make it through to the user, hahaha.

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Yea that’s true. I had a bit of a fright because I just moved 15years worth of photos and I’m just learning about these things this year.

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