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Want to build a NAS - no AMD mobo reviews :(

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#1

Hiya,

First post - welcome to me! :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve been hunting around for a while looking for articles or videos that suggest AMD hardware for building a NAS/home server. 99% of the info is geared around gaming :frowning: There’s never a mention of its suitability for NAS/Server application and running Virtual Machines with passthrough and the like, and they seldom mention the suitability for the upgrade path - e.g. will the mobo genuinely be happy with the new 3000 series Ryzens for example or will it collapse as its not sufficiently future-proofed.

I was thinking of building an mATX or mini-ITX system with the Ryzen 2400G APU. It’s important that my motherboard doesn’t need to be replaced when i upgrade the 2400G to a discrete CPU/GFX combination in a few years.

Has anyone found, or know of some good sources for this? Level1Techs is i think the only place i’ve ever seen that even mentions things like the IOMMU groupings, but i haven’t seen a nice rundown on B450 or X470 boards.

I’m a Linux and AMD fanboi :slight_smile: but i’m not an expert user - more intermediate.

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#2

Unfortunately there’s nothing concrete about the Ryzen 3000 series and previous gen motherboards. It’s just ‘They will support the AM4 platform’ which is ambiguous. We’ll have to wait for that to be clarified by AMD in the next few months.

As for Ryzen PCIe slots and M.2 slot assignments can vary based on motherboard vendor and size, but generally you will have available for passthrough:

16 PCIe 3.0 lanes dedicated to PCIe slots (1 at x16 or 2 at x8/x8)
1 M.2 or PCIe x4 3.0 slot (generally M.2 for NVMe drives)
2 USB Ports plus security module in the same IOMMU group *

*This is hit and miss. You can pass it through but may have reset problems for the VM. A USB add in card in a PCIe slot with lanes coming from the GPU will avoid this problem

Note that the Ryzen 2400g loses 8 PCIe lanes for the iGPU, so for most motherboards, you can only have 1 PCIe x8 slot, and the 1 NVMe slot

For Threadripper you’re not going to have much trouble, there’s going to be 3-4 PCIe 16x slots and 2-3 M.2 NVMe slots all tied to the CPU. Unsure on USB ports, but I’d guess at least 2 of them plus security module are tied to it as well. Same caveat as Ryzen for those USB ports; You may get the reset bug with them.

So, really it depends on what you anticipate the number of IO devices you need to add now and in the future

Btw, current desktop is a Ryzen 1700 with the AsRock x470 Taichi ultimate running VMware ESXi with pfSense, FreeNAS with HBA passed through, linux VM for jackett, and Windows Gaming VM with 1080 Ti and 2 USB ports in the security chip’s IOMMU group passed through and it more or less works with little issues. The only being that the USB ports prevent me from being able to restart the Windows VM, and the FreeNAS HBA prevents me from using a USB addin card to restart whenever I want. Still not that big a deal though as starting/shutting down is painless with ESXi once setup.

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#3

Don’t use an APU, those won’t utilize ECC memory properly. I’m running a Ryzen 3 1200 on an Asus Prime X370 Pro with 32GB DDR4 2400 ECC in four sticks. That is working just fine. For better support of sensors (temp, volts…) I would suggest ASRock.

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#4

Thanks for the info.

It’s difficult to know what i’ll do in the future, but i’m hoping to run a VM with Win10 for the 2 apps the family currently uses (maybe more in the future, who knows with kids in school) that simply will not work in Linux. But these apps are not massively demanding - rather like running Microsoft Office in one instance, or Photoshop in another.

Perhaps one day i’ll have a Win10 gaming VM, but i don’t know if i’d ever do that. I don’t play a lot of games, and many work in Linux anyway. I currently dual-boot when i need to.

That said, i’ve read some stuff about KVM/QUMU and i’m confused as hell, so i haven’t tackled it even experimentally yet.

RE the PCIe lanes, i don’t think i’m fussed (should i be?). If i do demand more of the device in the future, i’ll upgrade the CPU and get a dGPU. This is why i like the Ryzen route, i don’t want to spend excessively on a system i never need, but i have the option of upgrading down the track without having to ‘throw out’ what i’ve got.

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#5

I don’t actually think i’ll use ECC RAM. It is more or less DOUBLE the price of normal RAM.

Im afraid i had an older ASRock Intel mobo for a desktop and it hasn’t left a good impression on me (it’s about 6-7 years old). There were only ever 2 BIOS updates for it, and it remained buggy in a UEFI sense (i don’t remember the details, it was years ago). How much have they improved?

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#6

The MSI Tomahawk and Mortar mobos should work out fine, they’re cheap and both support iommu and storemi.

Not to say that other boards aren’t suitable, these just are examples and confirmed linux-friendly.

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#7

ECC memory basically doesn’t break because it is usually not being overclocked. So buying used ECC is pretty safe and should reduce the cost by a lot.

Never had an ASRock board back then. Also it is impossible to quantify that without access to ASRock’s own numbers.

My two X470 Taichi Ultimate boards are running very well. And if you want to get an idea about the general state of things just search the L1 YT channel for ASRock. That should give you an idea.

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#8

Not to derail the thread, but how do your Ultimate’s handle RAM overclocking and which BIOS version are you running. I updated to v2.0 and it completely killed my ability to overclock my RAM at all

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#9

I don’t do RAM OC and I haven’t updated in a while because everything is working fine already.

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#10

K. Thanks for the reply!

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#11

It’s too early to answer this. I’m sure some cpu/mobo combos will be fine, but not all, and we will have to wait until the release to say for sure.

You initially mentioned a NAS, this requirement seems to indicate otherwise. What are your plans for this system exactly?

Only if you’re talking about very entry-level memory.

I have both the x370 and x399 taichi. They’re excellent boards. One of them died shortly after I received it, but their warranty service was great and I got the replacement within the week and I was back in business that afternoon.

As far as bios updates, they’ve been alright about that, too early to say on the x399, but the x370 is on the latest agesa, I believe. The uefi is 99% stable. For some reason the boot options menu bugs out with one of my drives, so to choose a boot device, I have to go into the full uefi and choose boot override. Aside from that, it’s been rock solid. Running 3.9ghz on my 1700 and 3.8ghz on my 1950x, both on air.

I’m going to suggest against ecc unless there’s a reason you need it.

Is OP going to be working with non-backed-up mission-critical data? If so, get ecc. If not, just buy normal 3200mhz ram. (that’s the sweet spot for the inter-ccx frequency)

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#12

I have the same thing on my taichi X399. Basically outputs a bunch of garbage on the display, but I found that you can still select an option with the keyboard if you do it blindly or remember the position of the selection. Not something I really care about, as I just do full bios anyways. There were some other earlier bugs, but they got fixed with updates. In fact, I’m not ever sure if the boot option bug is still around, since I haven’t checked in months.

My only real beef with the bios is the horrific lack of useful function descriptions.

@Delike
Asrock isn’t the bottom barrel motherboard maker it was years ago, they now make a full range of quality you can pick from like the other manufacturers. If they have a board you like with good reviews, then don’t be afraid to get it. Make sure to actually skim the reviews, some boards will have lower stars because some people couldn’t overclock as high as their expectations, rather than actual reliability reasons.

The only motherboard maker I can think of offhand to not go with is biostar.

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#13

Wenn it comes to matx, unfortunately there aint manny decent board options.
There are a very few matx boards but they all kinda suck at least if you
wanne use a Ryzen 7 cpu.

There a few itx options that are reasonable, like the Asus X470 -i strix,
Or Asrock X470 Gaming itx.
But other then that not much decent options left.
It might be better just to go with normal atx form factor.
I know that for a nas build atx might not be an ideal size.
But it will give you allot more options.

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#14

Initially i’m just going to unRAID, NextCloud, Plex and backups and i’m sure some other little natty things will pop up - so not much there. A possible pipe-dream is i’m also hoping to run a Windows VM to run a couple of apps that no one i’ve seen has been able to get to run on Linux. I haven’t any experience with any of this, but i’ve managed to install and keep Arch working for a few months, so i’m hoping i can figure it out :slight_smile:

You’re right. Not sure what i was looking at. I looked again and there were comparable prices.

How come? Seems the only reason /not/ to is cost/compatibility. The reason i have is just paranoia :slight_smile: Among other stuff, there is our entire family history. It would be nicer than not to protect it. Backups are great, unless the corruptions are backed up. There’s only so many versions of things you can keep and you could lose stuff before you notice it.

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#15

I know. It’s partly the case size - its going in a nook in the corner of the room. An ATX case can just fit (as long as there’s no flaps or tray-style ODD. but i’ve just got this idea in my head of something physically smaller so i can use some shelves to store things! :slight_smile:

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#16

That’s what i assumed, but i wasn’t sure. Like i said, mine’s i think 7 years old - and yeah, it wasn’t well supported. It was fairly inexpensive back then too though - kind of low-to-middle range.

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#17

Is there a known difference between the non-APU Ryzen and the APU Ryzens as far as ECC goes? I haven’t seen anything that mentions it. But again, finding anything newer than 2017 about Ryzen and ECC is a challenge.

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#18

I had seen that video. I thought (trying to remember now…) that he indicated the IOMMU groupings were ‘limited’? Not fantastic - perhaps leading to that USB bug others here have mentioned?

Sorry, i’m not even a novice yet with this type of virtualisation (just VirtualBox experience) :confused:

EDIT: nevermind - i was thinking of a different video. I don’t think i’ve seen this one - watching now…

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#19

Well, I tried it and the APUs didn’t use any form of error correction. So I switched to an R3 1200.

That is what I know. :wink:

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#20

Good to know as was thinking of using an APU for a NAS. Pity or maybe not :slight_smile:

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