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Building a Cyber Monday FreeNAS server

Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Messages
2
I've outgrown my entry-level 2 bay Qnap and, tis the season to be buying stuff. So I've taken advantage of some Black Friday deals and I wondered if I could get some feedback about the rest of the kit. My planed build consists of the following:
Ryzen 7 2700
Gigabyte B450M mATX motherboard
16GB ram (question 1)
4x4tb HDD (either WD Red or Iron Wolf)
Rosewell Compact 2U case
450W SFX PSU
Zotac GT 710 GPU (question 2)
Intel E1G42ET two port NIC (since the included Realtek NIC is reputed to be hot garbage)
Pair of 32gb USB 3.1 drives as mirrored boot drives.


My goal is to run a multimedia server (Plex) and be a general file share for my house. I'm looking at 1 user at a time, maybe 2. I can't conceive of a scenario where I have more than 3. I think the 2700 should be able to take pretty much any format and convert it to pretty much any other format on the fly. I'd also like to have some headroom to run some jail(s) and VM(s).

I'm planning to set this up as a single pool with a single vdev as a raidZ. My current storage needs are about 6tb so this should give me room to about double before I need to worry.
Down the road, I think I would like to add a 2nd pool of some SSDs maybe 3 or 4 drives in another raidZ to give me a pool of 1-2TB of fast storage in addition to my (relatively) slow multimedia archive on the HDDs. (question 3)

Now that the background is out of the way, here are the questions I'm concerned about:

Question 0: Is there anything really stupid that I haven't thought of in the above?
Question 1: Is 16GB going to be enough or should I just go ahead and bump this up to 32?
Question 2: Since this isn't a worthless video card is there any way to get Plex to use it for transcoding? Does it matter, given the overkill processor that I'm going with?
Question 3: I'm thinking of one of those Icy Dock or Athena power 6 or 8 hot-swap SSD in a 5.25" bay enclosures (adding in an LSI 9207-8i controller). They look cool but I've got some concerns with heat, having all those drives stacked right on top of each other like that. Does anyone have any experience with them?

Thank you very much to this community you've been enormously helpful already.
 

IQless

FreeNAS Experienced
Joined
Feb 13, 2017
Messages
136
Question 0: Is there anything really stupid that I haven't thought of in the above?
I would have looked into some cheap SSD's instead of the USB sticks for the boot device (given that you have enough sataports).
Make sure you have enough airflow. I don't know what Rosewell Compact 2U case you refer to, but I can guess it's no the most airflow friendly. Just something to think about.
Question 1: Is 16GB going to be enough or should I just go ahead and bump this up to 32?
For a basic fileshare this should be more than enough, if you plan on some heavy jail/vm use, maby think about upgrading to 32GB. With RAM its always good to have more when it comes to ZFS.
Question 2: Since this isn't a worthless video card is there any way to get Plex to use it for transcoding? Does it matter, given the overkill processor that I'm going with?
At this point there is no way to passthrough the GPU in FreeNAS. Wich makes it "useless" when it comes to transcoding.
IIRC the Ryzen 7 2700 does not have an built-in gpu so you would need a add-in gpu to get the system up and running.

A few questions that often comes up often is "what is your budget?" and "would you be comfortable with buying used server gear?".
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Messages
2
I thought about SSDs for boot drives but I'm running out of SATA ports and I'm running out of space in my case. I've got high-speed USB ports out the wazoo so that seemed like the way to go.
As far as budget goes, I can get the system I described for $485 (plus drives). I looked at used server hardware and concluded that I could get similar performance for maybe $200 less but the system would be much larger, and make a lot more noise. Once you add in the extra power bill the savings go away after a couple of years. I could probably save quite a bit buying used server hard drives but that strikes me as bad idea.
 

Newfoundland.Republic

FreeNAS Experienced
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
127
Not sure I'd go witth the B450M. No ECC available (but there is debate on the need for ECC - risk tolerance question). No IPMI for remote management.

You could go with a used server and then look at using the money saved for some quiet Noctura fans...
 

joeinaz

FreeNAS Experienced
Joined
Mar 17, 2016
Messages
155
The noise depends on the case and fans you use. I can recommend some tower cases that are quiet enough to run in a home office. I am currently listing a complete FreeNAS system (with 24GB of ECC memory) on eBay which is ready out of the box to accept up to 12 disks and is fairly quiet. It's also listed at $350 right now. Check the "deals" section of the forum...
 
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