Hardware Setup for TrueNAS

Hi there,
I am reading for a few weeks now and started building my wishlist :wink:

Goal is:

  • Main Storage (also for vm’s)
  • Plex Server
Hardware Price
i5-14500T 235€
X13SAE-F 550€
KF548C38BB-16 60€
intel x520-2 0€ (existing)
HPE E208i-p SR Gen10 350€
Logic Case SC-316 ??€
Gforce RTX3050 0€ (existing)

the mainboard, cpu and ram is fine i think.
but I am not sure about the HBA and the case - maybe there are some alternatives?
also unsure about the power delivery with the graphics card.

this would be my first build for truenas, I am happy about every feedback.

Workstation motherboard, rather than true server.
Last generation CPU, which is overkill for a NAS, and a ‘T’ variant which may actually increase power draw by taking longer to complet tasks when it has to ramp up.
Non-ECC RAM with gamer-style branding (“Fury Beast”?).

I’m not sure either about the HBA because I can’t quickly find what’s in there, but if it is a LSI 3008, you’re overpaying it by about 400%.

thx @etorix for your points.

actually I did wanted to have a lower TDP for energy efficiency - therefore the T cpu.
I can also imaggine to go for i5-14500 without t - no big deal here.

which server mainboard would you advice, which is compatible with this cpu?
mainly the server mainboards in this class do not support <8 cores on LGA1700 or have another socket…

for the ram, i do not have any preferences - open for others :wink:

You have not stated how many drives you want (HDDs and/or SSDs), how many cores and how much RAM for the VMs, so it would be difficult to give suggestions.
But why a i5-14500 or LGA1700 in the first place? C262/C266 and Xeon E-2400 are too new and too expensive to recommend; the rest is not intended for servers.

will be 12-16 hdd drives, but 12 is definitely minimum. Maybe I’ll go for ssd-cache on addition.

I see your point - but the “older” hardware is more or less around the same price. If I am going to invest in new equipment, I’ll go for new products and not in older hardware.

there are around 15 vm’s running with around 60gb Ram consumption.
for the plex part, I want to use decoding and encoding

So you do need a HBA. With 10 GbE, the transcoding GPU and possibly some lanes for NVMe drives, you should not be looking into (the server version of) consumer-grade platforms. Look into refurbished Xeon Scalable (or EPYC) for more lanes, more cores, more RAM (and cheaper DDR4 RDIMM).

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So, what hardware are they running now on ?

you mean something like:

X13SEI-TF - approx. 800€
but to get more or less the same performance like an i5-14500, the cost of the xeon cpu is at least triple times more…

for now I am running a Lenovo c30 with E5-2620 v2 and 64gb RAM and an external Storage which is EOL Synology 3615xs with upgraded cpu and ram

Then i would choose a xenon scalable 1st/second Gen. as a step up.
Lots of cores, lots of ram, lots of pci lanes and 6 memory channels.

I dont know the latest, but I think KVM is not good with E and P cores.

Lots of good offers on ebay : Motherboard 2.4Ghz LGA3647 Intel Xeon Gold 6148 Supermicro X11SPL-F 20c/40t | eBay

yeah, i saw these already, but the hardware is already out of support - thats the reason for cheap prices :slight_smile:

So ?
Its still alot better than using consumer hardware.
And that xeon will run circles around that puny 14500 . Especially with the useless e cores.


oh I see that point now! there are only 6 performance cores… rest is efficiency.
I got that point, thank you for that!

E-cores are not that bad, and certainly sufficient for most workloads—including ZFS itself. But Core CPUs come with only 20 CPU lanes, and you want x8 (HBA), x4-x8 for the 10G NIC, as much for the GPU which needs a x16 mechanical slot (or an open slot), and ideally also x4-x8 for NVMe drives. That’s a tight fit…

You may:

  • Struggle to fit most on a consumer-style platform;
  • Drop the GPU and use iGPU to transcode, saving some lanes;
  • Pay big money for a Sapphire Rapids Xeon and brand new DDR5 RDIMM, which will end up WAAAY overpowered for a NAS, even a hyperconverged one;
  • Drop the “new” part (along with low idle power… assuming 15 VMs still let the system reach “idle”), go for refurbished Skylake/Cascade Lake Xeon (or EPYC Rome) with cheap and plentiful DDR4 RDIMM.

ok guys, I was on my shopping tour and got these stuff for a reasonable price:

Hardware Price
AMD Epyc 7402(P) BUNDLE
intel x520-2 0€ (existing)
sc836be2c-r1k03jbod 350€
Gforce RTX3050 0€ (existing)

the bundle took me 1400€.

my thoughts about the setup is:
Backplane of Chassis has 8x sas hd (16x HDD total) - Mainboard brings 2x sas hd connectors (so i can adress 4x HDD)

any suggestion for additional HBA to address the rest of total 6x sas hd?
I do have two UCSC-MRAID12G-1GB - but as you can see, they are not fitting on the board (server cards)

and another thing to decide:

  • install truenas locally on hardware and use vm functionality
  • install proxmox/vsphere/xenserver/YouNameIt and build a VM for truenas?

This enclosure seems to have a expander backplane. So you can hook all drives in it up to a HBA with external connectors.

If you passthrough the HBA from proxmox, it should run stable. But for simple VMs you could also use SCALEs Hypervisor, which is the same as promoxos, but less configurable.

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You cannot use SATA ports packaged as SAS HD connectors with an actual SAS backplane. Nor can you install a motherboard in a JBOB chassis. You need a HBA, LSI 9300-8e or similar. But NOT a RAID controller.

i know. thats the reason I got a board with sas hd connector and sas3 chipset :wink:

and as I got from the documentation of Backplane (see Page 3-2: BPN-SAS3-826EL.pdf) the connectors on the mainboard would be enought - isn’t that the case?

alternatively I also have a SAS 9266-8i over here - ready to flash to IT mode and use

install of motherboard in jbod chassis IS possible - there is 35x35cm place (board has: 30.5cm x 24.4cm)

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Double wow from me here. [Motherboard in JBOD chassis, and EPYC motherboard with SAS when this is falling out of fashion on the Intel side.]
So it looks like you have everything. Do not bother with the 9266: From the number it is an old RAID controller; the onboard 9300 is better.

I’m not sure if you are sarcastic here or really meaning, that everything seems to be fine :rofl: :rofl:

just wanna be sure - and honestly I am really trying to bring the decision process here in the forum to maybe help people for their setup and what exactly to keep in mind :grinning: