Help with a home photo/video simple storage solution

Hi all and greetings, im still new and nooby in TrueNas. Hopefully u dont mind some questions… It’s usefull in many aspects as i go, so i gave it a try and made an small Nas for home. It should fullfill it’s purpose for my needs. But i ran in some minor problems for intended usage…
As i searched for some solutions without success, i wanted to ask for some opinions or pointes directly here at the comunity. Should be better and faster :).

My project looks simple, i wanted to make an small storage server localy for home use (mabe later for online). It’s purpose is to be able to manualy save/copy images and videos from android phones, windows pcs to it, also kinda like an ftp, but with a bit more userfriendly access…
I made an small rig, nothing to spectacular. The upload goes localy only, and works fine (sometimes fails when there are to many photos or more then a few videos). The problem lies at the view of the files. The thumbnails for the photos/videos are loading extremly slow… Takes a couple of minutes to load 20-30 thumbnails for the folders where are like 400+ files. For folders with 100~ files its a bit faster but still up to 1 minute for 1-3 thumbnail… I tryed to find if there are some ways to generate a cache for all the photos somewhere, so it loades those cached thumbnails, if the photos are to big (the photo size is not to big 1mb - 5mb max). I faild to find an tutorial for that sort of caching… So i stumbled across solutions with nextcloud, plex and some other.
But didnt want to go trough the setup if it’s gonna be the same performance. As im not in the need for online access for now.
I tought mabe it’s my home network, but when i share a folder on windows with 3000+ photos it generates the thumbnails in 1-3min for all the files.

So if someone can put me in a direction, what to try next i would be thankful :).
Or if there is some guide for this sort of problm…

first thing most here will ask is your hardware… what is your detailed specs of your NAS setup?

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The general direction is: More RAM, then possibly a L2ARC. Or otherwise at least 3 SSDs to set up a special vdev.

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You’ll have to provide more information, as mentioned above, but not just hardware: What family of TrueNAS? SCALE? Core? Which version?

Well, the hardware is ancient, it’s my first time with truenas, and nas in alltogether… I wanted to use my older pc for the setup, only the hdds are unused.
It’s TrueNas Core
CPU - DualCore E5700
RAM - 4gb
It’s in Raidz1 3x disks WD purple 2TB, intended for NVRs.
The OS is on 120GB Samsung SSD.
Well thats it. As im reading the comments, its probably bad hardware wise…
Or could it work, with some more ram :sweat_smile:


There’s really not much you can expect in terms of performance from that. Not even “simple” things, such as navigating large directories over SMB.

How much ram would be minimal for this job?

At least 8, but really at least 16 if the additional cost isn’t too much of a concern.

Then you will immediately inherit the benefits of more available RAM for the ZFS ARC, which improves data and metadata performance.

Beyond that, starting with TrueNAS Core 13.3 (soon to be released), the new version of OpenZFS will by default prioritize metadata in the ARC, without aggressively pruning it, which will hugely benefit browsing and traversing many files in your directories.

The more metadata you can keep in your ARC, the better overall performance for browsing, listing, crawling, etc. (And it will result in fewer reads from the spinning drives for this very common task.)

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Yikes… I have a secondary, just for fun Scale set up with an old pc and it has 8Gb and it is painful how slow some things are… that would be a quick and easy place to start if your MOBO would accept it…

The good part of that is: By moving your pool to anything newer with 8-16 GB RAM you may just get the performance you seek… The E5700 is just too old to be salvaged.


Pretty much.

Released in 2010.

E5700 has no AES-NI. So SSL, and HTTPS would be super slow.

Dual core, no hyper threading. Front side bus… all performance cripplers.

AND it burns 65W. Which could get you a phenomenal amount of computing power using something from the last decade :wink:

4GB is unfortunately not enough to do anything except receive replications. And is below minimum of 8GB.


Thanks for the fast responses. Well seems like, the best option is to just shove my hdds in a newer/stronger rig.
I though it could be used on older, weaker hardware, but thats just for some small stuff?
I probably have some better parts laying around.

The question now is, can i just take out he HDDs, and the OS ssd with the current installation and put it in a new rig to work like plug and play? Or do i need to configure it from start?
Driver wise, and becouse of thr different network card, will it work?
Or is it a more demandig task? :sweat_smile:

Objectively, your setup is “small stuff”. But this old hardware is really, really too old.

You can take the drives (data and OS) to another system; all that should be need is to fix the network settings.


Does the cpu generation play a major role? For example, would it be better to use a G4400 cpu, or an i7 4770

Hello, RAM and CPU is biggest factor,

network 1GB, there is faster like 10gb or more, however the quality of hardware is very important…you don’t want it breaking down, also have you considered…moving all your important data to OLD hard drives, increases possibility of losing date when they break down, also mean in raid Z1, you will need another 2tb to replace possible bad one when it breaks…

You know if your goal is to save money, go to an e-waste facility, you can buy a 1 or 2u rack, maybe only 50 bucks, they generally strip CPU and ram…but negotiate with them… Xeon is pretty popular for TrueNAS and ECC RAM will error correct data as it transfers.

Most of us have experience hardware issues of some kind as some point, so I would budget a little more, min16gb but better 64gb ram, 4 cores 4 thread minimum…or it will perform really badly 8x8 is better.

RAM is more important than CPU generation… within reason. Broadwell and newer is fine; a E5700 is pushing it too far. If you have an old i7-4770 lying somewhere, use it—with 8 GB RAM or preferably more.

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For what is my experience, for a basic storage home use and some “light” jail, an ivy bridge platform with 16gb of ram (so everything really cheap and easy to achive), an Intel dedicated NIC (90% of consumer mainboard have Realtek), TN Core work good.
Dont need IMHO the quad core, a dual core is enough for basic use (and most of the time, the dual version have higher frequency, better for file transfer, and less consume).

I have had the E5700, and it is really really slow for actual standard (nothing special neither at release, if not for his oc potential)… and if your mainboard has ddr2 going to 8gb will be not convenient

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Thanks for the info and advices. I ill get some bigger case for the mobo, put everything together and post back the resault.

Trying to take a different approach to this: @IceOmny, your hardware is old and relatively low-spec, but the real problem is that TrueNAS is absolutely not designed to run on such low spec kit for the features it offers.

That’s not a bad reflection on your kit, more your choice of OS. TrueNAS is all about performance and, more importantly, security of your data through multiple levels of redundancy. This means a lot of CPU, disks and RAM are needed to build even a small TrueNAS rig.

I’d suggest you may want to either look at better hardware (if you’re intent on sticking with TrueNAS, and why wouldn’t you be!?! :smile: ), or consider alternatives that fit your hardware better (acknowledging that your data will not be as well protected).


I came across some other solutions for photo/video archives, but as I’m an IT guy myself, I was interested in TrueNas for a long time, but I didn’t give it a try till now. I wanna explore it some more, but first, I wanted to make a small local backup, mostly for photos and videos (from phones), as it isn’t something fancy from DSLRs i thought it could work.

I also wanted a smaller form factor/quiet machine from parts I had at the house.

But after the hardware change, if it improves the useability to 50%, that would be good for that purpose.

I also have a System x3500 M4 lying around, how would such a server perform, is that more suited for nas? Must fill it with HDDs though :sweat_smile: .

But that I leave for some other project, as it is not that quiet and it’s a chunky boy…