New Build Help

First of all, hello everyone. I am new around here. I wanted to build a new NAS using TrueNAS and need some help in identifying the proper hardware.

I was looking at the supermicro x13saq. X13SAQ | Motherboards | Products | Supermicro. What are people’s thoughts on this board? Is it worth the $450ish dollars? I want to stick to micro ATX and I’ll be using the fractal 804 case for this.

I’m thinking I’ll go with an i5 with an igpu. For now, I want to stick to just storage, but I may need transcoding later on.

It seems like the more memory the better, so I’ll probably go 64gb ecc, but I may try to max it to 128.

As far as drives go, I’ll be buying used drives. Most likely exos x18s or x20s. Probably the 18tb ones. I was thinking 6 drives, 2 for parity.

Also go with 1 nvme drive on the m2 slot.

As far as PSU, most likely go with a Corsair rm750x or something similar.

For the OS drive, is it possible to run it from a USB drive? Better to have an SSD for this?

There is also a slimsas port on this motherboard, should I use that over the sata ports?

Does this build seem reasonable? Any other things I should probably be aware of with this setup and truenas in general? I’m thinking of going with scale.

Thank you!

The motherboard is too new, and not a server board. If you go for Supermicro, get a board with IPMI. And preferably older server hardware, refurbished or second-hand.

The Node 804 strongly favours using drives in multiples of 4 (one drive cage) or 5 (cage + drive on the floor, for 2*5-wide or 10-wide).

As for boot, USB drives are advised against because they tend to wear out too quickly. A SSD behind a USB adapter is fine. But generally a cheap NVMe drive is the goos solution to keep all SATA ports for data drives.

If im not wrong, i5 and i7 dont support ecc RAM, only i3 supports ecc

Correct up to Coffee Lake (i3). It’s the opposite for Alder/Raptor Lake (not i3).
And no ECC for Core CPUs for Comet/Rocket Lake.

From 64 GB RAM, I’d suggest RDIMM anyway.

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Oh interesting, thanks for the heads up. That definitely changes things.

According to the etorix clarification i was wrong, If u go on 13th gen i5 (and more), ecc Is supported.
I didn’t see the ecc support on 12th gen at all on core series (as the 10/11) but dont know … kinda confusing :face_with_spiral_eyes:

Intel product stack… :roll_eyes:
(The giveaway for ECC in Alder Lake Core CPUs is that there are no “workstation” Xeon W-1400 alongside the “server” Xeon E-2400: Core CPU with W680 chipset are the “Xeon W-1400”. No ECC with Q670, as ever with Q chipsets.)

Went back and looked at what was out there. It seems like right now there are some Supermicro X11SSL-F and Supermicro X11SCM-F for a decent price. What would be your thoughts on those motherboards and which would you choose? I was thinking something like one of those and just get an HBA and call it day.

Both boards are good.

What I don’t see is what you will be using this TrueNAS machine for, the Used Case. This makes a huge difference in the recommendations we make. For example, do you really need 128GB of RAM?

The Node 804 case has given some people cooling issues in the past so think about airflow, it’s the little things that can really matter.

Depending on your use case, we can help you select the proper CPU, amount of RAM, and even Hard Drives.

As for hard drives connectivity, both boards have only 6 SATA ports. What are you going to do for a Boot Drive? The general recommendation is to use a cost effective SSD. If you wanted to go with NVMe, you might need to buy an inexpensive PCIe adapter.

As for hard drives, the total storage capacity is roughly 70TB with the configuration you suggested. Is that enough? Is that too much?

Too much you say? That man is crazy! Not really. The larger the drive, the longer it takes to resilver if you need to replace it, and one thing you can count on is you will replace the hard drives. They are the most expensive consumable item in your setup. The fans are the other consumable item. Everything else should last a very long time.

Back to my story… Resilvering times is also a huge concern. If it take 2 days to resilver a drive, and you have another failure, then you data is at serious risk until the drive is fully resilvered. So replacing a drive can take days before the system is no longer in some alarm condition. The next thing is heat. Large drives have more mass, more heat is generated, and this can lead to cooling issues. Third is a big one, cost! These drive are not cheap, although I will tell you that my WD Red 2TB drives some 12 years ago were about the same price. Crazy.

Plan for a 5 year life span from the drives and buy accordingly.

There are a lot of build requests here, and a lot of us post our system specs. Take a look at them and if you find one that looks interesting, you can reach out to the other member and ask him/her about it. The good and the bad.

Oh yes, the very last thing… How much money can you spend on this endeavor?

Good luck.

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Thank you for the response. My use case is mainly to store some important data and also some not so important data. I do want to do some video editing from the NAS as well. I figured 70TB should do me over for a while as I am currently sitting at 20TB of data.

My other use case is I want to be able to run containers with persistent storage, like docker containers. I am not going to run these directly on this box, but just use for storage. This why i am kinda thinking having some drives for L2ARC.

Boot drive doesn’t matter to much for me. a cheap ssd is ok with me. My overall goal is just something that will last a long time, enough storage space, resilient, and performant enough to run a VM or container volume over NFS.

‘C’ is newer than ‘S’ and ‘M’ is higher than ‘L’. So if you do find a X11SCM or X11SCH “for a decent price”, go for it! (There are AsRock Rack E3C246D4U2-2T on eBay for 220 €.)
You need a C2x6 chipset to passthrough the iGPU for transcoding. Then either a Core i3 for basic file serving or a Xeon E-2100/2200 for more cores if you want to run apps/VMs.

HBA if needed. Boot from M.2 NVMe and you’re all set for the stated use case—save for editing on the NAS, which may be overly ambitious with HDDs.

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Agreed as well. That video editing thing, I think many people have different ideas on what video editing is when they say “on the NAS”. For example:

  1. Editing the video file while the file is on the NAS drives.
  2. Copying the video file to a workstation computer and editing the file on the external computer, then copying the edited file back to the NAS.

Option #2 is a good option.
Option #1 has some higher end requirements like possibly 10Gbit Nic and editing speed is likely to not be near as fast as on a workstation.

Enjoy the day dreaming, I normally do.

Yeah, its mostly going to be transcoding on the NAS itself. converting one format to another (if i can’t do it on the NAS, then on another server where the volume is attached). I may get a 10Gbit Nic as well, so i was thinking about making sure i have at least 2 PCI lanes for this. 1 for an HBA and 1 for a 10Gbit nic.

So not video editing. That is a huge difference. Get a Xeon CPU and enjoy the transcoding.

I think you meant to say you want to have two PCI Slots. The HBA would likely need an 8 Lane slot.

Yes slots. didnt get much sleep last night. Yeah, it seems like Xeon would be the best option. Im just going to wait for a decent deal and snag something up eventually. I did see a Xeon Gold option that was tempting, but seems like that would use a lot of power at idle.

I can relate to that!

Yes it would.
For the avoidance of doubt: Xeon Scalable (the “metals”…) with a X11SPM board, or similar, is a possibility, but a different class of system, which would be of interest for a heavily hyperconverged server and/or NVMe storage.
The “Xeons” we’re talking about for X11SC boards are Xeon E-2100 / E-2200. And, for 4 cores and at most 64 GB RAM (ECC!), a Core i3-9100 would do.

Yeah. That’s what I figured. Only reason I was considering it, is because I found a really good deal on one. I saw the gold had 20 cores, I’m like hmmmm. But yeah, I want to try and keep the storage box as simple as possible.

I think I’m going to wait to find a deal on the X12STH-F board and then something like a intel xeon e-2378g or 2356g. This should last me for the foreseeable future and probably have everything I need to run the few things that I need on there.

Once I find a deal on those, I’ll probably make another post just to make sure I got everything else right as well.

You all have been very helpful. Learned a lot from this.

For mine, I got a motherboard with two NVMe slots. I used two small capacity NVMe cards mirrored when I installed the OS.