Newbie looking for hardware build

Hello there,

I have been looking to replace my old Synology that is now very much reaching its limits and I am looking for something more custom.
After some research, and browsing in my country online shop and second hand shop, and got the following list with the rounded price in USD.

  • PSU: Seasonic Prime PX-750 (125$) (The lower Watts one are similar price and some are more expensive, hence this one)
  • Boot drives: Samsung 980 250Go (45$) (EDITED)
  • Case: Fractal Node 804 (120$) (plan to buy more HDD in the future to fill up the slots)
  • RAM: Crucial DD4 ECC UDIMM 1RX8 3200 (MTA9ASF2G72AZ-3G2R) x2 (110$ for 2 sticks)
  • CPU: Intel Xeon E-2324G (200$)
  • Cooler: Noctua NH-D12L (85$)
  • Motherboard: Supermicro X12STH-LN4F-O (295$)
  • HDD: Toshiba N300 CMR 12TB x4 (900$)

For a total of roughly 1900$

EDIT: I plan to install TrueNAS Scale
EDIT2: Usage would be the following:

  • Mostly Media vault + between 3-4 concurrent 4k stream, transcoding would be possible / necessary depending on the device).
  • Jellyfin (docker, related to the above line)
  • Pi-Hole (docker)

Now, I just would like the confirmation that this is good to buy or if there would be suggestion for the better.

Thank you!

Fair list part, but I suggest to get a cheap NVMe M.2 drive to save your SATA ports and drop the HBA. You can also go with a smaller cooler.

Thank you for your feedback.
I’ve seen that it would be preferable to have a mirror boot hence my choice of 2 SSDs as the motherboard only one M.2 slot.
Also, may I ask why it would be best to drop the HBA ? Is it not what’s recommended ? (I also intend to expand later on the number of drives to 8x 12TB and though it was a good idea to have it there)

There’s no need for redundant boot devices in a home server: Always keep a recent copy of the configuration file outside of the NAS. In the unlikely case that the boot device fails, install a new one, reinstall TrueNAS and load the configuration file. Done in 10 minutes.
If you do want more NVME drives, you have two x4 ports, to use with adapters, and even a x16 slot which could be bifurcated x8x4x4.

Removing the HBA is 10-15 W less, and one less point of failure. The motherboard has 8 good SATA ports; there’s no need to bring in a HBA if that’s enough for your needs.

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That’s a fair point, thank you.
I will see to update my hardware. I was not aware of a reinstall that could take 10min with a save of the config file.
I will then remove that HBA if it’s not necessary as you say. As long as my data is safe, that’s all that matter.

Also remove one boot disk then.

Also, why the G variant of the CPU?
That board has IPMI, so unless you need a GPU for transcoding you don’t need one.

In general - E2400 is out, so this is last gen (which is fine if you’re fine with it).
Else this sounds expensive :wink:

Whats your reasoning for this CPU/Board Combo over say an E5v4, or a Xeon-D 1500 system?
Those dont have pcie4 but you don’t seem to plan to use it?

Edit: What are your plans for the future (expansion)? The 804 can do more than 4 drives o/c, so is that it? Only more space?

Just asking since the board is limited wrt memory (128 total with 4 modules) and also the cpu only has 4Cores/4 threads. Those E2300 CPUs are crazy expensive.

I know since I was very happy to pick up a 2336 for €200 the other day:)

I forgot to mention the usage.
Let me update my first message then.

Don’t use transcoding so no idea if the G will work for that (in Scale and with this particular board). A cheap GPU might be an alternative.

I’ve updated the first message.
Also, if you could elaborate on your suggestion, I am not too much into server hardware.
For the combo CPU/Motherboard I thought it was okay for my use case and since I also have to find the compatible RAM that goes with it, I was quite satisfied finding all the 3 that would fit into something not overly expensive.

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Good job finding a list part which meets all ZFS requirements and recommendations.

Xeon E5v3/4 are Broadwell-era CPUs (LGA 2011-3) which can now be found cheap from refurbished servers; they use RDIMMs, which are also very cheap second-hand and allow for high capacity. Admittedly, these are getting old, would likely be more power hungry than your pick, and would require a dGPU for transcoding.
Xeon D-1500 (Supermicro X10SDV boards) is the embedded version of the above, and a perennial favourite for home NAS, as they provide everything that is needed (except an iGPU for transcoding…) in small form factors (mini-ITX to micro-ATX) and with very low idle power. Still a generally good choice… but I can understand that you feel more comfortable with X12 hardware and consumer-like socketed CPUs than with embedded X10.

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If you’re fine with paying that then thats fine - its just looks expensive to me.
But it has the benefit of being new, with warranty.

I come from seeing older / more capable hardware for way less. O/c those have their caveats (potentially more power draw, no PCIe4 etc), but also their advantages (more memory, more cores etc).

Supermicro X10 single boards seem to be rare atm, but 1650v4 is 40€ from UK just now. Dual CPU boards should float around, 2687W v4 is only 80 bucks.

Or you can go X11, an X11SPL-F with a Xeon Silver should only be like €400

There are tons of options, but it boils down to

  • used or new
  • more capable/more powerdraw vs newer tech

If 4 cores (or maybe 8 if u upgrade in the future), 128G mem, and the 3 slots on that boards are ok for you (and the price is) then that’s a perfectly good way to go.

If you want more bang for the buck and are fine with used hw (and the potential of having them die of old age) then there are other options.

And one more thing, why the LN4F variant? It makes sense if you don’t use a switch, but else …

Thanks for the feedback.
For the limitation of the Motherboard, I would say that 128G would be more than enough and the workload will not be heavy in any case beside the 4k streaming.

As for the LN4F variant, please feel free to suggest me another one, I will see if I can find it. I am not aware of the switch limitation that you are stating, though I would be interested in an explanation.

The -LN4F has 4 network interfaces, , there also is a -F variant (X12STH-F) that “only” has 2 (+ IPMI on both).

If you dont have a switch but more than 1 network device that is supposed to access the NAS then you can plug in multiple devices into one network port each (make sure to use separate subnets)

But given that you can get a simple 4 port switch for basically nothing, I don’t assume thats the case.

You could go with the -F variant rather than -LN4F if you have just one cable to plug. But the difference is… $20 maybe?

A dual-socket E-ATX X10DR_ board with a single CPU in a huge case feels severely unattractive for a home server, even if can be found for pocket change.
I suppose that a X11SPL in a full ATX case is an option, but your use case won’t use the many PCIe lanes anyway. In micro-ATX in a Node 804, you’d need a X11SPM—good board, which has variants with on-board 10 GbE (-TF, -TPF), but harder to find second-hand.
There are US sellers on eBay with X11SRM-VF boads, possibly in bundle with a Xeon W-2100 (the sucessor of the E5v4) and RDIMM. You’d still need a cooler (beware: these requires the Narrow-ILM variant of LGA 2066!) to replace the supplied passive heatsink, which is only suitable for 1U servers with screaming fans. And a dGPU if you don’t leave transcoding to the CPU. You might save about $250 in the process and end up with a more powerful server, with more PCIe lanes and the ability to use more RAM… more than you’ll ever need.

(Take the opportunity to check what @Rand and I have cited if you want an insight into server hardware… but I don’t really expect you’ll go for it over a X12STH.)

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@etorix is right wrt to mainboard size, forgot to limit the recommendations to mATX.

The only thing I am not sure about wrt to your build are the cpu req for transcoding, but worst case you got a free x16 slot so you always can add a gpu later.

After checking there is indeed Supermicro X12STH-F-O for sale on one shop but it cost 400$. Not sure if that’s odd or expected but if the only difference is the number of Ethernet ports available then it doesn’t matter much to me if I have 4 or 2 or 1, I just took the cheapest one I could find in combination with the CPU and RAM.

As for the transcoding, I have a spare GTX 1060 still working somewhere, I would have to try out with the CPU first but depending on the load, I can probably offload that to that GPU.

Thanks for all the suggestion, I will then proceed with the purchase.

Protip for aspiring TrueNAS users: Even if your setup is really minimalistic, please buy a cheap unmanaged gigabit switch before you even think of deploying TrueNAS. You’re going to need it sooner rather than later.


Do people still do that!

If you are planning for a striped mirror, look around for Toshiba MG10ACA20TE, you could use just two 20TB drives and save a bit (possibly around 200$).

At that size, I would strongly favour 4-wide raidz2 over striped 2-way mirrors.
Also, the drive cages of the Node 804 really strongly favour installing drives in multiples of four (or five, if you do 5-wide raidz2 with four drives hanging and one on the floor.

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