Opinions on some hardware, use it or toss it

Hello, Eddie Shaw here. Building a video storage NAS for a blue iris NVR computer.
Planning on using a dedicated NIC connected to the TrueNAS NIC set up as an ISCSI target drive. That will be its only connected traffic receiving only camera video.
I have an old Compaq that came with an 760GM-E51 MSI MB but some of the components I don’t know if they will create problems for me or not.
The CPU AMD Atholon II X2 245 Processor
Memory unbuffered DIMM of 1.5 Volt DDR3 800/1066/1333/1600*(OC) DRAM 16gb
It has pcie x16 slot for SATA controller add on card and another x1 for a good NIC
I don’t have much non intel experience and not sure how this will work but its an old family computer and if it will work it’s mostly free to me.

Thank you for any opinions that can be shared with me.

While your hardware “might” be able to support what you desire, you need to ask yourself how important your data is. If it is very important then you will want to meet certain minimal specs, like ECC RAM for example. When running ISCSI as I understand it, for optimal speed you need to leave 50% or more free space on your drives.

I am not familiar with the hardware you have but some investigating on your part would be helpful. Also, you could install TrueNAS to a USB Flash drive and try to bring that computer up, see how things go. Use it as a test platform until you figure out exactly what you need. Many people build something, throw tons of data onto it, and then a few months later want to make a storage system configuration change like from a Stripe to RAIDZ2, and they flounder as they try to find a way to store all the data they put on the one drive that they need to destroy now. So play with it, figure out what you want from a storage perspective.

Also, you can build your pool of drives up and if the computer you are using is not good enough, you can simply move your drives over to another machine and it all works. That is one of the good things about ZFS.

I know I wasn’t a ton of help but hopefully it will allow you to just try to use the computer you have and play with it.

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I found some posts after I posted this about my hardware. I have to figure out searching posts on the site better. I google searched some questions about it and got several hits from this site that I didn’t find searching the site. Crazy.
I’m definitely going to revisit ISCSI. I had not come across the loss of efficiency before but will look into it. I don’t want to have to have double the resources to do half the job.
The ECC thing is not wanted but I’ll do like you say and fire it up and see what it does. If I can go back and review camera video consistently then good for me. But if it has too many gaps or even unusable video files then I will be looking again for some better hardware.


Hello Ed.

Is there a particular need/requirement that you access your data via iscsi? Seems unnecessary but perhaps you could elaborate?

I would suggest building something with newer hardware. Hardware released within the last decade that supports PCIe 3.0 would be a good start. Just my opinion.

I suspect Ed will find out his old hardware will be loud and eat up power. Not ideal for something you want to run all the time, especially if it is recording security camera footage for example. But it would be a good platform (if it runs) to test out TrueNAS. Eventually if Ed likes TrueNAS, server grade hardware will be in his future.

@Ed.shaw While playing with that system, carefully think about what you “need” and “want” the thing to do. Don’t build cheap and then 3 months later upgrade, it’s too expensive. The people here will give you great advice.


I am just truly curious where iscsi came from.

Looking at blue iris I can see it’s a software solution for recording security camera footage. I don’t know much about it. Perhaps Ed could elaborate on his use case a bit further.

There may be other ways to control your camera and their data. For example, open source software solutions you could deploy via app(s) on TrueNAS Scale.

Just from a quick search, this project is a part of the official TrueNAS Scale app catalog:

May be worth considering further investigation into your options.

I would suggest a RAIDZ layout given your use case means constant streaming writes.

And of course I have a different perspective as well. If it were me (speaking just for myself) and I was creating a TrueNAS for the explicit use of recording home security video, I would run a Mirror, just two drives. Low RPM, probably 4TB (you need to determine how much footage you need to retain), and I’ve just changed my mind… I would not use TrueNAS as a security camera storage medium.

Here is why… Video is a constant stream of information. This means that the drive must be error free in recording the data (erase/write/read) before it can go on. With ZFS if there is a problem, your video stream recording could be stopped for a little while, a few second to totally stopped, and could lead to a drive being pushed offline (the only reason I said Mirror and not a single drive stripe above).

You will really want a server that does not use ZFS, that you can use WD Purple drives in that are forgiving for video errors (or similar). I’m not saying that TrueNAS would not support it, I know it will, but I personally do not believe it is the most correct platform for security video recording. I’m sure you could spin up a Linux distribution and put blue iris on it, and use a single hard drive.

While TrueNAS makes building a NAS easy, I just don’t think this is the right thing for just a video recording device. But if TrueNAS is the platform, a Mirror of 2TB or 4TB drives (see what the blue iris forum recommends).

Just my two cents.


Using a windows based NVR and being confined to less powerful hardware you find that the more cameras you add the more overhead you create writing to local drives. I will need a minimum of 6 4tb drives to get the recording days I would like. You get to a point that the computer is just working to hard to add any more cameras. Using a dedicated NIC, a crossover cable (no switch) connected directly to the nas NIC, and the nas hosting an ISCSI target that shows up as a local drive letter unloads the local machine and frees up allot of power. I have found that using this method lets me add more than double the amount of cameras without overloading the local machine. I used this configuration at a previous job using more expensive hardware and was trying to recreate it on a smaller scale with less money for myself at home.
However I have not experimented with pcie much. Possibly having all that extra local bandwidth may be a better solution. I was using SATA 3 on the machine. PCIE was just coming out.

SATA3 is significantly faster than 1GbE connection so I don’t see you needing an HBA if you have enough SATA ports already. If not, guess you will need an HBA.
A modern 1GbE NIC will automatically crossover, no need for special crossover cables.

Good luck on your project, sounds interesting. I would do something like that but I’m not going to route ethernet through all the walls. That would have been nice to do when the house was being built.

I think it’s worth rethinking the whole solution if you have the budget to entertain it. There may be a much better way to handle a surveillance deployment like this. I know for a fact that the last 10+ years that security footage/video ingest in general has been a target vertical of NAS solutions which I believe don’t use iscsi. Unless your hardware (cameras) require the use of that specific software it may be worth seeing what options can give you more flexibility and features.

If you want an easier solution just drop drives in whatever hardware and test it out. Use something like a kill-a-watt to test power consumption. It may work, but how well? I don’t know. I don’t think you came to ask questions because you wanted a turn-key solution though.

For the record PCIe was introduced in 2003. I would personally recommend not wasting time and effort (or power consumption) dealing with outdated hardware.

Only issue @joeschmuck with your theoretical solution is we don’t have enough information here. Is 4TB enough? All depends on how much data is coming in. Seems extremely variable to me. Depends on the camera resolution, fps, perhaps compression by the DVR software. I’m just throwing random things out there I’m sure there’s more to consider. I agree though with Joe’s conclusion though. However I’m sure you could tweak things to be receptive this this kind of workflow. Makes me curious. I’m going to google and see if anyone else has done this.

I think what I’m ultimately meandering towards here is that we don’t have enough information to work with to make judgement calls on what hardware is or isn’t appropriate for this particular use case. But I can confidently say that using a system with a CPU from 2009 is not a good use of time and resources in 2024 for anything. Send it to ewaste.