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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All

Im looking at building a NAS server, no synology etc; the idea here is to store our family videos, pictures, files (pdf, word and test software for such things as app development) sickbeard and torrent download at night. I need to help on deciding which step is best; we have 4 TVs in the house which I need help further down the page on the next best build, but for now I just want to look at the NAS;

There is also a Onkyo surround sound system in the living room that I want to use for this setup there;
The NAS needs to stream up to 4 or more devises - 4 tvs (not all at the same time) but also iphone, windows mobile, ipad, macbook pro, laptop, PC, and support access (streaming to) xbox one, xbox 360, PS3)

NOTE- future upgrading of the system and expanding the drives is needed

Do I build a NAS with high specs to connect to my Onkyo with an intel i7, or better if so please advise; motherboard, RAM type, - I know I will need WD Red drives and I am looking at a case that can support up to 8+ sata drives maybe more in the future with access in addition of 2 SSD (for OS sickbeard Plex etc) - also which OS would be best -

for the media player - instead of the NAS connecting the Onkyo for the TV- do I use an intel NUC i7 high spec build, or build my own sytem; if this is the best option please advise of the best spec; as I will want all the data etc on the NAS to be accessible -

Im new to this, htpc plex etc; but I have build my own PC's in the past....so as much support and info would be appreciated -

Just a note in the future too I will be looking to put in place a HomeRUn type receiver to then allow me to record live tv to the NAS

John
 

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The biggest question for the NAS/Server is will it need to transcode and if so to how many clients at once? I have an i3 based NAS running Xpenology and I can transcode to two clients at one time if needed as long as nothing else big is running on the NAS.

As for the media players I am a big fan of the NUC but you probably do not need i7s. Mine are lowly Celerons and they can play everything I throw at them including full bitrate Blu-Rays.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856102004
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi All thank you so much for the responses; budget for the NAS, between £500-£800, with out taking in to account for the case as Im not sure if I want a tower or other; but thats about the budget for the NAS....

on the other question, again thank you; I want to be able to stream up to 4 live streams at any point, but I will have some family who have fibre broadband at their homes who I would like to allow access to my TV and Movies I have on there; so would this need to be taken into account for the transcoding... again I will monitor their access so not to abuse it for my family...

again your thoughts on the above would be appreciated


the streams to will need to take into account are 3D, HD, SHD 4k etc...
 

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I'm very interested in hearing a software solution for this. NAS and HTPC builds often come with their own separate solutions, but is there one OS that does everything? What do people use?
 

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On the ssd side of things, they don't really need to take up a drive bay.


On the low tech side of things, ssds can be attached by Velcro tape.


There are also devices like ssd adapters, that plant them in a pci-e slot.


Other options are to use a 3.5" bay that holds 2 ssds in one 3.5" bay. There are also 5.25" drive bay
adapters that can hold four ssds. There's also some older tower cases that have nothing but 5.25" bays,
and you can use 4 into 3 bays, with fans, or simply 5.25 adapter brackets.


You might spend a little surfing the UnRaid forums. The UnRaid Compulsive Design subforum, has a wide ranging
variety of case options, and lots of pictures of some impressive servers.


http://lime-technology.com/forum/


Something like this, might be something very buildable. Basically two brackets attached to a pci slot cover.
 

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I'm very interested in hearing a software solution for this. NAS and HTPC builds often come with their own separate solutions, but is there one OS that does everything? What do people use?
Plex is available for just about any OS and it is the best that I have found that combines the ability to play almost anything on any device and is easy to use.
 

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Why do you need an i7 NUC? My dad's projector is fed by a CELERON NUC running OpenELEC/Kodi.

Another solution - build a "server" on Windows 7 and let it do your recording. You can use MCEBuddy to remove the commercials and to pre-transcode the recordings. Install Plex and/or Emby, and you now have the ability to serve up your recordings to any device in the house. That's how mine is set up.
 

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Why do you need an i7 NUC? My dad's projector is fed by a CELERON NUC running OpenELEC/Kodi.

Another solution - build a "server" on Windows 7 and let it do your recording. You can use MCEBuddy to remove the commercials and to pre-transcode the recordings. Install Plex and/or Emby, and you now have the ability to serve up your recordings to any device in the house. That's how mine is set up.
Yep, an i-anything is total overkill for an HTPC. A cheap RaspPi2 running Kodi/OpenELEC works very well. A Chromebox with a dual-core Celeron is probably about the max amount of CPU power that you would need before you wouldn't see any add'l benefit from going higher.

Save the i7 for the NAS/Server. If you are gonna transcode 4 HD rips at once, you will need the power.

I poached this from my post in the DIY RAID Advice Needed thread but the info is pretty much the same:

A system similar to my current that has Nine Drives on Win7 Pro with a FlexRAID array:
CPU - AMD FX 6300 $90
MB - Asus M5A97 R2.0 $90
Case - Fractal Design Define R4 $80
SATA Card - 4-Port SATA $20
Memory - Crucial ECC 2x4TB $80
PSU - Corsair Builder Series 430W $40
Win 7 Pro $130
FlexRAID License $60
3rd Case Fan - 140mm Case Fan $10
CPU Cooler - Hyper 212+ $30
GPU - Zotac GT730 $40
Misc Cable and Drive Adapters $25

The whole thing is virtually silent. You could just as easily swap out the AMD solution for your i7 and an Intel MB, dropping the ECC memory in favor of normal non-ECC.

If you are OK with Linux then run FreeDBS with ZFS. Spend $50 of the savings from your unnecessary Windows and FlexRAID licenses to boost the memory to 16GB and you are running a top of the line system at that point for under $700. Plex trancoding capable? Check. ZFS file system? Check.

You may even consider Windows 8 with Storage Spaces.

The only thing missing is hot swap bays. Hot Swap Bays are not my thing. Sure, they are valuable in a high I/O environment where failed drives need to be replaced quickly and without bringing the server down but the average home user is probably OK in shutting it down, pulling off the side panel, swapping out the drive, closing it up and rebooting. Total time 20 minutes. Plus, Hot Swap Bays use small, high rpm fans that are noisy and inefficient.

However, if that's still your thing these 5-in-3 IcyDock Hot Swap Bays that are $75 at NewEgg right now:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817994155

Grab a couple of those with a Xigmatek Elysium case ($400) in place of the Fractal Design Define R4 and you have 10 bays with room to add 10 more in the future and still come in less than the 8-bay Synology.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think I will start with building my NAS, thank you all for the info...looking at the intel i7, just which board would be best, one for low power consumption, and able to run 24/7 on streaming tasks for HD, 1080, 3D, 4k to multi devises say 3 at any point during the day and evening and during the night to early morning sickbeard etc......so which intel i7 motherboard will be best, i have read about the 170 chipset, but also note I also need a motherboard that I can expand up to 10 sata drives (HD and SSD) drives

sorry to note would need HDMI, latest USB port as well as able to play via the Onkyo surround sound
 

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For building a server (not really a NAS), I recommend going the Xeon route rather than i7, that way you can use ECC RAM for better stability. Personally, I am on an Intel server board with a Xeon E3-1246v3, which is the equivalent of the i7 4790.

Don't worry about board and processor power consumption, it is going to be a negligible part of your build if you are planning on getting up to 10 spinning hard drives. You aren't going to want to have this build in your living room either, not with 10 drives in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Again thank you for the support all. So I think i will go with the Intel Xeon E3-1230v3 3.30GHz Socket 1150 8MB L3 Cache; but I need some advise on the best motherboard to work with the above; I have read about the latest chipset etc, and want the quickest speeds as possible to my drives; would the Z170 be the best option and if so which manufacture is the best in running 24/7 etc for my needs....ASUS, Asrock, gigabyte etc...
 

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Most people here are probably going to tell you to go with a SuperMicro board. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, they make great hardware.

Make sure you are getting a board that supports ECC RAM, or you are messing up the reason to get a Xeon over an i series processor.

Here's exactly what I am using. Why this one? It's on the ESXi HCL, it has two Intel Pro NICs, and I'm a fan of Intel motherboards.
http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Server-Board-Motherboard-DBS1200V3RPL/dp/B00DSRD1WQ

It's not cheap, but I have built my last servers "cheap", and ended up with flaky motherboards. This thing is up and running with 3 VMs active right now, and has never flaked on me once in the year I've had it.

I'm going to make my recommendation for the Xeon 1246 over the 1230. The 1230 will require you to have a discrete video card, and is a little slower. I looked a couple of places and it appears to be a little higher in cost than the 1246 too.

There are some advantages to discrete video cards when you are running VMs, but configuration of multiple discrete cards in VMs is no easy task.

Don't take my word for all of this, let some others chime in too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Just a quick one, with the above NAS, my HTPC Kodi player:

D54250WYK i5....will this be suiteable for 1080p, 3D and a few 4K videos (ultra HD) video play back...the system will mainly be for play back and a little bit internet browsing, no gaming, unless those net one such as Mario Bros etc (on line rom sites)

Or is the i5 over kill....just remembering I need true 1080 3d play back and 4k best; want to keep the cost down to UK £ of around £300-£400

I have read, such as for the ASRock, dual channel support is a requirement to get good 4K video effect...remember too I have a Onyko surround sound system this will play the audio out through
 
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