AdviceCheap NAS build opinion needed (+-350$ without drives)Posted:

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The last couple of days I tried to build a NAS which is in one way cheap, but also has quite a bit of power. I'll be using it to download movies in 4K and using Plex. I currently have the DS118 which is quite unstable considering the CPU load when transcoding to 1080p and very slow when unpacking big files.
So far I bought two things a used GPU for 40$ (GTX 660) since my original plan was to use FX-8350 which doesn't have onboard graphics. Second thing I bought was a cheap and simple case from amazon (Sharkoon VS4).
(Plus that I already own two 4 TB Barracuda NAS drives)

Now, there are a few things left to buy and I don't really know which of two setups to chose.


(fig. 1)
I have one setup with the FX-8350 and 16 GB of DDR3-Memory and a Gigabyte Motherboard (GA-970A-DS3P). This is a very old but still well performing CPU, considering its cheap price and a passmark score of 8948 I think this is a very good value.

(fig. 2)
The other setup packs a AMD Ryzen 5 1400, a AsRock motherboard (AsRock B450M-HDV) and 8 GB of DDR4-Memory (only 8 GBs because of the increase of the price with the Ryzen 5 and the need of DDR4). Now the CPU has a passmark score of 12213 which is quite powerful and will probably be able to handle one 4K transcoded stream.

Now the dilemma:

The AMD Ryzen build only has 8 Gigs of RAM and is +-50 CHF/$ more expensive than the FX-8350 build. Is it worth the 50 dollars more?

Main Tasks: Unpacking files and transcoding or direct play with Plex.

So regarding my experience, there will be somebody that points out I need ECC memory. The thing is, it just doesn't fit in my budget. Also I'm not sure what OS I should pick, it would be nice to have Windows since I'd like to consider some casual gaming (not too fancy stuff). But Freenas would also be great.

What do you think of the two builds? Which OS should I use on which build?
Thanks in advance!

fig. 1
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fig. 2
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#2. Posted:
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Definitely don't get the FX-8350. If you were going with older hardware to save money, you'd be better off just buying a Haswell(ideally) i5.

I wouldn't have bothered with the GTX 660 either to be honest, not for a NAS anyway. Just use an APU, the Ryzen 3 2200G is perfect for a NAS IMO. That, or the R5 2400G if you want the extra 4 threads, but the 2400G isn't really worth the premium over the 2200G IMO. I suppose though since you have the GTX 660 anyway, just look at R3 1200 and R5 1400. There are plenty of first gen Ryzen CPUs on the used market, especially Ryzen 3 1200/1300x, so you can pick them up really cheap these days.

I'd usually advise trying to get a reasonably good quality motherboard for a Ryzen CPU, but as it's for a NAS and you'll only be using a 4 core, I'd just get the cheapest B350/B450 motherboard you can find tbh. Again, B350 mobo's can be found pretty cheap on the used market.

Whether you use FreeNAS or Win10 is up to you, it depends on what you want to do with the system. If it's just a NAS, then use FreeNAS. If you're going to use it as a computer, then Win10.

Lastly, both of those PSU's are trash. Don't buy either of them. Not sure what availability/pricing is like for you, but you should be able to get a Corsair CX450 for a similar price, which is a much better PSU.
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21 wroteDefinitely don't get the FX-8350. If you were going with older hardware to save money, you'd be better off just buying a Haswell(ideally) i5.

I wouldn't have bothered with the GTX 660 either to be honest, not for a NAS anyway. Just use an APU, the Ryzen 3 2200G is perfect for a NAS IMO. That, or the R5 2400G if you want the extra 4 threads, but the 2400G isn't really worth the premium over the 2200G IMO. I suppose though since you have the GTX 660 anyway, just look at R3 1200 and R5 1400. There are plenty of first gen Ryzen CPUs on the used market, especially Ryzen 3 1200/1300x, so you can pick them up really cheap these days.

I'd usually advise trying to get a reasonably good quality motherboard for a Ryzen CPU, but as it's for a NAS and you'll only be using a 4 core, I'd just get the cheapest B350/B450 motherboard you can find tbh. Again, B350 mobo's can be found pretty cheap on the used market.

Whether you use FreeNAS or Win10 is up to you, it depends on what you want to do with the system. If it's just a NAS, then use FreeNAS. If you're going to use it as a computer, then Win10.

Lastly, both of those PSU's are trash. Don't buy either of them. Not sure what availability/pricing is like for you, but you should be able to get a Corsair CX450 for a similar price, which is a much better PSU.



Firstly, thanks for your help. I'll definitely pick up a the CX450, but I have one question.

Why shouldn't I get a FX-8450, when looking at benchmarks and the price both of these points are better than for example the Ryzen 3 1200/1300x or one of the i5 in the used marketplace. Of course it's old, but what's the disadvantage of it? The only drawback I see is the support for only DDR3-Memory.

Thanks in advance
#4. Posted:
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The FX-8350 is a terrible CPU. It;'s just not worth using. An R3 1200 would be better, and even new should cost about the same as an FX-8350 anyway. However, you can find used R3 1200's for less than that 'new' FX-8350.

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from digitec. If you need to get it a little cheaper, you could get this RAM instead;
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That B350 motherboard I've included is better quality than the B450 one in your list despite being a little older, so I'd get that.

The CX450 is a little more than I thought it'd be, but it's still the best option IMO.
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21 wroteThe FX-8350 is a terrible CPU. It;'s just not worth using. An R3 1200 would be better, and even new should cost about the same as an FX-8350 anyway. However, you can find used R3 1200's for less than that 'new' FX-8350.

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from digitec. If you need to get it a little cheaper, you could get this RAM instead;
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That B350 motherboard I've included is better quality than the B450 one in your list despite being a little older, so I'd get that.

The CX450 is a little more than I thought it'd be, but it's still the best option IMO.


Thank you very much! I am going to buy basically all the parts you recommended with the cheaper RAM. But I'm thinking about upgrading the R3 1200 to a R5 1600. What would you say, is the Ryzen 5 1600 worth the 68 CHF upgrade, the benchmarks look promising.

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(Impressive, by the way, how you got Digitec! )


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#6. Posted:
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The R5 1600 is a great CPU, but you honestly might be better off just saving some cash.

If it's just going to be used for a NAS, I really wouldn't bother with anything other than the R3 1200 tbh.

If you feel like you might upgrade GPU at some point, and are going to use the system for more than just as a NAS, then I'd be a little more inclined to maybe go for an R5 1400/R5 1600 instead.

Keep in mind that with the B350 motherboard, you can upgrade to 1st, 2nd, or 3rd gen Ryzen at any point if you wish anyway, so you could get an R3 1200 now and in the future, upgrade to a 6, or 8 core(or possibly even more) without much issue. 3rd gen Ryzen is coming middle of the year, so I imagine you'll see plenty of people selling their R5 1600's and 1st gen R7 CPU's cheap as chips to upgrade to 3rd gen. I actually got my used R7 1700x for £125 a few months back, which is about the same price as the R5 1400 on Digitec.

So basically, either the R3 or an R5 will be fine and you won't really regret either purchase but ultimately it's up to you if you think an R5 is worth the extra cash, depending on how exactly you plan to use the system.

xBotRaid wroteImpressive, by the way, how you gor Digitec!

I had forgot about Digitec when I originally posted tbh, was trying to use Alternate but the website was broken for some reason when I was trying to use it yesterday. Digitec seems to have better pricing anyway.
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