Build Your Own NAS 2015 Parts List

In 2013, we published an article on building your own NAS for an affordable storage solution.  Well, there was such a positive reaction and such demand for an updated NAS build, I decided that it is high-time I revisit this article with a parts list relevant to 2015.

In our last build, I shopped around some local PC box stores to find some of the best deals.  Unfortunately a lot of you don’t live in areas that feature stores with the same deals.  This time around, the build will feature items easily found on Amazon.

One of the most attractive things about a NAS is its size. These devices do just about everything a BIG server can do, but using little power and taking up little space. Possibly the most attractive feature of a NAS is that you can change RAID levels, add disks, and grow arrays with ease. Try doing that with Windows Server and a RAID card. People have this misconception that a “Server” needs to be powerful and robust. Meanwhile, all they use it for is networked storage and serving up files. You can do all this with little cost and a small footprint. Enter the C.O.D. NAS Project

Motherboard: Gigabyte H97N-WIFI

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For this build we are going for something a little more powerful and a little more current.  With today’s OpenMediaVault and its Extras, having the ability to add PLEX to the build means that many of you will inevitably be transcoding video for your wireless tablets and devices.  This motherboard provides enough room for you to grow.  With support for 16GB of RAM and any LGA 1150 processor, you will be good to go.  Having onboard graphics is a bonus.

CPU: Intel Core i3-4150

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You don’t need an i7 CPU for a NAS!  Getting just enough power at a low price point is the key.  Many of today’s best selling NAS sport ATOM processors and having an i3 in the box is comparable to some of the most expensive high end NAS you can buy.

Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB DDR3-1600

Memory hasn’t changed from the last build to this build.  I still very much like the Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB DDR3-1600 and favor it to some of the other options out there.  Even though prices may have gone up a tad from 2 years ago, this RAM is still my choice for low-cost builds.

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SAS RAID Controller: HighPoint RocketRAID 2720SGL

No NAS would be complete without the ability to connect a few hard drives. Typically, NAS run variations of Linux and provide some software RAID functionality. With Software RAID, it is easy to expand arrays. For a few extra dollars you can get a SAS card that is capable of connecting more drives than a SATA controller card and is RAID capable. With this in mind, the HighPoint RocketRAID 2720SGL 8-Port PCI Express controller card is a perfect fit. There are two SFF-8087 mini-SAS connectors and the card is capable of transfer rates of up to 6Gb/s . When used in conjunction with SFF-8087 breakout cables, you can connect up to four SATA drives to each of these ports. This will provide functionality for up to eight SATA hard drives on one controller. If you are a bit more adventurous, you now have the ability to buy a SAS expander to further increase the number of drives to… … a lot of drives.

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Cables: Various

In order to take advantage of the SAS controller card, the purchase of some breakout cables is a necessity. Luckily, with a quick search on Amazon, you can find some Monoprice SAS to SATA breakout cables for $11.42 each. This takes one SFF-8087 connector and transforms it into for SATA connectors. These cables are long enough (19″ or .5m) for a big chassis, yet small enough for a small build and because one single cable is capable of four SATA connections, you can easily reduce some cable clutter.

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To keep wire clutter down to a minimum, some StarTech SATA Power Splitters will be used where the drives are in close proximity to each other. These allow you to take one single SATA power connection from your Power Supply and provide power to four of your SATA hard drives. These cables are black, durable, and inexpensive.

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OS Hard Drive: Crucial MX 100 128GB SSD

In order to take full advantage of speed, this build will use an inexpensive SSD for the OS drive. SSDs give you raw speed and without any moving parts and with that a certain level of comfort can be assumed. This is absolutely not a necessity as you can use any standard drive for the OS, but I had one lying around… so why not? For us, the Crucial MX 100 is a speedy little drive capable of sequential reads of fantastic performance. An SSD will set you back a bit on your budget, but there are always deals to be found online.

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Power Supply: Silverstone 450-Watts SFX Form Factor Full Modular Power Supply

Having the right Power Supply is essential.  Having been a long-standing fan of SilverStone’s products and their commitment to quality means that I have no issues recommending their products to anyone for any reason.  With that said, having chosen their NAS chassis as the primary platform for our 2015 NAS Build Guide, it is a requirement / no-brainer to feature an SFX form Factor Power Supply Unit by the same company that delivered such a high quality and functional NAS chassis.

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Case: SilverStone DS380 SFF NAS chassis

The DS380 is designed specifically for NAS and storage applications out of the box without the need to buy additional equipment like hard drive cages.  This means that the case ships with the ability to house up to 12 total drives (8 are hot-swappable 3.5″, 4 are internal 2.5″).  It has plenty of cooling, a locking front door, and it can accommodate a mini-ITX motherboard.  The case measures just 211mm x 360mm x 285mm, sports plenty of connectivity, and is constructed of plastic, SECC and aluminum.  This is the absolute perfect choice for a NAS build.

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For a complete list of these components from Amazon, Click Here

For those of you that choose to build your own NAS with this hardware or any hardware, our NAS build guide is a step in the right direction.  For the complete guide, please visit the article: Build A NAS for Affordable Storage.  If you choose the hardware from this list, you can start the installation portion of our guide from page 4, or by clicking this link.

About Joe D

I have always had a passion for everything computing. In early 2000, I decided to take my passion to the web. Thus, C.O.D. was born. Through the years we have made many great friends at C.O.D. and hope to continue our journey for years to come.

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