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NAS - Advanced for up to 6 harddrives and PCIe 3.0 x16 Slot

NAS - Advanced for up to 6 harddrives and PCIe 3.0 x16 Slot

The Advanced - NAS is a very good choice if our NAS - Basic for 4 harddrives is not suitable for you.

After a lot of testing and searching arround the web it became clear to me that a 6 bay NAS solution without extension cards is almost impossible to be based on Intels smallest plattform - Bay-Trail. That's the reason why our NAS - Advanced is based on Intels Haswell-Refresh architecture.



CPU, mainboard and memory

So we're looked for - and found - a cheap mainboard with 6 native SATA ports. As SATA3 is not required by data harddrives (only SSDs benefit from 3rd gen SATA) it's ok that the final candidate - the ASRock B85 Anniversary offers only 4 SATA3 and 2 SATA2 ports. Due to it's Intel B85 chipset it is not supporting the Intel Fake-Raid. If you want to use FreeNAS or - as we do - OpenMediaVault that's not a problem because those OS use a native software raid without the need of Intel's raid feature.

The ASRock B85 Anniversary seems to be a time limited offer but you can go with similar mainboards as long as they also offer 6 SATA ports. Even so that a socket 1150 mainboard can make use of all available Intel 1150 CPUs - and that are a lot - we recommend the almost smallest one - the Intel Celeron G1840 (2x 2.8GHz, 53W TDP) wich is available for arround 48 USD including the cpu fan.

Don't deter yourself by the relatively high TDP of 53 watts - this NAS is energy efficient and comsumes arround 15W without the data drives only. This are only 5W more compared to our NAS - Basic wich is based on Intels smaller Bay-Trail. Performace wise, the Intel Celeron G1840 is 30% faster than the Intel Bay-Trail J1900. But this is not important because even the slower Bay-Trails are good enough for 1Gbit/s (120 MB/s) data transfer speeds via network. The main benefits of Haswell are the higher SATA port count and the additional PCIe lanes.

During a 1Gbit transfer, the Intel Celeron G1840 is loaded by arround 20-30 percent. Because of its native 6 SATA ports, we do not need to install an additional, external SATA controller. Even a small 2 port SATA controller consumes at least 1W. If 6 SATA ports are not enough for you, the PCIe 3.0 x16 Slot with a maximum bandwith of 15,754 MB/s can easily serve an additonal SATA controller.

NAS - Advanced for up to 6 harddrives and PCIe 3.0 x16 Slot

The ASRock B85 Anniversary can support up to 4 DDR3-1600 rams, but keep in mind that the Intel Celeron G1840 supports only DDR3-1333. You can install faster ones but they will be limited to DDR3-1333. OpenMediaVault requires at least 2GB of memory but we recommend 4GB for faster transfer speeds. The Intel Celeron supports Dual-Channel memory - so if you plan to install more than 4GB of ram we recommend to install 2 half-size memories instead of only one big.

We recommend the Kingston KVR16N11S8/4 4GB DDR3-1600 CL11 1.5V for 24 USD. Kingston memories are known as highly compatible and we always feel good recommending them.


Connectivity
- HDMI, DVI, VGA D-SUB
- 4x USB 2.0 (+2 USB 2.0 Header)
- 2x USB 3.0 (+1 USB 3.0 Header)
- 4x SATA 6G (max. ~550 MB/s)
- 2x SATA 3G (max. ~275 MB/s)
- 1x Gigabit LAN (Realtek RTL8111GR, Wake-On-Lan, Wake-On-Wan, 802.3az EEE, PXE)

ASRocks B85 Anniversary also offers HD-audio and a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) header for hw security. Both features are not used in this guidance. Note: the ASRock B85 Anniversary is packed with only 2 SATA cables. If you plan to install more than 2 data drives, you have to buy additional SATA cables.



System drive - SSD or SLC-Stick recommended

To keep the 6 SATA ports free for data drives, we recommend using an USB-Stick with SLC chips. SLC chips are more reliable and faster. MLC-USB-Sticks are known to easily die if used as linux OS disk (OpenMediaVault is based on a Debian 7 "Wheezy" Linux).

A good buy is the Mach Xtreme MX ES SLC USB 3.0 Pen Drive 8GB for 22 USD or the bigger and fast one, the MX-Technology 16GB USB 3.0 MX-ES Series SLC for 34 USD wich offers 170 MB/s read and 185 MB/s write speed. Both sticks come with a 5 year warranty. A good utility is the USB 3.0 A Type Female to Female 20 Pin Box Header Slot Adapter wich let us install the USB drive inside the case.

Alternatively - if you do not need all 6 SATA ports - we recommend the ADATA USA Premier Pro SP600 2.5-Inch 32 GB SATA III Synchronous NAND SSD with a capacity of 32GB for 34 USD.



The case that best fits

You can pick any case with an ATX form factor and enough space for the amount of data drives you plan to use. Atm my favorite is the Fractal Design Define R5 because of it's eight 3.5 inch harddrive cages wich are cooled by 2 140mm fans. The internal fan speed management (5/7/12V) supports a maximum of 3 fans and helps to keep our NAS silent.

NAS - Advanced for up to 6 harddrives and PCIe 3.0 x16 Slot
If you feel the 110 USD for the Fractal Design Define R5 are a bit too expensive, you can pick any case like a Rosewill Dual Fans ATX Mid Tower for 26 USD.



Power supply

For a 6 bay NAS we recommend you to buy a ATX power supply like the EVGA 430 W1 80+, 430W&tag=nm084-20&link_code=wql&camp=2474&creative=9066&_encoding=UTF-8" onclick="update_aff_link('840');">EVGA 430 W1 80+, 430W with 3 years of warranty for 35 USD. In our smaller 4 bay NAS we use a PicoPSU-90 with an external power supply but for a NAS with 6 data drives you may want to have a bigger one wich is more efficient on higher loads.

The x is equipped with 4x SATA-Power. If you want to connect 6 data drives, you need 2 StarTech.com PYO2SATA 6in SATA Power Y Splitter Cable (3 USD each).



Hard drives

The best choice for home NAS data drives are the WD Red drives wich are available from 1 to 6 TB for arround 40 USD per TB. We recommend to buy a larger one instead of two small ones. That saves money and energy and reduces the risk of a harddrive failure inside a raid - wich increases with the number of total drives used.

The WD Red harddrives offer TLER (Time-Limited-Error-Recovery). This function increases the stability of a harddrive inside a raid by communicating with the hardware controller. The warranty is 3 years.

NAS - Advanced for up to 6 harddrives and PCIe 3.0 x16 Slot




Fit up

Nowadays it's very simple to assemble a NAS or small computer. The Intel Celeron G1840 need to be installed into the mainboards sockel as well as the memory. The Intel CPU fan comes with installed and ready to use thermal compund - you do not need to install the thermal compound by yourself.

Even rookies can do the assembly in less than one hour. You do not need to configure the BIOS - just go with the default settings.

Bilder werden geladen ...
  • NAS - Advanced for up to 6 harddrives and PCIe 3.0 x16 Slot
  • NAS - Advanced for up to 6 harddrives and PCIe 3.0 x16 Slot
  • NAS - Advanced for up to 6 harddrives and PCIe 3.0 x16 Slot
  • NAS - Advanced for up to 6 harddrives and PCIe 3.0 x16 Slot Thumbnail
  • NAS - Advanced for up to 6 harddrives and PCIe 3.0 x16 Slot Thumbnail
  • NAS - Advanced for up to 6 harddrives and PCIe 3.0 x16 Slot Thumbnail

Note: we used an ASRock B85M Pro3 but i think the better choice is the ASRock B85 Anniversary.



Comparison of NAS operation systems

You're free to install every software you like - Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 with Windows Storage Places will also do. However as linux lovers we recommend OpenMediaVault wich is free and fast.

OpenMediaVaultFreeNAS
Base OSDebian 7 (Wheezy)FreeBSD 9.3
Raid-LevelJBOD, 0, 1, 5, 6, 100, 1, Raid-Z (5), Raid-Z2 (6), Z3
File systemsExt3, Ext4, XFS, JFSZFS, UFS
Memorymin. 2GBmin. 8GB
ManagementWebinterface, consoleWebinterface, console
DifficultySimpleAdvanced
Guidancecoming sooncoming soon




Power consumption and Wake-On-Lan

As a NAS is usually running several hours a day, the power consumption is an important point. That's the reason why we select energy efficient hardware that helps you to reduce you bill.

SituationConsumptionRemark
Standby, WakeOnLan active1.6W(Suspend-to-Ram)
Active (without harddrives)15W
Active (6 idle WD Red 6TB harddrives)37W
Active (6 active WD Red 6TB harddrives)54.5W


We like to use the Wake-On-Lan feature of the mainboard wich you have to enable in the BIOS (Wake on PCIe). There is a plugin for OpenMediaVault in the OMV Extras package named "AutoShutDown". This plugin regularly scans your network for active computers like your mediaplayer, TV or office pc. As long as at least one defined computer is online, the NAS will continue to stay active.

If there is no defined active computer found in a specific time fence, the "AutoShutDown" plugin will switch the system to standby. During standby the NAS will consume less than 5W of energy. If you later start you computer or TV, the NAS will receive a wake-up paket and switches back to active (ready) mode. If configured correctly this can be automized completely.



Internal Raid-Benchmark

Our NAS is equipped with 6 WD Red harddrives with a capacity of 6TB each. The internal speed is measured with the Linux Benchmark hdparm:

NAS - Advanced for up to 6 harddrives and PCIe 3.0 x16 Slot



Frequently asked questions arround OpenMediaVault


Question: Is a configured Raid expandable ?
Answer: Yes (Raid 0,5,6)

Question: In case of a harddrive failure is it possible to restore the Raid ?
Answer: Yes, simply replace the failed harddrive and use OpenMediaVaults Raid restore feature.

Question: Can i change or reinstall the OS drive ?
Answer: Yes, the Raid function is independent from OS drive as long as you stay with a linux wich supports mdadm raid.

Question: Can i exchange or upgrade the hardware (CPU, memory, mainboard) ?
Answer: Yes, the Raid is independent of the hardware used (except harddrives).

Question: I run into some trouble during OMV installation (Grub-Bootloader)!
Answer: The OS drive needs to be recognized as first drive (/sda). It's much easier to plug out the data drives during installation of OpenMediaVault.



Compilation

Here you can find a list of all used hardware components:

ComponentNamePrice
ProcessorIntel Celeron G1840 (2x 2.8GHz)48 USD
Processor (alternative)Intel Core i3-4160 (2x 3.6GHz, HT, AES)118 USD
MainboardASRock B85 Anniversary68 USD
MemoryKingston KVR16N11S8/4 4GB DDR3-1600 CL11 1.5V24 USD
System-StickMX-Technology 16GB USB 3.0 MX-ES Series SLC35 USD
System-Stick (alternative)Mach Xtreme MX ES SLC USB 3.0 Pen Drive 8GB22 USD
System-SSD (alternative)ADATA USA Premier Pro SP600 (32GB)34 USD
Power supplyEVGA 430 W1 80+, 430W&tag=nm084-20&link_code=wql&camp=2474&creative=9066&_encoding=UTF-8" onclick="update_aff_link('840');">EVGA 430 W1 80+, 430W35 USD
CaseFractal Design Define R5110 USD
Case (alternativ)Rosewill Dual Fans ATX Mid Tower26 USD

Accessories (optional)USB 3.0 A Type Female to Female 20 Pin Box Header Slot Adapter6 USD
Accessories (5+ harddrives)StarTech.com PYO2SATA 6in SATA Power Y Splitter Cable3 USD

Data drivesWestern Digital Red, Price per TB40 USD

SumCheapest compilation without data drives223 USD



Final words

Our NAS - Advanced starts at 223 USD plus data drives and offers full 1Gbit network transfer speed - at this point most of the ready assembled solutions in this price range fail. It's energy efficient and able to automaticaly sleep in standby if there is no active computer in your network.

The PCIe 3.0 x16 slot makes this NAS very flexible and future oriented. The Intel Celeron G1840 with its Haswell-Refresh architecture offers good value and enough speed for all NAS tasks. Due to it's 1150 socket it can be upgraded later - if needed. If you plan to heavily use AES encryption we recommend the Intel Core i3-4160 with AES-Ni hardware acceleration. An other option for AES-Ni - but only with support for 4 harddrives - is our Mini-ITX based NAS Basic guidance.

Not the right NAS you're looking for ? Find it in our updated Self-build NAS guide for all skill levels.


1 comments

by Miguel Perez at 2016-10-19
Visitor

I love the post, really interesting. Keep them coming.

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About the author
Stefan is 32 years old and lives in Hamburg, Germany. He works as IT-Admin in a global acting, japanese company. He is founder of a german technic site named Technikaffe.de. In 2015 the team launched the sites cpu-monkey.com and nerd-monkey.com.