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NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2

NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2

This is the third version of our guide for a medium to large-sized NAS. As well as showing a 30 % performance increase over its predecessor, this one also allows you to incorporate an M.2 hard drive as a system disk. The 6 SATA ports now all work to the newest SATA3/6G standard.

The new Kaby-Lake architecture is only a slight improvement on its predecessor, Skylake. Apart from an average of 200 MHz more clock speed and the fact that Kaby-Lake has finally integrated HEVC (H.265) into its hardware, performance per cycle is identical to that of Skylake. The winners are the new Pentium processors which now support hyperthreading and so have 4 logical processors (as opposed to the two of their predecessor). Taken all together, this means that the Intel Pentium G4560 represents a boost in performance of around 30% compared with the older Intel Pentium G4400.

The downside is that Intel has removed the ECC memory support from the consumer processors (Celeron, Pentium, Core i3/i5/i7), though in the past an ECC compatible system always required a mainboard with an expensive Intel C chipset.

So as far as this is concerned, it is not a problem for our Advanced NAS guide. We have, therefore, used the Intel Pentium G4560 as our processor, which can draw from 8 GB DDR4 working memory.



CPU, Mainboard and RAM

For the mainboard, we have once again taken the smallest Intel chipset, the B250M. The Gigabyte GA-B250M-DS3H offers 6 new generation SATA ports and an M.2 slot and takes up to 4 working memory modules operating at a maximum speed of DDR4-2400. This means it is possible to install up to 64GB of working memory. Up to 3 monitors can be connected simultaneously via HDMI 1.4, DVD-D and VGA.


NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2

6x SATA 6G - max. 550MB/s per port
1x M.2 incl. PCIe 3.0 x4 Support for SATA and PCIe SSDs
AES-Ni - Accelleration of encryption / decryption
Vt-x, Vt-d - virtualizing features
4x USB 3.0 + 1x front-USB 3.0
2x USB 2.0 + 2x front-USB 2.0
1x Gigabit LAN (Realtek RTL8111H, Wake-On-Lan, Wake-On-Wan, 802.3az EEE, PXE)
1x HDMI, 1x DVI + 1x VGA
1x PCIe 3.0 x16, 2x PCIe 3.0 x1

The Intel Pentium G4560 supports the AES-NI, the encoding and decoding of data via AES in hardware. This means that data can be encoded on the NAS with hardly any performance loss. When transferring data at 115 MB/s over the network, the processor system load is around 12 to 15%.

If 6 SATA ports are not enough, the PCI-e 3.0 x16 slot (max. 15.754 MB/s bandwidth) can be used to install an additional controller – a hardware RAID is a possibility. The mainboard comes with two SATA cables. Anyone wanting to connect more hard drives will need additional SATA cables, for example 3x deleyCON SATA 3 0.5 m cables.



System hard drive – SSD via SATA / M.2 or USB 3

The mainboard has an M.2 slot which supports SSDs via SATA or PCle up to PCle 3.0 x4. Warning: If you put a SATA-SSD in the M.2 slot, the last SATA port is automatically deactivated, as Intel consumer mainboards support a maximum of 6 SATA devices at one time. However, if you use a modern (but more expensive) PCle SSD, you can use all 6 SATA ports for hard drives at the same time.

In the past, we often recommended special USB sticks with durable SLC memory cells, since normal USB sticks with MLC cells are not suitable as a storage medium for an operating system, as the MLC cells wear out very quickly. Some of these sticks no longer work after 1 – 2 weeks.

However, we no longer recommend buying the expensive SLC sticks, as some experiences documented in our Forum show that SLC sticks do not always last when in constant use. I’ve had an SLC stick working in my home NAS for nearly two years now and it seems to be fine, but perhaps I’ve just been lucky.

Since it doesn’t make sense to block one of the valuable SATA ports for data hard drives in an NAS with a system hard drive, I looked for a solution to this problem and found one in the form of an USB 3.0 to SATA Based 2230 / 2242 M.2 NGFF SSD Adapter.

We recommend the 32GB Transcend MTS400 SSD with SATA controller, which is build into the USB 3.0 to SATA Based 2230 / 2242 M.2 NGFF SSD enclosure case. The same SSD can be used in the M.2 slot of the mainboard in SATA mode, if 5 SATA ports are enough for you.

If you don’t want to use the M.2 slot, we recommend a small SATA SSD as an alternative, for example the 64GB Transcend TS64GSSD370S. The cheapest solution, however, is to install the small 32GB Transcend MTS400 SSD into the M.2 slot on the mainboard.

As I said above, you can also put a PCLe-SSD in the M.2 slot of the mainboard, which leaves all 6 SATA ports available for hard drives. This is the most expensive option, as PCle-SSDs usually start with a capacity of 128 GB and OpenMediaVault needs a maximum of 16 GB.



The right case

Any Micro-ATX compatible case with a good hard drive cooling system is suitable. As we have been writing our guides to NAS for several years, we have a fair amount of experience in this field and still stick to the two models we recommended at the outset.


Fractal Design Define R5
My favorite is still the Fractal Design Define R5 for about 115 bucks. I like the way the case can take 3 hard drives (3.5 inch) which are optimally cooled by two 140mm fans. I have installed dozens of these cases and in my experience they are really well-made.

NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2
The Fractal Design Define R5 has a built-in fan controller (5/7/12V) to which a maximum of 3 fans can be connected. Both 140 mm fans are very quiet.


Xigmatek Asgard
If the Fractal Design Define R5 is too expensive for you, I would recommend the Xigmatek Asgard Midi-Tower as a cheaper solution. The case can take seven 3.5 inch hard drives, which are cooled by a 120mm fan. At least 4 hard drives can be cooled adequately. You may have to invest in a second fan if this is not enough.

NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2




Power supply

With an NAS for six or more hard drives we recommend a proper ATX power supply rather than a Pico-PSU, which we recommended for our basic NAS. The reason for this is that normal ATX power supplies only really work efficiently from a certain power range (usually over 35W). Using 6 hard drives, our system uses almost 50W with active hard drives.

Since the Gigabyte GA-B250M-DS3H has a 12V P8-connector (and doesn’t boot with just a P4 connector), we recommend either the EVGA 430 W1 80+ 430W or the EVGA 500 W1 80+ 430W. Both come with all the usual protective circuits against overheating, overcurrent, overvoltage undervoltage and short circuiting.

Both power supplies support the Intel C6/C7 energy saving modes and have 4x SATA power (430W model) or 6x SATA (500W model).



Hard drives

The hard drives are, of course, the most important parts in an NAS. We use 8TB Western Digital Red hard drives, which are particularly suited to our system thanks to firmware optimized for NAS systems. The WD Red hard drives support TLER (Time-Limited-Error-Recovery), for example. This function gives higher stability through communication with the RAID controller. Alternatively, Seagate NAS hard drives can be used; these have a similar feature set.

NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2

Western Digital guarantees the NAS series for 3 years. The price is currently about €43 per TB capacity. Generally speaking, it makes more sense to buy fewer hard drives with a higher capacity that more hard drives with less capacity, as the probability of failure increases disproportionately with the number of hard drives.



Assembly

Whichever case you decide on, assembly is easy. The processor is put in the mainboard socket, and the enclosed CPU fan slots into the 4 holes on the mainboard. Heat conducting paste is not necessary as the Intel CPU fan already has a heat conducting pad.

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  • NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2
  • NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2
  • NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2
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  • NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2 Thumbnail
  • NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2 Thumbnail


Even less-experienced users should be able to put the components together in under an hour. Special BIOS settings are not necessary and once assembled, the system is ready for use.

We had problems with the Kingston HyperX HX424C15FBK2/8 modules as soon as we wanted to use the dual-channel mode with two modules at the same time. At times, the mainboard refused to start. We therefore recommend using two Crucial CT2K4G4DFS824A 8GB DDR4-2400 modules, which work perfectly in dual channel mode. If you want to save 5 bucks, you can go for the lower speed Crucial CT2K4G4DFS8213 8GB DDR4-2133 modules, which are otherwise identical.



BIOS

The BIOS of the Gigabyte GA-B250M-DS3H is modern and easy to operate with the mouse and keyboard. Personally, I much prefer the BIOS of ASRock, ASUS and MSI, but Gigabyte BIOS also has all the important settings.
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  • NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2
  • NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2
  • NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2
  • NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2
  • NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2
  • NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2
  • NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2 Thumbnail
  • NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2 Thumbnail
  • NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2 Thumbnail
  • NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2 Thumbnail
  • NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2 Thumbnail
  • NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2 Thumbnail



Comparison of NAS operating systems

You can install any operating system on this NAS. Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 are possible too, as from Windows 8 upwards, Microsoft has made an integrated Software RAID possible through Windows Storage Spaces.

OpenMediaVaultFreeNAS
Basis OSDebian 8FreeBSD 9.x
Raid-LevelJBOD, 0, 1, 5, 6, 100, 1, Raid-Z (5), Raid-Z2 (6), Z3
File systemsExt3, Ext4, XFS, JFSZFS, UFS
RAMmin. 4GBmin. 8GB
Operation overWebinterface, ConsoleWebinterface, Console
DifficultyEasyAdvanced


In the Advanced NAS proposed here, we used the operating system OpenMediaVault, which is based on Debian Linux. This means that the possibilities for expansion are practically limitless, and operation via a web interface is very easy. This system is compatible with OpenMediaVault 2.x (Final) and with OpenMediaVault 3.x (Beta). With an SSD, the NAS boot time is about 30 seconds, the wake up time from standby is 1 to 2 seconds.

NAS Advanced 3.0 with Kaby-Lake 4-Thread Pentium, 6x SATA and M.2

You can also find step-by-step instructions on Installing OpenMediaVault on our website.



Energy consumption and Wake-On-Lan

Energy consumption is an important point when considering an NAS or home server. For this reason, we have used only economical components. We used OpenMediaVault Version 3.0.59 (Kernel 4.8) as the operating system.

SituationConsumptionRemark
Shutdown, no OS1,4W
Shutdown, out of OMV1,0W
Standby, WakeOnLan active1,5W(Suspend-to-Ram)
Operating (without HDD, Idle)17W
Operating (with 2 idling WD Red 8TB HDDs)27W
Operating (with 2 active WD Red 8TB HDDs)30W

For this model, we used the Wake-On-Lan feature of the mainboard. OpenMediaVault has a plugin called “AutoShutDown”. On the basis of special criteria, this script checks whether the NAS should automatically change to standby mode. You can, for example, have your network scan for clients such as PCs, laptops or media players every 5 minutes. If there are no active clients, the NAS automatically changes to standby mode.

Windows, Linux, Mac clients or media players with, for example, Kodi (XBMC) can wake the NAS from standby when they are used. This happens automatically – you won’t even notice that your NAS was in standby mode. This method means that you can save a great deal of energy.

You can find the complete configuration for Wake-On-Lan and AutoShutDown in the Installation Instructions for OpenMediaVault.

We tested the automatic shutdown of the NAS several times and it worked perfectly with the hardware we used. The WOL function is always active and does not have to be activated in BIOS.

It is important that the following is entered in the AutoShutDown plugin under advanced options:

TEMPPROCNAMES="-"

If this configuration is forgotten, the NAS will not go into standby mode and will remain active. Plugin behavior can be monitored at any time by looking at the system protocol, and can be altered if necessary.



Noise level

Both the power supply and the Intel fan are very quiet in normal operation. Under full load, the fan can get quite loud but this does not occur in NAS operation. In a closed case, neither of the components can be heard at a distance of 2 meters. However, the hard drives (depending on the number) can add up to a fair amount of noise.



FAQs concerning OpenMediaVault


As the answers to all the important questions can be found in our Installation Instructions for OpenMediaVault, I shall keep it short here.

Question: Can the RAID be expanded at a later date? 
Answer: Yes (Raid 0,5,6)

Question: Can the RAID be recovered after a hard drive failure?
Answer: Yes, replace the defective hard drive and use the recovery function in OMV.

Question: Can the system disk be replaced without losing the data on the RAID?
Answer: Yes, the RAID is independent of the system disk.

Question: Can the hardware (CPU, mainboard, working memory) be replaced without losing the data on the RAID?
Answer: Yes, the RAID is independent of the used hardware.

Question: I have problems installing OMV (GRUB bootloader)!
Answer: The OMV system disk must be connected as the first drive (/sda). During installation, all data hard drives should be disconnected.



List of components

The following is a list of all components used.

ComponentNameCost
ProcessorIntel Pentium G4560 (2x 3,5GHz + HT)85 USD
MainboardGigabyte GA-B250M-DS3H80 USD

RAMCrucial CT2K4G4DFS824A 8GB DDR4-2400 1.2V60 USD
RAM (alternative)Crucial CT2K4G4DFS8213 8GB DDR4-2133 1.2V55 USD
RAM (alternative)Kingston HyperX HX424C15FBK2/8 8GB DDR4-2400 1.2V67 USD

System-stick caseUSB 3.0 to SATA Based 2230 / 2242 M.2 NGFF SSD Adapter15 USD
System-stick SSD32GB Transcend MTS40045 USD
System-SSD (alternative)64GB Transcend TS64GSSD370S42 USD

Power supplyEVGA 430 W1 80+ 430W35 USD
Power supply (alternative)EVGA 500 W1, 80+ 500W40 USD

CaseFractal Design Define R5115 USD
Case (alternative)Xigmatek Asgard Midi-Tower48 USD

EquipmentCable Matters (3 Pack) Straight 6.0 Gbps SATA III Cable7 USD
Equipment (optional)RAYSUN Dual 2 Port USB 3.0 A Type Female to 20 Pin10 USD
Equipment (from 6 HDDs)StarTech.com 4x SATA Power Splitter Adapter Cable6 USD

Data HDDsWestern Digital Red, cost per TB capacity36 USD
Data HDDs (alternative)Seagate NAS, cost per TB capacity36 USD

TotalCheapest compilation without data HDDsabout 340 USD



Conclusion

Thanks to the new Intel Pentium G4560 from the Kaby-Lake architecture, our NAS-Advanced 3.0 is considerably faster than our 2.0 model. The Gigabyte GA-B250M-DS3H can take up to 4 DDR4-2400 working memory modules and has an additional M.2 slot.

The free choice of operating system means that the system is very flexible and can easily be upgraded at a later date with the PCle 3.0 x16 slot. In OpenMediaVault 3.0.59 Beta, the NAS only used 17W in standby mode without hard drives. This is 1W less than our NAS Advanced 2.0 with the Skylake processor used.

As a system disk, we recommend either the USB 3.0 to M.2 SATA combination or installing the 32GB Transcend MTS400 directly into the M.2 slot of the mainboard. The mainboard can also handle fast PCle M.2 SSDs, which means that, as with the USB 3.0 to M.2 SATA combination, all 6 SATA ports are free for hard drives.


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Mit seinen 36 Jahren ist Dennis nicht nur der Senior des Technikaffe Teams, er hat im Laufe seines langen Lebens auch viel Erfahrung im Heimkinobereich sammeln können. Für seine "Packen wirs einfach an" Mentalität mögen wir Ihn noch mehr als für seine Fahrkünste.