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New build, wrong motherboard :P (considering loader alternatives)


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About to do a built and immediately went a bit wrong. I thought I bought a Z97-Pro motherboard but turns out it was a H97-Pro.
I still have the USBs and SATA ports I was planning to use, but instead of 2*8x + 1x4 PCIe 2 I now will have 1*16x PCIe 3 + 3*1x PCie 2 which spoils my upgrade plans for later a bit. (I have 1 LSI 9209-8i SAS/SATA HBA and was planning on maybe adding a second, but that's out the window now).

Anyway, I have some choices to make But first I guess the hardware:

Asus H97-Pro motherboard with Intel i218-V gigabit nic
Intel I5 4670K CPU
4* Seagate IronWolf 4TB HDs
3* Seagate IronWolf 12TB HDs
2* Seagate 4TB HDs
1* 128GB SSD
(Each of the same type will be a separate volumes, 2 RAID 5 and one RAID 1)

I think everything should be compatible without much hassle, right?

in BIOS, any particular settings to make extra sure they are correct? CSM on/off?

Does UEFI matter as I see some loaders supports it while other require legacy mode (I want to be able to run the latest DSM's so 1.03b or 1.04b are the main options and 1.03b is legacy only I think).

What about Kernel version, the options are 3.10 or 4.4, any benefits/disadvantages to go for the 4.4 one? (Limiting me to 918+ and 1.04b)

I won't have more than 4 cores/4 threads, does a choice between the DS3615XS or DS3617XS make any difference (think I read something about SMART data etc) based on the listed hardware? Naturally I want to get the most out of what I have.

The NAS will be connected to a UPS via USB, there should be no issues there I think, but will it allow to also control shutdown of the ESXi host if the NAS is the controller?
The PSU is 550W and the UPS is 600W/1000VA, I think that will be enough (at least I hope so) to shut down the NAS (and possible the ESXi host) safely.

For the SSD I was thinking of using it as a read only cache for the datastore volume, that is doable right?

The NAS will be use strictly for storage and file serving (media for Plex and datastore for ESXi) so throughput is the main concern, will not do any form of media or virtualization with it if that matters).
Ok, think that was my thoughts for now, I'm sure I forgot something I wanted/needed to ask, but this will keep the planning rolling at least.

Thank you in advance!

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Thank you kindly for answering.
I guess I might be overthinking things a bit. Some of the information just makes your head spin (been reading various discussions like the one mentioned)  and although I *think* I have an OK grasp on it I just want to make the best choice I can before I do the build.
I guess the main concern is the kernel choice and 3617/918 should represent the most modern hardware with the 918 with a 4.4 kernel the very latest emulated gear.
I think I read something about an issue with SMART data on the 3617? (but maybe that was something older already resolved)

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