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First NAS build (hardware choise, software funcitons)


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I am looking to build my first Xpenology NAS. I've been reading about NAS and Xpenology for some time now, and I decided to build a NAS/Plex server for my home needs. I will be installing it on "bare metal". It will host a 2x 3TB WD Red HDDS(not RAID, the second one will be used only to backup the content of the main one once a week, and only the NAS will have access to it). About the plex I am not expecting more than one stream at a time(very very rarely 2), but not necessarily at 1080p.


So I am thinking about this configuration:


1. Motherboard - ASUS H110I-PLUS D3( LAN: Realtek® RTL8111H)

or perhaps - ASRock H110M-ITX/AC( LAN: Giga PHY Intel® I219V) - i read somewhere that it has a better performance than Realtek

2. CPU - Celeron G3900(2M Cache, 2.80 GHz) 1151 socket

3. Some 2-4 GB DDR3 Non ECC (the cheapest one)

4. 2x 3TB WD RED HDDs


So I guess my questions are:

1. Is any of the motherboards supported on the Xpenology (LAN, SATA etc.) ? Or if it is not, but there's a workaround would still be good to know.

2. Is it possible to use the second HDD only as a backup to the main one and to deny any kind of access to it except for the NAS.

3. What kind of PSU should I use? Is 120W picoPCU okay, or should it more comfortable with a normal 300-400W standart PSU?


P.S. I am thinking about building a custom case.


Any help will be appreciated.

Thank you for your time! :smile:

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It seems a bit over-kill for your need.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... gnorebbr=1

This is more than enough as XPEnology is not really processor intensive even streaming 1080p.


1. Many modern Ethernet or SATA chipset is supported by the bootloader as long as you are not going older than LGA 775 or AM2.

2. There are way to mirror data and close off the file to smb or other sharing access with Synology Application.

3. For power supply just get something like this. Unless you want better efficiency power supply.

https://www.amazon.com/Antec-Basiq-BP35 ... wer+supply

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what he said! ^^^

read some more before you dive in it will save you head aches and $$ in the long run.


asrock Q1900 or any of the newer variant will do just fine. i don't run plex on mine but i do have over 30 users with ~10 active user streaming audio and video, also web server with 5 active domain, subsonic and much more


the CPU barely hits over 20% with spikes of 60-70 and all of this while it's running cool and quite 24/7 zipping minimal power.

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thank you for your input.

Yes at fist I was considering that exact same motherboard with integrated cpu, but it hits only ~2400 on passmark, and i read that for 1 1080p transcoding stream you need ~2000 on passmark to run smoothly. Normaly there would be only one stream at a time, but there is a possibility in the near future or so to become 2 simountaneous streams and if they both need to be transcoded the cpu will become overloaded, correct?


P.S. I was looking in this forum and in Google, but I cannot find enough information about whether or not this CPU can handle 2 transcoding streams smoothly...


EDIT: I also read that it is possible TurboBoost not to work on some CPUs. Is that still a problem? Source

EDIT2: -> HARDWARE SUPPORTED LIST <- doesn't list RTL8111GR. I has RTL8111G, but not one with R at the end. Does that neceserly mean that this LAN is incompatable with XPEnology?


I'm so sory for all those stupid questions. I hope you guys have enough patience lol.

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there seems to be few issues with the newer hardware and that's expected especially with DSM 6 situation that is going on right now.


coming from hackintosh scene i know using the latest hardware and OS is always a headache so using that experience i went with the most common used hardware on xpenology and so far it's been over and above my expectation.


on the other hand Plex is hungry beast that needs a lots of CPU power /core so your G3900 is only 2 core CPU and may not be the right choice.

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okay, then may I ask for you guys to point me in the right direction... Celeron is to much (and new) and Apollo lake is to new. What are the alternatives? Wait for the Apollo lake to get driver support for XPEnology, or ?


I would like something that is small and not very power hungry (doesn't need much fans), but at the same time to have enough power to satisfy my needs.


On a side note: I was reading more about transcoding and I can't remember where, but I read somewhere that I can manually convert my media (movies, music etc.) to a format that is supported on all my devices (I think the guy suggested MP4) and that way my NAS wont need to transcode anything. Is that correct? If it is then It will be a difficult procces (i have about 1.5 TB of media right now) and I will have to convert every file I obtain in the future... So I would really like if there is an alternative that is powerfull enough to handle, well lets say 2 streams at a time, since it is better to have more CPU power than what you need, instead of not having enough.


P.S I also read that Synology's Video Station is less power hungry when transcoding, so I guess I should use it instead of Plex?


I want to thank you in advance for your time and suggestions.

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the video station in DSM 6 is great for streaming, it works perfect with any supported device and you can also use offline transcoding.


i don't know what your budget is for this project but there are many popular hardware on this board, just do a little research and you will find the perfect match to your budget.


transcoding your media using handbrake to mp4 format is the best/smartest way to go, why would anyone wants to transcode the same file over and over again! your 1.5TB coversion will free up +- 1.2TB of space depending on what format it is in right now


are you streaming locally or over the internet?

are you familiar with kodi? combination of kodi and NAS is a killer setup for media streaming!

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I don't really have a budget, but the cheaper - the better. I guess i would really like it to be as small as possible (I even intend to try and build my own case since all cases that can hold 2 x 3,5 inch disks are too boxy and big in my opinion of course).


I heard of Kodi, but never used it.


I searched thru the forum for a couple of days, but couldn't find information about whether or not the J4025 is supported or a build that is good enough for 2 streams.

What is the difference when using Plex, Video Station or Kodi. Which one uses less recources, which one is the best option for a low power machine etc.


I if there is no other alternative my last option will be to get something cheap and convert all my media.


I indent to stream both over lan and over the internet.

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i can't tell you about j4205 board but i myself was interested to know more about it for a second NAS project. i am kinda in a wait and see mode on that one. on another thread there are some J3160 users reporting working but without boost. i have seen few saying they have a working J4205 board but not much detail.


HP micro servers GEN 8 are also nice choice but more $$$

the case i use is a fancy one (wesena) looks kinda like mac mini and it's dead silent with a Pico PSU 160w.


Kodi is a media center that you can run on almost any device (amazon fire tv is my choice) even on a smart tv and it can scan your media on the NAS and and present you with a nice interface such as plex or even sexier with all the extra info about your media and runs real smooth.


converting your media is the best way to go, easy to learn and it's free open source software with a ton of user base https://handbrake.fr/

plex is a CPU hug and doesn't use the hardware acceleration yet (they have a newer beta version that does but it still in testing)

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Thank you for your help.

I've looked into the HP Gen8 Microserver, but I think that it will be better if I build my own NAS server for that money.


Is the Apollo lake the only architecture with TurboBoost problem? Is it expected to get fixed soon?


Or I guess I should just wait to see if someone tried the J4205 and report that it is supported?


I'm a bit confused about Kodi... As far as I understood Kodi is to be installed on the TV/phone etc. and the Video Station has an app for the NAS. What is the difference between the two?


P.S. May I see the thread you are talking about (about the J4205)?

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i am sorry i didn't meant to confuse you more by bringing up kodi, for the time being just forget about that option.


back to your hardware selection

like i said everything i mentioned here is from reading on this forum from other users



you have to do your own research, the best advise is to follow someone else's foot steps and see what they are using. i can only talk about my journey with the hardware i used. i'll see if i can find anymore info on the said boards and link it here for you.


video station by it self is great and the app is available for most devices. now i don't know how your setup is and what do you stream to? Tv? htpc?or ... video station app might not be available for smart TV. i don't know if it is

you can't connect your NAS to your TV directly and watch!

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fist thank you for your help. I intend to stream to a Smart TV (DLNA), a couple of android phones and/or PCs (not neceseraly simultaneously, but there migh be a case with 2 streams at the same time - a TV and a phone, phone and pc etc.)


I will continue doing my research and post my questions here.

Yes I will appretiate if you can give me more info about the boards compability with XPEnology. Thank you again

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I agree with "opty"


Transcoding all your content with handbrake to mp4 is the way to go. I now transcode all my downloads as and when i get them with Handbrake.

i went from 5tb used to under 1.2tb after i transcoded all my content. Lots of it was HD movies in the old 4.7 - 8.5gig range and they came way down to like 1.2gig

and quality is still superb as the new codecs (h264) are really good these days.

if you have a tiny pc or phone or whatever you can use kodi to play those movies or series directly from the NAS with minimal overhead (it will barely affect even the smallest of cpu).

I have a HP Gen8 and it is great and ran plex fine, but im all about power saving these days so i actually got myself the bottom of the range real synology to run as my main NAS (DS216J) and it can handle many streams (i have 4 tv's) and its only got a 1ghz dual core cpu and it does not even break a sweat when all of them are streaming content.

Do yourself a favour and install kodi and get to know it and read up on it....it will change your life.

It can be installed on windows, mac, android and linux.

you can use a Raspberry Pi 2 or 3 with arm cpu with Kodi and its brilliant (i used 4 of these before moving to the fire tv's). I use Fire TV units on my TV's with Kodi side loaded.

Id say if you got into the Kodi / handbrake trancoding (which is fun to learn anyway) you can get away with a very small spec NAS and save money on hardware and power

but just my 2 cents worth :grin:

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yes am starting to think that transcoding everything to MP4 is the best way to go. I guess I will wait for the apollo lake, or as a last case I might even look if I can get a good enough original synology NAS for about the same price(since transcoding wont be needed and the low power consuption is a big + if it is going to be on 24/7).


Thank you for your support.

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  • 3 months later...

Hi just went through that topic and I found it very interesting. Is there a major reason of why use MP4 instead of Mkv? I already have a lot of mkv files encoded with x264. Is there a major plus for me to pack it into the new filesystem MP4? Am I getting smaller file sizes?

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