Network Storage PC Hardware (2019)

published 2019-10-23

One of my two NAS builds recently died, so I bought a new one until I find some time to debug the old one. Since a couple of people have been asking me what I would recommend nowadays based on my November 2016 article “Gigabit NAS (running CoreOS)”, I figured I would share the new hardware listing:

Price Type Article
54.00 CHF Case Silverstone SST-SG05BB-Lite (cube)
60.40 CHF Mainboard AsRock AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac (AM4, AMD B350, Mini ITX)
Be sure to update the UEFI to the latest version (6.00)!
62.30 CHF CPU AMD A6-9500E (2, AM4, 3GHz)
20.10 CHF Cooler Arctic Alpine AM4 Passive
42.80 CHF RAM Kingston ValueRAM (1x, 8GB, DDR4-2400, DIMM 288)
29.00 CHF Fan Noctua Nf-s12a ULN (120mm, 1x)
55.00 CHF PSU Silverstone ST30SF 300W SFX (300W)
27.50 CHF System disk Intenso High Performance (120GB, 2.5") SATA
351.10 CHF total sum

In November 2016 I paid only 225 CHF, i.e. 126 CHF less.

Why is this build so much more expensive? There are two major reasons:

The AM4 platform

The AM4 platform replaced the AM1 APU series as the cheapest broadly available AMD platform.

As you might have gathered from the links in the hardware listing above, I define “broadly available” as available at digitec, a large electronics shop in Zürich.

They offer same-day orders for pick-up in their Zürich location during Weekdays and on Saturdays, so it is kind of like being on a hardware support plan :-)

Unfortunately, the cheapest AM4 CPU is a lot more expensive (+ 23.31 CHF).

Also, there are (currently?) no AM4 mainboards with DC barrel power plugs, meaning more expensive ATX power supplies (+ 26.30 CHF) become necessary.

Additional components: fan and system disk

Definitely invest in the Noctua 120mm ULN (Ultra Low Noise) fan (+ 29.00 CHF). The fan that comes in the Silverstone case is pretty noisy, and that might be bothersome if you don’t have the luxury of stashing your NAS away in the basement.

In my last build, I had an SSD lying around that I used as system disk, this time I had to buy one (+ 27.50 CHF).

Note that I intentionally picked a SATA SSD over an M.2 SSD: the M.2 slot of the AB350 is on the back of the mainboard, so an M.2 SSD is harder to reach. The performance disadvantage of a SATA SSD compared to an M.2 SSD might be measurable, but irrelevant for my day-to-day usage. Quickly accessing the physical hardware is more important.