Looking at DIY NAS Build

Hi Guys
I've been happily running 2 HP microserver NAS with Xigmanas.
It's now time to move onto something with more drives, and a more flexible OS like unRAID.

I've more or less figured all the components out but the PSU and the Motherboard.

Not sure if trying to find a motherboard with 10 Sata ports is the way to go, or something with less but add sata controller.
I don't really mind if AMD or Intel.

For the PSU, anyone got any tips on what to look for when trying to run that many drives?

Love some advice from anyone that has some lessons learnt from their own NAS build.

Thanks in advance


  • Paid ~$600 for a ML350 Gen9, threw in 8x8TB drives, and I now run Proxmox on it. Glorious
    Edit: I also have a couple of leftover HP SAS/SATA controllers, there's a P420 RAID controller and a H220 HBA. Hmu if you want to buy them

  • Without having any actual usage experience, I've got these saved in my eBay watchlist for $84ish which seems to be the easiest and cheapest method of additional SATA ports without a motherboard upgrade.

    However, it doesn't seem unreasonable to find a motherboard with 8 SATA ports + M.2 slots for your boot drive, so if you've not committed then that'll be your main search criteria.

    As for PSUs, I don't see why a standard 650W PSU wouldn't work perfectly well - even a 3.5" drive is only going to pull high transient currents as the motors spin up, and then will settle down to a minimal wattage during use. You certainly won't see spikes like with a GPU in intensive games.

  • Have you decided on the chassis? With 10 or more hot-swappable drives you are moving into rack storage server territory btw. I'm yet to see a desktop form factor with more than 8 bays.

    If you are after a motherboard that can natively support 10x SATA here is one - Supermicro X10SRi-F LGA 2011-3
    These aren't cheap BTW. With that many spinning disks I would not go cheap on the CPU or the mainboard.

    • Fractal Design Define R6, 7, 7XL or Meshify 2 and 2XL (albeit you have to buy the additional trays). I'm using a Define R5 with a second 5 HDD cage and planning on adding a 2x5.25" to 3x3.5" bay to have 16 spinning drives, as many SSDs as I can find space to sticky tape them to.

      • Yes I'm aware but I was referring to a proper NAS chassis with hot swappable drive caddies and a SATA backplane and not a hack job with a desktop case.

  • Each disk is about 4 watts at idle, and up to 20 watts at full transfer speed. So 10 disks will be roughly 200 watts max load.

    Instead of using sata ports on the motherboard, you should get 2 x sata controllers.

  • Thanks for the advice, all.
    Got some pondering to do.

  • Thanks for all your help guys.
    Decided to go with a desktop build.
    Although I did find a ML350 Gen9 for <$1000, decided against it as the proprietary components would be costly to replace in event of failure.