200 Euro - First custom build NAS - Buget diskless DIY NAS


Novice Member
I've spend my last 2 week looking for a NAS. I've started looking at an used diskless Drobo NAS (4bay or 5bay) and I've endup with Synology and Qnap.

I love the ease of use of a Drobo, I love how stable it is a Synology, I love the features of Qnap and I hate the amount of money that you have to spend to get an used one which does have just 4 of 5 bay.

I already have the following 7 internal HDD which I plan to use in my future DIY NAS:
- 1 x 80 GB western digital - WD800 - Western Digital Caviar WD800BB 80GB 7200 RPM 2MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 / ATA-6 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive - Newegg.com
- 1 x 250 GB Seagate - ST3250820AS - Seagate BarraCuda 7200.10 ST3250820AS 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive (Perpendicular Recording) Bare Drive - Newegg.com
- 1 x 500 GB Western Digital - WD5000AADS - Western Digital WD Green WD5000AADS 500GB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive Bare Drive - Newegg.com
- 1 x 320 GB Western Digital - WD3200AAKS - Western Digital Blue WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive - Newegg.com
- 2 x 2000 GB Seagate ST2000DM001 - Seagate Desktop HDD ST2000DM001 Specs
- 1 x 3000 GB HGST - HGST Ultrastar 7K4000 HUS724020ALS640 (0B26887) 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SAS 6Gb/s 3.5" Enterprise Hard Drive Bare Drive - Newegg.com

Also it's on it's way an external 8TB Hard Drive (Seagate Expansion 8TB Desktop External Hard Drive USB 3.0 (STEB8000100)) - Seagate Expansion 8TB USB 3.0 3.5" Desktop External Hard Drive STEB8000100 Black - Newegg.com

I'm planing to buy a SSD for cache, but I will need your help to know what will suit my actual and future needs.

On the internal hard drives I have data and the plan is to transfer them on the external Seagate 8TB HDD and after that back to my NAS.

Specs Future custom build NAS
As you notice in the title, my budget is very tight, around 200 euro. And I want to build a NAS where I will be able to have 8-10 HDD bay available (considering the ones for the optical drive, which I will convert them into HDD bay). Also is very important for me to have an motherboard with Gigabit LAN port, ECC memory compatible, enough SATA ports (8 or 10), and which cat take at least 32GB DDR3 ECC memory or more.

I'm planing for the moment to use as a storage space for my work, but to use it as a Home Media Server and if possible as a web server and streaming server as well (as you can do with Synology or Qnap).

I'm planing either to buy a used case with multiple 3.5 bays and a used PC from which I will re-purpose the parts, or to buy used parts (but if I will do so, I might end-up with some compatibility issues). Me and my wife will be the only two persons that will use this NAS, using either our laptops, tables or smartphones, and pretty often we might use it in the same time.

After lots or researches I'm still not sure what parts I should use and consider fine for my build because I don't know what parts are fine enough for my actual almost 8TB of total storage and for a future 32TB or 64 TB of space, once that I will start to replace my drives one by one.

I had in mind an some prebuild PCs:
- HP Z200 Workstation PC Intel Core i5-650
- HP Compaq 6200 Pro Desktop PC i3 2100
- Dell Precision 490 workstation dual Xeon 3.2Ghz
- Dell Precision T3500 PC Xeon X5670 hex core
- Dell Precision T3500 Workstation Xeon W3520 CPU @ 2.66GHz
- HP Z400 Intel Xeon Quad Core W3530 2.80GHz

, but the motherboard does not support ECC memory or I don't know if the CPU it will be powerful enough for a future 32TB storage and for all the task that I will trough at it.

Because of that I might consider to buy the parts:

I found the following CPUs:
- Intel Xeon E5-1603-V1 (SR0L9) 2.80GHz Quad Core LGA2011 CPU Processor
- Intel Xeon E5 2603 1.8GHz SR0LB Server CPU Socket LGA2011 4 Core Sandy Bridge
- Intel Xeon E5-2630L Six 6 Core Processor 2.00GHz 2.5GHz Turbo LGA2011
- Intel Xeon X5680 3.33GHz 1366 CPU
- Intel Xeon E5 2640 SR0KR | 2.50GHz Six Core LGA2011 CPU
- Apple Intel i5-2400S 2.5ghz Processor Skt H2 LGA1155
- Intel i5-2500s 2.7GHz SR009 SKT H2 LGA1155 iMac
- Intel Xeon E5 2640 SR0KR | 2.50GHz Six Core LGA2011 CPU
- Intel Core i7 - 3820 SR0LD 2nd Generation Processor CPU / 4 Cores / LGA 2011
but I don't know which one is powerfull enough for my custom build NAS. Feel free to recommend my any other cheap and very powerful CPU suitable for my NAS.

I have found the following motherboards (open to any other ECC ready motherboard suggestions):
- X58 LGA 1366 DDR3 16GB Support ECC RAM Lot LN
- Intel Motherboard X79 LGA 2011 - (M) ATX DDR3 ECC USB 3
- X58 Mainboard LGA 1366 DDR3 16GB Support ECC RAM (even if supports up to 16GB memory)

- Power supply
What's the most efficient 80+ case that you can recommend me, which will be fine for now but for future as well? Any good price recommendations?

I'm planing to use either RAID 6 on my custom build NAS for safety, because I will be able to loose 2 HDD and still to have my data save . Will I need an RAID PCI card? Can you recommend me one?
Can you recommend me something better than RAID 6?

What OS should help me better with the above mentions features?

I really need your hel to build this one to stay in the budget and to be able to build this custom build NAS with the above features.

Thank you in advance for your time and for your help!


Distinguished Member
I think 200 euro is over optimistic for what you are trying to build.

You'd be better getting a secondhand HP Microserver with 4 bays +1 (convert optical)

You could then run XPEnology on it (clone of Synology os)


Active Member
Most of what you want is easy - any old CPU/motherboard that's a few years old will do. you're not stressing it with the latest games, just background processing so even the cheapest i3 will be overkill for what you need. €50 for CPU+mobo will be more than fine. Spec the motherboard for sata slots, though you can always add more using an add-in card. ECC RAM is not an issue you need to care about for this.

Your biggest problem on price is the case. Most cheap cases come with 6 drive bays, hardly any come with 8. You can get ones designed for more, but they cost.

eg the Corsair 750D allows 12 drives in nice cages, but it'll cost you €150 by itself. You'd be better off with a 4U server rackmount case like the Logic Case SC-43480B which can fit 15" drives for €90 or so, but its bare-bones, so you'll need to buy a decent power supply for it as well.

Streaming - I'm not so sure, as I run Plex on Windows for that, but as a storage server, putting FreeNAS on it would work very well.

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