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Hardware for small, fanless, power-efficient FreeNAS build that's still powerful enough for transcoding.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
So, I've had a couple Synology NASes and have generally been happy with them, but here's what I'm looking for at the moment:
-I have a spare 128GB Vertex 4 SSD and a 128GB USB 3 thumb drive, so that's my starting point hardware-wise.
-I don't need/want a ton of space, 100GB of storage is plenty for this particular build so the SSD and/or the thumb drive will be plenty.
-I want a NAS powerful enough to transcode video and host a plex server, but not so powerful that it's sucking down too much power.
-Must be fanless
-Must be as small as possible
-Must be low power
-Will likely run FreeNAS on it.

Here's where I'm at research-wise: Something like the Rasberry Pi would not be powerful enough, but something like the NUC is probably overkill power and price-wise (though I would still consider NUC+fanless case if it ends up being the best option).

Any recommendations for me? Thanks.
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i3-2125 Asus H61 mini-itx integrated intel hd3000 2x2gb g.skill eco ram 
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sugs
(13 items)
 
hdplex h3 htpc
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3570K ASRock Z77E-ITX MSI GTX660ti Samsung Green 2x4GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Vertex 4 nope Thermalright AXP-140 Windows 7 Pro x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
HP ZR24w K800 SG08 PSU SilverstoneSG08 
Mouse
G700 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i3-2125 Asus H61 mini-itx integrated intel hd3000 2x2gb g.skill eco ram 
Hard DriveOSCase
intel X-25m 80gb ssd Windows 7 x64 hdplex h3 
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post #2 of 8
Maybe one of these Kabini boards?

I'm sure you could put a bigger heatsink on there in place of the smaller one with included fan.
RYZEN
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OFFICE PC
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20TB_HOMENAS
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Ryzen 7 1700X ASRock Fatal1ty X370 Professional Gaming Crossfire XFX Core Radeon R9 390X 8GB D5  Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB DDR4 CMK64GX4M4A2400C16 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
A bunch of swappable SSDs LG BD-ROM Thermaltake CL-P039-AL12BL-A Contac Silent Windows 7 for Work, Windows 10 for Games 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Korean 32" 4K 324K Generic mechanical rainbow LED lit eVGA 850 G2 AZZA Helios 910 CSAZ-910 
MouseAudio
Logitech G500 T1 24BIT Tube USB DAC 
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AMD Athlon II X2 255 ASRock 970DE3/U3S3 Radeon X300 Kingston KHX1600C9D3/4GX 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
8x Samsung HD204UI 7x Seagate ST2000DM001 Transcend TS16GSSD25-S 2x WD WD40EZRX 
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AZZA Helios 
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RYZEN
(14 items)
 
OFFICE PC
(12 items)
 
20TB_HOMENAS
(9 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Ryzen 7 1700X ASRock Fatal1ty X370 Professional Gaming Crossfire XFX Core Radeon R9 390X 8GB D5  Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB DDR4 CMK64GX4M4A2400C16 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
A bunch of swappable SSDs LG BD-ROM Thermaltake CL-P039-AL12BL-A Contac Silent Windows 7 for Work, Windows 10 for Games 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Korean 32" 4K 324K Generic mechanical rainbow LED lit eVGA 850 G2 AZZA Helios 910 CSAZ-910 
MouseAudio
Logitech G500 T1 24BIT Tube USB DAC 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Athlon II X2 255 ASRock 970DE3/U3S3 Radeon X300 Kingston KHX1600C9D3/4GX 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
8x Samsung HD204UI 7x Seagate ST2000DM001 Transcend TS16GSSD25-S 2x WD WD40EZRX 
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AZZA Helios 
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
I've been browsing around and it looks like the Gigabyte Brix Fanless model might be exactly perfect for me provided it actually comes out sometime in the near future and isn't priced at some ridiculous level.

http://www.gizmochina.com/2014/01/11/gigabyte-brix-fanless-mini-pc-with-compact-design/
sugs
(13 items)
 
hdplex h3 htpc
(7 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3570K ASRock Z77E-ITX MSI GTX660ti Samsung Green 2x4GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Vertex 4 nope Thermalright AXP-140 Windows 7 Pro x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
HP ZR24w K800 SG08 PSU SilverstoneSG08 
Mouse
G700 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i3-2125 Asus H61 mini-itx integrated intel hd3000 2x2gb g.skill eco ram 
Hard DriveOSCase
intel X-25m 80gb ssd Windows 7 x64 hdplex h3 
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sugs
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hdplex h3 htpc
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3570K ASRock Z77E-ITX MSI GTX660ti Samsung Green 2x4GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Vertex 4 nope Thermalright AXP-140 Windows 7 Pro x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
HP ZR24w K800 SG08 PSU SilverstoneSG08 
Mouse
G700 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i3-2125 Asus H61 mini-itx integrated intel hd3000 2x2gb g.skill eco ram 
Hard DriveOSCase
intel X-25m 80gb ssd Windows 7 x64 hdplex h3 
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm pretty positive that the Brix Fanless uses this new board:
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/motherboards/desktop-motherboards/desktop-board-dcp847ske.html
which also comes as a NUC kit with 2.5" drive support:
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/nuc/nuc-board-dn2820fykh.html
but also has a fan which I'm trying to avoid. Since this board is so new I'm guessing implementations will be coming down the pipes soon and I won't be want for options.
I'll just want to be sure that this CPU is strong enough for 1080p transcoding and that FreeNAS will be easy enough to install (drivers-wise).
sugs
(13 items)
 
hdplex h3 htpc
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3570K ASRock Z77E-ITX MSI GTX660ti Samsung Green 2x4GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Vertex 4 nope Thermalright AXP-140 Windows 7 Pro x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
HP ZR24w K800 SG08 PSU SilverstoneSG08 
Mouse
G700 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i3-2125 Asus H61 mini-itx integrated intel hd3000 2x2gb g.skill eco ram 
Hard DriveOSCase
intel X-25m 80gb ssd Windows 7 x64 hdplex h3 
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sugs
(13 items)
 
hdplex h3 htpc
(7 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3570K ASRock Z77E-ITX MSI GTX660ti Samsung Green 2x4GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Vertex 4 nope Thermalright AXP-140 Windows 7 Pro x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
HP ZR24w K800 SG08 PSU SilverstoneSG08 
Mouse
G700 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i3-2125 Asus H61 mini-itx integrated intel hd3000 2x2gb g.skill eco ram 
Hard DriveOSCase
intel X-25m 80gb ssd Windows 7 x64 hdplex h3 
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post #5 of 8
There's always THIS completely fanless board/cpu, but I'm not sure if it'll have the speed you require.
RYZEN
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OFFICE PC
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20TB_HOMENAS
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Ryzen 7 1700X ASRock Fatal1ty X370 Professional Gaming Crossfire XFX Core Radeon R9 390X 8GB D5  Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB DDR4 CMK64GX4M4A2400C16 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
A bunch of swappable SSDs LG BD-ROM Thermaltake CL-P039-AL12BL-A Contac Silent Windows 7 for Work, Windows 10 for Games 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Korean 32" 4K 324K Generic mechanical rainbow LED lit eVGA 850 G2 AZZA Helios 910 CSAZ-910 
MouseAudio
Logitech G500 T1 24BIT Tube USB DAC 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Athlon II X2 255 ASRock 970DE3/U3S3 Radeon X300 Kingston KHX1600C9D3/4GX 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
8x Samsung HD204UI 7x Seagate ST2000DM001 Transcend TS16GSSD25-S 2x WD WD40EZRX 
Case
AZZA Helios 
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RYZEN
(14 items)
 
OFFICE PC
(12 items)
 
20TB_HOMENAS
(9 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Ryzen 7 1700X ASRock Fatal1ty X370 Professional Gaming Crossfire XFX Core Radeon R9 390X 8GB D5  Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB DDR4 CMK64GX4M4A2400C16 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
A bunch of swappable SSDs LG BD-ROM Thermaltake CL-P039-AL12BL-A Contac Silent Windows 7 for Work, Windows 10 for Games 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Korean 32" 4K 324K Generic mechanical rainbow LED lit eVGA 850 G2 AZZA Helios 910 CSAZ-910 
MouseAudio
Logitech G500 T1 24BIT Tube USB DAC 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Athlon II X2 255 ASRock 970DE3/U3S3 Radeon X300 Kingston KHX1600C9D3/4GX 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
8x Samsung HD204UI 7x Seagate ST2000DM001 Transcend TS16GSSD25-S 2x WD WD40EZRX 
Case
AZZA Helios 
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post #6 of 8
Bay Trail-D should be better than that. Apparently also cheaper too.

http://anandtech.com/show/7737/10w-bay-traild-coming-to-market-from-gigabyte-and-biostar

Looks out of stock though (apparently was selling under $60 for modern Silvermont dual core Atom SOC + mobo, so no wonder):
http://www.directron.com/j1800nh.html

It's a bit larger than NUC / BRIX, but stash it in something like Antec ISK 110 and it's not exactly huge:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129185
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Yes the more I look the more I'm liking the idea of Bay Trail-D for this, and while I'm tempted to order the Intel NUC version for ~$140, I think I'll wait a bit to see if the Gigabyte Brix Fanless comes out, which as far as I can tell has the same internals. As far as transcoding goes, I'm not really sure if the BayTrail-D can handle it or not, but the reality is that I'd only need it for the occasional streaming to an ios plex client and it's not really priority #1.
Edited by decapitor - 2/6/14 at 3:23pm
sugs
(13 items)
 
hdplex h3 htpc
(7 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3570K ASRock Z77E-ITX MSI GTX660ti Samsung Green 2x4GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Vertex 4 nope Thermalright AXP-140 Windows 7 Pro x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
HP ZR24w K800 SG08 PSU SilverstoneSG08 
Mouse
G700 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i3-2125 Asus H61 mini-itx integrated intel hd3000 2x2gb g.skill eco ram 
Hard DriveOSCase
intel X-25m 80gb ssd Windows 7 x64 hdplex h3 
  hide details  
Reply
sugs
(13 items)
 
hdplex h3 htpc
(7 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3570K ASRock Z77E-ITX MSI GTX660ti Samsung Green 2x4GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Vertex 4 nope Thermalright AXP-140 Windows 7 Pro x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
HP ZR24w K800 SG08 PSU SilverstoneSG08 
Mouse
G700 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i3-2125 Asus H61 mini-itx integrated intel hd3000 2x2gb g.skill eco ram 
Hard DriveOSCase
intel X-25m 80gb ssd Windows 7 x64 hdplex h3 
  hide details  
Reply
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Looks like I was a bit optimistic on the baytrail fanless release date as the Gigabyte Brix fanless and the ZBox Nano fanless are nowhere to be seen after CES... There's a new Shuttle fanless box but it has an Ivy Bridge Celeron (why not Haswell?). There's also a new fanless NUC but it's very low powered and geared towards digital signage. Oh well, the wait continues...
sugs
(13 items)
 
hdplex h3 htpc
(7 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3570K ASRock Z77E-ITX MSI GTX660ti Samsung Green 2x4GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Vertex 4 nope Thermalright AXP-140 Windows 7 Pro x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
HP ZR24w K800 SG08 PSU SilverstoneSG08 
Mouse
G700 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i3-2125 Asus H61 mini-itx integrated intel hd3000 2x2gb g.skill eco ram 
Hard DriveOSCase
intel X-25m 80gb ssd Windows 7 x64 hdplex h3 
  hide details  
Reply
sugs
(13 items)
 
hdplex h3 htpc
(7 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3570K ASRock Z77E-ITX MSI GTX660ti Samsung Green 2x4GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Vertex 4 nope Thermalright AXP-140 Windows 7 Pro x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
HP ZR24w K800 SG08 PSU SilverstoneSG08 
Mouse
G700 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i3-2125 Asus H61 mini-itx integrated intel hd3000 2x2gb g.skill eco ram 
Hard DriveOSCase
intel X-25m 80gb ssd Windows 7 x64 hdplex h3 
  hide details  
Reply
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