Hello folks - I would appreciate some new user help with the choices ahead of me as I begin to plan my first home NAS based in unRaid.
First the background... this is intended to be a new, compact NAS for a single user. It is intended to hold a modest movie collection of around 60 BDs, hold a small iTunes music collection and act as a backup repository for one PC and one iMac. None of the data is irreplaceable or business-related. A likely usage scenario will be daily backups for the two attached home computers, music being requested throughout the day to a single device and a movie being requested to a single device. I envisage something like a Mac Mini acting as the movie server with this new NAS box being the repository.
I would like a compact mITX Intel board because I envisage using the CaseLabs X2 case once it is in production. This case strictly fits an mITX board and has 6 full height bays plus some concealed SSD space.
Capacity-wise, I will need 2.5Tb on day one with space for growth. We are not frequent buyers of movies so I figured if I started with, say, 3Tb drives and had one parity and five data this would give me around 13Tb usable storage.
Budget is not unlimited but also not constrained. I would like to do it right even if it means paying more for the initial outlay.
Now the questions...
Here in the UK we have limited choices of mITX boards and I would like to stick to a major reseller with good RMA rather than scrounge parts from eBay. From the likes of Scan.co.uk I see there are no mITX Xeoon boards in stock so that largely rules out the Xeon/ECC route. I do not believe I need VMs and the data can always be re-ripped or pulled from backup of I get corruption. Given my intended usage, will a non-Xeon/non-ECC board be fit for purpose?
There are only two mITX boards in stock at Scan that support 6x SATA III onboard which means I could not use a cache drive without a PCI-E card. Both boards with 6x SATA III have features I would not need such as wifi, Bluetooth and redundant NICs. They are the Gigabyte GA-H97N-WIFI at £95 and the ASRock Z97E-ITX/AC at £108. Would I be advised to use one of these two boards and forgo a cache drive or opt for a 4x SATA III board but pay for a PCI-E card to feed some of the drives? There is the Asus H97I-PLUS with an M2 slot and 4x SATA III which might be suitable at £100 given the correct PCI-E card.
As for the processor I was thinking something like the 3.6GHz i3-4160 but have no experience of how these processors fit into what is needed for a good unRaid box. I need advice here too.
So, please could you look this requirement list over and offer advice for a UK purchaser and sanity check my expectations.