New build - sanity check

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Posted (edited)

I've had unRaid running happily for less than a week but already see the potential. Sadly, the hardware I have on hand does not necessarily meet the capability that unRaid can wield! So a new build is in order!


I tried, without luck (it was a long read, Im not surprised), to get some guidance in a prior post, but in lieu of that I've tried to piece ideas together to achieve a solid build.



I'm looking to do:

  • Host Plex/Radarr/Sonarr/etc.
  • A VM or 3; particularly looking to have a windows VM with GPU passthrough as my daily driver and for some gaming.
  • Other docker bits around Home Automation etc. Nextcloud. Telegraf/InfluxDB/Grafana, Trilium, MariaDB, PiHole
  • Stretch goals of ingesting data from my security camaras, and really nice would be some object recognition (a la Frigate)


Also I'd like something that doesn't sound like a Harrier Jump Jet on takeoff...


Not sure that either of these will tick all the boxes but I came up with 2 options as a starter. Any hints, thoughts on where I should look to scale up or down etc. would be appreciated. If I'm spending this much I would like to make sure it's well spent and likely to succeed!


(Differences in red)


Option 1 (iGPU for plex transcoding, additional video card for passthrough) :

  • CPU: Intel Core i9-11900K 3.5 GHz 8-Core Processor
  • CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15 82.5 CFM CPU Cooler
  • Motherboard: MSI Z490-A PRO ATX LGA1200 Motherboard (
  • Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory
  • Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 12 GB Video Card
  • Power Supply: Corsair HX Platinum 850 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
  • Case: Fractal Design Meshify 2 ATX Mid Tower Case
  • Storage:
    • Cache: 2x Crucial P2 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive
    • Data: 3x Western Digital Red Pro 10 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive


Option 2 (Probably relying on CPU for transcoding still, until I add a 2nd video card perhaps) :

  • CPU: Intel Core i9-10940X 3.3 GHz 14-Core Processor
  • CPU Cooler: DARK ROCK PRO 4
  • Motherboard: Asus Prime X299-A II (
  • Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory
  • Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Dual Palit GPU (1 initially, second after the wallet recovers a little)
  • Power Supply: Corsair HX Platinum 850 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
  • Case: Fractal Design Meshify 2 ATX Mid Tower Case
  • Storage:
    • Cache: 2x 250GB SSD SATA (from my existing parts)
    • Data: 3x Western Digital Red Pro 10 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive


Either option may need an expansion card to add some more drives over time; I haven't looked into that part yet.


It's been a long time since I've done a home-build so getting my head around current options has been a stretch, so be brutal, I've probably messed up plenty and may need to go back to the drawing board several more times!

Edited by hoppers99
Missed a detail
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Okay, I've been doing more and more iterations of options and I've arrived at the below. Does anyone have any warnings before I start pressing "buy now"?

And I acknowledge some of it is likely overkill, but I'm hoping to have something that will last a good while and not end up resource constrained within a couple of years slowing what I can do).


CPU: Intel Core i9-11900K 3.5GHz 8-Core (Intel Spec here, Passmark 25701)

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15 82.5 CFM CPU Cooler (Noctua Spec here)

Motherboard: MSI MAG z590 Torpedo ATX LGA1200 MB (MSI page here, Intel Z590 chipset spec)

Video Card: Palit GeForce RTX 3060 12 GB Dual Video Card (Palit page here) (to be used for VM passthrough - iGPU to be used for unraid)

Memory: Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 (Corsair page here)


  • 3x Western Digital Red Pro 10TB 3.5" 7200RPM (WD page here)
  • 2x Crucial P2 1TB M.2-2280 NVME SSD (Crucial page here) (short term will run 2x 250GB Intel SSD but intend to replace with these for cache)

Case: Fractal Design Define 7 Dark ATX Mid Tower Case (FD page here)

PSU: Corsair HX Platinum 850W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX PSU (Corsair page here)


Intended usages:

  • Plex/sonarr/radarr/etc with up to ~5 1080p transcode jobs
  • Win10 VM (with GPU passthrough)
  • Home Automation and various other docker containers


Basic bloc diagram:

MSI MEG Z590 Torpedo Build.png

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  • 4 months later...

Hey there @hoppers99,


How did your build go? I've been trying to spec up my next build to replace my current server that's been running for 12-13 years. Pretty certain I'll be going with an LGA1200 CPU, probably an i5 just from a power usage perspective... but I'm having a real tough time deciding on a motherboard. I'm scared I'll have problems with Unraid.


How did the MSI MAG z590 Torpedo go for you? Did it work out of the box, even the onboard network interface? It looks like the 2.5gbps NIC is a I225-V, which it sounds like Unraid supports fine in 6.9:







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23 hours ago, Nick_J said:

How did your build go?


Hey @Nick_J


Well, I think it went pretty well. I did a writeup (linked) that you can have a look at for general detail but I'll try to address a couple of your specific concerns.




I was worried about the CPU being so new and that it and the associated newer motherboards it required may not be supported, but I've had exactly zero issues with it. I've also happily gotten the iGPU (one of the key drivers for the CPU choice) working well for hardware transcoding with Plex. While it may not be the best CPU for the money, I'm certainly glad I didn't choose something lower spec also, as between my main unRaid stuff, and the Windows VM I'm running (with GPU passthrough of a PCI card) it does occasionally get busy enough that I wouldn't want the contention. That said, I had wondered about power, and after recently getting Home Assistant running and logging some power usage stats, the system is probably averaging around 150W (excluding the internal lighting strips that are independently powered).


Following on to the motherboard choice. I did debate a number of different options. This one however has worked perfectly, except for one little niggle... And to be fair it's probably simple but I haven't put any real debug time into it. Some times upon reboot it'll hang, with me having to go into BIOS, exit (editing nothing) and rebooting to get it to boot the OS again. Given I don't plan to reboot often it hasn't been a major, but one day I'll have to solve it or figure out the pattern to its occurrence better as if the power goes out, I'd like the server to start up again when it's back rather than requiring me to manually intervene.


The NIC's have gone fine. I only use them at 1Gig, and even then I only actually have one going with the other only tested when I was checking it worked. I should possibly pass it through the the VM but in my office I have a 1G link back to the router so it can't offer me much in the way of bandwidth, and the shared network has been fine for everything I've been doing (except maybe one docker VM that would have had some benefit being on a different MAC to unRaid, but it wasn't enough to make me put effort into it lol).


I've also liked that I can run 6 SATA drives as well as 2 M.2 drives where as most boards I found took a SATA port or 2 out of action. If I needed more M.2 it would impact, but 2 run fine so they do my cache marvelously. In hindsight, I might have redesigned some of my system around even more ports, but I'm probably at the more practical place where I'll likely need an expansion card soon to load more drives in... let's just say the content grew faster than anticipated, mainly just because it's so darn easy once the right apps are setup!


If you look to do a VM at all, USB can be a slight pain to the point I'm considering a PCI USB card to be able to dedicate a BUS to the VM. But I'm managing for now and if it wasn't for the VM it wouldn't be an issue at all.


Happy to answer more specific questions if you have any but hope this helps! 





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39 minutes ago, Nick_J said:

MSI's spec seems to read that at least one SATA port will be disabled in this configuration (SATA2 unavailable if M2_2 is populated,

It's not exactly what it says.

SATA2 should be deactivated if your M.2 SSD is a SATA one, if you use a NVME SSD in M2_2, you should be fine.

For M2_3 however, there is no such subtleties. ;) 

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