Help build

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Ok, is there anyone of you guys in the HOUSTON area that wouldn't mind helping me build my unraid? I have my case and 5 5tb hard drives purchased. I just dont know what else to buy as far as specs as well as putting it together and I really want to get this done. Please help

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How much additional money do you have budgeted for the remainder of this build?


And what do you want to be able do with it?  (Basic server, Server with a few dockers or a server with dockers and VM's?)


Putting it together is not rocket science.  There are a ton of videos on YouTube that you can watch that will lead you through it step-by-step.  The science is matching your requirements for those applications and finding a combination of CPU and MB that will do this task(s) within the amount of money you have to spend. 

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You are going to be building a fairly basic server that can hand a fair number of Dockers for that amount of money. 


I would be looking at Intel CPU's in the i3 or i5 families. 


Once you have that picked out, Look at the socket type, and pick a MB with that socket and at least six SATA ports (If you can find eight and still meet your price constraints, go for it) and on-board video.  (That might also influence which CPU you pick.)  I would recommend 4GB (preferably 8GB) of RAM. 


You will also need a PS with a single 12V rail and a power rating in the plus 450 Watt range. If your intent is to have a lot more drives in the array some day, you might want to be in the 700W range. Buy a quality unit from a reputable manufacturer as a PS can easily be recycled into your next build more than any other item in your server.) 

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Thanks Frank! What do you think is a more realistic budget to build a descent unraid? I'll be using it to steam my movie collection.


If all you want to do is stream movies in the stored format and use your server as a simple NAS box, any i3 would be more than adequate to do the job.  If you are going to use a Plex Docker to transcode (example, changing 1080p mp4 video to the native format used by a tablet or cell phone) on the fly, you need about 2000 PassMarks per stream.  (Google PassMark if you are unfamiliar with the term.) Even the proper selected i3 can transcode a couple of streams simultaneously!


Basic unRAID is not a CPU hog.  (Look at both of my servers.)  I wouldn't chose the same CPU/MB combinations today but the CPU/MB/RAM were less than $175 at the time.  Intel has always been a bit more expensive then AMD but AMD has gone the route of combining the GPU into the CPU package and you really don't need the GPU for the basic unRAID setup.  You really don't need an expensive MB either.  MB's with more SATA ports are more desirable and, of course, they do cost more.  So do more PCI-e slots...  But if you get a CPU/MB combination with built-in graphics capability, you won't be using any PCI-e slots initially.  (You will need them when you get more drives than on-board MB SATA ports.)


The equipment choice becomes much more complex if you think you want to run one or more VM's passing through the GPU, USB ports, etc.  These rigs are primarily built by folks who want a desktop computer/server combination. 


Some folks base their choices on 'future-proofing' their server.  This is not a bad idea but if you are looking five plus years down the road, I (personally) think you would be better served to save that money to buy new with equipment you can't buy today at any price!  A two or three year 'future-proofing' window would be a more realistic outlook. 

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If you are going to use the parts picker website, I would suggest that you check the reviews on both Newegg and  Particularity pay attention to and read the one star reviews and their percentages.  Be leery of any part with more than 10% one star reviews unless you can tell that some/many users are having cockpit issues rather than product quality issues!

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