Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

$1500 unRaid Build for Hi-tech Home of the Future

6 posts in this topic Last Reply

Recommended Posts



I am an experienced pc builder new to unRaid. I believe that unRaid is a step in the right direction for my Hi-tech Home of the Future. I currently have an external SSD connected to my nighthawk router serving media to my ps4, xbox one, minix set top box (google tv), 2 TCL Roku Tv's,  2 ipads, 3 phones, a desktop, 2 laptops. Obviously, not all at the same time but I have not had problems watching a video file on the Roku tv at the same time my son was watching a different video on his device. In addition to video files, my girl and I need to have access to shared document files for work. I am familiar with using virtual machines in Oracle VM Virtual Box but I have not used a virtual machine with unRaid before. We would like to have 3-4 Windows Virtual Machines, a Mac VM and 1-2 Linux VMs set up.


I would like to keep my budget around $1500 initially and add more magnetic drives as needed. The initial configuration should include 6 to 10 TB of Nas Storage. I am trying to get my hands on two 500gb SSD's for the cache drives. I was considering going with an AMD processor for this build but depending on what is suggested I have an extra intel i5 that I could use for this build. I will update this post with more specifics of the i5 that I have. Please let me know what you think.


Also, I am curious about what the process for accessing/running the vm's will be like. It needs to be simple enough that my girl can do what she needs to do, she is somewhat computer savvy but no expert. Also, I want to be able to run the vm on my minix set top box if that is possible.


I will update this as I obtain new components for my build. Please offer suggestions for a $1500 unraid build. If someone is super helpful I will compensate them.


Thank you!



Share this post

Link to post

What components do you have (besides the i5)? Case? Power supply? Drives? RAM? You won't be running 7 potentials VM's at the same time for $1500. I don't think you'll be running 3 at the same time for $1500 (but I certainly could be wrong).

I just replaced my motherboard, cpu & ram for about $450. The result was a budget/mid entry point that gives me a good amount of room to grow, but will never be a great solution to run multiple VM's (perhaps 1 or 2). Details in my sig.  8TB drives are about $150 (if you shuck them). I just bought 3 and am in the process of moving them into my system. That puts me at around $750 - $800 and I already had the case and power supply (and 14+ drives already in service).

IMO, if you really need VM's, buy as much CPU as you can (think Threadripper or i9) and then spend whatever you have left on the rest of the system.

Share this post

Link to post

I don't plan to run more than 2 VM's simultaneously.


I did not originally plan on it but considering what you said, I have a Bitfenix prodigy build that I am going to use as a donor. So I have the bitfenix prodigy case (tiny). The i5 liquid cooled. A 700w power supply. I will have to look at the motherboard when I get home but if I remember correctly it is a mini-itx Asus MB that cost over $150. It has at least 8gb of ram maybe a little more. It also may have some donor magnetic drives and a 256gb Sandisk ssd.


Would I be better off just converting that build into my unRaid build? The case just seemed too small to me but honestly, I could probably make it work.


I will report back with the details of my donor rig. Please keep the advice coming.

Share this post

Link to post

Suitability of the bitfenix prodigy case depends most on how many drives you need it to hold (and if it can hold them). You can see how many drives and size of my case in my sig for comparison.

How many drives will your case hold and is that enough to do what you are after? If not, you can always transfer the MB/CPU/RAM from it into a larger case. What chipset/socket is the MB? What's the most powerful CPU it supports? Is it current or older? All things to think about - as you can start with what you have and upgrade as you go along. 

Share this post

Link to post

Are you planning on running your VM's headless and accessing with RDP, VNC, Splashtop, etc, or passing through video and other hardware? Look up the specs of your current processor(s) and motherboard(s) and see if any support VT-d. If not, no hardware passthrough with that cpu.


If you are serious about this, I suggest taking a fair amount of time to look through Gridrunner's youtube channel, he has a bunch of helpful videos.


  • Upvote 1

Share this post

Link to post

Thank you for the advice. The processor does support VT-d. What is the most efficient and user-friendly way to access the VM's? I have used Splashtop and RDP in the past but not VNC. I am fine accessing headless but I have a minor and a female that require access as well. 


I will get started down the youtube rabbit hole of Gridrunner.  


Your input is greatly appreciated. 

Share this post

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this