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Drive and hardware considerations before buying

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I have been looking into purchasing a RAID for a long, long time to store my ridiculous DVD/BD/UHD collection for backup purposes.
What always stops me is calculating my space needs and seeing the cost of drives to do this right.

Then I have had DVDs with bitrot (nothing I can't rebuy or upgrade to BD/UHDBD) and I get back to thinking about finally doing this thing...


In looking into Unraid, if I understand this correctly, I could buy 1 current "max size available" 16 TB drive. I then set this is my parity drive.
I can then add a 1-11 (depending on license) less expensive 10TB drives (or 12-14 depending on price at the time) and be protected from a single drive failure while retaining full 10 TB capacity on each. Is this right?

As I understand it, by using the 16 TB as my parity drive I can put any size drive < 16TB into my array and it will be full capacity.
If prices drop, as they inevitably do, I can then put a 20 TB parity drive in, drop the 16 TB parity drive out and into the array and enjoy the full 16 TB on this drive. Is this right?


From a configuration perspective, what would an ideal CPU be? I would want to potentially stream MKV rips over my network without transcoding, so I assume a modest Core i5 or equivalent processor would be good enough? Then ensure I have a gibt network connection or better? What would RAM "requirements" look like to allow for this? 8 GB enough? 16? 4?

Thanks in advance for any and all advice. If anything I said is stupid, please tell me so as I really want to understand as much as I can before cannon ball jumping into Unraid.

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Yes - the only important rule is that no parity drive can be smaller than the largest parity dtive.   You can have 0, 1  or 2 parity drives depending on whether you want level of protection you want against drive failure.   Many like to go for dual parity so that they remain protected against another drive failing while rebuilding a failed drive, but that is purely a personal decision based on the importance of the data and the likelihood of that happening.    Total space available is simply the sum of all the data drives.


the total number of drives allowed in the system varies according to your licence - I assume your 11 data + 1 parity was based on the Plus licence which allows for up to 12 drives.    Note that all drives in the system count against the licence limit even if they are not being used by Unraid.

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