Unraid Newbie - Where can I go wrong with this build?

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Hi all, I am looking for feedback on a first time build from those much wiser in these matters! 


Background: I have a lot of older 3.5" HDDs that get retired from various sources and go on to gather dust in a drawer. I would like to bring them back into active service.


The goals of the build are: 

  • Get the old HDDs back online as a NAS, storing films and photos
  • Run a Windows 10 VM daily driver 
    • Adobe Lightroom photo processing would take place here 
    • Potentially some lightweight gaming down the line too, so IOMMU is a consideration. I currently make do with onboard graphics, so when I say lightweight I mean it! 
    • Would probably look to run the games over Parsec for sake of convenience.
  • Raspberry Pihole (just to play with docker really)


That's about it! There is no intention to have a plex service running externally and my household is very small, so any streaming/transcoding of the movies would be limited to 1 stream of 720p. Similarly the Windows VM is likely to be inactive when streaming, but still running on standby for general (non gaming) use. I'd envisage 4 of the below 6 cores going to the Windows machine. 


Based on my forum/armchair research, I think I've put together something that should suffice for the use cases above and provide headroom for expansion if/when needed. 


What do you think, am I setting myself up for any obvious headaches? : 


Case: Silverstone ATX GD08B

Fan: 120mm (intake) Arctic P12

Fan: 80mm (exhaust) Arctic F8

Mobo: ASRock Z390 Pro4

CPU: Intel i5 9400

Heatsink: Stock

GPU: TBC (Onboard until Ebay'd)

RAM: Crucial Ballistix 2*8GB DDR4 2400 MHz

PSU: Antec EA550G Pro 550 Single rail 12V@45 amp

Flash drive (OS): SanDisk Cruzer Fit 16GB USB 2.0 

HDD 1 (Cache & VM SSD): Samsung 860 QVO 1TB

HDD 2: Old Hitachi Deskstar 500GB @ 7200

HDD 3: Old Hitachi Deskstar 500GB @ 7200

HDD 4: Old Western Digital 500GB @ 7200

HDD 5: Old Western Digital 1TB @ 7200

HDD 6 (parity): Old Western Digital 2TB @ 7200 


I would expect these old drives to die off so as to make room for denser, more energy efficient ones before I filled them. I figure the PSU should be enough for even the worst case of consumption on the old drives(?). 


The board also has a number of M.2 slots and I am wondering if they might be a better cache and/or VM option so as to leave another SATA free(?)


Graphics card suggestions are welcomed, but I will be looking to snipe one off ebay, so that will take some time. Everything else is to be bought new and I will live with onboard GFX until then. 


The above spec is coming out at ~£660, which is already a bit over the budget I had initially set for myself. This is partly the reason the graphics card will have to wait until I have everything else up and running. Will the Windows VM still be on the table without one?  

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Using drives that you don't trust to hold data is a very bad idea. Unraid's drive recovery uses all the capacity of all the drives to maintain parity, and when one drive fails, all the remaining drives must be perfect to rebuild the failed drive.


So, be sure to fully test any drive that will be included in the parity array, and discard any that show signs of failure.

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Thank you for the word of caution! 

I didn’t realise the pool drives were being used like that, I thought all parity data was on the dedicated parity drive so that’s an eye opener 🙃


They will all be put through their paces before being put to use. The important data has both a local and off-site backup I plan to maintain should disaster strike.

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11 hours ago, The_Defiance said:

I thought all parity data was on the dedicated parity drive so that’s an eye opener

The parity drive is separate, yes. That doesn't mean the parity drive by itself has any recovery data, in fact it's just a bunch of nonsense ones and zeroes by itself. It operates as part of the parity equation that uses all the rest of the data drives.




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