Best Motherboards for NAS

Best Motherboards for Nas – NAS rigs are great mass storage replacements for external hard drives, and buying a good NAS case is a great way to save money too.

Building your own NAS is a bit more time consuming than buying a prebuilt NAS, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

You’ll save money, learn how your NAS works and hell, you may even have some fun.

Here we looked at some of the best motherboards for NAS in our opinion while taking into consideration the most common pointers for a DIY setup.

ROUND UP

Your NAS setup does not have to be expensive. It just depends upon what you want to accomplish on it. For basic NAS, any budget motherboard with an entry level processor would do just fine.

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1.ASRock Rack C236 WSI

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OUR TAKE

ASRock today is releasing new Intel C236 based motherboards for the Intel Xeon E3-1200 V5 “Greenlow” family of processors. Key updates for today’s launch are the transition from DDR3 32GB memory limitation to 64GB DDR4. Greenlow also transitions the Xeon E3 series to a 14nm Skylake platform.

All motherboards support dual Intel gigabit LAN connections and feature workstation friendly features such as onboard audio as well as video out ports to take advantage of the new Intel Skylake Xeon onboard GPUs. We covered the new Intel Xeon E3-1200 V5 processors earlier today.

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2.GIGABYTE B365M DS3H

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OUR TAKE

The GIGABYTE B365M-DS3H motherboard comes in small, original packaging. On the box cover in the form of icons it is indicated that the board supports the installation of processors of the ninth generation.

The official website states that this motherboard supports the 9-th generation Core i3, i5 and i7 processors and you do not need to update bios for them, everything will work out of the box.

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3.Supermicro X8SIL-F

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OUR TAKE

The Supermicro X8SIL-F motherboard is an excellent board for home and small business servers. When building a file server built upon Windows Home Server (V1 or V2 Vail) or another open source NAS project such as FreeNAS, Openfiler, EON ZFS storage, the Supermicro has a feature set that differentiates itself from both AMD and Intel based consumer-level motherboards.

Compatibility with those operating systems and virtualization platforms such as Microsoft’s Hyper-V make the X8SIL-F a strong contender for a DIY storage or virtual machine server.

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4.MSI Arsenal

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OUR TAKE

One of the most beneficial performance aspects to consider this model over the previous Tomahawk is the increased official memory support. The B450 Tomahawk now has support DDR4-3466 with a maximum capacity of up to 64 GB across four available memory slots.

Storage capability is better than expected from a B450 motherboard, with a total of six SATA ports capable of supporting RAID 0, 1 and 10 arrays. On top of this is a single PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA capable M.2 slot with a maximum of up to M.2 22110 drives being supported.

The single M.2 slot doesn’t share bandwidth with any other PCIe slot but populating the slot with a drive will however disable two of the six available SATA ports; specifically the two right-angled ports closest to the 24-pin motherboard ATX power input.

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5.GIGABYTE TRX40 DESIGNARE

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OUR TAKE

The last of GIGABYTE’s four announced TRX40 models is the GIGABYTE TRX40 Designare which takes a more professional approach for content creators and workstation users. With a more subtle and elegant black and silver theme, the Designare looks to feature the basic necessities such as an Intel Gigabit Ethernet controller and Realtek ALC4050H and ALC1220 pairing for the onboard audio.

Differentiating the TRX40 Designare from the rest of the GIGABYTE TRX40 product stack is a GC-Titan Ridge Thunderbolt 3 AIC add-on card included in the accessories bundle.

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6.Gigabyte LGA 1155 DDR3

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OUR TAKE

Another week goes by, and I’ve got another board on my test bench, this time from Gigabyte. I’ve had the opportunity to take a look at a couple of other Gigabyte products based on Intel’s LGA115 Express PCH over the past couple of months, and I’ve been left very impressed by what they have to offer this time around.

Those other products were gaming- and enthusiast-class products, but what about mainstream users? Gigabyte’s B75M-D3H is a product designed with mainstrem users in mind, rolled together using Intel’s B75 Express chipset and Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable 4 technologies, bringing next-gen functionality to the business-oriented B75 platform. Since the B75M-D3H is a mainstream product, it also features mainstream pricing, sure to make anyone’s wallet happy about the cost savings. I expect a lot from this product, considering its Z77 Express brethren; does it live up to the hype? Let’s take a look.

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7.GIGABYTE Intel Z490 Aorus

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OUR TAKE

The Master performed as expected, hanging with the other boards we have benchmarked to this point. Like most other boards, the Master took a few liberties with Intel’s specification for our Core i9-10900K processor, running boost frequencies with higher limits.

The CPU ran at 4.9 GHz in most of the tests, hitting the 5.3 GHz Thermal Velocity Boost (TVB) for a single thread when it fits within the parameters. Manual overclocking went on without a hitch, reaching a thermally limited 5.2 GHz with the VRM handling our stress test without issue (and without fans).

So what do you get for the additional cost over Z390? For starters, the Z490 Master uses socket LGA1200, which you’ll need to support Intel’s latest 10th Generation CPUs (and perhaps Rocket Lake later this year).

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8.Gigabyte AM3+ AMD 970

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OUR TAKE

Today we are going to take a look at an AMD motherboard, a refreshing change from the typical Intel focused content. While Intel releases new chipsets as often as Marvel Comics movies come out, AMD is more at the pace of the Star Wars franchise.

There are advantages to each method. As AMD fans will attest, backward and forward compatibility is quite good on the AMD side of things, but the introduction of new technologies into older platforms can be a bit difficult. GIGABYTE and other vendors recently showed off a new series of AMD motherboards based on the 990FX and 970 chipsets and their main advantage over their predecessors is the addition of the latest storage and connectivity technologies

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9.Supermicro H11DSI-O

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OUR TAKE

Supermicro primarily sells fully configured systems today, but the company still has a components business that forms the backbone of a large ecosystem. Our review today is going to be of the Supermicro H11DSi-NT, a dual AMD EPYC motherboard that is at the heart of the Supermicro 4023S-TRT 4U pedestal server.

We will have a review of the full server soon, but we wanted to provide a view of the motherboard since that is a common question we get at STH. You will notice some of the photography shows a fully configured system as we wanted to leave the board in the context of the full Supermicro 4023S-TRT server.

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10.Supermicro X11DPH-TQ

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OUR TAKE

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Best Motherboards for Nas – BUYER’S GUIDE

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Number of Storage Ports

As you can guess, this is the most important part of your Motherboard if you want one for a NAS system. This is because the whole premise of a Network Attached System is that you can use it to store a lot of data.

That will only be possible if you have a couple of Storage ports in which you can connect your Storage Devices. These Devices on Motherboards are either labeled as SATA Ports or M.2 Ports.

And well, the Best Motherboards for NAS will be the ones that have the most number of these ports.

The difference between these two ports is that while SATA, being a Bus interface, is strictly only for storage devices, M.2 Ports can be utilized for anything that is low-powered and can be connected to your PC using a USB Connection.

Other than that, M.2 Ports are generally faster too. But as you will find out, normally SATA ports are more in number. You can find Motherboards with a lot of M.2 ports but they end up being really costly.

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Form Factor

The next thing you would need to look for in a Motherboard for a Network Attached System is the form factor. This is because mostly NAS Systems are built while trying to save space. Mostly the cases you will use will not be too big either.

One of the reasons is that you do not really need a big case or setup. It isn’t like you will be needing to add graphics cards or Liquid Cooling systems.

So the Form Factor that most people go for is the Mini ITX. This form factor tends to be a little expensive as the manufacturers need to add a lot more things in a tinier place but these offer the best Size to Number of Ports Ratio.

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Socket

Another important thing to look out for would be the type of Socket that your hardware can support. This is important as if your Motherboard does not support the type of socket that your Processor has, you would need to end up replacing one of the two.

So in order to save yourself from the hassle, before you buy the product or the processor, make sure it is compatible with the one you already have or have ordered.

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Processors

One of the reasons why Network Attached Systems are so Cheap is the fact that they do not really require a lot of computational power. This means that you do not really have to focus your time or spend money in terms of which processor to buy or how powerful it needs to be.

NAS Systems’ job is to only store and retrieve data. And so you will be able to do with even Intel Core i3’s, Intel Celerons, or AMD Ryzen 2 Processors.

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RAM

As for the RAM for your system, again you do not really have to spend a lot of money. These NSA Systems aren’t power or processor-hungry and so they won’t really be needing a lot of RAM.

Still, we would recommend you go for somewhere around 8GBs of RAM. 4GBs is the bare minimum but that isn’t really a long-term solution. And it might start bottlenecking and cause problems that will slow you and your work down.

So in order to future-proof yourself for a while, 8GBs of RAM would be enough.

Nowadays, products come with compatibility for up to 16GBs of RAM minimum. So even if you do not go for a device that we have mentioned, you wouldn’t need to worry if your Motherboard would be able to handle the extra RAM or not.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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What are People Looking For in NAS Mobo?

While the beauty of a DIY setup lies in the fact that you can make your ideas come true, there are still a few pointer that can get you started with sifting through the nas motherboards if you are new into building them.

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Do You Need a NAS Case?

If you find yourself constantly buying new storage solutions — whether internal or external — and always running out of space, a NAS is probably a good idea.

Rather than paying for expensive cloud storage that gets painfully expensive as you scale, a NAS is like your own personal cloud storage solution in your home or office.

It’s perfect for video editors/producers, and anyone who needs massive amounts of storage on a regular basis.

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WRAP UP

Best Motherboards for Nas –  NAS Systems are basically storage devices that are connected to the network. This is mainly for anyone who has a lot of data that is valuable and is looking to store/save it somewhere. These devices are all connected to each other and are present in one place at the same time.

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