FreeNAS/ TrueNAS Core ZFS mATX Appliance Power Consumption
As a quick note here, we are using a SilverStone 700W SFX-L PSU (SX700-LPT.) In terms of power consumption, we saw acceptable results.
- Idle: 54W
- Max Observed Load: 202W
Here we are seeing solid numbers on 120V power. We did not tune anything for this, it is just out of the box performance. The power supply is an 80Plus Platinum rated unit, but there is an opportunity to use a PSU that is more appropriately sized. If/ when this build gets converted into another platform where we can use a GPU for GPU offload the PSU is ready to go. This made sense to use a bigger PSU here simply to not have to buy a new PSU in a year or two and re-install it.
Here is where things get less than exciting. We wanted to look at the total cost, excluding storage drives other than the boot media.
- ASRock CPU/ Motherboard: $1300 (new) $600 (used/ NIB)
- SilverStone CS381: $350
- SilverStone SFX Power Supply: $170
- 4x 16GB Memory: $220
- 2x SFF-8643 cables: $40
- Basic SSD budget (boot and cheap L2ARC or VM drive): $200
The ASRock motherboard one can get second-hand, and we have seen them in the $400-600 range. Frankly, at those prices, it is an absolute steal, and the Ryzen-based platforms are not competitive there. We have about $1000 in costs aside from the board which brings us to $1600-2200 for the system before adding 3.5″ storage drives.
Now, why did we really do this build? As some may have guessed we did not just do this build to be a small ZFS storage server. Instead, we are going to use this as a reference point for some of our future pieces.
We have a lot of readers still using solutions such as FreeNAS, and TrueNAS Core (future) for ZFS appliances. We saw 10TB drives as a good point to show a current state Xeon D ZFS system. This box has a lot of flexibility.
TrueNAS Core is still a few months away from being ready, so we are not going to recommend it to our readers just yet. Stick to FreeNAS for now. All of this hardware will work with FreeNAS. We just wanted to start trying out the next-gen now. Of course, most can try out the next-gen with a virtual machine. At STH, thanks to social distancing, there is plenty of time to do a physical server.
There are a lot of great reasons to not follow this build. We wanted to simply share some thoughts on building a mATX NAS. While mATX was a hot form factor in the server market several years ago, it was surprisingly hard to come up with a build that used mATX and was not a Xeon E-2200 series. Perhaps the more important takeaway from this is just thinking through the CPU and motherboard selection.