iXsystems TrueNAS Mini X+ ZFS NAS Review


iXsystems TrueNAS Mini X+ or Mini X?

Something that we wanted to note quickly here is the TrueNAS Mini X v. Mini X+. Here is the quick spec table that shows differences:

TrueNAS Mini Line Q3 2020
TrueNAS Mini Line Q3 2020

The vast majority of our readers will be better served with the Mini X+ over the Mini X at this point. For $250 more, one gets dual 10GbE versus quad 1GbE. That is an enormous difference in networking capability. In the 2020’s 1GbE is becoming very slow and is slower than many wireless connection options for phones and laptops.

One also moves from the Atom C3558 to the C3758. This effectively doubles the core count. We were hitting fairly high CPU utilization with 10GbE, so the extra headroom is welcome. The CPUs are not socketed, so this is a more or less “life of the system” CPU choice.

Intel Atom C3758 X553 Networking
Intel Atom C3758 X553 Networking

Finally, one gets 16GB more of RAM. RAM is upgradeable, but this is a nice feature to get twice the memory along with 5x faster networking and 2x the CPU core count.

In our view, the $250 upgrade is worth it unless that is out of budget. Once drives are added, these are $2000-2500+ devices so it is a 10% price increase for significantly more compute, memory, and networking.

Build or buy?

A lot of people ask about a build or buy in this scenario. Here are some primary components it is easy to get pricing for in the $1149 base system.

  • Supermicro A2SDi-H-TF $515
  • 32GB Memory $180
  • 16GB SATADOM $40

With an additional fan, this puts us at around $750 not including the chassis or power supply. This leaves us with a $400 or so premium for:

  • Chassis
  • Power supply
  • Quiet chassis fan
  • Intel Atom C3000 HSF
  • SATA Breakout Cables
  • Assembly & Test
  • Not having to research and order components/ settings
  • Adding the enclosure view in TrueNAS Core

There are two ways to evaluate this. First, one can say $400 is $400 less the hard costs of components. Second, one can say that in either case, it is close enough that it is worth letting iXsystems do the work for a small premium.

In generations past, and frankly, with some current consumer NAS solutions, there are large premiums over hardware for pre-built NAS units. To us, this feels like a relatively small premium compared to the rest of the industry.

Final Words

Overall, this is an excellent NAS unit. We like that iXsystems is pushing to 10GbE. We also really like that we have a manageable Supermicro platform which is a step up from many consumer NASes. There are clearly customization points such as the fans, chassis, and even the integration with TrueNAS enclosure management.

TrueNas Mini X Plus Front 1
TrueNas Mini X Plus Front 1

All is not perfect though. The system is in that middle ground where it is quieter than many self-built systems, but it is neither silent nor near-silent. The custom chassis is compact, and offers great storage connectivity, but that density and the screws, make it difficult to service compared to some other units. TrueNAS Core is great for those IT professionals and know storage, but it is a long way from the ease-of-use provided by Synology or QNAP if one does not know storage and just needs a place to dump files. That is somewhat the point of TrueNAS Core since it is really a power-user NAS solution.

Overall, if you are set on using TrueNAS Core, this is probably the best 5-bay NAS solution on the market. In our view, it is better than many self-built options, using new components, in this price range. The iXsystems team did a great job of putting together a package that is reasonably priced for a pre-built NAS that will appeal to power users.


  1. Nice review. Interesting product, especially because this integrator (or system builder) has chosen to use off-the-shelf parts with a minimum of custom modifications. To me that speaks of a platform that is easily supportable & fixable into the future by a tech savvy enduser.

    As for all of the screws that were encountered…be thankful that some, many, or all of them were not rivets…because you would be really screwed in that case.

    (all puns in this comment, bad or otherwise, are intentional)

  2. Every time I said I really want a “consumer” ZFS NAS, people will point me to TrueNAS Mini, but the whole thing just isn’t anywhere near Synology or Qnap. And with the constant security problem Qnap is having ( And QT Hero supporting ZFS isn’t available on all Model ), it looks like for ZFS you either do it like a pros with TrueNAS or build yourself.

    Otherwise you are left with BTRFS on Synology.

  3. @Ksec

    To be fair, many of the security problems QNAP is facing, is due to customer treating personal-clouds and forwarding ports to them, exposing them to the web, or using UPNP… Don’t expose it, and 99% of those problems go away.

    NAS’s boxes are not hardened internet servers – unfortunately this is a problem that is caused by QNAPs own marketing and documentation promoting this, and for some reason it seems they’d rather play wack-a-mole with bugs/vulnerabilities and suffer the reputation damage, than to properly educate their owners.

  4. @Kelv1n – I am not using Qnap or Synology, but I am curious to know how I can check if I have any forwarding ports open to web or enabled UPnP. Some local applications have port 8080 indication, but I don’t see them or any services listed in my Orbi router under “port forwarding.” Is 8080 port forwarding only local? Also, I think I have disabled UPnP on my router – – are there any other steps that I should be taking to ensure security? Should I blocking ports in my PC too, or just router?

  5. I do not like iXsystem’s policy about their products.
    It is impossible to buy the chassis only without motherboard.
    If you are a system builder and you do not want to buy supermicro motherboard, you can not do it.
    But the new chasis lokks good, and the extra 2 ssd slot is very usefull.
    The cooling solution is poor, but with noctua coolers this can be solved.

  6. Perfect build, did my own one with same mono, but a custom fit (low depth) rack case. Got 12 hdd slots (not hotplug and an awful lot more screws), a noctua cpu fan and 3 120mm one – hdd are the loudest part.

    Thanks for the review and the components are the ones I chose myself

  7. Truly great reviews. I’m using QNAP, Synolgy since ever & recently I started using DIY TrueNAS. Although QNAP & Synology are using relatively lower end CPUs like i5 & Xeon D compared to the Dual Xeon E5-2690V3 w 64GB ECC RAM their performance is superior compared to TrueNAS. They can easily saturate the 10Gb connection while TrueNAS has an erratic performance. I tried all the tweaks & tunable on the RAID-Z Pool (24HDD of 14TB configured as 4VDEV of 6HDD Raid-z) to improve performance but speed is nothing compared QNAP & Synology. To confirm it is not a hardware limitation I loaded Windows Server 2019 on the same hardware configured a RAID-5 Share and the throughput was absolutely amazing hence it is a TrueNAS issue. I wish someone can resolve this mestry
    My ZFS Poll setting “Disable Duplicate & ATime used a 1GB with standard sync, SMB share, enabled tunable & jumbo traffic”
    Again Thanks a million for the great review

  8. Is this case not just that one Supermicro ITX case? Looks literally identical, just with a different front bezel.

  9. I saw a YouTuber Tommy L say this was super quiet. He’s showing “quiet” in a room that looks like it has a 40db floor. I would never have thought that was a thing until I saw this.

  10. If only one could purchase the chassis separately. Out of all the cases available in the market this and the 8-bay one look the most promising (the 4-bay one is also great but a bit small). I know it is an Ablecom product but good luck finding someone willing to sell you 1-2 units.


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